The games of July 2011

Revisit, replay, rehash, re—hey, that’s new

July is a bit dry in terms of new-stuff quantity, but we%26rsquo;re really looking forward to the majority of its releases. We have a healthy amount of oddball gems, sequels and re-releases to look forward to. It%26rsquo;s as much a month to experiment on weird stuff as it is to catch up on stuff you may have missed a year (or five) ago. What%26rsquo;s particularly exciting is that we%26rsquo;re seeing a solid number of awesome-looking downloadable games. If you%26rsquo;d rather not spend $60 on bananas-bullshit like Catherine (which we%26rsquo;re way into, by the way), put that money toward a few XBLA games instead. You%26rsquo;ve got slimmer pickin%26rsquo;s than usual, but them pickin%26rsquo;s look good.


July 5


Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: July 7

Earth Defense Force: 2017 was the underdog of this generation, broken, buggy and clunky though it may have been. Split-screen co-op created chaos like you%26rsquo;d never seen before. For real, having two spider-/robot-/ant-slaughtering soldiers bring a skyline to the ground with machine-gun rocket-launchers (that%26rsquo;s one weapon, by the way) was bliss. Insect Armageddon takes this cooperative absurdity online. This marks the Japanese series%26rsquo; first entry as done by an American team. Vicious Cycle, the team behind Dead Head Fred and the Matt Hazard games, promises to stay true to the Japanese-isms of the series, though, as well as keeping up with the monstrous number of unlockable weapons we expect. 300 guns? Good God, we%26rsquo;ll play this thing forever.

Earth Defense Force: 2017 was the underdog of this generation, broken, buggy and clunky though it may have been. Split-screen co-op created chaos like you%26rsquo;d never seen before. For real, having two spider-/robot-/ant-slaughtering soldiers bring a skyline to the ground with machine-gun rocket-launchers (that%26rsquo;s one weapon, by the way) was bliss. Insect Armageddon takes this cooperative absurdity online. This marks the Japanese series%26rsquo; first entry as done by an American team. Vicious Cycle, the team behind Dead Head Fred and the Matt Hazard games, promises to stay true to the Japanese-isms of the series, though, as well as keeping up with the monstrous number of unlockable weapons we expect. 300 guns? Good God, we%26rsquo;ll play this thing forever.

Earth Defense Force: 2017 was the underdog of this generation, broken, buggy and clunky though it may have been. Split-screen co-op created chaos like you%26rsquo;d never seen before. For real, having two spider-/robot-/ant-slaughtering soldiers bring a skyline to the ground with machine-gun rocket-launchers (that%26rsquo;s one weapon, by the way) was bliss. Insect Armageddon takes this cooperative absurdity online. This marks the Japanese series%26rsquo; first entry as done by an American team. Vicious Cycle, the team behind Dead Head Fred and the Matt Hazard games, promises to stay true to the Japanese-isms of the series, though, as well as keeping up with the monstrous number of unlockable weapons we expect. 300 guns? Good God, we%26rsquo;ll play this thing forever.

Earth Defense Force: 2017 was the underdog of this generation, broken, buggy and clunky though it may have been. Split-screen co-op created chaos like you%26rsquo;d never seen before. For real, having two spider-/robot-/ant-slaughtering soldiers bring a skyline to the ground with machine-gun rocket-launchers (that%26rsquo;s one weapon, by the way) was bliss. Insect Armageddon takes this cooperative absurdity online. This marks the Japanese series%26rsquo; first entry as done by an American team. Vicious Cycle, the team behind Dead Head Fred and the Matt Hazard games, promises to stay true to the Japanese-isms of the series, though, as well as keeping up with the monstrous number of unlockable weapons we expect. 300 guns? Good God, we%26rsquo;ll play this thing forever.


Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

Platform: PC
EU: July 7

Just a reminder since we brought this uplast month. Arcade Edition hit consoles then, but if you%26rsquo;re a PC player looking to get (back) into Super Street Fighter IV, this could be the way to go. It%26rsquo;s at a discounted price for the biggest Street Fighter IV yet, although we took some issues with this otherwise excellent release in ourconsole review.

Just a reminder since we brought this uplast month. Arcade Edition hit consoles then, but if you%26rsquo;re a PC player looking to get (back) into Super Street Fighter IV, this could be the way to go. It%26rsquo;s at a discounted price for the biggest Street Fighter IV yet, although we took some issues with this otherwise excellent release in ourconsole review.


Resistance: Dual Pack

Platform: PS3
EU: July 22

So, you bought Battle: LA, and then made up for that mistake by digging into the included demo for Resistance 3. Now you%26rsquo;re mega-jazzed about the alien apocalypse and the doom it%26rsquo;ll bring to New York City. Problem is, you don%26rsquo;t have single damn clue what the hell is going on in the Resistance story. Well, Insomniac suspected as much, so they bundled the first two Resistances (Resisti?) into one box for a discounted $40 price. Solid. Go into %26lsquo;em knowing they have their issues, but there%26rsquo;s definitely stuff to enjoy in these games%26mdash;you and some pals will probably get good mileage from the sweet co-op in Resistance 2.

So, you bought Battle: LA, and then made up for that mistake by digging into the included demo for Resistance 3. Now you%26rsquo;re mega-jazzed about the alien apocalypse and the doom it%26rsquo;ll bring to New York City. Problem is, you don%26rsquo;t have single damn clue what the hell is going on in the Resistance story. Well, Insomniac suspected as much, so they bundled the first two Resistances (Resisti?) into one box for a discounted $40 price. Solid. Go into %26lsquo;em knowing they have their issues, but there%26rsquo;s definitely stuff to enjoy in these games%26mdash;you and some pals will probably get good mileage from the sweet co-op in Resistance 2.

So, you bought Battle: LA, and then made up for that mistake by digging into the included demo for Resistance 3. Now you%26rsquo;re mega-jazzed about the alien apocalypse and the doom it%26rsquo;ll bring to New York City. Problem is, you don%26rsquo;t have single damn clue what the hell is going on in the Resistance story. Well, Insomniac suspected as much, so they bundled the first two Resistances (Resisti?) into one box for a discounted $40 price. Solid. Go into %26lsquo;em knowing they have their issues, but there%26rsquo;s definitely stuff to enjoy in these games%26mdash;you and some pals will probably get good mileage from the sweet co-op in Resistance 2.

So, you bought Battle: LA, and then made up for that mistake by digging into the included demo for Resistance 3. Now you%26rsquo;re mega-jazzed about the alien apocalypse and the doom it%26rsquo;ll bring to New York City. Problem is, you don%26rsquo;t have single damn clue what the hell is going on in the Resistance story. Well, Insomniac suspected as much, so they bundled the first two Resistances (Resisti?) into one box for a discounted $40 price. Solid. Go into %26lsquo;em knowing they have their issues, but there%26rsquo;s definitely stuff to enjoy in these games%26mdash;you and some pals will probably get good mileage from the sweet co-op in Resistance 2.


Uncharted: Dual Pack

Platform: PS3
EU: July 22

Hey, this is starting to sound familiar. The Uncharted: Dual Pack includes, shocker, the first two Uncharted games to get us amped for Drake%26rsquo;s Deception this fall. Drake%26rsquo;s Fortune and Among Thieves are still among the best PS3 games available, so this is a rad bundle if you missed %26lsquo;em. The Uncharted 2 multiplayer%26rsquo;s still going strong as well, and it has online co-op as well. We%26rsquo;re going to go ahead and assume this%26rsquo;ll be 40 bucks as well.

Hey, this is starting to sound familiar. The Uncharted: Dual Pack includes, shocker, the first two Uncharted games to get us amped for Drake%26rsquo;s Deception this fall. Drake%26rsquo;s Fortune and Among Thieves are still among the best PS3 games available, so this is a rad bundle if you missed %26lsquo;em. The Uncharted 2 multiplayer%26rsquo;s still going strong as well, and it has online co-op as well. We%26rsquo;re going to go ahead and assume this%26rsquo;ll be 40 bucks as well.

Hey, this is starting to sound familiar. The Uncharted: Dual Pack includes, shocker, the first two Uncharted games to get us amped for Drake%26rsquo;s Deception this fall. Drake%26rsquo;s Fortune and Among Thieves are still among the best PS3 games available, so this is a rad bundle if you missed %26lsquo;em. The Uncharted 2 multiplayer%26rsquo;s still going strong as well, and it has online co-op as well. We%26rsquo;re going to go ahead and assume this%26rsquo;ll be 40 bucks as well.

Hey, this is starting to sound familiar. The Uncharted: Dual Pack includes, shocker, the first two Uncharted games to get us amped for Drake%26rsquo;s Deception this fall. Drake%26rsquo;s Fortune and Among Thieves are still among the best PS3 games available, so this is a rad bundle if you missed %26lsquo;em. The Uncharted 2 multiplayer%26rsquo;s still going strong as well, and it has online co-op as well. We%26rsquo;re going to go ahead and assume this%26rsquo;ll be 40 bucks as well.


Ratchet %26amp; Clank: Dual Pack

Platform: PS3
EU: July 22

This one has Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time, if you%26rsquo;re wondering which titles will get your juices flowin%26rsquo; for All 4 One. Both rock, definitely buy this thing if you missed them, etc. OK, Sony. We get it. Games.

This one has Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time, if you%26rsquo;re wondering which titles will get your juices flowin%26rsquo; for All 4 One. Both rock, definitely buy this thing if you missed them, etc. OK, Sony. We get it. Games.

This one has Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time, if you%26rsquo;re wondering which titles will get your juices flowin%26rsquo; for All 4 One. Both rock, definitely buy this thing if you missed them, etc. OK, Sony. We get it. Games.

This one has Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time, if you%26rsquo;re wondering which titles will get your juices flowin%26rsquo; for All 4 One. Both rock, definitely buy this thing if you missed them, etc. OK, Sony. We get it. Games.


July 12


Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: July 13

The lack of online co-op may kill the buzz for some on this one, but the thoughtless twin-stick massacring of thousands of Orks could be up your and a couch-co-op pal%26rsquo;s alley. Kill Team mostly a playable advertisement for Space Marine, which hits at the end of summer/start of fall, to the point that completing just one 30-minute mission nets you a gnarly sword in Relic%26rsquo;s third-person shooter/slasher. We talked to the devs at E3 (THQ%26rsquo;s since killed them%26hellip;not literally, silly, but the studio%26rsquo;s closed) and they were quite open about the fact that this is only a few hours long. They expect an average playthrough will take three hours, with second-time speed runs clocking in around an hour. Short games turn some people off, but if you feel the need to score points for mass murder, look no further. This%26rsquo;ll be ten bucks.

The lack of online co-op may kill the buzz for some on this one, but the thoughtless twin-stick massacring of thousands of Orks could be up your and a couch-co-op pal%26rsquo;s alley. Kill Team mostly a playable advertisement for Space Marine, which hits at the end of summer/start of fall, to the point that completing just one 30-minute mission nets you a gnarly sword in Relic%26rsquo;s third-person shooter/slasher. We talked to the devs at E3 (THQ%26rsquo;s since killed them%26hellip;not literally, silly, but the studio%26rsquo;s closed) and they were quite open about the fact that this is only a few hours long. They expect an average playthrough will take three hours, with second-time speed runs clocking in around an hour. Short games turn some people off, but if you feel the need to score points for mass murder, look no further. This%26rsquo;ll be ten bucks.


NCAA Football 12

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
EU: Nope

NCAA usually feels like a test bed for what will or will not work for Madden while also trailing behind in terms of certain features. For what feels like the first in a long time, NCAA Football 12 is finally a football game of its own. EA%26rsquo;s been promoting the presentation as its main selling feature, which has been something that%26rsquo;s been seriously lacking in past games. College football is a huge deal, and skipping out on the bravado of its showmanship has been a criminal oversight. Expanding its customization options, online Dynasty, and personal progression through weighted career goals will go a long way into making NCAA Football something we can actually care about instead of a game we actively avoid.

NCAA usually feels like a test bed for what will or will not work for Madden while also trailing behind in terms of certain features. For what feels like the first in a long time, NCAA Football 12 is finally a football game of its own. EA%26rsquo;s been promoting the presentation as its main selling feature, which has been something that%26rsquo;s been seriously lacking in past games. College football is a huge deal, and skipping out on the bravado of its showmanship has been a criminal oversight. Expanding its customization options, online Dynasty, and personal progression through weighted career goals will go a long way into making NCAA Football something we can actually care about instead of a game we actively avoid.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS
EU: July 15

Unless Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a totally different game than Part 1, which was received critically somewhere between anunmitigated disasterand meteorically mediocre, we%26rsquo;re going to go ahead and tell you right now: Skip this, save yourself, play something else. The generic over-the-shoulder shooter was soulless, frustrating, and tedious. It worked, and that was about its only merit. If you need to be a part of Harry Potter vs. Voldemort, you%26rsquo;re better off shaving your head and punching a kid wearing glasses. It%26rsquo;ll suck less for both of you.

Unless Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a totally different game than Part 1, which was received critically somewhere between anunmitigated disasterand meteorically mediocre, we%26rsquo;re going to go ahead and tell you right now: Skip this, save yourself, play something else. The generic over-the-shoulder shooter was soulless, frustrating, and tedious. It worked, and that was about its only merit. If you need to be a part of Harry Potter vs. Voldemort, you%26rsquo;re better off shaving your head and punching a kid wearing glasses. It%26rsquo;ll suck less for both of you.


July 13


Ms. Splosion Man

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
EU: July 13

Twisted Pixel held a multiplayer beta for Ms. Splosion Man, the similar-looking sequel to the terrific Splosion Man. As one of XBLA%26rsquo;s finest developers, we%26rsquo;re giving the developer the benefit of the doubt on this one%26mdash;it sure looks like we%26rsquo;ll be sploding our way through wacky, puzzly areas, and its added emphasis on co-op is extra alluring. We%26rsquo;ll also get ghost replays, newer mechanics that send us sploding farther and higher, and a mode called %26ldquo;2 Girls, 1 Controller%26rdquo; that we%26rsquo;re honestly a little afraid of. It%26rsquo;s a colorful, crazy, gorgeous game that%26rsquo;s sure to kick our asses at least as bad as its predecessor did. That%26rsquo;s fine. We like when ladies beat us up.

Twisted Pixel held a multiplayer beta for Ms. Splosion Man, the similar-looking sequel to the terrific Splosion Man. As one of XBLA%26rsquo;s finest developers, we%26rsquo;re giving the developer the benefit of the doubt on this one%26mdash;it sure looks like we%26rsquo;ll be sploding our way through wacky, puzzly areas, and its added emphasis on co-op is extra alluring. We%26rsquo;ll also get ghost replays, newer mechanics that send us sploding farther and higher, and a mode called %26ldquo;2 Girls, 1 Controller%26rdquo; that we%26rsquo;re honestly a little afraid of. It%26rsquo;s a colorful, crazy, gorgeous game that%26rsquo;s sure to kick our asses at least as bad as its predecessor did. That%26rsquo;s fine. We like when ladies beat us up.

We recommend