“Civilization V” (rated E10+, $50 for PC): I finally got a chance to get some time in with Firaxis’ latest turn-based strategy game Friday night, and I’m pleased to report it runs like butter on my semi-new laptop. Phew! Based on those first few hours, I’d guess I’m going to like this game as much as previous iterations in the series. For the unfamiliar, the “Civilization” games let players take control of a band of cavemen, found a society and build a nation. In your quest for cultural, social, technological or military domination, you’ll research scientific advancements, form alliances and the like. There’s multiplayer available, but with most games taking eight to 12 hours, the game shines in single-player. I’ll have a review eventually, but I previewed the game after I saw it at E3.
“Final Fantasy XIV” (rated T, collector’s edition $75 for PC): The collector’s edition of Square Enix’s latest massively multiplayer online role-playing game hit the PC this week. The standard version is due out Thursday, while PS3 players will get their hands on the game sometime next year.
“Sin & Punishment: Star Successor” (rated T, $50 on Wii) [review]: Whether you love Isa or Kachi, if you’re confident in your “S&P” shoot-’em-up skills, Nintendo is running an online leaderboard competition through Oct. 6. The player who can rack up the highest score on the game’s third level is in line to win a customized plaque, two black Wii remote controllers, two black Classic Controller Pros, two Wii Zappers and having their name submitted to the gamer’s edition of the Guinnes Book of World Records. Theere are some technical things that might trip you up, namely that you have to submit a video, Billy Mitchell-style, to Twin Galaxies. Official contest rules are here.
“DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue” (rated, $15 download for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360): If it’s anything like the first “DeathSpank,” the latest hack-and-slash from the amusing Ron Gilbert and Co. could accurately be described as a “Diablo” parody. You’ll wander around, hack guys up and update your equipment while performing goofy quests like collecting orphans in a bag and mocking quest-giving non-player characters as “lazy.” It’s also maybe the quickest turnaround of a sequel I’ve seen — the first game came out in mid-July. While the $15 price is a little spendy, folks who buy the game in the first week of release get a free downloadable episode and playable co-op character.
“Etrian Odyssey III” (rated E10+, $30 for DS): If you’ve somehow managed to wring every bit of quest out of “Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies,” here’s another DS role-playing game to wet your whistle.
“F1 2010” (rated E, $60 for Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3): If you’re a fan of Formula 1 racing, this is your game. Heck, if you’re a fan of NASCAR, this might be your game, too, seeing as how there’s no NASCAR game anymore.
“Resident Evil 4” (rated M, 99 cents for iOS devices): A bunch of Capcom games, most notably “Resident Evil 4,” are on sale for iOS devices through the weekend. Joystiq has a full list here.
“Left 4 Dead 2” (rated M, $30 on Xbox 360, $20 on PC): “The Passing,” a downloadable add-on that introduces the cast of the first “Left 4 Dead” with the zombie-slaying foursome of the sequel, is on sale this weekend for $4, or $3 off the usual price for Xbox 360 owners. It’s still free on the PC!