Welcome to another instalment in our weekly news digest where the team at PSU Towers picks our favourite slices of gaming gossip from the past seven days, before proceeding to offer our two cents on each story for good measure.
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Capcom’s finally super-glued a firm release date to its anticipated crossover brawler Street Fighter x Tekken, confirming the game will hit the U.S. and Europe in early March. To be more specific, the game will arrive in PAL regions on March 9, which just so happens to be the same day that Mass Effect 3 is unleashed. Talk about timing. Regardless, the fighter is looking mighty impressive, and, with Rufus now added to the ever-expanding line-up, looks set to be a real contender for beat-‘em-up of the year 2012. Better not blow all your Christmas cash – you’re going to need it for early next year.
Capcom’s Devil May Cry HD Collection has been rumored for some time now, having originally been outed on a Spanish retail site earlier this summer. Due out in early 2012, it’ll miss the series’ 10th anniversary celebrations which takes place this fall, but the fact we’re going to be able to tuck into Dante’s first three demon-slaying adventures is too good of an opportunity to pass up. Okay, so Devil May Cry 2 is the series’ equivalent of a red-headed stepchild, but the original and Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening are positively stonking, stylish hack-‘n-slash romps that are worth anyone’s time and money. Plus, those of us who already own the games will have another excuse to pick up the bundle thanks to the inclusion of Trophy/Achievement support. Nice move, Capcom.
Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series has consistently remained a visual showpiece for Sony’s black behemoth since its inception four years ago, particularly when it comes to Uncharted 2, which boasts some of the most scrumptious graphics this gen. However, this week the firm has said that although they’ve managed to improve upon the visuals for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, the leap between both UC2 and UC3 won’t be as pronounced as the original game and the sequel. This probably won’t come as a surprise considering the Dogs royally pushed the boat out with Uncharted 2’s eyeball-popping aesthetics, having gotten fully acquainted with the PS3’s slightly fiddly architecture. Of course, Uncharted 3 is an absolute stunner, and while the improvements may seem more subtle, there are definitely enhancements to be found when juxtaposed with its 2009 predecessor. And, if Uncharted 4 does make its way to Sony’s flagship console, I’ve no doubt that Naughty Dog will find a way to squeeze yet another bit of extra juice out of our favourite telly box.
The PlayStation Vita iteration of do-it-yourself kart romp ModNation Racers has finally been issued an official title this week, with Sony confirming the game will be known as ModNation Racers: Road Trip. Nothing too flashy, but it’s certainly a lot better than some of the other suggestions that the platform holder received. Despite not exactly setting the charts alight, the PS3 version of ModNation Racers was a thoroughly enjoyable effort, and the customisation features really helped elongate the game’s lasting appeal – plus, the social features made it one of the better multiplayer games on Sony’s system. With the Vita version looking set to follow the same polished paradigm – which is just as well considering Sony’s new handheld has some meaty social connectivity options – there’s no reason why gamers shouldn’t be treated to another stellar entry in the series come 2012.
So there we have it folks: February 22 is the day you’ll finally be able to pick up a shiny new Vita in the U.S. and Europe. Granted, it’s still four months away, but at least we finally have a date to start saving those pennies for. Unfortunately, a date was all Sony seemed content to give us though, with no details regarding the launch line-up confirmed at the time of writing. Still, given the amount of titles in development we should expect nothing short of a stellar day one line-up. The U.K. price point was also confirmed, details of which can be seen here.
Uncharted 3 is poised to be SCE UK’s biggest software launch to date, and as such the firm has a meaty marketing push up its sleeves. Yep, to ensure Nathan Drake’s latest treasure-hunting thrill ride is imprinted on the consciousness of the buying public this November, Sony will be spending five million quid on advertising the game. Aside from the usual onslaught of TV, homepage, posters and other such methods, the platform holder is also prepping a short documentary produced by Oscar-winning director Ed Zwick, which looks set to take a look at what defines iconic action heroes like our beloved Drake. Of course, this whole marketing malarkey is a no-brainer given how significant a release Uncharted 3 is for Sony, although with November being jam-packed with heavy hitters – including the commercial juggernaut that is Call of Duty – it remains to be seen just how well Drake will fare in the face of such overwhelming adversity. Then again, the cheeky chappie always manages to pull through in the end, doesn’t he?
Rockstar announced this week that it would be bringing the Complete Edition of L.A. Noire to consoles next month, having previously confirmed the crimp caper bundle for PC. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone considering the industry giant has a penchant for offering re-releases of its biggest games some months after their initial launch, inclusive of all previously release DLC. Of course, L.A. Noire is the ideal candidate for this treatment, considering it received healthy post-launch support in the form of numerous extra cases. More importantly, the price - $49.99 – makes it an ideal investment for newcomers who have yet to slap their police badge and indulge Cole Phelps’ compelling investigation of 1940s L.A. If you haven’t already made the jump, then go for it.
Murmurs on Sony’s plans for the next-generation of consoles have been doing the rounds for the most of the year, though this latest batch seems to have a little more credibility than previous reports. Stemming from the folks at Develop, who to be fair are top blokes, Sony has apparently got several of its internal studios working on games for PlayStation 4, though it remains unknown which companies are involved in the projects. The site does mention, however, that PS4 is not expected until around 2014, which is the same date thrown around by other sources whenever the topic of PS4 arises (well unless you count that incredibly far-fetched rumor of a Kinect-style PS4 releasing next year, a laughable attempt at conjecture if ever there was one). However, it's not entirely inconceivable that Sony may tinkering away on PS4-related projects, considering work on Vita began not that long after PSP hit stores. I personally feel a pre-2014 launch is absolutely out of the question, though. Regardless of when the system launches however, Colin Sebastian reckons Sony will be first out the door.
Soul Calibur V has been slapped with an early 2012 date this week, with the game out in the U.S. on January 31 and February 3 in Europe. More interestingly, however, is the fact Ezio Auditore from the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been confirmed as a playable character in the game. This is great news as far as I’m concerned, as Ezio is the perfect candidate for a weapons-based brawler such as Soul Calibur thanks to his vast array of death-dealing tools. Fortunately it looks like Namco is going to take advantage of some our favourite ladies man’s most iconic weaponry, including the classic Hidden Blade. Of course, Ezio may not be the only character to make a guest appearance, though nothing else has been confirmed as of yet.
2012 is already shaping up to be one heck of a year for gaming, and that’s saying something considering how stonking 2011 has proven so far. Unsurprisingly, Mass Effect 3 is among the biggest games of next year, and this week BioWare has confirmed we’re going to get an early taster of the sci-fi sequel in just a couple of months when a single-player demo touches down in January. If that wasn’t though, the developer has also confirmed that it’ll receive a multiplayer beta to boot, with Battlefield 3 owners gaining early access to the teaser. I for one am chuffed to hear we’re getting an early slice of the Mass Effect 3 pie, more so as we’re getting a taster of both the single-player and multiplayer components; typically games like ME don’t always get a demo, and if it’s a major multiplayer effort then usually only the online portion of the game is teased. To be honest though, do you really need a demo to tell you that this is an absolute must-have game? Thought not. Still, given the fact the multiplayer effort is a new step for the franchise, this is the perfect time to test the waters before the game hits shelves and see how it measures up. Let's hope it is as compelling as it sounds.