Getting Some Play: “Catherine” comes out on top

Welcome to Getting Some Play — the spiritual successor to Sarah Warn’s excellent Good Game column — where we’ll take a look at the latest releases, news and developments in the world of video games.

Remember our last column, in which we declared that the quirky games are really ruling the roost this season? Here’s a side of sales proof to make good on that claim: Oddball adventure/puzzle title Catherine, with its mature, relationship-focused storyline and hardcore puzzle gameplay, just posted the biggest launch in publisher Atlus’ 20-year history.

From the Opposable Thumbs blog:

No specific numbers were revealed, but Atlus’ Tim Pivnicny explained that Catherine has moved more units at launch than any other Atlus title to date. … The game likely benefited from being a cross-platform title, available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Many previous notable Atlus titles, such as Demon’s Souls, 3D Dot Game Heroes and Persona 4 were PlayStation exclusives.

It look like Catherine will now be able to count herself among the powerful Catherine’s of the world, along with Catherine the Great, Kathryn Janeway and Catherine Tramell, of course.

GamePro goes quarterly

One of the longest standing video game magazines, GamePro, will be switching from the standard monthly edition to a “boutique” quarterly publication, going after the sort of crowd that typically buys Kill Screen or Edge magazine.

From Gamasutra:

The paper’s getting thicker, the cover stock heavier, the page count and dimensions (and the price tag) larger, and the content, so they say, more timeless and valuable. It’s by far the most major change the magazine has ever seen, and something that is very probably necessary for its survival. Despite rapidly declining ad sales and circulation across the entire print media industry, GamePro has held on.

It’s an approach that could work, save for all that pesky “print is dead” talk, of course. No matter what happens, best of luck to the editorial staff and all the folks who appreciate their game writing on the printed page.

Upcoming

This is what we refer to as the dead season, but there are a few gems to pick through over the next couple of weeks. As with any slow week, it’s a good time to go back through the year’s best releases and get them at bargain bin prices – check out sites like cheapassgamer.com for the best deals.

Fruit Ninja Kinect is due on Wednesday (August 10) and, I have to say, it intrigues me. So far, it’s the first ever Kinect XBLA title, and it’s a port of the ultra popular fruit-slicing and dicing iOS game, so I’m interested to see just how the interface changes the flow of the game.

PS3 gamers who like post-modernism and action can get a hold of No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise on August 16. It’s a remake of the awesomely odd first game in the series, a mash-up of Otaku culture, open world gaming and combo-heavy action.

Two of the coolest Summer of Arcade games are coming to PC in the near future: action-RPG Bastion on August 16, and “god game” sim From Dust on August 17. So long as the versions are true to their XBLA iterations, both are well worth your time, especially for any non-360 gamers.

That’s all for now, gamers. What are you playing in the slow season?

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