August 26 - September 1

Welcome to this embarrassingly late edition of The Week Ahead. And on one of the most important weeks of the year too: Madden Week. Madden and I are like the Rachel and Ross of video games. Will we? Won't we? And if/once we do, will it only be for a short while until we have some kind of weird argument in bed?

I'm sorry that all my cultural references are a decade old. (But, seriously guys, did you hear about this Video Music Awards thing? Apparently Madonna and Christina Aguilera kissed!)

This year I'm genuinely torn — as if that's not normally the case — because Madden 25 does look at least on the outside like a presentation– and feature–rich version with a lot of attention paid to delivering a strong showing for the series' 25th anniversary. What I don't imagine, though, is that the experience of playing the actual game is likely to be any different, and am I going to do what I do most years, which is play it for a week and then put it in the games cabinet, never to be heard from again?

Meanwhile, this week also sees the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as well as Lost Planet III. Both of those games feel like something that should be hitting with a little more fanfare and attention, but for the life of me I can't think of anything to actually say about them. So, they are things that exist, I guess. Now you know.

PC
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition
- The Chaos Engine
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
- Game Dev Tycoon
- Guardians of Middle-earth
- Lost Planet 3
- Memoria
- Pixeljunk Monsers Ultimate Edition
- Shelter

Xbox 360
- Killer is Dead
- Lost Planet 3
- Madden NFL 25

PS3
- Crimson Sea 2 (PS2 Classic)
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
- Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims (PSN)
- Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F
- The HD Adventures of the Rotating Octopus Character (PSN)
- Killer is Dead
- Lost Planet 3
- Madden NFL 25
- Spelunky (PSN)
- Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (PSN)

DS
- Wario Land 3 (e-shop)

Vita
- Floating God Saves the Pilgrims (PSN)
- Spelunky (PSN)
- Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (PSN)

3DS
- Wario Land 3 (e-shop)

Comments

Oh, thank Elysium. Nothing I care about. With SR4, The Wonderful 101, Divekick and Pikmin 3, as well as the Humble Origin Bundle, the last couple of weeks have been expensive.

Aside from watching Demyx play FFXIV, nothing for me this week. Back to SMT IV instead.

Can't wait to get Game Dev Tycoon into my Steam list.

And I'm with spider_j, been cranking on the pile and the Origin bundle for the last week.

Memoria actually looks really good. It's a classic adventure game made by the same company who produced the Deponia series (but don't hold that against them), and the art is just gorgeous. It's set in the same universe as their earlier The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav.

IMAGE(http://www.adventuregamers.com/images/screenshots/24218/memoria_screen01__full.jpg)
IMAGE(http://www.adventuregamers.com/images/screenshots/24218/memoria_screen04__full.jpg)
IMAGE(http://www.hardcoregamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/MemoriaReviewImage4.jpg)
IMAGE(http://www.hardcoregamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/MemoriaReviewImage2.jpg)

It looks like Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles is also coming out as the last XBLA summer of arcade game (not listed above). Hopefully it will be good like the first 2 summer of arcade titles and not like the Flashback remake. I'm still bitter about Flashback!

Wow, Minarchist, Memoria does look gorgeous. Point-and-click adventure?

Also, a couple minor corrections to the release list up there: Wario Land 3 is only releasing on the 3DS, not the DS, and Sweet Fuse: At Your Side is a PSP game; it's available via PSN and playable on the Vita, but it's not available on the PS3.

Sweet Fuse is also the weirdest game of the week by far. It's a Japanese visual novel for girls starring the (fictional) niece of Keiji Inafune as she works to defend her uncle's new theme park from a dastardly count while falling in love with a variety of suitors. Yes.

Spelunky for the Vita, you will be mine...oh yes...you will be...

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Fhas a catch-all if anyone is interested.

Looks like PC getting a few ports this week. Anyone have thoughts on Game Dev Tycoon vs Game Dev Story? I guess story was first, as I played it a while back for Android. Wasn't really aware of Tycoon and wondering if it's fresh enough to try on Steam?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Wow, Minarchist, Memoria does look gorgeous. Point-and-click adventure?

Yes. Apparently a pretty old-school inventory affair, but not obtuse and relatively easy and logical on the puzzle side (e.g. no cat hair mustaches). Also, I like the conceit of it. This review really whet my appetite.

Shelter releases this week? Even though I'm not done with SR4 yet, I'm probably going to buy Shelter. It's been on my radar for a while and looks like a very intersting game, both in terms of art style and gameplay.

Castlevania for me this week. DIE MONSTER!

Minarchist wrote:

Yes. Apparently a pretty old-school inventory affair, but not obtuse and relatively easy and logical on the puzzle side (e.g. no cat hair mustaches). Also, I like the conceit of it. This review really whet my appetite.

This seems to have snuck up on some places, as the only mention of it on RPS is today. How many teams does Daedalic have anyways? Night of the Rabbit released not long ago...

Killer is Dead seems interesting to get somewhere down the line, but nothing for me right now.

shoptroll wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

Yes. Apparently a pretty old-school inventory affair, but not obtuse and relatively easy and logical on the puzzle side (e.g. no cat hair mustaches). Also, I like the conceit of it. This review really whet my appetite.

This seems to have snuck up on some places, as the only mention of it on RPS is today. How many teams does Daedalic have anyways? Night of the Rabbit released not long ago...

The first game had fantastic visuals & sound (animation was a bit ropy) but the characters were...not great, to say the least. Mostly down to the horrific voice acting. Going by Night of the Rabbit though, that seems to be improving in leaps and bounds of late, so I have my fingers crossed.

Minarchist wrote:

It's set in the same universe as their earlier The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav.

There's a fair few Dark Eye games out there (mostly RPG's like Realms of Arkania and Drakensang). All based on the PnP RPG game which is pretty much the German equivalent of D&D, I believe.

Meanwhile, this week also sees the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as well as Lost Planet III. Both of those games feel like something that should be hitting with a little more fanfare and attention, but for the life of me I can't think of anything to actually say about them. So, they are things that exist, I guess. Now you know.

I find it strange that as a self professed lover of MMOs your not even going to give FFXIV a shot.

Stric9 wrote:
Meanwhile, this week also sees the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as well as Lost Planet III. Both of those games feel like something that should be hitting with a little more fanfare and attention, but for the life of me I can't think of anything to actually say about them. So, they are things that exist, I guess. Now you know.

I find it strange that as a self professed lover of MMOs your not even going to give FFXIV a shot.

There are 25 inventory spaces for every equipment slot. 25 helms, 25 belts, 25 legs ... think of all the loot!

Aristophan wrote:
Stric9 wrote:
Meanwhile, this week also sees the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as well as Lost Planet III. Both of those games feel like something that should be hitting with a little more fanfare and attention, but for the life of me I can't think of anything to actually say about them. So, they are things that exist, I guess. Now you know.

I find it strange that as a self professed lover of MMOs your not even going to give FFXIV a shot.

There are 25 inventory spaces for every equipment slot. 25 helms, 25 belts, 25 legs ... think of all the loot!

Oh, d-d-d-dear!
IMAGE(http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110327035914/disney/images/a/a9/Pigletsbigmovie_274.jpg)

Stric9 wrote:
Meanwhile, this week also sees the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn as well as Lost Planet III. Both of those games feel like something that should be hitting with a little more fanfare and attention, but for the life of me I can't think of anything to actually say about them. So, they are things that exist, I guess. Now you know.

I find it strange that as a self professed lover of MMOs your not even going to give FFXIV a shot.

But he's also a self-professed hater of all things JRPG.

I don't think Sweet Fuse works on the PS3, it's PSP/Vita only.

It's actually getting a physical release on PSP I think?

Other than that and Spelunky, not a whole lot I want to buy right now. Killer is Dead maybe, but I know I won't play it anytime soon...

I want to play FF14, but I'll probably play it on PS4 instead.

I'm sorry that all my cultural references are a decade old.

Friends is almost 20 years old. You're welcome.

I guess it's Madden this week. I have bought it every year since the Sega Genesis days, so why break tradition?

kazooka wrote:
I'm sorry that all my cultural references are a decade old.

Friends is almost 20 years old. You're welcome. :)

Lasted until 2004 somehow, despite my refusal to ever watch a full episode.

What I'm saying is that "Friends sucks" may be the most true of the many, many strong assertions I made as a teen.

But he's also a self-professed hater of all things JRPG.

True I had forgotten about that caveat.

wordsmythe wrote:
kazooka wrote:
I'm sorry that all my cultural references are a decade old.

Friends is almost 20 years old. You're welcome. :)

Lasted until 2004 somehow, despite my refusal to ever watch a full episode.

What I'm saying is that "Friends sucks" may be the most true of the many, many strong assertions I made as a teen.

Right there with you buddy. Never saw an episode. Not sure what the fuss is about.

Stele wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
kazooka wrote:
I'm sorry that all my cultural references are a decade old.

Friends is almost 20 years old. You're welcome. :)

Lasted until 2004 somehow, despite my refusal to ever watch a full episode.

What I'm saying is that "Friends sucks" may be the most true of the many, many strong assertions I made as a teen.

Right there with you buddy. Never saw an episode. Not sure what the fuss is about.

I'd expect that it would be hard to see what the fuss is about anything you've never experienced. But, then, I've never seen Friends either.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who ignored Friends as a teen!! (Also Dawson's Creek, never got what all the fuss was about).

Minarchist, those screenshots you posted... Looks absolutely gorgeous!!! And a classic adventure game, you say? Consider my interest piqued!

I watched Friends a few times. It was a ensemble show about 6 annoying people who weren't very funny as I recall.

I don't think I've ever seen a week ahead thread get so quickly and thoroughly derailed. Good work!

I have seen every episode of Friends, despite being of the firm view that it sucks.

Friends was about a bunch of annoying entitled people that were all selfish in some manner (or just comically dumb) and having sex with not-each other whenever people weren't having sex with Jennifer Aniston.

At least, that's what I got out of what I saw of it.

I mostly blame Friends for Jennifer Anniston. I don't know if it's her as a person or just the way she portrays characters, but I dislike her. With the exception of Office Space, where she is at her least Jennifer Anniston-ness (well, and Horrible Bosses), I basically use her as an indicator of staying away from a movie.

....oh! Video games!

Word on the street is that Killer Is Dead is really disappointing and...Lost Planet 3 isn't even on the front page of Metacritic. That...does not bode well. It's sitting around 57-61 for the different platforms, though.

So this is basically a "sit back and, if you're still interested, wait for the inevitable Black Friday clearance sales" week.

It's good to know people are standing firm on cultural frontlines drawn in the '90s.