This week’s picks are brought to you by Germany. I mattered because some big announcements were made at my convention.
Willkommen to this installment of Recommendations of the Week for August 18th, 2011. The summer drought is finally being lifted and although there’s not too many brand new games released this week, there are plenty of choices. Gamescom in Cologne, Germany yielded lots of news and things to get excited about and everyone and everything except for our wallets are happy with what’s new in video games. However, this week also showed a decent lineup of games to get now rather than the titles at Gamescom which are later. Some may be mad about the DRM on the PC version of From Dust but there are games that aren’t trying to screw you over! This week has a plastic army, a foul-mouthed degenerate, a beautiful work of art, and an old epic friend.
There is no other way around it. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is one of the most beautifully artistic games I have ever seen. Levels are constantly switching art direction and layouts are often shifted right before you. The story follows Enoch as he tries to find seven fallen angels in order to prevent a flood of biblical proportions from eliminating mankind. Gameplay is brawling through both 3-D and 2-D plains with a combat system that flows like a paintbrush rather than the frantic quick animations like God of War. There’s technically only one attack button but timing constructs what type of attack you’ll do. Button mashing will result in a quick three hit combo while a slight pause in between button presses will yield a more powerful attack. The gameplay premise may be simple but the art design is what sets this game apart from other third person action games. Check out the trailer to see what this game can really do.
Travis Touchdown. With a name like that, you know that there is no way this guy is anything but over the top. The cult classic No More Heroes that came out for the Nintendo Wii three years ago is now on the PlayStation 3 under the name No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise. Aside from HD graphics, this port also supports the PlayStation Move and adds five extra bosses from the sequel. Using your beam katana (light saber), you’ll play as Travis as he cuts down enemies in a bloody cel shaded mess and defeat the top 10 assassins in order to be on top and also so he can have sex with the sexy organizer of the United Assassins Association, Sylvia. There are also mini games in between the levels leading up to the next assassin where you’ll drive around town earning money for the next hit. The game is crude, low brow and vulgar and was strange as an action Wii title. However, on the PS3, it’s right at home. See this awesome video and you’ll get the vibe of the game.
Toy Soldiers: Cold War is the sequel to the first game that was released in March of last year. That game brought a World War I aesthetic as well as a plastic toy army men to a tower defense game. This game does the same thing but to an 80s Cold War theme. Because of this, controls are now more refined and gameplay is better. Something that’s really cool is the new commando unit which is basically your chance to play as Rambo! Or at least a Rambo action figure, literally fresh from its packaging. The final game in what has been a somewhat lackluster Summer of Arcade, Toy Soldiers: Cold War is a great way to end this year’s promotion and is probably the best multiplayer experience from it. This game can only be played on the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade and it costs $15. Check out the trailer above and get ready for some intense action with some strategy thrown in.
This week’s retro pick was just released for the PlayStation Network. Breath of Fire IV was most likely overlooked in favor of Final Fantasy IX, which was released around the same time. However, even back then, Breath of Fire IV received critical acclaim and for good reason. While this may not break any new ground in the RPG genre, this title is a strong entry in the series and may be the best one. A traditional JRPG to be sure, complete with anime visuals, the combo system in the combat is fun and this will turn on those who are looking to play an old Role Playing game from a time where they were at their best. The story again follows a boy with the power to transform into a dragon named Ryu as he confronts his “other half” Fou-Lu. Breath of Fire IV cost only $5.99 and at that price, it’s a steal for a 40 hour long game. Pick it up and have fun as it’ll be the last RPG you should start as the summer drought is over now…
A quick shout out to Bastion, one of my previous Recommendations. It’s now available for the PC and I highly suggest you pick it up if you didn’t get it on the Xbox 360. It kicked off this year’s Summer of Arcade and remains the best of the bunch. It’s $15 on Steam.
Each week, I’ll recommend games for you all to play. These aren’t reviews so much as they are suggestions, as I won’t weigh pros and cons of the game. These choices will be new games released that week but sometimes I will choose games with new downloadable content. I’ll also recommend older retro titles because sometimes you need to retreat to move forward! I’ll do this segment every Friday so feel free to let me know what titles you’d like to see be my Recommendations of the Week.
Gaming Precision: Locked On to What Gamers Want.