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Play More Games: “Stop with All the Brackets”

Dissidia 01234 ({[duodecim]}) wtf Final Fantasy

There’s just under a week left until the Nintendo 3DS comes to North America. Have you ventured out to your favorite game store to try one out yet? Have you been counting down the days while desperately stockpiling up your cash? If so, there are at least six games coming out this week that would like you to reconsider.

As always, we’ve got at least a couple military first-person shooters. This week’s entries include Crysis 2 and F.E.A.R. 3 (pronounced “FTHREER”). I’m sparing Crysis some (but definitely not all) of my usual FPS disdain for a couple reasons: I actually enjoyed the first Crysis’s combination of sneakysneak gameplay and superpowered action, and I also had a good time with last week’s short-lived Crysis 2 multiplayer demo, which featured a couple of really well-designed maps and more of those nanotech-enabled superpowers, like leaping onto rooftops. The multiplayer comes from Crytek UK (who, as Randy mentioned in Episode 5, were previously Free Radical), so maybe I’ll check it out later on when I’m in the mood for some multiplayer shooting.

As for F.E.A.R. 3, I believe Randy (again, in Episode 5) described it as “another F.E.A.R. game,” or something to that effect. If you’re a fan of the series, spooky shooters, and/or the little girl from The Ring, it might be worth your time.

If your PSP needs a break from Tactics Ogre, you might try Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy, the expanded version of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy crossover fighting game and their most baffling game title since Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. This edition adds even more classic Final Fantasy characters, including two of my favorites: Kain Highwind and Laguna Loire. Now I’ll finally be able to see who would win in a fight! Unfortunately I found the battle system in the first Dissidia to be nearly incomprehensible, so the answer is probably: whichever character the CPU picked.

At first I was a little confused to see there’s a new Lego Star Wars game coming out, since the first two games already covered all six movies. It turns out Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars won’t be retreading too much ground since it’s based on the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series and animated movie, the former of which I’ve heard is actually decent. (The latter, not so much.) Confession: I actually love the Lego Star Wars series because of its co-op friendly gameplay and silly, tongue-in-cheek interpretations of the Star Wars movies. I don’t know how interested I am in this one since I haven’t seen the series or film, but this is probably a solid bet if you’re looking for some lighthearted platforming and shooting. Obviously LucasArts hopes that’s the case, since they’re releasing it on every single current platform, including the 3DS when it launches next week.

In downloads, there’s the recently revealed Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, which is a twin stick, co-op shooter. It’s a sequel to 2009’s Ghostbusters game, although this time you play as a group of cadets instead of the original four. The top-down perspective brings back fond memories of sinking tons of quarters into the old Ghostbusters arcade game, although it remains to be seen how well this one will play. Luckily, there’s a demo. This is out on PSN today and Xbox Live tomorrow.

Finally, it’s not a new game but, since we’re all fans, I can’t avoid mentioning that Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is out for the PC this week. Climb all over Renaissance-era Rome to stop a global conspiracy, and then play a little of the hide-and-seek multiplayer online.

For a full list of this week’s new releases, check out Gamespot or

Also, once again: If you can afford a few dollars out of your gaming budget (and really, we all can), please help those affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami by donating to the Japanese Red Cross or other charity of your choice.