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Shop Watch November

By Russ | November 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Wait, I’ve been doing this column over a year as well? Ah, nevermind – it’s all about Dragon Age this month. Unless you don’t play RPGs.

Then it’s all about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

This month marks the beginning of the Christmas season. Thanksgiving, unfortunately, counts for jack commercially unless you own a supermarket. The Christmas season brings a plethora of games; particularly high-end titles like the aforementioned CoD title. This squeezes out other titles for shelf space. If a title you are looking for is not displayed, ask the person behind the counter before you leave. It might be sitting back there because it’s not a particular seller.

Dragon Age: Origins for the PC, PS3, and 360; street-dated for Nov. 3. The above advice does not apply to EA Games much-touted title. Supposedly Bioware’s finest hour, Dragon Age gives players a choice of characters to choose from. From that point, the player’s experiences influence the world and how to interact with people. This is pretty standard for Bioware, the studio that has crafted similar experiences for Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. There are Collector’s Editions of this title, but pre-orders through Amazon and Gamestop are sold out. Amazon already has resellers jacking the PS3 CE price up to $140. Asshats.

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade for the Wii and Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands for the DS, shipping Nov. 10. Natsume’s Harvest Moon games can be fun, but these entries do not appear to chnage much for the well-established series. At least it’s not some GameStop exclusive that removes functions but allows you to ‘realistically’ fish.

Phantasy Star ZERO for the DS, shipping Nov. 10. I am of the mindset that Phantasy Star games are above-average games. What I played of Portable was very fun, especially with offline and online missions. Hopefully, ZERO will keep such a feeling alive. The all-caps part of the title has me wary, though.

Spectral Force Genesis for the DS, supposedly shipping Nov. 10. GameStop is the only company with any information on this title. Ignition’s website makes no mention of it. Of course, Ignition’s website still claims King of Fighters XII as an upcoming release. I honestly do not expect a release on this title until next year.

Fighting Fantasy for the DS, shipping Nov. 25. This title is based on of a series of fantasy novels. I wonder if the publisher knows it is shipping the day before Thanksgiving. If that’s the case, expect this title the first week of December.

Some Advice: The Dragon Age Collector’s Editions are probably going to be rare. Preorders stopped at two major retailers nearly a month ago. If you want one, I would recommend picking it up. If you plan on getting Mass Effect 2, early adoption of Dragon Age will unlock some armor for you. This is one of those rare but cool moments the current generation of gaming has yielded its fans. However, only PC and 360 users can take advantage of it. Spectral Force is to be $20 upon its release. Ignition titles tend to drop in price or hit bargain bins quickly, but then shoot up in price later. It’s a very strange phenomenon.

The Future: Dragon Age is essentially capping off the end of the year for RPGs. The new Zelda game hits next month, but those are adventure games that tend to be covered by RPG sites. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers is street-dated for December 26, but there’s too much else going on that day to notice. Mass Effect 2 did receive a January 26 street date. February starts off a Square Enix release blitz that take February and March by storm, if the release dates for Star Ocean 4 International, Front Mission Evolved, and the Nier titles hold.

All games (with the exception of those marked as street-dated or avaliable for download) will be in stores one day after their release. Release dates also tend to be shipping dates. All release dates are subject to change.

Topics: Shop Watch