Incoming! Week commencing 30/01/12
- Soul Calibur V
- Project Soul
- Final Fantasy XIII-2
Okay, we know, it’s been more than a week. But how were we to know that the release schedule was going to dramatically dry-up post November? What's that? Because we’re supposed to be games journalists, you say? Hmm… Ok, you’ve got us there.
But, six-week hiatus aside, the marketing machine is back at full throttle and spewing out brand new, shiny titles left, right and centre. We’ve already welcomed a couple of arcade titles in Choplifter HD and AMY – but we’ve seen nothing yet. This is where that 2012 starts, so read on for the lowdown on what to expect this week.
NeverDead UK release date: Friday 3rd February
Formats: PS3, Xbox 360
Developer: Rebellion Developments
In 10 Words: Live forever, play dead, crack wise, detach limbs, murder demons
The first of 2012’s gamut of new IPs, Rebellion’s NeverDead casts you in the role of Bryce Boltzmann, a smart-mouthed demon hunter cursed with immortality 500 years ago. As Bryce you’ll fight alongside Arcadia Maximille to stem a demonic invasion of present day Earth, using your unique talents to keep your plucky partner alive. The fact that Bryce can’t die paves the way for novel gameplay concepts, such as the ability to have pretty much all his limbs blown off and still flop around as a limbless torso hurling abuse at demons like Monty Python’s black knight. Keeping Bryce alive is easy (it’s killing him that’s impossible, after all), but Arcadia is not so hardy. Many of the puzzles and set-pieces will revolve around protecting her from the forces of the Demon King Astaroth while coming up with novel ways to blow Bryce’s bits off.
Multiplayer? Yup. Both competetive and cooperative online modes in the usual deathmatch / race / capture the flag flavours, as well as a Horde-alike endurance mode, mean you can take the fight online to increase your XP and continue your demon-slaying adventures with friends
Collector’s Edition available? Surprisingly, no
Predicted hit? Maybe – but its off-the-wall concepts make it more likely to achieve “cult” status than mainstream glory
Soul Calibur V UK release date: Friday 3rd February
Formats: PS3, Xbox 360,
Developer: Project Soul
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
In 10 Words: Transcend history, clash swords, vent frustrations, cross Styx, ogle boobies
The fifth instalment of Namco’s hugely-successful brawler hits the shelves this Friday, inviting us to once again participate in its epic tale of souls and swords. Eschewing the completely out-of-place Star Wars characters who graced the last game, SCV instead adds Assassin’s Creed II pin-up Ezio Auditore Di Firenze to the roster. Series favourites like Taki and Killik are conspicuous by their absence, though Namco and Project Soul seem to have replaced with some very familiar-looking newcomers. Our James produced an excellent hands-on preview of Soul Calibur V, and said “the fighting enthusiast will delight in its tight, unique combat, while the casual entertainment seeker has plenty to delve into with the narrative and character creator…”. Oh, and he also predicted that it could be “the best fighter of 2012”. Is he right? Find out on Friday.
Multiplayer? Um, obviously
Collector’s Edition available? Yes, featuring the soundtrack CD, artbook, making-of DVD and some exclusive DLC armour for use during character creation
Predicted hit? Definitely
Final Fantasy XIII-2 UK release date: Friday 3rd February
Formats: Xbox 360, PS3
Developer: Tri-Ace (Square-Enix)
In 10 Words: Not linear, not linear, not linear, not linear, not linear
It’s common knowledge that Final Fantasy XIII failed to set the gaming world on fire. Despite producing a tight, intricate adventure game, many fans felt disappointed with Square-Enix for choosing to start the game with a 20-hour linear battle tutorial before finally allowing players to explore the unique, beautiful world – by which time a high percentage of people had already switched it off and traded it in. By removing such linearity but retaining the excellent battle system (one of the few elements of FFXIII that was universally praised), Square-Enix are hoping to entice those fans back to Final Fantasy XIII-2. We spent some time with the demo last week, and saw definite improvements in FFXIII-2 – we hope its enough to placate the angry mob just waiting for it to fail.
Collector’s Edition available? Yes. Two, in fact. The Limited Collector’s Edition will contain a CD of music tracks picked by the development team, an art book and a special lenticular print of Lightning. The “Crystal Edition” will feature the complete soundtrack and a swanky T-shirt unavailable anywhere else
Predicted hit? Given the lukewarm reception to FFXIII, only time will tell with this one. FFXIII-2 a considerable improvement on its predecessor, but Final Fantasy fans are notoriously hard to please
So that’s the line-up for this week. Any here tickle your fancy? Whatever your opinions feel free to comment – and check back this week for our imminent reviews of NeverDead and Soul Calibur V.
Words by Mick Fraser (@Jedi_Beats_Tank)
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