Saturday, December 5, 2015

Video Game Releases This December

Our schedules may be fully booked for the holidays, but that’s no excuse—these hot new games are fresh off the developers’ desks and just waiting for us to play them. Here are some of the latest releases you simply can’t miss out on:

1.Just Cause 3

Released on the 1st of December this year, Just Cause 3 is an open world action adventure game from Square Enix and is known for scenes that can sometimes get a little over the top. Still, the third person game continues the exciting story of protagonist Rico Rodriguez as he returns to the Mediterranean island Medici. In this sequel to Just Cause 2, the volumetric terrain has been increased to allow players more verticality, making scaling buildings and exploring caverns more effective and realistic.

The action can be pretty chaotic at times, but the game makes up for it with improved features such as the parachute, the trusty grappling hook, the new wingsuit for gliding across places, and other weapons like the RPGs and missile launchers. Players can also make use of the various vehicles included in the game, the likes of which include exotic cars, fighter aircrafts, and ships.

All in all, the sequel is just some plain good fun, especially while free roaming. An added bonus for Square Enix fans is the Easter egg for Final Fantasy 7, which features the infamous Buster Sword used by Cloud Strife. It would have been incredibly awesome if we could actually equip the sword and be hackin’ and slashin’ around with it, but sadly, it’s just for show—but a truly welcome one at that. The sword is seen on the side of a mountain, and you can check out the snowy scene in the video clip here.

2. Xenoblade Chronicles X

December 4 saw the release of one of the most highly satisfying intergalactic adventures by Nintendo. The sci-fi role playing game boasts of a wide variety of quests and a huge bestiary of creatures that make battles on hostile environments engaging and challenging. What makes the game experience even more enjoyable is the fact that players have the freedom to customize practically everything about their character’s appearance, from shapes to voices and even to tattoos. While you can only control a single character directly, the brilliant AI maximizes the other three characters in your party so that you can deal the most damage as a team or get revived and healed at the right time when you really need it. If you’re a fan of weaponized mech suits and vast alien worlds, you’ll love the deep and interactive battle system of Xenoblade Chronicles X.

3. SteamWorld Heist

Fans of the franchise’s predecessor will be delighted to know that they can now play some turn-based strategic fun in SteamWorld Heist. As Pirate Captain Piper Faraday, you can recruit your very own team of robots to help you explore what remains of a devastated world on the 3DS. As the title suggests, your team of steambots (each with different skills and useful abilities) takes on stages and challenges on a 2D side-on perspective, with the ability to even use your surroundings to perform awesome trick shots. Even if you’re not a fan of tactical games, you’ll still be able to enjoy SteamWorld Heist for its beautiful art, distinct taste, and strong content. Here’s the launch trailer to give you a funny little peek at the “heist of the century!”

4. King’s Quest Chapter 2: Rubble Without a Cause

I still remember all those countless hours I spent playing the point-and-click Sierra games of old, and King’s Quest is definitely one of those I can always look back at fondly. After two decades, the classic series is back with a vengeance with its first episode, A Knight to Remember, released earlier this July. Now, in a fantastic way to end the year with a bang, Sierra is releasing the second episode this December 15th titled Rubble Without a Cause. The second chapter in the episodic series will no doubt continue the beautifully meaty and nostalgic adventure that began in the first episode, and it looks like there will be some mischievous goblin activities involved, as seen in the teaser.

BONUS: Street Fighter V and Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Okay, so these aren’t actually out yet. But because they’re two of the most highly anticipated upcoming games, we just can’t help but include them on the list.

To be released in February next year, Street Fighter V continues the legacy of its very successful predecessors in the side-scrolling fighting game genre, with the EX gauge building up for special moves and Critical Arts. A new addition to the sequel will be the V-Gauge which builds up as the player gets attacked. V-Skills are character-unique special attacks; V-Reversals let a character perform counterattacks; V-Triggers use up the V-Gauge to perform unique abilities like added hits or damage boosts. Perhaps even more widespread than the hype for the game is the controversy surrounding Rainbow Mika and her infamous butt slap, but due to the reaction from the public, that allegedly sexualized move has been altered. “Our objective with ‘Street Fighter V’ is to start over from zero. We want the professional players and the casual fans of the series to return, but we also want to reach those who have never even touched a fighting game. So we can’t have something in the game that makes people think, ‘This is not acceptable’,” says Producer Yoshinori Ono. “Probably we won’t be able to remove everything that could offend someone. But our goal is, at least, to reduce that number as much as possible so that they think ‘Ok, there is this issue here, but it is within the limits’. We want that everyone can play and enjoy without worrying about anything else.”

As for Final Fantasy 7, hardcore fans have been waiting for its remake release since, well, forever. And because it’s just simply too epic to contain, the game will be released in several installments. "It's going to be multi-part because when we considered fully remaking Final Fantasy 7 in PS4 quality, and as we look over much of it, we estimated the volume to be beyond what could be fit in one entry," says director Tetsuya Nomura. While waiting for separate installments seems like torture, it does seem like a pretty smart move. I’d shudder to think about possibly having to reduce the quality and content of the game just so it can fit into a single game. If cutting it up means not having to sacrifice content, then I can stand to wait for Cloud’s majestic comeback for a bit more (after all, we’ve already waited years for it, right?). There will also be more places around Midgar to explore, so there will definitely be more info about the game as the developers move forward (hence, I’ll be reporting back with updates pretty soon). But until then, and until we get an actual release date, here’s the latest trailer about the game the whole world has been waiting for since the boxy Cloud Strife wowed everyone with his spiky, spiky hair.

*This article was first seen on The Philippine Online Chronicles HERE.

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