The months of March and April will spring a number of revered franchises back onto gamers’ radars. “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon,” “Bioshock Infinite” and “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” a new IP, are among the most notable.
The Luigi’s Mansion franchise hasn’t seen a release since the debut of the Nintendo GameCube, a system now two console-generations defunct. It was sold as a launch title alongside the console in November 2001.
Nearly 12 years later, Nintendo has revived the franchise by releasing its first handheld iteration, “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” for the 3DS.
The 3DS is a fairly young console that has accumulated just a handful of first party titles during its two year lifespan. First party titles are games created by Nintendo’s in-house developers. Examples include the “Legend of Zelda”, “Mario” and “Animal” Crossing titles.
Early adopters of the 3DS often lament Nintendo’s lukewarm first party support for the handheld console. The release of “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” may change some gamers’ minds.
“We’re all happy to see Nintendo giving their core fan base what they’ve been asking for,” said Kim Amato, a sophomore majoring in sociology and Gamer’s Guild member. “Luigi’s Mansion was brilliant; I can only imagine what the sequel will be like.”
“Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon” was released on March 24.
“Bioshock Infinite” is a sequel that is likely to impress current fans of the Bioshock series and attract some new ones. The series began when Irrational Games, formerly known as 2K Boston, developed “Bioshock” for the PC and Xbox 360 in 2007.
Set during the 1960s in the underwater city of Rapture, “Bioshock” cultivated a mysterious, macabre and often tense atmosphere. Rapture also served as the overworld for “Bioshock 2,” which was released in 2010.
“Bioshock Infinite,” however, has completely scrapped the aesthetic of its predecessors. The floating hub-world, Columbia, has taken the place of Rapture in the latest installment. Columbia, a Steampunk mélange of 19th century architecture and vibrant depictions of American exceptionalism, looks to be a strikingly different hub-world from Rapture.
“I think Bioshock Infinite is a nice change from the original creepy aura of Bioshock 1and Bioshock 2,” Amato said. “I love the new theme.”
In Bioshock Infinite, players take on the role of protagonist Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton National Detective Agency operative bent on rescuing the female lead, Elizabeth, from her captors.
The story-arc is likely to become more convoluted than that, given the history of the Bioshock series’ characteristically sharp and meandering narratives.
Although this game strays visually and conceptually from the original Bioshock formula, fans need not look away from this release, seeing as the core gameplay mechanics have remained largely intact.
The title is multi-platform, so players can purchase Bioshock Infinite for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 as of March 26.
“Injustice: Gods Among Us” is a fresh new fighting game from NetherRealm Studios, the developer responsible for the “Mortal Kombat” series.
The game features DC comic icons such as Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Solomon Grundy, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Fighting games are numerous and varied, but “Injustice: Gods Among Us” strives to set itself apart from the competition by pairing the disjointed death-match style of fighting games with the immersive narratives of a story-driven titles.
The game also sports interactive, dynamic environments for players to tear apart and hurl at each other as familiar venues like “The Daily Planet” whizz by in the background.
Injustice also boasts detailed textures and graphics at a smooth, yet realistic frame rate.
“Injustice: Gods Among Us” will be released on April 16 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U consoles.