We’re about to close the book on August as we begrudgingly march into the months of Autumn. Over the past thirty or so days we’ve seen a decent spread of games across numerous genres and platforms, some taking their place among our favourite titles of 2013. However, August isn’t over just yet and there’s one last cluster of gaming goodies set to launch.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn | PS3, PC | Tuesday
I doubt I’m the only who remembers getting a bit flustered when Final Fantasy XIV was confirmed for the PlayStation 3. However, within the turn of a year, that excitement withered; the game launched on PC soon after the announcement and while some found joy and adventure in the realm of Eorzea, others felt completely indifferent, many critics included.
Final Fantasy XIV was in a dire state. So much so that Square Enix decided to close the entire operation, passing the reigns to another producer and his new developers. From the ashes, A Realm Reborn took flight and, after years of waiting, the game will finally launch today on PlayStation 3 and PC.
From what we’ve played, it’s a fairly solid albeit conventional MMO experience yet one with a definitive Final Fantasy touch. We’ll be sure to have more later this week so keep your eyes peeled.
Killer Is Dead | PS3, 360 | Friday
From the twisted mind of Suda 51 comes yet another over-the-top foray into the world of video games. This time players take the helm as a modern-day executioner named Mondo Zappa (yep), scouring the globe for criminal targets and delivering his bloody brand of justice upon them.
At first glance, the game seems to share a lot in common with Grasshopper’s previous work on the No More Heroes franchise. However, Mondo won’t just be using his blade to dispatch foes, working in a variety of other weapons afforded by his mechanic arm.
Despite its pedigree, Killer Is Dead has slipped under the radar as of late. That’s not to say it isn’t a later Summer sleeper hit; after all, it did get a platinum award from Famitsu.
Our review will go live later today.
Lost Planet 3 | PS3, 360, PC | Friday
Looking to steer away from the series’ roots, Capcom’s latest instalment in the Lost Planet franchise has been passed on to Californian outfit, Spark Unlimited.
Where previous games in the series have had a slightly arcade/score-attack feel to them, Lost Planet 3 is more in with what we’d expect from a modern-day third person shooter. Sure, there are hordes of Akrid and lumbering mechs yet this upcoming threequel isn’t subtle about trying to target Western audiences directly.
The change in direction could pay off for Capcom, though this morning’s batch of reviews are less than welcoming, Lost Planet 3 currently circling the 60-mark on Metacritic.
Madden 25 | PS3, 360 | Friday
EA Sports is unmatched when it comes to annualised sporting releases. However, since last year, the publisher seems to have forgotten basic numeracy, unless 25 really does equal 14.
Jokes aside, Madden 25 gains its name from the series’ 25th anniversary. Expect the regular full-contact affair, with fumbles and sacks left, right, and centre. This year there aren’t any real changes to formula, though there’s a reason for this.
We don’t want to dissuade Madden fans, but for those wanting the full experience, they may as well wait until the game launches on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in November.
These versions will no only look better but, according to EA Sports, play a lot differently thanks to the new Ignite Engine. It’s the same tech powering FIFA 14, delivering lifelike physics which are said to make every match a unique playing experience.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 | PS3, Xbox 360 | Friday
Rayman Legends | Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita | Friday
Everyone’s favourite limbless hero is back again in Ubisoft’s reboot sequel. With more musical-driven mayhem and quirky platforming, Legends looks to be a real treat for the eyes.
Here’s a brief extract from Peter’s written review, in which he gave the game a near perfect 9/10:
Oh yes, Rayman Legends is still as chock-full of happy lunacy as its predecessor was. It’s a galloping, giggling run through an over-saturated world of carefree joy. It’s a gloriously painted, parallax-scrolling potter around a world of unfettered, gleeful exuberance. It’s not even close to approaching what we might consider normal but it simply doesn’t care. It’s the bounding dog chasing its tail in the park. It’s the child on the playground swings that laughs uncontrollably with each weightless oscillation. Rayman Legends is complete, unselfconscious fun.
Let us know which game(s) you’re planning on getting, or whether the prospect of next-gen hardware has you saving those pennies.