I’ve always wondered why the video game industry doesn’t try to follow up on the enthusiasm generated by E3 by making sure games are coming out right after it’s over. Part of it, I’m sure, is that the show takes place toward the beginning of the summer, which is traditionally not a strong time for new video game releases.
On top of that, the games shown at E3 aren’t coming out until the fall, or in many cases, until next year. I get that. But it’d still make sense to try to strike when the iron is hot, so to speak, and have something in the pipeline for when the afterglow of L.A. is still strong.
Not so much this year. This week sees a highly anticipated sports game from EA, but not a lot else. Next year, maybe. Until then, we’ll deal with what we’ve got, because we’ve got no other choice. To wit:
EA Sports UFC (PS4, Xbox One) – June 17
The THQ UFC games weren’t too bad. But everyone who enjoys some MMA has been anxious to see what EA could do with the license, and we’re about to find out. The game teased us all at E3 2013 with some eye-popping visuals, and all that was really ready at that point was facial expressions and some examples of how the collision detection was much better on next-gen consoles. Oh, and Anthony Pettis’ “Showtime” kick. Still, even that was impressive.
So what have we got waiting for us? There are a ton of real fighters, including champs like Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey and Cain Velasquez. Legendary martial arts icon Bruce Lee is a playable character. Full-body deformation is in there, because you want to see exactly the kind of damage you’re doing to other virtual human beings. It’s also supposed to be the smartest combat sports game ever, so the AI should provide a real challenge. And the striking should be amazing, since this is by the same team that used to do the Fight Night games. This week … it’s … time!
Pushmo World (Wii U) – June 19
I usually try to do two paragraphs on each featured new release, even if sometimes I’m just padding them out with bad jokes or babbling. I’m not sure I can do the same for this game. It’s a puzzle game, and the sequel to Pushmo and Crashmo.
The big deal this time seems to be the World Pushmo Fair, which allows you to share your 3D puzzles with other players and download some in return. Hey, what do you know? Two paragraphs for this puzzler were possible after all. Sweet.