New Game Releases for the Week of 7/3: Secrets and Line Music

This week, a new MMO is unleashed upon the world while Square Enix reminds you what you loved about all of those Final Fantasy games: the music! Plus, a new quirky platformer emerges with Mossmouth's Spelunky. Does it have what it takes to be the next Super Meat Boy?

Highlights from this week's new releases after the jump.

The big pitch for Funcom's urban fantasy MMO The Secret World is that you're not constrained by levels of classes, and character progression is entirely up to the player who can choose their powers, weapons, and clothing. That's an interesting, albeit possibly counter-intuitive hook for an MMO: "it's not all about compulsive progression," the developer seems to be saying.

If it's not about that, then what is it about?

The Secret World's setting involves every clandestine conspiracy and urban legend being true. It's an M-rated title, so expect things to get a little bloody, courtesy of a story from The Longest Journey creator Ragnar Tørnquist.

Title: The Secret World

Platform(s): PC

Title: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Platform(s): 3DS

We love Final Fantasy games, even if we aren't exactly thrilled about the latest crop of Final Fantasy games. Or at least, that's me, I shouldn't presume to speak for the rest of you. Mechanically, XIII and (to a lesser extent) XIII-2 could be boiled down to long corridors where you grind and grind and grind for XP.

In some ways, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy could be seen as a palate cleanser for the last few years of the series' less successful elements, evoking the series' past as a kind of nostalgia bomb. Featuring characters and music from previous games, Theatrhythm is (as it clearly says in the title) a rhythm game which also happens to be an RPG.

Tweaking elements like that is precisely the kind of end run against stagnation that we like to see. Now the big question is, how will it play? More importantly, how will it sound?

Title: Spelunky

Platform(s): Xbox 360

Mossmouth's platformer is coming to XBLA tomorrow, (July 4th, if you're reading this far in the future or deep in the past), and it might just have the right combination of mechanical complexity and that harder to pin down quality, charm, to allow it to excel in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

Where Braid had its time reversal mechanic and Super Meat Boy had being really, really hard, the subterranean platformer Spelunky's hook is that each time you die, you're transported back into a randomly-generated, fully destructible level. On top of which, Mossmouth has populated their levels with a host of interactive objects that you can pick up and use.

The original Spelunky is still available online for free, so if you're on the fence about plunking down your hard-earned e-dollars, give it a try and see if it's for you.

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