Skullgirls is a 2D fighting game starring a bevy of slightly dressed young women. The Skullheart is a powerful artifact, which can grant any wish, and the tournament which will decide its next master is upon upon us. Girls from around the world are going to have to kick each other to pieces to get at the prize, but if the winner uses the artifact with an impure heart, she will become a monster—a terrible Skullgirl. The gimmick here is the team building system. Each match, each player can choose up to three of the girls to be on his or her team, but they don’t have to take three—depending on the player’s style, it may be advantageous to take only one girl or two. The fewer team members chosen, the more life each girl gets, and the stronger their attacks are. Bigger teams, however, get the advantage of powerful combo moves, which are more effective than solo moves but more complicated to pull off. Other features include simplified controls and multi-directional blocking in addition to online multi-player and tournament modes.
In Naval War: Arctic Circle, players command an Arctic navy in battle. The focus is on realism in the ships and combat. The weapons and sensor systems are meant to behave as close to the real thing as possible. Players control everything from submarines to satellites in a system focused on all levels of management. The game takes place within one of the largest contiguous virtual spaces in gaming, over 35 million square kilometers of sea. Check out Icrontic’s preview of the game here, and watch for a review in the coming weeks.
The focus of Tribes: Ascend is to go fast. A team-based first-person shooter, the game has multiple play modes and several classes to choose from with various distinct roles. The classes in the game are more distinct than most games, and with speed such a big part of the game, the abilities of the classes to get going becomes very important to their roles. The game is also interesting in that it monetizes on the micro-payments model, more typical of MMOs than FPSs. Each player begins with access to only a few classes, weapons and abilities, and must either earn more through repeated play, or pay for the points needed to unlock them with IRL dollars. This system doesn’t sit well with some, but the unique gameplay mechanics make it an interesting experiment. If you want a group to play with the Icrontic community has gotten into the game lately, and gets together regularly to play.
The Icrontic Spotlight this week turns 90 degrees down the corridors of Legend of Grimrock. This is a 3D role-playing adventure game which is an homage to some of the original 3D role-playing games, which had simplistic, blocky graphics, and played out on what was essentially a 2-dimensional grid, simply being seen from down on the grid itself. These games were the first FPSs, and many current genres owe a lot of what makes them what they are to these games, most of which are now too old to tolerably play. Even attempts to remake these games, or to make new games in their style, usually results in games which have anachronistic graphics, controls, and difficulty levels. Grimrock is an attempt to make a new game which pays tribute to this old genre, without falling victim to the aspects of it which now seem intolerably ancient. The graphics are modern and the style and control hold modern sensibilities, while the mechanics of exploration and ramping monster battles are still present. The development mechanics include multiple classes and various specialties for your team of four adventurers. The combat is real-time, but intended to be more tactical than twitch-based. If you’re looking for a modern return to the squared-off dungeon, or simply want to see what all the fogeys are always fussing about without having to go back in time, Legend of Grimrock may be worth a try.
Following is a full list of this week’s announced North American releases:
- Anne’s Doll Studio: Tokyo Collection
- Ketzal’s Corridors
- Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir
- Air Conflicts: Secret Wars
- Phantom Breaker
- The Splatters
- World Gone Sour
- 4 in 1 Action Pack
- World Gone Sour