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The games of May 2012

May 22 (continued)

Silent Hill: Book of Memories

Platform: PlayStation Vita
EU: May 11

Originally set to launch at the tail end of March (following a pair of different Silent Hill entries), Book of Memories swaps the typical series survival horror approach for something a bit more action-oriented, with an overhead view and the series' first attempt at multiplayer gameplay. We likened it to "Diablo by way of Resident Evil" when we first caught a glimpse at Book of Memories last fall, and as explained in our recent video interview, the game takes place in a dream world populated by random levels. Will the dungeon crawling approach work, and more importantly, will it still feel like Silent Hill? If you're not already worn out by the spring's Silent Hill barrage, you can find out for yourself later this month.

Men in Black: Alien Crisis

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii
EU: May 25

Unlike with Battleship, Activision hasn't shown much of Men in Black: Alien Crisis, the multiplatform tie-in to the upcoming Men in Black III film. From what we can gather, the on-rails, behind-the-back shooter puts players in the surely-sleek shoes of Peter Delacoeur, an agent-in-training who must blast aliens in a quest with two-player split-screen play and four-player hot seat options. It's reportedly compatible with the Top Shot Elite peripheral from Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2011, yet retail listings for the Men in Black game also promise a "unique MIB-styled weapon" that is an "awesome gaming peripheral." So many questions, yet it's so close to release. Here's hoping it at least has some of Agent J's trademark swagger.

Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland

Platform: PlayStation 3
EU: May 25

The shockingly long-running Atelier franchise keeps pumping out charming RPGs, and Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland is the third PS3 entry in as many years and the conclusion to the series' Arland saga. As such, we doubt that folks who skipped the past two titles will find this a welcoming place to start, though with luck, it'll be as much of an improvement over last fall's Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Atelier as that title was over its predecessor. In our review of Atelier Totori, we called that entry "a solid RPG," but "far from an excellent one," praising its beautiful cel-shaded visuals and alchemy system while panning its repetitive quests and spotty storytelling. Can Atelier Meruru alleviate such concerns?

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3D

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
EU: TBA

Remember how huge of a franchise Rollercoaster Tycoon was once upon a time? Atari must be hoping for a surge in interest as it revives the classic theme-park sim this month on Nintendo 3DS with Rollercoaster Tycoon 3D. As in the old PC favorites, you can build and tweak your own wicked coasters, this time using a touch interface, as well as manage your park and unlock various other rides. The 3DS version adds a new Coaster Story mode that weaves together tutorials, challenges, and some semblance of a narrative into one cohesive experience, which should prove a helpful way for newcomers to dive into the game.