We were under the impression that Activision decided not to give Diablo 3 a great deal of promotion, only to learn that an extensive TV advertising campaign has been under way. Just shows how often we switch on the gogglebox, eh?
There has definitely been a curious lack of reviews though, considering the hack ‘n’ slash RPG launched yesterday in both the UK and the US.
Eurogamer’s review was one of the first to go up, where it was given 9/10 and called “a bold, bloody, opulent romp built around a ruthlessly simple distillation of action role-playing”.
EDGE meanwhile gave it a 7, saying that “Diablo still contains enough impulsive monster-slaying to entertain, but the trek from its home on PC has left it diminished”.
PC gamers were treated to a collector’s edition upon release but that’s not the case for this console iteration. The pre-order pack does contain a bonus ‘Infernal Helm’ accessory though, which no doubt almost every player will be running around proudly sporting.
If you’d rather be farming crops than loot, Farming Simulator 2013 is also out this week on both PS3 and Xbox 360. It’s not the first of its kind to make the jump from PC – the 3DS gained a spin-off from the curiously popular PC series last year.
With a product description proudly boasting of “more varied crops with additional maturation stages” you can probably guess that this is hardly going to be a pulse racing experience.
These farming sims sell ridiculously well on PC, and with a £20-odd price tag, we could see this one performing better than expected in next week’s chart.
After a mild drought the PS Vita gets a double dose of decent games this week – Rayman Legends and Killzone Mercenary.
Ubisoft did once claim that Rayman Legends would have all the content from the big screen version, but it transpires that 28 levels are missing. There are some exclusive touch-screen mini-games, but whether they’re decent substitutes or not is debatable.
As for Killzone Mercenary, we’ve hardly heard a bad word about it. This is the game that Resistance: Burning Skies should have been, bringing a fully-fledged FPS to the handheld. A public beta is currently running if you’re after a taster.
Kickbeat is another heading to the handheld, as well as PS3. An odd combination of fighting and rhythm action, it has been well received. Destructoid dished out an 8: “KickBeat’s polarizing soundtrack is perhaps its toughest sell, but if you can overcome it with an open mind and dig into Beat Your Music, there’s a really solid rhythm game underneath it that’ll have you tapping your feet (and your fingers) for quite some time.”
Another brawler making an appearance this week is Dead or Alive 5: Ultimate. We didn’t review the standard version upon release, but we have played it and enjoyed it way more than expected. We’d even go as far as to say that it was our favourite in the series so far.
This Ultimate edition contains all of the new modes from the Vita’s DOA 5 Plus, along with new stages and fighters, the first ever DOA appearance of Momiji and levels from Ninja Gaiden. All this can be yours for around £25.
Speaking of ultimate editions and whatnot, Amazon reports that ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II GOTY Edition’ is out this week. On closer inspection though, it would appear to contain the full game with just the first map pack and nothing more. Price? Currently £41. Something certainly isn’t right with that.
We’re off to the world of downloads now, where Sega’s Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse – out on PSN, XBLA and PC – is the highlight. Eurogamer enjoyed it more than the recent Ducktales Remastered, giving it a 7: “Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is an enjoyable, polished, satisfying game. It may only be a few hours long, but it’s worth a tenner.”
The Metro on the other hand found it to be mediocre. “Visually and conceptually this is a far better game than any of the Epic Mickey titles – including 3DS homage Power Of Illusion. But no child is going to want to put up with the frustrating controls and sky high difficulty, no matter how much their parents reminisce about playing it back in their day,” came their verdict.
For those still keen on Kinect, Freefall Racers – a colourful racer starring flying squirrels – is also out on XBLA.
Then over on the Nintendo eShops there’s TNT Racers – Nitro Machines Edition and Spot The Differences: Party! for Wii U, alongside Virtual Console offerings Breath of Fire II, SENGOKU 3 and Revenge of the Gator.
If you fancy some handheld pinball frolics then give Revenge of the Gator a go. It’s flippin’ good.
Next week: Kingdom Hearts 1.5 (PS3), Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection (PS3), Puppeteer (PS3), NHL 14 (PS3, 360) and Big Time Rush: Dance Party (Wii)