Warner Brothers


When it was first released last year, Batman: Arkham City did more than turn a few heads.  It defined exactly what a comic book-oriented game was supposed to be.  Featuring a larger environment than the original Batman: Arkham Asylum, breathtaking amounts of stuff to do within the prison-like city, awesome gameplay ranging from gliding to fighting enemies on the ground, and plenty of unique story twists, it set the standard for games that will follow in the years to come.  And with that, WB Games was probably wondering, “Why let Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC owners have all the fun?”


Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is set to unleash fear on villains starting tomorrow across a multitude of platforms.  Obviously, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are prime choices, but by no means should you discount the handheld versions, mainly PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.  WB Games invited us to check out a demo of the upcoming 3DS game, and we came away pretty happy with the results.


When producer Suda 51 works on a game, the last thing you should really come to expect is normalcy.  For years, he’s been adding some crazy touches to his games, whether it was wielding the “Big Boner” in Shadows of the Damned or slicing an enemy in half with a lightsaber in No More Heroes before performing a peculiar sexual motion to recharge it.  Now we have Lollipop Chainsaw, his latest effort, one in which he teams up with Super director James Gunn to deliver a game experience so far tongue in cheek, it practically rips through the other side.  But, relax, that’s a good thing.


Last year’s DiRT 3, I think, was the pinnacle for Codemasters’ long-running rally racing series, as it simply got everything just right.  The feel of the cars, the variety of the tracks, the sheer thrill of flying off a jump and landing for a first place finish…everything just clicked.  So with that, the team was probably wondering…”So what next?”  We get that answer today with the release of DiRT Showdown, a not-so-routine sequel where you’re taking part in a racing festival, competing in fun – and quite destructive – racing events.


The idea behind E3 was to showcase the latest and brightest games of 2012, but there are always a few games that disappoint us. Some games on our list made serious changes to their formula, and not for the better. Other games took center stage at E3 when they shouldn’t have. There were many games at E3, but here is our top five list of disappointments.


The free-to-play market had a huge showing at E3 and was showcased at Sony’s Online Entertainment booth. Recently SOE converted all of its most popular MMOs into the model, giving new life to D.C Universe while reintroducing fans to the PlanetSide series.


The last time that the DC Comics characters made a respectable appearance in a fighting game, it was in the crossover title Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, which wasn't half bad but ended up being somewhat mixed reviews due to its Teen-rated nature.  However, since Mortal Kombat has gone on to bloody success returning to its roots, why can't DC Comics get its own fighting love?  It's doing just that, as Ed Boon and his team at Netherrealm Studios have announced Injustice: Gods Among Us, a new fighting game with plenty of comic book love.


To be honest, Nintendo did manage to do fairly well with the Wii.  Not only did it finally nail down using a typical CD format for its games (shying away from the cartridge and mini-discs it used previously), but it also effectively introduced motion gaming to the scene, with such favorites as Wii Sports and Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2.  And while it is on its last legs with the upcoming Wii U slated for release this fall, that doesn’t mean the party is completely over for it.  In fact, there are five games that will still make it worth playing this summer – that is, if the Wii is the only option you have.


Goichi Suda (aka Suda 51) has quite the storied history in gaming, from Killer 7 to No More Heroes to the recently released Shadows of the Damned.  But his latest one could be a bigger hit than all of them, WB Games' Lollipop Chainsaw.  In the game, you guide cheerleader Juliet Starling on a rampage against a horde of rock zombies, with her beloved boyfriend's head by her side.  So, yeah, it's weird.  But that's just part of the fun.


After making a huge splash on consoles last year (and we mean in bright red bloody colors), Mortal Kombat is just about ready to make its portable debut on the PlayStation Vita.  The game includes all the content from the original console game, along with online play, a number of exclusive Klassik Skins and a Challenge Tower that includes various touch screen games, including Test Your Slice (a Fruit Ninja variation) and Test Your Balance.


Throughout the history of video games, the oldest stereotype surrounding the industry has always been do violent video games affect player behavior and personality. It is a known fact that people who play games are exposed to more violence than the average consumer. From nuking entire civilization to obliterating players online, it’s has become more and more common now that games are more focus on squarely providing violent action. For this reason alone, parents have long held an underlining negative attitude towards the industry and those who stand by it, but is this criticism injustice or have developers gone to far? Should government step in?


When The Witcher 2 came out for PC last year, gamers everywhere were entranced with its open-ended world, hours full of quests and decisions that would eventually shape the fate of Geralt of Rivia, the main hero (or anti-hero) of the game.  So when we heard that WB Games was interested in porting the game to Xbox 360, we were intrigued, while at the same time concerned, considering that most PC-to-console ports didn’t meet with that much success.  However, leave it to CD Projekt RED, the original game’s developer, to not only step up to the task, but exceed it, giving the Xbox 360 one of its better adventure games since Skyrim and Kingdoms of Amalur.  And that’s saying something.


Even though Harry Potter mania has pretty much died down with the release of last year’s Deathly Hallows Part 2 film, it’s a “better late than never” situation when it comes to the release of Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 on PlayStation Vita.  After all, the handheld didn’t have a Lego game to call its own before this came out, and it did pretty well when it came out for consoles last year.  So, yeah, this release makes sense.  And while it’s not as fully featured as we were expecting, it’s a decent port that fans of both the Lego franchise and the Harry Potter series will happily embrace.


Mortal Kombat was a colossal hit when it came out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 last year, reaffirming the strength in the franchise after all these years.  So, naturally, the development team wanted to continue the trend, releasing the Komplete Edition last month and following suit with the series’ debut on PlayStation Vita, coming next month.  What can fans look forward to when it comes to the portable edition?  Plenty.