November is shaping up to be one of the biggest months ever for the video game industry, with big name title after big name title releasing every week. Though there are many games that come out in the first half of November, there is one week that could collectively be the craziest release week in a long time. With both critically anticipated new releases and re-releases that could make lots of money, the general impact this week could have could be huge for the industry. November 17-23 will henceforth be referred to as Video Game Thunderdome 2014, a release window of industry turmoil that can only have a small handful of winners with the rest being left buried. This piece looks at the games I feel will get lost in the swell of releases from November 17-23.
1. Watch Dogs (Wii U)- November 18
Sure, this isn’t really the most groundbreaking news. After all, Watch Dogs had a very mixed reception when it debuted on virtually every other home platform back in May. But as the Wii U continues to struggle, particularly in offering consistent third party content, a major game such as Watch Dogs is still a very welcome addition to the console’s catalog, even if it is coming a few months late. Ubisoft has claimed that Watch Dogs will be the last “M” rated game they offer on Wii U, so if anything else, it holds some thin layer of significance in that right.
2. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U)- November 18
Coming a week after the release of its 3DS counterpart, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric marks the major shift in look and feel that Sega’s most popular mascot is set to go through beginning with a new animated series being launched in October. The opinions on the new visuals and gameplay shifts have been divisive so far, but that only seems appropriate given the fact that most of the major Sonic games released in the past ten years have had mixed receptions at best. Hopefully with Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal, Sonic can at least be redefined for a new audience that will enjoy it, if it cannot find a way to appease longstanding fans in a more general way. This whole facelift feels like an attempt to go for a younger, perhaps more inherently excitable and loyal fanbase, but I hope it also leads to positive changes to the incredibly worn out Sonic formula.