The games of March 2012

Mass Effect 3 and much more in a strong start to spring

March 27

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: March 30

Last year's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters wasn't quite the standout entry we'd hoped for, despite the winning introduction of the titular iconic course, but we're hoping the latest iteration offers a bolder experience. PGA Tour 13 makes a couple of big additions, namely that of optional Kinect controls on Xbox 360, though we're most excited about the Legacy Challenge mode. Controlling Tiger through various points in his life and career, you'll drive shots in the backyard as a toddler before becoming a student golfer and ultimately turning into a superstar. Even without his juicy private life included, it should be an entertaining ride.

Ridge Racer Unbounded

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
EU: March 30

Namco's own traditional Ridge Racer games are all about refined racing lines and ridiculous drifting physics, but Unbounded – created by Flatout and Sega Rally Revo developer Bugbear Entertainment – is something very different, with an emphasis on hard-nosed racing and explosive crashes. It might be Ridge Racer more in name than execution, but we're certainly curious to see how Namco Bandai breaks its precious racing mold a bit with this spin-off entry, which also lets you design (and destroy) your own extensive tracks. Unbounded looks to be very strongly inspired by Burnout, which may help sell it to intrigued gamers – or just create an exceedingly difficult comparison to live up to.

Silent Hill: Book of Memories

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: TBA

The last of Konami's three Silent Hill releases this month is also the least expected, as Silent Hill: Book of Memories swaps the typical survival horror approach to something a bit more action-oriented, with an overhead view and the series' first attempt at multiplayer gameplay. We likened it to "Diablo by way of Resident Evil" when we first caught a glimpse at Book of Memories last fall, and as explained in our recent video interview, the game takes place in a dream world populated by random levels. Will the dungeon crawling approach work, and more importantly, will it still feel like Silent Hill? Series nuts not exhausted by the month's earlier entries can find out firsthand on the 28th.

Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: TBA

Last year's Test Drive Unlimited 2 seemed to hit retail with a thud, despite building upon the winning open-world approach of its predecessor, so Atari is heading in a different direction with Ferrari Racing Legends – albeit one familiar in approach to older series entries. In place of large settings are closed-circuit races focused entirely on the car catalog of the iconic vehicle manufacturer, and though the series returns to the individual race approach that powered past titles, it has a secret weapon in tow: Shift 2: Unleashed developer, Slightly Mad Studios. With luck, the winning mechanics from the studio's Need for Speed entries will transition over to match up with the thrilling vehicles held within.

Combat Wings: The Great Battles of World War II

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: TBA

City Interactive's multiplatform combat flight simulator highlights the best fighter planes of World War II in a tale that spans four different fronts: participating in the Battle of Britain, protecting Russia from Hitler's forces, assisting the allies in the African campaign, and battling Japanese fighters above the Pacific Ocean. The game includes about 50 planes and more than 20 missions, including bombing runs and straight-up dogfights, plus Combat Wings features a Free Flight mode that lets you roam the skies and take in the scenery. Capping it all off is online multiplayer across a variety of play modes – but likely not on Wii, we're guessing.

Capcom Digital Collection

Platform: Xbox 360
EU: March 30

Love the kinds of tiny, bite-sized experiences available on Xbox Live Arcade, but hate or lack the ability to actually download games? Capcom's got your back after all these years with the forthcoming Capcom Digital Collection, which compiles eight of its previous XBLA releases on a retail disc for $40. Don't expect any frills or fresh content, but here's what you'll find in the set: 1942: Joint Strike, Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, Final Fight Double Impact, Flock!, Rocketmen: Axis of Evil (and the It Came From Uranus expansion), Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, and Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3.

Supremacy MMA: Unrestricted

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: April 13

Supremacy MMA took a bit of a beating from some critics when it launched on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 last fall, but hopefully Kung Fu Factory and 505 Games took the opportunity to improve the mixed martial arts experience for its PlayStation Vita debut. From what we've heard, Supremacy MMA: Unrestricted will include both dual-analog and touch screen controls, alongside both local and online play and new fighters and locations. With UFC Undisputed 3 nowhere in sight on Vita, Supremacy has a shot at cornering the MMA market on the handheld. With luck, it'll be through both quality and exclusivity.

Myst

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
EU: TBA

Just a few years back, Myst – the immensely popular 1993 adventure game – was ported to Nintendo DS. It wasn't that great. With luck, the new Nintendo 3DS translation will be much more successful, as the hardware can no doubt run the ancient favorite, and the 3D effect might actually benefit a game in which players much rely on visual clues. We assume there's at least one person out there who buys each and every new handheld and immediately thinks, "I really wish I could play Myst on here." And that person is probably responsible for such ports.

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