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)

Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
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

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

    £6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Infrastructure Engineer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

    £21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor