There’s something oddly traditional about November this year. Not exactly full of variety, but the big guns are standing strong. Oh yeah, and there’s that whole new Nintendo console thing. Here are the featured releases of the month, plus some final thoughts on what we will be playing and why:
Week of Nov 5th
Halo 4 – Xbox 360
Paper Mario: Sticker Star – 3DS
Week of Nov 12th
Wii U Launch
Call of Duty: Black Ops II – PC, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3
Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion – 3DS
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii U
Wonderbook – PS3
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! – 3DS
Karateka- XBLA, PSN
LEGO The Lord of the Rings – Everything
Week of Nov 19th
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale – PS3
Hitman: Absolution – Xbox 360, Ps3, PC
Wii U Launch
Before we get into the games themselves, everyone has an opinion on the Wii U (list of games its launch):
Justin Lacey (@JDevL) – We all knew this would happen. I dismissed the console for months to the point I can no longer preorder it. So I want it, and I want ZombiU to be great. I don’t know why. I don’t care. I would love to see this console surprise us all.
Aaron McNeal (@BGRadio) – No. No no no no no. No! I like Nintendo, but the Wii merely turned out to be alright at best. I’ve placed all my eggs in the 3DS basket for them and there’s no more chicken babies left for another console to get dusty on my stand. Sorry, big N. Maybe when there’s a yard sale or something.
Justin Gifford (@GiffTor) – So, the Wii U is coming out in November, and there are some launch titles people are excited about. I’m also psyched to play some games when the Wii U is launched. Mainly, I’ll be busy playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown on my Xbox 360, which won’t be available for the Wii U. I’ll probably get some Halo 4 in as well (not available on the Wii U, unsurprisingly) and even some co-op Borderlands 2 (not on Wii U). In other words: Wiiiii! I won’t be getting a Wii U.
Brandon Coppernoll (@Atch21) – Not going to buy it. Don’t want it.
Josh Lee (@Joshleedotcom) – I can’t fucking believe this. I don’t know the exact moment it happened. I just know that at some point in the past two weeks I decided I absolutely had to buy the Wii U at launch, and that there were several games I needed to play before the end of the year. Recent previews for New Super Mario Bros. U paint a Super Mario World-like picture, and ZombiU looks competent and possibly unique. There are a half dozen other games coming out during the “launch window” that will be must buys for me as well. I still don’t think the Wii U is going to save Nintendo from imminent implosion, but I currently find myself desperately searching for a retailer that hasn’t already been poached by all the dirty scalpers. At least Cole understands.
James Coppernoll (@Copperskull) – If you’re a fan of Nintendo, then you have to buy the Wii U; it’s as simple as that. The Dreamcast was short lived, but I was a Sega fan and I enjoyed every minute of Dreamcast ownership.
Cole Monroe (@HorribleCole) – Buying it. Want it. I hope all the naysayers are completely wrong again. I’m not exactly confident that the third party will come through but it will be worth it once again for the Nintendo titles and the Virtual Console.
JP LaFrance (@DocJPizzle) – I tried out the Wii U at GameStop the other weekend, and confirmed many of my opinions. The games look great compared to the Wii, and it’s nice to see good third party titles come to the platform but this console isn’t for me. Playing the Rayman demo was fun until the game prompted me to play using only the touch controls on the way over sized controller. I also don’t want to buy a console that will produce games I already own, and with the idea of PS4 & Xbox 8 being announced presumably in June, I’ll wait for that particular line of next gen consoles. Conversely this console might be great for kids that are in an age group where they may like both the classic Nintendo games now and the third party stuff in a year or two.
Andrew Cooper (@coopman) – I’m curious to try out someone else’s Wii U. After my disappointment with the Wii, I’m not waiting in line in the rain to pick one up or anything. I might take one if someone gives it to me.
Josh Lee (@Joshleedotcom) – I haven’t skipped a Halo yet, so don’t expect me to stop now. I know it’s not the greatest story ever told, but I am in deep with The Chief. The new co-op missions will be fun, and I’ll play the competitive multiplayer once. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually went to the midnight release for ODST and Reach. I might make it a threepeat.
Andrew Cooper (@coopman) – I preordered Halo 4 which isn’t a real surprise. It’s one of those franchises where you have to be a part of it or you aren’t cool. I can’t say I’m losing sleep in anticipation for release day, but I am excited to play it. I also did myself a little favor and recently played through Combat Evolved Anniversary. Even if Halo 4 is terrible, it’ll feel great after the terribly controlled, laggy, ultra repetitive predecessor.
Justin Lacey (@JDevL) – Something happened to me in the middle of Halo: Reach and I became a huge Halo fan. That being said, I assumed with Bungie moving on that I’d be done with the franchise for a while. Then the E3 trailer debuted this year and I was really impressed with how 343 was attempting to balance what Halo has been with the new directions it wanted to take it. It looked like they could actually pull it off, and not only that, but there was a graphical leap that I didn’t think was possible at this phase of the console generation. Intrigued and sold.
Aaron McNeal (@BGRadio) – My copy is preordered! The Halo games are shooters that have never really let me down and I don’t imagine 4 will buck that trend. There’s Master Chief, guns and things that want to get in my face and die and multiplayer. Plus, you can naturally sprint now. That’s innovation!
Justin Gifford (@GiffTor) – So, I haven’t pre-ordered Halo 4. I doubt that I will pre-order Halo 4. That said, it’s a no-brainer purchase for me. I actually enjoy the storyline, particularly now that Master Chief is coming back like Lord Nelson or Barbarossa to save the day. I’m also a pretty big fan of the single player gameplay…even if no Halo game is ever going to turn into my go-to multiplayer. The fact that Bungie has handed the reins over to 343 Studios is also intriguing. I really got a kick out of the revamped Halo: Combat Evolved, so I’m excited to see what 343 Studios has done with its first foray into handling Microsoft’s flagship franchise.
Brandon Coppernoll (@Atch21) – This might be the first Halo game, since the first, I didn’t pre-order. I’ve been somewhat reserved on my feeling for it because I don’t yet know how I feel about “a new trilogy” for the Halo series. Some of the trailers have been entertaining, but I haven’t seen enough to get me to purchase quite yet. That being said, I don’t think it will be much to push me over the edge and throw money at this series again.
JP LaFrance (@DocJPizzle) – I think every year I am going to announce my desire to jump into the Halo universe and fail to do so. Halo 4 seems like a perfect opportunity. Maybe this year I will finally learn a little about Master Chief.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Ethan Moses (@Wizardtrain187) – I’ve always been a sucker for CoD single player campaigns, but abstain from the multiplayer because, well frankly speaking I feel like I’ve already played the same thing time and time again. BLOPS2, however is bringing quite a bit to the table and I think it might warrant a bit of attention from CoD detractors. For one, the “near future” technology should add an interesting twist to combat both in the single player and multiplayer campaigns. I get a Perfect Dark vibe (though more grounded) from what I’ve seen, which is never a bad thing.
The overall package is further sweetened with the new zombie mode and the amount of depth that’s been supposedly added to it. The original Call of Duty zombie mode was fun, though did grow a bit old so I’ll be curious if this iteration has more staying power. Regardless, BLOPS2 is like 3 games in one and as much as I hate to see annual releases, this one has actually stepped away from the tried and true formula which is a good thing.
Brandon Coppernoll (@Atch21) – There have been a number of changes promised, and most of those changes have me very excited. This is a day one purchase for me. That being said, if the promises are not delivered upon I may be tempted to pull from this franchise altogether.
JP LaFrance (@DocJPizzle) – After last year, I have officially become an every other year Call of Duty purchaser. I have enjoyed Treyarch’s titles better than Infinity Ward’s since World at War. This of course makes me very excited about this year’s title. I look forward to the new changes and additions Black Ops II will bring, and I hope that story is crazy and over the top again. Oh yeah and a re-imagined zombie mode should provide plenty of entertainment.
Justin Lacey (@JDevL) – I’ve taken a 4 game break from the CoD franchise and while BLOPS II looks like more Call of Duty, it also looks like the most ridiculous Call of Duty, and that’s what I’m really signing up for. I could care less about multiplayer or the game’s critical appeal. I just want one big ridiculous video game equivalent of an entertainment filled explosion. Plus, the additions to the zombie mode look like some great mindless fun, too..
Andrew Cooper (@coopman) – I lost interested in the CoD franchise when Infinity Ward was no longer the good developer. I never got into the multiplayer, so that wasn’t even enough to keep me into the yearly CoD release. However, now that the dust has settled, If I were to get back into it, I think Black Ops 2 is the one to get. I’m still undecided if I’ll get it on release day, or shortly after, but I’m pretty sure this one will make it into my collection at some point.
The Best of the Rest
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – JP: I was very disappointed that the first Epic Mickey did not come to normal consoles, and I look forward to checking this one out on my Xbox 360. I hope a demo for this game will come out prior to release. I know the first entry suffered from bugs, but this could be a great under the radar title much like Rayman from last year.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star – Aaron: My handhelds are usually full of platformers and RPGS, but I’m painfully light on RPGs with my 3DS. Cue Paper Mario. I have no clue what it’s actually about other than stickers, but I’ve played the previous games and so that’s all I need to justify adding another to my collection.
LEGO The Lord of the Rings – Brandon: My geek coat of arms may be put on display for this game. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever buy a LEGO game for myself, but something about this game has me interested.
Persona 4 Golden – Josh: Can I borrow someone’s Vita? I really want to play a Persona game, but I refuse to dust off my PS2. I promise not to play it while shitting.
Hitman: Absolution – Aaron: A friend got me into the Hitman series and I’ll even go so far as to say Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is one of my favorite games. The following games have been alright, but I haven’t really had that same great feeling (that one can get from silently wiping out targets) again. I don’t want to lump such high expectations on Absolution, but I’ll check up on Agent 47 because it’ll probably be good times.
Karateka – Justin G: Although I’ve secretly been stalking the hell out of this game, I didn’t need to in order to know it’s a “I’m downloading this as soon as it’s available” title. Like Choplifter HD, Karateka is Computer Lab in elementary school on an Apple IIe. There’s no way I can pass this up (which I’m sure the marketing department knows), but if there’s no guillotine to run under and you don’t have to bow to the princess at the end, Imma be pissed.
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! – Josh: Hmm? What’s that? WayForward is making another charming side-scroller? Oh, and it’s based on the awesome and charming Adventure Time?! Wait… what do you mean it’s a Zelda 2 clone? I fucking hate that game. Is it too late to petition them to change it to Adventure Time: A Link To The Past?
What will you be playing this November?
Giant Bomb (images)