Out This Week

Hitman: Absolution

Whee! You?

Can you manage to contain your excitement for the Wii U’s epic release?

By Steve Heisler • November 20, 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.

Wii U
November 18

Sure, it’s easy to mock Nintendo’s new system as being overly reliant on touchscreen technology or too cutesy. But consider how many times as a kid your little brother or sister wanted to play games with you, and you handed them a controller not plugged into anything and told them, “You’re helping!” (Just me?) Well, thanks to the Wii U, you can do that every single time! Give them the big controller—“the big one!”—and assure them the blocks they magically place on the screen as you play New Super Mario Bros. U are very important. Without those extra blocks, how would you reach that other block over there, aside from jumping onto it like you’ve always done?

Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two
PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360—November 18

Last we left Mickey Mouse, he was painting up a storm, armed with a brush that could shoot paint at a moment’s notice. Years later, he’s still pursuing such artistic goals, much to the chagrin of his doting parents who wish he’d get his MBA already.

Rabbids Land
Wii U—November 18

Speaking of parents, Rabbids look like normal rabbits who were warned by their elders that if they kept making that face, it’d stick. Then it did. Then they went off and slobbered all over each other and shoveled food into their faces. And those eyes…those hypnotic eyes—must…murder…Bugs Bunny…

Hitman: Absolution
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—November 20

Fall of 2012 will be remembered as “the season the video game death rate spiked.” Between this, Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed III and Borderlands 2, there are some video game mayors running around trying to juice the crime stats like little bizarro Rahm Emanuels.

Little Inferno
PC, Wii U—November 19

This is a game where you celebrate a weird holiday that involves receiving presents and immediately throwing them into the fire. Or, as it’s known around these parts, “Chanukah.”

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  • ToddG

    Also, Telltale’s Walking Dead finale!  Which will either cement its place as my personal GotY or… not do that.  Probably the first one, though.

    • KidvanDanzig

      Yeah I’m hoping they’ll do some sort of review. Its episodic structure seems to put it in a liminal state for a lot of review sites – With all 5 episodes taken together I think you’ve got a solid contender for GOTY. Were it not for Dishonored (and maybe XCOM) it would take the gold easily.

  • http://twitter.com/HttpLovecraft Http Lovecraft

    Anybody have any leads on what’s coming for Steam’s Black Friday sale?  C’mooon X-Com and/or Max Payne 3!

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      I’m trying to remember if they even do a thanksgiving sale. I think they do, but it probably pales in comparison to their batshit awesome x-mas sale. I’m hoping to pick up Torchlight 2, Hotline Miami, and FTL.

      • HobbesMkii

        I recommend all three of those, although I have yet to complete any. 

        Also, Torchlight 2 will definitely be discounted:

        http://www.torchlight2game.com/news/2012/11/16/happy-thanksgiving/

      • http://twitter.com/HttpLovecraft Http Lovecraft

        I believe so, I seem to recall a Turkey-related Team Fortress weekend… unless I am conflating Halloween and Thanksgiving.  I celebrate my Thanksgiving on the Canadian clock.

        • GaryX

          I saw on Kotaku or something that a fall sale was starting real soon.

      • Sleverin

         I’m waiting to pick up the new Rayman game since it’s received such resounding amazing reviews everywhere, even here…or the old A.V. Club site.  I pray the Christmas sale will include it in said sale…I haven’t played a Rayman game since the first one, back when I was but a wee lad.

  • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

    There’s a great promo on GOG right now that approaches “Humble Indie Bundle” levels of “What-A-Deal”-ness (depending on how much you spend on Humble Indie Bundles).

    http://www.gog.com/pick_5_pay_10

    5 games off of the list for $10. The list includes a lot of well-regarded indie adventures (To the Moon, Botanicula, Machinarium, the Blackwell series, Resonance, Gemini Rue), as well as other widely-played indies like Trine and Spacechem. It was a good way for me to pick up a bunch of indie games on the cheap, which I’d read about but never got around to playing.

    • HobbesMkii

      I very much recommend Alan Wake’s American Nightmare if only selfishly so that Remedy makes enough money to make Alan Wake 2.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         Does that require the original Alan Wake to play?

        • HobbesMkii

          It’s stand-alone. It also has a fun little “survive for as long as possible” feature that has no plot line whatsoever (although, really, if you’re not playing Alan Wake for its story, you’re doing it wrong).

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           @HobbesMkii:disqus I had entertained getting it, but thought it was an expansion, so I opted for Trine instead, which I’m regretting a bit now (not a slight against Trine – I haven’t played it yet – but I was more curious about the Alan Wake games). I’m sure it/they’ll be on sale soon, though.

    • lokimotive

      I saw that today and immediately took advantage of it. I had been holding off on To the Moon for awhile so I bought that along with Unmechanical, Botanicula, Gemini Rue, and Resonance. GOG says I saved $40. What a deal!

    • caspiancomic

       Aw man, I want to play To The Moon super bad, but it’s PC only. Still, for Machinarium and Botanicula alone I might take the plunge here. Cheers, @paraclete_pizza:disqus

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         If you missed out on the humble Botanicula bundle, yeah, this is a GREAT way to grab Botanicula and Machinarium on the cheap, and there are enough good games (or at least games of reasonable repute) to round out your selection beyond that.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

         And to be honest, you’re not missing much with to the moon. I just played through and…yeah. Towards the end one of the characters says “Well…let’s just say it was a bunch of sappy cheese that worked out in the end.” Which is actually a pretty perfect summation of the game itself (which I guess they were lampshading with that line, but it doesn’t excuse it).

        It’s pretty cliched, maudlin, and contrived… It feels a bit like a 9th-grader’s take on the central conceit behind Eternal Sunshine. And the gameplay is supremely un-satisfying: ultra-linear sub-fetch-quest interaction occasionally interrupted by a non-sequitir “lights-out”-style puzzle.

    • dreadguacamole

       It’s a pretty great deal – and it led me to discover Unmechanical, a lovely, fun physics platformer.
       Between this and the stuffing bundle, AssCreed3 and Adademagia, I’ve got an overabundance of games vying for my attention…

  • Fluka

    Are we getting a Hitman: Absolution review here on Gameological?

    On the off-chance we don’t, and just because I want to post it anyway, here’s Conan O’Brien “reviewing” it.

    Katashamaaa!

    • http://gameological.com/author/johnteti/ John Teti

      Yup, there will be a review after Thanksgiving. Might not measure up to Conan’s, though.

      • Jackbert322

        PlayStation All Stars Battle Royale review?

        • http://gameological.com/author/johnteti/ John Teti

          Yes, that too. Sony has been withholding a review code, though, for unknown reasons.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      I’d like to read that as well.  When you come out of the gate with clan of Latex nuns, I’m pretty curious where you can go from there.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        Apparently the back story on the fetish nuns from the trailer is that they were domestic abuse victims or something. So yeah, good job videogames… ugh.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia

          No… really?  No.  That can’t… No.

          it’s a videeeeeooo gaaaammmeee…

          Then yes.  That seems entirely reasonable.

        • Fluka

          Yeah, my reaction on learning about that particular bit of “character development” was a pretty definitive ಠ_ಠ .

    • Electric Dragon

      That menu screen is quite the thing.

      • Fluka

        “Hey, maybe the PR campaign inaccurately painted this game as an ugly, misogynistic bore.  I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt in the hope that it might be a smart stealth murder-puzzler!”

        *Starts game and looks at menu screen.*

        NOPE.

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    I hate what Nintendo is doing to Mario.  Mario games used to be the gold standard for platformers, now it is all about gimmicks and coin whoring.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

      I think that the New/3-D Land games are a little embarrassing, but I’ve read that the newest is, if not ambitious, challenging, unique, and well-designed.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        Isn’t that sega racer going to have TF2 characters? or was that just an internet rumor thing? Because that would be pretty cool.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

          Accurate summary of the internet:
          *GhaleonQ looks it up*
          *GhaleonQ sees that it’s still not confirmed*
          *GhaleonQ searches the NeoGAF official topic for confirmation*
          *GhaleonQ clicks on YouTube link with footage*
          *said YouTube link has innocuous Team Fortress 2 characters driving around while the video maker/commenters trade bigoted, perverted, and conspiratorial barbs back and forth*

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFAJ-G1h2UE

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

       The ‘New’ games are pretty uniformly disappointing, but the Galaxy games were both very strong. I imagine (or at least hope) the next ‘real’ Mario game for the Wii U will be solid. I would love for them to do a 2-D game that is actually visually and ludically inventive, but I think they’re firmly backwards-facing when it comes to those games.

  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    If Mickey gets his degree by the end this game, he’ll still have completed an art education in better time than I did.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      However, his art education will have taught him that there is a strict binary relation between “good” aesthetics and “bad” aesthetics, and that that entire aesthetic spectrum just looks like different flavors of Disney bullshit.

      Basically, unless Warren Spector was your art teacher, you probably got a better art education…

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        Man, Spector is really starting to go the Molyneux route.

        *hugs copy of Deus Ex*

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        I got a bog standard post modern Midwestern public University Fine arts education.
           A soggy emphasis on pursuing ideas with no real substantive lessons on technique to enable the development of those ideas.
           But, the one hard no was illustrative style, so no danger of it looking like Disney bullshit.
           How was your undergrad program? 

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          Mine was a weird conceptually-focused program housed at a university mainly known for its engineering and CS departments, which gave the art school this weird schizoid position of embracing weird cool tech art stuff, while also having this kind of adversarial stance toward the tech departments that typically happens when the arts are marginalized in favor of the sciences.

          The faculty were an eclectic bunch while I was there, including an ultra-traditionalist figure painter, and an awesomely bonkers conceptual beardy-wizard man who had installed holograms at the feet of the Buddhas in Bamiyan in the 70s, made the first arts payload to be sent into orbit by NASA, and is presently making some art to put on the moon.

          The whole program definitely skewed more conceptual/post-modern than it did commercial/illustration (There was a design school, but that was a completely different college with a different building, etc. The guy who made Bad Hotel went there the same time I was in Fine Arts), and if you weren’t willing to put in the work to excel at technique, you could end up graduating having made some pretty bad art. The faculty were open to pop forms (that being part of the whole po-mo conceptual thing), so stuff like comics and certain sorts of illustrative art could fly, as well as, say, video that appropriated conventional forms…but anything that was too blandly commercial or not experimental in any way was frowned upon, and the instructors had zero interest in turning you into an illustrator.

          However, there was this thing called the Entertainment Technology Center, which was supposed to kind of be an intersection point of the two, but was really too tacky/commercial for the art department to engage with much (though a fair number of students took courses there), and too arty for the serious CS guys. I remember they had a popular virtual reality class whose amazing potential was invariably squandered, and every team would, like, make a VR Finding Nemo game or a VR Ghostbusters game or some shizz.

  • CountBulletsula

    I lurk here constantly, but I never get the chance to post since the site is blocked at work and disqus flat-out will not cooperate with my phone.  I hate that one of my only posts here is to complain, but this seems as appropriate a place to complain as any, so I’m just going to go for it.

    I received my pre-ordered WiiU Deluxe on Sunday night and didn’t really get to dig into it until yesterday evening since the rest of my Sunday night was taken up with updating the stupid firmware and then also applying whatever update is needed for NSMBU.  I am mildly irritated at this point, but fine.  The new controller pad is really cool and I can watch TV while playing a little bit of NSMBU.My parents and grandparents come over last night and I decide to wow them with my new system (though they probably don’t care).  I decide to show them NintendoLand, so I break it out of the packaging and turn the WiiU on.  Oh, great.  Another update.  Luckily, they can sit and watch TV while the thing updates and I wow them with the fact that the gamepad doubles as a remote.  The update finishes and immediately NintendoLand’s obnoxious mascot Monita goes into super-explanatory mode.  I just want to get to the game and I am losing my audience quickly and very impatient.  Monita finally stops talking long enough that we get to enjoy a few rounds of the Luigi’s Mansion minigame and everyone enjoys themselves.  My dad quickly tires of the thing and everyone leaves.I decide to try out DK’s Crash Course and am thoroughly enjoying myself.  The course is deceptively more difficult than I imagined, but it’s still entertaining.  I try out some of the other modes too, and I’m really starting to like the game when all of a sudden the game freezes and emits this awful earsplitting sound.  I try to power it down, and the stupid thing won’t turn off, so I unplug it, wait a bit, and plug it back in (which is also what Nintendo Troubleshooting suggests).  The game froze 2 more times after that before I got sick of it and went to bed, hoping my problems would be solved in the morning.  After getting home from work today, I tried to use the WiiU again, this time hoping that NSMBU would play without any problems.  Sure enough, my game froze about 20 minutes later.  I just got off the phone with Nintendo, and I’m going to have to send it in for repairs.I love all of my Nintendo systems (yes, even my Virtual Boy) but the WiiU has gotten me so aggravated.  Not only do I have to wait for the console to power up, and then for it to load the game, and for the update for the game, and then for the installation of the update for the game, but now I have to wait for Nintendo to fix the system I have maybe gotten to enjoy for 2 hours tops.  For something I waited for so long to enjoy, I sure am having to wait an interminable amount of time to truly enjoy it–especially after already having it in my possession.I will say, though, that I was able to use the Miiverse to determine that other people are having similar problems as I am, so I guess that I can take solace in the fact that I am not alone?  Honestly, I really like the whole concept of Miiverse.  I enjoyed seeing notes from other people about the levels I was about to play in NSMBU.  I just wish I could see more of it…

    • Spacemonkey Mafia

      Wow.  The whole ordeal sounds so very un-Nintendo.  Regardless of one’s feelings about their software, the hardware is usually pretty solid and intuitive.
        I hate to think they’ve only decided to emulate the worst elements of the other systems.

      • CountBulletsula

        I will say that they said they would expedite the shipping and the repairs since it literally just came out, and I should have it back in 5 days as opposed to two weeks.

    • stakkalee

      Man that sucks, especially since here we are with a 4-day weekend, the perfect time to really dig in to a new system.  It’s not quite the same thing, but I once had a new PC die on me 2 weeks in, after I’d just finished migrating all my data and games and whatnot.  And I mean it died hard, no hard drive recovery possible.  Good to hear they’re taking care of you as best as possible, even if it’s not the “We’re overnighting you a completely new system” solution you’d probably like.

  • PaganPoet

    Also, Persona 4 Golden is out as of today as well, I hold it now in my soft, supple hands! For you PS Vita owners (all both of you), this game is pretty much the reason I bought the system. GET IT!

  • Chum Joely

    On the topic of “Out This Week”: The “review embargo” has been lifted for Far Cry 3, and there is suddenly a flood of pretty awesome reviews.  Even though this was developed two floors down from me, I haven’t seen a lot of it, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it got such good reviews (the project has been touch-and-go on the dev side for a looooong time).

    I would love to see the Gameological take on it– are you guys planning a review soon?

  • TelephoneToughGuy

    Don’t know where else to put this but I just finished Ep. 5 of Walking Dead and man, that was great.  Found the ending a bit anti-climactic and oh, hey the credits ended and what’s this?  …Hmmmm.  But yeah, hopefully after this weekend others will have played it and will be discussing it somewhere on here cause I’d love to hear people’s thoughts.  Definitely got the biggest laugh out of me of the season.  “Let’s hang out here.  This house is safe and sturdy!”  Cut to: zombies crashing through the walls.  Good stuff.

    • AstralWeeks666

      (Massive Spoilers ahead)

      I found the final scene between Lee and Clementine emotionally devastating . It’s the first time that I’ve ever cried at the narrative of a videogame. The game has it’s faults but the relationship between those two characters was a resounding success. The quality of the writing was very strong for a game and I was genuinely invested in rescuing Clementine. In fact I’d say that the writing was better than the TV show. And I don’t mean that as the back-handed compliment that people will take it to be.

      But Telltale have written themselves into a corner for the next season. Clementine is the last person standing so where will the story go next? The fact that you cared about Clementine gave the narrative it’s power but killing off every other character (with the possible exception of that couple who are so boring that I have forgotten their names) was a mistake. Killing off some characters keeps the story edgy but wiping out so many undermines your ability to get invested in (and to advance) the narrative.