New Releases: May 10th – 17th


After an abeyance of awesomeness for a couple of weeks, we return with a bumper edition of new releases.
There are some really stellar titles out over the coming days, games you wouldn’t have caught dead launching during the dreaded lull period of March to September a few years ago. Maybe the industry is changing. Maybe there’s a shift in perception as to when gamers like to buy new titles.

What’s more likely is that, as a business, gaming is growing at an order of such magnitude that the practice of holding a game’s release to better suit some imaginary window is now moot. There are so many games released per year these days that the concept of “dry spots” is now practically unheard of.

In the past, reluctant to release a game during a month when the sun was shining, publishers would balk at the idea of launching a game in May. Don’t be insane! That’s when the kids go out to play footie and chase girls! It’s all change now, as a horde of fat, pasty virgins hold up in their nerd-hives, eagerly awaiting the next digital morsel to drop.

Tuesday:

Lost Planet 2

Release date: May 11th
Platforms: PS3 / 360
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom

Synopsis: I’m just going to say it. I downloaded the demo of the first Lost Planet game and I hated it. The source of my disdain was probably because, as ports go, Lost Planet was as ropey as Southampton with a Tarzan convention in town. That said, Takeuchi-san’s gelid pre-Avatar imperialistic take on colonisation and geo-thermal underwear did strike an (icy) chord with enough people to warrant a sequel, and listening to early commentary from those in the know, all signs are that Lost Planet 2 has tightened up in some of the areas its predecessor had fallen down in. We’ve also got more temperate environments to run around in; the first game’s frosty locations now bolstered with sweltering, humid jungles to fall over and die in. An idyllic spot for the Akrid to suck the very marrow from your sticky bones.

Friday

Skate 3

Release date: May 14th
Platforms: PS3 / 360
Publisher: EA
Developer: EA Black Box

Synopsis: When your closest rival performs what amounts to commercial suicide in such spectacular fashion, sometimes all you have to do is turn up and collect your prize. Thankfully, EA haven’t taken their eye off innovation just because Tony Hawk is now panhandling somewhere in San Bernardino after his hellish RIDE to Shitville.

With Skate 3 you can now create your own park to test the dexterity of your mates. There’s also a hardcore mode added for all you double-jointed thumb- flicking maestros. Of course, the best news is that you likely won’t end up doing a swan-dive into your Bravia after attempting that tricky 720-varial-to-Jesus-Christ-Pose manoeuvre. What was he thinking?

Alan Wake

Release date: May 14th
Platforms: 360
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Remedy Entertainment

Synopsis: Finally! A bone fide AAA Xbox 360 exclusive we’re sure won’t end up on the PS3 in six to twelve months time. In development for over five years (it was announced at E3 in 2005), Alan Wake has been the subject of much speculation from day one. From the makers of Max Payne, you play the titular character, a washed up novelist (tell me about it) in search of his wife in the ironically named Bright Falls. Using light as a weapon, the game has lush visuals and a well-wrought story to boot. So far, reviews have been very positive, with only Eurogamer quoting a score two full points below the average for reasons we’ll let you find out for yourself.

3D Dot Game Heroes

Release date: May 14th
Platforms: PS3
Publisher: SouthPeak Games
Developer: Silicon Studio

Synopsis: You know the old adage: plagiarism saves time. To be fair to Silicon Studios, this is less a copy-cat exercise and more an affectionate homage to the games that we (well, at least some of us) grew up with. There’s so much Zelda in here that it’s literally impossible to mention 3D Dot Game Heroes without hat-tipping the classic Nintendo series. But it’s not just a simple rehash of tried and trusted game mechanics from other popular games. It’s got blocks. It’s got quaint RPG nuances. It’s even got an incredible sense of humour.

3D Dot Game Heroes won’t be to everyone’s liking, but to those of us who grew up with such instructions as ‘Press play on tape,’ this is a rare slice of retro gaming nirvana with a next-gen twist.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3

Release date: May 14th
Platforms: PSP
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: CyberConnect 2

Synopsis: Released back in December in Naruto-nuts Japan, Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 is yet another fighting game entry based on the hugely popular anime. Featuring 50 characters (48 are from the hit show, I have no idea who the other two are), the game also offers 4-player local multiplayer battles for that long train journey into Shinjuku from Chiba. Perfect for when all you want to do is bust up your fellow freaky hair-do sporting mates. Monosugoi!

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Please note: while every attempt is made to get both the dates accurate and every applicable game included, we are not infallible and mistakes will be made. Feel free to mention any omissions or corrections in the comments below. We’ll endeavour to correct the above and even thank you personally. We’re good like that. Finally, all dates are the official EU dates. Actual release dates in your country may vary to the dates shown above.