September 24 - September 28

Say what you want about how good a game World of Warcraft actually is, or what its impact has been on gaming at large, positive or negative, but its durability and ability to sustain a player base that most of its competitors would kill for is astonishing. Though it has been shaken over recent months, and finally seen its numbers begin to wane, it still has five or six times the player base of most its closest domestic competitors. And now, coming up on its fourth expansion, the scope and breadth of its world are astonishing.

Mists of Pandaria, the latest expansion launching this week, has taken some possibly deserved potshots from all corners, and admittedly it does seem a somewhat less focused expansion than previous ones that had a concrete villain and theme. Pandaria instead wraps in a new race that has always seemed better aligned to April Fools jokes than actual implementation. That said, when you pull back the layers, there are a lot of new content and changes densely packed into this latest package — though, honestly, it's going to be long-time WoW players who will be most impacted.

A new class (Monk), a new race (Pandaran), new zones, new dungeons, new PvP areas, a new skill system, level and profession cap increases, new scenarios, updated legacy dungeons, and a pet battle system make out the key features list, and that's a decent enough batch of upgrades to justify an expansion. The question is whether there will be a cohesive thread that ends up pulling it all together in the way that Burning Crusade did with the adventure through the Dark Portal and the fight against Illidan, or the way Wrath of the Lich King did in the long battle to face Arthas and Frostmourne, or the way Cataclysm did with the Sundering and Deathwing. When you just look at MoP, it's easy to just see, well, pandas.

Also this week, FIFA Soccer 13 hits, marking the release of what is becoming one of EA's most powerful franchises, and perhaps second in the sports market only to Madden. Meanwhile, Little Big Planet comes to Vita owners eager for some kind of new game.

PC
- Carrier Command: Gaea Mission (download)
- Castle Crashers
- Colour Bind (download)
- Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure
- FIFA Soccer 13
- Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy (download)
- The Testament of Sherlock Holmes
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

Xbox 360
- Angry Birds Trilogy
- Dead or Alive 5
- FIFA Soccer 13
- Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit! (XBLA)
- Marvel vs. Capcom Origins (XBLA)
- The Testament of Sherlock Holmes
- Wipeout 3

PS3
- Angry Birds Trilogy
- Dead or Alive 5
- FIFA Soccer 13
- Final Fantasy III (PSN)
- Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit! (PSN)
- Marvel vs. Capcom Origins (PSN)
- One Piece: Pirate Warriors (PSN)
- R.A.W. - Realms of Ancient War (PSN)
- The Testament of Sherlock Holmes
- Tokyo Jungle

Wii
- Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure
- FIFA Soccer 13
- Wipeout 3

Vita
- FIFA Soccer 13
- LittleBigPlanet

3DS
- Angry Birds Trilogy
- Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure
- FIFA Soccer 13
- Hitori by Nikoli (eShop)
- The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave (eShop)
- Wipeout 3

PSP
- FIFA Soccer 13

DS
- Kart Krashers (DSiWare)

Comments

I think the real sign about WoW... is that talk in this thread is about anything BUT WoW.

Minor point: I don't believe the PSN release of Final Fantasy III is playable on the PS3. It's a PSP port. So hey, still as many releases as the Vita.

Aristophan wrote:

Mists of Pandaria is the first WoW expansion that is not purchased on release at the Aristophan household. The only thing that temps me is that I have the collector's editions for all the rest of the WoW content. Mighty, mighty tempting.

Exactly the same here. I've been away from WoW for a little over a year now and while I have a tinge of desire to return and get the CE to go with the rest - I just can't seem to hit the purchase button. I even logged into a free to play account and while I felt a great sense of nostalgia, it just seemed so utterly dated compared to the MMO's I've been playing lately. TERA, The Secret World and GW2 have gotten me used to more active combat and later generation visuals & art design.

Simply put - I put my time in and believe it might be better to go out with good memories than try and relive the past... even with pandas.

Wow. Can't believe that Angry Birds price...

Amusing that while everyone else is sitting wondering if they should drop cash for a new WoW expansion I'm actually tempted to drop money on Dead or Alive 5.

Funny thing is, I didn't even discover DoA until the Ultimate release on the original Xbox. Somehow I was able to just kill time on some of the survival modes in that game. Never became huge enough to try and competitively play online, or to even really learn combos, but it was a fighting game that just managed to scratch an itch.

But I'm tired of dropping $60 on fighting games. I'll see if there's a Black Friday deal on it. Until then, Darksiders 2 for me this week.