Videogames highlights - June 2009

August 1, 2009 · Filed Under In Depth, Videogaming 
This entry is part of the series Videogames Highlights

In Depth - A merciless lens pointed on the hot topics, passionate and detailed retrospectives, reflections beyond the appearances This is a recession period and the videogaming industry suffers too, with a sales drop of 23% during May (for USA), a thump unseen since 2007. And yet the executives from the major companies in the field talk about sustained growth for a business that, in 2012, will be 55 billion dollars worth overall. Meanwhile market researches describe a “new golden age for entertainment software” and videogames permanently reside in two third of the American households. That’s an ideal condition, I say, to gather some relevant contents in what should be the last installment of videogames highlights’ old cycle before the new, more minimalistic setup.


Personally speaking I have never been a huge fan of Mario and that typical Nintendo gameplay: as the first Prince of Persia (among the others) teaches a platform can be an extremely serious thing, hence I have always seen hopping around by crushing turtles and eating mushrooms as a ridiculous perspective to say the least. Ideas like this are slowly but steadily changing since the Wii is out there, and maybe the latest Super Mario iteration for the new-gen Nintendo’s console, banally titled New Super Mario Bros. Wii, could be the ideal occasion (in the fourth quarter of 2009) to try what the Japanese company defines as a fulfillment of the dream of a completely real-time multiplayer Super Mario.

Together with the new New Super Mario Bros., Nintendo used the stage from the Electronic Entertainment Expo held in Los Angeles at the beginning of June to present Super Mario Galaxy 2 as well, the sequel to the evolved 3D platformer - recently emulated on PC with sound and everything thanks to Dolphin - which saw the arrival of Nintendo’s classic mascot on the Wii. The game, according to what Nintendo promises, will be mainly focused on hardcore gamers hence it will offer a greater challenge than the first episode. Ha, and there will be Yoshi the dumb mini-dinosaur :-D To be released in 2010.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 1Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 2Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 3

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 4Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 5Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 6

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 7Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 8Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 9

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - screenshot 10


If I had to take as example a platform that, contrariwise to Super Mario, can be considered as “definitely serious stuff”, the Castlevania brand would surely be a good candidate. For the debut of its vampire themed action/platformer series on new generation consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3), Konami talks about a true reboot accompanied by a high profile voice cast, a challenging gameplay and astounding aesthetics. They say so, but to me this game simply seems another shameless God of War clone. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will be made by Mercury Steam in partnership with Kojima Productions, and it will be out in an unspecified period of 2010.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 1Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 2Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 3

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 4Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 5Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 6

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 7Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 8Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 9

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 10Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 11Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - screenshot 12

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories too has been designed as a reboot for Konami’s famed survival horror saga, even though here we are mostly talking about a graphic remake and not much more. To be published for Wii, PS2 and PSP in the fourth quarter of 2009, the game will have no fights at all (replaced by constant avoiding the monstrous foes), an ugly graphics for the nowadays standards and an atmosphere that should be worth of the original game for PS1.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 1Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 2Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 3

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 4Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 5Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 6

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 7Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 8Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 9

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - screenshot 10

Aliens vs. Predator

It seems more of a chronic disease than anything, but it’s undoubtedly true that every few years the industry doesn’t miss the opportunity to make a super-violent action game putting face to face xenomorphs and predators with the human beings to be (literally) a garnish for the dish. Aliens vs. Predator, the “new” first person shooter that will allow the player to just act as one of the three aforementioned races is developed by Rebellion Developments, that is the company that already made the first “A. vs. P” series FPS on the PC, and will be published by Sega on Xbox 360, PS3 and Windows systems in the first quarter of 2010. Bon appétit.

Aliens vs. Predator - screenshot 1Aliens vs. Predator - screenshot 2Aliens vs. Predator - screenshot 3

Aliens vs. Predator - screenshot 4Aliens vs. Predator - screenshot 5Aliens vs. Predator - screenshot 6

Aliens vs. Predator - screenshot 7Aliens vs. Predator - screenshot 8

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Do you fear clowns, asylums full of maniac murderers and bats? All right, then playing to Batman: Arkham Asylum is the perfect shock-treatment because the upcoming action adventure featuring the currently dead (in comics) bat-hero from Gotham City contains all the three aforementioned elements. On steroids. Seeing (the following video clip) is believing. To be released on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC within August.

Batman: Arkham Asylum - screenshot 1Batman: Arkham Asylum - screenshot 2Batman: Arkham Asylum - screenshot 3

Batman: Arkham Asylum - screenshot 4Batman: Arkham Asylum - screenshot 5Batman: Arkham Asylum - screenshot 6

Batman: Arkham Asylum - screenshot 7Batman: Arkham Asylum - screenshot 8

God of War III

Even if it doesn’t seem to have changed that much as for controls, gameplay and everything, the following video feed coming from the E3 at the beginning of June shows at least two things. Namely that God of War III should be the zenith of graphics on the PS3 exactly like the previous titles were so on PS2, and that disembowelling deities and mythologic beasts is an activity as much brutal as recurring within the game. To discover if it’s funny too we’ll have to wait at least till March 2010.

God of War III - screenshot 1God of War III - screenshot 2God of War III - screenshot 3

God of War III - screenshot 4God of War III - screenshot 5

Left 4 Dead 2

When, during E3, Valve announced that the company was working on the sequel to Left 4 Dead, players replied by criticizing the publisher’s choice to release a new game after so much short time from the original. According to statements from the Left 4 Dead 2 Boycott Group, which collected more than 40,000 signatures until now, new contents included in Left 4 Dead 2 aren’t worth of a stand alone title and they should rather be distributed to players as additional packs for the first game. However Valve replied that the changing meteorologic conditions, the new survivors, the melee weapons (chainsaws, axes and more), the new infects and the dismemberable zombies are worth more than some DLCs, be they free or not. So L4D 2 will be out in November on PC and Xbox 360, with no regard for such players not wanting it.

Left 4 Dead 2 - screenshot 1Left 4 Dead 2 - screenshot 2Left 4 Dead 2 - screenshot 3

Left 4 Dead 2 - screenshot 4Left 4 Dead 2 - screenshot 5Left 4 Dead 2 - screenshot 6

Left 4 Dead 2 - screenshot 7Left 4 Dead 2 - screenshot 8Left 4 Dead 2 - screenshot 9

Muramasa: The Demon Blade

Western publishers of Muramasa: The Demon Blade announced that Vanillaware’s action RPG will be out in Europe and in the States ahead of the period expected at first. So on September (USA) or November (Europe) there will be a version of the game compatible with my linguistic knowledge, now the only thing to decide is what to buy, among a Wii or a camera, at the next payment from PI :-P

Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 1Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 2Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 3

Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 4Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 5Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 6

Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 7Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 8Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 9

Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 10Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 11Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 12

Muramasa: The Demon Blade - screenshot 13

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles

The Capcom shooter for Wii (to be released within the next winter) will revisit both sets from Resident Evil 2 and from RE: Code Veronica for Dreamcast. And it’s just to this chapter of the fruitful Resident Evil saga that the following Darkside Chronicles images and video belong. Still talking about Resident Evil, in the end, the remake of the first game for Nintendo’s console appears impressive to say the least.

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 1Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 2Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 3

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 4Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 5Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 6

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 7Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 8Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 9

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - screenshot 10

Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny

After the last month’s images torrent about the new beat’em up from the Soul series (that on August will come to the Sony PSP) maybe I should have addressed other things, nevertheless I couldn’t help but post this video clip: within the massive characters roster available to the player Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny also includes Kratos, the violent and untamable god of war featured in the homonymous series for Sony PlayStation. It was just this I was referring to when I talked about “really special guest stars” :-D

Tales of Monkey Island

The first chapter of Tales of Monkey Island, the new episodic series featuring Guybrush Threepwimp announced some weeks ago, was already released at the beginning of July. Who still had to purchase the game could form a brief opinion on the gameplay by seeing this video, kindly offered by developer Telltale.


Wolfenstein’s publishing date is coming, and waiting to see what Raven and id Software arranged for the new-gen incarnation of the everlasting B.J. Blazkowicz one can read about system requirements for the PC version or view the June related contents full of parallel realities, invisible assassins and places of pain and death. Let the Nazis feast finally begin…

Wolfenstein - screenshot 1Wolfenstein - screenshot 2Wolfenstein - screenshot 3

Wolfenstein - screenshot 4Wolfenstein - screenshot 5Wolfenstein - screenshot 6

Wolfenstein - screenshot 7

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