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Shop Watch May 2010

By Russ | May 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Considering the last few months of big-budget releases, May stands up to showcase some smaller titles.  May also features one of those games I haven’t been able to shut up about.  At all.

I beat FFXIII recently, and began playing Resonance of Fate.  Both are good games, but RoF‘s battle system really is great once you get used to it.  I wasn’t looking forward to the title at all until I spent some more time with it.  While it turns out I got the hang of controlling movement, basic attacking, and hero actions when I first played the Japanese demo, other things like utilizing scratch damage and gaining resonance points were lost on me.  Pretty pleased so far.

May is a weird time.  Big budget RPGs take the summer months off; a huge departure from the PSOne era.  June 1 does see a release of Alpha Protocol, but we’ve heard that one before.

Titles shipping May 4

What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2, published by NISA (PSP, PSN).  You might remember this game from its previous incarnation as Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! Well, apparently there’s some sort of copyright or trademark issue and the game has been renamed.  So has the first title, which supposedly comes with this release.  Hoo-hah!

Titles shipping May 11

3D Dot Game Heroes, published by Atlus (PS3).  This huge ripoff homage Wildstorm nod to the original Legend of Zelda game is done by From Software, the company behind last year’s awesome Demon’s Souls.  The entire game is rendered in blocks to emulate the rough pixels of a bygone age, yet the blocks are HD making it next-gen.  I can’t tell if that’s genius or pretentious, but I do love me some top down action and/or RPG games.

Titles shipping May 18

Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow, published by D3 Publisher (DS).  The first Blue Dragon game was reminiscent of Final Fantasy V.  The second game played like Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings.  Now this third game is a dungeon crawler?  It is nice to see the series still going, but the identity crisis may prove unfavorable for some fans of the original.

Trauma Team, published by Atlus (Wii).  No, it’s not an RPG.  But you still get to slice up people, and then heal them!

Titles shipping May 25

Dawn of Heroes, published by Majesco (DS).  I see this is our new contender for how many times a game can appear in this column.

Hexyz Force, published by Atlus (PSP, PSN). Everything about Hexyz Force screams generic at first glance. And more than likely, such an assumption would make an ass out of no one.  But the game does look to feature two different protagonists on two opposing quests, and a narrative capable of showing both sides of a story is always a welcome addition to the RPG genre.

Witch’s Wish, published by Natsume (DS).  I don’t know if this is an actual RPG or a Harvest Moon clone from the makers of Harvest Moon and its clones. But it’s really cute.  Get it for your little sister and then pretend you have no interest as you play it.

Titles shipping June 1 (say what?)

Alpha Protocol, published by Sega (360, PC, PS3).  I was very stoked for this Espionage RPG up until last December, when too many delays and changes made my interest wane.  The game is an RPG, and it does feature espionage.  This could be a pretty beefy contender for RPG of the year, if the game can still promise what it had over a year ago.  Alpha Protocol is street-dated for June 1.

Record of Agarest War, published by Aksys (360).  This is the standard version of the game, minus all the wanked-out bonuses.

Some Advice:  The previous Blue Dragon titles hit bargain bins pretty quickly, and some places still carry them for $10 apiece.  Wait for it, unless you crave everything that is Akira Toriyama at this precise instant.

In fact, outside of 3D Dot Game Heroes, everything will either have a deal or go down in price, save the retail copy of Hexyz Force.  If having the game and case means little to you, keep your eyes peeled for a sale on the PSN version.

The Future:  Outside of Valkyria Chronicles 2 and possible Fallout: New Vegas, the rest of the year has some decent releases but no more A-list titles at this moment.  Give it until June.  After June the hype for the end of the year begins. I heartily expect a Borderlands GOTY Edition with all of the DLC by Christmas.

All retail games (with the exception of those marked as street-dated) will be in stores one day after their release. Release dates also tend to be shipping dates. All release dates are subject to change.  Games available for download will have varying release. The views of this column do not reflect the views of RPG Land.

Topics: Shop Watch