Don’t know if you’ve heard, but times is mad tough! Furious-tough even! Unemployment is at a 26-year high. Spam is selling like gelatinous hotcakes made of mystery meat. Hell, even we’ve traded the cool, refreshing taste of Sapporo for a lesser, pissier dew from the Rockies. But in these hard times, will no one think of the videogames?! We will!
Well, if there's one thing that makes us remember better days, it’s the Hogan vs. Andre match at the Pontiac Silverdome for Wrestlemania III in 1987! The Slam Heard Round the World! Lucky for us, this very important point in America’s history can now be recreated with WWE Legends of Wrestlemania (THQ; Xbox 360, PS3)! Focusing on arcade-style gameplay, Legends takes the biggest names of the squared circle of the past 30 years—from the Rock and Steve Austin to the Iron Sheik and "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase—and allows you to relive some of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history!
With the distinction of being the first simultaneous release for both of Nintendo’s money-printing machines, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (Square-Enix; Wii, DS) continues the series' tradition of grade-A storytelling, monster-fighting with a large-eyed protagonist, and non-finality, allowing you to incorporate your own Mii all while traversing a whimsical land in search of powerful crystals. Sounds like an average Saturday night!
Tokyo Beat Down (Atlus; DS) features a group of extreme police officers, known as Beast Cops, who must pound the pavement of Japan—and more than a few faces—after a vague threat is sent their way. Going old-school, Tokyo Beat Down takes your Beast Cops down the same mean streets of classic fighters like Double Dragon and Final Fight. Works for us!
Now, if you’re Japan and you find yourself infected with a rapidly spreading mutant-spawning parasite, who do you call when the Beast Cops aren’t available and Godzilla is nowhere to be found? Duh! Get a ninja! Ninja Blade (Microsoft; Xbox 360) sees your killer-in-training, Ken, as the last line of defense against the mutant onslaught. Luckily, even a freshman ninja is still A FUCKING NINJA, and can employ an array of weapons and techniques, from the trusty katana to the ever-efficient heart-exploding punch. Set on the current streets of Tokyo, Ninja Blade accurately captures just about every nook and cranny of the city as you hack and slash your way to the terrible truth!
While we question Vin Diesel’s acting ability, no one can question the man’s commitment to sci-fi geekdom, as this month sees the release of Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (Xbox 360; PS3). Diesel’s second Riddick title (the first, which was awesome, has actually been redone and is included with this one!) sees the titular anti-hero aboard the vessel of mercenaries who have seen fit to capture the “Most Wanted Criminal in the Universe.” Bad move, dummies! Don’t you know he can see in the dark?! Don’t you know he kills pretty much everyone he meets?! The humanity!
Inspired by real-life events, Velvet Assassin (Gamecock; Xbox 360) follows the story of a sexy British spy named Violette during World War II. Deep behind German territory, Violette must slink her way through the ranks of the Wehrmacht, stealthily offing one filthy Nazi at a time, with over 50 different kill-types, in an effort to avenge her family. Heavy shit, to be certain. (Is it just us, or when you see the word “assassin” do you just see two “asses” and an “in”? Yeah, that’s how we roll.)
Did you know that the Nintendo DS is popular? Sure is! Like, nearly a billion people worldwide have the little bastard! But for Nintendo, it’s apparently not popular enough because this month sees the release of a brand new version, the Nintendo DSi. See, that little “i” at the end means it’s new and improved! How so? Well, for starters, the DSi has two built-in cameras, so now you can snap pictures of all the creeps on the bus and yourself at the same time all while you play Nintendogs! The DSi screen is brighter than the last version of the machine and is also about 12% smaller due to the removal of the Game Boy cartridge slot. While both of these changes mean less battery life and the inability to use accessories that required the slot (like those from Guitar Hero), the addition of an SD memory-card slot that allows you to download and store info should hopefully assuage your fury.
Pictured: A still from Ninja Blade.