This Week’s Videogame Releases

There are a bunch of videogame goodies available for your consumption this week. Sly Cooper makes his long-awaited return in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. As a mark for the series and the character, I’m really looking forward to that one. Dead Space 3 has some fans excited, though others are concerned about the latest installment being more about action than survival-horror. 3DS fans looking for a good RPG should be pleased as punch with Fire Emblem Awakening. Last, but not least, is a game that’s perfect for fans of fighting and manga: Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2.

Any of you picking up new games this week?

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Screens

Here’s a fresh batch of screens and artwork from the upcoming Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Set for a Fall 2013 release, this RPG brings the FFXIII heroine back in an all-new adventure. Director Motomu Toriyama claims that the game will be, “the most complete and polished in the Final Fantasy series.” While I can’t comment on that lofty claim (yet), what I do know is that Lightning is back in black…and several other costumes. While she’s the star of the show and the only playable character, FFXIII fans will be pleased to know that Hope Estheim and Snow Villiers will apear in supporting roles.

As a mark for the series and someone that enjoyed XIII/XIII-2 more than most, of course I’m going to play this game. How about you guys and gals? Are you interested in jumping back into the world of Final Fantasy XIII? Or are you done with the series?

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This Week’s Videogame Releases

Anime fans in the U.S. have been anxiously awaiting the release of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and the game lands this week! Ni no Kuni comes from developer Level-5 and the legendary Studio Ghibli. I’m curious to see if the millions of people that love Studio Ghibli movies will pick up the game. Although I didn’t write the “new releases” post last week, I wanted to mention the new Devil May Cry. This time around, Capcom has entrusted the franchise to the capable hands of Ninja Theory. The developer has its share of fans, thanks to games like Heavenly Sword and Enslaved. The reviews have been great so far and I’m hoping that Ninja Theory gets to play around with more OPP franchises. Perhaps the company can go into the business of resuscitating stale videogame franchises.

Any of you picking up new games this week?

NPD Group’s Top 10 Games of 2012

After 12 months of heated battle, the results are in! Here are the 10 best-selling videogames according to the NPD Group. This list counts for console games sold at retail in the United States.

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  2. Madden NFL 13
  3. Halo 4
  4. Assassin’s Creed III
  5. Just Dance 4
  6. NBA 2K13
  7. Borderlands 2
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  9. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
  10. FIFA Soccer 13

There are several fascinating takeaways here. First, it’s awfully impressive that there are two Call of Duty games on the list, which is a testament to the franchise’s immense and enduring popularity. LEGO Batman 2 is one of the few videogames that stars Hawkgirl, proving once again that Hawkgirl equals mad sales. I was happy to see Borderlands 2 on the list. Remember when a prominent videogame analyst said the original was “sent to die”? If videogame series could talk, Borderlands would be saying, “How do you like dem apples, Pachter!!!” (Just kidding, Michael.)

Did America’s most popular videogames pan out the way you thought they would? Please leave a comment with your thoughts on NPD’s top 10 of 2012.

Today’s Poll: Predict the 2013 Console Business

2012 was a rough year for the console gaming business. A lot of people believe that mobile devices and the vast improvement in the quality of mobile games are the key reasons for the decline in console game sales. Others believe that the current generation is simply long in the tooth and new hardware is needed to kickstart the console business. Some believe that the three major console companies haven’t done enough with digital distribution and relying on the boxed-disc model has hurt sales. Whatever the reason, sales figures are down and there are a lot of questions about console gaming heading into 2013.

How do you think things will pan out? Will console game sales roar back? Will sales continue to decline? Or will things remain about the same. Please vote in today’s poll and expand on your answer in the comments section.

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The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing Screens

I’m not really into vampires (blame Twilight…and Twilight fans), so I was surprised by how jazzed I was after seeing screens for The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. This upcoming action-RPG for Windows PC and Xbox Live Arcade has Dracula’s nemesis hunting baddies with a sword, a pistol, and magic. Fans of games like Baldur’s Gate Dark AllianceMarvel Ultimate Alliance, and Bastion will definitely want to give this one a look. As a mark for action-RPGs of this style, I’m excited to get my hands sink my teeth into this one. It looks like a fun romp of slaughtering minions, collecting treasure, powering up, and fighting bosses — the classic action-RPG formula.

Check out the screens and video below. When you have a moment, please let me know if you’re interested in The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.

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Conan O’Brien Reviews Hitman Absolution

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s Conan O’Brien’s excellent review of Hitman Absolution. It’s another fantastic installment of the “Clueless Gamer” series…and far more entertaining than the vast majority of videogame reviews out there. Give it a watch and let me know what you think (please!). Continue reading “Conan O’Brien Reviews Hitman Absolution”

Microsoft and Nike Team Up For Xbox 360 Nike+ Bundle

Microsoft and Nike have joined forces for the limited edition Xbox 360 Nike+ Kinect Training bundle. This 4GB Xbox 360 comes with a Kinect sensor, Kinect Adventures, a one-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold, and Nike+ Kinect Training. The bundle will retail for $249.99 until January 5, 2013, when it will go up to $299.99. The Nike+ Kinect Training game will be available as a standalone download on December 25, 2012 for $4.99 and will be followed up with the “Fast and Focused: 15-Minute Upper Body & Core Workout” add-on on December 26.

While this bundle isn’t for gamers like you and me (4GB is a non-starter), there’s a chance that Microsoft will be able to attract casual gamers with the Nike brand. Fitness games have proven to be successful and Nike+ goods are popular as well. Put ’em all together and it’s conceivable that Microsoft can reach a new demographic with this package.

What do you think of the Xbox 360 Nike+ Kinect Training bundle? Do you see it doing well? Do you have any friends or relatives that would be interested in such a package?

New Tomb Raider Screens

Here are a bunch of new screenshots from the upcoming Tomb Raider. See Lara Croft get mangled by a wolf, repel down a zip line, get new weapons, pose in front of nifty fire effects, and more. As many of you know, I’ve been high on this game since E3 2011 and I can’t wait for its March 2013 release. When you get a chance, check out the new screens below and let me know what you think (please!). Continue reading “New Tomb Raider Screens”

This Week’s Videogame Releases

The year is almost over, but there are still plenty of great videogames set for release. Far Cry 3 leads the way with gorgeous graphics and frenetic action. Fans of The Lord of the Rings will definitely want to check out Guardians of Middle-earth. Have you been digging the latest incarnation of Power Rangers? If so then Power Rangers: Super Samurai will be right up your alley. Last, but not least, is a pair of trilogies that offer tremendous value for your gaming dollar. PlayStation 3 gamers should give Resistance Collection a look, while Mass Effect Trilogy invades multiple platforms.

Any of you picking up new games this week?