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Fall 2012 Gaming Preview

This Fall is a little slimmer than it looked a few months ago thanks to a lot of the big name games getting pushed back to next year. Still, there will be plenty to keep you busy as the weather starts to cool. Here’s a list of the most prominent titles coming, according to yours truly.  I’ve also included my personal assessment of each game along with my interest level for them.  Don’t see any 3DS exclusives?  I don’t have one, and am therefore completely clueless as to what they are.  Don’t see any Wii exclusvies?  Are there any?

Tekken Tag Tournament 2Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Release Date – September 11
Systems – PS3, 360

The original Tekken Tag Tournament was one of the very first PS2 games released way back in 2000, so I’m sure some will consider this sequel long overdue. Personally, I enjoy dabbling with the Tekken games but have never gotten into them seriously, so I’ll be waiting for this one to hit the clearance bins.  INTEREST = LOW

Mugen SoulsMugen Souls
Release Date – September 18
Systems – PS3

The latest game from the makers of the Disgaea series, this one looks to be more of an action RPG.  This one looks crazy enough to possibly be fun, but the Disgaea series has always been hard for me to get into so this one may not be any easier.  And of course, these games are extremely Japanese.  So that makes this another one I’ll be waiting on a price drop on, as well as some reviews.  INTEREST = LOW

Borderlands 2Borderlands 2
Release Date – September 18
Systems – PS3, 360, PC

Sequel to the surprise hit of 2010, this is easily one of my most wanted games for the rest of the year – if not my #1 most wanted.  New classes, more weapons, more varied environments – from everything I’ve read, they’ve taken everything that was great about the original and just made it better.  And seriously, why did it take so long for someone to combine a FPS with Diablo?  INTEREST = HIGH

Dead Or Alive 5Dead Or Alive 5
Release Date – September 25
Systems – PS3, 360

The last Dead Or Alive game, number 4, was released in 2005.  I had to look that up just now, because I honestly had no idea when it was released.  The last DOA game I remember putting any significant amount of time into was DOA2 for the Dreamcast, and the primary draw then was that it was very impressive for the time from a graphical standpoint.  Gameplay-wise, these games have never controlled well to me, and therefore I’ve never really understood the draw to them.  This one is somewhat notable for two reasons – one, it’s the first game released in the series since Itagaki, the creator of the series, left Team Ninja.  And two, it’s the first game in the series to be released on a Sony console since DOA2, which was poorly ported to the PS2 from the Dreamcast.  INTEREST = NONE

Mists of PanderiaWorld Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria
Release Date – September 25
Systems – PC

The next expansion for the MMO juggernaut, Mists of Pandaria introduces a new playable race (the Pandaren) and raises the level cap from 85 to 90.  It also adds a new class (the Monk), several new zones, dungeons, raids and who knows what else.  In other words, it gives you even more reasons to feed your addiction.  Word is that WoW subscriptions have been on the decline lately, but then again every time that’s reported someone must point out that by decline they mean they’ve gone from “an unbelievably huge amount of people” to “not quite as unbelievable, but still a whole lot of people”.  So Blizzard’s in no danger of going broke anytime soon – stop worrying.  Personally, I’ve never been a WoW junkie but I do enjoy playing from time to time.  A new race & class will probably be enough to pull me back in for a month or two at some point, tho not at release.  INTEREST = LOW

LittleBigPlanetLittleBigPlanet
Release Date – September 25
Systems – PSVita

Honestly, I don’t know a lot about this one.  I know it is NOT a port of the original LBP for the PS3 (or the sequel, for that matter) – it’s a brand-new game.  And I know it’s supposed to utilize the touch controls of the system.  Other than that, it’s a new Vita game – and these are badly needed right now – and it’s from Media Molecule, so it should be a solid game.  INTEREST = LOW

Resident Evil 6Resident Evil 6
Release Date – October 2
Systems – PS3, 360

Anyone who purchased Dragon’s Dogma for the 360 has already had the opportunity to play this demo.  Anyone who purchased it for the PS3 is still having to wait for some reason.  Seriously Capcom, making a demo a timed exclusive is NOT cool.  With that out of the way, since you probably guessed I didn’t buy my DD for the 360 I haven’t gotten to play the demo yet and I’ve been avoiding demo impressions because I want to experience it for myself.  I know there are at least 3 playable characters that are all supposed to have somewhat different playstyles.  And I know it’s a return to the core Umbrella storyline that RE4 & 5 got away from.  The trailers I’ve seen look cool, but after the disappointing RE5 I’m going to have to play the demo for myself to decide.  Hopefully I won’t have to wait too much longer to do that.  INTEREST = MEDIUM

DishonoredDishonored
Release Date – October 9
Systems – PS3, 360, PC

Everything I’ve heard about this game has been music to my ears.  The developer, Arkane Studios, have said they set out to design a game in the same vein as Bioshock.  The game is a first person action/adventure game in which you play as an assassin in a steampunk setting.  There is said to be a lot of freedom given to the player in how to carry out each assassination.  Arkane have also said that their primary focus in this game was player experience and gameplay, and that they made a game that THEY would want to play.  You may be thinking, “Well, isn’t that how all games should be developed?”  Yes.  Yes, it is.  INTEREST = HIGH

XCOMXCOM: Enemy Unknown
Release Date – October 9
Systems – PS3, 360, PC

It was announced a couple of years back that the old-school PC series, XCOM, was being brought back.  There was much rejoicing.  Then it was announced that instead of a turn-based strategy game like the originals, it was going to be turned into a FPS.  And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  But then it was announced that a second XCOM game was also in development, and that it was going to be a turn-based strategy game, just like the originals.  And there was wild naked dancing in the streets.  Or something like that. Truth be told, this is another series I never got into for whatever reason.  I remember them being around on the PC, and I know they were popular at the time, but I guess that gameplay style just wasn’t my thing back then.  So while I’d be interested in giving this one a shot at some point – you probably guessed it, it won’t be until it hits the bargain bin.  INTEREST = LOW

Doom 3Doom 3: BFG Edition
Release Date – October 16
Systems – PS3, 360, PC

This sounds like it will be a very nice set indeed.  Not only does it include Doom 3 & the original expansion with improved graphics, but they’ve also added brand-new content to the game.  On top of that, the set will include the original Doom 1 & 2.  All of that for $40 – not shabby at all.  We might not have gotten a peek at Doom 4 yet, but this is a pretty decent consolation prize.  INTEREST = MEDIUM

Skylanders 2Skylanders: Giants
Release Date – October 21
Systems – PS3, 360, Wii, 3DS

The original Skylanders was a surprise on two levels.  First, it was a surprise for how successful it was.  For the uninitiated, the game works in conjunction with physical toys of the characters.  When these Skylanders toys are placed on the “Portal” which is included with the game the character appears in-game.  All items, gold, levels and experience that that character earns are saved to the toy itself – so you can take it to a friend’s house and play your character in their game.  The Skylanders figures were sold out for months after the game released, and when new figures did arrive they were snapped up as soon as they hit the shelves.  But it was also a surprise for how much FUN the game was.  Beneath the (very effective) marketing gimmick lies an extremely fun action/RPG that’s very easy for anyone to get into.  So I’m torn, I’m looking forward to playing more of the game, but I’m not necessarily looking forward to buying more figures.  The sequel will be sold in two flavors – with the Portal for first-time players and without for seasoned vets who bought the original.  Also, the old characters will supposedly work with the new game in conjunction with the new figures they will (successfully, probably) try to sell us.  INTEREST = MEDIUM

Medal of HonorMedal Of Honor: Warfighter
Release Date – October 23
Systems – PS3, 360, PC

Military dudes shootin’ other dudes!!!  RAAARRRGGHHAAARRRRRGH!  INTEREST = NONE

Forza HorizonsForza Horizon
Release Date – October 23
Systems – 360

Said to combine the racing pedigree of the Forza series with an open world gameplay style, this is most likely very high on many people’s list for this Fall.  Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people – I like my racing games arcade-y or not at all.  INTEREST = NONE

Assassin's Creed 3Assassin’s Creed III
Release Date – October 30
Systems – PS3, 360

After 3 games set around the Renaissance in Italy the Assassin’s Creed series is getting a much-needed change of scenery.  Don’t get me wrong, that setting was great for Assassin’s Creed II and its first follow-up, AC: Brotherhood.  But last year’s AC:Revelations felt like it was simply going through the motions so that UbiSoft could say they had released an Assassin’s Creed game in 2011.  So the third-but-really-fifth entry in the series will feature a brand new character in a brand new setting, Revolutionary War-period America.  Everything shown so far makes it look almost like a completely new game.  This is probably because the team has been working on this game for about 3 years now – it went into production as soon as AC II was wrapped up.  That means that the main team has been working on III while side-teams were cranking out Brotherhood and Revelations.  That’s very promising.  INTEREST = HIGH

LiberationAssassin’s Creed III: Liberation
Release Date – October 30
Systems – Vita

This game looks incredible – fantastic visuals, a full-fledged AC game on a handheld, the first AC game to feature a female protagonist and some hooks to tie it back into the PS3 version of Assassin’s Creed III.  So why am I not more hyped for this one?  Timing – coming out on the same day as the console game is a mistake for this one in my opinion.  INTEREST = MEDIUM

NFS: Most WantedNeed For Speed: Most Wanted
Release Date – October 30
Systems – PS3, 360, PC, Vita

Now this is my kind of racing game!  Developed by Criterion, the makers of the Burnout series, this game looks like the spiritual successor to Burnout: Paradise – one of my favorite games of this generation.  Open world arcade-y racing, tons of destruction and super integrated leaderboards should make this a game that’s very hard to put down.  INTEREST = HIGH

LEGO LOTRLEGO Lord Of The Rings
Release Date – October 30
Systems – PS3, 360, Wii, Vita, 3DS

The first LEGO game I’ve ever played to completion was LEGO Batman 2, released earlier this year, and I have to say it was a lot of fun.  So I’m curious to give this one a spin at some point – although definitely not in this crowded gaming season.  But it should make a nice Spring or Summer 2013 budget game.  INTEREST = MEDIUM

Halo 4Halo 4
Release Date – November 6
Systems – 360

I have zero interest in the online portion of any FPS game (with the exception of the co-op in the Borderlands series) so the Halo games have never held much interest for me.  On top of that, I find the world and fiction of Halo to be pretty generic sci-fi.  So that doesn’t help any.  But on the other hand, the demo shown at E3 sure was pretty.  So I *might* end up giving this one a go at some point strictly for the single-player, assuming it gets cheap enough.  INTEREST = LOW

LBP KartingLittleBigPlanet Karting
Release Date – November 6
Systems – PS3

LittleBigPlanet Karting comes from the makers of ModNation Racers.  So it’s pretty easy to do the math from there – this is a ModNation Racers sequel that’s been given a LBP coat of paint.  I’m not a huge fan of the ModNation games, but this could prove to be amusing.  INTEREST = LOW

CoD: BO2Call Of Duty: Black Ops II
Release Date – November 13
Systems – PS3, 360, PC

MORE military dudes shootin’ other dudes!!!  WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  INTEREST = NONE

Epic Mickey 2Disney Epic Mickey 2:  The Power Of Two
Release Date – November 18
Systems – PS3, 360, Wii

I skipped the first Epic Mickey game not because the premise didn’t interest me – it did – but because I heard the game had some pretty big issues and there were rumors of a PS3 port.  That never panned out, but instead we get a full-fledged sequel on both the PS3 & 360…and the Wii again, if that’s your only choice I suppose.  With promises that they’ve listened to the complaints about the first one, this is one I’m going to have to try out at some point.  INTEREST = MEDIUM

All-StarsPlaystation All-Stars Battle Royale
Release Date – November 20
Systems – PS3, Vita

Smash Bros. with Playstation characters instead of Nintendo – that’s the basic gist of this game.  The other notable feature about it is this will be the first of Sony’s “Cross Buy” promotion games – games in which you buy the PS3 version and get the Vita version for free.  That definitely sweetens the pot on this one.  So while I’m not the biggest Smash Bros. fan, the Sony characters do appeal to me more and the free game angle helps a lot.  So my interest is raised just because of those two factors.  INTEREST = MEDIUM

Hitman: AbsolutionHitman: Absolution
Release Date – November 20
Systems – PS3, 360

I have never done more than dabble with any Hitman game in the past, but this year’s E3 demo of this game really sold me on it.  My only fear is that I’ve heard the series is notorious for its trial-and-error style gameplay.  The demo shown certainly looked more fexible than that, so maybe that’s not the case.  If it ends up being as fun as I imagine it to be, it should be a really good game!  INTEREST = MEDIUM

P4 GoldenPersona 4 Golden
Release Date – November 20
Systems – Vita

Persona 4, ported to the Vita with improved visuals and more content.  The Vita can only benefit from a quality JRPG such as this one. Any Vita owner who never got to play the original PS2 version of this game should jump on this one (assuming you’re a fan of JRPGs), and many who did play the original will get it anyway just for the added content.  Personally, I’m still working on finishing the original, so this version will have to wait.  INTEREST = MEDIUM

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