Another painfully (some would say mercifully) slow release week is upon us as the year winds down and publishers allow the games that they’d never put up against anything to trickle out.
The lone truly big-ticket item to be seen in the bunch below is Prince of Persia, for which the lack of numbers or subtitles would seem to indicate a restart for the franchise. Interestingly, it’s a franchise whose momentum seems to be building, given some recent high-profile shoutouts from the likes of Yahtzee and the news of an upcoming movie version of the game starring none other than Jake Gyllenhaal.
Prince of Persia would seem to be the one game this week that is being released because its publisher wanted it to get the release day highlighting—and the holiday promotional push—it deserves. It’s not too late for the Christmas rush, and yet it’s found a window in which there is very little to distract us from its release. The Prince himself is new (and quite frankly, he sounds like kind of an ass), but the plot is basically the same—evil dark spirits are released upon the world, and the Prince must save the world with the aid of a mysterious woman named Elika (who becomes the means of saving the Prince from death when we players are inadequately suited to such a task). If you liked the Sands of Time trilogy, it sounds like you’ll like this, and with the inadvertent spotlight put on the series thanks to the similarity of Mirror’s Edge‘s acrobatics to those of Prince of Persia, now might be just the time to get into it.
There are a couple of Mushroom Men games coming out this week as well, which may be worth a look. The Wii version of the game (subtitled The Spore Wars) has been the recipient of some pretty decent preliminary reviews, and who doesn’t love a good platformer? Platformers not based on already-established franchises are pretty rare these days (LittleBigPlanet notwithstanding), so it feels like something I’d want to support, anyway.
Elsewhere, SingStar Abba might just be the game that finally gets my father into video games, WiiWare might have some buried retro treasure on its hands with Space Invaders Get Even!, and The Tale of Desperaux is on its way for the kids. Finally, there’s A Vampyre Story, which at first glance looks like your run-of-the-mill PC adventure game, but a closer look reveals that it’s been in production since at least 2004, and the folks behind it are former LucasArts adventure game developers. If this doesn’t make you squeal with joy, you must not have played PC games in the ‘90s; for the rest of us, this could be a classic in the making.
What are you playing this week? Have you recovered from your turkey hangover? Let us know in the comments, and enjoy the snow.