Though the biggest game-industry event of the year--the Electronic Entertainment Expo--is just four weeks away, the release pipeline remains a trickle of lower-profile titles. This week, the biggest game touching down in stores is Battlestations: Pacific, the sequel to 2007's moderately successful Battlestations: Midway. Like its predecessor, the game will let players control a variety of US aircraft and naval vessels as they try to beat back the Imperial Japanese Fleet and its ground support forces during World War II. (Japanese forces are also playable in multiplayer mode.) Like the original, the T for Teen-rated real-time-strategy/combat sim hybrid is available only on the PC and Xbox 360.
For console owners more partial to magic, German publisher CDV is releasing the console port of its decently reviewed Sacred 2. Subtitled "Fallen Angel," the Diablo-style action role-playing game will be set 2,000 years before the original and will feature a 30-hour single or co-op campaign for each of the six playable character classes. Each class will also have its own alignment path and exotic animal--ranging from a tiger to a flying dragon--and randomly generated NPC behavior means characters will act different during replays. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can't go on sale fast enough for its developer, Ascaron, which declared bankruptcy three weeks ago.
Other notable new releases include Southpeak Interactive's Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball, which aims to settle the age-old battle between buccaneers and shinobi on the Wii. Atlus' elaborately titled Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon will serve up some old-school JRPG action on the PlayStation 2, and Aksys Games' Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus will deliver some fighting to the PSP.
PC gamers also will get a deal with Sid Meier's Civilization IV: The Complete Edition, a compilation of the titular civilization sim, its Warlords and Beyond the Sword expansion packs, and Colonization spin-off. Rated E 10+ for Everyone 10 and Over, it costs just $39.99.
Last but not least--for would-be pinball wizards, anyway--the PS3 will get its first dedicated pinball game in the form of ZEN Pinball. Available on the PlayStation Network Thursday, it features local, online, and worldwide tournament multiplayer for $9.99.
MONDAY, MAY 11
Desktop Tower Defense--DS--Strategy--THQ
My Farm Around the World--DS--Strategy--THQ
Magician's Quest: Mysterious Times--DS--Role-Playing--Konami
Short Track Racing: Trading Paint--PS2--Driving--THQ
TUESDAY, MAY 12
Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships--PC--Role-Playing--Playlogic
Battlestations: Pacific--PC, X360--Strategy--Eidos Interactive
Drama Queens--DS--Puzzle--Majesco Games
Dreamer: Shop Owner--DS--Puzzle--Dreamcatcher
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus--WII--Action--Aksys Games
Help Wanted--WII--Simulation--Hudson Entertainment
History Great Empires Rome--DS--Strategy--Zoo Games
Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball--WII--Sports--Southpeak Interactive
Puchi Puchi Virus--DS--Action--NIS
Puzzle Kingdoms--WII--Puzzle--Zoo Games
Sacred 2: Fallen Angel--PS3, X360--Action--cdv Software Entertainment USA
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon--PS2--Role-Playing--Atlus Co.
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: The Complete Edition--PC--Strategy--2K Games
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13
Texas Cheat 'Em--X360--Puzzle--D3Publisher
THURSDAY, MAY 14
Killing Floor--PC--Action--Tripwire Interactive
Texas Cheat 'Em--PS3--Puzzle--D3
ZEN Pinball--PS3--Action--Zen Studios