With the summer release slump out of the way everyone can being to look forward to the games released in the run up to the all important Christmas season. There are some big sequels as well as future classics on the cards in October, so it may be time to break open your piggy bank and splash out on some truly excellent games.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Nowadays, what with casual gaming and the Wii inviting the whole family into the living room to play, it’s hard to find a truly challenging game. Thankfully the Ninja Gaiden series has had its head stuck firmly in the past in terms of relentless difficulty. With the newest release exclusively for PlayStation 3 owners the hardcore faction will be slavering with anticipation. Playing as vengeful ninja Ryu you’ll take on supernatural villains, huge bosses and gorgeously rendered environments for a blood bathed ride to gaming bliss.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to control a team of your favourite Marvel superheroes against wave after wave of villains? Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 allows you to live out those dreams and features over 30 playable heroes, each with unique moves and costumes. In October it becomes available on both the PS2 and the PSP. This is ideally played with one or more friends in your team and on the current generation consoles the on-line play is highly encouraged.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Though Lara Croft’s platforming dominance is a distant memory to most of us, the attraction of adventuring in distant lands and stealing treasure is still a bankable idea in the world of video games. Enter Uncharted 2, the sequel to the PS3 exclusive that saw you play as Nathan Drake, a new-aged Indiana Jones type chap who is still on the look-out for gun slinging adventures and some mild archaeology.
This game will excite both fans of metal music and video game aficionados alike. Coming from the mind of the man behind classics such as Grim Fandango, Full Throttle and Psychonauts, Brutal Legend sees you play as a bored roadie (voiced by comedian Jack Black) who is transported to an alternative reality in which metal music rules all. A work of sheer comic genius as well as an imaginative, bombastic, genre-breaking game that hopefully many people will buy and fall in love with.
Though World of Warcraft still has the monopoly on massively multiplayer on-line gaming, Borderlands is looking to bring that experience to console owners. Those with a PS3 or 360 will be able to team up with three other friends and take to the road in an anarchic, car filled alternative reality to kill or be killed. Whether this game will gain a wide audience remains to be seen, which could impact heavily on the gameplay itself.
Forza Motorsport 3
Whilst the PlayStation has always had Gran Torismo and its sequels to fill the realistic driving simulation niche, the Xbox 360 has had Forza. The latest outing has more cars, more tracks and more customisation than ever before and has its sights set squarely on those who demand realism and absorbing playability in their racing games.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010
Widely held to be the best series of football games on any format, Pro Evo returns for 2010 across all the major gaming platforms with a few neglected aspects restored. If you want to throw down for some quick multiplayer action with your mates then you can, but the in depth simulation features and management abilities in the single player game means you can immerse yourself in every aspect of the beautiful game as well.
The latest in the long running beat ’em up series is getting a release on both the 360 and the PS3 and although fighting games seem to have stagnated in recent years, the revamped Street Fighter 4 has allowed a small renaissance to occur. If you’re a fan of fighting games then you will probably have pre-ordered this already and the promise of on-line play is a guaranteed draw.
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
360 owners who haven’t picked up the seminal GTA 4 yet can dip their toes in the game world with this stand alone pack which combines the first downloadable update, The Lost and the Damned, with the new, unreleased The Ballad of Gay Tony. Expect adult situations, crass humour and sublime sandbox gameplay at all times.
With the huge popularity of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band, DJ Hero gives you a chance to own yet another shiny plastic peripheral. This time it’s the decks that you will be able to take your hands to and this turn table rhythm game could signal the reinvention of an already popular genre.