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
After 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
Just 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
As 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
After 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
As 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.