The cupboard is bare! Seriously, if there's a bright center to the new video games ..."/> The cupboard is bare! Seriously, if there's a bright center to the new video games ..."/>

New Game Releases: The Smurfs 2, Stealth Inc And More


The cupboard is bare! Seriously, if there’s a bright center to the new video games release universe, this is the week that it’s farthest from.

(Thanks George Lucas.)

Combine the usual summer slowdown with the transition from the current consoles to the next gen machines and you get… well, this. Fortunately we all have those games we bought in the Steam Summer Sale and will never get around to playing to get us through.

And all is not completely lost, at any rate. We just might have to dig a little deeper to find four games worth discussing this week. Here goes nothing:

“The Smurfs 2” (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii, DS) 

I’m not proud of it, but I’ll admit that I’ve been caught singing along to Britney Spears’ “Ooh La La.” How is this relevant? The song is from the film “The Smurfs 2,” which is about the extent of my knowledge of this franchise.

Okay that’s not entirely true. I also know this is a platformer of some sort, except for the DS version, which is a mini-game collection and interactive story. Also Ubisoft is publishing this, so maybe there are some “Watch Dogs” easter eggs. That’s all I’ve got.

“Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark” (PS3, Vita)

This game had a previous life when it was called “Stealth Bastard.” The new title is a lot more marketable, one would think. In its own words, it’s “like ‘Metal Gear Solid’ and ‘Super Meat Boy’ had a baby out of wedlock.” Hard to not be intrigued by that description.

Speaking of babies, is this where I can throw in a mention of the royal baby so I can get some extra pageviews? Maybe he’ll grow up to enjoy fast-paced stealth games so this isn’t as much of a stretch.

“Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational” (PS3)

Did you get all inspired by Phil Mickelson’s amazing final round at the British Open that you’re itching to play some video golf? You’re in luck then, as this 79th (approximately) installment of the long-running series is finally making its way to PS3.

I’m not big on golf games, but I do enjoy sports games that have cartoony graphics but have more sim aspects to them than you expect. “Hot Shots Golf” has been like that in the past, so here’s hoping that is still the case.

“Shadowrun Returns” (PC)

I’m cheating a bit here since “Shadowrun Returns” doesn’t come out until July 25, but it’s my article, and I’ll do what I want to. If you were a pen-and-paper RPG geek like I was back in the day, this IP needs no introduction, and its heritage also includes SNES and Genesis games.

This particular take was a Kickstarter smash, and everyone remembers the setting fondly. Now the game just has to be good. We’ll find out later this week.