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The games of summer 09

Batman: Arkham Asylum - 360, PS3
Release date: August 25

We approach every new comic game tepidly. Licensed characters have a tumultuous history in vid games and Batman’s past has been somewhat disappointing over the last few years. True he was performing Heroic Brutalities in Mortal Kombat vs DC, but that wasn’t his own game. And when we didn’t get a Dark Knight game (which when you think about it, would not have lived up to that film at all), we saw a glimmer of hope in the gorgeous-looking Arkham Asylum.

Not only are the visuals purdy, but the gameplay accentuates Batman’s ninja-like stealth, his custom gadgets and his beat-the-crap-out-of-baddies sensibility. Plus, this is the first time we’re able to creep around the industrial prison housing the Bat’s greatest foes.


Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box – DS
Release date: August 25

When mysteries are afoot, Layton and his ever-trusty assistant Luke are on the puzzle-laden case. The sequel to Curious Village makes its US debut this summer and you can expect more beautiful cutscenes mixed with tricky brain teasers. And just like the first game, expect DLC with a new puzzle a week for 33 weeks. Yeah… seriously. Layton is the shit.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy – PSP
Release date: August 25

Also known as Fan Service: The Game, Dissidia is the Final Fantasy PSP brawler, where your favorite heroes and villains from the neverending franchise duke it out over who looks the moodiest. Topped the Japanese sales charts for weeks and allegedly has a story mode that is over 40 hours long. Dammmmmmmmn.

Wolfenstein – PC, 360, PS3
Release date: August 4

The WWII shooter plagued with Nazis and the macabre makes its return in Raven Software’s reimagining of the FPS that started it all. Expect explosions, monsters (not just of the Nazi kind) and a little bit of RPG-ness. Check out our coveragehere.


Madden 10 – Every system ever that hopes to turn a profit
Release date: August 11

Another year, another Madden. And like our earlier NCAA entry, another year for fans to get exactly what they want and keep pumping money into the industry. This year, the digital athletes look slightly better than last year.