November 7, 2012 by rizkynurs1101040049
THE UNFINISHED SWAN
Released on Oct. 23
Developer: Giant Sparrow
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment of America
For PlayStation 3
Rated E10+ for fantasy violence
In the first chapter of The Unfinished Swan you will paint a wall. In the second you will water plants. The third lets you walk beside a river, then build a staircase. In the fourth you will feel tall.
This is among those video games that feel more like poetry than prose. It operates in the abstract; it lets you figure out what it means. The game is played in the first person. You are a boy, lost in the dream kingdom of a sad king, your mother long gone. And there’s a swan with an empty space where part of its neck should be. There’s something going on here about fathers disappointed in their lives and of creators frustrated with a life of uncompleted rough drafts.
The main action involves shooting paint or water into the world. In the opening scene the world is empty and white, its contours invisible until you start shooting black paint. The paint splatters define a wall, then a tree, then a bridge upon which you can safely walk. It’s just one of many of the game’s moments of gentle, interactive beauty.
This has been a stirring year for so-called art games. With Journey, Papo & Yo, Dyad and now The Unfinished Swan, the PlayStation 3 exhibits some of the best.
ASSASSIN’S CREED III
Released on Oct. 30
Developer: Ubisoft Sofia
For PlayStation Vita
Rated M (Mature) for suggestive themes and violence
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation features a progressive bit of creativity: the first female protagonist for this Ubisoft period-piece action series. More impressive, Liberation finds clever, affecting ways to implement the heroine Aveline de Grandpré’s biracial heritage and gender into gameplay mechanics.
The game’s key feature makes players change among three personas — a high-society Lady, a Slave who can go undercover and a secretive Assassin. Aveline uses her white French father’s dockside warehouse as a base of operations to find out what has been happening to disappearing slaves in 18th-century New Orleans.
Each persona wields special abilities related to its social status, so the Slave can foment riots and the Lady can seduce and bribe officials. The lead character’s quest to discover the fate of her long-lost mother — herself a freed slave — adds emotional heft to the experience.
By the time you’re finished, you’ll have seen the highest and lowest levels of life as it may have been lived in this area in 1768, from a point of view not often found in video games.
NEED FOR SPEED
Released on Oct. 30
Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
For Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and PC
Rated T (Teen) for an alcohol reference and violence
Need For Speed: Most Wanted is a video game shot out of a cannon. Two minutes after pressing the start button, you’ll be behind the wheel of a car, careering through a sprawling city with a single objective: win as many races as possible.
As you explore downtown streets and mountain highways, you’ll quickly come upon and unlock dozens of slick, race-ready automobiles. From Land Rovers to Lamborghinis, each handles a bit differently and each has its own set of assigned races. By competing in those races, you’ll earn points and climb a global leader board, ever aware of your friends’ best times. You can also take the whole game online and compete in real-time multiplayer events.
Most Wanted is a stripped-down affair. The cars are simple to control, and the city may be wide open, but it offers few nonrace events and challenges. That single-mindedness works in the game’s favor, largely because Most Wanted effortlessly imparts a gut-twisting, exhilarating rush. Need For Speed: Most Wanted is in essence a fantasy game; the fantasy of racing expensive cars ludicrously fast without fear of injury or legal repercussion. In that, it is a success, a thrilling ride that wastes no time achieving maximum velocity.
Released on Oct. 21
Developer: Toys for Bob
For Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3 and Wii U (Nov. 18)
Rated E10+ for cartoon violence
The marriage of physical toys and electronic entertainment that began in last year’s wildly successful Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure grows even stronger with the release ofSkylanders Giants. Placing specially designed action figures on a circular portal connected to a game console brings them to life in this child-friendly action-adventure. The toys keep track of power gained during the game, which involves protecting the fanciful Skylands from the grip of an evil would-be overlord.
Giants’ gameplay mainly involves running about, smashing scenery and colorful cartoon enemies, which makes it simple to pick up and play for children and parents. It’s good, harmless fun. What isn’t harmless is the price of those plastic toys. With eight new giant-sized characters, the figures from the original game, reposed versions of the original characters and the glowing LightCore Skylanders, parents (or adult collectors) could easily spend upward of $1,000 putting together all of the pieces of this diabolically enticing electronic playset.
Released on Oct. 24
For iPhone and iPad
Rated 4+ on iTunes for no objectionable content
Word games may all essentially be about showing off how clever you are. Letterpressmight be the only one that feels like a boxing match, too. Each move in this game from the atebits studio can have the head-rattling effect of a right cross.
The game lays out a five-by-five grid on which two players compete to claim the most lettered squares. Tapping out a word from the letters before you lets you claim that word. But somewhere in that mix of jumbled letters is the combination that your opponent will rout you with.
The tension that accompanies every turn revolves around a simple question: What is your opponent seeing that you are not? An acquisitive pressure accompanies Letterpress, as well, since you can capture letters by surrounding them with other squares of your color, ensuring that only you can earn points off those tiles. Letterpress may look like a cute, minimalist Boggle cousin, but the key to its hypnotic allure is in its doubling as a cutthroat battle for territory.