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El33t’s P33k at the games of August: Death, dogs and big bots

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At first blush, August 2012 may have seemed a bit low on exciting videogame releases compared to months earlier in the year, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Darksiders II Banner Logo 2

We all know that Darksiders II, Sleeping Dogs and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron are set to storm through August, and Nintendo fans would be keen to let everyone know that New Super Mario Bros. 2 is out soon, and while these games are certainly the pillars of the game industry this month we’ve got a gigantic collection of downloadable titles, and other niche games, to look forward to.

Let’s take a look at the full list of worldwide videogame releases for August 2012 as Lisa, Tom and I select our top picks for the month.

(Thanks to Dumidu, aka OneLargePrawn, for inspiring our title this week with his serendipitous Twitter message.)

August

Week of July 31st / August 3rd:

Week of August 7th / August 10th:

Week of August 14th / August 17th:

Week of August 21st / August 24th:

Week of August 28th / August 31st:

Lisa’s Picks:

Rock Band Blitz

“The drums, guitars, keyboard and mic have a thin layer of dust on them:it’s been too long and I’m putting the band back together for Rock Band Blitz! Only this time around we won’t need the instruments, we can just use the controller! But then we’ll be able to test out 25 new songs from Blitz in Rock Band 3 with the whole band.

Sounds like a great plan to me, although I think my rock chick will need a few new outfits since our last show was quite a while back.”

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New Super Mario Bros. 2

“New Super Mario Bros 2 promises to bring back the excitement of collecting coins, unleashing power-ups and defeating Gumbas that only a Nintendo game could offer. It’s also the perfect opportunity to play this new title on the 3DS XL. Exploring the Mushroom Kingdom in 3D on a bigger screen… what more could you ask for?”

Darksiders 2

“I’ve been following the creation of Darksiders 2 since it was first revealed, I’ve scrutinised every screenshot, watched every trailer and then been fortunate enough to play the game at E3.

It’s a game that sits very close to my heart and I cannot wait to sit down and play the full game from start to finish when it finally arrives on South African shelves on the 21st of August. If you thought War was an awesome character, just wait until you meet Death…”

Darksiders II Screenshot 1

Oliver’s Picks:

Hybrid

“Hybrid is notable for many things, but the fact that it’s been created by 5th Cell, a studio primarily known for the family friendly Scribblenauts, raises that eyebrow even higher.

As a third-person cover-based shooter, one of Hybrid’s main features is the chance to use any surface – floor, wall or ceiling – as your battleground while using jetpacks to ‘automatically’ hop to different areas of cover, battling against robotic enemies online.

It looks frantic (and frenetic, even) and it’s still up in the air if the unique method of strategically choosing cover points is one hundred percent effective, but with the planned metagame involving players controlling and dominating different areas of the in-game world based on your chosen faction’s continued success or failure, I’m looking forward to playing Hybrid over the long run.”

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Dust: An Elysian Tail

“Despite the fact that Dust: An Elysian Tail has been in development for years and has come into focus in the gaming world a number of times, more and more features continue to be unveiled making for a truly intriguing 2D side-scrolling action RPG.

Did you know that, other than the music, Dust has been created by a single developer (who has hand-drawn the lush animations), and additionally won 2009’s Dream.Build.Play Challenge conducted by Microsoft?

While it may sound rather simple, it features deep RPG systems that fans of the genre would expect housed in the confines of a melee-based 2D game, with exploration, items, magic… Dust: An Elysian Tail deserves your attention this month.”

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

“I began playing Counter-Strike on the PC many, many years ago after hearing school friends’ daily conversations about their games the night before, and even pre-version 1.6, it was a definite LAN favourite. I played in a clan (I was the all-rounder and designated grenade/flashbang expert) and competed in a few organised tournaments.

I was constantly drawn to the way seemingly monotonous matches could explode and turn into fast-paced and tense battles in environments that we all came to know inside and out. While CS: Source did much to improve the lifespan of the game and Valve has continued to tinker with various aspects, I hope to get into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and see how (or if) this sport has been improved past a graphical update.”

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Screenshot 1

Darksiders 2

“While Lisa has already mentioned it, there’s no way I would pass up the opportunity to pay my own special mention to Darksiders 2, an action adventure game I’ve been following ever since it was announced, and after the original Darksiders was recommended to me (also by Lisa).

As batches of other titles have been shifted out of 2012 to 2013, Darksiders 2 has easily become my most anticipated game of the year and I can’t wait to chain melee and ethereal attacks together as the mighty Death this month while diving into the depths of the Underworld, meeting all manner of curious and incredible sights and characters.”

Tom’s Picks:

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

“Dark Souls is one of my favourite games from this generation so I have no doubt that Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition for the PC will recruit thousands of new fans to this stellar series by From Software. This version packs in new equipment, areas, enemies and bosses so there’s plenty of reasons to pick it up even if you’ve played the console variant to death.

Admittedly Dark Souls is a tough game to complete if you’re playing it offline but with enough patience you should be able to overcome its many trials. This is about as absorbing and addictive as action RPGs get!”

Dark Souls Screenshot 1

Persona 4: Arena

“Persona 4: Arena is a game I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I’ve always been a fan of games with high quality anime visuals and P4: Arena delivers this element in abundance, particularly when it comes to the character design of the endearing cast from Persona 3 and 4.

I was never able to fully engage with the story mode of Arc System Works’ BlazBlue series but I’m confident that the developer’s collaboration with Atlus on P4: Arena will mean that I’ll take great pleasure in watching the game’s story unfold.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

“The Super Mario Bros. series holds a very special place in my heart since the original was one of the first games I played obsessively as a child. I’m expecting great things from New Super Mario Bros. 2 and everything I’ve seen of the game so far piques my interest in all the right ways.

There are some 3D screenshots from the game up on the eShop already and I’m loving the subtle but effective use of the effect on certain elements in the environment, such as embossed stone pillars.

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Which August 2012 games are you most looking forward to playing?


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