The Simpsons Arcade comes to consoles 20 years after the fact, while the much-anticipated (by yours truly, at least) Gotham City Impostors and Shank 2 make their debut. Oh, and Kingdoms of Amalur might just be the best open world game that doesn't have Elder Scrolls in the title.
Title: Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC, PS3
I've been playing 38 Studios/Big Huge Games' Kingdoms of Amalur for a few hours now (maybe ten or more), and the trajectory of my experience was something like this:
Hour one: "Oh, okay. This game sure is... bright. Bright? Yeah, that seems to be the prevailing look here."
Hour two: "Why are they throwing all of these weapons at me? I'm never going to use them. Forget you and your overly-complex combat system. Also, I don't care much for the way the buttons are mapped."
Hour six: "Just switch out with my Fae blades, then over to my hammer, then back to my staff, and this enemy is dead!"
My review, which is coming a little later this week will obviously not encompass the entire game because there's so danged much of it but as a spoiler, allow me to say that while I've yet to really be drawn into the fiction (whose fantasy is a bit higher than I prefer) the combat is unparalleled in the genre and its many systems describe a brawny RPG experience in a surprisingly bright wrapper.
Title: Gotham City Impostors
Platform(s): PSN, XBLA, PC
I feel like I've been hyped for this game for months, and now that it's finally here, I need to find the time to actually, you know, play it. From the very beginning, the Monolith-developed class-based shooter has seemed like an alternately odd and kind of audacious take on the Batman universe without actually really having to be in any version of Gotham that we can recognize.
At this point, it's a matter of actually getting hands-on and seeing what it's like with other, certainly curious players and see how Monolith has been able to take their skill with developing brutal shooters with the F.E.A.R. series and translate it into this oddball, seemingly comic-manic game.
Title: Resident Evil: Revelations
Another review on the way here, but as you might recall from my demo impressions piece, I welcomed the series' return back to its more methodically-paced roots, forcing you to conserve ammo and deal with enemies more strategically (i.e. running away).
And Capcom seems to know that some gamers might be wary of another 3DS RE title after the perhaps slightly over-priced Mercenaries underwhelmed last year. This is a full-fledged game on offer here and not simply an expanded arcade mode, plus it's got more of the ever-deepening Resident Evil mythos for people who are into that kind of thing.
I'm into that kind of thing.
Title: Shank 2
Platform(s): PSN, XBLA, PC
I was super-late to the party with Shank only downloading it last month after a half-off sale convinced me that it was maybe about time to try one of those games everyone had been talking about for a while there. And my experience was kind of mixed: while I thought the art style was pretty engaging, in terms of overall experience, it felt like a copy several generations removed from the kind of grindhouse action movie it was emulating, and I never really got a feel for the combat's nuances, relying on mashing the attack for whatever weapon I had in hand at the time and praying for the best.
Thankfully, developer Klei Entertainment seems to be aware of some of the shortcoming of the game, at least in terms of its combat and are looking to ease players into the action with more elaboration on precisely how one shanks in the world of Shank 2. If the devs are able to clarify that whole experience a bit more, I think Shank 2 could be the kind of game a guy like me could fall for.
Title: The Simpsons Arcade
Platform(s): PSN, XBLA (February 8th is the official date, but it appears to be available now on XBLA)
Jason put together a fine write up for the game in advance of its wider release on PSN after a limited bit of exclusivity for Playstation Plus members last week. His feeling: it's very much the same 20-year-old game for all the good and bad that that implies, and you're simply going to have to decide for yourself how much nostalgia means to you.
Konami is betting somewhere around 10 of your American dollars and I'd be willing to take that bet as well.