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New Releases: Week of 9/28

/ Sep 28th, 2014 No Comments

Shadows of Mordor

It seems like yesterday we were all waiting on Destiny and readying our wallets and bodies for the game, but now September is over. There are always more games to get excited over, especially with the holiday blitz coming up to tax our time and wallets.

However, it is important to take a moment to recognize that September was a good month for video games with a few stragglers coming in under the gun. This week’s new releases include Forza Horizon 2, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishements and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

Forza Horizon 2 – Xbox One – September 30

The “Horizon Festival” is back in action, now taking place in southern Europe with racers zooming through southern France and northern Italy. Players can tackle events in Provence, Tuscany, Côte d’Azur, and more exotic locations in this open-world racing game with full day and night cycles. In order to progress through Forza Horizon 2, players need to participate in events that can take place throughout the day.



Forza Horizon 2.

Forza Horizon 2 is the Xbox One follow-up to 2012’s Forza Horizon. In addition to the day and night cycle, the open-world racing game gets a dynamic weather system. Forza Horizon 2 will feature more than 200 cars, added over time, with some of the first cars being the 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, 2012 Nissan GT-R Black Edition, and 2012 Pagani Huayra. The game has a new feature called “Bucket List” allowing you to compete in challenges that get updated over time. A new online mode “Car Meets” gives players the opportunity to compare cars and interact online.

Check out our Forza Horizon 2 Review for a more in-depth take on the game.

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax – PS3, Xbox 360 – September 30

Persona 4 Arena took many by surprise as it successfully blended the popular JRPG series with the fighting game genre. While the first game had good combat, it was the robust story mode that made the game stand out. It continued the story of both the characters from Persona 4 and Persona 3. The ending left more questions, many of which are expected to be answered with Persona 4 Arena Ultimax. Ultimax brings together the Investigation Team and the Shadow Operatives once again to settle the loose ends from the P-1 Grand Prix.


Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.

The game is once again a collaboration between Atlus and Arc System Works. It features some additional modes for players to sharpen their skills with and a largely expanded fighter roster. For the first week of release, buyers of Ultimax can get Adachi and Marie for free. When Adachi and Marie revert back to paid DLC on Oct. 7, the Margaret character DLC will be available for purchase.

Check back later this week for our review of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – PS4, Xbox One, PC – September 30

The game revolves around Talion, a ranger guarding the Black Gate. His family is killed when Sauron and his army return to Mordor, and he too is killed by them. A spirit of vengeance resurrects Talion granting him a chance at vengeance and Wraith abilities. Talion travels into Mordor to get revenge on the ones who took everything from him.

[adsense250itp]During Talion’s journey he encounters Gollum, learns about the Rings of Power and the spirit that brought him back to life. Shadow of Mordor bridges the gap between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Monolith Productions worked closely with those involved with the Tolkien oeuvre to ensure the game lines up canonically.

The game features an open-world system allowing Talion to take on side-quests and explore the world as players see fit. The Nemesis System remembers players’ interactions with other characters and enemies to adapt their future behavior to player choice. Players can choose to upgrade either Ranger or Wraith abilities depending on playstyle with the Ranger built for stealth and Wraith suited to manipulation and subterfuge.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments – PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC – September 30

Become the greatest detective in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments. This is the first Sherlock game from Frogwares to use Unreal Engine 3, a change from their previous in-house engine used in the previous Sherlock Holmes games. The game features six different cases to solve from murders to missing persons, there is a wide variety of cases to undertake as Sherlock Holmes. The choice of how to investigate is up to you from what leads to chase down to how to interrogate suspects.


Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & PunishmentsSherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments.

Utilizing the game’s different mechanics, you can use Holmes’ startling intellect to make connections between the minute details you notice during investigations. The more diligently you collect clues, the more options open up to you during conversations, which will gives you a better handle on how to solve the case. However, every decision you make in Crimes & Punishments can lead you down different paths and incriminate different suspects, each case has a different conclusion based on your choices.

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS – 3DS – October 3

The iconic Super Smash Bros. series is back! This time available for the first time on a handheld system. Super Smash Bros. for 3DS is the portable version of the latest Super Smash Bros. game releasing ahead of the Wii U version. Super Smash Bros. is the poster child game to take advantage of Nintendo’s upcoming New 3DS/ New 3DS XL and the update hardware’s C-Stick.


Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

Not only is it the first time the series has graced a Nintendo handheld system, it is the largest roster in Super Smash Bros. history dwarfing even the large roster of Brawl. The game features many exciting new comers like Mega Man, Pac-Man, the Villager, Shulk and Little Mac among other. As well, many fan favorite veterans return to make the roster robust and impressive. Nintendo released a demo ahead of the game, which raised some concerns, but it won’t stop the die hard from picking up the game.


Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs

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