The games of February 2012

Vita launch and other big names means a short month of madness

February 28

SSX

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: March 2

February might've saved one its best for (nearly) last with SSX, the long-awaited reboot of EA's beloved snowboarding franchise. We've been following the game for some time now – scope out our numerous video and text previews – and while the dark, action-oriented early footage triggered our doubts, everything we've seen and played since has reassured us otherwise. Not yet convinced? Be sure to check out our recent developer demo of Trick It mode, wherein we see some of the gnarliest trick lines ever thrown down in an extreme sports game, not to mention fabulous visuals and mountain design. See you on the slopes.

Binary Domain

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: February 24

Upon first glance, it's easy to think that Binary Domain seems a little short on original ideas, what with its Gears of War-esque, cover-centric shooting approach and a tale about sentient killer androids that seems to cherry-pick elements from Blade Runner and I, Robot. The more we see of the game, though, the more interesting it seems, thanks in part to its futuristic take on Tokyo (from the team behind the Yakuza series) and the way the robotic enemies soldier on while being shredded to bits, even going haywire at points. Even if it ends up feeling derivative, Binary Domain may still stand out due to careful craftsmanship and exciting android shootouts. We're certainly intrigued, all the same.

Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: March 2

Above: Freddy Krueger may have been the coolest DLC of the last thousand years

Missed out on last year's smashing Mortal Kombat reboot? You might be in the minority there, what with more than three million copies sold, but at least your patience will be (somewhat) rewarded with the upcoming Komplete Edition of the game. Essentially, the Komplete Edition replaces its predecessor by bundling in all of the free and premium downloadable content, including all four added characters (Freddy Krueger!) and 15 classic-stylized skins. Also, you'll snag a free download of the original Mortal Kombat live-action movie from Xbox Live or PSN; praise due to Warner Bros. for not including the dreadful Mortal Kombat: Annihilation instead.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

Platform: Nintendo DS
EU: N/A

It's kind of amazing how quickly support for the Nintendo DS dropped off here in the States. We're not even a year into the shelf life of the 3DS, and already Nintendo has nothing on the immediate horizon for the DS. Luckily, Atlus hasn't forgotten the original dual-screen machine, and the sequel to the excellent Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor is set for release at the end of the month. Despite the number at the end, Devil Survivor 2 takes place in an alternate universe with fresh characters and scenarios, so newcomers are probably welcome here – though hardcore series fans are sure to appreciate how this tactical RPG fits within the wider SMT franchise.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2

Platform: PlayStation 3
EU: February 24

The idea alone of a game parodying the console wars via an absurd Japanese role-playing approach strikes us as genius; sadly, last spring's Hyperdimension Neptunia lost the message amidst obnoxious in-joke references and loads of uncomfortably underdressed young anime girls. Based on what we've seen, the sequel doesn't seem to be doing much about the latter point, but here's hoping the reportedly reworked follow-up (which features a new battle system) does a better job of developing both its gags and gameplay. Granted, any game that features Capcom alum Keiji Inafune shooting a laser out of his mouth immediately has our attention.

Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron

Platform: Xbox 360, PC
EU: N/A

We don't typically think of Mad Catz as a publisher of games – though it did re-release Rock Band 3 with its own peripherals last fall – but Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron hopes to change that mentality. The World War II fighter pilot game spans more than 20 campaign missions set throughout the conflict, and in what should be an alluring twist, you can tackle missions online with three comrades in the sky. Additionally, the game includes eight-player online competitive play, and while combat flight sims don't typically net big console audiences, hopefully this one will secure enough of a fan base to keep the competition lively for some time to come.

February 29

Nexuiz

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
EU: February 29

Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade House Party promotion continues on with Nexuiz, a shooter that proves that all the good game titles have already been claimed. Beyond that, it also looks like a blast, as noted in our recent preview, as Nexuiz takes after older arena-style shooters and eschews things like cover and regenerating health in favor of all-out mayhem. The game includes four-on-four deathmatch and capture-the-flag battles (and rocket jumps!), but the 100-plus mutators add a new twist to the proceedings, changing up the rules – like slowing down time or switching players to a third-person view – on the fly to keep things lively. As if a constant stream of rocket frags wasn't lively enough.

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