This week in gaming: The gaming world takes a breath after 2014’s first blockbuster arrives

week gaming world takes breath 2014s first blockbuster arrives murasaki baby
No one wanted to take a crack at unseating Destiny, released last week on September 9. That’s the takeaway with the lineup of latest releases. We’ve got some wonderful games headed our way in the next seven days, but not one of them is a proper AAA blockbuster. The industry needs a minute to take a breath.

What do you have to choose from this week? Great question! Let’s take a look….

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

3DS (September 16)
There’s Final Fantasy weirdness… and then there’s Theatrhythm. Imagine a rhythm game, but then mash a whole bunch of pixel art and Final Fantasy compositions into it, and you’re getting close. Curtain Call is actually the follow-up to a 2012 original, but the idea remains the same. Visit different moments throughout the series in one of three different gameplay modes and tap to the rhythm of their musical scores for points. Seeing is believing.

Curtain Call packs in more than 200 musical selections pulled from the entirety of the Final Fantasy series, including pieces from more recent efforts like Lightning Returns and even some from the Final Fantasy VII-inspired movie, Advent Children. There’s downloadable content coming too, so expect the game to grow beyond its initial state.

Murasaki Baby

PS Vita (September 16)
Murasaki Baby is a bizarre side-scrolling game from newcomer dev Ovosonico. Directed by Massimo Guarini, a veteran of offbeat projects like Killer7 and Shadows of the Damned, the game tasks players with guiding Baby through a series of frequently unfriendly dreamscapes, pulling her along by the heart-shaped balloon that she carries. It’s an unusual game that emphasizes style and makes inventive use of the Vita’s touch controls.

You might have already noticed it in the trailer, but the game’s art design borrows heavily from the style of artist Edward Gorey. The result is a beautifully unsettling adventure that should find a fine home on Sony’s increasingly quirky Vita platform.

Anomaly 2

PS4 (September 16)
This sequel to Anomaly: Warzone Earth first came to PC in May 2013, and now it makes its debut on the current generation of gaming consoles. Much like its predecessor, Anomaly 2 turns the tower defense genre on its head by tasking players with keeping a convoy alive in the midst of fixed enemy defensive emplacements. The sequel injects some new features, such as mech units, but what’s really nifty is an asymmetrical tower defense vs. tower offense multiplayer mode.

The PS4 version of the game is identical to the PC release, and it’ll set you back $15.

Roundabout

Linux/Mac/Windows (September 18)
Roundabout is weird, man. The first game from No Goblin, the 1977-set story follows famed chauffeur Georgio Manos as she delivers passengers all around the city in her constantly spinning limousine. Equal parts puzzle game and reflexes challenge, Roundabout tasks players with guiding the spinning limo through obstacle-strewn courses as they attempt to ferry passengers from A to B.

As you can see in the trailer, Roundabout employs some live-action video to fill out the story. We warned you this was a weird one. The game is also coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early 2015.

What else is coming:

  • Run Like Hell! (PS Vita/Sept. 16) – Remember the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones evades pursuing island natives? Run Like Hell! is exactly that, without the Indy branding. Run, jump, slide, dive, and more through tropical environments while you grab treasure and outrun flying spears.
  • Total War: Rome II – Emperor Edition (PC/Sept. 16) – In thethird standalone expansion to the Creative Assembly’s massive real-time strategy game, Total War: Rome II, players live out the events of the Second Triumvirate War, following Julius Caesar’s death. Emperor Edition wraps all of Rome II‘s add-on content to date into a single package.
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution (PC, PS3, Xbox 360/Sept. 16) – CyberConnect2’s long-running series of anime/manga-inspired fighting games continues in Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution. It’s a sequel to 2013’s Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, featuring a re-tooled fighting system, a new approach to building teams, and a tournament mode.
  • Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appetit! (3DS/Sept. 16) – Why subject yourself to a messy kitchen and piles of dishes, both of which are products of real cooking, when you can just fake it with a simulation like Cooking Mama 5? Sure, you might not have anything delicious to eat when you’re done, but the game helps you pass the time while you’re waiting for the pizza you ordered to be delivered.
  • Wasteland 2 (PC/Sept. 19) – Brian Fargo’s PC RPG classic returns in this gorgeous sequel to the 1988 game. Wasteland 2 was a Kickstarter sensation and it’s been available for some time in pre-release form via Steam, but the final version of the game is just days away from becoming a reality.
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