Games | Weekly Game Releases | Blog | Week of August 26, 2008: It seems like everybody wanted to release their semi-hyped games this week. Where were they the last three weeks?

List compiled by reibeatall and Sarcasmorator | Imports by parish, courtesy of NCS | Posted August 26th, 2008

Game of the Week

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Electronic Arts| Xbox 360/PS3 | Action Movie: The Game
When Mercenaries first came my way a few years ago, I wasn't impressed at first. It felt like a GTA knockoff with a distasteful "Deck of 52" detailing the North Korean persons of interest you were supposed to kill or detain.

I still think that part was in poor taste, but the game itself was really great. It was a lot like GTA, in that it was an open-world game where you could steal vehicles and search for hidden stuff between missions. But you could also blow up everything everything and play three factions against each other. And now, lookie here: The sequel's out this week. As before, you can pick from several tough mercenaries with their own specialties (such as Mattias Nilsson on the cover art, there, who's voiced by Peter Stormare). And you can recruit even more later on.

But the real fun in this series comes from the totally ridiculous things you can pull off, like hijacking helicopters and tanks, or calling in a nuclear bunker-buster airstrike. Better yet, this sequel features a co-op mode. If this is done right, it'll be like a mix of GTAIV's roaming online mode with the insane action of Crackdown (minus the super-jumping, alas). Surely that sounds good to you, yes?

Also In Stores This Week

Tales of Vesperia
Namco Bandai | Xbox 360 | Actiony-RPG
It's that time again: Time for the yearly Tales of... game to hit the stores. (That's yearly in America, where we see like a third of the endless numbers released in Japan.) Even though they don't improve that much with each release, and some are actually noticeably worse than their predecessors, the series still hold a special place in my heart. Because if not for Tales Of Phantasia, we wouldn't have the Star Ocean series.

A world without Star Ocean, you see, is a world without love.

Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
NIS | Playstation 3 | Crazy Tactics RPG
The Internet is rife with horror stories about obsessive types who have sunk 300+ hours into the original Disgaea?, or people who have burnt out their PlayStation 2 consoles because they played so much.

To them, I say: "I'll see you fools in a year when you decide to stop grinding your damn sword in the Item World and come out to join the rest of us."

Mario Super Sluggers
Nintendo | Nintendo Wii | Family Fun Baseball
When Nintendo's on, they're on. Who else could release essentially the same game with a new control scheme and have everybody foaming at the mouth? Yes, it's time for yet another Mario Cash-in Game. Just be sure that you wear protection, and that you don't smash your TV screen when your wrist strap breaks.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09
EA Sports | Everything | Yearly Golf
It's golf! The Wii version has 1:1 motion tracking.

Also, it's a welcome excuse to post this awesome video. It's things like this that make me realize that even if you don't care about sports games, you have to admit that EA is getting its act together. And they can make fun of themselves, too.

Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness
Natsume | Nintendo DS | Farming fun
Not that I play the Harvest Moon games or anything, but they're not just for girls. I promise. They're a relaxing adventure in a world filled with stressful games, plus, you get to name your cute chickens and cows! I named mine Bessie. All of them.

I mean, uhh, farming's gay lol.

From the Abyss
Aksys | Nintendo DS | Dungeon Crawly
I hear tale that this game plays like Secret of Mana, and in fact, it's the most Mana-like game to be released in several years. Dealing with Aksys games is pretty much a gamble; they have some good ones, and they have a lot of bad ones. But hey, at least this one has co-op.

[Editor's warning: It's as mediocre as Dawn of Mana, honestly. Track down Children of Mana instead.]

Downloadable Contentment: This Week in DLC

WiiWare: Helix
Ghostfire Games| Wii | Rhythm
Shake your booty (and Wiimote) in time to the music in this rhythm game. The graphics look kind of ehhh, so this one will live or die on its music and gameplay. Which is, as it should be.

VC: Ys Book I & II
Falcom | TG-16 via Wii | RPG
The Ys series' first two entries are collected here in all their merciless early-'90s glory, just like you remember. This is the version with the soundtrack that makes everyone all gooey. First person to call it "Whyyys" gets a punch in the mouth.

VC: Samurai Shodown 2
SNK | Neo Geo via Wii| Shodown 2: Electric Boogaloo
Meet the new Samurai Shodown, same as the ol' Samurai Shodown, except with some new characters and stuff. [Editor: Actually, this is considered the best Samurai Shodown of all by most people.] As with most SNK games, you should get this if you like the series and want to spend another $9 on it; you shouldn't if you don't. Golly.

XBLA: Castle Crashers
The Behemoth | Xbox 360 | Cutesy brawler
Castle Crashers is out this week, more than two years after its debut, which hopefully means the gaming-blog hivemind will finally shut the hell up about it. It looks like a pretty cool game, with the visual style of Alien Hominid and the gameplay style of a four-player arcade brawler, but yeesh. You'd think it was the second coming the way people have whined and cried about its delays.

PSN: The Last Guy
Sony | PS3 | Monster Maze
Here you have to lead survivors of a zombie apocalypse through the monster-infested streets of various real-world cities. So it's kind of like Pac-Man by way of Google Maps and Monster Chomps. Does anyone remember Monster Chomps? Those things were frickin' delicious.

Talk about how crappy these games are!