Essential Gaming: Top Five Releases of March 2012

2012 has really picked up, hasn’t it? February proved its worth, and now, it’s March’s turn to up the ante. In addition to the Vita continuing to kick out launch window releases, March looks to be most promising for console gamers.

Sure, we’ll see the likes of Mass Effect 3, one of the most anticipated releases of the year, hit this month, but there really is so much more that this month has to offer. From the biggest fighting game mash-up ever to one of the most sought-after downloadable titles, March is full of games that deserve your time and attention. Check out what March has in store and let us know which ones will be finding their way to your shelf this month.

Mass Effect 3 | BioWare | March 6th

Mass Effect 3 box art2 Essential Gaming: Top Five Releases of March 2012After BioWare established the Mass Effect franchise as one of the top series in the video game industry, the pressure was on for them to do something special with the finale of the Shepard story arc. Through the inclusion of multiplayer, the developer hopes to reach a new audience, as well as expand the experience for current fans of the series.

In Mass Effect 3, the Reapers have invaded and Commander Shepard is sentient and synthetic life’s only hope. Through desperation, Shepard must work to gain the allegiance of species throughout the galaxy. The game fittingly wraps up the Mass Effect trilogy with some of the most thrilling sequences ever found in a video game. Check out our review here.

Street Fighter x Tekken | Capcom | March 6th

SFxT Essential Gaming: Top Five Releases of March 2012Just the basic idea behind Capcom’s Street Fighter X Tekken was bound to grab some attention. It takes two of the premier fighting games of the last two decades and puts them head to head in a Street Fighter-esque engine. While the concept is good enough on its own, Capcom has put an incredible amount of effort in the features and fine-tuning of the game to make it a crossover like we’ve never seen before.

The game features juggle physics and a tag team system from Tekken, 2D plane and fighting mechanics from Street Fighter, and chain combos and character enhancements like we’ve seen in games such as Marvel vs. Capcom, Darkstalkers, and Capcom vs. SNK. A goal of Capcom’s seemed to be combining as many popular mechanics together into one smooth system, and hopefully they succeeded in this facet. If Capcom successfully pulls off their vision, Street Fighter X Tekken could easily be the best fighting game of 2012, and one of the best in recent memory.

I Am Alive | Darkworks/Ubisoft Shanghai | March 7th

I am alive Essential Gaming: Top Five Releases of March 2012As our editor Jen often laments, the survival horror genre has not fared well in recent years. January’s AMY was supposed to be a shot in the arm, but failed miserably, leaving gamers to wonder whether or not “realism” in survival titles is, in fact, something we need. Ubisoft Shanghai seems to think so, which is  what they hope to prove with this month’s I Am Alive.

Set shortly after a series of natural disasters, the world of I Am Alive is in ruins, with gamers playing an unnamed protagonist in search of his family. The deceptively familiar plot belies intriguing gameplay mechanics and moral dilemmas. Filled with daring climbing sequences that require you to watch your fatigue level, and personal encounters that will require you to think fast and clever, I Am Alive should be on your radar.

Ninja Gaiden 3 | Team Ninja | March 20th

ninja gaiden 3 Essential Gaming: Top Five Releases of March 2012After releasing what many consider to be the definitive console action title in Ninja Gaiden on Xbox, Team Ninja hopes to bounce back from the slight letdown that was Ninja Gaiden 2. Through a revamped ninpo system, as well as a refocusing on what the series is all about, fans are highly optimistic about Ninja Gaiden 3.

As the next entry in to be one of the most challenging mainstream franchise on consoles today, Ninja Gaiden 3 looks to balance cinematic action with hardcore gameplay. The new “steel to bone” maneuvers will allow for Ryu Hayabusa to slice enemies to pieces in dazzling fashion. Check out our review of the most recent release in the Ninja Gaiden series, the PlayStation Vita’s Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus.

Kid Icarus: Uprising | Project Sora | March 23rd

Kid Icarus Uprising logo Essential Gaming: Top Five Releases of March 2012As last month’s PlayStation Vita put the Nintendo 3DS to shame with its incredible hardware and launch titles, many wondered if/how the 3DS would bounce back. There aren’t many enormous releases coming up for Nintendo, so it certainly could prove to be an uphill battle for the gaming giant with the Wii U still in the distance.

One glimmer of hope, however, lies in Project Sora’s Kid Icarus: Uprising. The game is compatible with the Circle Pad Pro, giving it strong controls, but the developers assure gamers that they will still get the full experience using a stock 3DS. The third person action title looks to be chock full of intense battles and superb visuals, but it has a lot to live up to within the Kid Icarus fan base, as its the first new title in the series since 1991.

What Games Are you Most Looking Forward To this Month?
About Brian Shea

Brian Shea is VGW's Editor-in-Chief and one of the founding members of the site. In addition to leading the team at VideoGameWriters.com, he contributes such regular features as “Shea’s Say,” "Eleven Things," "Commercials from the Past" and “Essential Gaming."
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  1. Julio Mendoza says:

    According to what I know the Circle Pad Pro is used in Kid Icarus just for lefties and not for aiming, I’m assuming that you meant use as is aiming and stuff, if not… whatevs…
    I just bought a 3DS so I’ll wait to try this one, because I got Mario 3D Land and Star Fox 64 3D

    Also, NINJA GAIDEN III IS OUT THIS MONTH???!!! Holy mother of Arceus, let’s hope that Team Ninja puts a looooooot of new things in the Wii U version, because it’s a long time to come.

    As for the rest: I am Alive… meh; SFXT, I have never played Tekken so I would waste half of the money, plus it has Rolento… I HATE HIM!
    and ME3… I had to return ME2 when I was about half in the story so… I’ll wait *prays for a Wii U GOTY Edition*

    And… long comment is long

  2. “There aren’t many enormous releases coming up for Nintendo,”

    you mean like kindgom hearts? Kid icarus? fire emblem? all within 3 weeks?

    Its the vita that has an uphill battle as despite its launch the 3ds is breaking records

  3. Joe Victory says:

    Survival horror games can exist IF they were more survival. Take notes from the simple elements from ds games like Lost in Blue series, add in a Minecraft twist of random worlds and then make it punishing and creepy. Instead of hacking small animals, take chunks from other humans, zombies and farm pets like mice, dogs etc.

    My vision is current day Indonesia hit by Japan’s recent earthquake and then throw in zombie type baddies from I Am Legend….WIN!!

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