October is known for Halloween, but it’s also known for being a fantastic month for gaming. With the fall gaming rush in absolute full swing in the month of October, a whole hell of a lot of big releases are dropping each week.
October is also remarkable this year because it is the last month before all the eighth gen consoles have released. By the end of November, both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will have launched, joining the Wii U, PS Vita, and 3DS.
While there are some big games coming out in November for seventh gen systems, October is the last time that seventh gen games will be competing only against themselves, instead of against their technically superior successors.
All that being said, let’s get on to the games of October 2013.
We start the month out on a Tuesday, which is the day that new games typically release. On October 1st, there’s really something for everybody.
3DS owners have two niche RPGs to look forward to in the form of Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl and Rune Factory 4. Etrian Odyssey Untold is the 3DS remake of the original Etrian Odyssey game that initially released on the original DS system. Rune Factory 4, meanwhile, is the latest installment in the long-running Rune Factory series, which is a spinoff of Harvest Moon, albeit with more focus on combat and traditional RPG elements.
Retro gamers may be looking forward to the remake of Flashback that is releasing on PC. Meanwhile, PS3 owners can look forward to the latest artistic venture from Japan Studio called Rain. With a unique premise and art style, Rain is shaping up to be yet another cult classic delivered by Japan Studio.
The biggest release starting off the month is NBA 2K14. This year is the first year of many that NBA 2K14 won’t be going without competition, however, as NBA Live from EA Sports is releasing in November. With early impressions of NBA 2K14 being very positive, however, NBA Live will definitely have a stiff challenge ahead of itself.
Xbox Live Arcade is getting a port of a side-scrolling PC game called A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda. This game has gotten hardly any press, but perhaps it will find its intended audience on the Xbox 360.
The big releases keep on coming one week later, with the PS3 dominating the releases. For one, there’s Beyond: Two Souls, the highly publicized next game from Quantic Dreams, the people behind the smash hit Heavy Rain, is releasing on this day. Beyond is yet another major exclusive for Sony and the PS3, and I am sure it will rake in the dough and positive reviews upon release.
Another PS3 exclusive is releasing. It is the next entry in the Disgaea series called Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness. Early reviews have been mostly positive for the game, so tactical RPG fans seem to have yet another high quality release to look forward to playing.
In the sports/other genre, the previously mentioned games will share this day with F1 2013, due for release on PC, PS3, and 360, as well as Just Dance 2014, which is releasing for just about every console imaginable.
I don’t think anyone would argue with this statement: Pokemon X & Y is the biggest release of October. The hype level for a Pokemon title hasn’t been this high for as long as I can remember, with X & Y moving the series forward significantly with three-dimensional models for the first time in the main RPG series, brand new gameplay mechanics, and the return of many favorite Gen 1 Pokemon. X & Y is set to be one of the must own 3DS titles of all time.
Activision has decided to pull a Nintendo and release a game on a Sunday. That game in particular happens to be the latest entry in their toy-based Spyro spinoff franchise called Skylanders: Swap Force. This title adds the ability to mix and match the abilities of the various characters. With people already spending loads of money on these games and their toys, I bet Activision will be laughing all the way to the bank after that Sunday.
It’s rare that I get to talk about a PS Vita exclusive game in one of these, but October is actually offering a PS Vita exclusive, releasing Monday all by itself. That game is Valhalla Knights 3.
Zumba Fitness: World Party is just the latest entry in the fitness franchise from EA. If you own pretty much any one of the gameplay consoles available right now, then there is a good chance that Zumba Fitness: World Party is a viable option for the fitness lover in your life.
As the month is winding down, the releases slow down as well. However, the big franchises are still out in full force, this time in the form of Lego Marvel Super Heroes. This latest game from Traveller’s Tales takes the famous Marvel heroes such as Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, and everyone else, and turns them into LEGOs. The game will also be available on next-gen systems starting in November.
Fans of Sonic the Hedgehog that own either a 3DS or Wii U (or both!) can look forward to the first product resulting from the new exclusivity agreement between Nintendo and Sega. Sonic: Lost World is having two versions releasing on the same day, both with different experiences. The Wii U version seems heavily influenced by Super Mario Galaxy, and that is never a bad thing.
Sonic will share the day with a new licensed game based on SpongeBob SquarePants. This latest game is called SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge and is coming out for a wide variety of systems.
Phoenix Wright has been out of the lawyer gig for quite a while now, but fans can finally look forward to Phoenix returning to court. Filled with a cast from all of his adventures, this latest entry in the Ace Attorney series is shaping up to be an excellent return to form. However, if you live outside of Japan, you’ll only be able to snag this 3DS exclusive through the eShop, but at a discounted price. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is definitely one of my most anticipated games of the month.
The Dark Knight returns to gaming in the form of two new games in the Arkham franchise. Granted, neither one of the games are developed by Rocksteady, but if they have even half the “wow” factor as Arkham City, then they’re in good shape.
The first is Batman: Arkham Origins. This prequel game is set during the early days of Batman’s career. Black Mask puts a hit out against the caped crusader, drawing the greatest assassins and murderers of the world to Gotham. This is also how Batman is going to meet the bulk of his rogue’s gallery, it is believed.
The other game is a handheld spinoff set after the events of Arkham Origins. The game deals with a prison breakout at Blackgate, seemingly orchestrated by some of Batman’s big bads. In this game, the gameplay is being altered to be more in line with the Metroidvania style of games. It is called Batman: Arkham Origins – Blackgate that will be available on both PS Vita and 3DS.
In other gaming releases, Nintendo is releasing the Wii U sequel to Wii Party called Wii Party U. Personally, I was a fan of the original Wii Party, as it did its job in being a great party game. Wii Party U, using the new capabilities of the GamePad, could potentially yield pretty interesting new mini-game concepts.
With November right around the corner at this point, the end of October shoves a bunch of huge games together all on the same day. Activision is releasing Angry Birds: Star Wars on consoles.
Ubisoft is releasing Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on that day as well. This latest entry features a brand new protagonist and a pirate theme. It is still too early to tell if this latest AC will be able to break the recent downtrend the series has suffered since Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, but we’ll see.
And finally, EA is releasing the absolutely huge shooter Battlefield 4. Of course, the next-gen version of Battlefield 4 is promises to double the amount of players that can play online from 32 to 64, like the PC versions of the series has accomplished for a while now, so shooter fans may want to wait for next-gen Battlefield 4 instead. That being said, Battlefield 4 still has a lot to offer.
Take-Two is also throwing their hat in the ring at the end of October. Releasing for the first time under the 2K banner is a WWE title, WWE 2K14. WWE 2K14 is the first game in the franchise to not be published by the now defunct THQ. While the developers have remained the same, it will be interesting to see what 2K Sports does for the series and what changes are in store for longtime fans.
And finally, a game is being made based on the new TV show, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, for most systems.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate was released on 3DS to mild reception. Konami is trying again by porting the game in HD to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD is getting released for those that only play consoles.
In addition, the cult hit series Football Manager is getting a new release in the form of Football Manager 2014.
There are also a couple of games that have a planned release date for October, but the exact date has yet to be nailed down. Those games are the very promising point and click adventure game The Wolf Among Us as well as another game called The Dark Eye: Demonicon that is releasing exclusively on PC.
WII U: 10
PS3 takes the cake again…though this may be the last time. As we can see, 360 was barely behind the PS3, and Nintendo’s two eighth gen system are hot on their heels as well. Next month will be absolutely dominated by PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, so expect one of those next-gen consoles to come out on top, despite the multitude of releases also coming out for seventh generation systems. PS3 is adding quite a few high quality exclusives to its library in October on top of all the multi-platform games, so now is as good a time as any to jump on the PS3 bandwagon.