Out This Week

World Of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

Kung Fu Pandas

World Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria honors a fallen soldier, but elsewhere cute animals prevail.

By Drew Toal • September 25, 2012

Out This Week is a roundup of new games that are out this week. These listings don’t constitute an endorsement or a review of any sort. We also don’t pretend that this is an exhaustive list. If there’s a game on the horizon that interests you, share it in the comments.

Tokyo Jungle
PlayStation 3—September 25

It’s a desolate future, one in which Japan is overrun by an army of robot animals grown beyond all control or reason. We all knew it would come to this. Instead of a regular review, Gameological sent Steve Heisler forward in time to investigate the Japanese Animocalypse and report back on the devastation of the Tokyo Jungle firsthand. Godspeed, you heroic son of a bitch.

The Testament Of Sherlock Holmes
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—September 25

Any serious student of literature knows Sherlock Holmes as the two-fisted, nattily dressed private investigator in fin de siécle England who beats people up in slow motion and solves grisly crimes. Translation: Those Robert Downey Jr. movies are spot on. In this version, Holmes is being framed for crimes he did not commit, and all of London has turned against the once-beloved drug addict. He must rove the open-world setting and get Scotland Yard, before they get him. Don’t get got, Holmes.

Dead Or Alive 5
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—September 25

Having failed to establish a conclusive answer through four installments, the Dead Or Alive franchise returns for a new round of no-holds-barred fighting and earnest “high-ya” grunts. Unfortunately, the game still doesn’t have the long-awaited “Savagely Beat Bon Jovi” mode, but maybe that’s being saved for future downloadable content.

World Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria
PC—September 25

The other day, I received a notification on my Cute Animal On The Internet® tracker. It informed me that a baby panda, “about the size of a stick of butter,” had just died of unclear causes. I got sad. Then I vowed revenge against the Orcish Horde that was obviously behind the assassination. The latest World Of Warcraft add-on brings a new class and new race to the game, but no amount of Horde ear trophies can ever replace that adorable little butter cub in my heart.

FIFA 13
Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360—September 25

I understand this Messi fellow is pretty good at kicking round objects into mesh-like material?

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800 Responses to “Kung Fu Pandas”

  1. rvb1023 says:

    Urban-based animal survival?  That game looks a lot more interesting than it probably should.  I mean, who needs WoW pandas when you could just get that?

    • Enkidum says:

      The character animation looks awful – several of those scenes have extraneous animals walking in place, moving without touching the ground, and so forth. Methinks I’ll give it a miss.

    • Girard says:

       It gives me that same vague spike of interest that that Wii game about being an awesome real-life spider or scorpion did (though I never actually got around to playing that game).

      “Nature documentary” isn’t a genre that gets a lot of ludic love. It would be interesting to see it done well. Perhaps involving David Attenborough.

    • Captain Internet says:

      When I was very young my school had an educational game on the BBC Micro called ‘Urban Fox’, which was just that. All I can really remember about it is the name and how I didn’t really understand it. My group’s fox died in a shed, I think.

    • GhaleonQ says:

      People make a lot of jokes about the Japanese market catering to perverts or 14-year olds, but http://www.siliconera.com/2012/06/13/this-week-in-sales-its-a-jungle-out-there sometimes they do something that reminds me why I love their gaming industry.

    • caspiancomic says:

      This Tokyo Jungle looks like exactly the kind of terrible game I would probably totally fucking love, so much so that I might actually check it out. Lions running around Tokyo? Pigs running around single file on rooftops? Two dogs about to fuck tastefully edited around? I can play as a chicken in an air duct?? Is this real life?

      • WorldCivilizations says:

        I am currently debating buying it. Watched the video reviews on IGN and Gamespot – the former was glowing, the second scathing. Seems risky, then again it’s only 15 bucks…

        • GhaleonQ says:

          9 out of 10 (and well-argued) from Gameological-endorsed Gibson at Eurogamer.  It’s plodding at worst, but satisfyingly designed.  And, again, best-selling in game in Japan during its week of release!  You can’t resist!

      • dreadguacamole says:

         I’m kind of surprised anyone could watch the trailer above and have any other response other than BUY!!!
         It may look low budget, but it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d want to support.

        – I hope it’s not too bloody, this looks like it would be a blast to play with my son.
        – I love that the trailer is T for ‘suggestive themes’

  2. Fluka says:

    Your Cute Animal On The Internet® tracker informed you when a cute animal *died*?  That’s the worst tracker ever!  

  3. Enkidum says:

    The Dead or Alive trailer seems to have forgotten its roots. Why, there isn’t a single shot of jiggling boobs that lasts for longer than a second, and there are absolutely no shots of women lounging or taking showers. Also, one of the women is wearing reasonably sensible fighting clothes, and the other one barely shows any cleavage at all.

    Although I’m sure you can unlock costumes for both that consist of pasties and a thong. Sigh….

  4. Channel 8 News says:

    Played MoP all morning, and got my Panda Monk from 1-12.

    Very fun so far!

  5. Also worth noting, Battlefield 3’s Armored Kill is finally available for us Plebe’s who didn’t pony up for premium.

  6. I actually quite want to play WoW now you can be a panda.

  7. kateburning says:

    I’m getting Tokyo Jungle and Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit today.

  8. Effigy_Power says:

    Until I saw a full-blown trailer for “Mists of yet another furry addition” for WoW, I was convinced this was a very long-winded running gag by Blizzard and the internet in general, dragged along to deride the inherent silliness of the MMO-genre, fantasy in general and the Addon-craze of some games.

    In hindsight it was moronic of me to assume that Blizzard has a sense of humor about itself. I can’t believe this is a real thing. And since I’ll never ever ever ever play it, I’ll just continue going through life with “Mists of Pandaria” being a funny meta-joke with the length of a Family-Guy cutaway. It’s better that way.

    • Patrick Batman says:

      I thought it was a joke, too.  At first.  Then I hoped it was.  Now I’m clinging to the delusion that it somehow IS one, but my grip is slipping…

    • Girard says:

       I can’t wait until they release “Mesas of Chi-juana,” featuring a race of Chihuahua-people who wear garish sombreros and ponchos.

      Maybe then they’ll do “Dunes of Dromedaria,” featuring camel-folk in towering turbans waving around curvy scimitars and threatening to cut off the hands of infidels.

      Blizzard almost makes the Walt Disney corporation seem culturally sensitive by comparison…

    • frogandbanjo says:

      They do have a sense of humor about themselves, and about MMOs.

      The geek-culture-referencing, fourth-wall-breaking humor is still in there, but I think it rings ever-the-more hollow the more utterly ridiculous shit they cram into WoW that they ostensibly expect people to take seriously (though I highly doubt anyone at the company actually takes it seriously, with the possible exception of Chris “George Lucas” Metzen.) At this point, the game needs to be able to make fun of its own ridiculous, self-serious bullshit, but there’s just so much of it, and it’s just so terrible, that Blizzard’s relatively good-natured humor wouldn’t really get the job done – and of course they’d probably piss off all the people who actually do care about the world’s lore, as convoluted and derivative and poorly-delivered as it is.

      There’s definitely a lowest-common-denominator issue in play. Millions of Blizzard’s paying customers unironically love the idea of having Kung Fu Pandas running around. Rattle off some bad-kung-fu-overdub bullshit about balance and harmony, and they’re fucking collector’s-edition triple-sold.

      For me, personally, those people are right up there with people who use the term “Fourthmeal” unironically, but then again I might feel differently about them if they were giving me a billion-ish dollars a year.

      That got a little ranty. Sorry. I really dislike WoW.

    • feisto says:

      It even has the word “pander” in the name! (Well, almost.)

      But seriously, I think this might just be their cynical attempt to reverse their dropping subscription rates by tapping more heavily into the Chinese market. It’s not the first MMORPG to introduce a Panda race.

    • GaryX says:

      Blizzard is very self-aware and jokey about its games.

      Just never really in its CGI trailers which always try to ramp up the “AH EPIC WAR!”ness of them all.

      Honestly, though, them letting you play as a group of pandas that have always been in the lore doesn’t seem that sillier than all the other crazy animal-people shit they have running around. WoW sure is getting old though.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      The scariest part is that I’m pretty sure they “introduced” a new panda class as an April 1st joke years ago.  But now it’s real.  So they’ve added Kung Fu Panda and Pokemon to the game.

      Yes, they had Pandarens in the RTS Warcraft games long before Kung Fu Panda, but still, with this timing it just seems like cashing in on another popular series.  I bet $100 imaginary dollars that there are quests in the Pandaren areas that half-jokingly reference Po and the movies.

  9. Merve says:

    Now I’m convinced that one of Drew’s exes was a Bon-Jovi-loving soccer fan.

  10. Electric Dragon says:

    “I understand this Messi fellow is pretty good at kicking round objects into mesh-like material?”

    Ladies and gentlemen, the new front-runner for understatement of the year.

  11. Chris Holly says:

    Also out:the free demo for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. You only get two missions (and one of them’s entirely scripted for you), but man… so far it feels like Firaxis done good.

    • Electric Dragon says:

      Unfortunately it requires Vista or Win7, so it’s going to require an upgrade before I can get it. Which is a shame as I don’t think any previous game has made me go from “Why are they trying to improve on the original?” to “Well, this might turn out ok” to “I am now cautiously optimistic” to “Wow, I have to get this” during the course of its development.

      • Chris Holly says:

        That’s the exact same process I went through. I couldn’t be more delighted with how it looks so far. The only complaint I can muster is that the interface is a bit too “busy”, but that’s a minor quibble. 

  12. ChicaneryTheYounger says:

    It’s called Mists of Pandaria and it features Panda people? What creativity!

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      PANDAREN!
      A race of panda people who live in Pandaria!
      PANDAREN!
      They all have kung-fu skills because they’re stereotyped Asians!
      PANDAREN!
      Also Pokemon!
      PANDAREN!
      (Pepsi!)