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The games of August 2010

AUGUST 24

Mafia II

Platforms: 360, PS3, PC
EU release: August 27

While we're loving Rockstar's recent willingness to try out new genres – tragic Westerns, hard-boiled detective noir, gay nightclub dance-offs, etc. – we still need our fix of classic crime from somewhere. 2K's Mafia II ought to fill that mobster-shaped hole in our hearts quite nicely, with a large cast of tough-talking macho men, an open-ended city based on mid-century New York and San Francisco, an arsenal of Tommy guns and WWII rifles and even a minigame of collecting old Playboy magazines from the era.

August will also be console owners' first chance to actually enjoy a Mafia game. The original PC version in 2002 was very highly regarded, but the Xbox and PS2 ports a couple years later were badly botched. Based on our hands-on time with Mafia II, that mistake will not be repeated.


Shank

Platform: PSN, XBLA
EU release: TBA

The bloodiest and goriest game of the summer will not be mobster-murdering Mafia II. Or heist-gone-terribly-wrong Kane & Lynch 2. Probably not even the zombie-blending puree that is Dead Rising 2.

Nope, that award will almost certainly go to Shank, an independently developed, beautifully animated and shockingly violent 2D beat 'em up for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. We could attempt to describe the brutal yet somehow graceful evisceration on display – Shank stuffing grenades down enemies' throats or pile driving chainsaws into their chests – but the video above will do the game a lot more justice.

(XBLA version releases the next day, on August 25)


Ivy the Kiwi?

Platforms: Wii, DS
EU release: October 15

No, that's not the lame name of another lame Sonic the Hedgehog sidekick... though you'd be forgiven for guessing so, since the speeding blue icon's co-creator and original programmer – Yuji Naka – is the creative mind behind this side-scrolling platformer as well. Unlike Sonic, however, players can't control Ivy's velocity. She moves across the screen at a nonstop pace and the only way she'll be able to avoid obstacles, dodge pitfalls and topple enemies is if you draw in swinging vines with your Wiimote or DS stylus that whisk her out of harm's way in time. The gameplay is very similar to Kirby: Canvas Curse, which is one of our absolute favorite Nintendo titles of the past five years.

The question mark, though? Haven't a clue.


NHL 2K11

Platforms: Wii
EU release: TBA

2K Sports is taking an extra year to “refine, redesign and re-think” their PS3 and 360 hockey efforts, which makes NHL 2K11 a Wii exclusive, for better or for worse. The publisher won’t be hyping any graphical shine this year, but we’re awfully tired of every publisher’s yearly graphics boasting anyway (Look at these ice reflections!). We just want better hockey.

Back at E3, 2K spoke to us about its commitment to straight-up simulation, citing NHL 2K11’s improved AI and better skating. We haven’t played it yet, but if the Wiimote and  MotionPlus are well-suited for anything, controlling a stick has got to be up there. But if the main game really is all about accurate simulation, then the new “Road to the Cup” mode must’ve been designed as its polar opposite. Cheesy-ass Mii minigames and trivia contests don’t exactly say “sim.” Though… as much as we want to make fun of the big-headed buffoonery, hockey minigames have generally been pretty fun in the past. We’ll give them a shot.


Horrid Henry

Platforms: Wii, DS
EU release: March 26… 2009!

We actually don't know anything about this game, which seems to be based on some kind of fictional child popular in Canada and Europe. Horrid Henry is only included here because we're hoping to inspire a new nickname for GamesRadar editor Henry Gilbert, and because the screenshot above makes us laugh.

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44 comments

  • Tronto13 - August 2, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    I'm looking forward to.... one of these games. Bit of a bad August methinks BRING ON SEPTEMBER< OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER!!!
  • AngryScotsman - August 2, 2010 9:05 p.m.

    You might say that Horrid Henry looks... horrid? PAH!
  • CaptainSpatula - August 2, 2010 9:08 p.m.

    really looking forward to Kayne and Lynch 2 just because of it's unique documentary style. Mite b cool.
  • 510BrotherPanda - August 2, 2010 9:15 p.m.

    I have Other M reserved already. Hope the dev team isn't pulling our leg about the isolation part.
  • RufusRuthless - August 2, 2010 9:17 p.m.

    RAWR i can't wait for scott pilgrim!
  • Teazey - August 2, 2010 9:20 p.m.

    Mafia II is the only guaranteed title that I will be buying.
  • theamazingmrpotato - August 2, 2010 9:24 p.m.

    why does europe get shafted on accurate release dates? cant the uk just split off and get US releases? we dont speak a different language ffs.
  • Chickenfoot - August 2, 2010 9:26 p.m.

    Lara Croft, not tomb raider? Must be something more.... sinister. And really, how much more interesting could a game about jets be....
  • Corsair89 - August 2, 2010 9:36 p.m.

    Valkyria Chronicles 1 is one of way all-time favorite games, so VC2 is an instant buy for me. Other M is the only other game I care about this month.
  • Corsair89 - August 2, 2010 9:37 p.m.

    *my not way >_<
  • garnsr - August 2, 2010 9:41 p.m.

    I've had to resort to playing X-blades, which I got cheap, since I've already finished all the other games I have. I'm even playing Red Dead multiplayer, and I don't get into multiplayer in too many games. And there's not much coming until October! I tried to preorder Scott Pilgrim, but the Ubisoft site won't let me order in Hawaii, or Alaska, just the contiguous states and, oddly, the territories, which are islands! I still want the game though. Terrible summer.
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - August 2, 2010 9:45 p.m.

    X-Blades?! My God, man...
  • Strangleme - August 2, 2010 9:53 p.m.

    I have to be honest, August doesn't look very promising. However I am looking forward to Mafia 2 and Metroid: Other M. Thank god there are only 2 I want because I really can't afford a month of multiple awesome titles. I definitely go broke when that happens. I'm also happy to fire up my Wii after leaving it dormant for over a year!!! Lots of awesome Wii games coming aout soon!!!
  • Strangleme - August 2, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    Shit!! I meant out.
  • grizzly311 - August 2, 2010 9:55 p.m.

    Looks like I am going to finally have time to do some catching up. I think the only ones I'll be picking up will be Monday Night Combat and Metroid.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - August 2, 2010 10:02 p.m.

    Looks like some great games but I'll have to pass. I think the thing I'll be buying in August is that RDR dlc. I really wish they would spread out the great games because all the must buys for me come out this November.
  • CH3BURASHKA - August 2, 2010 10:07 p.m.

    Metroid: Other M has been extremely polarizing. I used to hate it, but now I've been won over. I can't wait to play it see which me, past or present, was correct.
  • shyfonzie - August 2, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    Man, I'm interested in Ivy the Kiwi?
  • Baron164 - August 2, 2010 10:38 p.m.

    I'm interested in Scott Pilgrim and Shank but other then that I'm gonna be catching up on my back catalog of games. I think I'll finally pick up Uncharted 2 for my PS3 and give that a play through.
  • TonyBlue05 - August 2, 2010 10:42 p.m.

    Oh goody, I get to spend the next 2 weeks listening to people having orgasms over the next Madden. Yay... ReCaptcha: "your terrified" Even the security systems don't know the proper "your."

Showing 1-20 of 44 comments

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