Getting Some Play: New York wins, small and big budget games on the horizon

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.

Late-breaking

New York has just joined the handful of northeastern (and that one awesome outlier) states wherein same sex marriage is legal. There’s partying in the streets, happy bloggers going mad on the interwebs, and thousands of happy marriage supporters virtually high-fiving online.

In fact, one of the most heartening parts of the experience is the incredible outpouring of support from the game community. Within minutes of the decision, game journalists and developers — many of whom are straight and not typically the folks I see tweeting about LGBT rights — were offering ecstatic support.

For example, Gamasutra journalist and New Yorker Leigh Alexander tweeted:

Gears of War (a decidedly alpha-male type of franchise) designer Cliff Bleszinski tweeted:

It’s wonderful to feel this kind of support in an industry that is not known for LGBT sensitivity. It feels like that’s changing — and this is ample evidence against the homophobic dude-bro stereotypes about gamers and those who work in the industry.

On a side note, I actually just came from the West Village, where I stayed whilst attending the Games 4 Change Festival. You can read more about my experience here and here, but needless to say, it was an awesome, enlightening experience, made even more poignant by the events of Friday, June 24. Games and gays – who says they can’t go together?

Coming Up

While the biggest games of the month – the messy, offensive, Duke Nukem Forever and the transcendent, trippy Child of Eden – are behind us, there are a slew of smaller games coming soon that look to be more than worth the discounted asking prices.

First up is Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D on the 3DS, out June 28. If you’re not still spelunking through Ocarina of Time 3D, or you’re more of a zombie killer than an adventure guy/gal, this latest iteration of the horror/action series has been looking good in previews.

It has a goofy name, but Half-Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Edition’s predecessor (a fast-paced RPG on the DS) was fantastic, and the XBLA version, set to land on the service on June 29,  should be just as awesome.

Rock of Ages is a title I’ve been following since last year’s E3. It’s an Atlus game (already a good sign) that combines puzzle elements, action, and tower defense style strategy in a variety of funky worlds themed after different movements in fine art. It’s due out on PC, XBLA and PlayStation Network on June 30. On the very same day, Retro City Rampage, an 8-bit style parody/action game, is also due on XBLA.

Also set to launch on June 30 is Bastion, an XBLA and PC action-RPG with a fantastic, unique aesthetic and a very unique voiceover system (every action you take in the game is relayed via the dulcet tones of a “storyteller”). This was one of my favorite games of E3 this year, so I’m very much looking forward to playing it this week.

Two bigger-budget bug hunts are also on the way, the first being Aliens: Colonial Marines for the PC, 360 and PS3 on (you guessed it), June 30, the second being Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon for the 360 and PS3 on July 5. Both promise tons of alien blasting, though the former is more likely to give you the creeps than the schlocky B-movie themed EDF series ever has.

Last, but not least, NCAA Football 12 will arrive on the PS3 and 360 on July 12.

That’s all for now, gamers. Check back next time for a deeper look at some of those hidden gems, and a peek at other seasonal games as the summer heats up.

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