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.
The Post-Thanksgiving Break
This part of the gaming holiday season isn’t unlike the weekend after Thanksgiving: After an insane glut (or period of insane gluttony, whichever way you like to roll), there is a peaceful calm. Most of the biggies are out and, by all accounts, it’s been one heck of a season. Zelda: Skyward Sword, Skyrim, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, MineCraft’s official PC release and Batman: Arkham City seem to be the clear critical winners, with the triumvirate of threes — Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3 and Uncharted 3 — racking up massive success.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be spending some time catching up, or at least attempting to. Now is the perfect time to sift through all the recent reviews, sort the hyperbole from the consensus, and start constructing those wish lists to “conveniently” leave around for girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses/whomever.
While the vast majority of heavy hitters have already landed, there are still a few hot titles slated for December release. But worry not: From here on, the going is a good deal easier on the wallet.
One of the 3DS’ big holiday games, Mario Kart 7, drops on December 4, to the delight of casual racing fans everywhere. The new title offers the same wacky gameplay as in the previous iterations, with new underwater and hang-glider sections to mix things up. Playing it at last E3, it felt a good deal like the underrated N64 classic Diddy Kong Racing (this is a good thing), so definitely have a look if you’re sporting a 3DS.
Staying in the portable realm, Epic Games’ supremely “premium-looking” Infinity Blade II will arrive on the iPhone on December 1. The last title impressed the pants off of nearly everyone who played it. After all, it looked better than a majority of 360 games and ran on a tiny screen. Expect good things from this small package.
The PS3 will be getting a nice selection of classic games in the form of Sucker Punch’s excellent Sly Cooper series (a PS2 platformer with gorgeous cel-shaded graphics), and the true classic RPG Final Fantasy VI. Just Dance 3 also drops on the 7th on the console (with versions hitting the Wii and 360 as well), so if you’d rather dance than play older games, go for it.
Next time around, the pickings will be even slimmer, though a very special MMORPG will be settling in just before Christmas – Star Wars: The Old Republic is being readied for a December 20 launch.