Military shooters and quirky Japanese titles. Yup, it’s a week of multiplayer video game releases, alright.
|Pick of the Week: Heavenly Guardian
2D Shooter | PS2
Ever heard of the Pocky & Rocky series? No? I’ll wait for you to get caught up. All done? Heavenly Guardian is a spiritual successor to the Pocky & Rocky series in that “it’s a full-fledged Pocky & Rocky sequel but the developer couldn’t secure the license” sort of way. The game plays like a linear, level-based version of Robotron, as you blast your way through hordes of baddies with some good ol’ fashioned directional shooting. They don’t make them like this anymore. Except on Xbox Live Arcade, that is. The game is co-op from start to finish, comes at a budget price, and is unbelievably fun. Play this game! Unless you hate being entertained, of course.
|Runner-Up: Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
Third-Person Shooter | PS3
Yes, it’s just a PS3 port of the year-old Xbox 360 and PC game, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. In fact, the PS3 version of Lost Planet is the definitive version, with “superior” graphics sure to trigger flame wars on video game message boards and all of the Xbox 360’s DLC. It’s a mech game, and it’s fun. Often times, those two things are mutually exclusive. If you haven’t yet played the game, you’re literally out of excuses at this point.
Hit the jump for the rest of the week’s multiplayer offerings.
Also available this week:
|ArmA: Gold Edition
First-Person Shooter | PC
As the boxart showcases, ArmA isn’t out to win any technical awards. Instead, the spiritual sequel to Operation: Flashpoint offers an extraordinarily rich online component. Think a hyper-realistic battlefield game. With tons of vehicles and weapons, an a hard-and-fast dedication to realistically modeling modern warfare, ArmA may not win over any action fans, but gamers looking for a little more depth in their FPS could certainly do worse. This new fangled Gold Edition includes both the original game and it’s expansion, Queen’s Gambit.
|Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed
Sci-Fi Sandbox | Wii
A few years ago, the idea of tolling around a romanticized version of 1950’s Anytown, USA as a violent (and cute) space alien was rather fresh and interesting. These days THQ needs to pile on a fast food mascot and waggle controls to do something interesting with the franchise.
|Frontlines: Fuels of War
First-Person Shooter | 360, PS3, PC
Frontlines is set in the near future where the world’s super powers fight over the planet’s nearly-depleted natural resources. Gee, how did they ever come up with that one? Multiplayer consists of the usual modes and gametypes, all with the expected near future militaristic bent. Up to 32 players can clash online, if they’re into that sort of thing.
|Naruto: Ninja Destiny
Remember that excellent action-adventure Naruto game for the Xbox 360? Yeah well, this ain’t it. Instead DS owners get “treated” to yet another licensed fighter staring Naruto characters. Fans of the series will eat it up. Everyone else will wonder why fans of the series are eating it up.
Puzzle | PSP
Look, I’m not going to pretend to understand how this game works. You rotate shapes to make other shapes. You get points. You can play it online with up to seven other like-minded puzzle-maniacs. It all looks very fast and frantic. And to think we used to complain about the PSP not having any good games.
|Turning Point: Fall of Liberty
First-Person Shooter | 360, PS3, PC
Turning Point isn’t just another World War II shooter, it’s an alternate history World War II shooter. The Nazis and their zeppelins are in New York City, which serves are a perfectly playable host to online deathmatches. Codemasters has been hyping up the single player campaign at every opportunity, so don’t expect too much from the multiplayer here.