May could be seen as a symbolic month, as it marks the point where legendary and controversial series Mortal Kombat is greenlit for Australian audiences. Much in thanks to our new R18+ for video games, 2011’s Mortal Kombat reboot is now available for all to enjoy.
There’s a bunch of other games too!
- 01/05 – Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 02/05 – Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 02/05 – FEZ (PC)
- 02/05 – Might & Magic Heroes VI: Shades of Darkness (PC)
- 02/05 – Soul Sacrifice (PlayStation Vita)
- 09/05 – Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (3DS)
- 09/05 – Persona 4 Arena (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 09/05 – The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 14/05 – Dust 514 (PlayStation 3)
- 16/05 – Metro: Last Light (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 16/05 – Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut (PlayStation 3)
- 22/05 – Call of Juarez: Gunslinger (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 23/05 – Resident Evil: Revelations (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PC)
- 25/05 – Donkey Kong Country Returns (3DS)
- 30/05 – FUSE (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 30/05 – GRID 2 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
There may not be a lot of huge releases this month, but it’s definitely easy to see that there’s something which will appeal to everyone. Perhaps one of the most long-awaited is the release of Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition. While the original version was refused classification in Australia upon its initial release (though it didn’t stop many from importing), the advent of the R18+ rating has somehow lead to the jam-packed Komplete Edition being available. It also comes at a pretty attractive price point for a game which made it to the rest of the world a few years ago. Other points of interest for me include the new Mario and Donkey Kong game for the 3DS, the home console release of Resident Evil: Revelations and Metro: Last Light, which we just recently previewed. Looking at this month’s list, there is probably something for everyone.
April was a quiet month, I think we can all agree. Although May isn’t packed with blockbusters, there’s a few notable titles that make this month worth paying attention to. Persona 4 Arena is chief among these, with the game finally seeing release outside of Japan and the US. I can assure you that it has definitely been worth the wait. Persona 4 Arena successfully marries the world of Persona 3 and 4 with the fighting mechanics from Arc System Work’s BlazBlue series. It’s a good fighting game for both casuals and pros, since Arc System Works had both in mind when they designed the game. BlazBlue players will be instantly familiar with the controls, but the required button inputs for special attacks have been simplified, in addition to a new (optional) auto-combo system to help out those who are less familiar (or skilled) with fighting games. The game’s story serves as a sequel to both Persona 3 and 4, and for fans of the games, it’s worth getting just for that. To add to the experience, the presentation and audio are also top notch. There’s heaps of music from Persona 3 and 4, along with a healthy dose of new stuff. I’ll warn you now, though. The story is told in visual novel format, so you will have to tackle a lot of text. This may be a fighter, but the story mode is expansive, and will last you over 10 hours alone. It’s well worth it, though, and the added battles help to break up the flow a bit. There’s more to the game than just the story mode, however. There’s also the usual slew of modes you’ve come to expect from an Arc System Works game, including Arcade, Score Attack, and Challenge Mode for you to master. Add a solid multiplayer mode (featuring both offline and online options) into the mix, and you’ve got one of my favourite fighting games in years.
Meanwhile, Soul Sacrifice is a much needed high quality title for the PlayStation Vita. Keiji Inafune’s latest design is looking like a real winner, and is sure to keep fans of action-RPGs busy this month. Will you save your allies, or sacrifice them in order to gain access to powerful attacks? If you save them, you’ll lose some of your own health, but regain a valuable ally. Sacrificed characters can no longer be revived, but will enter a spectator mode, where they can see hidden info about what’s going on, as well as boost allies or weaken enemies by tapping the Vita’s screen. The choice is yours!
Lastly, Donkey Kong Country Returns is coming to the 3DS. The game was a great platformer for the Wii, and is looking just as good on Nintendo’s handheld. The original version was a very challenging game, especially towards the end, so a new optional ‘easy’ difficulty has been added. This new mode offers various bonuses, including extra health. The 3DS version also includes a whole new world, that wasn’t seen in the original Wii version, filled with eight levels. This new world is unlockable after the game has been completed, and will offer an extra challenge.
I’m all about the re-releases this month. Fez was amazing on the XBox 360, and I definitely recommend getting the PC version if you haven’t already played it. While the pixel-art indie platformer is becoming almost as well-worn as the military FPS, Fez is still really fun and clever and amazing, so check it out. The true highlight, however, is the disc release of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. If you missed it last year, then this should be a no-brainer. A moving story, some genuinely shocking moments and memorable characters all help justify the many GOTY awards this game received. Aside from that, it’s good to see Persona 4 Arena finally make it to our shores.
It’s May. May we have an exciting month of video games? In a word: yes.
My picks for this month include Soul Sacrifice, which I’m really keen to see perform well despite not having a Vita. I’ve been stalking the game since it was first announced and it’s nice to hear that the demo has been promising. Fingers crossed the full game lives up to the hype.
Secondly, Persona 4 Arena is finally making it over to our shores. I had a brief opportunity to play the game at the EB Expo last year and I quite liked it. As a fan of Guilty Gear, I’d like to delve a bit deeper into this one, especially since Blazblue did nothing for me.
Thirdly, I’m holding my breath to see how Call of Juarez: Gunslinger turns out. I loved the first two, but with the steaming mess The Cartel ended up being, I’m hoping that they’ll be able to resurrect the glorious Western shooting action the series rightly deserves to be remembered for.
Lastly, I’m most keen to play Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut. This isn’t just a re-release of a game that came out three years ago (wow, has it been three years already?) but adds new scenarios, overhauls the game mechanics and updated visuals. Zach, wouldn’t it be nice to revisit Greenvale all over again?
As the race to the next generation becomes a final dash to the finish, the remaining months of the current console cycle still have plenty to offer. Though still powering through a ridiculous backlog, May offers to add even more weight to the towering pile. A demonstration of Metro: Last Light at a press event last year was tense and visually spectacular, so I’m definitely booking a trek through the radioactive wastelands of Russia. My gaming homework also includes the 3DS version of Resident Evil: Revelations, but having the option of a traditional controller means I’ll be forking out for yet another ‘HD’ console makeover. Finally, combining Far Cry with an outrageous sci-fi theme and a healthy dose of VHS nostalgia, Blood Dragon looks like an absolute blast from start to finish.
April was a pretty quiet month for me, and May doesn’t look to be much different, with a lot of smaller, digital releases I’m likely to buy over big budget titles. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon should be a delightfully 80s infused blood bath, though I’m a little bit worried the totally on-point style and presentation will be hampered by overly stealth heavy Far Cry 3 gameplay. I want my Terminator simulator, damn it. FEZ is another digital release I’m keen to get into. Phil Fish drama aside, I don’t own an Xbox 360, making this Steam release ideal. Plus I really like platformers. Nice to see the Vita finally getting some love with Soul Sacrifice, which should allow my unit to take a break from weighting paper. Remind me to try the demo first, though.
Otherwise, that’s about it, in terms of really attention grabbing “must have” games. Metro: Last Light nips at the heels, but as I wasn’t too hot on Metro 2033 I’m not going too eager to jump right into Last Light. FUSE looks cool, but I’ll be waiting for impressions from others, and I’m still a little sour over the style change. Fingers are crossed that Call of Juarez: Gunslinger delivers, as I much enjoyed the original along with Bound in Blood. There really aren’t enough Westerns. I’ll be giving Revelations a pass, as I’ve thoroughly exhausted it on the 3DS. And though I won’t be getting it, I’m delighted to see Mortal Kombat has finally made an official debut in Australia. Signs of change, I’d hope.
That leaves Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3DS, both of which I’ll be buying. Deadly Premonition for the obvious reasons, and DKCR3D because the Wii version is one of the best platformers money can buy, and I’d like to try out the added world.