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The best and worst games of the week - Game of the Month

6:00 PM on 11.30.2013 // Wesley Ruscher

Week ending 11/30 & November Game of the Month

Thank goodness November is finally over. It was a hectic month -- that will go down in gaming history as one of the greatest ever -- thanks, in no part, to the launch of two brand spanking new consoles from both Sony and Microsoft. 

There was also the usual flood of major releases primed for the holiday madness like Tearaway, Forza Motorsport 5, Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Call of Duty: Ghosts.

But more importantly there was one title that grabbed the attention of the Destructoid staff more than any other game this month and perhaps is just the kick a certain Nintendo console needs to sell like hotcakes this winter season.

Scroll to the bottom to see our  November Game of the Month winner!

Previous November Round-ups:

Week ending 11/23
Week ending 11/16
Week ending 11/9 

Stick It to the Man! (PlayStation 3 [reviewed], PS Vita)
Developer: Zoink!
Publisher: Ripstone
Release Date: November 19, 2013 (PS3), Early December (Vita)
MSRP: $12.99 (with Cross-Buy)

I enjoyed the ever-loving crap out of this game. From the cast of zany characters -- many of whom you may think are throwaways only for them to show up again in later levels -- to the crazy art style, level and puzzle design, and whimsically hilarious script. Everything is pitch-perfect. And while Stick It to the Man! isn't a particularly long title (it may only take you between three to five hours to complete the game's ten chapters) there's loads to observe and listen in on, and dozens of minds per level to explore, leaving you wanting more. I couldn't get enough of it.

Read the full Stick It to the Man! review

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! (3DS [reviewed] PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: D3 Publisher
Release Date: November 19, 2013
MSRP: $29.99 (3DS), $39.99 (PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)

At some point during the development process of Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon 3DS, someone should have looked at the current build, and scrapped the project entirely. Whereas Regular Show 3DS was a flawed love letter to retro fans, Explore the Dungeon is a sheet of paper with chicken scratch scrawled on it. It's the worst game WayForward has put out in years, and yet another example of a wasted licensed game opportunity.

Read the full Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon review

Borderlands 2 Headerhunter 2: The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler (Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Released: November 26, 2013
MSRP: $2.99

After the disappointingly mediocre T.K. Baha's Bloody Harvest, I went into The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler with tempered expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. Though the core gameplay is largely unchanged and the set of missions are just as short in length, Wattle Gobbler features a more fleshed out narrative, with funnier and more important dialogue. Mister Torgue shines as one of the most well-written characters in all of Pandora, and that brilliance helps make this DLC pack more worthwhile than the last one.

Read the full Borderlands 2 Headerhunter 2: The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle here

Fighter Within (Xbox One)
Developer: AMA, Ltd.
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: November 22, 2013
MSRP: $59.99

Fighter Within is a lazy tech demo with a poor story, unimpressive fighting engine, and a forgettable cast. Maybe one day we'll have a cool Kinect fighting game, where everyone at EVO is flailing around with some semblance of strategic value. But this is not that day.

Read the full Fighter Within review

Soulcalibur II HD Online (PSN, XBLA [reviewed])
Developer: Project Soul
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release Date: November 20, 2013
MSRP: $19.99

Soulcalibur II HD Online is a nearly flawless update of a decade old title. While it’s unfortunate that the online mode isn't nearly as polished as the rest of the game, the true soul of the game has never looked so beautiful. Hopefully Namco works out the kinks in the netcode, but even with its shortcomings there is more than enough game here to warrant another go with this fighting game classic.

Read the full Soulcalibur II HD Online here

Mario Party: Island Tour (3DS)
Developer: Nd Cube
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: November 22, 2013
MSRP: $39.99

The only true merit of Mario Party: Island Tour is the ability to play Mario Party with your local friends on the 3DS. As long as they have a 3DS and are close-by, playing via Download Play is fairly quick and painless. However, the lack of online play and the overall single-player experience is a pretty big bummer. Unless you’re desperate and need a quick Mario Party fix on the go, stick with a console version if you can.

Read the full Mario Party: Island Tour here

BandFuse: Rock Legends (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])
Developer: Realta Entertainment Group
Publisher: Mastiff Games
Release Date: November 19, 2013
MSRP: $69.99 (Artist Pack:  game + 1/4" to USB guitar cable), $79.99 (Band Pack: 2 guitar cables, mic, 4-port USB hub, acoustic guitar adapter - game NOT included), $179.99 (Guitar Bundle - Guitar Center Exclusive: game, guitar cable, & Fender Squire Bullet guitar)

It's impressive to see a game such as this, focused on not only teaching you how to play guitar, but also how to have fun with it. The multiplayer extensions are a blast (if you have that many guitars, or friends that can play), and the karaoke and backing track selections can really further the creativity. While the jumps in difficulty can be drastic at the higher levels, there's still plenty of ways to adapt, and BandFuse surprises at each step.

Read the full BandFuse: Rock Legends here


Read the full Super Mario 3D World review

Wesley Ruscher, Former Contributor
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