The CBR Games Roundup is back again for a look at the video games which will be arriving in April. This month isn't as packed as last, but there's still something to look forward to for all of the major platforms with "Splinter Cell: Conviction," "Monster Hunter Tri" and "Super Street Fighter IV" heading up the list.
Please remember that this list is not inclusive of every game releasing this month, and release dates are always subject to change. Now let's get to it!
Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest (DS/PSP/PS2/Wii) - April 13 (http://www.aragornsquest.com/) The latest game to feature the "Lord of the Rings" license will be set after the events of the three main books. The game's premise is that Samwise Gamgee is telling stories about Aragorn to a young hobbit. Players will relive these stories as Aragorn and play through events from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Wii version will use motion controls for combat and feature local co-op with Gandalf as the second player. Other versions of the game will feature different levels, including arena-based levels that will reward characters with unlockable items to be used in the campaign mode.
Splinter Cell: Conviction (PC/Xbox 360) - April 13* (http://www.splintercell.com) Originally announced in 2007, "Splinter Cell: Conviction" has been reimagined a few times on its way to a final version. The game stars series protagonist Sam Fisher and takes place a couple years after the events of "Splinter Cell: Double Agent." Sam has learned that his daughter's death was not an accident as he believed during "Double Agent." While he investigates what really happened, he discovers a much larger national security threat. Some twists to the gameplay have been introduced into the stealth action series for "Conviction." The Mark and Execute feature allows players to map out ahead of time how they want to take targets out and then start the action and watch Sam follow the plan. Another feature called Last Known Position allows Sam to see where enemies think he is, allowing him to gain a tactical advantage.
In addition to the campaign story mode, there will be multiplayer modes, including a co-op campaign featuring two new characters that serves as a prequel to Conviction.
*While the Xbox 360 version of "Splinter Cell: Conviction" is arriving April 13th, the PC version will be released on April 27.
Kick-Ass (PS3/iPhone/iPod Touch) - April 15 (http://www.thekickassgame.com) The movie adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.'s hit comic will be arriving in April, and of course the movie is getting the game treatment. Developer Frozen Codebase is putting together the downloadable title that will be available on iTunes and the PlayStation Network. The game is a third-person brawler that will feature Kick-Ass, Hit Girl and Big Daddy as playable characters. The eight story-based missions will take place in various locations throughout New York. The PS3 version of "Kick-Ass" will include local co-op. The developer is planning some downloadable content for the game after its release, including an update that would add online multiplayer. The iPhone/iPod Touch version will follow the same storyline and levels, but will play more like a twin-stick shooter.
Dementium 2 (DS) - April 20 (http://www.dementium.com/) The sequel 2007's "Dementium: The Ward" arrives for the DS this month. The first-person survival horror game picks up after the events of the original, which saw protagonist William Redmoor wake up in a strange hospital with no memories, only to be confronted by the genetic freaks wandering the halls. In the new game, William wakes up at the Bright Dawn Treatment Center after having some kind of surgery, which also happens to be populated with creatures out of his worst nightmares. Developer Renegade Kid has made several improvements over the original gameplay, including a new inventory system, combat that features combos and charge attacks, and the ability to crouch and jump, which was absent from the first game.
Monster Hunter Tri (Wii) - April 20 (http://www.capcom.com/monster/) As indicated by its title, "Monster Hunter" is mainly about hunting monsters. Players take on the role of hunters that achieve fame and fortune by tracking down and slaying giant beasts. The game encourages online play, where players can team up with three other hunters to battle more powerful monsters and reap greater rewards. Players can use monster remains to create better weapons and armor, and some in-game events result in rare item drops.
Fans of "Monster Hunter" have been waiting for the North American release of "Tri" since it debuted in Japan last August. And the wait may have been worth it: unlike the Japanese version, online play for North America and Europe will be free. The game also supports the Wii Speak voice chat peripheral.
2010 FIFA World Cup (PSP/PS3/Wii/XBox 360) - April 27 (http://fifa-world-cup.easports.com) Featuring 199 teams and all 10 World Cup stadiums. "2010 FIFA World Cup" will play largely like "FIFA 10," with some gameplay improvements. Teams will play differently when they are at home or away, so a highly favored team could struggle against a lesser team playing in their own stadium. The game will have full online support, and will sport a unique balancing mechanism in terms of matchmaking. Players will earn more points for their home nations when they win using a weaker team. The developers hope to encourage better players to use weaker teams in order to earn more points, evening the odds a little more for less-skilled players.
Dead to Rights: Retribution (PS3/XBox 360) - April 27 (http://deadtorights.namco.com/) Almost eight years after his original adventure, Officer Jack Slate and his dog Shadow return for another. "Dead to Rights: Retribution" will have Slate and Shadow cleaning up the crime-ridden streets of Grant City. The action takes place in third person, and Slate can take enemies down with bullets or via an array of hand to hand, wrestling style moves. Players can use Shadow to maul people by giving him commands with the directional pad. There will also be points in the game where players take control of Shadow and experience the game from a different perspective.
Nier (PS3/XBox 360) - April 27 (http://www.niergame.com) This action rpg published by Square Enix will be a slightly different version than the one being released in Japan. The game is set in a future world where a good portion of humanity has been infected by a plague. Nier, the game's hero, is on a mission to find a cure for his daughter Yonah, who has been infected. Real-time combat involves a mixture of weapons and magic, and Nier will learn new abilities as well as find different weapons to master along his journey.
The Japanese version of the game will feature largely the same story, however the character of Nier will be much younger, and Yonah will be Nier's sister as opposed to his daughter.
Super Street Fighter IV (PS3/XBox 360) - April 27 (http://www.streetfighter.com) A little over a year after the North American launch of "Street Fighter IV" comes the souped-up version with new characters and modes, as well as some returning favorites. Of the ten characters that have been added, two of them (Juri and Hakan) are new, two of them are from Final Fight (Cody and Guy) and the remaining six are from various entries into the "Street Fighter" series. New online modes include "Team Battle," which will include up to eight players, and Endless Battle, where match winners face a rotation of other players. Fans that enjoyed the car and barrel bonus stages from the "Street Fighter II" series will be happy to know they make a return in this game, as well.
Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter (PC/Xbox 360) - April TBA (http://www.serioussamhd.com) Following the successful remake of their frenetic first-person shooter "Serious Sam: The First Encounter," Croteam plans to release their second HD remake this month. "The Second Encounter" finds Sam in the Mayan age as he travels through time in order to defeat the alien Sirians. Sam will have access to some new weapons in "The Second Encounter," including a flamethrower, chainsaw and sniper rifle. The HD remake will also include a new mode titled "Co-op Tournament." Croteam have tentatively set 'late April' as a release window, so we wouldn't be shocked to see the game slip into next month.
And so comes the close of the latest edition of the CBR Games Roundup. Stay tuned to CBR for interviews with creators and developers, and head to the forums to discuss your most anticipated games arriving in April!