Weekly video game releases: 'StarCraft II,' 'BlazBlue: Continuum Shift,' 'Ace Combat: Joint Assault'

Among upcoming video game releases:
StarCraft II for PC and Mac is one of the most important releases of 2010 thanks to the genre-defining impact of the original
StarCraft in 1998; the praised game
BlazBlue gets a sequel in the form of
Continuum Shift; and
Ace Combat: Joint Assault on PSP marks a rare foray into real-world locations for the jetfighter series.

StarCraft II (PC, Mac)
Release: Worldwide, July 27
Age Rating: Teen / 16+

The followup to 1998's StarCraft, the real-time strategy par excellence, has been in development since 2003 and comes from Blizzard, which is behind World of Warcraft's success. StarCraft II builds on the success of the first in both single and multiplayer modes. Blizzard have learned a thing or two from the WoW experience: Russian, Mexican, Chilean and Argentinian gamers can buy cut-price retail copies and then top up online play with a subscription service - or buy direct from Blizzard's Battle.net for infinite credits.
Price: $59.99 / €59.99
Collectors Edition (DVD, CD, comic etc.): $99.99 / €89.99

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift (360, PS3)
Release: North America, July 27. Europe, October.
Age rating: Teen

Quickly establishing itself as an essential entry in any fighting game fan's library, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger took many by surprise with a style and flair that proved robust under scrutiny. Continuum Shift was bestowed with a good score from Famitsu's four reviewers (9/8/9/8) though Europeans will have to wait a little longer - Calamity Trigger didn't come out there until April of this year so it's a bit early yet for the sequel.
Price: $39.99
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Fightstick arcade style controller: $199.99

Ace Combat: Joint Assault (PSP)
Release: Europe, July 30. North America, August 31.
Age Rating: 12+ / Teen

The larger-than-life Ace Combat dogfighting series debuted in 1995 as Air Combat on the PlayStation One and has been on PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and even Apple's iOS. Joint Assault will be the second PSP title but diverges from the series formula in that it uses real-world locations - London, Egypt, San Francisco and Tokyo among them - alongside the overblown storylines and gigantic airplanes on world-ending bombing runs. Joint Assault also allows up to four players to play missions co-operatively over the internet, in addition to the standard versus mode.
Price: $39.99 / €39.99

Harvest Moon DS: Grand Bazaar (DS)
Release: North America, July 27
Age Rating: Everyone

It's been around since 1996 and the Harvest Moon series doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon - the cute crop-tending farm simulations should strike a chord with anyone exposed to FarmVille or Happy Farm, though Harvest Moon fleshes out the farming with pets, family life, and a new story for each game. Grand Bazaar is not considered to be the pinnacle of perfection among series fans, but its cut-down nature could still prove less daunting for newcomers than the full-fledged (and very much admired) Rune Factory spin-offs, for example.
Price: $29.99

Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (360)
Release: August 8 via Xbox Live Arcade
Age Rating: Teen / 12+

Resurrecting the legendary Castlevania series for Xbox 360 is old hand Koji Igarashi, who has worked on a vast number of Castlevania games. True to its heritage, Harmony of Despair is a side-scrolling 2D action adventure, modernized with room for up to six players co-operating online.
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15 / €14)

Madden NFL 11 (360 iPhone PS2 PS3 PSP Wii)
Release: North America, August 10. Europe, August 13.

This year, Madden NFL claims to be simpler, quicker, and deeper than before, compressing a full hour-long game into 30 minutes of playtime and making it easier to instruct teams. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints became the latest Madden cover athlete after pulling in the most fan votes. 360 and PS3 trial demos are scheduled for release July 27.
Price: Price: $59.99 / €59.99 (360 PS3), $49.99 / €49.99 (Wii), $39.99 / €39.99 (PS2 PSP)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Sport
ESPN footage showed a split-screen Murray’s partner Kim Sears and Berdych’s partner Ester Satorova 'sporting' their jewellery
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - London - £43,000

    £35000 - £43000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior IT Support Analyst...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Network Engineer - London - £70,000

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An excellent opportunity ...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Systems Administrator - London - £50,000

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Systems Administra...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst- (Customer Support) - £29,000

    £29000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst- (Customer Suppor...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee