The games of August 2010

Platform: Wii
EU release: September 3

Team Ninja, the developer responsible for the recent Ninja Gaiden games, takes on one of Nintendo’s most long-lived franchises by adding tons of cutscenes, frequent perspective shifts and in-your-face melee kills. Doesn’t sound like a Metroid game at all, does it? On the surface it sure does look like Other M will veer away from the norm, embedding Samus with a team of space police instead of turning her loose on a hazardous planet alone, but the devs insist the sense of isolation will still be present.

We’ve had some misgivings about this in the past, from the direction to the controls, but there’s still a chance this ends up becoming one of Wii’s strongest offerings in years, so we’re keeping our minds wide open. We’ll know the verdict later this month in our Super Review.

Platform: PSP
EU release: September 3

We hate to say it, but we're a bit skeptical about the follow-up to 2008's Valkyria Chronicles, and not just because it's moving from PS3 to PSP. This time, battlefield tactics aren't the only focus – parts of Valkyria Chronicles II take place at a military academy, where the teenage recruits learn the ins and outs of war while also managing a full class load and a rigorous social schedule. We don't necessarily mind the high school vibe, especially if the developers are using Persona 4 as a template, but it seems like it might distract too much from the core SRPG gameplay we loved in the original.Hitler sums it up pretty well.

On the bright side, it looks like the beautiful hand-drawn art style remains intact, and the battle gameplay will also be largely unchanged (think third-person 3D Advance Wars). Plus, the class system from the first game has been expanded, with improvements to the original five classes as well as a brand-new armored soldier class. Sega, don't let us down!

Platform: PSP
EU release: September 3

For the first time, Ace Combat launches with a complete four-player co-op campaign, a much-needed shot in the arm for the always-excellent but definitely adrift franchise. This also marks the first time the series takes place in the real world, with recognizable landmarks instead of a fictitious planet that still looks more or less like Earth (San Francisco is even on the box – maybe you’ll be able to spot the GamesRadar office while doing a Mach 2 flyby?). Our only concern for this is the same we had with 2006’sAce Combat X– that analog nub ain’t made for flyin’.

Aug 2, 2010

The Top 7... Best games of 2010 (so far)
With a first half this good, who needs the rest of the year?

The Top 7... Worst games of 2010 (so far)
Let's pray this is as bad as it gets

Which console will win Fall 2010?
Summer is nearly over. Time to argue over who's going to come out on top!