Weekly Wrap-Up 5/6/11

Another week has passed, and GameZone has managed to pack more content on the site for our loyal readers. This week we look at the latest reviews and previews and share our insight with some new features. Plus, what indie games should you be playing? All that and more in this edition of GameZone’s Weekly Wrap-Up.

Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga Review

If you like Bioware’s Dragon Age series, chances are you’re fairly unfamiliar with Larian Studios’ Divinity series. This is due to the franchise treading similar ground as Dragon Age, which does it considerably better. But is the latest release in the series worth your attention? Have the developers finally put forth some major improvements to make Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga a worthwhile endeavor for gamers? Check out our full review to find out.

Mortal Kombat Review

Ed Boon and Warner Bros. set out to create something special with Mortal Kombat, the series reboot for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. By returning to the franchise’s roots and maintaining awareness of what’s important in video games today, the developers put together one hell of a fighter. Check out our review of Mortal Kombat to see just why you should be playing this game whether you’re a longtime fighting fan or not.

The Next BIG Thing Review

Don’t judge this game by its cover. It may look like your standard point-and-click PC adventure, but The Next BIG Thing features plenty of enjoyable gameplay to keep fans of the genre interested. The artsy visual style and offbeat plot combine for an enjoyable experience throughout. If you enjoy games with quirky storytelling, don’t let The Next BIG Thing pass you by. For more on the game, check out our in-depth review.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview

If you’re a fan of either MMOs or Star Wars, you’re probably looking forward to the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Alternatively, even if you don’t fancy them, it’s possible to enjoy this title when it releases later this year. Bioware Austin offers plenty of solid MMO action for gamers, and if you want to know more about why you should be stoked for Star Wars: The Old Republic, read our in-depth preview.

Sengoku Preview

Sega’s Total War: Shogun 2 is about to get some company in the ancient Japan strategy game space. Developed by Paradox Interactive, Sengoku allows players to take on the massive task of uniting the country. Don’t expect this game to be as battle-based as Shogun 2. Instead, prepare to make important decisions as you raise morale and lead troops to victory. This unique take on the strategy genre will hit PCs in September. Until then, feel free to read our Sengoku preview for all the latest info.

Pirates of the Black Cove Preview

While shogun do battle in the 16th century in Sengoku, pirates are off doing their own business in another part of the world. Pirates of the Black Cove features real-time strategy to engage in, massive islands to explore, unreal oceans to travel across, and all of the crazy pirate talk you could hope for. How is this title shaping up as it nears its summer launch? Read our full preview of Pirates of the Black Cove to find out.

Dead or Alive Dimensions Preview

Bouncy babes and hard-hitting action make up Dead or Alive: Dimensions for the 3DS. Is this title the next big thing for fighting games? Probably not. But it certainly looks to be an excellent addition to the series, so fans of the genre with a 3DS may want to keep a close eye on this one. For more on Dead or Alive: Dimensions, check out our early coverage of the game.

Star Wars: The Old Republic PvP Preview

We previously gave a good look at the PvE gameplay of Star Wars: The Old Republic, but some gamers would rather jump right in with a couple of friends and take on other players. The Old Republic allows you to do just that and doesn’t force you to play through the PvE mode, something that many MMO fans will be thankful for. Check out our preview of the PvP mode in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Top Five Potentially Awesome Fighting Game Crossovers

For a long time, the fighting genre has managed to provide some memorable crossovers. The Joker challenged Liu Kang. Spider-Man battled Mega Man. Even Mario and Sonic settled their differences with fists. What fighting game franchises should go head-to-head in the arena? We proudly present the Top Five Potentially Awesome Fighting Game Crossovers.

From Zombies to Plagas: How Resident Evil Changed a Classic for the Better

Resident Evil 4 is arguably the greatest entry in the long-running survival horror franchise. We revisit the fan favorite and look at how this particular chapter changed the series for the better. Of course, the game was followed by Resident Evil 5, which was still good if not as great–but let’s not talk about that right now. Instead, let’s look at one of the most iconic survival horror games, Resident Evil 4, and the impact it had on the classic zombie series.

Top Five Indie Games on WiiWare

There’s no denying the lack of quality found on Nintendo’s WiiWare download service. Despite the piles of digital shovelware, there are some solid games worth downloading. We get in touch with the indie side and present the Top Five Indie Games on WiiWare. If you haven’t downloaded these yet, head over to the Wii Shop Channel now and invest some Wii Points in them. You won’t regret it.

TERA Dev Diary: Genre Bending

We provide another in-depth look at the upcoming MMORPG TERA. Featuring the fast pace of a console action-adventure game and the riveting storytelling of an epic RPG, TERA offers something that gamers of differing tastes are sure to enjoy. To learn more about this upcoming title, check out the latest TERA Dev Diary here on GameZone.

Flash Game of the Week

Everyone loves Pokemon! We present our Flash Game of the Week: Pokemon Tower Defense. As you can probably tell by the title, this free browser-based game recreates the popular genre by adding an interesting blend of Pokemon charm. Check out our quick look of the game and try it for yourself.

Indie Games to Check Out

This week, we have a wide assortment of indie games for you to play. If you’re looking for a solid side-scrolling shoot ’em up with charming hand-drawn visuals, be sure to download The Great Paper Adventure. It’s free, so you couldn’t ask for more. Of course, you can always wait for the Xbox Live Indie Games or iPad versions, though those will likely cost you a few bucks.

Also on deck for this week’s indie recommendations is One Curious Nightfall, a simple side-scrolling platformer that’s more about the art and storytelling of games than the actual gameplay. Also, if you want a Tetris variant that’s compelling while true to the original design, be sure to check out Brain Breaker.

Or, if you’d rather enjoy a touching (and somewhat depressing) story, spend a few minutes with Ludum Dare contest entry Appy 1000mg–a 2D platformer about an amnesiac who quickly discovers that things are a lot more grim than he first thought. And puzzle fans, don’t miss out on playing The I of It, a game where you reunite the letters “I” and “T” by solving challenging puzzles.

In the News

Who says video games aren’t art? The fans have voted, and the Smithsonian will host its Art of Video Games exhibition for gamers to behold. What do you think of the picks?

Big in Japan: Blood+ One Night Kiss

GameZone’s Richard Eisenbeis takes a look at Blood+ One Night Kiss, an earlier title from famed director Suda51. It features the familiar art style and comical elements the Grasshopper Manufacture CEO is known for, but does the game age well or is stabbing a vampire’s giant nether region just not cutting it?