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New Releases for the week of Euclid and Drippy

New Releases for the week of Euclid and Drippy

Ni no KuniNew Releases is back from its longer than usual winter break. Releases always slump for a few weeks before and after the major holiday gift-giving days, and this year was an especially rough time, with the slump extending from mid-November until the beginning of February, and we’re still a bit slow. There is one game I want to point out this week, but first, there are a couple games that were released over the last month, despite the slump, which are worth mentioning in retrospect.

ps3The first is Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, which dropped mid-January. I’ll be honest here: Ni no Kuni was not on my radar at all. I didn’t really start paying attention to it until a week after it had been released, and it seemed like everyone was talking about this game. I’m usually watching several weeks ahead, at least, to see what interesting games are coming down the pipeline, and I remember seeing this title, and its cover art, but I made the mistake of assuming that it was another in what has been a long string of poor, derivative, PS3 exclusive RPGs out of Japan over the last few years. Now, however, reviews and reports are coming out that compare the game favorably to Dragon Quest 8, probably one of the most interesting and immersive Japanese RPGs of the last decade. This comparison leads me to believe that I judged it too quickly, and, combined with the Studio Ghibli artwork, makes me want to dive in headlong. Unfortunately, it is only on PS3, so I won’t be playing anytime soon.

windows steamThe second is Antichamber. This game is designed specifically to mess with the player’s perceptions and internal guides. Each of us, who have spent so many of our hours on this hobby, have certain preconceptions and expectations we approach games with, and certain skills we expect to use. Antichamber is a game which was crafted to challenge those parts of us which feel like we know what it means to play video games. The starkly stylized puzzles push players out of their gaming comfort-zones. Mostly, the puzzles involve the navigation and manipulation of non-Euclidean spaces. The goal is to escape from the complex of rooms, and along the way, discover the nature of the setting and the game’s unseen protagonist. The main mechanics are first-person exploration, and the use of various ‘guns’ which allow different types of interaction with the rooms and their contents.

windows steamFrom this week’s releases, I just want to point out Impire. There have been a lot of attempts over the years to replicate the greatness of the original genre-defining Dungeon Keeper, and none of them have lived up to their goal. The games manage not to find that right balance between complexity and simplicity, or sometimes they get the gameplay close, but hit completely the wrong tone, usually falling on the wrong side of the fine line between clever and silly. Of the recent and upcoming entries in the genre, the one that looks the most promising is Impire. Everything from the visual design to the gameplay, to the quest structure seems built to replicate the style of Dungeon Keeper, and while that may seem derivative  I think that’s what I want at this point. Every attempt to improve upon or change the formula established in that classic game has failed miserably. Perhaps it’s time to just remake the game with modern graphics and interfaces, and with Bullfrog gone, I’m willing to trust Cyanide Studios with that holy duty. Also: there will be a two-player co-op mode, which is a sure-fire way to get me to at least give the game a shot.

Following is a full list of this week’s announced North American releases:

Windows

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • Omerta: City of Gangsters
  • Impire

Xbox 360

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • Omerta: City of Gangsters

PS3

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines

Vita

  • Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken

Comments

  1. Canti
    Canti I remember seeing a preview of Antichamber some time ago and it was definitely one of the more interesting game concepts I've ever seen. @CB use your magic to warp time so that none passes while I play it so I'll have time to play it.
  2. Colgere
    Colgere Impire... another attempt to bring back the glory that is Dungeon Keeper. Maybe it'll finally be the one to live up to my hopes....
  3. Tushon
    Tushon I got DK and DK2 on GOG over the holidays. They are still glorious, but I would LOVE a modern graphics remake.
  4. midga
    midga If anyone does actually try out Impire, post back here and give us an idea of whether it's worth picking up :D
  5. QuadWhore
    QuadWhore Antichamber looks incredible. I will buy that the second it comes out I swear...

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