Did the Easter Bunny do a good job bringing any of you new video games? I’m only asking because if he did, he must have put in some extra effort, because there’s not a whole lot that’s new out this week.
Is that because it’s Easter? Do people spend more time with family this week than in front of their consoles or PCs? Maybe that’s it, or perhaps it’s just a random quirk of the release schedule that leaves us with not as much to discuss.
If I had a Wii U, I’d certainly be all over a certain game out later in the week, simply because it would give me warm and fuzzy feelings from my youth. I’m old enough that the NES wasn’t my first console (you have to go all the way back to the ColecoVision for that, and some of my friends had the Atari 2600), but it was the first machine with which I spent significant amounts of time playing games with other people. Good times, though I don’t miss those rectangular controllers. There was no such thing as ergonomic design back then.
But enough with the reminiscing. Let’s get to the small but hopefully mighty slate of new video game releases for this week:
Demon Gaze (Vita) – April 22
Well, what have we here? It’s a dungeon crawler and sequel to Students of the Round, albeit one set way, way further in the future than that game. Like many games of its type that make their way to Vita, people in Japan got to play it a long time ago, in this case back in January of 2013.
Of interest is that the main character is named Oz. I’m not 100 percent certain, but I feel like in Western pop culture we’ve already associated that name with one or two different IPs. What is it about that word that makes people keep using it for stuff? Must be the ‘z.’ That letter is just cool.
Batman: Arkham Origins – Cold, Cold Heart DLC – April 22
It seems like many gamers have mentally moved on to Batman: Arkham Knight, whether it comes out in 2014 or 2015. Origins isn’t quite done yet though, as this DLC pack adds to the narrative of the overall game.
If you know your Batman, you probably already figured this update revolves around Mr. Freeze. Not the corny, punning Arnold Scharzengger version either, but the icy, calculating villain he should be. Batman has some special tech to take him on, including the XE suit and thermal batarangs. Not too shabby, I’d say.
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (Vita) – April 24
I guess this is the week to own a Vita. I’ve never taken the plunge myself, though I certainly think it’s a handsome piece of handheld gaming hardware. You know, if technology can actually be handsome.
As usual, I digress. Chrono Phantasma does Demon Gaze one better, because not only did it come out in Japan for PS3 last year, it was in arcades in 2012. It’s also been on PS3 in North America, but now this 2D fighting game is ready for Vita. Like any fighting game worth its salt, it has awesomely named mechanics like Overdrive and Crush Trigger. What they do, I couldn’t tell you, but they sound impressive.
NES Remix 2 (Wii U) – April 25
Now this is the good stuff baby! Metroid, Kid Icarus, Zelda II and Super Mario Bros. 3 are all-time classics by just about any definition. And if you like sports games, Punch-Out!! and Mario Open Golf are on here too.
For me though, the original Ice Hockey is the real gem on here. I played the crap out of that game back in the day. Give me three fats and one skinny and you couldn’t handle me, or at least that’s how I remember it. I think we’re all better in our minds than we were in real life. I’m not sure exactly how the game is remixed, and I don’t really care. It’s almost enough to make we wish I owned a Wii U, as well as regretting not making sure my in-laws didn’t hold onto the functioning NES that was in their basement when I first started dating my wife. Sigh …
Also releasing this week: Octodad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) – April 22; Blackwell Epiphany (PC) – April 24; Dark Souls II (PC) – April 25