The Novelist, a game where the player assumes the role of a ghost inhabiting a house visited by a struggling writer and his family, has released today on Steam. As with many new releases, it's enjoying a 25% off introductory sale price of $14.99.
I adore the idea behind this. Part stealth game, part life simulator, as the ghost you seek to help the members of the family work through a difficult time but you can only help them if they don't know you're in the house (presumably because they'd flee in terror if they did). If the writing is half as good as that premise, we could have a real winner on our hands.
Space Hulk, the Games Workshop board game of paranoid derelict exploration, has found a new home on iPad today. Featuring cross-platform play with the PC and Mac versions, you can now skulk around killing your friends pretty much anywhere for $9.99.
Few games manage to capture the Aliens vibe better than Space Hulk does. With its modular board design that makes each exploration fresh and the uncertainty which comes from not knowing how dangerous a group of Genestealers might be at first gives the most delightful tension to everything. Unfortunately, I've yet to read a glowing review of the digital release, so I'll probably just stick to the tabletop for now.
The neat, stylish, slightly problematic Vita launch game Escape Plan is coming to PS4 this week. I certainly wasn't escape planning for that. It will be crossbuy, so if you own the original, you can fool around with it on PS4 for no extra charge. I'm rather curious how the game, which purely makes use of the Vita's extraneous functions (front and rear touch, etc), will handle on PS4. Will it (esc)ape these input methods on the DS4, or use traditional controls?
Two PS3 titles are also making their way to Vita this week. Pretty, grind heavy Rainbow Moon might just work better on a handheld than a console. Meanwhile, the super zany, recently released Stick It to the Man!, which reviewer Ian Bonds loved, is coming to Vita as well.
Tiny Brains is coming to PS4 if you need a fun couch co-op title. You can use the Vita as a controller to account for your presumed lack of four DualShock 4s. December 6 is Gran Turismo 6 day, of course.
Stick It to the Man is out today, November 19, on PS3. The Vita version is dropping sometime in December and it will be crossbuy, so you'll get both versions regardless of which you buy.
When this got on my radar earlier this year, I dug it. Nice and grimy, like Rocko's Modern Life and cartoons of that ilk. This trailer turns up the weird and crazy factor even higher, somehow, and gives a few glimpses at gameplay.
That geriatric clown was creepy, and then got out-creeped by the cannibalistic cook slowly suckling on a finger.
We've got a review coming this week, but you can always stick it to us and buy it before we weigh in.
Warner Bros. is bundling its Batmen with the Arkham Collection, set to release in the UK on November 22.
The package consists of a physical copy of the newly released Arkham Origins, which Jim did not like. It also seems to retcon Arkham Origins Blackgate from the series by exclusion. The previous, Rocksteady-developed Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are included via download codes.
Strangely, only the PC bundle includes all of the Game of the Year Edition content for the previous two games, though the PS3 bundle at least has Origins' Knightfall pack. All the PC copies are Steam compatible. No word on pricing or a release outside of the UK. Also no word on why you should buy this instead of just buying the first two better games on the cheap.
The PS4 will be launching in South East Asia -- Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Korea -- on December 17. Meanwhile, Japan is still waiting until February 22, 2014. My guess is that, after the Vita's launch, Sony wanted to ensure the PS4 would launch there with a strong lineup suited to Japanese tastes.
Some pricing details have been revealed with regards to the Hong Kong launch, via IGN Asia. The PS4 will retail for HK$3380 (about $436USD), with an additional SKU bundled with the PS Camera for HK$3680 (about $474USD).
Meanwhile, Japanese news agency Yonhap (via Neogaf) reports the PS4 will launch on December 17 in South Korea for ₩498,000 (about $470USD) with 19 launch titles, 5 of which are full localized in Korean.
With the Xbox One coming in just two weeks, it's about time Microsoft let out a bit more information about one of its more talked-about titles. Killer Instinct is easily one of the most commonly-seen titles for the new console, and it manages to look better and better the more I see of it.
CastleStorm, a fun blend of tower defense mechanics and projectile flinging from Zen Studios, arrives today on the PlayStation Network. Previously released on Xbox 360 and PC, the game is now available on PS3 or PS Vita for $9.99.
Not a bad little game. There are some elements of strategic planning to building a castle which I like and I love how distinct the two army types are in play. But I did start to feel like I was just using the same strategy over and over and that caused me to lose interest near the end of the campaign.
Still, it's worth checking out. There's a free demo available for both platforms in the PlayStation Store too, so I'd recommend giving it a download and trying it on if you like the idea of base defense multitasking.
A relatively tame week of releases, with the star being Skylanders: Swap Force. This series just prints money, especially now that you can split and merge toys to create new warriors. How cool is that?
The other biggies this week include Goodbye Deponia, The Stanley Parable: HD Remix, and The Wolf Among Us arrives on the PlayStation Network after being out for a few days on the Xbox 360 and PC already.
Every October-ish I invariably go back and watch some greats -- catch The Thing, and so on -- before feeling like I've long since exhausted the reserve of good horror movies. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. There are plenty of horror games I haven't played, after all. That and foreign horror films.
The mixture of cold Atlantic water and coarse sand in your mouth brings you back from unconsciousness. Surrounded by the wreckage of a boat’s hull, you can only draw one conclusion: your vessel has been torn apart by the submerged rocks. The secrets of the island must be uncovered if you are ever going to find a way to escape. Where is everyone; is the island really uninhabited; what is lurking within the isolated caves; and what is that building on top of Montague’s Mount?
I want to know! If I'm not too yellow to find out. Scary games scare me, actually. You up for it? Montague's Mount is also up on Steam Greenlight if that's more your speed, but you'll need to vote for it if you want it to be made available there. Or else you'll be haunted, I bet.
It's here! It's finally here! Pokemon X and Y is out this week for the 3DS and it's pretty much going to be the only thing anyone talks about leading up to the next-gen consoles. Oh, Beyond: Two Souls is also out this week. It has emotions and stuff. You like emotions, right?
Other biggies this week are two repacked re-releases: Borderlands 2 and Dishonored Game of the Year Editions. Oh, videogame industry. No wonder gamers love Steam sales so much.
Since the announcement of Starbound, developer Chucklefish has been projecting a 2013 release for the ambitious science fiction sandbox. As we are entering the last quarter of the year with no release date set, it has seemed more likely that the title would be pushed back to 2014. Indeed, in the most recent Starbound Chronicle newsletter, Chucklefish has clarified the release status: the beta will be made available before the end of the year, but the game will not see full release until next year.
Chucklefish cites the unpredictability of game development for the delay, though many following along have predicted exactly this scenario. On the bright side, any who preorder are eligible for the beta, so those with the most anticipation will get to play Starbound in some capacity before January. With this new release clarification, I'm still expecting the beta to release some time during the second half of December. Bonus troll points to Chucklefish if it comes out on the 31st.
Get giddy, chums. It's time to stretch those car jacking limbs because Grand Theft Auto Vis upon us. Jim's already devoured it and has given us the low down, but come tomorrow, you'll be enjoying it yourself. It's rare for me to patiently (or, rather, impatiently) wait for a postman to deliver a game on launch day, but I'll be sitting by my door, in my dressing gown, panting like a rabid dog waiting for him tomorrow morning.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HDis also dropping, at least in digital form, and I might need to feed it to my Wii U. I unfortunately must confess that it's one of the few Zelda titles that I've never played, so I'm keen to fix this gap in my experience. Other things are also releasing, so let us solemnly raise a glass to those brave enough to release titles the week that both Grand Theft Auto and Wind Waker launch. So brave.
Sanctum 2 came to PC and Xbox 360 earlier this year. Our own Patrick Hancock reviewed it, ultimately enjoying the colorful sequel, which trends more towards first-person shooter than its tower defense leaning predecessor. Which sounds good to me because I shrink a bit at the mention of tower defense these days.
A friend of mine keeps bugging me to play Sanctum 2 with him, but I haven't found the time. Has anyone been waiting on a PSN release? It's available for $15, the same price it currently sits on Steam and XBLA.
I'm still recovering from last week's Outlast, and now we've got another bloody terrifying first-person horror title to scare our pants clean off in the form of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. I confess that reviews, such as our lovely Jim's, have cooled my excitement a bit, as The Chinese Room's love of story above all else has diminished the horrific terror found in the first game.
On top of Amnesia, that Killzone: Mercenarythingymabob is coming out; Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remixis dropping, so Squarephiles and Disneyphiles have something to get excited about; Arma IIIis finally leaving beta and becoming a big boy game, which is splendid, because it's rad; and everything Elder Scrolls gets collected in an anthology pack. All this and more is launching this week.
I'll be spending this week playing catch up, but there's no dearth of new releases. Killer is Deadis tempting me, because bloody hell it looks flashy, but I'll probably leave until I'm not drowning in games. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Rebornis notable too, if only because it was originally a shockingly poor MMO and had to be entirely rebuilt. I've not been impressed with the results, and found myself sick of it after a weekend. Others seem to be getting more out of it, however.
Also on the docket this week, we've got Lost Planet 3, which is nice if you're sick of the summer heat; Brothers: A Tale of Two Sonscomes to the PC, which pleases me greatly; and some burly American fellows kick a ball around in Madden NFL 25. There's more too, but you'll have to scroll down for that.