Today a young man playing video games realised that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Rocket Chainsaw with the August game schedule.
- 07/08 – Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 08/08 – Tales of Xillia (PlayStation 3)
- 13/08 – DuckTales Remastered (Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 15/08 – Payday 2 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 13/08 – Europa Universalis IV (PC)
- 22/08 – Disney Infinity (3DS, Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 22/08 – Skullgirls (PC)
- 22/08 – Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 23/08 – The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 24/08 – The Wonderful 101 (Wii U)
- 27/08 – Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (PC)
- 27/08 – Killer Is Dead (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 27/08 – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PlayStation 3, PC)
- 28/08 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (Xbox 360, PC)
- 29/08 – Lost Planet 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 29/08 – Madden NFL 25 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 29/08 – Rayman Legends (Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PC)
- 29/08 – One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PlayStation 3)
- 30/08 – War for the Overworld (PC)
- XX/?? – Dragon’s Crown (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita)
- NOTE: Saint’s Row IV, originally scheduled for an August release, has been refused classification in Australia. A resubmitted censored version has also been refused classification. If you want the complete edition, try your hand at importing and hope it doesn’t get nabbed by customs.
IT’S HERE. IT’S FINALLY HERE. Holy crap, have I been waiting for this. The Wonderful 101. The cheeky “we’ll announced it off stage” exclusive that significantly contributed to my reasons to buy a Wii U. Hideki Kamiya’s resume is borderline flawless, and with the exceptionally talented Platinum Games team at his back I have no reason to believe The Wonderful 101 will be anything less than one of my favourite games of the year. Blending character action, Pikmin, and Okami, TW101 proudly labels itself as a “mass-hero action game” and based on what I’ve seen I think that’s appropriate. I’m just so, so excited to get my hands on Kamiya’s first game since Bayonetta.
Next to TW101 there’s Killer Is Dead. Though I long for the days of Killer 7 and Flower, Sun, and Rain to make a return, and doubt Killer is Dead will echo those greats, word on the street is that it has the most competent combat system of any Grasshopper game to date, and that’s really encouraging to hear from a play point of view. But really, I think it’s the visuals that do it for me, successfully rendering No More Heroes‘ pre-rendered CGI teaser graphics as real time gameplay. Plus I’ve day-one invested in every Grasshopper game for a good while now, so what’s one more? The long delayed Rayman Legends is due, thank fuck, so I’ll grab that too. Almost everything else, like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, War for the Overworld, and DuckTails Remastered, is on the “if I’m not broke” list. Except for Dragon’s Crown, which is a titillating must have, but the local release date is all over the place, so who knows when we’ll get it.
It’s pretty much Legendary Japanese Game Producer Month for me, with Hideki Kamiya and Suda51 both with what look to be fantastic titles. The Wonderful 101 looks like a game Treasure might have made if Kamiya hadn’t had the idea first, reminding me of a mix-up between their classic Gunstar Heroes and Bangai-O games, but with its own added twists thrown in. Then there’s Suda51’s Killer Is Dead, which looks stylish as all hell, and after last year’s excellent Lollipop Chainsaw, I can’t wait to see what he has next up his sleeve. This month also sees the release of two fantastic platform titles. Capcom’s Ducktales remake looks great, but, after having had a good look at it at PAX AUS last weekend, I’m super-excited for Rayman Legends as well. I’m also interested in seeing how The Bureau: XCOM Declassified turns out, and looking forward to a good go at the PC version of Skullgirls.
Even with next-gen just around the corner, The Last of Us and its record-breaking sales on the PS3 and six-week tenure at the top of the UK charts demonstrates it’s still possible to make a mark on the current generation. Of course we probably won’t get a similar blockbuster until next month with Grand Theft Auto V, but our Games of August list is an appealing one all the same.
In particular, I’m most excited for Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends. Whereas I found Rayman Origins’ quirkiness a little excessive at first, its perfect balance in giving the player an infinite stockpile of lives but not skimping on difficulty quickly won me over. As I can comfortably place Origins on par with Donkey Kong Country Returns as one of my favourite platformers in recent years, Legends is well on my radar and might deliver the Wii U purchase I’ve been holding back on given the system’s unique use of the GamePad.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is another title I’ve got my eye on since XCOM: Enemy Unknown was my personal GoTY in 2012. However, it’s a release I’m approaching with trepidation knowing that the traditional turn-based strategy gameplay will be downplayed, if not altogether removed. In saying that, I’m not averse to embracing an alternate direction if Declassified maintains the tone and difficulty of the previous entry that I so feverishly adored.
As a side note, I’m also interested in seeing how Disney Infinity will fare in its opening weeks going up against the annual cash-cow that is Skylanders. The toy-based hybrid is a proven success with younger gamers, though I harbor concerns with respect to how the model demands the purchase of additional figurines to unlock in-game content. Perhaps some healthy competition between Activision and Disney Interactive could eventuate in gamers getting more bang for their buck in the long run.
August is here and with it, a reason and a half for me for me to purchase a Wii U. The Wonderful 101 and Rayman Legends both look like exciting titles, for reasons Jarrod and Tim have already covered. Will Bev finally get a Wii U? Stay tuned. I’m also looking forward to DuckTales, which comes out fairly early in the month, before the onslaught of big budget titles. Of those we’ve listed, Killer is Dead is the only one I’ll be purchasing during the launch window. I’ve been a fan of Grasshopper Manufacture games for a while now, and while recent releases Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw have disappointed me for various reasons, I cling to a shred of hope that Killer is Dead might be a return to past Suda 51 glory. I’m not holding my breath, though.
However, my excitement for these releases pale compared to the games I’ll be importing. First of all is Dragon’s Crown, which is already being billed as a must-have game for the Vita. Secondly, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle is pretty much what I’ve been hankering for for a long time. You may recall I wished for it in one of our Obscure Retroness features. Perhaps I will die happy.
Only one game stands out in the light for me in the month of August. After its reveal last year, Splinter Cell: Blacklist has snuck up on us rather quickly. After the poorly-received Conviction retreated into the shadows, Ubisoft has handed the reigns to its new Toronto studio and scrapped the iconic Michael Ironside. Instead, we have a younger-sounding Sam Fisher, and a game that allows for range of gameplay experiences, from pure stealth to all guns blazing. I’ve been fortunate enough to go hands-on with the game, and my experience so far mirrors the Ubisoft design document – players can enjoy the robust movement system from Conviction, while still being silent and non-lethal, as in Chaos Theory. The inclusion of Spies vs Mercs, which I have also tested and can give my seal of approval, will be the icing on the cake for many old-school fans. I hope that Blacklist stands out of the dark and delivers another memorable Splinter Cell experience.
Lucky for me, the wait is almost over – as I’ve been excited to get my hands on Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons for some time now. The dual control system used to simultaneously control the cheeky younger brother and the serious older brother is a sure set up for some inventive puzzles, and the world design nails that fairy tale look. A week is too long to wait…