This week has featured some interesting developments in the game world. A handful of new games have been announced before E3, the next big title of the year is now only a week or so away from being released, and Microsoft have suddenly remembered about the lack of games for its latest peripheral.
So let’s start with those new games that have been announced. The first to note is that Soul Calibur 5 will be coming your way soon. Namco have said that the game is set 17 years after the events of Soul Calibur 4, and that its story will take place throughout history. They have also promised a refined battle system with a continuation of the 8 way running mechanic (to allow full 3D movement), a better online mode, more customisation and characters from other franchises (like Link in SC2 and Yoda/Darth Vader in SC4). It is set for release in 2012, and you can see the teaser trailer here.
Square Enix have also been in the spotlight recently, but not for good reasons. They have said that in the last year they made a staggering loss of £90.9 million, due to a combination of cancelled projects and the impact of the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. In order to soften the blow of this news, they revealed that a Dragon Quest compilation is on its way to the Wii, which will feature the original versions of Dragon Quest 1,2 and 3, as well as the SNES versions of the same games. It is only scheduled for release inJapanat the moment. Nothing more has been said about Final Fantasy 13-2 or Versus 13, or Dragon Quest X.
And finally, rumours (if you can call them that) have been popping up over when Activision are going to announce Modern Warfare 3. The feeling at the moment is that it will get revealed before E3, and a few logos have been leaked onto the internet. I am not sure about the validity of the logo to be honest, I do not see why Activision would change the logo from the established box art, but I suppose anything that creates internet traffic is welcome publicity. In any case, expect some big reveals when it does get announced; Activision need something impressive to remove focus from Battlefield 3.
But enough of games in the pipelines, lets have a quick look at what is being released in the next week or so. May 20th marks the date when Rockstar’s big game of the year gets released inEurope, Team Bondi’s highly hyped LA Noire. Set inLos Angeles in 1947, you control Detective Cole Phelps through a sleazy underworld in order to solve a conspiracy of murder and corruption. Much has been made of the technology used to get real life faces into the game, and from what we have seen in the trailers the game looks stunning, and seems to have finally solve the lip-synch issue that has plagued games since the start of time. I am expecting good things from this; I love noire stories and I love Rockstar, so it seems to be a match made in heaven. Something to challenge Portal 2 for Game Of The Year? We’ll have to wait and see.
The other big release of the week is on Nintendo’s Virtual Console: and it’s Chrono Trigger. Yep, one of the finest RPG’s of all time (read my review of the SNES version here) will be coming to the Wii in the USon May 16th, which you would think would lead to a European release pretty soon. The price has been set at 900 Wii Points, and it means that most of the key SNES titles are now available on the Virtual Console service; only Earthbound remains as a key title.
And finally, about Kinect: you know, that camera thingy that you may have bought at Christmas for your Xbox? There has been an alarming lack of titles produced for it since its introduction; some titles like Kinect Sports and the fitness games have done well, but otherwise there hasn’t been much to make the crowds stand up and pay attention. Microsoft have recently addressed this issue by promising to ‘triple the number of games’ in the Kinect’s library. No specific titles have been talked about, only that we should expect a fair few announcements at E3 in June. There are currently about 26 titles available for Kinect; to triple that means that Microsoft has 52 new games planned to go on the system. That sounds great, but whether they will be any good is another matter entirely; we are still waiting for the likes of a Gears Of War Kinect or Forza Kinect to really steal the headlines, and I’m not sure that we will be getting one of those any time soon. If you have a Kinect, I wouldn’t concern yourself too much about a lack of quality games coming up: if the new Nintendo ups the technology stakes, then Microsoft will not be stupid enough not to react, and the Kinect will be the weapon they use.
And so that’s everything rounded up for the moment, comments and subscriptions are appreciated and I’ll be back soon with more news and reviews.