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In the history of movie-themed games, it’s tough to find many that are of good quality, so Thor and Pirates of the Caribbean look for some cash-in on their blockbuster movie successes. Also this month, Motorstorm Apocalypse finally releases after delays from Japan’s earthquake/tsunami disaster and Rockstar brings out the much anticipated L.A. Noire.

MotorStorm Apocalypse (3rd on PS3)

Jrow’s Take: I enjoyed Motorstorm 1 and played a bit of 2, but the franchise didn’t quite stick with me as a premiere racer. Apocalypse takes place in a land devastated by an earthquake, and the levels I’ve seen so far look really well designed for the theme. I think of Motorstorm more as a dirt racing game, so seeing more road/highway-type levels is interesting and shows that Motorstorm is one of the more diverse racing franchises out there.

Amuro’s Take: I only ever played the demo for the first game, and I’m not particularly drawn to driving games, so count me out on this one.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (10th on most systems and handhelds)

Jrow’s Take: Lego is a pretty safe formula for making movie-based games since it appeals to kids and the gameplay is simple and good on a basic level. I do think the Lego formula is going to have to undergo some changes soon or people won’t care for a Lego game anymore, no matter how it’s skinned.

Amuro’s Take: Oh look, another lego game based on a movie franchise I’m only marginally interested in. Day one purchase for me. Or not. Yeah, not. It really is kind of hard to believe that what seemed like such a novelty at the time (speaking of the first Lego Star Wars) has become such a massive franchise covering every popular movie title in ever, seemingly. The game play is trite and really only something to keep children in the 6-12 range occupied while their parents are busy not being good parents.

Brink (10th on 360, PS3 and PC)

Jrow’s Take: So many FPSs to choose from. Also, hard to tell 80-90% of them apart. Looking at some gameplay footage, iD Tech 4 doesn’t really shine thru here. The game’s SMART feature, which is said to be parkour-style, either isn’t shown off well in trailers or looks exactly like what anyone would do in Black Ops to move to higher ground. The game as a whole really doesn’t have a standout feature. If you’re that much in to iD Tech, continue holding your breath until Rage comes out.

Amuro’s Take: YAAAAWN.

L.A. Noire (17th on 360, PS3)

Jrow’s Take: Last year, Heavy Rain brought about a more novelistic style of storytelling that I found intriguing. While most games are fantastical, Heavy Rain was much more set in realism, which is one contributing factor as to why I’m really interested in L.A. Noire. Not only is the highly appreciated Euphoria engine here (just like any Rockstar title has), it also uses the 32-camera tech MotionScan for hyper-realism in facial expressions. Rockstar’s resume is about as good as it can get in gaming, and having played GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption, even considering that shooting isn’t the main purpose of L.A. Noire, I’m excited to pull out the magnifying glass and solve cases.

Amuro’s Take: Now this game looks genuinely interesting. Rockstar is most well known for their Grand Theft Auto games, but it almost feels like they’re trying to make a name for themselves with period games. Red Dead is a western, and now a post world war ii detective story. Very recently I was a huge fan of the anime Bacanno which took place in 1930s Chicago and New York, so I’m tempted to check this out just to feel what it’s like to be a detective in this time period.

Dead or Alive Dimensions (24th on 3DS)

Jrow’s Take: Dead or Alive is perhaps the fighting series I feel most comfortable with in terms of gameplay. Not since the Xbox 360’s first month on shelves have we seen the girls (and guys) of DOA fighting it out in the ring. The Chronicles mode sounds akin to Mortal Kombat’s story mode, as you play thru each of the 4 DOA tournaments. Being a fan of MK’s story mode, I’m a-ok with that. It’s not gonna topple the 3DS version of Super SF IV as the best fighter since that was a launch title and is no doubt more popular, but with 25 characters, 60 fps (or 30×2 fps) rate and a cameo by Samus and Ridley, I’m anxious to play some Dimensions.

Amuro’s Take: BOOBIES! IN 3D!!! In all seriousness, I’m looking to pick up a 3DS soon and depending on what’s out, this looks like a contender for my money. Sue me, but I’m not a big fan of Street Fighter and Dead or Alive just seems more up my ally. That, and who would buy Super Street Fighter IV 3D when Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition is coming out with MORE content? Oh wait, people that were duped into buying a 3DS at launch.

Hunted: Demon’s Forge (31st on 360, PS3 and PC)

Jrow’s Take: Admittedly, I wanted to just watch the trailers and go, “meh. Average game.” I was surprised that I can see it being an interesting action/adveture game that has a full co-op campaign and pretty nice visuals. The voice acting and dialogue for E’lara and Caddok isn’t great, but Lucy Lawless (aka Xena) steps in as Seraphine and seems to do a ok job. In my opine, it certainly is the better of the two Bethesda-published games this month (the other being Brink).

Amuro’s Take: So like, who’s being hunted here? You or the demon’s? And why are you in their forge? Do demons make particularly cool weapons? Well, I suppose they do. Man that is one ugly mother…

Also in May:

  • Thor (3rd on most consoles and handhelds)
  • Dirt 3 (24th on 360, PS3)
  • BlazBlue Continuum Shift 2 (31st on 3DS and PSP [DLC on 360 and PS3])