This Week’s New Releases + Game News: May 30, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is Overwatch, Blizzard’s “Hero Shooter” for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Rather than populate its game with generic character types, Blizzard chose to create dozens of unique “Heroes” for Overwatch, and they gave each one their own personality and fighting style. Overwatch is very similar to the recently-released Battleborn, and I’m sure the two games will be compared and contrasted for many years to come. Fans of online shooters, and the game’s well-received art style, will love it.

Also of note this week is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, a Platinum Games-developed beat ’em up for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Mutants in Manhattan isn’t a simple movie adaptation, and instead features a comics-inspired art style and an original storyline not tied to any previous incarnation of the Ninja Turtles. Platinum created a similar game based on the Transformers last year, and fans of that 80s franchise went crazy for it. The same is probably true for Mutants in Manhattan, though the reviews aren’t as strong.

All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

New Release Round-Up

  • Retail Releases: Overwatch, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, more
  • Nintendo Download: StarTropics, Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II, Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice, more
  • PlayStation Store: Overwatch, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, Downwell, more
  • Xbox Games Store (Wednesday): Overwatch, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, OlliOlli 2, Not A Hero

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Star Fox Guard Review @ School Library Journal

starfoxguardDid you know that Nintendo included a special bonus game with every copy of Star Fox Zero as part its first printing? Still available on store shelves as of this writing, Star Fox Guard is a twist on the tower defense genre where players have to defend Grippy Toad’s factory from an army of evil robots.

Teen Librarian Alanna Graves recently reviewed Star Fox Guard for School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox, and she found it a bit difficult:

This game didn’t work well for me because I was playing by myself. There’s just too much going on between the screens, and I wasn’t having any fun playing it. I will admit though, I am biased. I love tower defense games, and I think it’s a poor choice to label this game as only a tower defense game. It’s more like 75% action, 25% tower defense.

Star Fox Guard is also available to download from the Wii U eShop.

Dark Souls III Review @ Library Journal

darksoulsiii-boxThrough a combination of creepy gothic atmosphere and ruthless difficulty, the Dark Souls franchise has become a huge hit with video game fans the world over. Publisher Bandai Namco and developer From Software released the latest (and possibly final) game in the series, Dark Souls III (PC, PS4, Xbox One), earlier this year, and it seems just as popular as its predecessors.

Library Journal columnist M. Brandon Robbins recently reviewed the action RPG, and he wholeheartedly agreed with the public’s opinion:

The lore of the “Dark Souls” series is rich and complex, with its own fully realized mythology resembling the Norse cycle of global destruction and rebirth. In Dark Souls, the world is kept in balance by the First Fire, the source of the gods’ divine power and humanity’s salvation. However, the First Fire eventually burns out, and humans turn Undead. A Chosen Undead must relight the First Fire and birth the world anew. Each game in the series has its own variation on this basic tale. Thus, players who place stock in knowing the narrative of a game can safely jump into this with no worries.

Dark Souls III may scare away less practiced and casual gamers, but it is still an experience worth trying. This is a game that belongs in your collection and in your patrons’ hands.

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: May 23, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (PS4), a tactical RPG from Sega.

Originally released for the PS3 in 2008, Valkyria Chronicles captured the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere with its blend of magical characters and tactical modern warfare. This re-release will include enhanced graphics, a new set of Trophies, and all the previously released downloadable content. Perfect for anime fans and anyone who likes a deep RPG experience.

All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

New Release Round-Up

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Shovel Knight Tie-In Books for Kids Coming in January 2017

shovelknightcodesYacht Club Games has partnered with Grosset & Dunlap to publish a series of Shovel Knight-themed books targeted at kids 8-12 years old. The four books announced so far include:

  • Shovel Knight Guidebook, a 176-page strategy guide that includes all of Shovel Knight’s secrets and tips to defeat the Order of No Quarter.
  • Shovel Knight: Codes of Shovelry Handbook, which will teach readers more about the characters from the game, “as well as tips for enhanced gameplay.”
  • Shovel Knight: Digger’s Diary, a journal filled with “fun activities, challenging mazes and puzzles, and writing prompts.”
  • Shovel Knight Mad Libs, which promises 21 silly stories from the world of Shovel Knight.

All four books will be released on January 10, 2017.

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: May 16, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is a two-fer of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Doom.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End might be Nathan Drake’s last adventure, but it has finally arrived on the PlayStation 4 this week courtesy of Naughty Dog. The development team has decided to step away from the Uncharted franchise, so if it does continue in some way, they won’t be the one holding the reins. This makes Uncharted 4 even more important as not only is it the latest game in a popular and long-running adventure series, but its a last hurrah (of sorts) for a developer that makes some of the best games around.

The developer behind Doom (PC, PS4, Xbox One), id Software, has an equally impressive resume, but it’s been a long time since they released anything and an even longer time since they explored the world of Doom. But they’ve managed to recapture some of that magic with their simply-titled reboot and its expert melding of shooter styles from the 90s and today will appeal to a lot of people. However, just note that it’s also ridiculously gory, so it won’t appeal to everybody.

All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

New Release Round-Up

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Star Fox Zero Review @ School Library Journal

starfoxzeroStar Fox Zero was recently reviewed for School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox by Teen Librarian Alanna Graves. Though she had a bit of trouble with the Wii U game’s unorthodox controls, it got a thumbs up in the end:

Star Fox Zero was initially supposed to come out last year in 2015, but it was pushed back until April 2016. Since it was delayed for so long, Nintendo fans have been impatiently waiting for the newest installment to the Star Fox series. For this review, I asked my partner, Andres, to play the game in multiplayer mode with me because I don’t have much experience playing Star Fox games, and he has played the original N64 version.