New Releases 2014: Feb. 23-Mar. 15

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WEEK of 2/23
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (PC, PS3, X360)
Pac-Man Museum (PS3, X360, PC)
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (XBO, X360)
Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (PS3)
Thief (PS4, PC, XBO, PS3, X360)
Resident Evil 4: Ultimate HD Edition (PC)
Shadowrun: Dragonfall (PC, MAC)
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)

WEEK of 3/2
South Park: The Stick of Truth (PS3, X360, PC)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – The Complete Edition (PC)

WEEK of 3/9
Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (PS3)
Dark Souls II (PS3, X360)
Ragnarok Odyssey ACE (PS3, PSV)

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New Releases 2013: Aug. 18-Sept. 7

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WEEK of 8/18
Disney Infinity (PS3, X360, PC, WII, WU, 3DS)
Divekick (PS3, PSV)
Saints Row IV (PS3, X360, PC)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist (PS3, X360, PC, WU)

WEEK of 8/25
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition (PC)
Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn (PS3, PC)
Killer Is Dead (PS3, X360)
Lost Planet 3 (PS3, X360, PC)
Madden NFL 25 (PS3, X360)
PixelJunk Monsters: Ultimate (PC)
Pokemon Rumble U (WU)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (X360)

WEEK of 9/1
Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland (PSV)
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PS3, PC)
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (PS3, X360)
Diablo III (PS3, X360)
Rayman Legends (PS3,X360, PC, WU, PSV)
Total War: Rome II (PC)

Recent Demos

recent-demos

Clive Barker’s Jericho
I tried Jericho knowing that I wouldn’t really like the horror theme of the game. So I wasn’t going to knock it for that. However, I was interested in the quick switching squad mechanic that was somewhat unique to this game even though it was used in a similar fashion in Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.

Once I played the demo I was less impressed than I thought I’d be. It wasn’t really that scary and switching characters was a menu-based pain in the ass. If that wasn’t bad enough, the AI controlled characters die way too often. The only really useful character is the guy with the minigun since the enemies rush to your position right away. Oh, and lets not forget the terrible context sensitive parts that are just upsetting and not one bit of fun.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Here’s a game that I thought wouldn’t be much fun because it has been labeled as more of the same. In fact this game does stick to the Ratchet & Clank formula very closely, but the controls are even more refined than in the previous PS2 games that I’ve played. It’s interesting that “more of the same” was just what the doctor ordered. I think that the controls and the beautiful visual design of Ratchet & Clank Future goes a long way to make this series still a blast to play.

Conan
Conan is the game that everybody loves to hate just because it plays very closely to the God of War series. In that sense most people won’t even give it a first chance for a first impression. That’s sad because I was surprised that I enjoyed the demo as much as I have. I’m a big fan of the God of War games, but I can also allow for Conan to be its own game without the needless and endless comparison to Sony’s award winning series. Just because it plays similar doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing. The combat felt really great and the huge amount of different moves that can be pulled off feels like it’s never ending and that’s awesome too. I like games from time to time to be viscerally satisfying and that’s where Conan totally delivers.

The Darkness
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I hadn’t tried out the demo for The Darkness. I think that had mainly to do with the overall solid scores that the game was receiving at the time of its release.

Upon playing some of the demo I found that the aiming was imprecise and sluggish. Because of that I died frequently during the part in the small graveyard while trying to fight off the mobsters. Once I finally cleared that part I eventually got to a point where I didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to do or where to go. That was where I stopped playing because it was pretty boring.

TimeShift
Unlike the previous four games where I was obviously on one side or another, the same thing can’t be said for TimeShift. This game sounds like fun because of the time powers. Other than that this game would be just another first-person shooter. I liked everything about the game as I expected I would, but the problem here lies more within me than the game itself.

When a game has an interesting mechanic that I’m not used to for the type of game that it’s in, I have a tendency to forget to use it. This happened when I was playing Final Fantasy VI. I forgot to use the Espers in battle most of the time which made for tougher battles than there needed to be. So as you’d probably expect I wasn’t usually thinking about using the time powers to my advantage. Despite this I’m still looking forward to this game.