The games of September 2012

Sizable sequels and downloadable originals highlight the month's offerings

September 18 (Continued)

Kinect Nat Geo TV

Platform: Xbox 360
EU: September 18

Much like Kinect Sesame Street TV, Microsoft's Kinect Nat Geo TV repurposes content from the popular television channel and adds interactive elements meant to engage kids and families. From what we've seen, there's a bit more watching in this entry, however, as wildlife footage is enhanced with pop-ups that let you learn more about the documentary clips on the screen, with some opportunities to jump up and play mini-games. The more active diversions utilize the camera to place animal limbs and heads atop kids' bodies as they wave their arms frantically, which sounds equal parts amusing and lightly horrifying.

Harley Pasternak's Hollywood Workout

Platform: Xbox 360 (Kinect), Wii

Do you want that Hollywood body? Or might you simply be interested in a workout game that features beach chairs, iconic cityscapes, and SmartWater logos in the background? If you've answered yes to either of these questions, Majesco's got you covered this month with Harley Pasternak's Hollywood Workout, an Xbox 360/Kinect (or Wii) fitness offering starring the titular personal trainer to the stars. It's based on his signature 5-Factor Fitness plan, which shakes up cardio, core, and strength workouts within a 25-minute routine intended for use five days a week. Also, it's from the same studio behind last year's UFC Personal Trainer, which had its fans.

Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure

Platform: Nintendo 3DS, Wii, PC/Mac

While Disney's latest Princess brand affair probably isn't targeted towards many of our readers, My Fairytale Adventure does seem to take a page out of the book of a game that is: Kingdom Hearts. As in that role-playing affair, Disney Princess spreads its action across worlds based on a large array of classic Disney stories, with locations like Cinderella's ball and Beast's castle, and as the Fairy Godmother's apprentice, you'll work to remove the spell from these worlds. Sounds a bit more involved than the usual licensed fare, so families with Disney-loving kids might do well to keep this one in mind this holiday season.

Hotel Transylvania

Platform: Nintendo 3DS, DS

Directed by Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky and with a screenplay co-written by Robert Smigel and tunes from Mark Mothersbaugh, Sony's CG animated flick Hotel Transylvania has at least a couple things going for it – beyond a requisite celebrity voice cast, of course. Likewise, the licensed Nintendo 3DS and DS game has its own celebrated creative force at the wheel in the form of WayForward Technologies. With luck, it'll prove a solid handheld adaptation, and the rare bits we've seen show a side-scrolling adventure across zombie-filled settings and a Metroidvania-esque map screen, with promises of puzzles and boss battles as well.


Platform: Nintendo 3DS
EU: Out

Already available in Europe since last year, NCIS 3D translates the hit CBS crime procedural into a simplistic adventure game – the same one that hit various other platforms months back. Nintendo Gamer, our sister publication on the UK side, had this to say about the version released there late last year: "The evidence trails are so insultingly simple to follow that even the Italian police couldn't bodge them." We've not heard a peep about any changes or enhancements to the late U.S. release, but considering the budget $20 tag and quiet launch, we won't be surprised if it's simply middling licensed fare at a price that fans can breezily shrug off.

September 18

Jet Set Radio HD

Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (9/19), PC (9/19)
EU: September 18 (360/PC – 9/19)

Sega's massively-loved Dreamcast blading/tagging classic returns this month on a bevy of digital platforms (with a Vita launch coming in October), and PlayStation 3 owners get the first crack at the updated affair in two ways. PlayStation Plus users can actually buy the game a full week early on September 11, while regular ol' PSN members can snag it on the 18th. XBLA and Steam users get it a day later on the 19th. Whatever platform you prefer, however, this HD iteration seems well worth the wait, as it features high-resolution visuals, nearly the entire amazing soundtrack (save just one song), and a tweaked camera that'll no doubt be appreciated.

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