October 17 - October 21

Earlier this fall when looking over the games coming out over the four months between Labor Day and the end of the year, there were lots of games and days to get excited about, but only a few releases did I have circled. Arkham City was circled in permanent ink.

If initial reviews are to be believed, then the latest Batman game does not fall into the hazardous traps of a sophomore effort. It suddenly seems like a long time ago that the words "a new Batman game" meant that we would have something fresh and new to laugh at. It is really interesting to me that it basically took one game from Rocksteady to have a franchise go from a laughing stock to a presumed Game of the Year contender.

But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. After all, with so much anticipation, Arkham City can't just come out of nowhere and surprise us in the way that Asylum did. If anything, it's going to be harder this time around because there's a lot of expectation. Being as good as Arkham Asylum isn't enough, it's got to be better.

Here's hoping.

PC
- Cities XL 2012
- Football Manager 2012
- Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes
- The Sims 3 Pets
- Worms Crazy Golf (Download)
- Dungeon Defenders (Download)
- Payday: The Heist (Download)
- Renegade Ops (Download)
- Sequence (Download)

Xbox 360
- Batman: Arkham City
- Ben 10: Galactic Racing
- Grease Dance
- Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge
- Minute to Win It
- PowerUp Heroes
- Rocksmith
- The Sims 3 Pets
- Tropico 4
- Dungeon Defenders (XBLA)

PS3
- Batman: Arkham City
- Ben 10: Galactic Racing
- Everybody Dance
- Grease Dance
- Max and the Magic Marker
- Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
- Rocksmith
- The Sims 3 Pets
- Beat Hazard Ultra (PSN)
- Dungeon Defenders (PSN)
- Okabu (PSN)
- Payday: The Heist (PSN)
- Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken (PSN)

Wii
- Bass Pro Shops: The Hunt - Trophy Showdown
- Fish Tank (WiiWare - $5)

Nintendo 3DS
- Moxie Girlz
- Pet Zombies
- The Sims 3 Pets
- Castle Conqueror: Revolution (eShop - $5)
- Cut the Rope (eShop - $5)

PSP
- Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact

Nintendo DS
- Petz Puppyz & Kittenz
- Pillow Pets
- Professor Layton & the Last Specter
- Castle Conqueror: Revolution (DSiWare - $5)
- Cut the Rope (eShop - $5)

Comments

I wonder if Bonus is going to play Arkham City? I don't know if he likes Batman games.

Nothing for me this week. I'm holding out for cheap steam sales on Batman.

SallyNasty wrote:

I wonder if Bonus is going to play Arkham City? I don't know if he likes Batman games.

Last I heard he was going to wait to see what the reviews are before deciding.

Only thing for me this week is The Sims 3: Pets. Why must the wife take my gaming money?

I've been looking forward to Arkham City since Arkham Asylum, so that's an easy one. But I'm also really, really impressed with what Ubisoft has managed to do with Rocksmith and I want to take a moment to plug it, because most people aren't even going to register this game coming out this week.

I know it's a small audience, but if you were impressed with the idea behind Rock Band 3's pro guitar mode, but wanted to use your existing guitar, apparently it actually really does work. It's also geared more towards actual instruction than a straight gaming experience like RB. RB still has its place, and is still the ultimate party game, but if you're interested in actually learning guitar, I think this is actually a better approach. I'm picking this up for sure, if only to support really innovative efforts like this.

The bastards are forcing us PC gamers to wait for our needed fix. I'm not happy that I have to wait until November for B:AC.

Batwho? Never heard of it.

- Renegade Ops (Download)

I'll believe it when I see it.

garion333 wrote:
- Renegade Ops (Download)

I'll believe it when I see it.

Indeed. I'll believe it when the game is actually downloading to my PC.

What's the over/under that Sega will delay it a third time?

The "huh" moment of the week goes to the release of a new Ratchet and Clank. There was a time when that was a sure buy for me.

Only other noteworthy thing here is how Batman AC has scared away all the competition.

Nintendo DS gets Petz Puppyz & Kittenz, and Pillow Pets. Nintendo 3DS gets Pet Zombies?

Also, Football Manager 2012 is a big deal. Even over on this side of the world, where us soccer fans must live in quiet silence, drawing cryptic symbols in the dirt in order to recognize one another.

DorkmasterFlek wrote:

I've been looking forward to Arkham City since Arkham Asylum, so that's an easy one. But I'm also really, really impressed with what Ubisoft has managed to do with Rocksmith and I want to take a moment to plug it, because most people aren't even going to register this game coming out this week.

I know it's a small audience, but if you were impressed with the idea behind Rock Band 3's pro guitar mode, but wanted to use your existing guitar, apparently it actually really does work. It's also geared more towards actual instruction than a straight gaming experience like RB. RB still has its place, and is still the ultimate party game, but if you're interested in actually learning guitar, I think this is actually a better approach. I'm picking this up for sure, if only to support really innovative efforts like this.

Played this at PAX and now am really trying to figure out where I'm gonna find the $200 to pick it up.

I keep forgetting Arkham City is delayed for the PC. Major bummer as it's probably THE title I've been looking forward to most this year.

2 years ago, Rocksmith could have been the most anticipated title

HA!

I'm actually MORE excited about Rocksmith than I am about Batman AC. I can't believe Amazon not only won't give me release day shipping for Rocksmith, it looks like it won't even ship until later this week. I sad.

Renegade Ops for me this week, although I don't think I'll get a chance to properly enjoy it for another month. Dungeon Defenders is a close second pick, although same issue (anyone know if you can get the Steam bonus content if you miss the pre-order window?). Layton would be a higher priority but I just finished Diabolical Box yesterday, so I'm a bit behind.

Boudreaux wrote:

I'm actually MORE excited about Rocksmith than I am about Batman AC. I can't believe Amazon not only won't give me release day shipping for Rocksmith, it looks like it won't even ship until later this week. I sad.

As a guy with a few electric guitars - I am also interested in Rocksmith. Let me know your impressions when you get some hands on time with it.

I'm deeply intrigued by Dungeon Defenders. I would add that I was deeply intrigued by it about a year ago, and it's taken a really, really long time to get here. May have to pick that one up.

Just started Arkham Asylum last night (using a USB x-box controller as well), so hopefully I'll get it off the pile so that I'll be ready for a decent discount from Steam for Arkham City.

The latest Professor Layton is already out and I have yet to start the previous one. I really need to catch up.

Arkham City looking gooooood... but first I should really get Asylum.

It's gonna be Professor Layton Week this week. I had high hopes for Batman Arkham but the game playlet me down in a major way. I couldn't bring myself to play much beyond Bane.

LarryC wrote:

It's gonna be Professor Layton Week this week. I had high hopes for Batman Arkham but the game playlet me down in a major way. I couldn't bring myself to play much beyond Bane.

I'm curious as to what part of the Batman: AA game play let you down? The brawling really gets interesting when you start upgrading the weaponry and movelist. The later boss fights (post-Bane) are all pretty good, except for the final one, which seemed thrown together and rushed.

I'm holding out on Arkham City if only to confirm that Rocksteady didn't bring back the Scarecrow-type levels.

Got my midnight copy of Arkham City.

But now I'm going to bed.

brokenclavicle wrote:

Arkham City looking gooooood... but first I should really get Asylum.

I'm with you. I never got around to getting Arkham Asylum. One of these days, I'll pick that up and then wait for Arkham City to drop in price.

LarryC wrote:

It's gonna be Professor Layton Week this week. I had high hopes for Batman Arkham but the game playlet me down in a major way. I couldn't bring myself to play much beyond Bane.

That really surprises me - you seem like a game who appreciates depth. Did you play on hard? I really liked the combat in the game, and how you could handle encounters in different ways.

SallyNasty wrote:
LarryC wrote:

It's gonna be Professor Layton Week this week. I had high hopes for Batman Arkham but the game playlet me down in a major way. I couldn't bring myself to play much beyond Bane.

That really surprises me - you seem like a game who appreciates depth. Did you play on hard? I really liked the combat in the game, and how you could handle encounters in different ways.

Yes, I think so. IIRC, I had to bump it up just to keep things interesting. It was probably more of a game/gamer mismatch rather than a fault of the game's qualities. I'm not a fan of Western comics in general, and I dislike Batman in particular, done in the "modern" way. The whole visual aesthetic was a turn off from the start. Further, I also strongly dislike stealth games. I had Tenchu for a while and made it further into that (but still ultimately disliked the experience), and the stealth of the Tenchu games is more involved than the one in Batman: AA.

Finally, I was on PC so I was basically brawling on the keyboard. And it felt too basic. And a little too similar to a rhythm dance game.

Basically, Batman: AA and I are at different times in our lives and we want different things. Nothing against the game in particular.

LarryC wrote:

Yes, I think so. IIRC, I had to bump it up just to keep things interesting. It was probably more of a game/gamer mismatch rather than a fault of the game's qualities. I'm not a fan of Western comics in general, and I dislike Batman in particular, done in the "modern" way. The whole visual aesthetic was a turn off from the start. Further, I also strongly dislike stealth games. I had Tenchu for a while and made it further into that (but still ultimately disliked the experience), and the stealth of the Tenchu games is more involved than the one in Batman: AA.

Finally, I was on PC so I was basically brawling on the keyboard. And it felt too basic. And a little too similar to a rhythm dance game.

Basically, Batman: AA and I are at different times in our lives and we want different things. Nothing against the game in particular.

I'm curious whether you would feel the same way about the combat if you used a controller. There are some die-hard keyboard and mouse fans around these boards who will gush about AA's KBM controls (and for all I know they could be right; I have it on 360 and haven't tried it that way), but if you felt you were struggling with the keyboard, a different input method might change your mind.

'Course, if you're not a fan of stealth, you're not a fan of stealth, and so there would still be long stretches of the game that you're probably not going to enjoy. But "basic" is NOT a descriptor that applies to AA's combat, at least not once you're a little ways into the story and have a full complement of gadgets and combos to play with. Like many a Metroidvania game, it DOES take its time about introducing new elements.