The games of August 2013

August 25

New Super Luigi U (Retail)

Platform: Wii U
EU: Out now

Nintendo's Year of The Luigi continues with this retail version of Luigi's New Super Mario Bros. U expansion. More than a green-suited reskin, the add-on introduces 80 new stages designed to give die-hard Super Mario fans a true platforming challenge. Additional modes like the Challenge Mode and Boost Rush mode will also add to Luigi's standalone expansion; as will numerous tweaks to the game's enemies and power-ups.

New Super Luigi U is already available as a digital download for New Super Mario Bros. U. Read our New Super Luigi U review to see what we made of the devious addition.

August 27

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition

Platform: PC

Gabriel Belmont headlines this content-rich PC port of 2010's Castlevania Lords of Shadow. The Ultimate Edition will once more follow the Brotherhood of Light warrior as he braves over 50 levels in an attempt to purify the world with the “The God Mask.” It will arrive with a slew of improvements over its console predecessors, including 1080p HD visuals, a 60 fps run-time, and Steam trophy integration. The edition will also include the Reverie and Resurrection DLC chapters which continue Gabriel's story past the final act.

Developed by MercurySteam, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was billed as a reboot of the popular vampire-killing franchise when it first launched for consoles. We gave it a near perfect score in our Castlevania: Lords of Shadow super review, so it's with high hopes that we welcome it to the PC kingdom.

Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn

Platform: PS3, PC (PS4 TBA)

Square Enix's Final Fantasy MMO is getting a new lease on life. A Realm Reborn will see the ambitious online multiplayer re-released with a new engine, enhanced gameplay, and a fresh storyline taking place five years after the destruction of Final Fantasy XIV's Eorzea at the hands of Bahamut (well, kind of). In it, MMO'ers will be thrust into a slightly charred version of Eorzea where the Garlean Empire from the north is threatening to kick everyone while they're already down.

Dragon Quest alumni Naoki Yoshida is spearheading Final Fantasy's renewed attempt for MMO domination. His team promises an enhanced Final Fantasy XIV Online experience, with improvements to virtually every component of the game. Learn why GR is hopeful for Final Fantasy XIV Online's rebirth in our Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn preview.

Killer is Dead

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360
EU: August 30

From the off-kilter imagination of Goichi Suda (a.k.a. Suda 51) comes this futuristic hack-and-slash title. Starring an assassin named Mondo Zappa, it enlists players to slay enemy threats around the world at the behest of the Bryan Execution Firm. Thankfully, Mondo will come well equipped for the task with a massive samurai sword and an artificial arm that can be tweaked to accommodate various weapons of mass decapitation.

Killer is Dead will play out in episodic fashion with 13 adventures, each more absurd, violent, and dazzling than the next. Fans of the Devil May Cry series will be at home with the game's fast-paced action while Suda 51 devotees will appreciate the game's wayward design. Catch a glimpse of the insanity in our feature, Killer is Dead makes sex and violence look easy.

Lost Planet 3

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
EU: August 30

Return to the frosty surface of E.D.N. III in this prequel to 2006's Lost Planet. Developed by Spark Unlimited (Legendary, Turning Point: Fall of Liberty), the game will follow Neo-Venus Construction (NEVEC) employee Jim Peyton, in a story about E.D.N. III's first human colonists and their initial encounters with the Akrid threat.

In lieu of VS Mechs, players will be able to step inside their technological precursors called Rigs. By foot or by Rig, they'll have the chance to explore the open-world environments of E.D.N. III in search of quests, side-missions, needy NPCs, and equipment that can be used to upgrade their gear. We marched to Capcom earlier this year to get a better look at the game's single player and competitive multiplayer mode. See why we're warming up to the next (first?) chapter in the Lost Planet saga in Lost Planet 3 – Developer demo.

Madden NFL 25

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PS4 & Xbox One (Nov 2013)

Sporting a new True Step motion system, Player Sense, new moves, and “10X the detail”, Madden NFL 25 aims to take EA's football series into the next generation. Fueled by EA Sports' IGNITE engine, it will inject an unparalleled sense of realism to the game through greatly enhanced physics, player control, and reactive AI both on and off the field.

Madden NFL 25 is being billed as the franchise's Anniversary Edition. It will also usher the series' arrival on next gen consoles this November. Unfortunately for Nintendo game-fans, the game will not be released for Wii U, marking the series' first Nintendo console snub in over two decades.