« | Main | »

Shop Watch August

By Russ | August 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm

August is the last month of Meh before the season of Awesome starts. 

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years expansions for WiiWare, available for download August 3.  The last bout of character specific content from Square-Enix sees Porom, Edgar, and the Lunarians romp dungeons for 300 Wii points each.  The last installment, due out next month, ties off the story and uses all the levels and items gained from the previous chapters to form one mega Voltron-esque party.  Chances are Ceodore forms the head.

Phantom Brave: We Meet Again for the Wii, shipping August 11.  NISA re-releases this Disgaea-derivative PS2 number on the Wii with bonus chapters and a packed in media disc with lots of extras.  Forgoing the tile-based layout of most strategy games, Phantom Brave is closer to Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits in its field design.

Fallout 3: Broken Steel/Point Lookout for the PC and 360, shipping August 18.  2K Games keeps Fallout 3 alive with more content.  These are discs so those of us without high-speed access can enjoy the extra stuff and new ending.  Personally, October’s Game of the Year Edition is a better buy.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy for the PSP, street-dated for August 25.  This has some RPG elements, but it is still a fighting game with really flashy attacks.  I hope Squall beats the everloving crap out of everyone.

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes for the DS, shipping August 25.  Ubisoft turns the series on its head with this entry: a puzzle strategy RPG with heavy JRPG influence.  It still uses elements from the fifth entry, but I think I’ll go with…

Mana-Khemia 2: The Fall of Alchemy for the PS2, shipping August 25.  NISA’s other offering this month surpasses Phantom Brave in extra content if you get the bonus stuff on their site.

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody for the Wii, shipping August 25.  Natsume decided this title should be a GameStop exclusive.  It has Wii-mote support and removes the ability to play as a female.  I would have easily swapped those features had I not already owned a perfectly good copy on the GameCube.

Some Advice: The first Mana-Khemia game became a collector’s item right away.  While NISA eventually made  a $20 version, that was soon scooped up by prospectors not wanting to play their original copies.  If you are interested, just pick the game up and call it a day.  Phantom Brave may hit that collector’s stride, but the original hit bargain bins.  The Harvest Moon port is just awful.  GameStop’s previous Natsume offering went for $15 within two months of release, by the way.  Dissidia will be out for awhile, but do try the demo and decide for yourself.  If you don’t own Fallout 3 and want to jump into all of it, wait until October.

The Future:  Champions Online hits PCs September 1, then Aion essentially closes the PC market on September 22.  The Wii sees some non-ported pleasure in both Muramasa on the first and a Valhalla Knights title a week later – but those releases are likely to slip.  Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 will allow for some decent co-op without monthly fees.  Nintendo’s Mario and Luigi 3 will garner some attention as well. The DS sees an excellent September close with Kingdom Hearts Math and the Wizard of Oz game, and the PSP has the Persona remake.

October contains Alpha Protocol and Dragon Age, two titles I have trumped tremendously.  However, Demon’s Souls may steal some thunder. Beyond October it gets a little hazy as release dates become vague and unpromising.  Do not expect Mass Effect 2 by the end of this year, for instance.

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