Batman: Arkham City leads today’s new games

Batman: Arkham City easily ranks as today’s most anticipated new game.

The sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum includes appearances by classic Batman villains like the Joker, Riddler and Poison Ivy. The game also features voice acting from Mark Hamill, who played the Joker in “Batman: The Animated Series” and writing from Paul Dini, a wordsmith who contributed his talents to that terrific show.

Batman: Arkham City is released for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360. The game’s PC release is set for Nov. 15.

A list of more games out can be found here. Among the other new releases, I think the most intriguing is Rocksmith, a title billed as more of a guitar instructional than a game per se.

Rage, Dark Souls and NBA 2K12 in stores

Today’s a big day for new releases, as Rage, Dark Souls and NBA 2K12 hit stores, while former PC exclusive Crysis becomes available for XBox Live and PlayStation Network.

Rage, from id Software and Bethesda Softworks, is an FPS set in a post-apocalyptic earth. The people at id Software gave the world bloody FPS games like Castle Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake back when the FPS genre was dominated by PC titles and gamers actually played the single-player campaigns. Rage is released for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

Dark Souls, developed by From Software and published by Namco Bandai, is the “spiritual sequel” to PlayStation 3 exclusive Demon’s Souls. That game earned a reputation for extreme difficulty, and Namco Bandai is banking on that reputation to promote the sequel. Dark Souls is a PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 release.

NBA 2K12 is 2K Sports’ latest iteration of its basketball franchise. The developers are trying to build on last year’s well-received Jordan Challenge mode with the new “End the Debate” feature, in which players can play as all-time greats like Jordan, Magic and Dr. J to settle who deserves to be known as the GOAT. NBA 2K12 is out for Nintendo Woo, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Sony PSP and XBox 360.

Console gamers probably missed Crysis, Crytek’s futuristic FPS that is probably known more for its high system requirements than its gameplay. But after releasing Crysis 2 for PC and consoles earlier this year, the original game is now available for console players via PlayStation Network or XBox Live download.

Today’s releases: F.E.A.R. 3, more

Fear 3, the third iteration of the paranormal FPS series goes on sale today. The franchise’s malevolent Alma returns to the game, as do her sons Point Man and the telekinetic Paxton Fettel. The game comes from Day 1 Entertainment and Warner Bros. Interactive Studios for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 and is rated M for Mature.

Also out today:

  • Shadows of the Damned (Grasshopper Manufacture/EA Games). Action/horror title placing players in the role of a demon hunter. Released for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 and Rated M for Mature
  • Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident (Big Fish Games) Puzzle/detective game with four-player multiplayer. Released for Nintendo Wii and rated E for Everyone.
  • Cars 2: The Video Game (Avalanche Software/Disney Interactive Studios) Adaptation of the new Pixar movie about talking cars involved in racing and espionage. Released for Mac, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

L.A. Noire out today, more new releases

L.A. Noire (Team Bondi/Rockstar Games) is out today. Tech-Out will have a review soon, but I have to leave the office and actually play it first. A number of co-workers who don’t often play games are familiar with the title, so I’m definitely curious to see if the game lives up to the hype.

(Aside: I was often puzzled by Rockstar’s spelling of “noire,” since the term film noir does not have the “e.” I checked out some comments today on Kotaku and GameSpot and learned “noire” is the feminine spelling and noir is the masculine version. The word is French for black and since “la” is the feminine definite article in French, the title may have a double meaning: “L.A. Noire = “La Noire” = “The Black.”)

Anyway, L.A. Noire is out for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 and is rated M for such reasons as nudity, blood and gore and drug use. I would write that “games are not just for kids anymore,” but if you’re reading this, you probably already know that.

Today’s other releases include:

  • SpongeBob SquigglePants (THQ). Social game featuring Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. Rated E and released for Nintendo 3DS. THQ released a previous version of this game for the Nintendo Wii.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (CD Projekt/Atari) Fantasy RPG. Rated M and released for PC. The official web site has some news on fixing some release date technical difficulties.
  • Fable III (Lionhead Studios/Microsoft Games Studios). RPG. Rated M and now released for PC. Tech-Out reviewed the console version in November.
  • Honest Hearts (Obsidian Entertainment/Bethesda Softworks). DLC add-on for Fallout” New Vegas. Available via XBox Live and Steam. Bethesda reports a PlayStation Network release will happen ASAP.

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Today’s releases, March 29, 2011

  • Shift 2 Unleashed (EA Sports) Racing title for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.
  • Tiger Woods PGA 12: The Masters (EA Tiburon). Golf title for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.
  • WWE All Stars (THQ San Diego) Wrestling title for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, and XBox 360.
  • NASCAR The Game 2011 (Eutechnyx/Activision). Racing title for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.
  • Country Dance for Wii (High Voltage Software/GameMill Entertainment). Dance title for Nintendo Wii
  • Mayhem 3D (Zoo Entertainment/Rombax Games) Demolition derby title for PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.