As August ends and September begins, a part of me can’t shake the feeling that some big game is on the verge of release, but the name escapes me.
Starting from this month’s schedule, we’re proud to introduce collaborative contributions. Not only will your hear from our staff’s best picks of the month (as usual), but you’ll also get insight from friends (and foes) of Rocket Chainsaw. For September, we’re overjoyed to get some solid gaming insight from Shannon Grixti, founder and editor of the delightful Press-Start, another awesome Australian based gaming website.
And so, without further ado…
- 03/09 – Total War: Rome II (PC)
- 03/09 – Diablo III (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 03/09 – Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 04/09 – Killzone: Mercenary (PlayStation Vita)
- 10/09 – Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (PC)
- 11/09 – Puppeteer (PlayStation 3)
- 11/09 – KickBeat (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita)
- 12/09 – Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX (PlayStation 3)
- 12/09 – NHL 14 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 12/09 – ARMA 3 (PC)
- 12/09 – AFL Live 2 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 13/09 – The King of Fighters XIII (PC)
- 17/09 – Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 17/09 – MechWarrior Online (PC)
- 26/09 – Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
- 26/09 – FIFA 14 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, 3DS, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Portable)
- 26/09 – Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
- 26/09 – World of Warplanes (PC)
- 27/09 – Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness (PlayStation 3)
- 27/09 – Shadow Warrior (PC)
Shannon Grixti – Founder/Editor of Press-Start
I’ve had my eye on Puppeteer since it was announced at GamesCom last year. Studio Japan has produced some of my favourite games in the last 10 years. The game is also being directed by Gavin Moore who played a huge role in producing Siren: Blood Curse, which in my opinion was one of the best Sony exclusives of this generation. I played through the demo that was released a week ago 3-4 times and am even more hyped about it now. The game’s art style and general atmosphere is extremely magical and a huge breath of fresh air from the typical dull colour scheme that games try and achieve.
On the portable side I’m really excited for Killzone Mercenary. I got to go hands on with an old build a month or so ago and have been eager to get my hands on the final version ever since. I’ve already sunk 15-20 hours into the Multiplayer Beta and can honestly say that it’s the first time that I’ve felt like I was having a console experience on a handheld device. The graphics and controls really come together to create that of a PS3 quality Killzone experience. The touch controls actually feel like they make controlling even easier rather than be tacked on like we’ve seen in the past and the multiplayer is one of the most addictive that I’ve played in a long time.
I’m also really excited to see what FIFA 14 has to offer. My brother and I have sunk well over 200-300 hours in FIFA 13 and I cant wait to see what improvements have been made in the latest version. EA seem to do a great job in making you feel right at home with each iteration whilst making enough subtle improvements to make your purchase justified. Whilst we won’t see the Ignite engine present on current-gen consoles, I’ll be excited to see how that shapes up when the game launches with the PS4/One.
Last but definitely not least I cannot wait to play GTA V. GTA IV divided a lot of people and it looks like GTA V will be the HD Grand Theft Auto experience that people were hoping for. I’m particularly excited to go hands on with Grand Theft Auto Online as I believe that that will be the true future of the franchise. It feels like the ultimate place that the game was always heading towards so I can’t wait to wreak havoc once more in the GTA universe.
Right, well, let’s not waste any more time pretending that September is not all about Rockstar’s behemoth, Grand Theft Auto V, which is clearly the year’s most expansive, expensive and ambitious game by a wide margin. I can’t wait to see whether Rockstar has managed to refine the series’ structural and mechanical rough edges in the five years since Grand Theft Auto IV‘s release, but on the back of the sublime Red Dead Redemption, I’m feeling hopeful.
In the lead up to September 17, though, it’s all about the small gems. I’m greatly anticipating the PSN release of Starbreeze’s indie darling, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, which has had Xbox players in a fluster for the last two weeks, and when that’s over, I’ll have Puppeteer, Sony Japan’s exquisite looking platformer, to (ahem) jump into.
Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one in the gaming world not excited about Grand Theft Auto V, a rational mind tells me otherwise, but the hype that drives this series is so engrained with gaming culture that it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t froth at the mouth at the mention of a new GTA title. That aside, everything we’ve seen so far about Rockstar’s new title makes it look worthy of the hype, with a world of possibilities that, at this stage, seem truly mind boggling. It may well turn out to be everything everyone hopes and dreams it will be – but it still won’t be for me. Give me more Red Dead Redemption Rockstar and I’ll follow you to the grave.
Other than saving my dollars for the console explosion in November, Diablo 3 piques my interest the most this month. Yes it’s already available on PC, but the PC version’s always online function still has me waking up in a cold sweat, haunted by lag nightmares. The PS3 option may finally let me get a good night’s sleep.
After the monster August month, it’s good to see that September doesn’t have too many titles that pique my interest. The only one I’ll be plonking money down on is Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. Time to get started on that backlog, I suppose.
September is all about two games in particular for me: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix, and Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness.
Kingdom Hearts HD is up first, and along with a visual upgrade, it brings new features to the first game in the series. For the first time, the Final Mix version of the original Kingdom Hearts game will be released outside of Japan. The camera has been overhauled, the Reaction Commands from Kingdom Hearts II have been added, and the menu has been improved. Kingdom Hearts HD also marks the first time that Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories will be available in Europe and Australia. The game is a 3D remake of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the Gameboy Advance, and in my opinion, it’s a big improvement over the original version. Rounding out the package is Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, which was originally a Nintendo DS game, but will now be present in the form of a 3 hour movie which covers the game’s plot. It’s looking like a great package overall.
Coming up on the 27th is Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness. It’s a belated sequel to the first game in the series, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness which was originally released in early 2003. Fan favourite characters Laharl, Etna and Flonne finally return as protagonists after simply making cameo appearances in the games that have been released since their debut. Disgaea D2 brings a few new features to the series, including an expanded character creator, a new weapon type, special character events which can be triggered during battles, and some brand new monsters. The game makes use of the same large, beautifully detailed character sprites that we saw in Disgaea 4, and it’s sure to be a treat for fans of tactical RPGs.
In a brief moment of forgetfulness, I was relieved with the notion that September looked to be lacking any truly outstanding, must-have games that would make my tail end August backlog grow even larger. Grand Theft Auto V is kind of a big deal, but I’m comfortable waiting for the inevitable PC build. However, compiling this schedule had me crashing back down to reality. September has games I want, badly, and how.
Truly at the top of the list (literally) is Total War: Rome 2. The Total War series is worthy of celebration upon each release, at least for me, where The Creative Assembly’s hyper addictive real time strategy slash turn based empire sim formula borderlines on “dangerously addictive”. Total War: Rome is only second to Total War: Medieval II for my taste, and the prospect of losing a good couple of months of my life a return to 272BC Europe both frightening and exciting. Especially off the back of the excellent Total War: Shogun 2, a return to form for the series after the mixed Total War: Empire. I think I’ll roll Egypt. Or Iceni.
The rest of the month can be divided between three titles: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, destined to be pants wetting in terror and rich in atmosphere. Killzone: Mercenary, the preview I experienced surprising me as possibly the most fun I’ve had with a Killzone title. And Puppeteer, a game where I’ve avoided most previews (and the demo) in favour of going in blind.
And when September is all said and done, I can finally take a break from spending cash money on electronic distractions, because November surely has nothing of value. Right? …Right?