Out This Week

The Last Of Us

Naughty Dog Days Of Summer

In a slow release week, Naughty Dog releases yet another game that is not a sequel to Way Of The Warrior.

By Drew Toal • June 11, 2013

Out This Week is a look at a few new games that are out this week.

The Last Of Us
PlayStation 3—June 14

There’s a fungus among us, and it’s not the friendly variety one finds on pizzas or under cow patties. In The Last Of Us, this mushroom menace mildews itself onto human brains and turns them into rampaging zombies. The game takes place some two decades after the plague hits, and you play this dashing scoundrel who for some reason must escort a 14-year-old girl named Ellie across the post-apocalyptic expanse. As bad as things are, we can extrapolate some good news from this timeline; namely, that Justin Bieber is by then either a fat, balding Canadian who no one Beliebs in anymore or, I guess, a shambling, leather-shirted and gold chain-laced monster forever reaving the tween souls he needs to survive.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Nintendo 3DS—June 9

Gameological commenter HtttpLovecraft really sums matters up well with his multi-layered Animal Crossing question to Millennial menace Matt Kodner: “WTF is Animal Crossing? LOL.” I’ll just go ahead and assume that everyone born after 1989 spends their days worshipping Bieber and running their strange video game communes full of sea bass and nonsensical catch phrases. If they’re the future, I’ll take the virulent super-fungal virus.

SimCity
Mac—Originally June 11, now August

The Mac version of SimCity is just a victory lap after the rampant success of the game’s PC release back in March. I can only assume that pushing the release date back to August is to make it extra awesome.

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52 Responses to “Naughty Dog Days Of Summer”

  1. The_Helmaroc_King says:

    There’s been a few cool announcements from E3 so far. The standouts in my mind are a new Mirror’s Edge (a prequel, I think) and a new Smash Bros. (Mega Man!).

    • Fluka says:

      Apparently the new Mirror’s Edge is a reboot.  Which I know I should roll my eyes at, but MIRROR’S EDGE!!

      • George_Liquor says:

        I’d be down for a reboot/retooling of the original. I liked the idea behind Mirror’s Edge but I hated the execution.

        • Fluka says:

          Yeah, Mirror’s Edge is the best game ever that infuriated me so much I had to stop playing.  Which is why I’m really really happy they’re redoing it!  Improved collision detection, plz.

        • Girard says:

          I literally just started it for the first time last night.

          Five minutes in, I’m stuck because I’m constantly “failing” a wall jump in the tutorial in some minute way the game doesn’t feel like articulating to me (despite seeming to do exactly what the example person is doing).

          Luckily I could skip that and go right to the game, where I can really fail jumps by being a fraction of a millimeter to the left of the pipe I need to grab, like, 20 times in a row. With snappier, Meatboy-style checkpoints the constant, unpredictable failure wouldn’t be so bad, and the trial and error would feel productive rather than punitive. However, the game seems to toss me back just enough to become thoroughly discouraged.

          Here I was all hoping for something breezy, energetic, and fun after all the slogging and stat-scrutinizing through Dragon Age. Whoops!

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Ahem, DA3 and the announcement that I have to wait FOR MORE THAN A YEAR! RAWRAWRAWR!

        • Fluka says:

          I know, right?!  It’s like aaah, it’s Dragon Age!!  But Fall 2014?  But I want it now!  But then it’ll be extra good, cuz it won’t get rushed?

          Then the internet called me a dipshit for still enjoying Dragon Age, and I was sad. :(

        • a_scintillating_comment says:

          Yeah, it’d be nice to have it now, but I don’t care how long it takes as long as there’s some closure to Morrigan’s 11th hour deal with the player in DA:O. Morrigan as main antagonist, anyone?

        • Roswulf says:

          Yay! This is a thing I like!

          Although just to spread despair, the kotaku comments on the new DA were even more soulcrushing than normal. Apparently the feminazis at Bioware have decided to make Morrigan totally ugly and oh lord I just want to lay down in a ditch and die.

        • Girard says:

          @a_scintillating_comment:disqus : The rub there is that, for folks who didn’t make the 11th hour deal, the entire game would have to be different in a way that seems impractical. Two completely different conflicts with totally different main antagonists. Unless they kind of handwave it like some of the Mass Effect stuff and are just like [SPOILERS FOR OLDISH GAME] “Oh, she had a dark god demon baby with someone else at some point.”

        • Fluka says:

          @a_scintillating_comment:disqus Morrigan as antagonist, with Flemeth as surprise ally!  (Though they’ll need a retcon or those that didn’t choose that particular option…)

          @Roswulf:disqus The comments at Rock Paper Shotgun, I fear, were just as bad.  I had to force myself to take a nice walk and have some wine afterwards.  Now I’ve got anger fatigue.

        • Merve says:

          @Fluka:disqus: Didn’t you hear? BioWare is the new Call of Duty. By liking their games, you are ruining gaming, promoting world hunger, and killing unicorns in both Zanzibar and Timbuktu.

        • Simon Jones says:

           If there is one thing I want out of Dragon Age, it’s to actually kill Flemeth. Seriously, the writing and gameplay  could be even worse than DA2 and as long as I get ‘And you killed the mysterious manipulator figure and it wasn’t part of her scheme, she’s really dead and it wasn’t part of her scheme. She screwed up, you sword murdered her and she’s dead.’ I’ll be pretty happy.

          Cause she played her cards in the first game and turned into a dragon and if I murder you when you turn into a dragon, you are murdered.

        • Fluka says:

          @Merve2:disqus Well, I have always been proud to be part of The Cancer That is Killing Games (TM). *Rides off on a chariot made from the bleached bones of old-school RPGs.*

          @google-aa3d3e69ad6ac05b510b07fa7ce00830:disqus It’ll take more than death to kill Captain Janeway.

        • Simon Jones says:

           I’ll be blunt. I just want a game where I murder an old lady and am praised for it.

          Perhaps with a parade.

        • a_scintillating_comment says:

          [CONT’D SPOILERS FOR ANCIENT GAME FROM 2009]

          @paraclete_pizza:disqus @Fluka:disqus 

          Ah, yea I forgot about that. Through my mind’s eye I felt like she always was going to have the demon baby, you know, like make it work. Put her mind to it. Elbow grease and all that.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      I’m curious to hear Girard’s take on the Mega Man reveal.  Not so much for the game, but for the design.  I thought it was a pretty satisfying update of the original NES character.

      • neodocT says:

        I’m not Girard, but I really, really liked the way MegaMan and Donkey Kong look in the game. 

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          And I love you for your not-Girard-ness.  I only mentioned him in particular since he’s the local expert on Mega Man.
             In general I like how Smash Bros. handles the character models, though for some reason I found the use of denim texture on Mario’s overalls very disturbing.

        • neodocT says:

          @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus Hah, Girard has definitely cornered the Mega Man market, but, and for whatever that’s worth, my knowledge of Super Smash Bros. is second to no one. No one!

          And more disturbing than Mario’s denim overalls are Ganondorf’s ginger cornrows in Brawl. Weird stuff…

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          @neodocT:disqus   Did you see they included the Wii Fit trainer as a character?  I think it’s actually kind of brilliant.

        • neodocT says:

           @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus I hadn’t seen that yet! Awesome! That is a really inspired choice, actually. Not only does it bring another female character, but she seems to be a close-quarters physical fighter type too. The reveal trailer is also pretty cool:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBoL1Ic9uWw

      • As long as it’s not the abomination from Namco X Capcom.

        • Chalkdust says:

           Aw, no love for Mega Man Legends?

          (Okay, in retrospect, the Legends games were pretty average, but they did pave the way for The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, so I can’t discount them entirely.)

        • Girard says:

          @Chalkdust_TMAI:disqus : The Legends games were fantastic. Possibly the best Zelda-style games of that generation (YES better than Ocarina. Shhh.).

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          You don’t like Drunk Uncle Mega Man?

        • Chalkdust says:

          @Girard Were they Zelda-style? I have no memory of that… I just remember pretty passable 3D action games, stirring no strong feelings in me one way or the other (as opposed to Tron Bonne, which I love very much). I may have to revisit.

      • caspiancomic says:

         I’m not Girard either, but I’m hell of stoked. I’d appreciate if in the final release ol’ Blue actually changed colours when he used his Robot Master weapons, but even if he doesn’t I’m still pretty excited. Also speaking of blue, I hope my main man Sonic is still around for this one. And Snake, I guess.

        • Girard says:

          I’m guessing the color changes will be reserved for alternate costumes for multiple players.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          In the reveal trailer, the first weapon he goes for is Metal Man’s saw blade, and it looked surprisingly menacing.  Apparently Mega Man’s not fucking around.

      • Girard says:

        As mentioned above, the reveal made some primal, bone-deep, uncritical part of me squee to high heavens. I think mostly because I’m so starved for anything MegaMan.

        As for the design, it gets the job done. They made the design a little busy, with extra trim and stuff on the boots and gauntlets, which don’t look great but kind of fit in with the denim-Mario “cartoon with over-detailed texturing” aesthetic.

    • George_Liquor says:

      New Smash Bros? Really? Now that’ll put a Wii U in my living room!

    • duwease says:

      God, I wish Smash Brothers would come out on a console with real, modern, online play.. I buy every iteration, unlock every single thing, play a friend perhaps twice, and sadly put it away.  If it were on PC/Xbox/PS3, I don’t know if I’d ever stop playing it.

    • caspiancomic says:

       My heart belongs to Kingdom… er, Hearts. Three. That ten second tech demo is going to get a lot of play at Casa Caspiancomic over the next twenty five years, or however long it’ll take for that game to actually come out.

      Second favourite: Final Fantasy Versus XIII XV. Ten or twelve years ago I was a massive Square fanboy, and yesterday I began to remember why. It’s been ages since I was genuinely excited for a Squeenix title, but now I’m sincerely amped for two major Square releases. I feel like a kid again.

      • Girard says:

        I haven’t been interested in the series since…well…since the very first one, I guess. But I’m interested to see if any of Disney’s major license acquisitions come to bear here. As I mentioned elsewhere, if I can fly an X-Wing with Goofy and Spiderman, that might just be ridiculous enough for me to get a PS4.

    • Girard says:

      “a new Smash Bros. (Mega Man!)”

      I am a little embarrassed at how excited that parenthetical made me. I almost made a weird excited noise in a public space.

      Which is funny, because it’s ultimately super-trivial news about an entry I’ll never play in a series I’m not wild about. But some part of me is so starved for MegaMan anything that this news kind of made my day.

    • Chalkdust says:

      Here’s another newcomer to the Smash Bros. line-up!  Nintendo, why you gotta be perpetuating a sense of fun in the era of grey, dire military shooters?

  2. HobbesMkii says:

    I want a zombie game where the zombies don’t need to consume brains. They’re just undead ghouls, who wander around. It’d be the flagship game in a new genre called “Disconcertion,” where things aren’t really horrible–they’re just strange and off-putting.

  3. Effigy_Power says:

    This is also a fairly informative article:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/06/video-games-violence-guns-explainer

    Makes some good points.

    • NakedSnake says:

      It still cracks me up that a dude in 2013 complained about  “violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse.” It’s like he literally had a speech from 1992 forgotten in a desk drawer somewhere, and when he found it many years later he was like “Great! I’ll keep this handy for the next mass shooting!”

      • duwease says:

         The Splatterhouse reference especially reeks of plagiarizing video game rants of the mid-90’s.  Hell, it was barely relevant in the 90’s!

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          The counter argument was that there WAS a Splatterhouse remake a year or two ago…as if the NRA dumbass knew that.

  4. I’m glad that my AV Club callback question lives on, but I wish it didn’t make me sound so stupid.

    Edit: Also, I kinda wanna buy the Animal Crossing 3DS XL bundle. The little 3DS is too little. But can I tolerate being seen with the Animal Crossing branded machine in public? Time will tell.

  5. Burgerthyme says:

    Looks like this new Animal Crossing is slightly different from the last! Great job, Nintendo!

  6. Merve says:

    As someone born after 1989, I can assure that my bedroom’s Bieber shrine is both splendid, magnificent, and full of sea bass.

  7. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    I would guess that the SimCity Mac version was delayed for one of three reasons:

    1) iTunes integration.
    2) Pretending that the delay was to convert the server-side architecture that, you know, does so much of the actual calculations of the game that it HAS to be always online.
    3) Reticulating splines.