November 18 – November 24

One down, one to go.

I've been very back-and-forth on the next-gen consoles, and while I comfortably sat out the PS4 launch having cancelled my preorder a couple of weeks ago, I've revisited my Amazon order-tracking page seven or eight times now, pulling up just shy of clicking the "cancel" button on my Xbox One order. It still lingers there, a bruised but inexorable contender for my money. With less than five days to the system launch, I think it's time for me to finally admit that I'm probably — nay certainly — going to let that sucker ship and show up on my front door Friday morning.

There's really one reason for this, and that reason is Forza 5. Watching Shawn play Need For Speed: Rivals on his PS4 over the weekend, a game in which apparently a Chevy Camaro is an upgrade from a Aston Martin Vanquish, I was forced to come to the conclusion that I am both a car snob and an unbending devotee of Turn 10's series. Now, I could dedicate the rest of this piece, nay the rest of the week, to debunking the absurdity of calling a Camaro superior to a Vanquish in absolutely any way, but I'll try to restrain myself.

I love Forza. I love its racing model. I love its car porn. I love its physics engine. I love its presentation style. I love that it can be more fun to drive a hot-hatch than a Pagani. Mostly I love the way Turn 10 is almost lustfully devoted to its craft and its cars. I love the way Dan Greenawalt talks about how the cars, not the races, are the stars of the game.

Forza is my totally biased fanboy game. How could I not play it this week?!

Still, I admit that some of the technical hitches in the PS4 launch make me nervous. I have been the victim of the Red Ring of Death twice, but I do have to admit that Microsoft made good on replacing my system with very little complaint in both cases. So I roll the dice again.

That said, there's more to the week than just the XB1. There's also Band Fuse, a Rocksmith competitor that allows you to plug any guitar into the game, but that seems more focused on delivering a hard-rock, group-play experience than its lesson-focused competitor. At first glance, Band Fuse feels like the playful Guitar Hero to Rocksmith's Rock Band "It's all about the music" seriousness, and that's fine. There's room in my heart for both of those things.

Finally, there's Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS, as well as Super Mario 3D World for the WiiU, which should both be a delightful adventure as well as a good reminder that you have a WiiU, which you may have forgotten.

PC
- Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! (download)
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel
- Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths (download)
- Need for Speed Rivals
- Tank Operations: European Campaign (download - $15)
- The Shivah: Kosher Edition (download - $5)
- Young Justice: Legacy (download)

Xbox One
- Angry Birds Star Wars
- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
- Battlefield 4
- Crimson Dragon and Dead Rising 3
- Call of Duty: Ghosts
- Crimson Dragon (XBLA - $20)
- Dead Rising 3
- FIFA 14
- Fighter Within
- Forza Motorsport 5
- Just Dance 2014
- Killer Instinct (XBLA - free-to-play)
- LocoCycle (XBLA - $20)
- Madden NFL 25
- NBA Live 14
- Need for Speed Rivals
- Powerstar Golf
- Ryse: Son of Rome
- Zoo Tycoon
- Zumba Fitness World Party

PS4
- NBA Live 14

Xbox 360
- Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
- BandFuse: Rock Legends
- Farming Simulator
- Need for Speed Rivals
- Soulcalibur II HD Online (XBLA - $20)
- Young Justice: Legacy
- Zoo Tycoon
- Zumba Kids

PS3
- Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
- AquaPazza
- BandFuse: Rock Legends
- Blood Knights (PSN)
- Contrast (PSN)
- Farming Simulator
- Need for Speed Rivals
- Stick It to The Man! (PSN)
- Soulcalibur II HD Online (PSN - $20)
- Young Justice: Legacy

Wii U
- Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
- Super Mario 3D World

Wii
- Zumba Kids

Vita
- Stick It to The Man! (PSN)
- Tearaway
- The Amazing Spider-Man

3DS
- Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!
- Christmas Wonderland 3 (eShop)
- Girls' Fashion Shoot
- Mario Party: Island Tour
- Ohno Odyssey (eShop)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
- Young Justice: Legacy

Comments

Crimson Dragon and Dead Rising 3

If only they came together for one price!

Special mention to Tearaway from Media Molecule. This is basically the only "major" release for the Vita this fall.

I just wish the Xbox One was launching with a "flagship" title.. Gears..Halo.. hell I would have even taken a Fable. Something that one can really really sit down and play for 20 hours straight to kick off the next gen.

What the...

Sequel to unarguably a top 3 game of the 16-bit era, and arguably a top 5 game all time isn't the game of the week?

...

TheGameguru wrote:
I just wish the Xbox One was launching with a "flagship" title.. Gears..Halo.. hell I would have even taken a Fable. Something that one can really really sit down and play for 20 hours straight to kick off the next gen.

Oh, like Forza?

Stele wrote:
What the...

Sequel to unarguably a top 3 game of the 16-bit era, and arguably a top 5 game all time isn't the game of the week?

...

I know! Angry Birds Star Wars got robbed.

I just wish the Xbox One was launching with a "flagship" title.. Gears..Halo.. hell I would have even taken a Fable. Something that one can really really sit down and play for 20 hours straight to kick off the next gen.

Diff'rent strokes, man. Forza is the flagship title for me.

What the...

The millionth sequel to unarguably a top 3 game of the 16-bit era, and arguably a top 5 game all time isn't the game of the week?

...

Fixed

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh-aaaaah-aaah---ahhh
Someday we will find the Ciiiiiitiiiiiies of Gold!

Game of the year, right there.

Spoiler:
It'll probably suck and I'll be sad....

Stele wrote:
What the...

Sequel to unarguably a top 3 game of the 16-bit era, and arguably a top 5 game all time isn't the game of the week?

...

Are you talking about the baby game for the baby console? This isn't Gamers With Wetnurses, you know.

Forza? More like Forzzzzzzzzzz.....

Nintendo gets my money this week. Enjoy your launch week shenanigans, I've got Mario and Zelda to enjoy all weekend.

Stele wrote:
What the...

Sequel to unarguably a top 3 game of the 16-bit era, and arguably a top 5 game all time isn't the game of the week?

...

Let's cut him some slack. The man doesn't yet know what lies in store for 2014 for this feature

I haven't owned Nintendo hardware in forever and even think the Zelda game should have won out.

Are you talking about the baby game for the baby console?

I suspect you're joking, but to be clear I don't have that opinion at all. Admittedly, I'm rarely going to get excited over a Mario or a Zelda game anymore, but my poking fun at the WiiU is not that it's only for kids. I would easily argue it's a badly managed system that is losing third party support like the lead character in Heavy Rain loses his kids.

Elysium wrote:
I would easily argue it's a badly managed system that is losing third party support like the lead character in Heavy Rain loses his kids.

I don't think anyone's going to argue against that (it's a recurring problem they've had since the N64). But, if you like Nintendo stuff next year is looking promising for the WiiU.

It's no fun if you take me seriously. And you cut out the gamers with wetnurses line, which was funny.

Elysium wrote:
I would easily argue it's a badly managed system that is losing third party support like the lead character in Heavy Rain loses his kids.

I can't disagree with you there.

Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition came out on Steam on the 15th - which was last week, but was a surprise to me when I checked my RSS feeds today.

As you might've guessed from the last article I wrote, I'm with you on Forza, Sean. I absolutely love the series. As far as I'm concerned, Forza 5 is the only reason to buy either of the new consoles at launch. Though I'm sure it eventually will, the PS4 doesn't have any games that make me want to buy one right now. For me though, Forza is a killer app.

The Forza series took over Gran Turismo's spot as my favorite racing series somewhere between Forza 2 and Forza 3, when Turn 10 really took the ball from Polyphony and ran with it; they made a game that has all the car-porn trappings of GT, the handling model is more fun, the interior models are outstanding (I love using the in-car view), the sound is more visceral, the menus and modes are easier to navigate and more entertaining to participate in...I'm a big fan of both series, but since the release of Forza 3 I have to give Forza the edge. Not to mention that Polyphony's glacial development pace is maddening...two or three Forza games were released in between GT5 and the upcoming GT6, it's crazy!

Anyways, my only issue now is that I bought that Fanatec wheel/pedal setup and it's not going to be compatible with the Xbox One...and now that I've experienced the fun of using a great force feedback wheel, I just don't think I can go back to using a controller! Argh! If the Xbox One was compatible with the wheel, I'd have pre-ordered one. Instead, I've been waiting to find out, and the news came out a couple weeks ago that all the old stuff (including even the Forza-branded Fanatec CSR wheel) won't work with the new system.

So...damn. I don't know what to do. I still love Forza. I've watched a few of the direct feed HD videos of Forza 5 and they make me salivate. Pavlovian Forza response. I'm afraid that when I finally see it in person at the local game shop, I'm going to have a really hard time not plunking down my cash right then and there. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe the PS4 will be compatible with my wheel, though, in which case I'll have to really think about what to do. Of course, GT7 on PS4 will probably not happen for several years, judging by their track record, so that'd give me plenty of time to stew...and probably cave and buy an X1.

I hope you keep your pre-order and get some Forza 5 time in before next week's Conference Call so I can drive vicariously through you, boss!

But the 3DS is not the Wii U. It's rolling in awesome software right now, and this week is just making it better.

And how many direct sequels have Zelda games had? Zelda->Z2? OoT->MM? Link's Awakening->Oracle games? I think that's it. Everything else is a separate Hero of Legend, or however they spin it.

Forza? More like Forzzzzzzzzzz.....

Boreza was sitting RIGHT THERE and you missed it.

Certis wrote:
Forza? More like Forzzzzzzzzzz.....

Boreza was sitting RIGHT THERE and you missed it.

Ha, thought the same thing, only Snoreza.

Yeah yeah, I'm not fully awake yet.

Stele wrote:
And how many direct sequels have Zelda games had? Zelda->Z2? OoT->MM? Link's Awakening->Oracle games? I think that's it. Everything else is a separate Hero of Legend, or however they spin it.

I don't recall the Oracle games being direct sequels. Same engine as Link's Awakening DX certainly.

Twilight Princess was rumored to be a direct sequel to OoT but aside from some similarities/homages in the overworld geography that wasn't the case.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Elysium wrote:
I would easily argue it's a badly managed system that is losing third party support like the lead character in Heavy Rain loses his kids.

I can't disagree with you there.

Press X to EA!

Certis wrote:
Forza? More like Forzzzzzzzzzz.....

Boreza was sitting RIGHT THERE and you missed it.

Oh man, the possibilities...

Choreza
Snoreza
Forlosersza
Floorza (because it was so dull you passed out and you're on the floor, see?)
Moreza of the Sameza
Smoreza (for when you're camping)
Sleezastak (for when you're camping in BC)
Sporeza (the mushroom version)
Loreza (the speed reading race game)
Coreza (for when you're doing pilates)

EDIT: As someone who has never had an XBox, I actually had to google what Forza was, as my only experience of it is occasionally hearing about it on the show :).

I wish I enjoyed the racing sim genre. It seems so interesting and filled with depth, not to mention the meticulous attention to detail that probably goes into crafting them. I like listening to people talk about different racing models, physics and all the other minutia involved in the genre but unfortunately, I just can't get into them.

I figure I'll try one again in a year.

Definitely getting Zelda this week. So damn excited!

First time ever a Forza game is coming out and I'm not getting it. $499 is just not in the budget this year for a new system.

This is the best group of comments for a Week Ahead I've ever seen.

That said, my only nerdrage is that the Wii-U is not forgotten because The Wonderful 101 is the best game I've played this year and curse you all someday I'll make you see! Just you wait!

*shakey fist!*

But seriously, you have fun with your broken Burnout game (what do you mean you're not supposed to crash into each other?).

ccesarano wrote:
This is the best group of comments for a Week Ahead I've ever seen.

That said, my only nerdrage is that the Wii-U is not forgotten because The Wonderful 101 is the best game I've played this year and curse you all someday I'll make you see! Just you wait!

*shakey fist!*

We should just bring our copies to PAX East and force Julian and Sean to play them.

kcander wrote:
Certis wrote:
Forza? More like Forzzzzzzzzzz.....

Boreza was sitting RIGHT THERE and you missed it.

Ha, thought the same thing, only Snoreza.

Snoreza wins.

shoptroll wrote:
ccesarano wrote:
This is the best group of comments for a Week Ahead I've ever seen.

That said, my only nerdrage is that the Wii-U is not forgotten because The Wonderful 101 is the best game I've played this year and curse you all someday I'll make you see! Just you wait!

*shakey fist!*

We should just bring our copies to PAX East and force Julian and Sean to play them.

I will set up a station at TAMO and force everyone in there to watch and play Wonderful 101 until they drop to their knees, eyes weeping, penitent, saying "O Wise One! You are right! You are just so right! How absolutely wrong we've been!"

And then I will cast them all down and take over this site and fill The Week Ahead with Japanese games. Insert maniacal laughter here.

Like Dark Souls and Hotline Miami before it, I'm sure The Wonderful 101 is a fantastic game, but does it need to be injected into every conversation?

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Like Dark Souls and Hotline Miami before it, I'm sure The Wonderful 101 is a fantastic game, but does it need to be injected into every conversation? :P

I heard that Darksiders is good, care to comment?

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Like Dark Souls and Hotline Miami before it, I'm sure The Wonderful 101 is a fantastic game, but does it need to be injected into every conversation? :P

When people are talking about the Wii-U being a forgotten machine, yes. Very yes.