Ones to Watch on PS3, PSP for April 2009
Survival horror was never my thing so I basically ignored the release of Resident Evil 5 last month. Turns out it was at my peril. The game did very well and turns out to be much more of a third-person action title than anything else, a genre I can definitely get behind. Also earning top honors last month on the PlayStation 3 was Street Fighter IV. The PSP saw two top-tier offerings hit retail with Resistance: Retribution from the highly skilled offline and online gaming geniuses at Sony Bend Studios and Phantasy Star Online from Sega. Both of these have demos on the PS Store, as does RE5, so give them a shot if you’ve sat on the sidelines until now.
Now, to walk daintily into April like a lamb.
Electronic Arts returns to the gritty world of organized crime with Godfather II on the 7th, adding in an interesting strategy multiplayer mode where rival Dons compete to take over the town. I kind of liked the original game thanks to my strong tilt towards Grand Theft Auto-style sandbox gaming — a tilt that has incidentally carried me through the irritating AI in Mercenaries 2 — so while I won’t buy this one at launch I’ll keep it on my bargain hunting radar if the reviews treat it nicely. Check out our interview with Hunter Smith, the game’s Executive Producer.
Starbreeze has been a favorite of mine since I played through and thoroughly enjoyed The Darkness. They were gutsy enough to bring that game to the PS3 when other publishers were turning up their nose at Sony’s underdog platform and they did a very good job with it. I expect Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, coming on the 7th, to be a good game, and there’s a demo on the PS Store as well.
Flock from Capcom is headed to the PSN on the 9th. I’m not a puzzle gamer but the demo I got through the Qore magazine definitely has a funny cartoon feel to it, from tractor-beaming the wool right off a sheep to seeing them shrivel up when exposed to water, it will definitely have fans out there.
Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic is a new PSN game from Media Molecule and it strikes me as a marionette-like rehash of Smash Brothers with a twist. I can clearly see in the marketing material so far that their mix-and-match ideas for putting together your own custom fighter from the bits of others isn’t just for show. They haven’t said so, but I expect paid DLC for more characters to mix up Lego-style, but since the game looks to be offline only (with online leaderboards, of course) I don’t really think there will be much of a draw for this kind of DLC the way there is in LittleBigPlanet.
Both PixelJunk Eden and PixelJunk Monsters have been big hits for the Q Games crew and since Monsters got an Encore expansion it’s only fair that folks who love rapelling around like a little flea-like thing that can spin short webs and race against a timer and, I’m told, shifting gravity, to win levels get their own expansion. That would be PixelJunk Eden Encore and since I’ve barely scratched the surface of Eden as it is, I’ll hold off on picking this one up until I finish off the first. I believe the original Eden still has a demo on the PS Store if you’re wondering what this game is all about.
The PlayStation Portable isn’t exactly speaking to me with anything on the slate for April. The PS Nation podcast had nice things to say about Hammerin Hero coming on the 7th, Class of Heroes looks like your generic RPG fare, and I don’t know enough about the new Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus to tell you if it’s something you’d like. I’d stick with last month’s stellar releases of Resistance: Retribution and Phantasy Star Portable if you’re hungry for PSP gaming goodness.
Happy gaming!Tags: capcom, chronicles of riddick, Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, ea, electronic arts, flock, godfather ii, guilty gear, Hammerin Hero, littlebigplanet, Media Molecule, mercenaries 2, phantasy star, Phantasy Star Portable, pixeljunk eden, PixelJunk Eden Encore, PixelJunk Monsters, PixelJunk Monsters Encore, playstation 3, playstation portable, Playstation Store, PS3, PSP, Q Games, Rag Doll Kung Fu, resident evil 5, resistance, resistance: retribution, sega, starbreeze, street fighter, Street Fighter IV