Video Games Plus is a weekly update on all things gaming. Check it out every other Thursday.
In this week's Video Games Plus, it's time to relive the past in high-definition with "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD," check out the cover of "Madden NFL '13" and gather your crew for Rockstar games. We also pull the latest "Mortal Kombat" for the PS Vita through the ringer and see if the title holds up on the portable system. Let's do this.
Tony Hawk Remake Hits in June
Tony Hawk is riding back to consoles this summer, as “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD," according to Hawk’s tweet, launching on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network sometime in June.
The last couple of games with Hawk’s name of them have been brand new titles that used a plastic skateboard peripheral, but developer Robomodo is mining the franchise’s glorious past for the "Pro Skater HD."
It contains levels from the first two Tony Hawk games, retouched and utilizing a new game engine. It will also borrows some of the music from the original game. Also confirmed are characters from the old games like Hawk, Andrew Reynolds, Eric Koston, and Rodney Mullen as well as newcomers like Chris Cole, Nyjah Huston, and Hawk’s son Riley.
The game will also be the first Tony Hawk game distributed digitally only. No price has been announced but it’s expected to cost around $15.
Unlocking Assassin's Creed Mysteries
Ubisoft is making gamers work a little bit for a bigger taste of “Assassin’s Creed 3.”
The developer has released a 40-second teaser video, showing the game’s hero, Connor, traversing through trees of what appears to be a snowy New England forest to hunt down a Redcoat. Connor unleashes an arrow that strikes through the calf of the hapless enemy and flashes his signature axe to … well, that’s where the video ends. To unlock the rest of the gameplay trailer, Ubisoft is asking fans of the series to enlist their friends and followers through Twitter and Facebook in the “Unite to Unlock” campaign. “Assassins Creed 3” comes out this fall on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
First Look at Madden NFL '13 Cover
Megatron, meet Madden. Earlier this week, EA unveiled the cover for the upcoming “Madden NFL '13” game and it stars Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Johnson completed a photo shoot with EA following the announcement live on ESPN that he beat out top-seeded Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers quarterback, during the Cover Vote contest.
Megatron’s win means he’ll be the first Lions player to appear on the cover of the game since Barry Sanders in 1999. He’s also the first receiver in Madden history to appear solo on the cover (Larry Fitzgerald shared with Troy Polamalu).
The cover picture features Johnson suited up in the team’s new Nike uniform and gloves that form the logo when put together. And in a nice little shout-out to Detroit, Ford Field and the Renaissance Center are pictured in the background.
Crew Up for Max Payne
Looks like Rockstar has an answer to the Elite system found in "Call of Duty." In anticipation of the release of “Max Payne 3” and its new robust multiplayer mode, Rockstar announced the creation of “Crews” – a clan-like system for the newest Max Payne game, the upcoming “Grand Theft Auto 5” and we assume all Rockstar games in the future.
Those who join crews will have access to bonus experience points for the multiplayer in "Max Payne 3" and start online feuds against other crews. They'll also get a unique tag in their display name, and can wear a customizable Crew emblem. Crew founders can create these emblems through the Rockstar Social Club website. Every Social Club member can belong to up to five Crews at once, so form your allegiances wisely.
Review: Mortal Kombat for PS Vita
Let’s face it, fighting games on portable systems rarely work very well. But it’s a testament to the power of Sony’s handheld that the Vita version of “Mortal Kombat” looks and plays almost exactly the same as its big brother on PlayStation 3. To top it off, Chicago developer NeverRealm Studios stuffed even more content on the Vita card than was included in last year’s reboot of the old fighting game favorite.
This edition includes several bonus characters such as Freddy Krueger and 150 challenge stages that feature many “Mortal Kombat-meets-Warioware” mini-games that take advantage of the system’s touchscreen.
In all, “Mortal Kombat” serves up a brutal fatality to all other fighting games on-the-go.
For more from Ryan Smith, follow him on Twitter: @RyanSmithWriter