The games of October 2010

September marked the end of the summer doldrums, cranking out a fair number of noteworthy games in its 30 fair weather days. But October, as has been the case for years now, is overflowing with must-play titles nestled in between would-like-to-play-eventually games that’ll undoubtedly be crushed at retail. Still, that’s good news for us as gamers, as we’re about to be treated to some of the best games of the year.


Wii Party

Platform: Wii
EU release: October 8

Talk about late to the party – the list of Wii games with that word in the title stretches from here to the moon, and just now, four years into the system’s life does Nintendo finally put “Wii” and “Party” together. We could make jokes all day, but our recent group hands-on revealed how it’s more than Mario Party sans Mario, and could still be a hit with kids and families. We especially liked how certain minigames require personal interaction and use the actual Wii Remote as an in-game object, such as passing it from person to person in a game of hyper-sensitive hot potato.

Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs

Platform: DS
EU release: November 5

If you like to scribble circles a lot, the Pokemon Ranger series is for you. Not too much has changed in the third installment, but it does have some notable gameplay additions. Legendary Pokemon play a greater role this time around, and like the title suggests, you can summon certain Legendaries (Raikou, Entei and Suicune are prominently featured) by drawing symbols on the touch screen. Wee! If your friends have the game too, you can now also go on wireless multiplayer missions with up to four players total.

The Oblivia region is a neat place to explore too, with lots of variation in the different locations from grassy meadows to erupting volcanoes and spooky graveyards. And don't forget about Ukulele Pichu® - he's cute because he plays a tiny ukulele, and usually only people play musical instruments.


Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Platform: 360, PS3
EU release: October 7

A non-2D Castlevania was always going to be a gamble, so perhaps that’s why Lords of Shadow plays it so safe by borrowing from other great games. It may not innovate, but it sure does serve up a refined, meaty and altogether massive package. It has mega-combos, beast-riding, grapple-swinging, about five million amazing bosses (give or take) and a magic system that manages to make it more than just God of War with a ‘vania makeover.

The game is so huge, it was impossible to cram everything it offers into our review. It’s also a seriously tough game, with punishing combat that luckily always treats you fairly – play it carefully and intelligently and it won’t ever give you a cheap death. It may have borrowed its gameplay bones from other games, but its world is stunningly imaginative, with just about every gothic environment you can think of crammed into it – and even a few you’ve probably never thought of.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Platform: 360, PS3
EU release: October 8

Enslaved has a really boring title. Enough so, that many people may hear it and ignore it, which would be a mistake. It’s not the most perfectly polished game, but it proves that games can be a beautiful storytelling medium. Its characters, transposed from the Chinese myth Journey to the West, are loveable, vulnerable people instead of the one-note superhumans most games have. Monkey, a gruff yet goodhearted fellow is enslaved by Trip, a sweet, frightened girl who feels forced to enlist Monkey’s muscle to keep her safe as she travels across post-apocalypse America.

It’s an original world – one of lush tranquility that hides mechanized death under its surface. We love the game despite its flaws, and anyone wanting something different and daring from their games shouldn’t hesitate to check it out.

Def Jam Rapstar

Platform: 360, PS3, Wii
EU release: November 5

Despite the crushing number of music games out there (and in this very list), there’s not much love for rap or hip hop fans. Rapstar hopes to fill this comparatively empty niche with more than 40 karaoke-ready tracks from artists like Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Outkast and Ice Cube. It’s also aiming to create a YouTube-esque community of user-submitted performances, making Rapstar a bit more ambitious than most of its genre competitors. Only downside? It’s Rated T, so you’re getting radio edits.

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light

Platform: DS
EU release: October 8

This DS-exclusive entry claims to have created a classic, old-school RPG with modern technology. In other words, expect lots of random encounters and some stiff-ass dialog. We’re not against Heroes’ idea or execution, but it’s strange for Square to pitch it as a “new old RPG” when July’s Dragon Quest IX more or less filled that slot, and did so to near unanimous praise. Heroes has also been out in Japan for a full year, so pardon us for not squealing with delight over last year’s offerings.

NBA 2K11

Platform: All of them (Wii on 10/19)
EU release: October 8

Baseball is at its peak and football’s just getting started… got any time left for basketball this month? Maybe it’s a good time to start, as NBA 2K11 has a particular focus on Michael Jordan – you can play as MJ from his rookie career all the way to his legendary three-peat with the Bulls, plus collect a full line of status-enhancing Air Jordan shoes. There’s probably some roster updates and stuff too.


Platform: Wii (360 and PS3 TBA 2010)

(Obligatory Boomshakalaka joke) The runaway ‘90s hit returns to Wii with the same emphasis on superhuman leaps, rampant three pointers and grotesquely oversized player heads. The game’s intensely addicting 2-on-2 multiplayer matches are sadly offline-only, but there’s definitely something special about playing Jam with friends in the room. Expect plenty of hidden characters as well as NBA legends like Dennis Rodman, Larry Bird and Scottie Pippen.

John Daly’s Prostroke Golf

Platform: PS3 (360 on 10/19)

Do you like realistic golf games? How about crazy golf pants? From what we've seen so far, ProStroke Golf has both realistic golf physics and wacky-yet-still-country-club-acceptable attire. We're told that what sets it apart from its ilk is the first-person ProStroke mode, where you look down at the ball and line up your shot accurately. It seems to work as well as can be expected with the Move controls too, and golf enthusiasts should appreciate the level of detail and realism involved. Much like playing Rock Bands drums can prep you for learning how to play drums for reals, the extensive tutorials in ProStroke Golf should boost your confidence if you ever want to go out and play actual golf.


Comic Jumper

Platform: Xbox Live Arcade

The third game from indie developer Twisted Pixel (The Maw, Splosion Man), Comic Jumper is a silly, side-scrolling brawler/shooter starring Captain Smiley, a round-headed superhero so whiny and unlikable that his comic gets canceled out from under him. In an effort to claw his way back to profitability, he’s reduced to doing guest spots in other comics, which means plowing through levels that mimic the distinctive art styles and attitudes of ‘70s sword-and-sorcery comics, ‘60s “Silver Age” superhero comics and black-and-white manga.

Regardless of the genre he’s invading, the action mainly consists of gunning down baddies with Smiley’s paired pistols (which can be freely aimed with the right stick), with a few brawling and over-the-shoulder rail-shooting sequences thrown in for good measure. Factor in a wonderfully nasty sense of humor and an inept protagonist who constantly argues with the talking star on his own chest, and fans of goofy, violent nonsense have a lot to look forward to.

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  • crazyqazqaz - October 13, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    Fable 3. Thats all im sayin. no honestly it is. Oh shut up.
  • MechaMan - October 13, 2010 3:06 p.m.

    I just want New Vegas. The waiting is killing me.
  • benkooolguy - October 11, 2010 12:35 a.m.

    why does everyone say fallout: nv is going to suck??? its going to be pretty much exactly the same as fallout 3, but with better stuff. just cause its made by different company doesn't make it bad.
  • OHMYGODIMONFIRE - October 7, 2010 12:47 a.m.

    I'm fully comfortable in admitting I'm actually looking forward to ultimate ninja storm 2 more than New Vegas. Not Fable III though, i NEED that game.
  • Aletheon - October 6, 2010 6:09 p.m.

    CV, Enslaved, Kirby, Vanquish, FF4HoL shall drain my checking account this month.
  • Spybreak8 - October 5, 2010 11:32 p.m.

    Sooooooo many games and I'm down on cash. Well I've got enough for gaming but I gotta pay rent. Ah growing up sucks.
  • ssj4raditz - October 5, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    Well, I only want 12 of the games in this list. That's not too bad, right? ... right? ... *looks at empty wallet* (sigh)
  • ViolentLee - October 4, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    One good thing about all these awesome releases: When I finally get around to buying all the ones I want, many will probably be on sale!
  • Not Snake - October 4, 2010 2:54 p.m.

    The only game here that's on my "Must buy, no exceptions" list is Fable III.
  • chriszewski - October 4, 2010 11:25 a.m.

    Already started to hemorrhage money for this games season last month. Looks like its getting into full swing a bit early this year. Good thing last year's trend of fall releases getting pushed to late winter/early spring will continue. @doominatorx6: You do know Obsidian Entertainment, for all intents and purposes, IS Black Isle Studios, right? Ya know, the creators of fallout and fallout 2 (not to mention Baldur's Gate, Planescape, and Icewind Dale). New Vegas is in good hands, i assure you. ...just forget alpha protocol ever happened. Obsidian already has. :) cap: the reargers
  • CPock - October 4, 2010 5:34 a.m.

    MoH, Borderlands, Fallout, and Fable 3 for me ^.^
  • AlpineGuy - October 4, 2010 5:31 a.m.

    It's lookin' like one hell of a month. Especially since this doesn't include the rest of the year, it's safe to say that our wallets are SCREWED until the 3DS deals the final blow to our savings account in Spring 2011.
  • Darkshine34 - October 4, 2010 4:04 a.m.

    Gamefly <3
  • Smeggs - October 4, 2010 2:23 a.m.

    "LEGO Universe may be a child-friendly play space, but unsurprisingly, it also hosts one of the most robust crafting and more options for customization than you’d expect from most MMOs." So basically you're telling me that there will be many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many giant lego penis-towers built in it.
  • ScrEAMaPiLLar - October 4, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    Whoa so many games coming out this month. Lots of them look fun, bye bye pay check.
  • goodguy - October 4, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    how many people think lego should make an rts that you can design your own units?
  • Darkmessiah24 - October 3, 2010 11:50 p.m.

    Way too many games to look forward to. Enslaved, Medal of Honour, Vanquish, the list goes on!
  • lovinmyps3 - October 3, 2010 9:30 p.m.

    Enslaved, Sonic, Medal of Honor, Vanquish, and The Force Unleased II. Those are the ones I hope I can get.
  • V13Dragongal - October 3, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    Invizimals looks pretty cool. So dose Super Scribblenauts. I'll probally pick them up.
  • Mackly - October 3, 2010 1:32 p.m.

    You know I planned on getting black ops.... i would have 105 bucks left.Now i know what to do with the other 100 bucks.