the artistry and psychology of gaming


Top 13 Games of September 2011

Top 13 Games of September 2011

Thia is the second month we’re looking forward to in our series. Well, it seems that there are a lot of great games coming out in September, So let’s take a look at them.

#13: Dawn of Fantasy

This game an upcoming fantasy MMORTS coming out for PC developed by Reverie World Studios. The Xbox 360 version was cancelled. Set in the fictional universe Mythador, the game is based quests you undertake. All of these quests are story-driven. You can interact with other players through trading, shaping alliances, and fighting in modes like player versus player and player versus environment. You can also build villages, later expanding them into towns and countries and empires, you can learn different spells and learn to use them against the enemies, and also finish sidequests. There are three different races within the game: humans, elves, and orcs, each offering a radically different style of gameplay with a (promised) deep, compelling mythology, a historical background, and complex political ideologies.

When you read the different previews of this game you definitely get curious, and I personally can’t wait to get my hand on this game.

#12: NHL 12

Quoted and summarized from Wikipedia:

NHL 12 is an ice hockey game developed by EA Canada and published by EA Sports. Steven Stamkos, a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning, is on the game’s cover. The game has promised to include more interactive goalies (i.e. players can have real contact with the goalies and vice versa, and the goalies may fight against each other), better physics engine, improved Be a Pro mode, and the ability to play the 2011 NHL Winter Classic. The Be a Pro mode will be more authentic. New additions include the ability to start in the CHL and play there for up to four seasons, play through 18 career levels, be drafted in the NHL Entry Draft, get tasks from the coach, simulate games to the player’s next shift, and break historic records. Improved physics will allow for more realistic hits with helmets coming off, players being hit into the bench, knuckleball shots, shattered glass, and improved puck movements. Like NHL 11, Gary Thorne  and Bill Clement will provide commentary for NHL 12.

#11: Pro Evolution Soccer 2012

PES 2012 also known as World Soccer: Winning Eleven 2012 in Asia is the eleventh game in the Pro Evolution Soccer (Winning Eleven) series developed and published by Konami with production assistance from the Blue Sky Team. The new cover athlete of the game is Cristiano Ronaldo, a Portuguese footballer who plays  for Spanish club Real Madrid and is the captain of the Portuguese national team. On the Asian versions, Shinji Kagawa, a Japanese football player who plays for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, is the cover star. Like previous games, it will be exclusively licensed by UEFA to contain the related competitions. The gameplay is mainly the same as previous games with no huge changes but some smaller improvements. For example a new features is the Teammate Control system, where a secondary player may be controlled in the same team. A sort of co-op if you will. Refereeing has been improved and includes a full implementation of the advantage rule, with the referee pulling back play for bookings after the ball goes out of play. The defenders cannot catch the balls so easily.  AI is said to has been improved over previous games.

For my own two cents, I see no reason for another soccer game, but you may like this if you’re that sort of gamer.

#10: FIFA 12

And yet, again another soccer game, this time the old rival of PES, FIFA. FIFA 12 (AKA FIFA Soccer 12 in North America) is the nineteenth game in Electronic Arts’ FIFA series.  FIFA 12 is promised to be a revolutionized series, with several new features and improvements. The user interface of the game has been radically redesigned with the familiar vertical menus being replaced by a side-scrolling menu bar system. Three major changes have been introduced to the gameplay system which include Impact Engine, Tactical Defending, and Precision Dribbling. Impact Engine impacts collision variety, accuracy, momentum preservation, and injuries sustained by players. It aims to make the game more spontaneous and therefore more realistic. Tactical Defending system will change the approach to defending by placing equal importance on positioning, intercepting passes and tackling.When defending there will be more of an emphasis on slowing attackers down and containing them, and pressuring them into making mistakes. Finally, the Precision Dribbling feature allows players to dribble whilst shielding, meaning you can still move around the pitch whilst holding players off, rather than being rooted to the spot. Close control has been added below jogging as a way of allowing players to take smaller, more frequent touches, keeping the ball closer and keeping tighter control. Players will now be much more aware of their surroundings. As an example, players in possession near the touchline will understand their position, and keep tighter control of the ball to stop it running out of play. An improved artificial intelligence system named Pro Player Intelligence aims to make AI-controlled players react to the skills and capabilities of other players with appropriate actions. The manager’s relationship with his players and the media will play a larger role, with team selection, success, and salaries all affecting individual players’ attitudes and morale, and the press picking up on injuries and unrest, all of which can impact performance on the pitch.

#9: Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns

To me, these games are the opium of the video games, calming and addictive, however, without the bad effects! Therefore I’m really excited about every new installment. This is a simulation game in which players assume the role of a traveling farmer who assists two towns with agricultural duties. Players raise livestock, build beehives, grow and harvest crops, and collect recipes on various plots of land. Ingredients for various recipes include carrots, eggs, milk, cooked rice, chestnuts, mint, fall honey, beer, and wine. According to Wikipedia, Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns is a farming simulation video game developed by Marvelous Entertainment for the Nintendo DS. The original release date for the Japanese version was set to 25 February 2010 but was moved to 8 July 2010. New features in the game include new animals like Alpacas and Honey Bees and a Pickle Pot that can be used to make pickled turnips.It will be released on the Nintendo DS in addition to the Nintendo 3DS in North America. The release date of September 20th, 2011 is only speculation as no facts have been released by Natsume. And for the life of me, I couldn’t find anything else in English about this game.

#8: Kirby Mass Attack

Well, Kirby has completely returned from his long leave of absence, ready to be exploited by Nintendo! A puzzle platformer game developed by HAL Laboratory is coming out for the DS. An evil wizard named Necrodius casts a curse on Kirby that splits him into ten pieces. Kirby and his many pieces must venture forth to defeat Necrodius and pull himself together. You have to command all the ten Kirbys on the screen. Tapping the screen creates a star that the Kirbys can follow or cling onto. By tapping enemies or obstacles on the screen, players can send multiple Kirbys to attack them, with the player also able to flick individual Kirbys as projectiles. In order to defeat most enemies and progress through each level, the player must collect multiple Kirbys by collecting pieces of fruit. When 100 points of Kirbys are obtained, a new Kirby appears, with a maximum of ten controllable at any time. If a Kirby is hit by an enemy or obstacle, it will turn blue until the player reaches a checkpoint. If a blue Kirby is hit, it will turn grey and float away unless the player can drag him down and turn him blue again, with the game ending if the player runs out of Kirbys. So, it sounds like fun!

#7: Child of Eden

Child of Eden is a rhythm action game created by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, best known for his game Rez, developed by Q Entertainment and published by Ubisoft.It will come out for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and can be controlled with Kinect, PS Move and standard controllers. In April 2011, Mizuguchi announced that he had developed a unique corset peripheral for the game, which featured four controllers, all of which vibrated to the game’s music. The goal of Child of Eden is to save Project Lumi, which is near completion, from a virus attack. If finished, Project Lumi would reproduce a human personality in Eden, the AI inside which Rez took place. The game revolves around shooting various objects that come onto the screen, which produce musical effects upon their destruction. Players can choose between using a lock-on function similar to Rez’s gameplay, or a vulcan cannon which shoots a constant stream of bullets. The game will feature 5 levels with a different visual theme. It has already been published for X360, met with very positive reception. PS3 gamers must really look forward to it.

#6: Dead Island

Quoted from Wikipedia

An open world horror action adventure video game in development by Techland. It will feature open world gameplay, played from a first person perspective, with up to four-player co-operative play in a heavily interactive environment. The focus will be on melee combat, incorporating customizable weaponry, vehicular customization/combat, and RPG elements. There is an experience system and a skill tree system. There is also a stamina bar, meaning that after a set amount of action with a weapon, the character will need to stop to regain their stamina before continuing to attack. It has also been confirmed that there are “special class” zombies, which are more powerful than the standard zombie. Players will need to use flashlights in dark areas and during night time sections throughout the game, adding suspense to the game.Changing seasons have been confirmed to not take place during the game, although a weather system is in effect.Although there is a child being “infected” in the original “Dead Island” trailer, it has been stated that there will be no children zombies in the game. The developers feel that the lack of children adds an element of reality, showing that they “just didn’t make it.”

#5: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

Warhammerseries are mainly known as an RTS franchise, however, there have been games in other genres, and this is one of them, it’s a third-person action game. The main gameplay focuses on shooting and customization. Unlike most games these days there is no cover system. You use enhanced abilities instead to survive the battle. In the battle you face Orks, a vicious brutal alien race. So it seems the game focuses on tactic and excitement and fast gameplay. A main feature of the game is the ability to customise your Space Marine Chapter by colour and style in multiplayer, thus representing the different components and paint schemes available in the actual tabletop game. This is a huge feature for those who play the tabletop game, as it therefore allows the player to use their own tabletop army in the game itself. In Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, there are two multiplayer modes. You are able to play through the campaign in cooperative mode with up to four additional friends.  There are also challenges associated with different weapons and will unlock perks for weapons or armor pieces to customize your space marine with. In the competitive multiplayer.

#4: Call of Juarez: The Cartel

The previous game in this series happened in the Western era. It was an entertaining, although deeply flawed, shooter. The new game has moved forward in time. It is set in modern-day Los Angeles and Mexico and you play the role of a cop. Up to two friends can join you in the gameplay. It is promised though, that the “best elements of the Wild West” are to be found in this game as well, which are most probably shooting, shooting, and shooting. A Mexican drug cartel has blown up a US government building an we are sent to smash it. The Mexican government has taken issues with the game, maybe because Mexico is totally safe and its police chiefs aren’t fleeing to America out of fear for their own lives. (Hint: no it isn’t, and yes, they are). The game promises to be dark and mature. They are many issues which the game promises to tackle, including a sympathetic drama among the cops. The game seems to be very interesting, but one has to wait and see.

#3: Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten

A fan of traditional JRPGs? This is the game for you, as this game is loyal to its roots, in gameplay, story, and even graphics. A classic purist fest. It has already been released in Japan, and it has been successful there. It sold a lot and received positive reviews from Famitsu. The game is similar to Disgaea 3 but improved, and that’s good news. The graphics has improved, it’s animated, and lively, and better than regular octagons of previous games. The theme of the game is political this time. Even one character was inspired by Barack Obama. And we get to meet the cute Prinnies again! I’m really excited about this new game.

#2: Resistance 3

This is the biggest FPS title exclusive to PS3. Quoted from Wikipedia:

Resistance 3 is an upcoming 2011 science fiction first person shooter video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PS3. It will be the first in the series to support 3D and Playstation Move and the first to introduce the PSN PASS program. In North America, Resistance 3 will come in two editions: Standard & Doomsday Edition. In PAL regions it will come in Special Edition and Survivor Edition featuring physical collectibles related to the game.  The game will retain mostly the same gameplay mechanics as its predecessor albeit with several changes. The weapon wheel and health bar from the first Resistance game will be returning after it was excluded from Resistance 2. There will also be new environmental objects such as chimeran plants which explode when shot. The game will see a mixture of new and old weapons; returning weapons include the Bullseye, Magnum, Rossmore, Auger, Marksman and Carbine. The new weapons include the Mutator, which shoots biological mist that causes enemies to eventually explode causing splash damage, the Deadeye sniper rifle, and a new food-can based explosive called a shrapnel grenade, which releases an arsenal of nails when it explodes. All weapons are upgradeable, and become more powerful the more they are used. In line with the survival theme of Resistance 3, humans are forced to assemble their weapons from whatever scrap they can gather. The video game will also feature PSMove support and stereoscopic 3D.Additionally, players will be able to utilize the PlayStation Sharp Shooter peripheral attachment.

#1: Gears of War 3

And this one is the biggest 3rd person shooter on X360, the game which changed the genre. Again from Wikipedia:

Gears of War 3 will feature four-player co-op for the first time in the series. A fully controllable mech suit, called a Silverback, will be available for use in certain parts of the game, armed with a machine gun and rocket launcher. They have two operating modes, in assault mode it is controlled like a standard character, in stationary mode, they lock into position and deploy their armor, as well as cover for other Gears from their legs.The player will once again play as Marcus Fenix, although at several points throughout the game, control will change to other characters.There will be several new Locust enemies in the game, including the Savage Grenadier, the Savage Theron, the Digger Boomer, the Locust Siege Beast and the Kantus Knight, as well as the return of the Berserkers (both ordinary as well as Lambent). Additionally, the game introduces the new Lambent enemies, such as Drudges, Polyps, and Lambent Stalks. There will also be new weapons; the Retro Lancer (a lancer with a blade bayonet attachment), the Digger Launcher (a gun that launches small digging creatures through the ground at high speeds that explode), the Sawed-off Shotgun, Incendiary Grenades, the One Shot (a heavy sniper rifle that, as the name suggests, kills enemies in a single shot) and the butchers machete. Four new playable female characters will be introduced: Samantha Byrne, Anya Stroud, Queen Myrrah, and Bernadette Mataki, a character from the Karen Traviss novels. Other new playable characters include Jace Stratton, a battle-hardened soldier who appears in the comic series and is mentioned in the second game, and Griffin, leader of a group of human survivors called the Stranded. Hip-hop star Ice-T will voice the character of Griffin, while actress Claudia Black will be the voice of Samantha. There will also be an enhanced progression system with players able to gain experience and level up through all modes, including the campaign.

My own taste isn’t much in accordance with Gears of War series, but undoubtedly, this game is the biggest game of the coming month.


First off, you might blame me for lazy writing for quoting this much from Wikipedia. My reason is, these are the games I haven’t followed personally, and therefore didn’t have much info on.

Secondly, as you can see 2011 is a great year, with even greater titles to come. So, stay tuned for the next months!

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