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New releases for The Week of Skyhooks and Noteswords

New releases for The Week of Skyhooks and Noteswords

3ds eshopHarmoKnight is a neat take on the relatively new rhythm-platformer genre. Combining elements from various other rhythm action games, like Bit-trip and Audiosurf, the game presents a cohesive tale of three adventurers who find themselves facing and driving off a malevolent alien race. The Noizoids attack the peaceful and musical world of Melodia without any provocation.  The heroes must keep the beat through a variety of level types to ultimately vanquish the discordant foes. It’s colorful, musical, and three-dimensional

windowsCreated by one of the original Counter-Strike team, Tactical Intervention is a new take on the formula that made that game a classic. In the new, multi-player only, team-based, first-person shooter, players choose to run either as terrorists or counter-terrorists in asymmetrical, goal oriented missions , typically with the terrorists trying to do something nefarious, while the counter-terrorists try to stop them by force.

What makes this one new is the complexity of the levels and missions. Often, a given match has multiple stages, and the combat zones are significantly larger than those in the classic game. Players will have more soldier types available, as well as a wider variety of weapons and gadgets. The big gimmick, however is vehicles. Multi-personnel transports will play a part in a number of missions, including one which takes place entirely on the road, as the counter-terrorists are tasked with chasing down and stopping a caravan of terrorist vehicles, with each vehicle on each team having several players in it. A big focus of the new design seems to be on teamwork, and many of the scenarios are set up in such a way that it would be nearly impossible for a single good player to carry the team.

windows steamDungeon Hearts is a slick action-puzzler. A stereotypical four-member adventuring party is fighting across the countryside, each combat represented with a puzzle session in which gems move across the screen from right to left, and must be quickly matched and moved so as to make the most effective combinations and sequences when they reach the heroes, which determines the effectiveness of their attacks, defends, and other moves. It looks way too fast for me, but fans of the gem-swapping puzzle genre who also like jRPGs might find the frenetic pace a challenge, and the themes compelling.

windows steam xbox ps3The Icrontic Spotlight this week beams from the beak of BioShock Infinite. Every gamer is likely familiar with BioShock and its deeply compelling lore, but the story of Rapture is over, and in BioShock Infinite, the tale ascends into the nationalist cloud-city of Columbia. There, rather than the restrictive, claustrophobic environments—and philosophies—of the city under the waves, we’ll get the wide open spaces and lofty ideals of the balloon city, where flight is the chosen transport, and patriotism is the most respected virtue.

The city of Columbia was founded as a patriot’s paradise, a place to live for all of those who feel that love of their country is the greatest part of us. Twelve years before the start of the game, the city falls into open revolt, sparked by the Vox Populi movement, who distrusted the leadership of Columbia and felt that the only patriotic thing to do was to question their government and, if necessary, bring it down. They were opposed by the supporters of the government: loyalists who felt that the true patriot would follow his government unquestioningly.

The big new feature of this entry is an AI partner, Elizabeth, who helps the protagonist along, lending context-specific and scripted assistance at various points in addition to being a combat aide. The story of Infinite is really hers, as the story follows Booker DeWitt, an ex-government agent, who is sent into Colombia to retrieve the girl, discovering along the way that neither Elizabeth, nor the city of Columbia, is what it seems.

There will also be a variety of new weapons and abilities (gears) to help combat the new array of enemies and monsters. The developer decided not to waste time on multi-player with this go around—after the dismal failure of BioShock 2’s multi-player modes—and has promised that the ending of the story will be “like nothing you’ve experienced in a video game before”. Though it seems hyperbole, I’m looking forward to seeing what they mean.

art bioshock infinite

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

Windows

  • BioShock Infinite
  • Warframecharart harmoknight
  • Bridge Project
  • Dungeon Hearts
  • End of Nations
  • Tactical Intervention

WiiU

  • The Path of the Warrior: Art of Fighting 3 (VC)

3DS

  • HarmoKnight

Xbox 360

  • Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel
  • BioShock Infinite
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14

PS3

  • Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel
  • BioShock Infinite
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14
  • WRC 3: FIA World Rally Championship 2012

Comments

  1. oni_dels
  2. NullenVoyd
    NullenVoyd
    Ditto!
    Also, finding Infinite so-far pretty, but... well, pretty.
    And check out Warframe. I think it has some potential.
  3. Ilriyas
    Ilriyas Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite) is one of the most complex, multi-dimensional female characters I have ever encountered in a video game.
  4. primesuspect
    primesuspect Note: I have not played BioShock Infinite and know absolutely zero about Elizabeth.

    Ilriyas, have you played Beyond Good and Evil? How would you compare her with Jade?
  5. d3k0y
    d3k0y [12:04:35 PM] David McCarty: Most of the folks that have been playing it have enjoyed the chick's AI as well. She seems to know what you need and when you need it, eh?
    [12:04:42 PM] Zach Smith: Yea
    [12:04:44 PM | Edited 12:04:46 PM] Zach Smith: She is helpful
    [12:04:51 PM] Zach Smith: And not hard to stare at
    [12:05:46 PM] David McCarty: Well, she has boobs and she wears a corset, so what's not to enjoy?
    [12:06:36 PM] Zach Smith: Her personality isn't bad, she isn't the typical overly sexed female. She is just an overall enjoyable and attractive character that lends really well into wanting to take care of her all the time
    [12:06:51 PM] Zach Smith: Even though I know she can't get hurt in combat I find myself worried about her getting shot
    [12:06:59 PM] David McCarty: lol
    [12:07:08 PM] David McCarty: That's how you know they did it right then...

    Elizabeth is probably my favorite part of the whole game.
  6. Ilriyas
    Ilriyas @Primesuspect I have yet to play Beyond Good and Evil though I have had many people tell me I should. Considering I just beat Bioshock Infinite I may start playing BG&E tonight.

    I have only two issues with Bioshock Infinite though I'd say they're fairly minor ones considering the story is the best part (My laptop was chugging along at the best of times. Were the story not so compelling I likely would've stopped playing near the beginning)

    1. I dislike the way they handled weapons and vigors, visually. In Bioshock an upgrade to either a weapon or a plasmid would have a corresponding visual change (In the case of the revolver a larger barrel or crazy reloading mechanism. In the case of a plasmid like Incinerate it would start as a small fire near the thumb and index finger and would change to an inferno basically engulfing Jack's arm.) In Bioshock Infinite a fully upgraded Mauser pistol still looks like a Mauser pistol and a vigor looks no different later from when you first acquire it. (I have no answer for the firearms but for vigors vs plasmids I would assume it's because a plasmid was a genetic alteration whereas vigors were merely ingested leading me to believe that one's control over them would pass when they...well passed and therefore wouldn't cause a physical change in appearance)

    2. Combat in Infinite felt to be overall simpler than combat in Bioshock. Where in the first game I found myself running around scrambling for ammunition and health kits with money always being an issue. In Bioshock Infinite the only currency is money. (No Adam or something similar) Unsurprisingly as ammunition, upgrades, and vigors were all purchased with 'silver eagles' there is infinitely more of it than there is in Bioshock meaning that whenever I found a store to be nearby I could 'camp it out' purchasing ammunition, health, salts etc. until everyone was dead. The only encounters I really felt challenged at were the ones where there were no vendors nearby at all. (That said I play every game at the hardest difficulty available, it might be different for others but firefights in Infinite felt altogether less urgent/hectic than Bioshock.)

    EDIT: I am not of course ignoring the possibility that combat was done in this way due to the shift in tone from a claustrophobic survival-ish game (Being a spiritual descendant of System Shock 2) to an open air shooter. To reiterate it's not much of an issue, after all I played it for the story when the game did work for me it was horribly laggy. (Though I must say this, even at the lowest settings possible Bioshock Infinite is one of the most beautiful games I've played and you owe it to yourself to play it for the visuals even if you don't care for the gameplay or the story.)
  7. d3k0y
    d3k0y I am not sure what to say about that ending, I didn't see that coming. Half of it, but not all of it.

    Looking forward to see what they put out for DLC. But I also agree with what Ilriyas says, the combat was pretty simplistic, and easy (aside from never being able to see the enemies). I was also kind of sad at the limitation of upgrades and options. You get two different versions of the same gun, that do roughly the same thing, and you can only upgrade it 4 times even though there are more than 4 upgrades for each. I would have loved a gunbench sort of thing where you can attach different bits to a gun for different upgrades.

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