Some might view this month as the calm before the storm, but let’s be honest –– it isn’t all that calm. Not only does September house one of our most anticipated game of 2012, but new entries in two iconic fighting franchises, as well.
The release schedule is only going to heat up from here, so if you don’t quite see anything to your liking, be thankful and save that money. We have a feeling that October and November will more than make up for it. Check out our picks for the most exciting releases of this upcoming month and let us know which ones you plan on adding to your collection.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 | Namco Bandai | September 11
The first memory many fighting game fans have of of their PlayStation 2 was Tekken Tag Tournament. The title, which released in 2000, developed a cult following, and now, 12 years later, Namco Bandai Games is finally releasing a much-craved follow-up console release. The variable, however, will be how Tekken Tag Tournament 2 adapts to a fighting genre that has made multi-fighter teams commonplace.
Since the original’s 2000 release, Marvel vs. Capcom has seen multiple entries and rose to the top of the fighting genre, taking some of the limelight away from the original Tekken Tag Tournament. But whether the tag-team aspect is still a selling point or not, we’re sure fans of the classic fighting franchise will find a lot to love in Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
Borderlands 2 | Gearbox Software | September 18
What can really be said about Borderlands 2? It’s the follow-up to one of the most beloved games of this generation, and promises to take every aspect of the last entry to the next level. From several cooperative multiplayer upgrades to an all-new cast of characters, Borderlands 2 has a lot of hype to live up to, and Gearbox promises a lot of substance to back up the hype.
As with most of the staff at VGW, many gamers will be kissing their “real” social lives goodbye once Borderlands 2 hits, as face-to-face interactions are replaced with marathon sessions with an online crew. If our time with the title at PAX East, E3 and an exclusive preview event are any indication, Borderlands 2 will not only live up to the hype, but it also will act as a worthy successor to the original 2009 release.
Jet Set Radio HD | Smilebit | September 18
Almost everyone who ever picked up a Dreamcast controller holds Jet Set Radio (or Jet Grind Radio) in the highest regard. With SEGA closing up shop on the Dreamcast around the launch of the PlayStation 2, many Dreamcast-exclusive franchises died with it. While some, like Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure, have re-released onto Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, fans have pleaded for more classic Dreamcast titles, like Power Stone and Shenmue.
Near the top of every wishlist, however, was Jet Set Radio, the cel-shaded, roller-blade-filled, vandalism romp that has players tagging territory and escaping from the authorities, all while nailing the sickest tricks imaginable. This release also preempts another highly-anticipated Dreamcast re-release next month: Sonic Adventure 2. With remastered HD graphics and that same retro feeling nostalgia-lovers crave, Jet Set Radio HD looks to be a must-download.
LittleBigPlanet PS Vita | Tarsier Studios | September 25
The main question regarding LittleBigPlanet PS Vita was whether or not Tarsier Studios would be able to deliver the experience that players loved on PlayStation 3 to a handheld experience on PlayStation Vita. After playing through a press-only preview of the first world, we concluded that not only was the LittleBigPlanet formula translatable to the handheld format, but it felt as though it was made for it.
The added touchscreen controls don’t feel tacked on, and the levels are small enough to play in short stints, but engaging enough that you’ll want to continue until your Vita battery dies. LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is exciting in that it’s also the first game in quite some time to bring serious and fully-warranted excitement to Sony’s handheld platform. If the rest of the game is as much fun as the opening sequences we experienced in a pre-release build, LittleBigPlanet PS Vita will be the game that makes players dust off their Vitas.
Dead or Alive 5 | Team Ninja | September 25
The Dead or Alive franchise may be known for its exaggerated… physics, but there is much more to the series than just its impossibly-proportioned vixens. The base mechanics are very solid and are the reason that the franchise has endured several generations and multiple platforms to remain relevant.
By including Akira from the Virtua Fighter series, Dead or Alive 5 looks to attempt what Soul Calibur has been doing for the past two generations: bringing a popular guest fighter in with each game to bolster the roster and expand the fan base. If the early demos are any indication, Dead or Alive 5 could even take the crown from Tekken Tag Tournament 2 as the best fighting game released in September.