Friday, March 1, 2013

March Madness: Ten Games to Look Out for This Month

It is the start of a brand-new month, and it is certainly one packed full of interesting software. Like we did for the first time in February, SuperPhillip Central is naming the greatest games of the upcoming month. Use this gamer's guide to see which ten releases set for this month are worthy of further investigation. Note: These release dates posted are for North American use.

Tomb Raider (Multi) 
Release Date: 3/5


A full-fledged reboot of Lara Croft and the series she is known for, Crystal Dynamics's Tomb Raider is the first game in the series to reach the ESRB's M rating. The game is set to show Ms. Croft's earliest exploits and how she grew from an innocent young girl to an unsubmissive woman, ready to destroy any enemy that stands in her way. The game will include an open world setting, filled with side quests and a main campaign that will last a dozen or so hours. The early reviews have this game being a welcomed addition to the Tomb Raider series, and perhaps a welcomed addition to your video game library.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (3DS)
Release Date: 3/5


Mercury Steam, Konami, and Nintendo have been giving our next game a lot of time under the spotlight. While it is not the Koji Igarashi directed Metroid-styled Castlevania that 3DS owners were clamoring for, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate is an intriguing title all the same. It features 3D character and enemy models, an in-depth combat and combo system, and takes players under the control of multiple characters. For those who want to play the game now, the Nintendo 3DS eShop has a demo of Mirror of Fate live for you to try out.

MLB 13: The Show (PS3, PSV)
Release Date: 3/5


Baseball season is approaching like a 99 mph fastball, and the boys of summer are raring to return to the diamond. If you personally cannot wait for the real deal to begin, then why not try out the next best thing? Sony's MLB: The Show franchise is gaming's best baseball simulator. You cannot get a deeper, richer, more realistic or more accurate simulation than The Show, and this year's game comes overflowing with content. With MLB 13: The Show, if it happens in baseball, you can most likely relive it in the game. Both PlayStation 3 and Vita owners can have a hand (or is it glove?) in this year's game.

God of War: Ascension (PS3)
Release Date: 3/12


A prequel to past God of War games, God of War: Ascension promises to showcase a Kratos that is more grounded in his humanity than seen before. If you have played a previous game in the franchise, then Ascension will feel familiar. There's the standard action-adventure combo-based combat, puzzles to solve (whether simple or complex), and quick-time events to enjoy, but there's also one feature that the franchise has never been present, multiplayer. It is the developer's hope that the multiplayer will keep players engaged with God of War: Ascension long after the single-player campaign has been completed. Judging by the looks of things, their hope may soon be realized when the game releases on March 12.

LEGO City Undercover (Wii U)
Release Date: 3/18


An oddity in LEGO games, as the title is not tied to a licensed property, LEGO City Undercover is an upcoming Wii U exclusive that brings an open world city to players. Take the role of Chase McCain as he is tasked with finding and taking down the crafty criminal Rex Fury. There's countless things to do in LEGO City, such as side missions, platforming challenges, and new costumes for Chase to try on, each giving him different abilities. Wii U owners have been waiting patiently for anything to play, but that isn't the reason why LEGO City Undercover is of serious interest to them. No, it's simply because LEGO City Undercover seems to be brimming with fun and charm and an engaging open world setting that unlike Grand Theft Auto, is one that everyone can enjoy.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U, 3DS)
Release Date: 3/19


Essentially an expansion to the original Monster Hunter Tri, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS gives players the ability to play on one version of the game and send their character to the other effortlessly. Capcom recently announced that both North American and European players would be able to join up for online monster hunting, something that the original Wii game lacked completely. Additionally, off TV play was announced, so one does not need a television screen to play the game. They can simply use the Wii U GamePad. While the demo does not do a fantastic job of introducing beginning players to the world of Monster Hunter (instead it simply thrusts them into a hunt with no explanation), it is still recommended playing, especially if you cannot wait until the March 19 release date!

Gears of War: Judgment (360)
Release Date: 3/19


Like God of War: Ascension, Gears of War: Judgment is also a prequel and the fourth major game in its respective franchise. The story's focus is on Lieutenant Damon Baird and Private August Cole (a.k.a. The Cole Train) with various new supporting characters being introduced. If you are unfamiliar with the franchise, Gears of War is a third-person cover-based shooter with a heavy emphasis on teamwork. The game's multiplayer will feature two all-new modes: a free-for-all mode and something called OverRun. Look for more information regarding Gears of War: Judgment as its March 19 release date comes closer.

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
Release Date: 3/24


The first title to celebrate the so-called "Year of Luigi," Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon is a hotly anticipated game starring everyone's favorite cowardly plumber Luigi. Instead of just one main mansion to explore, there are several with different themes and ghostly guests. Not only is sucking up these ghosts mandatory, but so is solving puzzles within the various environments. For this 3DS sequel, multiplayer for up to four players either locally or online has been included, sporting three unique modes. Dark Moon is seriously shaping up to be a superior game to the 2001 GameCube original. Here's hoping the game is as fun to play as it looks in videos.

Pandora's Tower (Wii)
Release Date: 3/26


Pandora's Tower is the last of the three Operation Rainfall games that fans wanted to see localized in North America. Play as Aeron as you do your best to collect flesh from monsters to feed to Elena. Why, you ask? It's because poor Elena has a curse that will only reverse if she is fed monster flesh. Hey, if all Aeron had to collect was penicillin, then the adventure wouldn't be anywhere near as fun! Each of the thirteen towers that Aeron must climb features its own brand of challenges and shortcuts, and Aeron will need to find these shortcuts as he is always racing against the clock and the speed of Elena's illness. Depending on how well the player does, they will see one of several endings. Pandora's Tower hits the Wii as one of its final big games on March 26.

BioShock Infinite (Multi) 
Release Date: 3/28


The final of ten games we'll be talking about for the month of March is one of the biggest games on this list. It's also one that many have been clamoring for for quite a while now. It's BioShock Infinite. The BioShock series has already plundered the ocean depths with a city underwater, so the next logical step is a city above the clouds in the form of Columbia. Using a series of weapons, telekinetic powers, and gear, the main character Booker must find a way to escape the cloud city. He isn't alone, however. In BioShock Infinite, an AI companion known as Elizabeth at times assists in combat. The setting of the game all to itself has me excited for it, and knowing how ambitious Ken Levine and his team have been with the game have myself, among many others, greatly anticipating BioShock Infinite's March 28 release date.

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There you have it-- ten different games that are ones that North American gamers should be eyeing carefully. Which of these ten interest you the most? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

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