At long last it begins. After years of hype and speculation, the eighth wave of console gaming is kicking into overdrive with the release of Sony's PS4 (on 11/15 in the US and 11/29 in Europe) and Microsoft's Xbox One (on 11/22 worldwide). To be fair, many of the PS4 games and Xbox One games slated for launch are also being released on current systems as well. That isn't to say there aren't a few gems worth discovering; and with the addition of blockbuster releases for the PC and the Nintendo Wii U, it's fair to say November 2013 is kind of a big deal.
What games will have you neglecting your responsibilities this fall? Take your pick. From the latest sports releases to the “next big thing” in war games, new vehicles for Nintendo's biggest stars and a compelling slate of indie games, there's no lack of options. So without further rambling, let us help navigate you through the biggest month all year in our preview of the new games of November 2013...
Wii Fit U
Platform: Wii U
Get it from Amazon: Wii U
Lunge, dance, stretch, and shimmy your way to peak physical health (or the closest you can get without fainting) with Nintendo's next Wii Fit entry. Debuting as a free downloadable demo on November 1, this Wii Fit sequel will get players up and active over 70 games and activities, each designed to burn calories and turn your living room into a personal gym.
Wii Fit U will come bundled Wii Balance Board and incorporate the Wii U's GamePad controls, allowing for a healthy variety of customized workouts that can be followed and evaluated on multiple screens. Online modes will also let players share their Wii Fit U achievements and goals with friends, while the game's Mii integration means your digital workout buddy will never be left on the bench. A physical retail version of Wii Fit U will launch in December and include a new Fit Meter that keeps you up to date on your Wii Fit U progress on the go.
Ben 10 Omniverse 2
Whiz-kid Ben Tennyson returns to consoles this fall in a new action adventure title based on the Ben 10 franchise. This sequel will find Ben assuming a collection of Omnitrix forms and taking the fight to a new threat called the Incurseans who are out to destroy the universe (as new alien threats have a habit of doing).
Written by Ben 10 show scribes and starring familiar Ben 10 cast members, Omniverse 2 aims to be a solid companion piece to the show. A multiplayer brawler mode will also let players suit up and pummel friends, while a co-op mode will pair Ben and his buddy Rook for dual Omnitrix action. All said, expect to see lots of Ben 10 fans buying this one “for their kids” when Ben 10 Omniverse 2 shape-shifts onto shelves this November.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Think the midnight launch for GTA V felt like a war zone? Wait until Activision's newest Call of Duty entry hits the streets. Heralding the series' march behind next-gen lines--as well as its return to current consoles--Call of Duty: Ghosts will see players traveling the globe to bring down the Federation, an organization that has risen to power by attacking Earth with a hacked American space station called the Orbital Defense Initiative (ODIN). Epic single player campaign notwithstanding, Call of Duty: Ghosts' multiplayer will likely be the biggest draw for longtime fans. Key differences this time around include new match mechanics, more destructible environments, and the addition of Squads which--similar to GTA V's crews--will enable teams to huddle up and face other squads online. Rest assured, Call of Duty's Clans feature will also be incorporated, allowing gamers to continue their online domination with new customization options. Find out more in the latest clan trailer.
Seven new multiplayer game types will also enter the online fray, as well as six new maps, including Strikezone, Octane, Whiteout, Stonehaven, Chasm, and the strange new alien invasion themed Extinction. An additional Free Fall map is also being offered as a pre-order lure, and you can expect a string of DLC releases to pad out the selection. Call of Duty: Ghosts is also one of the many November releases offering a cheap upgrade to the next-gen version. In a nutshell, that means you'll be able to enjoy Call of Duty: Ghosts on your current game machine in the week(s) leading up to PS4 and Xbox One launches, and then pay $10 to upgrade to the next-gen version. Get up to date on all the multiplayer intel in our Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer preview.
Moshi Monsters Katsuma Unleashed
The Moshi Monster craze is invading handhelds once again, this time in the form of a side-scrolling platformer. Unlike Moshi Monsters: Moshling Zoo and Moshi Monsters: Moshlings Theme Park, Katsume Unleashed will abandon the traditional monster-collecting formula for a more linear tour of the Moshi Monsters universe through the eyes of its furry hero, Katsuma.
Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed will feature plenty of new worlds to explore, mini-challenges to tackle, and boss fights to master. The 3DS's StreetPass functionality will also be used to access new maps, Moshi Monsters, and new moves in a mode called StreetPass Secrets. All in all, if you're hooked on Moshi Monsters, prepare to get your hands on a totally new beast.
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
Get it from Amazon: 3DS
Toru Iwatani's pellet-munching hero is gobbling up the smaller screens this month. Based on the console version released in October, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures finds the arcade superstar ridding Pacworld of ghostly threats in a story based on the freshly digitized Disney DX cartoon.
Powering Pac-Man's new adventures are multiplayer and maze modes, as well as vehicles that can be jacked for four-wheel Pac-fun. True, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures takes more than a few liberties with the iconic Pac-Man franchise to make it more kid-friendly, but we're nonetheless excited to see how our retro hero plays on Nintendo's 3DS.
Power Rangers Megaforce
Get it from Amazon: 3DS
To answer your first question: Yes, the Power Rangers are still a thing. For all other inquiries, please refer to this 3DS beat-em-up starring the current group of totally radical Power Rangers who, much like the many spandex-wearing crews that came before them, get up to all sorts of antics and city-wide destruction while defending the world from giant monsters.
Power Rangers Megaforce will support so-called Power Ranger Power Cards, which can be scanned via the 3DS and used to unlock special powers and other perks. If the game is anything like the show, it will also come with a head-banging intro song. So at the very least, you'll have something to rock out with on lunch breaks.