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New Releases for The Week of Windmill Hazards and Smashed Cities

New Releases for The Week of Windmill Hazards and Smashed Cities

Mass Effect 3 is the new Mass Effect game. The idea this time is integration of multiple games and game types. Players will run through a single-player campaign and multi-player war on the PC and an iOS game for those who have Apple toys. All three games will interlace and interact. A player who wants better stats in multi-player can earn new items and such in the single-player campaign, while a player who doesn’t want to do all the side quests in the single-player can earn experience on their iPhone or in multi-player instead, etc. The gameplay is much as it was in Mass Effect 2, with additional simplification of combat, and more emphasis on third-person combat sequences. Of course the customization of the characters and their arsenals has been expanded for the final title in the trilogy.

Those who still keep their 3DS around might want to check out Fun! Fun! Minigolf TOUCH! It’s a minigolf game with fluid touch-based play, realistic ball physics, immersive 3D, and a really dumb title.

Somewhere there is a crossection of fans who love racing games, destructible environments, level editors, and online scoreboards. For that group, there is Ridge Racer Unbounded. This new game starts with the well-known gameplay of Ridge Racer, a typical racing smash’em up, and puts it in the malleable Shatter Bay. The city starts out small for each player, and as they win matches—and break a bunch of stuff with their unrealistically durable car—new sections of the city open up for races and destruction. The city sections aren’t predefined. However, each player can use the robust City Creator to make their version of Shatter Bay however they want. Other players can then visit these new sections of the city, and attempt to “dominate” other players’ designs in race mode or on destruction missions. When your city has been dominated, the game makes sure to let you know.

The Icrontic Spotlight this week dapples down through the twisted scaffolding of I Am Alive. In this first/third person adventure game, players take on the role of an apocalypse survivor trying to cross the ruined city to reach his family. The gameplay consists of third-person running and jumping puzzles and first-person combat sequences. Along the way, the player has to collect resources. For himself, he needs things like food and water, and he needs things like fuel and rope to more easily navigate the toppled buildings and to rescue survivors he finds along the way. Rescuing survivors rewards the player with additional retries for the levels, as well as boosts in stamina (a resource the player must mange carefully, as every strenuous action costs the character some of his strength). A big focus will be on choosing which actions are worth performing—not through quest trees or dialog options, but simply because the character only has enough physical endurance to do so much and will fail if he tries to get everything and rescue everyone.

NPC interactions are intended to be complex and variable. The player can choose to talk, fight, intimidate, bluff, or sneak their way past dangerous enemies. These interactions are not chosen from a menu, rather they are performed by the player in real-time. For example, the character has a gun which is not loaded. He can’t use it as a weapon, but pointing it at potential enemies may cause them to back down, or it may cause them to attack more fiercely. In all these interactions, the player is still keeping in mind the stamina he must conserve.

The major gimmick of the plot is that it’s specifically not supernatural. There are no aliens to fight or demons to avoid, there are no magic powers or hi-tech armor to find or use. The protagonist is simply a dude in a physics-real world, where he has to contend with the people and animals and collapsing ruins and other dangers of the immediate aftermath of a massive disaster which takes place in the very near future. I wish we got to see a lot more of this kind of plot-heavy, well-budgeted, open adventure gaming.

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

Windows

  • Major League Baseball 2K12
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Ridge Racer Unbounded
  • Top Gun: Hard Lock

Wii

  • Major League Baseball 2K12
  • Mario Party 9

DS

  • Major League Baseball 2K12
  • Nabara’s World: Labyrinth of Light
  • Naraba’s World: The Mysterious Palace

3DS

  • NCIS 3D
  • Fun! Fun! Minigolf TOUCH!

Xbox 360

  • Blades of Time
  • I Am Alive
  • Major League Baseball 2K12
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Street Fighter X Tekken
  • Top Gun: Hard Lock

PS3

  • Blades of Time
  • Major League Baseball 2K12
  • Mass Effect 3
  • MLB 12: The Show
  • Street Fighter X Tekken
  • Top Gun: Hard Lock

PSP

  • Major League Baseball 2K12

Comments

  1. Bandrik
    Bandrik I saw previews of I Am Alive, and I got pretty excited. It looks like a great "how would I fair in a ruined city" test.

    Also, I can't help it: RIIIIIIIIIIIIDGE RAAAAAAAAAACER~~~!!!!!

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