This Week’s New Releases + Game News: May 2, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is Tales From the Borderlands (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One), a collected edition of the episodic Borderlands spinoff. Developed by Telltale Games, players will travel back to Pandora for a story brimming with intrigue, adventure, and humor. Fans of Telltale’s previous titles will love it and fans of the Borderlands franchise will love it.


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Ratchet & Clank (2016) Review @ School Library Journal

ratchetandclankWith a film adaptation now in theaters, Sony and Insomniac Games remade the original Ratchet & Clank for a new generation of players on the PS4. Teen Librarian Alanna Graves recently reviewed the game for School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox and found a great platformer/shooter for all ages:

I think this game is great for all ages. It is a great selection especially for kids because it’s a shooting game that isn’t overly violent, it’s funny, and players can select their difficulty before playing the game. As for teens, I think they would enjoy it because it’s one of those “classic” game series that has persevered over the years but doesn’t have a large mainstream presence (that is, until the movie comes out).

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: April 25, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is Star Fox Zero (Wii U), the latest space opera starring Fox McCloud. Developed and published by Nintendo, Star Fox Zero is the first new entry in the franchise in almost a decade and comes packaged with a tower defense spinoff, Star Fox Guard. Reviewers have noted that Star Fox Zero’s controls are difficult to master, but fans of the series (and Nintendo-produced games in general) will definitely want to try it out.


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“The Witness” and “Superhot” Reviewed @ Library Journal

thewitnessDevelopers have been mixing puzzle-solving elements into their action games for quite a while now, and the last few years have produced a ton of titles that fit this template. More recently, two titles have really pushed the “puzzle action” genre to new heights.

Superhot is a shooter that takes place in slow motion, while The Witness is a return to the exploratory puzzle-solving that was very popular in the mid-90s.

superhotBoth games (which are only available as digital downloads) were reviewed yesterday by M. Brandon Robbins at Library Journal:

Most video games have some puzzle elements, with many challenges calling for identifying patterns and creating cause-and-effect reactions. Puzzle games use this mechanic as its sole driving force, with little room for combat or exploration, and they have been some of the best over the past several years.

Recently, however, two games have changed the landscape of puzzle games in a very real way. They will be influential for years to come, and making them available to your patrons should be a major priority.

I’ve been playing a lot of Superhot lately, and even though you can’t add it to a circulating game collection, I agree that it’s an excellent choice if you have a PC set aside for gaming. Solving the “puzzle” of how to survive each level requires quick thinking and stringing together a series of winning moves makes you feel like a superhero. Highly recommended.

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: April 18, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is a three-way tie between Dark Souls III (PC, PS4, Xbox One), Ratchet & Clank (PS4), and Bravely Second: End Layer (3DS).

Dark Souls III is the third (and presumably, final) game in From Software’s gothic fantasy series that reminds me quite a bit of a grim and gritty take on The Legend of Zelda. Fans love its relentless difficulty and wide variety of grotesque monsters, so Dark Souls III is one adult players will definitely want.

Developer Naughty Dog has taken the original Ratchet & Clank and given it the full remake treatment to launch alongside the movie adaptation. Critics weren’t too kind to the film, but they love the game (which adds new characters, new bosses, and new weapons to the platformer-styled shenanigans), and it’s a perfect match for the “All Ages” segment of your population and adult players who remember playing the PS2 original more than ten years ago.

Finally, Bravely Second: End Layer is a retro-inspired RPG from Square Enix that, again, will appeal to adult patrons who grew up with this style of game. The large game world is even bigger in the sequel and should also keep fans of the franchise busy finding every secret and battling every monster for a very long time.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: April 11, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is Quantum Break, a time-travelling action game for the Xbox One. Developed by Remedy Entertainment (the same time behind the Max Payne series and Alan Wake), Quantum Break is a unique title that mixes the episodic focus of a television series with actual live-action interludes starring Shawn Ashmore, Dominic Monaghan, and Aidan Gillen.

Also of note this week is Dirt Rally, the latest entry in Codemasters’s popular offroad rally racing franchise. Available for the PC since December, Dirt Rally’s launch on the PS4 and Xbox One adds a number of new features including Classic Mini and Super 1600 series races, 21 Advanced Rally Driving Video Guides, the Pikes Peak course, and more.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: November 23, 2015

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is Star Wars: Battlefront (PC, PS4, Xbox One), a Star Wars battle sim designed for online multiplayer. Developed by DICE, this is the first new Battlefront game in a decade and it lets players recreate some of the films most exciting moments with battles on Hoth, Tatooine, and Endor.

Two other new titles, both published by Nintendo, will also be of interest to your library patrons this week. Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon for the 3DS is a dungeon-crawling RPG starring the popular “Pocket Monsters,” while Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for the Wii U brings Mario and his friends back to the tennis court for the first time since 2012.


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