Backlog Bound: Still hot, still summer, still gaming — August edition

It’s still approximately a thousand and seventy-two degrees outside. Just like last month, now is a good time to stay inside and play some video games. While there aren’t many titles being released in August, what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. There’s some top notch games being released, from rpgs turned fighters, to True Crimes — sorry, Sleeping Dogs — and even some Marios and Guild Wars. So grab your controller, a cool drink, and let’s enjoy a great showtime!

… the “Guilty Gear” reference is vaguely relevant this month.


Persona 4 Arena (PS3/360)

Enter the Dragon Fist of the North Star insert more references of awesome kung fu things!

From the studio that brought us rockin’ 2D fighters full of metal and a main character named Badguy comes this new gem in the fighting game genre. While it may seem implausible to turn an incredibly long rpg about murders, televisions, and discovering one’s true self into a fighting game I have to say that “Persona 4 Arena” is a must have for fans of the series and/or fans of 2D fighters. I actually got a chance to play it at E3 this year and it was terribly difficult to put down. With a story mode that promises up to 40 hours of gameplay, an addictive battle system, catchy music, and wonderful characters — including characters from Persona 3 — this will surely keep you busy for the rest of the summer.



Sleeping Dogs (PS3/360/PC Download)

Let’s play some good cop, bad cop, conflicted emotions cop.

“True Crime: Hong Kong” is here! Well… sort of. The “True Crime” reboot had been cancelled in 2011, but then Square Enix came along and picked up the rights. An action packed open world shooter, “Sleeping Dogs” is a crime drama where you’ll have to struggle with the choices you make. Taking control of Detective Wei Shen, you are sent undercover to take down a Triad organization. But can you stay true to the badge? Can you keep your cover? Will you turn your back on justice as you get closer to the Triad? Are you excited yet? I certainly hope so.



Guild Wars 2 (PC)

There really are no words for how epic this looks.

The wait for “Guild Wars 2” is finally over. Announced back in 2007, the beautiful worlds and non-stop action of this MMORPG franchise is finally here. Taking place 250 years after the events of “Eye of the North” — the last expansion for “Guild Wars” — destruction and mayhem has hit the world of Tyria. It’s up to you to reunite the disbanded members of Destiny’s Edge, a group of heroes whose combined strength will — hopefully — save the world. Create your character and set out on an adventure unlike any other. Of course, any game can speak of this, but “Guild Wars 2” truly means it. Your actions affect the story, something that is rarely seen in the MMORPG genre.



Darksiders II (PS3/360/PC Download)

Are you ready to look Death in the eye?

Previously, on “Darksiders,” — yes, think of Cyclops from the 90s “X-Men” narrating that part — we were introduced to a large, muscular badass called War. “Darksiders II” takes it up a notch and puts us in the control of Death. Taking place during the same time frame as the first game, Death is on a quest to clear his brother War’s name of the accusations of treason made against him. With new worlds to explore and a faster, more dangerous lead character at your disposal, “Darksiders II” is perfect for the action junkie in all of us.

As a side note, this game will also be released for the Wii U, but there’s no date for it yet.



New Super Mario Brothers 2 (3DS)

I don’t want to make a bling joke, I really really don’t, but it’s right at the tip of my tongue!

Hey, look, the princess has been kidnapped. Again. You know at this point I’m thinking that it’s not a kidnapping, it’s a slumber party at Bowser’s castle. She’s over there so many times she’s probably got her own bedroom with digital cable and room service from the goombas — they make a mean french toast and bacon platter. Whatever the case may be it’s up to you to rescue the princess from the vile Bowser — who she could flatten with a frying pan, but whatever. Going back to its side-scrolling roots, the game features a proper return to the raccoon tail — you can run fast and fly in the air — along with new power-ups like the gold Mario, silver Luigi, and the white raccoon tail.



Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (PC Download)

As if “Dark Souls” wasn’t bad enough…

We all remember “Demon Souls,” that wonderful game that delighted in taking our asses, kicking them, stomping them into the ground before shoving them back in our faces. Then came “Dark Souls,” a spiritual successor of sorts for those gamers who like to be abused. However, the game never made it onto the PC… until now. PC gamers are not only getting “Dark Souls,” they’re getting an upgraded version with new content. They don’t call it “prepare to die” for nothing, you should only get this game if you can ignore the urges it’ll give you to toss your PC out the window.



Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (PS3/360/PC Download)

If Cybertron is going to fall, it’s going to fall in a robotic blaze of glory.

You know what’s more than meets the eye? Yeah yeah, “Transformers” joke — and a bad one. “Fall of Cybertron” is a direct sequel to “War for Cybertron.” The Autobots and Decepticons are still battling for the state of Cybertron. Unlike previous games in the franchise, this game is hoping to set a darker tone, and with a title like “Fall of Cybertron” I’m thinking that our trusty Autobots might fail in protecting their planet.



Damage Inc.(PS3/360)

Take flight!

Just when you thought the flight game genre was dying… well, there’s still not much in the genre lately, but “Damage Inc.” hopes to change that. It’s all about air combat as you take to the skies and defend the Pacific Theatre from enemy forces. You even get to fly WWII prototypes that haven’t been seen in the video game world before. For the giant flight fanboys and fangirls, there’s even a collector’s edition that comes with a flight stick.



Bonus Round

There’s a couple of things to level up with in this section — or “Test Your Might,” if you will. First off, there’s a new 3DS coming out. If you’ve been holding off on the handheld because of its size… shame on you! It’s not the size of the… insert some sort of dirty pun here? The point is that the 3DS XL is coming, and it’ll have a bigger screen that dwarfs the current 3DS hardware. The best part? It’s only $30 more. Swell, right? Not like I’m bitter or anything because I’ve had my 3DS since launch…

In my last article I had mentioned “The Last Story” on the Wii. The game has been pushed back to this month, so keep those Wiis hooked up for a little bit longer. The critically acclaimed “Journey” is getting a hard copy on the PS3 that’ll include the developer’s previous two games, so if you haven’t discovered the beauty that is “Journey” now is the time. For the sports fans, “Madden 2012” will be hitting shelves this month. Enjoy the last bit of gaming football season, because soccer is well on its way. And last, but not least, is a PC download game that sounds a bit interesting. “Babel Rising” gives you the power of a god, only instead of making the tower of Babel rise, it’s your job to make it fall.

Take care, everyone, and see you next month!


About Briana Lawrence

A geeky girl that's cosplaying as an adult -- sort of -- I've been into video games since I watched my mom save the princess in Super Mario Brothers when I was six years old. A couple of years later, anime would be added in my on-going list of geekery when I discovered a certain vampire hunter who had a hand that talked to him. I'm currently living in St. Paul with my wonderful partner who feeds my nerdtastic needs of anime conventions, watching Persona 4 on Hulu, and trying to beat the crap out of people like Nightmare or rolling up things with a katamari ball. The both of us cosplay together and do artist alley tables, selling the crafty things we make like plushies, woodburned coasters, shotglasses, and other things. The two of us recently purchased a house together, took a room, and painted it with Pac-Man, Sonic, Portal, Star Fox, Katamari, and other gaming gems before we combined our massive game/anime/action figure collections. Up next? Painting our bathroom in an underwater mario theme! I would say I need professional help, but I'm a lost cause at this point. Besides, all men, women, and zombies are created equal!