The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are in full swing, and I have to admit, watching them is taking up a lot of the time I might otherwise be spending playing video games. I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics, even keeping my spare change in a coffee can when I was a kid hoping to save up enough to go. Alas, I’ve never seen them in person.
Let’s assume you don’t care that much about what’s going on in Sochi. In that case, good news: there are new video games coming out this week on just about every platform, including a new “Final Fantasy” title, the Xbox 360 debut of a popular online PC game, some Valentine’s Day-themed DLC, and more.
Considering that the only thing streaming live from the Games as I type this is figure skating practice, new games are starting to sound better and better all the time. Let’s check out this week’s haul:
“Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII” (PS3, Xbox 360) – February 11
Suffice it to say that our own “Final Fantasy” guru, Daniel George, was not really looking forward to this. Nevertheless, the story of Lightning must be completed, even if she isn’t exactly tops on the list of most loved franchise characters.
Set 500 years after “Final Fantasy XIII-2,” Lightning awakens to try to save the world in just 13 days. Doing so involves mastering the newly tweaked Style-Change Active Time Battle system, figuring out which quests can only be undertaken at which times, and enjoying all of the different outfits the characters can wear. Will the presence of some interesting new ideas be enough to change the minds of Mr. George and other people who didn’t care for “FF XIII” all that much? Stay tuned.
“Borderlands 2″ Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre DLC (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – February 11
The penultimate “Borderlands 2″ DLC release presents a take on take on “Romeo and Juliet” that could only happen on Pandora. What could tug at the heartstrings more than two Goliaths in love?
Expect new enemies and weather effects and generally marvel at the fact that this game is still receiving content updates 17 months after its release. In an era where we’re often on to the next thing before the current thing has even run its course, you’ve got to give it up for longevity. Now, about “Borderlands 3″…
“World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition” (Xbox 360) – February 12
Wargaming pretty much knocked it out of the park with its multiplayer tank battle game, which has been going strong for several years. The logical move to expand the player base was to bring it to console, and having had a chance to go hands-on with an early build, it makes the move pretty smoothly.
The 360 version won’t have the extensive roster of vehicles that “World of Tanks” has on PC, at least not right away, but it should grow if there’s an extensive enough player base to support it. The only drawback? It’s not completely free-to-play like it is on PC since you need Xbox Live Gold (though non-Gold users can get a free trial). But if you have Gold anyway, it seems like a no-brainer to try it if you like multiplayer online games.
“The Last of Us” Left Behind DLC – February 14
Maybe this new content ties into Valentine’s Day too, seeing as it’s a prequel to the main story that centers on Ellie and a friend named Riley. Granted, this is a tale that probably involves a lot of people geting turned into infected fungus things, and thus isn’t likely to end up the subject of any Hallmark cards.
Honestly, I’m not sure how more “The Last of Us” could be a bad thing. If someone wanted to get this for me for Valentine’s Day, I wouldn’t mind at all. Hint, hint Mrs. Tylwalk!
Also out this week: “Far Cry Compilation” (PS3) – February 11; “Far Cry Classic” (PS3, Xbox 360) – February 11