Max Payne’s back with a beard

Two games out this week have been referred to as rescuers of this year’s slumping game sales. Those two are of course Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL (Max Payne 3) and Athletics Tournament: Summer Challenge (Diablo 3).

Diablo 3 –’s most pre-ordered game of all time – didn’t get off to a smooth launch with sever connection problems and various other errors in abundance during its Tuesday launch. Hopefully by the time you read this most of those problems will be sorted out. One gamer made the news on Tuesday night by claiming that he’d finished it already in just over 12 hours. Look out, ladies. Is it a game that has been worth the 12 year wait? The few reviews that have surfaced so far suggest so, including a 9.5 from GKick. We have to say that we quite like the sound of the character classes. Any game that lets you play as a Witchdoctor gets our thumbs up.

Reviews of Max Payne 3 have been a whole lot more forthcoming – all the major websites were given review copies in time for the game’s American launch on Tuesday. Scores haven’t been quite as glowing as some of Rockstar’s other games – the first review that we saw online was an 8/10 from the Official Xbox Magazine (US), followed by a 7 from both EDGE and Eurogamer. There has been a few 9/10s knocking around too though – IGN spoke very highly of it indeed. Most reviewers agreed that the story and production values are of the usual Rockstar standard but the checkpoint pacing is way off.

In a week that has been two of this year’s most anticipated games, it seems especially odd to say that Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL is worth considering too. Reviews have been surprisingly good such a 7/10 from 360 Gamer magazine. With characters such as Captain Planet and Johnny Bravo we think it’s morally ok to be intrigued. It’s out on Wii, 3DS, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Then we have Athletics Tournament: Summer Challenge, which we very nearly confused with the upcoming Summer Stars when writing this round-up. Quite an easy thing to do in all fairness seeing they’re from the same developer and have similar box-art. German developer 49Games has been knocking these out for years and although they don’t get much press attention they’re usually pretty good, if a little laborious.

Next week: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (PS3, 360), Dragon’s Dogma (PS3, 360), Mario Tennis Open (3DS), DiRT: Showdown (PS3, 360), Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock (PS3), Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice Of Arland (PS3), Rune Factory Oceans (PS3) and Men In Black: Alien Crisis (PS3, 360, Wii, 3DS).

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

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