Jrow here. Of all the MGO’s I’ve done this year, November is easily the most wallet-busting. Each year where I work, I like to schedule a 4-day weekend or take time off during Thanksgiving just so I can dedicate a bunch of time to all these games… and then count money in my head and convince myself that I’ll be alright.
Now because November is such a huge month for games and I’ve been skimping on the writing portion the past couple of months, I’ve gotten steev to help out in talking about the games of November. If you want to keep your money, stop reading now and go look at a Mirai Nikki blog or something.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (1st on PS3)
|With a bang, November starts off with a strong GotY candidate. Drake’s 3rd adventure is already getting rave reviews, and in some cases awarded the highest score. What I really love about Naughty Dog’s approach to Uncharted is how it aims to get bigger, better and grander than the last, and everything I’ve seen and heard so far has me stoked enough to take time off work to play this game. It’s like U3 seems to be a perfect storm of great gameplay, great story and great… well… a lot. I was a part of the early beta and liked the gameplay and the additions/changes to competitive MP. I did play U2 some more after I’d beaten the campaign, and I’m thinking I’ll get more mileage out of U3 with there being so many options to upgrade and use in-game. Amuro, steev and I will surely play the co-op missions again, though I’m not expecting anything more exciting than the previous game.
Sonic Generations (1st on PS3 & 360)
|It has been many years since a Sonic game has truly gotten it right and I can confidently say that they are finally back on track. Sonic Generations removes the gameplay that no one likes and keeps Sonic at its core, fast paced levels with race like intensity. I played the demo to check out the game and I really like it. The 2D Sonic plays very differently than the 3D and both are a lot of fun. It was a shame that it was released at the same time as many other titles because this looks and plays great. It will probably be forgotten due to all the big name games coming out, but this is a great game that is already getting great reviews. If you were ever a fan of Sonic or if you are new to the series, this game is definitely worth it. I highly recommend you download the demo and play it a few times because you’ll get addicted in no time.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (8th on PS3, 360 & PC)
|No matter what I say it will come off as a fanboy telling everyone just how good Call of Duty is, but I must stress to you that this actually looks like a great game. CoD has always been known for its customizations and MW3 took that to a whole new level. Adding weapons proficiencies, class based pointstreaks, custom game modes, and much more, so you can expect the multiplayer to have more depth than any other game. As a FPS fan, this has everything I could ever want. I had my doubts that this game would be very good since IW went under, but the boys at Sledgehammer and Raven Studios have delivered a game that is worth my attention and hopefully yours as well.
Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection (8th on PS3 & 360)
|This is a great excuse to go back and play MGS 2 & 3 and finally finish Peace Walker, which I never really played too much of on PSP. While I already owned the original games, bought their enhanced versions and also the first MGS collection on PS2, sometimes a nice coating can convince you to buy something new and shiny – but it’s not just a nice coating. The games will run at 60 fps, the Substance & Subsistence versions of 2 & 3 are included, so you’ll be able to play the original MSX Metal Gear games; I recommend them. It’s also great that they got the netcode in to bring the multiplayer experience of Peace Walker from PSP to the PS3, and though I’m not the biggest trophy whore, I’ll be scanning the list and picking the order in which I want to earn them. For an extra $20, the Limited Edition will include a 250-page artbook. Guess who’s getting the LE version?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (11th on PS3, 360 & PC)
|If you’ve played hours upon hours of Oblivion or Fallout 3, Skyrim should surely meet expectations with its vast world and massive hours of gameplay. For those that haven’t like me? Perhaps Skyrim is worth a look. Xcom & I have never been big fans of the Oblivion engine called Gamebryo, and while the new Creation engine is based off it, Skyrim should provide the technical upgrades in graphic fidelity and NPC interactions that the previous Elder Scrolls games lack. I’m also really interested in the updated level-up system, as classes are removed in favor of leveling up as you play with what you use. It’s much easier for me to handle that then be presented with 100 options, although looking up to the heavens to see level progression is a really cool presentation of character level progress. Also, you get to fight dragons, and it looks more epic and much easier to control than Lair ever was. One more thing – it’s possible that this game will win honors for musical score. The music in the demo alone is excellent.
Super Mario 3D Land (13th on 3DS)
|I’ve admitted regret in buying the 3DS, but there are a few games keeping the 3DS in my home, and this is one of them. The game looks and moves in 3D, but seems to play in that 2.5D style that Nintendo’s had success with. The tanooki suit is back after Mario Bros. 3, and if you heard Xcom on episode 103, everybody has it.
Saints Row The Third (15th on PS3, 360 & PC)
|For all intensive purposes, Saints Row is just a rip off of Grand Theft Auto, but that doesn’t make it a bad game. In fact, Saints Row does what it does best, make a highly addictive game that will keep you coming back for more. It doesn’t take itself seriously, has crazy mini games, over the top action, and an arcade like point system. That is what makes Saints Row good. The Third looks more finely tuned than SR2 and it looks a hell of a lot better, both graphically and gameplay. I’ve seen some of the new action and they even added a Tron like mode to it, which is awesome. Saints Row is all about giving players the option to do what ever they want. Whether it is beating people up with giant purple dildos, running around naked, flying around in a hover bike, killing people in a furry costume, or roaming the streets in a tank, the choice is yours. I am super excited about this game. Unfortunately I think the timing for this game is off. So many great games coming out in a 6 week period, this game will be put on hold, but I guarantee that I will get to it eventually.
Because there are so many great trailers, I included more of them below, including the tron one: [spoiler]
Bejeweled 3 (15th on DS, 360 and PS3)
|Please read my written review of Bejeweled 3. I just wish this would come to iOS so that it can render every other iOS game irrelevant.
Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary (15th on 360)
|I have great memories of going over to a friend’s house and playing the first Halo with the big Xbox controllers on a 27″ screen; it was probably the last of its kind for me as pretty much all multiplayer gaming is done online anymore. What made CE so fun was tight & solid controls, fun MP and that Flood twist in the middle of the main campaign. It’ll be fun to revisit the original Halo campaign and also play Blood Gulch and Avalanche online in Multiplayer, to this day my Top 2 Halo MP maps. The graphics adjuster is a nice little mod to put in, but the Kinect stuff is just kinda there and I don’t think I’ll be yelling “GRENADE!” while I play. Brand new is an Analyze Mode that builds an enemy database that sounds very familiar to Metroid Prime’s scanning mode.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations (15th on PS3, 360 & PC)
|This is the final conclusion to our boy Ezio’s story. I must admit, when I saw Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood come out only one year after AC2, I had my doubts, but the people at Ubisoft Montreal know how to release a game in only one year and still make it not only a fantastic game, but one that will take hours to beat. Even the graphics don’t suffer because each game looks better than the last. The E3 Trailer’s graphics were stunning, to say the least. The conclusion to Ezio’s story isn’t even what excites me most, but the hell of the ending that Brotherhood had makes me want to know what is going to happen to Desmond. The endings of the AC franchise are stellar and it might sound odd, but I can’t wait to see how this game is going to end. They also upgraded the multiplayer significantly. Brotherhood offered us a unique multiplayer experience, so I am excited to see how they expand upon it.
Rayman Origins (15th on most systems)
|That son of a bitch Michael Ancel should be doing BG&E 2, but w/e, I must set this grudge aside to talk about Rayman, a franchise I haven’t played since the first game in 1995. With cel-shading getting so much better looking the past couple of years, it’s a design that’s very fitting for Rayman. 4-player local drop-in/drop-out co-op is interesting, borrowing from New Super Mario Bros. For PS3 and 360 releases, I wonder if this game will merit the value of a retail title or if it’s best as an XBLA/PSN download.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (20th on Wii)
|If you’re a lefty, you better learn to swing a Wiimote right-handed. Motion controls are not only there for near 1:1 control of Link’s sword and shield, but should figure into how you approach a battle besides swinging away and waiting for a weak point to expose itself, not to mention that there’s now depth to combat stats with upgrades and the like. Nintendo knows how to make a Wii game artistically and graphically rock solid and I really like the visual style of Skyward Sword; a big part of that is the character designs for Link and Zelda and also the Demon Lord Ghirahim. I’m really excited about dusting off that Wii again, equipping my gold Wiimote/Sword and playing another (reportedly lengthy) game of Rescue the Princess.
Also arriving in November:
- Fate Extra (1st on PSP)
- Goldeneye 007: Reloaded (1st on PS3 & 360)
- Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (11th on all systems)
- Dynasty Warriors 7: Extreme Legends (15th on PS3)
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (15th on PS3 & 360)
- Kinect Disneyland Adventures (15th on 360)
- Need For Speed: The Run (15th on most systems)
- Tekken Hybrid (22nd on PS3)
- WWE ’12 (22nd on PS3, 360 & Wii)
- The King of Fighters XIII (22nd on PS3 & 360)