This post is late. While I won’t wiggle an excuse out, I think the post is timely as the 19th is the biggest day for game releases this month.

Mortal Kombat (19th on 360 and PS3)

Jrow’s Take: It’s been a long road with some bumps along the way for one of gaming’s most memorable fighting franchises. From highly successful arcade cabinets to success on the SNES and PSX and two blockbuster films, Mortal Kombat was big. Then the 2000’s came, and I personally wondered if Mortal Kombat was on the verge of completely losing relevance in the gaming world after a stretch of average games was capped off by a less-than-stellar pairing with DC Universe. The demo that released a while ago did really well as people like myself and others tweeted and talked about how they really liked the demo and just might give the full game a purchase. The game looks pretty good and as gory as ever, but its almost grassroots approach to the fighting is what really appealed to me. I’m not entirely wowed by the “Test Your” series of minigames, but with a roster of 26 (DLC pending) and an early positive review from Xcom, I’ll be playing MK some.
Important Note: Kratos is a bonus character for the PS3 version of the game. Xbox 360 does not have any brand-specific character in this Mortal Kombat game.

Portal 2 (19th on 360, PS3, PC & Mac)

Jrow’s Take: The second game this month to end with -ortal, Valve’s sequel to the popular, meme-filled puzzle game comes back not as part of some box collection, but as a full game with co-op play. With the many different new ways to solve puzzles (my favorite being the sliding goo) and an expectation of quality writing and voice casting, I’m hopeful for Portal 2 to continue the fun of jumping through Portals. The recent AR game and the whole possibility of an early release (but not really) didn’t turn out the most favorable results, but it’s here now for us to play.
Important Note: Getting the PS3 version includes a code to also play Portal 2 on PC or Mac.

SOCOM 4 (19th on PS3)

Jrow’s Take: Zipper Interactive is back in control of SOCOM after a disappointing first effort from Slant Six on PS3. I played a bit of the beta and frankly was bored, but that’s all on me. SOCOM has always been a game that has relied on actual tactics and, gasp, communication; after all, we’re talking Navy Seals. SOCOM: Confrontation was plagued with network issues, so having a beta to test server usage and the actual game helps immensely there. Confrontation also lacked a single-player campaign, and while we can debate the importance of single-player campaigns in shooters these days, having it pleases those that like a single-player progression. SOCOM 4 is another hardcore title to utilize Move and the Sharpshooter attachment, but with established franchises, it’s difficult to really get players to hop onboard this Motion trend.
Important Note: A SOCOM 4 bundle including the game, all Move accessories (Eye, Move & Navigation), and the Sharpshooter accesory.

Also In April:
Patapon 3 (PSP, 12th)
Conduit 2 (Wii, 19th)
Final Fantasy IV Complete (19th, PSP)
Driver San Francisco (360, PS3 & PC, 30th)