Welcome to this week’s LEVEL UP! We’re checking out all the new games set to release next week, just in time for your Black Friday shopping. Somewhat surprisingly, the release list is a little on the thin side, but this is just the beginning of the four-week holiday shopping binge. Before we get to the new releases, let’s take a look at what’s in the news this week.
Kinect Sales are Through the Roof!
Microsoft’s motion peripheral Kinect has sold a staggering one million units in just its first ten days after being released. In light of these figures, Microsoft has raised its expectations from 3 million to 5 million units sold by the end of 2010.
Diablo III Coming to Consoles?
It looks as if Blizzard is bringing its bread-and-butter game, Diablo III to consoles. While not specifically making an announcement as such, a statement on their forums page says that “Blizzard is currently exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles.” It should be noted that their job opportunities page notes openings for a lead designer and lead programmer for a console version of Diablo III.
iPhone App Coming to Consoles!
The most popular game app for the iPhone will be making its way to consoles. Angry Birds will be developed for the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. No date on the release but apparently a sequel is already in the works.
No Next Generation System from Nintendo Before 2012
Despite competition from the Playstation Move and Xbox Kinect in the realm of motion gaming, Nintendo has no plans to release a new console in 2011. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime still believes there’s a lot of tread still on the Wii’s tires and they are looking for at least 15 million more units sold before they even discuss their next generation console.
Namco Generations Announced!
Namco Bandai Games has announced Namco Generations, a brand of digitally distributed games on Xbox Live Arcade, and for the PlayStation Network. Namco Generations games will reinvent favorite Namco franchises with high-definition graphics, enhanced gameplay features, and regularly updated community news. Pacman Championship Edition DX, the follow-up to 2007’s award-winning Xbox LIVE Arcade title, will be the first game available under the Namco Generations label when it is released on November 17 for Xbox Live Arcade, and November 23 for PlayStation Network. Additional titles in development include Galaga Legions DX and Aero-Cross, a reimagining of Namco’s 1985 arcade hit, Metro-Cross.
Guillermo del Toro develping game for THQ
All eyes will be on Spike TVs Video Game Awards on December 11 for official word on the game that director Guillermo del Toro is developing for THQ. However leaks mention a RPG-style game similar to Mass Effect with a distinct Lovecraftian horror element to it.
Nominees for the Spike TV Video Game Awards Announced
Speaking of the Spike TV Video Game Awards, Spike has just announced the nominees for this year’s awards. Here are some of the highlights:
Game of the Year: Call of Duty: Black Ops, God of War 3, Halo Reach, Mass Effect 2, and Red Dead Redemption.
Best Xbox 360 Game: Alan Wake, Fable 3, Halo Reach, Mass Effect 2
Best PS3 Game: God of War 3, Heavy Rain, Modnation Racers, Read Dead Redemption
Best Wii Game: Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Metroid: Other M, Super Mario Galaxy.
After 14 years, Donkey Kong Country has returned with an all-new banana-hoarding adventure only on Wii!! Donkey Kong makes his triumphant return by going back to his running and jumping roots in an all-new barrel-blasting, rail-riding and ground-pounding adventure! Like earlier Donkey Kong Country games, Donkey Kong Country Returns is a side-scrolling platformer, but although the game contains classic references, as well as levels and activities reminiscent of earlier games in the series, it is far from a remake. In fact, Donkey Kong Country Returns stands very much on its own not only in its nearly 3D status, but also in its new visual treatment and control scheme. The game features the familiar team of Donkey Kong and his little buddy Diddy Kong. The goal is make your way across Donkey Kong Island collecting bananas and searching for hidden items as you swing on vines, ride mine carts and avoiding the variety of enemies and situations set against you. New silhouette graphical treatment of both game heroes and enemies in certain levels also introduces new challenges, as players must perform all actions from within an entirely new perspective. The game also features the players choice of either the Wii Remote/Nunchuk controller configuration, or a sideways oriented Wii Remote. In addition to simple navigation and jumping movements, the Wii Remote also allows for a variety of other actions, including: ground pounds, rolls and even air blowing with simple, yet timed shaking of the remote.
In addition, the game also contains fun and user-friendly co-op functionality. In co-op mode players take on the role of either Donkey Kong or Diddy. Both characters have abilities of their own, but work together. Beyond this the game takes possibilities for cooperation even further, especially with players of different skill levels, as Diddy can if need be simply rest on Donkey Kong's shoulder and let him do all the work at times. In the event of death, either character can also be revived by the other by hitting a Donkey Kong barrel within the game. The game also continues the series' use of additional animal friends such as Rambi the Rhino, who can serve as a battering ram and can be ridden in certain areas of the game.
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare (Rockstar Games) Playstation 3, XBox 360 Rated M
The Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare collection is a collection of three downloadable content (DLC) releases for the open world third-party shooter, Red Dead Redemption on a single PlayStation 3 disc. A stand-alone release, meaning that the original Red Dead Redemption game is not necessary for play, the three DLC bundled here include: the Undead Nightmare pack, the Liars and Cheats pack and the Legends and Killers pack. Together these three contain a new single player adventure featuring John Marston in a zombie-stomping storyline, hours of new gameplay, new multiplayer maps and play modes, new characters, mounts, new hunting opportunities and weapons.
As with many console based action-oriented games, the playing experience of Rockstar Games' popular, American Wild West based, third-person shooter, Red Dead Redemption, has been supplemented by several downloadable content packs since its mid-2010 release. Players on the PlayStation 3 platform that are connected online have been able to partake of these via the PlayStation Network. Now offline players can do the same with the Red Dead Redemption:
The collection consists of three of the five available DLC packs on a single disc - these include the Undead Nightmare pack, the Liars and Cheats pack and the Legends and Killers pack. In addition to adding playable content for owners of the original game, the collection serves as a stand alone game release, that allows players who have not purchased the original game to experience the game world of Red Dead Redemption for the first time on disc via the new zombie-themed single player adventure built into the Undead Nightmare pack, as well as multiplayer functionality. The other two packs add new weapons, characters, multiplayer options, ridable mounts and more to either the existing game or a stand alone play experience built around the content of the Undead Nightmare pack.
Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom™ is the modern incarnation of inspired partnership gaming, seamlessly integrating problem solving, combat and an engaging storyline in a fluid cinematic experience like no other!
Forge an alliance: partner with the powerful monster to cooperatively battle the forces of darkness and creatively solve massive puzzles. Discover a whole new world: journey though the mysterious fallen empire full of adventure, creatures and puzzles and seamlessly explore the lush forsaken kingdom
Diverse gameplay action: experience the perfect gameplay mix combining stealth action, problem solving, platform navigation and combat. Legendary developer talent: directed by Yoshiki Okamoto, whose previous works in the Resident Evil and Street Fighter II series have reached critical acclaim and sold millions.
Disney's Tangled takes you on a storybook comedy adventure. In this visually entertaining journey inspired by the 3D animated film, you will explore familiar environments, take on engaging quests and play a host of mini games along the way. Discover multiple activities, rejuvenate and nurture characters in need, befriend animals and ensure that adventurous Rapunzel aided by the swashbuckling Flynn overcomes challenging escapades to untangle her dreams. You can also collect a variety of colors to draw and paint the Tower wall. Brush Rapunzel's hair, paint Flynn's wanted posters, make cupcakes, race goats and groom horses.
Monster Jam 3: Path of Destruction (Activision) Playstation 3, XBox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PSP Rated E
Get behind the wheel of the world's biggest and baddest monster trucks and prove you're the best at the Monster Jam World Finals! Monster Jam 3: Path of Destruction is all about authenticity, personality and fun, with 30 officially licensed Monster Jam trucks, including fan-favorites Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction, and Grinder. You can also create and customize your own trucks with thousands of options, unlocking new parts and upgrades as you progress through the game. Eight real-life stadiums from the Monster Jam circuit help bring the live atmosphere to the living room, with explosive truck introductions, pyrotechnics and lighting, all happening before a roaring crowd. In single player mode the goal is the same as for real life drivers: rise through the ranks of ruthless competitors to ultimately battle against the best at the Monster Jam World Finals. Plus, head-to-head multiplayer modes take the heart-pounding competition to another level. And best yet, get the true Monster Truck experience with the Playstion 3 and Wii exclusive Monster Jam Grave Digger Custom Steering Wheel peripheral, included in special edition Monster Jam 3: Path of Destruction PS3 and Wii game packages. Combine it with your Playstation 3 or Wii remote controller for a true steering feel. It's the most authentic Monster Jam action ever!
Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time is a party game for play on Wii that is rooted in fast and frenetic comic multiplayer action that is the hallmark of the original releases in the Raving Rabbids franchise. Utilizing a time travel theme, the game features 20 mini-games, set at pivotal stages in human history, as well as shorter history-oriented micro-games and hilarious cutscenes related to each mini-game. Additional features include 1 to 4 player support, co-op play options, online leaderboards and Rabbid customization.
The Rabbids are about to change the course of human history and you're invited to the party. The Rabbids are bwaaack and this time they have an infallible plan to invade the human world, by way of the past. Sounds crazy, even for the Rabbids, but when they discover time travel by way of their Time Washing Machine, you can bet they will cause loads of ridiculously wacky mayhem in history.
As with most of the releases in the Raving Rabbids franchise, Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time is a party game, filled with comic adventure that unfolds against the backdrop of a large number of frenetic mini-games and micro-games that utilize the Wii Remote and Wii Remote/Nunchuk controller combination. Returning in full force to the series theme of full-fledged multiplayer, all of the game's 20 mini-games support 4-player multiplayer, with the Wii providing AI functionality in the event of fewer than four players. The game also contains co-op play options. Each of the mini-games is set in a different time period/benchmark in human history, anchored by comic cutscenes showing historical characters. As the chaotic Rabbids burrow their way back into the past using their unorthodox time machine, the established timeline of human events and history hangs in the balance, with players participating in mini-games action that utilize a variety of gameplay mechanics. Success in these earns players points, which can then be used in a museum area that exists outside the realm of the mini-games to collect over 30 costumes for the player's personal Rabbids. Micro-games are also available here. Additional features include online functionality, including leaderboards and Wii MotionPlus support.
Splatterhouse has been around a long time: over 20 years in fact, getting its start in the arcades and then on the TurboGrafx-16 (and boy are we going back in time for that one) and then later on the Sega Genesis. The horror series has now been complete revamped for next generation consoles and is set to debut next week promising buckets of blood and gore.
Follow Rick and his mysterious Terror Mask as he unmercifully tears, cuts and beats his way through denizens of unearthly creatures in an epic adventure to rescue his girlfriend from the clutches of deranged occult figure Dr. West. Embodying the unfiltered, primal aggression of its namesake, Splatterhouse combines visceral, adrenaline-soaked combat with horror elements to deliver an original gaming experience that defies the boundaries of the traditional action category with over the-top gore and shocking new gameplay mechanics.
Game Play Features include:
· Re-imagined Enemies – Classic enemies have evolved into horrific monsters of radical proportions and shocking detail
· Extreme Gore – Splatterhouse pulls no punches, taking gore and shock value to the next level with physics-driven fluids and organ parts flying in all directions
· Regeneration – Real time physical damage and regeneration shows the rebuilding of bone, muscle and skin
· Pulse-Pounding Combat – Use Rick’s deep set of moves, improvised weapons, environmental attacks, and unique enemy AI to obliterate enemies at each turn
· Engaging combo system that opens up to gruesome Splatterkills, which destroy your enemies with gory and cinematic effects
· Terrifying enemies and epic-scale bosses provide unnerving experiences and memorable challenges
· Diverse environments with H.P. Lovecraft-influenced style are coupled with a world-class heavy metal soundtrack and custom music score, keeping the tone tense and eerie
· Utilize weapons of all kinds to bludgeon your enemies, from classic 2X4’s to chainsaws to your enemies’ own limbs
View the trailer for Splatterhouse!