We finally get our chance to take back earth this month with the release of BioWare’s trilogy concluder, Mass Effect 3. But Commander Shepard’s last hurrah isn’t the only title hitting shelves this month. There are plenty of interesting games coming out, ranging from a cross-promoting fighter to baseball overload to the return of a certain bloodthirsty ninja, and quite a bit in between. Here are 10 games worth your attention this month, as well as a few honorable mentions to round out the list.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3 / Release Date: 3/13/2012
What It Is: EA Sports are reviving an old series that’s, supposedly, better than it was in the past. Take soccer, put it on street courts and apply liberal amounts of style and you’ve got the makings for FIFA Street.
CraveOnline’s Call: We’re new to this franchise, that’s the honest truth of the matter. We’re not new, however, to the Street line. We played NBA Street constantly when it was the bee’s knees back in the day. The arcade-y style combined with the ridiculous concepts made us fall in love with the experience; we’ll be checking FIFA Street out in the hopes that the same repeats for this new edition.
Platform: PlayStation Network / Release Date: 3/13/2012
What It Is: Thatgamecompany is set to drop another unconventional gaming experience down upon the PlayStation Network. Journey puts players in a desert and tells them, subtly, to move forward towards a mountain. That’s it.
CraveOnline’s Call: Not to go all soft on ya, here, but Journey is all about the beauty of playing. The same was true for Flower and flOw, thatgamecompany’s previous efforts. We know this studio and we know what they’re capable of, that’s why Journey is a no-brainer for us. We’ve been looking forward to it for a long, long time.
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Platform: Nintendo 3DS / Release Date: 3/23/2012
What It Is: Nintendo is reviving one of its classic franchises and characters with this effort for the Nintendo 3DS. Kid Icarus: Uprising will likely be one of the better games to drop for Nintendo’s portable over the last few months, so owners of the handheld would do well to snag it upon release.
CraveOnline’s Call: We were fans of the original games in the Kid Icarus line. However, we’re cautiously optimistic about its rebirth on the Nintendo 3DS. Control schemes and on-rail segments are what have us hesitating. Yes, this game might be an absolute blast that becomes one of the system’s best, but we’re waiting to try it first before heading out to the store to snag our copy.
Mass Effect 3
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC / Release Date: 3/6/2012
What It Is: Shepard’s story ends as the Mass Effect trilogy comes to a close. We know that BioWare has the Reapers bound for earth. We also know that Shepard will be tasked with forming an elite team of species from all over the galaxy in order to save mankind and their home planet. What we don’t know is how we’ll get to that point and what will happen in the end.
CraveOnline’s Call: That’s why we’re joining up when this game drops next week. Mass Effect is one of this generation’s greatest properties, and Mass Effect 3 is undeniably the game of the month for March. We expect it to sell an absolute ton of copies, and the Crave Gaming staff will represent probably a fourth of all sales.
MLB 12: The Show
Platform: PlayStation 3, PS Vita / Release Date: 3/6/2012
What It Is: Sony’s premiere baseball franchise returns with MLB 12: The Show. This year’s model brings with it complete PS Move compatibility, as well as all the updated teams from the league, including the Miami Marlins and their sunny new home stadium. In addition, the game’s new “Diamond Dynasty” mode lets you customize every single aspect of your team and league as you guide them to the Pennant. Finally, if you own both the PS3 and Vita versions of The Show, you’ll be able to play on the PS3, stop, then pick up and continue your season on the Vita, and vice versa. How cool is that?
CraveOnline’s Call: This one is simple — if you’re a baseball fan and a PlayStation 3/Vita owner, MLB 12: The Show is absolutely the baseball game you should pick up. This series has been the absolute best representation of simulated baseball over the last few years and we see no reason why that trend won’t continue this year.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC, Wii, DS / Release Date: 3/6/2012
What It Is: For MLB 2K12, developer Visual Concepts is going back to the drawing board and revamping a lot of the fundamental gameplay systems in this nagging franchise. MLB 2K12 offers up a refined hit distribution system, a revamped throwing system and a new dynamic tendencies system to make the pitcher/batter face-off more realistic. And that’s just for starters. MLB 2K12 also brings with it a new “MLB Today” season mode that lets you play a season at the same brisk pace as your favorite MLB team. In addition, the $1 million challenge returns. So if you want to take your chances at making bank by playing a video game, MLB 2K12 has you covered.
CraveOnline’s Call: We’re on a wait and see policy with MLB 2K12, just like we’ve been for the last few iterations of this franchise. Honestly, every year we get disappointed by the lack of innovation for this series, while its stiffest competition (MLB: The Show) continues to grow and define what digital baseball is all about. With that said, if you’re an Xbox 360 owner, then you don’t have any other choice — MLB 2K12 is your only option for simulation baseball. Just approach this one with some hesitation.
Ninja Gaiden 3
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3 / Release Date: 3/20/2012
What It Is: Ryu Hayabusa makes his triumphant, bloody return with Ninja Gaiden 3. While this is the first game in the Ninja Gaiden series not directed by Tomonobu Itagaki, Ninja Gaiden 3 still looks like it will carry on the tradition he started with uber quick gameplay, crushing difficulty, and a lot of blood and guts.
CraveOnline’s Call: The first Ninja Gaiden on the original Xbox was amazing. The second one on Xbox 360? Not so much. So we’re not really sure which camp this third installment is going to fall into. With a new team at Team Ninja tackling the project, maybe this will be a return to grace for the franchise. However, we’ve seen quite a bit of gameplay footage for Ninja Gaiden 3 that features a lot of quick-time events, and we’re not too happy about that. Please, developers, let those die already…
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC / Release Date: 3/20/2012
What It Is: Experience the downfall of Raccoon City from the perspective of the Umbrella Corporation. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is a third-person, squad-based shooter that lets you play as members of an elite Umbrella hit squad sent into Raccoon City to make sure company secrets aren’t exposed.
CraveOnline’s Call: Operation Racoon City could turn out to be a cool little side story to the main Resident Evil canon. Being hardcore Resident Evil fans around these parts, we’re interested to see if squad-based gameplay works within the framework of survival horror. From what we’ve seen thus far through screenshots and trailers, it appears as though Capcom is on to something with this game. We’re pulling for this one to be a solid ancillary experience to the main Resident Evil series.
Silent Hill: Downpour
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3 / Release Date: 3/13/2012
What It Is: Welcome back, Silent Hill. We’ve missed having the shit scared out of us (/sarcasm). For the eighth installment in the Silent Hill brand, Konami is choosing to focus its attention on an escaped prisoner named Murphy Pendleton instead of the deep lore of the franchise. However, don’t let that turn you off; Silent Hill: Downpour will still be Silent Hill at its cold, dark core, offering up plenty of scares, puzzles and, as per usual, zombie nurses.
CraveOnline’s Call: The Silent Hill franchise has been hit and miss over the last few years. The last game we really loved was the Wii’s Silent Hill: Shattered Memories from way back in 2009. But with it’s focus on a new character and new location in the town of Silent Hill, Downpour could be a welcomed fresh start for this aged series. This one is definitely worth keeping your eyes on.
Street Fighter X Tekken
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3 / Release Date: 3/6/2012
What It Is: The first of two cross-universe titles that pits Street Fighter against, wait for it, Tekken. This effort is being developed by Capcom and will feature a pre-dominantly Street Fighter style of play. The other version, Tekken X Street Fighter, will be handled by Namco and feature a more Tekken style.
CraveOnline’s Call: Fighting games, they are an industry staple. This one is probably the more unique of crossovers that we’ve seen in recent years. We’re used to having the Capcom gang fight those from the Marvel universe. But to go against Tekken? It’s a weird concept, but we are certainly intrigued enough to check it out. We won’t be any good at it, though, we suck at fighting games.
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13
- Silent Hill HD Collection
- Yakuza: Dead Souls