The adage is downright cliché and does not always ring with truth, but there are occasions when some things are worth waiting for -- which seems the perfect segue into talking about the video games heading to store shelves in February. If January set the tone for 2011 and the video games heading to retail this year, then February picks up the proverbial gauntlet and charges forward at breakneck speed.
As usual, the month is robust with releases for every platform, but there are a handful that truly stand out and are certain to grab the attention of both veteran gamers and those sampling the delights of video gaming for (relatively speaking) the first time. So, let's talk February in a nutshell. All it takes is three words to key in on the big focus for the month: "Marvel Vs. Capcom."
Whether you're a fan of the Capcom fighting series of games, or a fan of the Marvel Universe, or both, "Marvel Vs. Capcom 3" is a game that has long been wanted by the general gaming community. As with any game that combines the intellectual property of two iconic publishers, there were hurdles that had to be leaped for the third installment of the vaunted series to come to life. Capcom unveiled some of the gameplay at its Captivate 2010 media preview show last year, but come February 15, those with 360 and PS3 consoles will get the opportunity to fire up the game, have iconic characters go head-to-head in stunning visual combat and even go online for a robust tournament experience.
The roster includes Marvel characters such as Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Deadpool, Dr. Doom, Dormammu, Hulk, Magneto, M.O.D.O.K., Phoenix, Sentinel, She-Hulk, Shuma-Gorath, Storm, Super-Skrull, Taskmaster, Wolverine and X-23. Meanwhile, on the Capcom side we have Akuma, Albert Wesker (Devil May Cry), Amaterasu, Chris Redfield, Chung-Li, Crimson Viper, Dante, Felicia (Darkstalkers), Hsien-ko (Darkstalkers), Jill Valentine, Mike Haggar (Final Fight), Morrigan Aensland, Nathan Spencer, Ryu, Sir Arthur (Ghosts n Goblins), Devil May Cry's Trish, Tron Bonne, Viewtiful Joe, and Mega Man X's Zero.
CBR will have more details in the coming weeks about what players can expect from this title but in the meantime check out our library of videos from the game. And while "Marvel Vs. Capcom 3" may be the biggest highlight of the month, there are (of course) other titles to watch for, so let's get down to that list.
Mario Sports Mix (Wii)
February 7, 2011
Nintendo adds to the sports gaming mix on the Wii, allowing gamers to take to Mario's world to participate in four sports -- basketball, volleyball, hockey and dodgeball. Before picturing the games as the straightforward endeavors they typically are, it should be noted that each has a Mario twist to it (can you say "power-ups?" -- yep) and the on-screen characters are derived straight from Mario's Mushroom Kingdom. In addition to the power-ups, there are special moves linked to each character, such as Yoshi's rainbow attack in dodgeball, or Mario's fire dunk. The game venues will also provide some challenge to the games.
Test Drive Unlimited 2 (PC, PS3, 360)
February 8, 2011
Hot cars, wide-open streets based of the real-world, customization and a massively multiplayer venue will power Atari's second TDU title. Players can customize on-screen avatars as well as their cars and buy properties to house their rides in. The game purports to be much more refined and challenging than the first iteration, and features new race types, new vehicle classes, and environmental challenges -- all geared to take the online driving experience to the next level. Afforded hands-on time with TDU 2 at E3 2010 revealed a game that handled well, looked amazing and was a blast to play.
Two Worlds II (PC, 360, PS3)
February 8, 2011
Those that crave role-playing games in fantasy settings can check out "Two Worlds II," a game that provides -- in some ways -- a sequel to its predecessor by answering many of the questions left dangling, but expands the experience with new content and extended gameplay. The combat system has been refined to include a blocking system as well as a reaction system from the game's NPCs, and there are new regions of Antaloor to explore. The game was originally intended to release in September of 2010, then delayed to January 2011, but Southpeak has now keyed February for the released.
Killzone 3 (PS3)
February 22, 2011
February comes to a close with a bang exclusively on the PlayStation 3 with the release of third installment of the Killzone franchise. Continuing story threads from "Killzone 2," Emperor Visari, the vicious dictator of the Helghast, is dead but the war is far from over. According to the SCEA press release: "Helghan has devolved into a world of political scheming, rapid infighting, and murder. Now, the two most powerful men on Helghan are fighting for complete and utter dominance while Visari's vision of Helghan is in jeopardy. With limited supplies and no re-enforcements, the ISA must now fight not to win a war, but to survive a lost one."
The game is a visual feast, and delivers both a single-player experience and a robust multiplayer mode.