This Week’s New Releases + Game News: October 3, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is filled with soccer players, racecar drivers, invisible Japanese spirits, a sneaker-wearing hedgehog, bloodthirsty aliens, and even bloodthirstier zombies

FIFA 17 is new in stores this week for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. In addition to a series of graphical upgrades and gameplay tweaks, the latest soccer simulation from EA Sports adds “The Journey,” a story-based single-player mode where players take control a teenager trying to make it in the Premier League. Soccer fans will definitely like the deep simulation options offered by FIFA 17.

Also new this week is Microsoft’s latest racing sim, Forza Horizon 3. The PC and Xbox One game recreates the Australian countryside as a playground for open-world racing, which players can dive into with more than 350 cars. Forza Horizon 3 is highly recommended for fans of racing games.

Away from the fast cars and furious footballers, Nintendo and Level-5 released Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Yo-Kai Watch 2: Fleshy Souls for the 3DS. The creature-collecting games includes hundreds of new Yo-Kai, invisible spirits believed to exist out in the world. But with the game’s Yo-Kai Watch, players can see these supernatural creatures, and capture them. Fans of Pokemon, and other similar games, will enjoy either version of Yo-Kai Watch 2.

Keeping with the otherworldly theme, 2K Games brought XCOM 2 to the PS4 and Xbox One this week. After debuting on the PC earlier this year, the publisher is expanding the strategy game’s reach to new-generation consoles… and not a moment too soon. The alien invaders have enslaved humanity in the sequel and it’s up to players to guide the XCOM to victory against a foe that’s taken control of the Earth. Fans of strategic games and sci-fi themes will flock to XCOM 2.

While the enemies of Dead Rising 2 are a bit dumber than a race of hyper-advanced aliens, they’re no less dangerous. Available this week for the PS4 and Xbox One, Dead Rising 2 was originally released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2010, but the re-release still puts a ravenous horde of undead between motocross racer Chuck Greene and the anti-zombie cure he needs for his daughter. The Dead Rising franchise appeals many different types of gamers, but especially those who like horror and action titles.

Hopefully, Chuck can avoid those zombies using Sonic-like speed, but the Blue Blur himself will be busy with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, which was released this week for the 3DS. Sonic fans will definitely be interested in checking it out.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 26, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is yet another three-way tie.

Believe it or not, Bungie released the original version of Destiny nearly two years ago. After building up a devoted fanbase that continues to obsessively play the shooter to the this day, the developer launched the game’s final expansion this week. The Rise of Iron expansion will be exclusively available to download from the PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store, but players who haven’t yet jumped into Destiny’s universe should pick up Destiny: The Collection this week for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. In addition to the original game and Rise of Iron, The Collection will also include all of Destiny’s previously released expansion content… Expansion I: The Dark Below, Expansion II: House of Wolves, and The Taken King. Destiny: The Collection is highly recommended for all your patrons who love shooters.

Also recommended this week is Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition, which technically made its debut during the Xbox One’s launch period. The Definitive Edition is a collected edition that includes all 26 characters and 20 stages from the game’s first three seasons, as well as a pair of bonus games (Killer Instinct Classic and Killer Instinct 2 Classic). Fans of fighting games will definitely enjoy seeing it on the shelf.

Finally this week, Atlus published Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, a side-story to the original Shin Megami Tensei IV, for the 3DS. Fans of the weird world of Japanese RPGs will enjoy the chance to check this one out.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 19, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is expanding this week thanks to the beginning of the “Fall Gaming Season.” With more than a dozen new titles this week, there’s something to recommend for everybody.

The NFL season kicked off two Sundays ago, so let’s start with some new sports games. EA Sports released Madden NFL 17 a month ago, but the publisher was back this week with NHL 17 for the PS4 and Xbox One. If you’re more of a basketball fan, 2K Games released NBA 2K17 this week for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Soccer supporters will also get a new simulation this week with the release of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. And the checkered flag goes to NASCAR Heat: Evolution, which was released for the PS4 and Xbox One this week. All four games always score very well with gamers and would make a good addition to any collection.

Far away from Earth’s athletic fields is the planet of Far Eden, an interstellar colony that’s been overrun by villainous robots in Microsoft’s ReCore. Developed by Armature Studio, with additional idea work by Keiji Inafune, ReCore lets players fight back as Joule Adams, a resourceful woman who has her own team of robotic helpers. ReCore is available for the Xbox One.

Finally this week, a trio of re-releases will reintroduce gamers to a few beloved franchises. BioShock: The Collection will bring BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite together in a single package for the PS4 and Xbox One with improved graphics and exclusive commentary by Ken Levine and other developers from Irrational. Meanwhile, Capcom’s Dead Rising also makes the leap to the PS4 and Xbox One with improved graphics. And Square Enix and Nintendo collaborated on a brand new localization for the 3DS release of Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, an absolutely massive RPG that was originally released in 2001.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 12, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, a turn-based RPG for the PS3 and Vita.

Published by XSEED and developed by Falcom, Trails of Cold Steel II is a tactical turn-based title where the fate of the kingdom is at stake and only a plucky band of outsiders can save the day. Players interested in obscure Japanese RPGs will definitely be interested in this one.

Also of note this week is Just Sing, Ubisoft’s singing spinoff of the Just Dance franchise. Available for the PS4 and Xbox One, players will be able to sing (or lip sync) along with songs from Britney Spears, Sia, Justin Bieber, and others. Best of all, Just Sing can easily be used during an open gaming program because it doesn’t require a microphone peripheral. Ubisoft has released a companion app that’ll turn any smartphone into a microphone.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 5, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is a tie between two monster-hunting titles… Bandai Namco’s God Eater 2: Rage Burst and Koei Tecmo’s Attack On Titan.

Japanese developers love pitting a single player (or a small co-op team) against a giant monster. Ever since the success of Monster Hunter back in the PS2 days, “monster hunting” games have almost become their own genre. And this week, players might be interested in trying out God Eater 2: Rage Burst, a PS4 game where players use “God Arcs” to battle demonic entities known as Aragami. The Aragami like to chow down on lowly humans, much like the Titans at the center of Koei Tecmo’s Attack On Titan, which is another adaptation of the popular anime for the PS4 and Xbox One.

Also of note this week is a trio of re-releases. Let’s start things off with Assetto Corsa, a racing simulation that was originally released for the PC and is now available for the PS4 and Xbox One. Your patrons might also be interested in slaying more giant monsters in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition, which collects all of the game’s downloadable expansions in a single package for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Finally, Capcom added improved graphics to Resident Evil 4, which is a bona fide classic, and re-released it for the PS4 and Xbox One.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: August 29, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is a tie between Madden NFL 17 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

The release of Madden NFL 17 on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360 means that it’s time for FOOTBALL, and for this year’s entry in their annual sports franchise, EA Sports focused on improving Madden’s famed Franchise Mode. That should make the hardcore statheads very happy, but Madden appeals to almost everybody, so most patrons will be happy to see it on the shelves.

Many gamers are excited for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided as well, though it’s a very different kind of game… a science fiction story that has many parallels to our world including civil rights, terrorism, and government surveillance. Its heady themes make it one of the smarter games out there, and one that many PC, PS4, and Xbox One owners are very interested in.

Also of note this week is The King of Fighters XIV, a one-on-one fighter for the PS4. Players familiar with the long-running King of Fighters franchise will want to check it out, as will fans of one-on-one fighting games like Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat X.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: August 22, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is F1 2016, the latest open wheel racing simulation from Codemasters. Available now for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One, F1 2016 will feature an enhanced Career Mode, as well as the complete 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship schedule with 21 tracks and 22 drivers.

Also of note this week is a pair of 3DS titles from Nintendo. Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a co-op-focused spinoff from the main Metroid series that doesn’t star intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran. Instead, players will join up with a squad of Galactic Federation Marines as they do battle with Metroids and Space Pirates on a distant planet.

Meanwhile, Style Savvy: Fashion Forward is the third game in Nintendo’s fashion franchise, and it’ll give budding business owners the chance to stock thousands of items in their boutique or “design clothes fit for a fashionista, style some wicked hair, master the art of make-up, and even become the next top model.”


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Best of Gamescom 2016 Winners Selected by Gamescom Committee

gamescomEvery year, Germany’s Digital Gaming Culture Foundation (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur) supervises the Gamescom Committee, a small group of journalists who choose the best games that were present at the Gamescom expo. The Gamescom expo is held in the Summer, and serves as the European equivalent to the Los Angeles-based E3 Expo.

While most of these titles are still in development, you should keep them in mind when you add games to your collection this Fall and into 2017.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was named “Best of Gamescom,” and the full list of winners and nominees can be found below. Continue reading