Shippin' Out March 21-27: Just Cause 2, Red Steel 2, XBL Game Room

Square Enix's open-world actioner joins Ubisoft's swordplay pseudo-sequel and Microsoft's virtual Xbox Live arcade on the week's docket; Settlers 7, Shin Megami Tensei DS also on tap.

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The last full week of March will see several major releases on a variety of platforms. Arguably, the highest profile debut is Red Steel 2, the pseudo-sequel to the 2006 Wii launch title that claimed it would bring authentic swordplay to gaming. As evidenced by GameSpot's review, that didn't happen, thanks to a less-than-realistic waggle mechanic and bloodless combat.

Red Steel 2's use of the Wii MotionPlus aims to remedy some of the original game's problems.

Though the follow-up remains rated T for Teen, Ubisoft has spent years reworking the game's swordplay around the motion-sensing-enhancing Wii MotionPlus. (The game will be available bundled with the accessory for $60 or unbundled for $50.) Developer Ubisoft Paris claims that the increased sensitivity will let the game take into account such factors as the strength of a player's sword swing. The setting is different as well: Instead of a gritty story about modern-day Yakuza, Red Steel 2 is an anime-like adventure with ultrastylized cel-shaded visuals.

Those not partial to fictional swashbuckling can check out Just Cause 2 from Square Enix. Developed by Avalanche Studios, the sequel retains the 2006 original's open-world gameplay, complete with over-the-top parachute jumps and grappling-hook antics. Players will again step into the role of Rico Rodriguez, a government agent on the trail of his mentor-gone-rogue. Standing between Rico and his ex-boss is a military regime on a fictitious South Pacific island that is made up of everything from lush jungles to snow-capped mountains. There will also be over 100 vehicles to hijack, including motorcycles, cars, boats, helicopters, and jets.

And you thought your commute was stressful.

One of the week's biggest releases isn't a single game at all but a new section of Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live. On Wednesday, Microsoft is launching the Game Room, a virtual arcade--complete with cabinets--where players can challenge each other to play old-school games. Games on the docket include such Atari and Intellivision classics as Centipede, Crystal Castles, Red Baron, Yars' Revenge, and Tempest. With plans to expand the Game Room to more than 1,000 titles, Microsoft intends to release additional offerings on a weekly basis.

Rounding out the titles of note are entries in two distinctly different franchises. Already a hit in Japan, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey arrives on Tuesday, bringing the Megami Tensei series' sci-fi role-playing action to US DSs. Meanwhile, Ubisoft's venerable Settlers real-time strategy series will be updated courtesy of The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom. The game will feature upgraded enemy AI to confound players as they go for a military, scientific, or commercial victory. However, the game will be the first in the series to use Ubisoft's controversial new digital rights management system, which requires a constant Internet connection to play.

For further details on the week's games, visit GameSpot's New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later in the week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.

Microsoft's Game Room aims to re-create the arcade experience, minus the filthy tokens.

Title--Platform--Genre--Publisher

March 21, 2010
Zhu Zhu Pets--DS--Simulation--Activision

March 22, 2010
Drift Street International--DS--Driving--Tantalus Interactive
Plain Sight--PC--Action--Beatnik Games
Cave Story--WII--Adventure --Nicalis

March 23, 2010
Alcatraz (2010)--PC--Action--City Interactive
Bakugan: Battle Trainer--DS--Action--Activision
Build-A-Bear Workshop: Friendship Valley--WII--Simulation--Game Factory
Build-A-Bear Workshop: Welcome to Hugsville--DS--Simulation--Game Factory
Cabela's Monster Buck Hunter--WII--Sports--Activision
The Cages: Pro Style Batting Practice--WII--Sports--Konami
Cheer We Go!--DS--Sports--Natsume
Disney's Stitch Jam--DS--Puzzle--Disney Interactive Studios
Hall of Fame: Ultimate Hoops Challenge--WII--Adventure--Zoo Games
How to Train Your Dragon--DS, PS3, WII, X360--Action--Activision
Imagine Gymnast--DS--Simulation--Ubisoft
Just Cause 2--PC, PS3, 360--Action--Square Enix
MotoGP 09/10--PS3, X360--Driving--Capcom
My Pet Chimp--DS--Puzzle--505 Games
Red Steel 2--WII--Action--Ubisoft
Rooms: The Main Building--DS, WII--Adventure--Hudson Entertainment
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey--DS--Role-Playing--Atlus Co.
Squishy Tank--DS--Puzzle--Natsume
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom--PC--Strategy--Ubisoft

March 24, 2010
Game Room--X360--Action--Microsoft Game Studios



March 25, 2010
History Egypt - Engineering an Empire--PC, PSP, DS--Strategy--Koch Media
Dream Diary--DS--Puzzle--505 Games

Discussion

107 comments
lamprey263
lamprey263

the Game Room is pretty "meh", it would have been a nice way to access other XBLA titles and allow friends to try the games you own which I thought was what they were going to do but that's not the case

gamerpipe
gamerpipe

JC2 already got my bucks. lucky they are. I didn't buy Gay tony, didn't buy Assassin creed 2, didn't buy BFBC 2. waited until this month , I was about to buy BFBC 2, when I fell on JC 2 demo. and it was awesome 2 duo . But the aforementioned games above, will get my bucks later. I regret buying MW2 over Assassin Creed 2 and GTA tony.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I may rent JC2 for a weekend

maverick_76
maverick_76

Man that Just Cause 2 demo was awesome, hopefully the entire game will keep things interesting with lots of locales and story lines.

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

Zhu Zhu pets, Build a Bear, and How to Train Your Dragon. It's a good week for shovelware. :x

magnificent7
magnificent7

The Just Cause 2 demo was fun. It played like a good version of Mercenaries 2, albeit without the air strikes. After playing the demo, I reserved that game quickly, and I don't reserve games much anymore either, being a PC gamer at the moment. Looking forward to playing the full game tommorow and getting Episodes from Liberty City next week for 30 bucks on PC as well. I just hope I get over this damn bronchitis I have now to enjoy these games :(

guitarist1980
guitarist1980

I dont hate achievments or trophies, I just dont care. I havent looked at a list of achievments since gears of war 2. I dont see the appeal, it has nothing to do with immersion or fun factor to me.

Noformation
Noformation

Just cause 2 demo was boring, it was really disappointing.

advocacy
advocacy

SMT: Strange Journey is going to be one of the best mature RPG's ever for a handheld.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

Just Cause 2 could argue for the best game of this month.

holypro
holypro

just caus 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! looks amazing

Harasx3
Harasx3

Nothing really screams "buy now!" to me. Besides, I'm basically broke from last week.

Hizakii
Hizakii

misterstatus same, for example i couldn't be bothered to get a trophy/achievement for shooting a zombie's head off, all i want is to just shoot it dead, again. Back in the 90's being able to play let alone complete the game itself was an achievement for me

da_chub
da_chub

its a shame that red steel 2 is going up againist GOW3. RS2 is going to be a great game, but it will get over looked because im sure im not the only one who got GOW last week and wont be buying anything else for a while.

misterstatus
misterstatus

@Johny_47 "in my opinion I really hate how most games that have achievements/trophies ruin games(especially online ones) just ruins how many people play including me" I could not agree more. I absolutely can't stand these achievement points/trophies. There was a time when games were played for no other reason than they were fun. If there was a way to disable achievements/trophies on my 360 or PS3, I wouldn't hesitate. I hate them with a passion.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

Nice; looking forward to not buying these.

Alkpaz
Alkpaz

"I'm quoting this from Shardz7 because I very much agree with it, and to keep it at the top of the coments." Looks like some people didn't like Half-Life 2, L4D, Portal, or TF2.. (and never bought them!) Sad, Half-Life 2 was a great game..

premythous
premythous

Just cause 2 has my 60bucks can't wait

Johny_47
Johny_47

I might get Just Cause 2 for PC, but I would really like Red Dead Redemtion to come to PC, I honestly don't play many console games anymore... 1. because I now have a PC that can run games well and 2. in my opinion I really hate how most games that have achievements/trophies ruin games(especially online ones) just ruins how many people play including me, don't have to try to get them but they're just... there so in the end you feel you need to and that's a bad feeling. With MOST PC games they don't have achievements it's just playing because your good at it or you just like it =) xthabeats said - ''Just Cause is kinda like a cheap rip-off of GTA. But STILL, its so freaking fun! The demo is amazing.'' In my opinion it's like a good version of Mercenaries 2(that game was absolute terrible and disgraced the 'Mercenaries' title) Zapp3d said - ''i didn't even know just cause 2 was by square enix till now... it doesnt seem like their type of game'' Square enix supposedly bought Avalanche Studios a little while ago, they also bought Eidos but Avalanche developed Just Cause 2.

aerial6790
aerial6790

Just Cause 2 is gonna be awesome!

iamironman124
iamironman124

I'm quoting this from Shardz7 because I very much agree with it, and to keep it at the top of the coments. "Ubisoft DRM = Epic Fail. I'll be boycotting all their products until they start using their head, so Settlers 7 is out for me. Also, Just Cause 2 will have to be released as non-Steam for me to even look at it. I'm getting really tired of these games being tied to one thing or another that I don't either want to install or participate in. Just give us the games and keep the spam cause I'm not interested."

KOSMOSEngineer
KOSMOSEngineer

Has it been established yet why so many games come out on Tuesdays?

DoorKnob22
DoorKnob22

Red Steel 2 should be great. I'm really pissed over the fact that we need to buy a peripheral for better motion-sensing. The Wii should've made sure it's one main edge over the competition was good and didn't need a new damn peripheral.

sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

I liked JC2 demo. Hated the first game though.

tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

Huh, that's interesting. *turns off computer and brings out BC2*

Zapp3d
Zapp3d

i didnt even know just cause 2 was by square enix till now... it doesnt seem like their type of game

isaacmj
isaacmj

Red Steel 2 may be actually enjoyable (unlike the first one) and I'm very intrigued for Strange Journey

CrimsonMaher
CrimsonMaher

I'm skipping everything till next month. After the storm of excellent games the past two weeks I'm lucky to have any money left for food :P

BloomerNYC
BloomerNYC

got a feeling a sleeper is on the way, and i think just cause 2 might be it

gskywalker09
gskywalker09

Will get Just Cause 2 , Moto GP 09/10, & maybe How to train your dragon for me!!! :D

awssk8er716
awssk8er716

I played Red Steel 2 at a friend's house. I almost beat the game there, but I want to play the ending when I get my copy. I bought it off Amazon with a second Wii Motion Plus around a month ago, and I can't wait to get it!!!

slicedbread117
slicedbread117

lot of games not so many big titles like this week...ah how god of war 3 has brought joy to me :)

nazgul9910
nazgul9910

build-a-bear-workshop: friendship valley FTW!!!!!!

Seiki_sands
Seiki_sands

Redemption week...both Red Steel and Just Cause had problems, both are getting a second chance and looking promising. I know Cave Story on the Wii will have a slight graphics face-lift and new content, but does anyone know if it will have a different localization than the English patch floating around for the PC freeware version? A weird and cool looking futuristic Shin Megami Tensei on the DS, another season of MotoGP (Will it be any easier or more accessible? I know critics want it to be that way, but do fans?). Then there's the game room, a neat idea in my opinion, but they have some pricing issues to work out if they don't want it to be just as dead as my local mall arcade in the late 90's. Plain Site is a pretty odd looking little Q-Bert/Bomberman hybrid deathmatch PC game with samurai sword wielding kamikaze robots. Settlers 7 looks to be more like a regular RTS than previous versions, but its getting more complex and prettier. Rooms on the DS is an interesting, simple idea for a puzzle game based on sliding picture puzzles (based on a flash game) that I'm shocked wasn't thought of a decade ago.

dromoter
dromoter

I liked the first Red Steel a lot . :) Good FPS for the Wii back than . Hopefully this new 1 will use it's wiimote plus at it's fullest capacity .

Azwraith_PL
Azwraith_PL

I hope Red Steel gives me a reason besides SSBB to pick up my wiimote again

Trogeton
Trogeton

So gonna check this one out

Shardz7
Shardz7

Ubisoft DRM = Epic Fail. I'll be boycotting all their products until they start using their head, so Settlers 7 is out for me. Also, Just Cause 2 will have to be released as non-Steam for me to even look at it. I'm getting really tired of these games being tied to one thing or another that I don't either want to install or participate in. Just give us the games and keep the spam cause I'm not interested.

nini200
nini200

Red Steel 2 here I come!!! I may get Cave Story as well.

razorfett147
razorfett147

Just Cause 2 for me. The first was amusing but largely forgettable. The second one is on track to become something alot more special. Nothing beats watching a motorcycle tethered to a huge propane tank sail into the wild blue yonder.:D

Captain_Spoono
Captain_Spoono

WAH!! Wario WAre DIY comes out when im at a national basketball tourney...