November 6 (continued)
With Rayman Legends sadly pushed into next year, it now
makes a whole lot more sense for Ubisoft to have delayed the 3DS release of
last year's Rayman Origins by several months in North America, despite already
dropping in Europe some time ago. From those reviews, we know that the latest
handheld version of the jaw-droppingly animated platform favorite remains solid
on the go, though it's not quite as impressive as the PlayStation Vita port.
But if your modern portable of choice bears a Nintendo logo, Rayman Origins
should be a solid pick-up this holiday season.
EU: November 9
(Wii), Out (PSP/PS2)
Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 had its big debut on HD
consoles a few weeks back, but the publisher isn't ignoring older and
less-prominent platforms thanks to a trio of budget releases this month. PES
2013 is slated for release this month on Wii, PlayStation 2, and PSP, and while
we don't expect these releases to bear all of the same features and gloss of
the others, each is priced at only $19.99. A Nintendo 3DS version of Pro
Evolution Soccer 2013 is also slated for release at some point, though a firm
release date hasn't yet been pinned down.
It's a busy time for handheld spin-offs of Ragnarok Online.
Just this week, XSEED launched Ragnarok Odyssey for PlayStation Vita, and now
Aksys is taking the reins to bring Ragnarok Tactics to PSP. While the two share
source material, Ragnarok Tactics expectedly takes the form of a turn-based
tactical role-playing game, akin to Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre.
It'll be available from day one both on UMD and as a PlayStation Network
download, and it's just the latest in a long string of slightly niche titles to
keep the aging handheld alive in the States.
EU: November 2
We'd grown so accustomed to the annual release of yet
another essentially identical Dragon Ball Z fighter, but this time around,
Namco Bandai's trying a different tact. Following the recent release of the
middling Dragon Ball Z for Kinect, we're just a week away from the retail
Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection set, which bundles together a pair of
PlayStation 2 entries: the original Budokai and later entry Budokai 3. It
raises a couple questions, naturally. First, why not include Budokai 2? And
second, are fans really clamoring for a lightly upgraded set of decade-old
fighters when the concept has been iterated on constantly since? Guess we'll
find out soon.
We want to believe Harvest Moon when it promises its titular
"New Beginning." Really, we do. But as we've seen the steady deluge
of series entries over the past several years, we have to remain a bit
skeptical about its ability to really shake up the tried-and-true farming
simulation. Still, it does offer a couple of intriguing bullet points, such as
(finally!) the ability to fully customize your hero or heroine, plus loads of
new content in the form of pet houses and, uh, park benches? We're expecting a
fair bit more of the same with fresh tweaks, but for the die-hards, that's
360 (Kinect), Wii
EU: December 7
Ubisoft recently released its own kid-centric dance affair
with Just Dance: Disney Party, but if your offspring are Nickelodeon kids, 2K
Play is ready and waiting to meet your needs with Nickelodeon Dance 2.
Expectedly taking after last year's original Xbox 360 (Kinect) and Wii
offering, Nickelodeon Dance 2 serves up 30 tracks from hit series like Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, and Bubble
Guppies, with lyrics and a total of 20 familiar cartoon avatars displayed
while your tykes bop. And it's multiplayer compatible, so feel free to get your
groove on, as well.
Android, Windows Phone, PC, Mac
EU: November 8
Two of the biggest
franchises in entertainment are on a collision course next week, thanks to the
impending release of Angry Birds Star Wars on all sorts of platforms, ranging
from mobile to desktop with more surely not that far, far away. Based on what we've
seen, the game features the iconic birds dressed up like the significantly more
iconic film heroes, but instead of following the seemingly obvious approach of
this year's Angry Birds Space, it actually looks to put a spin on the
traditional Angry Birds formula – albeit with the red bird spinning a
lightsaber as it hits things, while a pink one shoots out a laser beam. Yeah,
this is going to be huge.