The games of September 2012

Sizable sequels and downloadable originals highlight the month's offerings

September 25 (Continued)

Angry Birds Trilogy

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, 3DS
EU: September 28

Rovio's mobile phenomenon is coming to consoles and Nintendo 3DS later this month from Activision, packing in more than 700 stages from the original mobile hit and the Seasons and Rio follow-ups. In addition to the familiar stages, which can be played by pulling back an analog stick and firing – or optionally using Kinect on Xbox 360 – the Trilogy retail release also features several gargantuan new levels, which are built with a large screen in mind. While hardly surprising to see Angry Birds reach even more platforms, what is alarming is the price: $40 on consoles and $30 on 3DS. But with hundreds of millions of mobile downloads, it's sure to be launching into quite a few fans' living rooms this fall.

Tokyo Jungle

Platform: PlayStation Network
EU: September 27

Now here's a game we weren't totally sure was ever going to make its way outside of Japan, thanks to its totally bananas premise, but it's coming to PlayStation Network this month at the highly reasonable price of $14.99. Tokyo Jungle spotlights a post-apocalyptic scenario in which all humans have disappeared, leaving only the wildlife to fight it out for survival in the destroyed urban streets of Tokyo. You'll play as a Pomeranian dog, a wolf, horse, and dozens of other animals, with a story mode that investigates the disappearance, and another that's all about propagating the species. We called it a blend of Homeward Bound and The Last of Us in our import review. Surely you're intrigued now, right?

Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: September 28

Arriving six years after the last Family Guy console game, Back to the Multiverse marks Activision's crack at the enduring Fox animated series, and they've got Heavy Iron Studios (SpongeBob: Truth or Square) behind the wheel of this third-person co-op shooter. Taking the role of either Stewie or Brian Griffin – or pairing up for some tag-team action – you'll blast through a cel-shaded world inspired by the popular "Road to the Multiverse" episode, and it's sure to be just action-packed with breezy pop culture references. Back to the Multiverse also features a local four-player multiplayer mode, which expands the playable roster to 10 familiar characters from the show.

Marvel vs Capcom: Origins

Platform: PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade (9/26)
EU: September 25 (XBLA: 9/26)

If you're one of the sad souls who came into the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise with one of its sequels and never had the chance to experience the original, Capcom's got your back later this month with Marvel vs. Capcom: Origins. Expectedly, the set includes the first 1998 pairing, wherein a tag team meant just two fighters, but it also features the earlier Marvel Super Heroes, which focuses solely on the comic legends in epic 2D showdowns. As with other Capcom fighting re-releases, this one includes smoothed-over visuals, pop-up challenges, and online multiplayer, plus the two fighters will launch together for just $15 – certainly a fair deal for both.

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

Platform: Xbox 360, PC, PS3
EU: September 20

For a 125-year-old creation, Sherlock Holmes certainly seems to be in vogue these days, what with the acclaimed BBC series Sherlock and the coattail-riding upcoming CBS take, Elementary. The Testament of Sherlock Holmes shares the same source material as those television adaptations, but charts its own course with the character, serving up what's described as the detective's "darkest investigation." Like the earlier Holmes games, Testament is an open-world adventure, though it's reportedly made to be a bit more accessible this time around, with fewer obtuse puzzles that'll hold players in one spot for too long.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors

Platform: PSN (PS3 retail in Europe)
EU: September 21

If the thought of another button-mashing, horde-eviscerating Dynasty Warriors spin-off sounds like a blast, here's another one fresh out of the Omega Force factory. One Piece: Pirate Warriors blends the beloved anime series' humor, characters, and cel-shaded style with the familiar hack-and-slash approach of the Warriors series, for an entry that expectedly seems quite a bit like the latter, though the charming style of the former is a nice change of pace. While released at retail in Japan and doing the same for Europe, this PlayStation 3 title will only be available via PlayStation Network in North America.

Wipeout 3

Platform: Xbox 360 (Kinect), Nintendo 3DS, Wii

No, this isn't a re-release of the fantastic PSone racer of the same (but differently-stylized) name; it's actually the third iteration of Activision's licensed series based on the uproarious ABC obstacle course show. Wipeout 3 debuts a dozen new courses, split between summer and winter themes, though from what we've seen, the game looks nearly identical to the earlier titles thanks to similar-looking obstacles and avatars. On Kinect, that'll likely mean more exhausting jumping and running in place, while the other releases have their own platform-specific commands. But much as the show still entertains with each passing season, perhaps so will another game.


Platform: Nintendo DS
EU: September 28

It's not uncommon to see a steady stream of kid-focused licensed games in the late days of a platform's life cycle, and Thundercats is just that: a side-scrolling action/platform adaptation of the animated series reboot, which of course is based on the classic '80s cartoon hit. Coming only to the Nintendo DS this fall, Thundercats puts players in the role of Lion-O as he cuts through oncoming monsters and battles robotic bosses, and while he seems to be the only playable character, allies like Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, WilyKat, and WilyKit can be called in for assists. Also, the phrase "Thundercats Hoooo!" appears on the touch screen from time to time, which seems like a fantastic little perk.

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