As we wave hello to the first days of October, why not take a look at the releases for this month? It’s set to be an exciting time for gamers, with some huge games due (and some not so great sounding ones). Read on to find out more.
N.B. All dates are those of North American releases; please note that other regions may have to wait just a little while longer.
Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl – October 1st (3DS)
It got a 36/40 from Famitsu and has sold 114,000 copies, but you’ve never heard of it unless you’re a series fan. The Etrian Odyssey games tend to fly under the radar a bit, not least because of their status as dungeon crawlers. However, this entry includes a Story mode alongside the usual monster grinding.
NBA 2K14 – October 1st (Win, PS3, X360, iOS)
Yes, get excited for another installment of everyone’s favourite basketball game series! In fact, it’s everyone’s only basketball game series. Seriously, I can’t think of any more except that Mario one for the DS. Poor showing, NBA. Anyway, you can pick this up very soon, so give it a try if you’re anything of a sports fan. Oh, and LeBron James selected the music for the soundtrack, so here’s where we find out he’s a big Gilbert and Sullivan fan.
Rain – October 1st (PS3)
If I had to select five words to sum up the generation, they would be ‘Narrative-driven downloadable indie games’. Or is that four? Anyway, Rain tells the story of an invisible child, only visible by his footsteps when under cover and outlined by the impacting rain while moving around outside. Expect a bit of stealth, some inventive puzzles and (from what we’ve heard so far) an excellent soundtrack to keep you occupied.
Rune Factory 4 – October 1st (3DS)
Rune Factory began life on the DS as a spin-off of the Harvest Moon games, and has been described by its creator as ‘Harvest Moon where you wield a sword’. Still, the slight move away from hot hoe-on-earth action doesn’t stop the games being fun, and if you’re willing to let them suck you in you’ll be occupied for hours. This is the first 3D installment, and as such should offer visual treats as yet unseen in the series. The story also sounds suspiciously similar to the setup of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, with the protagonist mistakenly being parachuted into the role of a prince and tasked with running the town of Selfia.
Beyond: Two Souls – October 8th (PS3)
Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe star in the first game by Quantic Dream since 2010’s noir epic Heavy Rain. This time, the narrative focuses on a woman named Jodie Holmes, and follows her through 15 years of her life as she struggles to understand ever-present spiritual entity named Aiden. Director David Cage has always stated that his intention is to carry across emotion through gameplay, so expect to see plenty of both touching and troubling scenes.
F1 2013 – October 8th (Win, PS3, X360)
Oh I do hate when sports games show up on these lists, for the simple reason that I can’t play them for the life of me. My only experience of the F1 franchise is one of the Nintendo 64 games, at which I was utterly abysmal. If you like racers, I’m sure you’ll enjoy all the cars going vroom.
Just Dance 2014 – October 8th (Wii, WiiU, X360, PS3)
I guess they’re doing one of these a year, then. Shame for players, really – Just Dance is pretty much the only rhythm-action series still doing well, and it would be better for consumers to just release one game and a heck of a lot of DLC content, since all the games pretty much play the same. Still, the cash cow keeps giving cream, so don’t expect Ubisoft to follow the Sims business model any time soon. In all seriousness, the games are a lot of fun if you’re not averse to embarrassing yourself a bit and well worth a look if there’s nothing else on your radar.
Pokemon X and Y Versions – October 12th (3DS)
If I don’t show up until five years from now when my dismembered body is found in a bin bag floating under the Forth Bridge, remember that I made this statement: I’m not really that interested in the new Pokemon games. Believe me, that’s a painful statement to make, since Pokemon was one of the formative games of my childhood. The last few weren’t bad games, by any means – they just didn’t inspire the same excitement they did when I was 12. Nonetheless, we’ll be picking up a copy, and reviewing it for your pleasure. Expect a brand new world (based on France), a graphical overhaul and (unsurprisingly) a good deal of new monsters to play with.
Skylanders Swap Force – October 13th (Wii, WiiU, X360, PS3)
I remember being a kid in the early 2000s, and collecting Yu-Gi-Oh! cards at £2.49 a pack. They were dear then and remain so, but comparatively they’ve been lessened in cost by Skylanders. Allowing Near-Field Communication use in order to transplant little statuettes into your cutesy game, the Skylanders series has seen vast sales figures, so it was inevitable there’d be more. Expect much more collection of £15 figures.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes – October 18th (Win, WiiU, X360, PS3, 3DS, DS)
As someone who feels the Lego series lost its charm the moment they started using voice acting in LEGO Batman 2, I’m sceptical of this latest release from Traveller’s Tales, especially after the travesty that was LEGO City Undercover. Still, there has to be a certain charm about controlling a little plastic Spider-Man – I wonder what his webs are going to be made from?
Sonic Lost World – October 22nd (3DS, WiiU)
This one got a fair bit of coverage when it was announced, both for bearing a striking resemblance to Sonic X-Treme, the cancelled Saturn installment, and for being a Nintendo (3DS and Wii U) exclusive at a time when they really need some games. The Blue Blur will not be taking on Eggman this time – in fact the good doctor lends his services to Sonic in taking on a set of malicious entities known collectively as the Deadly Six. Presumably that means we’re in for some heavy-handed Deadly Sins metaphor (I can’t wait to see a kid-friendly take on Lust) but it ought to be entertaining nonetheless.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge – October 22nd (WiiU, 3DS, X360, PS3, NDS, Wii)
I really wasn’t aware that anyone was still into Spongebob Squarepants. I haven’t heard a word about it in about five years, and now I’m concerned that I might have just fallen out of touch with my childhood. Anyway, my impending mental breakdown aside, this looks like a bog-standard action-adventure from shovelware developer Behaviour Interactive, famous of course for their most recent game, Doritos Crash Course 2. I’m sure you all revel daily in its glory.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies – October 24th (3DS)
Behold the two-subtitled game! Technically this is already out in Japan, but thanks to 3DS region locking Western players won’t have been able to get their mitts on it until now. In some ways, Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton are the modern flagships of the adventure gaming genre, and it’s good to see that they’re still going strong. This installment, the first on the 3DS, will be a digital-only release and will in time have a DLC case made available. Interestingly, a second DLC case exists, but is not being brought to the West because it allegedly requires an in-depth knowledge of Japanese culture.
Batman: Arkham Origins (and Arkham Origins: Blackgate) – October 25th (Win, PS3, X360, WiiU, Vita, 3DS)
Famous for their rather fluid hand-to-hand combat and very dark tone, the Arkham series has by this point been around for four years, which makes me feel rather old. From the school of original subtitling comes Arkham Origins, appropriately set several years before the first game and featuring an inexperienced Batman doing battle with eight fearsome assassins.
Wii Party U – October 25th (WiiU)
Wii Party was one of those games that managed to be popular without it being possible to meet anyone who’s actually played it. Essentially Mario Party with all the characters, settings and quirkiness removed (and then, really, what is the point?) it’s part of Nintendo’s ‘these are the games we churn out to subsidise fun stuff our fans like’ range. Naturally then we have a Wii U game incoming and it looks to be more of the same. Buy it if you will, but there’s a new Mario Party coming soon!
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – October 29th (X360, PS3, WiiU)
There’s nothing the internet loves more than pirates, funny cat videos and hardcore pornography, and only one of those is likely to feature in the latest Assassin’s Creed game. And before you jump to that assumptions, take note that the titular Black Flag refers to nothing euphemistic. Yes, it’s time to embark on piratical adventures in the new time-travelling, consciousness-swapping action-platformer hyphen-extraordinaire. Expect lots of slicing up of dudes!
Battlefield 4 – October 29th (Win, X360, PS3)
Yes, this one actually looks rather cool. I mean, obviously that’s only when judged against its competitors – it’s still a grey-brown modern military shooter – but still, it’s innovative compared to the likes of Call of Duty. The newest concept, Levelution, is a cool idea despite the terrible marketing-speak name. Essentially it’s complete modifications of the battlefield in the course of gameplay, radically altering the play style. In reality, it will probably result in both teams immediately rushing to blow up skyscrapers before even thinking of actually fighting one another, but hey, at least they tried.
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures – October 29th (Win, PS3, X360, WiiU, 3DS)
Based on a CG show nobody’s ever heard of, Pac-Man returns to your screens once more for a platformer. You know, I’m not necessarily sure that plays to his strengths, what with his lack of arms or legs – oh, wait, he’s got them now. And Pac ‘N’ Roll happened, so hush my mouth I suppose.
WWE 2K14 – October 29th (PS3, X360)
Oh it’s muscly men in tight shorts getting sweaty with one another – what do you expect?
Football Manager 2014 – October 29th (Win, Mac, Lin, iOS)
Like FIFA, only less interactive. The Football Manager series is mostly played by people with a creepy fascination with statistics, who lack the reflexes to even play pretend football. So it’s no surprise that to keep them busy this winter, the heating turned up to full and covered in cable knit jumpers, a new installment is hitting a PC near you. Marvel! At the number of players available. Gasp! As you adjust sliders. Cry! As you realise how you’re spending your Christmas Day.