We hope you like basketball. If you don’t, it’s slim pickings this week when it comes to new video game releases, meaning you’ll just have to bury yourself back in “Grand Theft Auto V,” take to Twitter for an extensive debate about the end of “Breaking Bad,” or do whatever it is you’re doing when it isn’t a big week for new games.
(You could also play some games on your smartphone or tablet, but since my beat is mainly mobile games, I’m biased that way.)
Anyway, even though EA Sports is trying to resuscitate “NBA Live,” it won’t be out until the actual NBA season is underway in November. That means the king of basketball video games gets a head start on it, and pretty much has this week to itself to boot. And some guy named LeBron is on the cover.
Let’s get to that short list of new games going on sale this week:
“NBA 2K14″ (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – October 1
Not only is King James the cover athlete, he also curated the music for this year’s game. Could we learn something surprising about one of the world’s most famous and dominant athletes in the process? Like maybe the soundtrack is full of Steve Martin banjo tunes! That’s actually not the case, we’re sorry to say. It’s mostly hip hop, along with The Black Keys, Phil Collins(!), Coldplay, and Imagine Dragons. Also “Blurred Lines.” Whatever ended up rhyming with “hug me” anyway?
We know 2K Sports made improvements to Association Mode, did some gameplay improvements, and pumped up the crowd reactions to make for better overall presentation. Sounds like a winner, and we doubt James would associate himself with it if it wasn’t.
“rain” (PS3) – October 1
Weird capitalization or lack thereof often comes off as pretentious, but again, this is a slow week, so we’ll play ball. The high concept in “rain” is that your character is invisible, except when standing in the rain, and there are other people and creatures for whom this is also true. It’s like a world of invisible stuff is all around us!
As you attempt to track down an invisible girl (not the Invisible Girl, alas), you’ll have to use the rain to help you solve puzzles and see things that need to be seen. No umbrellas allowed in this one.
“Rune Factory 4″ (3DS) – October 1
Talk about your long lag times. “Rune Factory 4″ came out in Japan in the summer of 2012 and is just now making its way to our shores. It’s the latest in a series of popular games that feature things like dragons, airships, love and marriage.
Wait, what? Yes, the producer says that the game revolves around “passionate love, sweet marriage.” Hey, those are the same themes from “GTA V!” Just kidding. If you’re a fan of this series, take heart: “Rune Factory 5″ is supposedly already in the works.
“Agarest: Generations of War” (PC) – October 3
More goodness from Japan, this time a console tactical RPG making its way to PC courtesy of Steam Greenlight. One of the cool features involves creating a multi-generational lineage of heroes whose stats and abilities pass down from father to son.
To do that, though, there’s the “Soul Breed” system where you have to pick a female companion for a relationship. Between this and “Rune Factory 4,” love certainly is in the air in the new game releases. Maybe this should have been February instead of October…