New Game Releases: Pokemon X and Y, Beyond: Two Souls, Just Dance 2014, And More


You have to admire the staying power of the “Pokemon” brand. I remember playing the card game with one of my younger brothers, now in his 20s, when he was in elementary school. And now my son, age 5, is interested in it too. That’s some impressive longevity.

This week sees the latest entry in the ongoing saga as “Pokemon X” and “Pokemon Y” hit stores. They’re getting good reviews, so you have to wonder if Nintendo’s pocket monset gravy train is ever going to end. Right now it doesn’t look like it will be any time soon.

This week has other highlights too, including an eagerly awaited PS3 exclusive, some open wheel racing, and more. Here are the four games that caught our eye for this week in chronological order of release:

“Beyond: Two Souls” (PS3) – October 8

I remember everyone ooh-ing and ah-ing over “Beyond” when it was shown during the Sony press event at E3 2012, which was the first one of those I had the privilege of attending. Wait, or was everyone reacting with that excitement over Wonderbook? No, it was “Beyond.” Definitely.

Anyway, this is by Quantic Dream and stars Ellen page and Willem Dafoe, so there’s a good possibility it’s going to be pretty awesome. There’s also an equally good chance it’s going to be a little spooky, what with its supernatural elements and exploration of what lies, ahem, beyond. But don’t mind me. I scare easily.

“Just Dance 2014” (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii) – October 8 

I’m not really in the target audience for this series, as it takes both large amounts of adult beverages and a special occasion to get me to dance. But the “Just Dance” games sell, so they must be doing something right.

Along with the usual gameplay modes and deep tracklist, “Just Dance 2014” has the World Dance Floor mode that promises (threatens?) to turn the game into something akin to an MMO, with people comepting against each other all over the globe. Sounds pretty sweet, if this kind of game is your thing.

“F1 2013” (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) – October 8 

Yes, I know this is already out in Europe, where F1 racing is king. Here in NASCAR country, it’s just coming our way this week. You’ll have to excuse us for being a little geocentric, if that’s even a real word.

“F1 2013” has all of the real teams and real circuits from the current season, but also has classic tracks. Playing the old school races also changes the UI to give you the right feel. But hey Codemasters: don’t you know it’s cooler to name your game after next year instead of the current one? This should be “F1 2014” already!

“Pokemon X” and “Pokemon Y” (3DS) – October 12

For the first time,  these “Pokemon” games have 3D graphics, adding a new dimension to the series (pun not really intended). There are a whole bunch of new Pokemon along for the ride, and as usual, some will only be available in one game, encouraging trading with people who are playing the other.

Honestly, except for the new creatures, grahpics, and a setting said to be inspired by France, the games sound like they will be pretty similar to previous entries in their core gameplay. But when you have a formula this successful, you tinker around the edges instead of making wholesale changes. Expect “X” and “Y” to sell a whole bunch of copies.

Also out this week: “Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness” (PS3) – October 8