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New releases for The Week of Kicking Sand

New releases for The Week of Kicking Sand

The 8th in the franchise, Silent Hill: Downpour strikes a lot of firsts. It’s the first Silent Hill game to be released in 3D, it’s the first one not to follow the mythology begun in the original game, the first to allow exploration of the southeastern corner of town, and the first to focus on true character development, rather than pure exploration and puzzle-solving. The game will focus on Murphy, a convict who escapes custody when his transport crashes outside of Silent Hill. Gun in hand, players will explore this new region of town, while also exploring the memories of Murphy, escaping from the creepy village while discovering Murphy’s past, and experiencing his time in prison. As the title suggests, it will be raining perpetually.

In Shoot Many Robots, the player performs the titular action. This is a four-player co-operative platformer with RPG-style character development. Players can deck out their avatar with numerous variety of weapons and armor types, most of them intentionally very goofy. Gobs of exploding minions and epic boss-fights are to be had. That’s it, I guess. If you like exploding robots, queue this one up.

The once popular franchise has been rebooted in FIFA Street. The old Street games were a sort of companion to the more serious FIFA games, with a relationship similar to that between the NBA games and NBA Jam. Street has looser animations and cameras—looking more like a video game, and less like a televised sporting event—and crazier moves, breaking not just the rules of feetball, but also the laws of physics. There are several fields to play on and various play modes, including 1-on-1 games and superfast lightning games.

The Icrontic Spotlight this week beams down from the mountaintop of Journey. This third-person interactive narrative follows an anonymous protagonist who wakes up amnesiac and surrounded by a mysterious desert. There are no rules and no tutorial—just a mountain looming over the landscape in the distance and a halo of light signaling its potential importance; and so the character begins to explore, which becomes the central gameplay theme. Players can explore and interact with the fictional desert. There are  ruins to check-out and mysteries to solve. There are no deaths, and no blockades. Everything is optional, and character and skill development is only in the head of the player. There are no NPCs to meet, but there are other online players one may encounter. These players will not be identified. No player can see any other player’s name, nor can any player chat to other players. Each player has a unique design on their robe, so that they can possibly be identified if met again, but that’s all. Players will choose how to interact with these strangers with no cues from the interface. It’s nice to see this kind of experimental interactive storytelling, but it’s difficult to keep an audience engaged when there is nothing to shoot or jump over or whatever, so I wouldn’t expect to see too much discussion about this one. Also, it has a major drawback in that it is only available on the PS3.

Following is a full list of this week’s North American Releases


  • All Zombies Must Die!
  • Azkend 2: The World Beneath
  • Barbarian – The Death Sword
  • Defenders of Ardania
  • Soul of Guardian
  • Top Gun: Hard Lock
  • Warp


  • The King of Fighters ’97 (VC )


  • Silverlicious


  • Planet Crashers 3D

Xbox 360

  • Birds of Steel
  • Defenders of Ardania
  • FIFA Street
  • Shoot Many Robots
  • Silent Hill: Downpour


  • Birds of Steel
  • FIFA Street
  • Journey
  • Shoot Many Robots
  • Silent Hill: Downpour
  • Tales of Graces f
  • Warp
  • Yakuza: Dead Souls


  1. primesuspect
    primesuspect Lol @ Defenders of Ardania. I wonder if it will actually, you know, WORK on release day.
  2. primesuspect
  3. CB
    CB Poor Ardania... Now how will we ever defend you?
  4. GotV
    GotV When I read the 360 section, the first part I heard in Duke Nukem's voice, "I've got Birds of Steel."
  5. NullenVoyd
    NullenVoyd Journey looks absolutely beautiful, and yea, wish it was on PC 'cause then I would get it. Reminds me vaguely of Endless Forest (http://tale-of-tales.com/TheEndlessForest/).
  6. Winfrey
    Winfrey She took the midnight train going anyyyywhere...
  7. Charshie
    Charshie I have had my eye on Journey for quite some time now. From what I've seen, the art and music will definitely be reason enough for me to buy it.

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