With the game industry’s focus being on E3 in Los Angeles and all the games we’ll be playing into early next year, this week was a quiet one for new releases. The most intriguing options for new pickups this week are the sales going on on various digital stores.
Xbox Live Arcade sale: All the games from last year’s Summer of Arcade rollout are marked down through Tuesday morning, though they’ve all been on sale before. The old-school-looking, side-scrolling “‘Splosion Man” will cost you $5, while stunt-jumping “Trials HD” and the “Metroid” stylings of “Shadow Complex” are $7. Fighting game fans can pick up “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” for $7, and the high-def remake of “Turtles in Time” will cost you $5. A bunch of other titles are on sale through Tuesday morning, as well. Check Major Nelson’s blog for more info.
“Mass Effect 2” (rated M, $40 for Xbox 360): The new “Overlord” downloadable missions cost $7 and send Commander Shepard and his or her team to investigate a rogue artificial intelligence causing havoc on a far-away world. The story is split into about five missions, and the download sports a couple of new achievements.
“Catan” (rated E, $7 on PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3): The award-winning “Settlers of Catan” board game makes its way onto the PS3. This is basically the same game Xbox 360 owners got a couple of years ago, but it’s being developed by Game Republic, which means that PS3 owners might be lucky enough to get the downloadable expansions 360 owners were promised, but which never arrived. I sunk well over 100 hours into this game on the 360 and would rebuy it for PS3 if expansions turn up. Early reviews say it’s a bit buggy, but a patch is most likely on the way.
“Final Fantasy IX” (rated T, $10 PlayStation Network download for PS3, PlayStation Portable): The last of the late ’90s, PlayStation-era “Final Fantasy” games finally shows up on PSN. Can “Chrono Cross,” another classic Square Soft RPG, be far behind?
“Bejeweled 2” (rated E, $10 on WiiWare): The classic, gem-matching puzzler finally makes its way onto the Wii.
“100 Classic Books” (rated E, $20 on DS): OK, so you wouldn’t actually “play” this, but it squeezes a bunch of classic works of literature, from Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” to Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” onto one DS cartridge. Seems like a great accompaniment for your next vacation.
“Toy Story 3” (rated E, $50 on Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $30 on DS and PlayStation Portable): As movie games go, this one looks passable. Still, probably best only for kids and/or rabid fans of the movie.