This week brings us a new contender for the fighting game throne, the heavily-anticipated (around these parts, at least) Persona 4 Arena along with Sony's experimental platformer, Sound Shapes. Plus, 5th Cell's jetpack-propelled shooter Hybrid joins the XBLA lineup while Daedalic Entertainment kicks off a planned trilogy of adventure games with Deponia.
Hit the jump to find out what you've got to look forward to this week on your video game boxes.
Title: Persona 4 Arena
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Arc System Works may have just announced that there's another BlazBlue on the way, but this week is all about their collaboration with Atlus, Persona 4 Arena. And everything I'm hearing about it has me hyped for this 2D fighter that's a direct continuation of the story from the RPG Persona 4.
And that, to me, is one of the most intriguing things about the game, hopping genres (not mediums) to continue a story. And it's a cool way to open up gamers to genres which they might not otherwise be into while exploring unexplored corners of the series' universe.
As for Areana, the game brings the character designs from P4 into another one of Arc System Works' typically well-animated fighters, so it looks good, it's got a nice-sized roster, and it builds on one a fan-favorite RPG. The big question is if the dev has brought their a-game to the mechanical side of things. If so, Arena could be a killer.
Title: Sound Shapes
Platform(s): PS Vita
Sony might be winning the summer of small, quirky releases with Queasy Games' Sound Shapes dropping along with the upcoming Papo & Yo and the recent, spectacular Dyad. Or at least, I think these titles will give us a little something more to talk about in the coming months that other small-scale releases like Deadlight, which are nothing if not competent articulations of a particular genre.
It's a music game, but it's also a platformer, and Sony seems to really embrace that kind of hybridization, those games with a hint of synethesia to them. If nothing else, it'll be a curious experiment, but I'm looking forward to messing around with it this week.
And then there's nothing wrong with a dev deciding they want to build a shooter around jetpacks.
I'm curious how 5Th Cell, the studio behind Scribblenauts and Drawn to Life before that will realize a crazy violent sci-fi world with gunplay. There's a little bit of precedent for them working on games with the shooty shooty: in the past, they've handled a mobile port of Full Spectrum Warrior, but Hybrid is a different beast, and certainly a far cry from the emergent experiences of the family friendly word adventures they're known for. But sometimes you have to flex your creative muscles and throw players into a third person shooting arena with jetpacks.
Again, the impulse is understandable.
Breaking: adventure games still exist, creators are still promising trilogies before their franchises have even launched.
I don't have all that much insight into Daedric's comic adventure Deponia, but it certainly has a compelling visual style and a quirky boy falls for girl, tries to woo girl via adventure story that I find interesting. My kneejerk grumpiness is simply from the presumption that if you're building a game, it has to be planned as a franchise. There's a feature idea in there somewhere, and I don't mean to beat up on the ladies and gentlemen at Daedric, but it's always a sore point when I hear "the first in a planned trilogy" as the marketing for something.
Just give us the first game and let us decide if we want more of it. (gripe gripe gripe gripe)
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