New Releases for the Week of January 16th-22nd, 2013

Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch  (1)From Ron Gilbert’s curious cavity that invites characters to confront the darker side of their personalities in The Cave to Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch‘s explorations of a parallel universe, this week’s new releases are poised to please gamers with engaging plotlines. Fortunately, for those who are indifferent to narrative heft, there are a few options: titles such as ShootMania Storm and Gun Commando assure less conversation and more annihilation.

360
Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven Mode Pack (DLC, $10)
Naughty Bear: Double Trouble!
The Cave (XBL, $14.99)

PS3
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories (PSN, PS2 Classics, $9.99)
Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven Mode Pack (DLC, $10)
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
The Cave (PSN, $14.99)

Wii U
The Cave (eShop, $14.99)

DS
No releases

3DS
Deer Drive Legends (eShop, $14.99)
Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue (eShop, $29.99)
Kirby’s Star Stacker (eShop, $2.99)
Tokyo Crash Mobs (eShop, $5.99)

Vita
Gun Commando (PSN, $TBA)

PC
Croixleur
Dawnstar
DmC: Devil May Cry
Dungeonland
Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven Mode Pack (DLC, $10)
Path of Exile
ShootMania Storm
Strike Suit Zero
The Cave
The Sims 3: 70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff Pack

Robert’s Pick: Back in 2008, Famitsu first announced developer Level-5 (of Jeanne d’Arc and Professor Layton fame) and Studio Ghibli’s (Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away) collaborative intent. Being a fan of both talents my expectations were piqued, and continued to simmer across the next few years. When I received review code of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch this week, I worried that my excitement might have already peaked, after enduring an extended wait. Within a few hours of play, my fears proved unfounded- Ni no Kuni is one of those rare role-playing gems which exudes charm and magnetism at every opportunity. Welcome the first essential purchase of 2013.

Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch  (2)

Eric’s Pick: Upon first glancing at the top screenshot of this post, I legitimately could not tell if I was staring at a video game or an anime. Even CyberConnect 2′s best Naruto offerings haven’t blurred the lines between the two media formats this well. Studio Ghibli’s influence on the artistic direction of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has done wonders for the project. With Professor Layton developer, Level-5, as the other half of the collaboration, this beautiful title has the potential to be a classic.

Ni No Kuni 2

Sage’s Pick: While Robert’s description of Ni No Kuni has definitely piqued my interest, my pick this week must nonetheless go to The Cave.  At E3 were were able to squeeze into a cave like room near the end of the show, right after the guys in charge finished fanning out the smell of many large gamers from the tiny space.  While the initial atmosphere may have been a little off-putting, their demo video of the cave was inspiring.  The Cave, true to Double Fine form, is an entertaining mix of dark humor and engaging puzzles.  The main theme of The Cave is the exploration of the dark desires and personality traits of the characters you play with. Players can choose any three characters out of seven for each play through.  Choosing a trio of characters encourages broader thinking about puzzle solving, and allows the player to experience and enjoy several different story lines, all dark of course. If puzzles, dark humor, or the exploration of deep hidden desires, and caves, are things you like, then I think this game is a must see. Or you can wait to see how much I like it on our next podcast.

The Cave (1)

Jeremy’s Pick: The Cave has actually been kicking around in designer Ron Gilbert’s head for quite a while. Although he is most often associated with the Monkey Island series, long-time fans may remember him best for Maniac Mansion, which is probably the closest analog to his newest offering, published by Sega. Somewhat akin to the ensemble cast of Maniac Mansion, players will choose three characters from a set of seven to enter a mystical cave that invites would-be explorers to discover its secrets as well as their own. The game will combine an interactive adventure with light platforming elements and likely a lot of great, dynamic writing. With a premise like that, from a studio like Double Fine, headed by a creative mind like Ron Gilbert’s, I foresee a little spelunking in The Cave in my future.

The Cave (2)

16 Comments

  1. Iota says:

    Strong words for Ni no Kuni! I did see IGN gave out a 9, so there’s hope.

  2. DougieDog says:

    I’m interested in The Cave (I loved Maniac Mansion) but your praise of Ni no Kuni has me intrigued.

  3. Bento Boxer says:

    So you’re saying that Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue ISN’T essential?

  4. Odin says:

    Dungeonland sounds like a great place to drop off my Sim children for the day.

  5. Frank Madison says:

    Is the $14.99 price for Deer Drive Legends a misprint? That CANT be right.

  6. Tracey says:

    The Cave seems worth a try. Its Ron Gilbert.

  7. PrinnyDood says:

    I’m on board with Robert as usual. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Wiz edition for me.

  8. Troublenator says:

    Tokyo Crash Mobs seems like weird (but short-lived) fun. You guys plan of offering a review?

  9. AzureDawn says:

    Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for me. Level 5+Studio Ghibli=awesome combo.

  10. DrawKing says:

    I heard if you’re going to play DmC then PC is the way to go. No weaksauce framerates with a good video card.

  11. b00m3r says:

    I assume ost of tech-gaming’s audeince is getting Ni No Kuni. I’ll be a lone renegade and play ShootMania Storm.

  12. Swamp Rat says:

    So Ni no Kuni and The Cave are tied. NOLA need to break it!

  13. WushuBro says:

    The Cave is really coming out for Wii U this week?

  14. Mica says:

    I’m looking forward to The Cave. Loved Rons past games.

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