The Latest

New Releases for the Week of August 5th, 2012

Persona 4 ArenaWith the dogs days of summer upon us, the next seven days offer only a scant number of retail releases, with Atlus’ Persona 4 Arena being the most notable. However, on the digital front things are are bit more varied with Hybrid, a exceedingly secretive third-person shooter from consistently creative developer 5th Cell and Commando: Steel Disaster, a portable title which draws undeniably inspiration from the Metal Slug series.

Hybrid (XBLA, $15.00)
Persona 4 Arena

Persona 4 Arena
Sounds Shapes (PSN, $14.99, 11.99 PS+)

Commando: Steel Disaster (eShop, $7.99)
Touch Battle Tank 3D (eShop, $4.99)

Commando: Steel Disaster (DSiWare, $7.99)

Sounds Shapes (PSN, $14.99, 11.99 PS+)

Hero Academy (Steam)
Legends of Pegasus
Symphony (Steam, $7.99)
The Amazing Spider-Man

DesertEagle’s Pick: It seems for every solid fighter that culls combatants from a separate IP, there’s a handful of other titles (anyone remember Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi o Golden Axe: The Duel) that are little more that quick cash-in with broken mechanics. After playing Persona 4 Arena at E3, I can safely say that the game falls into the first camp. While the thirteen-character roster might seem slightly diminutive, it’s clear that developer Arc System Works (the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series) emphasized pugilistic polish over having a profusion of janky demon summoners. With nuances such as Burst Gauges, SP Gauges, and Reversal Actions, expect Arc’s typical technical interpretation of fighting, albeit with familiar faces such as Yu Narukami and Aigis. The only thing that’s missing is a tag mode integrating Persona 3 and 4‘s social link element. Maybe for the inevitable sequel.

Persona 4 Arena

Samurage’s Pick: Stack me up on Robert’s team. Though I’m not a heavy hitter when it comes to the Persona series, my hands on at E3 thoroughly impressed me. In addition to Robert’s pros(e) about the game, I loved the environmental effects that took place in the background. Effects like pages in classroom books whipping about when players whiz by, or TV screens flickering to life when fighting in a studio setting really pulled me into the atmosphere. If you’re into fighting games, this game is definitely worth weighing in for.

Persona 4 Arena

BlueSwim’s Pick: Persona 4 Arena is the clear-cut winner this week. Arc System Works’ newest baby debuted to massive week-one sales numbers in Japan; outselling the launches of the first two versions of Street Fighter IV, the first two versions of BlazBlue, and Tekken 6. Like any self-respecting Persona game, Persona 4 Arena sports an epic (for a fighting game) 20-30 hour story mode that should keep single players busy for a while. No matter what kind of fighting game player you are, I fully expect P4 A to earn its keep.

Persona 4 Arena

SeanNOLA’s Pick: I was about to pick Persona 4 Arena as my cop-out answer. What we played of it at E3 seemed competent and fun, but my ambivalence toward the Shin Megami Tensei series keeps me from garnering more than a passing interest. Instead, I looked up trailers to my other options, and I have to say: Commando: Steel Disaster looks like it could be a real winner. Steel Disaster looks to be a tracing of the classic Metal Slug series, which to be perfectly honest, is all I really need to be happy. Plus, it’s available for the DSi, so I can dust that puppy off!

Commando Steel Disaster

Jeremy LaMont’s Pick: We can probably close the “launch window” on the PlayStation Vita with both snark AND a bit of sincerity next week when Sound Shapes (Queasy Games, PS3/PSV) is released on PSN. The geometrically-inclined platformer will combine the work of musicians like Beck and Jim Guthrie, art studio Pyramid Attack, and game designer Jonathan Mak, in an attempt to blend music and gameplay more completely than ever before.  Sound Shapes features a level editor, a lot of indie cred, and cross-platform play between the PS3 and Vita with a single purchase. Check out some videos at the PlayStation.Blog to learn more.

Sound Shapes

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.


  1. Any differences in the Xbox 360 and PS3 rosters for P4Arena?

  2. I’ve heard next to nothing about Hybrid. Makes me worried.

  3. I haven’t heard you guys get a New Release shout out on the CAGcast. Did you forgot to pay CheapyD?

    Anyway, I’m done paying full price for fighting games and then later told to shell out for more characters. If you wait you’ll get everything for $20.

  4. I like they way Sounds Shapes has cross play. I’m twice at likely to buy it.

  5. Is there’s a demo for Sounds Shapes I’ll be all over it. Otherwise nothing for me until Darksiders 2.

  6. Touch Battle Tank 3D actually looks like a fun little game. But really I’m waiting for New Super Mario Bros. 2

  7. I’ll bite on Hero Academy at $2.99 or maybe a dollar more. Hopefully, they’ll bundle it.

  8. Evokers ready? Persona 4 Arena!

  9. Legends of Pegasus looks cool if you’re into 4X games. I’ll be grabbing it.

  10. 3 for P4A? That’s pretty amazing. Of course, we still need Sean and Jeremy who I suspect will go with Sound Shapes.

    • I’ve played Sound Shapes on 2 separate occasions and I can confirm that, unless they have changed it drastically since the Vita’s launch, I will be skipping it.

      • Really? What’s wrong with it?

        • It was very dull and lifeless. I felt like I was playing an Ikea platformer.

          I understand what they’re going for, what with the levels getting progressively more complicated while each screen adds a layer to the music and each of your movements vaguely affects the melody, but none of that grabbed me.

          To be perfectly honest, it felt like a flash game that I’d pick up, say “huh, this is neat.” and then never think about again.

          I know this is harsh criticism from someone who’s only played the game for a collective hour or so, but a platformer really has to grab you right away. This one just didn’t. Especially not when Mutant Blob Attacks is half the price.

          • Yeah, the video make it look like a glorified tech demo. Cool but not something I’d pay to play on my PS3. Of course, with the Vita’s software shortage, people might be a little more interested.

          • You can bash Sound Scapes for being generic, but don’t talk about Ikea. They are cool, cheap, and pretty stylish if you like the modern look.

          • I agree with your Sound Shapes assessment that the game is bland from having watched a few videos. But I must take offense with your Ikea reference. Their furnishings and accessories are pretty cool thee days. I think snobs look down on them for the mass production model, but hey, it keeps the price down.


          • I think Sean’s metaphor works and his assessment is fair. Ikea furnishings are inexpensive, but lack any spark. They disappear into a room or office (like they are supposed to) without creating much of a sensation.

            I want a game that grabs my attention and doesn’t feel like it came off the assembly line. My playtime with Sound Shapes has been brief, but I will try to give the game a full review this week (along with Hybrid).

          • IKEA’s junk breaks quickly and is ugly. Shop there once and you’ll learn.

          • IKEA is the perfect example of you get what you pay for. Cheap, particle board, self-assembled, pieces made from modular parts.

            If there’s isn’t a site of cool IKEA hacks and mods, where people make stuff from off the shelf IKEA goods, there should be.

          • U mad bro?

            Work at Ikea long?

          • To be fair, I was actually just comparing it to the stark, contemporary art style of Sound Shapes to the stark, contemporary furnishings that Ikea has become known for. I wasn’t making a value judgement about OSB or anything.

          • I hate the term OSB. Let’s just call it particle board and no adopt that term.

            Basically, it’s garbage and offers none of the strength of real wood. Ever snap a piece of oak in two? Unless your Hercules, I doubt it. But particle board breaks all the time, into little pieces you can glue back together.

            Oh, and Sound Shapes? That looks cool.

  11. Add one more to Robert’s team. Is there still time to get the bonus soundtrack?

  12. P4A looks like sure sex.

  13. I almost certain that Jeremy is collecting a check from Sony. Ever hear him truly criticize the company? He never does.

  14. I’d love to see a three-way review on Sound Shapes with Deagle, Sean and Jer. It might end in blood but it would be cool.

  15. Hopefully, Sound Shapes has a demo. It looks kind of cool.

  16. Have the word “Disaster” is your title is always a gutsy move.

  17. Nothing for me this week. P4A looks cool, but I’m not crazy about fighters.

  18. I’ll be honest, I am not big about fighters also but after playing P4A at E3, I instantly loved it! I don’t even know how I did so well but it left a very good impression on me. So this week goes to Persona 4 Arena.

  19. I’m thinking Atlus and NISA are giving kickbacks now. 😉