Well another week of releases by me, The Corporate Ninja, and this time it’s chock-full of varying titles and genres. In fact there’s so many that, as sometimes happens with the Early Swirly, I’m actually able to choose my top picks rather than just listing the small selections available. Still no word on the elusive Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Reverie add-on (as far as this site knows), but there are plenty of titles to keep you occupied until Konami finally decides to fill us in on that ‘March release date.’
Total War: Shogun 2 – PC
Here’s a little something different from Sega and for the PC no less! If only they’d taken some of these risks back in the day, maybe that would have kept them from–oh wait, that’s right. It was risky moves that brought about the fall of Sega. But all jokes aside, Shogun 2 actually seems like it may be a great game with a mix of both real-time and turn-based strategy game plays. What’s more, it takes place during the peak of the age of the Samurai. What else could you ask for? There’s a free demo on the website, so if you own a PC (and likely you do if you’re reading this) take a journey over to the Total War site and give it a try.
It is the middle of the 16th century in Medieval Japan. The country, once ruled by a unified government, is now split into many warring clans. The player takes on the role of one Daimyo – the clan leader – and will use military engagements, economics and diplomacy to achieve the ultimate goal: re-unite Japan under his supreme command and become the new Shogun – the undisputed ruler of Japan.
Set during the golden age of Samurai warfare, Shogun 2 brings to life the most turbulent period of Japanese history.
Homefront – PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Another first-person shooter war game. As our once-regular contributor Kosh stated in his article, this has become a tired genre. But at least the war is different this time (a near-future war between the USA and North Korea–hey, it could happen!), and it’s written by John Milius who co-wrote both Apocalypse Now and Red Dawn, so the story might be something special. It’s not my cup-of-tea (I prefer shooters the with an over-the-shoulder view like Red Dead Redemption, Resident Evil 4 and Gears of War 2), but there are many of you out there who will enjoy this.
The year is 2027. The world as we know it is unraveling after fifteen years of economic meltdown and widespread global conflict over dwindling natural resources. A once proud America has fallen, her infrastructure shattered and military in disarray. Crippled by a devastating EMP strike, the USA is powerless to resist the ever expanding occupation of a savage, nuclear armed Greater Korean Republic. Abandoned by her former allies, the United States is a bleak landscape of walled towns and abandoned suburbs. This is a police state where high school stadiums have become detention centers, and shopping malls shelter armored attack vehicles. A once-free people are now prisoners… or collaborators… or revolutionaries.
Warriors: Legends of Troy – Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Now here’s an interesting concept: battle through the events of the Trojan War as either the Greeks or the Trojans. Sounds like freakin’ magic, doesn’t it? But honestly I have no faith in this title. Seriously. Sure the concept sounds great, but I’ll bet it only goes that far. Game studios tend to screw up things like this. God of War, you say? A fluke (and a great one at that!). Usually when there’s a concept like this, the result is something like Dante’s Inferno: cheap and over-hyped. To back-up my claim, let me state it’s made by Koei. Yup, those Dynasty Warriors guys. So if the series continues, you can rest assured: if you miss this one, don’t worry. Warriors: Legends of Troy 6 will be the exact same game.
In Warriors: Legends of Troy, two great armies clash not over home and country, but for the love of a single woman. The fates of these civilizations now stand upon the razor’s edge. 3,000 years ago, a poet sang of heroes strong enough to stand alone against an army. For love, they sailed the world. / For family, they made the greatest sacrifices. / For honor, they stood and faced the will of Gods, / And fought a war which shook the Earth. In the age when Zeus almighty ruled over immortals and men, what begins as a truce between two cities quickly erupts into a massive war that will shake the very foundations of Olympos.
Yakuza 4 – Playstation 3
I’ve always heard positive things about the Yakuza series, and, hey, it’s another Sega title for this week. (Go Sega!) I wish I could say the fact that this one is the fourth installment gives me some indication of its success, but I know better. Just look at my commentary above on Warriors: Legends of Troy about the Dynasty Warriors series. Never mind that Sega had a number of systems after the Genesis which just slowly chipped away at that pedestal they were on. Sorry Sega.
Yakuza 4 picks up the story of Yakuza 3 one year later and takes the player back to Tokyo. The story starts when a man is shot to death in the ruling territory of the Tojo Clan, the organisation that has featured in all games in the series to date. A small gang which belongs to Tojo Clan try to establish what happened and their leader is soon found stabbed to death. These events cause a heated battle between four men over money, power, status and honour. The truth becomes apparent as the lies, betrayals and entwined stories are revealed and when these 4 unflinching men get together, the new legend of Kamurocho is born.
Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel – Playstation 3
Excuse me, but…what?! Given, I’m into some pretty hard, old literature, and I have an interest in learning some difficult languages to boot, but that’s just gibberish! How do you pronounce that? And what is it with my Early Swirly weeks having at least one game with some ridiculous title? Two weeks ago it was the 40,000th (x2) installment in the Warhammer series, this week is Ar-you-gonna-have-a-headache-trying-to-pronounce-this-title. We are definitely going to have a game-title related award for this year’s Flushies.
Ar Ciel, a planet that was once lush with prosperous inhabitants. The humans of this planet created a new species with the power to convert songs into various energies, Rayvateils, and boasted about their highly advanced civilization. However, a foolish release of immense energy triggered a global catastrophy that changed the world. The planet was shrouded by deadly clouds, called the Sea of Death. With the loss of the land, only three artificial Towers were left for the people to reside on.
Want to find out more about this game and maybe how to pronounce the title? Click here.
Jikandia: The Timeless Land – PSP
Now that’s what I like to see in a fantasy-based game title: a made-up name followed by a subtitle in an existing language (or even if it is fake, at least one there’s a dictionary for). Sure, Jikandia isn’t the greatest name in the world, but after decades of fantasy writing, I guess all the good names were taken. Ar-you-gonna-play-this-one-instead? Well it’s on the PSP rather than the Playstation 3 (something that’s getting all too annoying about RPGs these days), but at least after you’ve tanked fifty-plus hours into this one, you’ll know how to pronounced the title of this one when you tell your friends whether it was good or bad, rather than saying: ‘That game. You know the one. Yeah, you know it. The one with the f’ed up title.’
*There would normally be a description here from the developer’s website itself, however, the site is in Japanese only and, no surprise, the Wikipedia page is thus blank but for the basics. Ar-you-gonna-be-a-pain-in-the-sphincter-Jikandia? Yup.
Fit in Six – Wii, Playstation 3
Now this type of title is something that honestly interests me. As a martial arts practitioner for years (what, you didn’t think that Corporate Ninja moniker was just because it sounded cool, did you?), I’ve tried a number of workouts, but I’ve never tried the many fitness games that have been coming out. Like any workout plan that claims results, I am a bit skeptical. Most either don’t deliver or require more work than what the workout implies. P90X is one of those few workout routines that I’ve both heard works and have tested myself (it does, by the way). So as always, be careful with this title. It may work, it may not. But if it does, spread the word. I personally would love to see a fitness game done well and that I could try at home. Plus the idea of giving gamers a home-gym or workout plan their comfortable with is gold in my book.
Fit in Six Wii is the new exercising based video game by Ubisoft which is based on six ways to get in shape. Here is overview of this Nintendo Wii version of the game. If you do not know yet the game will be also available for PS3 with PS Move functionality.
Want to see if a gaming-fitness plan works? Click here and find out!
As I said, that’s not everything for the week. Other forthcoming games include Gods Eater Burst, Top Spin 4, and MotoGP 2010/2011, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. So, as always, if we missed something here, and you’re really looking forward to it, comment now or forever hold your peace.