Out This Week

Mark Of The Ninja

Labor Pains

The post-holiday week gives birth to a few oddball titles.

By Steve Heisler • September 4, 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.

Mark Of The Ninja
Xbox 360—September 7

Listen, you could play the entirety of this indie game by sneaking around in the shadows and slitting people’s throats to discover what the actual “mark of the ninja” is. OR, just assume it’s a face tattoo.

The Sims 3: Supernatural
PC—September 4

From the makers of the popular online series where you create a character to stand around and do nothing comes a game set in a fantasy world where your witch, zombie, or werewolf stands around and does nothing. Unless you want to have your vampire run into a wall for three hours as the rest of the people playing have a “party.” That’s the plot of Twilight, right?

Shad’O
PC—September 4

A boy has trouble remembering things, so he plays a tower-defense game fueled by his impenetrable emotions in the hope that snippets of his life will come trickling back. Makes me think there’s promise in a Memento game where Sammy Jenkins shoots drug dealers with insulin needles—or DOES he?!

Balloon Pop Remix
Nintendo 3DS—September 6

It’s the remix to Balloon Pop / Hot and fresh out the kitch-pop / Mama noticing patterns and being like Magnitude, pop pop! / Sippin’ on Coke and rum / I’m like, this game ain’t fun / But it’s post-Labor-Day-weekend, so the pickins are none.

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1,075 Responses to “Labor Pains”

  1. Effigy_Power says:

    I’ve always loved the Sims, pretty much since they came out, but EA’s insistence to constantly pander to pop-culture crowds and deviantArt-members is making it really hard to take serious. I haven’t played in forever (also because Origin is terrible), and I don’t see myself picking it up again any time soon… The game that was about letting you live your life in different circumstances really has turned away from reason… Sims 2 pandered to the Harry Potter crowd, Sims 3 to the Twilight crowd… Sad.

    I rather stick with GW2/Torchlight 2 and blow up some crap in JC2… wow… lot of sequels.

    • HobbesMkii says:

      Your loss. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to play this Katy Perry-themed Sims 3 extension, that cost me only $19.99 (and a small chunk of my soul). 

      (Author’s note: I don’t actually own the Sims 3 or any Katy Perry-affiliated Sims content.)

      • Enkidum says:

        Is there actually Katy Perry-themed content? Because that just means the world is slightly worse than I ever believed.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          Yes, there is actually Katy Perry content. It’s called Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats or something like that. I assume it references the cupcake bra.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      I probably won’t get Torchlight II when it comes out, simply because my backlog is an embarrassment, but I’m still really excited for that one.
         The art direction is just so fantastic, especially compared to the inoffensively generic style of the first.  All the character builds have some really rad looking equipment.

    • Mookalakai says:

       I remember I was so excited for every single expansion pack to the first Sims, even though they were mostly the same crap they’re peddling now. I kept playing them up Sims 2 University, which luckily finally made the Sims adequately boring.

      For the first Sims, I only actually bought a few of the expansions, but somehow I was able to borrow the games from people I knew, install them to get the content then just give them back. Of course this was before every PC game had an install limit.

    • Travis Stewart says:

       I pick up every full expansion for the Sims in hopes that this will be the one which will finally allow me to play out the complicated fantasy non-epic I have always wanted to play/read/see, but then I realize that it’s still a very light-hearted series. I understand the practical reasons why I’ll probably never see a large game where the player controls entire dynasties in a fantasy world not gripped by some recurring evil, but I still wish there was one, and The Sims is the closest one there is. Then again, I also think the whole “The Sims Goes Twilight” thing is a bit overblown. Yeah, it included modern vampires who don’t automatically look hideous or act evil, but The Sims is a pretty open game. It’s really easy to make vampires more complicated than that.

      • lokimotive says:

        I think you’re looking for The Sims: Gormenghast.

        • Travis Stewart says:

           Actually, now that I look at it, that’s a lot like what I’m looking for. Man, that looks even less like something which would ever be produced. I mean, designers might have to try and turn dialogue into some kind of gameplay.

  2. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    Emotionally damaged protagonists unlocking the byzantine structure of their game world as an analogy for psychological healing are getting a surprising amount of action this generation.
       It makes me want to attempt the same tone of symbolic thinking to an FPS.  I’ll call it Jung Guns

  3. Fluka says:

    Pretending to be a vampire or a werewolf…building your own house…raising children…cooking, making potions, and doing other chores…occasionally setting your family and neighbors on fire and watching them run around screaming…

    Wait, are we talking about The Sims or the new Skyrim DLC?

    • Effigy_Power says:

       Vampires are the new zombies are the new viruses are the new aliens are the new mutant monster are the new vampires.
      It’s all cyclical.

      • Mookalakai says:

         But where do centaurs fit in this theorem? I’m asking for…..someone else.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Are they brutal, rampaging centaurs or sexy, naked centaurs? Because you might be in the wrong subgenre…

          And of course I know nothing about this. At all. Ever.

      • caspiancomic says:

         I’m holding out for sexy Frankenstein’s Monsters or sexy chupacabras or sexy Blair Witch Projects or whatever.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          I don’t think you want to connect the words “sexy” and what technically means “goat sucker”… madness lies there.

  4. PhilWal0 says:

    That Balloon Pop Remix text was absolutely delightful. I’m in awe.

    • dreadguacamole says:

       It really was! It’s been said before, but Mr. Heisler is really hitting these out of the park.

  5. Cornell_University says:

    I see your Kells infused review and raise http://youtu.be/Fj7Y9LCD9TM

    your move Heisler.

  6. chifan305 says:

     http://al.ly/OwB