CBR Games Roundup: July 2009

Summertime usually brings some lean months in terms of game releases, and July isn't going to do anything to buck that trend. While the month only sees a handful of notable games coming out, there are a couple that could be considered major releases.

Variety is the spice of life in July, as online shooter fans will be getting some games to tide them over until the fall, adventure gamers will see the return of a beloved series, fans of fisticuffs have a couple of options, and sports gamers of all skill levels will find something for them.

As always, please keep in mind that the list is not inclusive of every release for a given month, release dates are always subject to change, and some games release on certain platforms before others. Without further ado, let's take a look at the video game releases for the month of July.

Punisher: No Mercy (PS3) -- July 2 (Website)

Frank Castle is bringing his special brand of justice to the PS3 in this exclusive downloadable game, an arena-based shooter that features four maps and eight playable characters from the Punisher universe, including Silver Sable, Jigsaw and Bushwacker. Artist Mike Deodato is providing the art for the comic-style cut scenes that will present the game's storyline. Multiplayer will support up to 8 players, and the six modes include all the regulars, as well as Punish the Punisher, which presumably pits Frank against a host of enemies.

Tales of Monkey Island (PC) -- July 7 (Website)

Guybrush Threepwood is back to battle his undead pirate nemesis LeChuck in this brand new episodic series from TellTale Games. The new series is set years after "Escape from Monkey Island" and sees Guybrush on the cusp of defeating LeChuck, only to mistakenly unleash a pox that transforms pirates into zombie-like monsters. The first of the five episodes is called "Launch of the Screaming Narwhal," and will launch first on PC before making its way to WiiWare sometime in the near future. There are plans to release the entire series on a disc after all the episodes have been digitally released. A demo will also be hitting the PC around the time of the first episode's release.

The Bigs 2 (PS2/PS3/PSP/Wii/XBox 360) -- July 7 (Website)

2K's arcade style baseball series returns this month, and it brings a host of new features that were missing from the original. Two of the biggest additions are the ability to play through a full 162 game schedule, and a manager mode. New mechanics have been added to the hitting system, and the career mode is more full featured as well.

NCAA Football 10 (PS2/PS3/PSP/XBox 360) -- July 14 (Website)

EA spent a good amount of time during their E3 press conference talking about this year's NCAA game, in particular the new Team Builder mode that takes team customization to a whole new level. By heading over the EA's Team Builder website, players can create an entire school online and customize everything from uniforms and logos to player faces and names. Custom schools can then be shared with the online community, and players can download other created schools into their game. In terms of gameplay, the AI system has been redesigned so that opposing teams will adapt to your playcalling tendencies as the game progresses. The extremely popular online Dynasty Mode returns this year as well.

King of Fighters XII (PS3/XBox 360) -- July 21 (Website)

Another hugely popular fighting series makes its return this month, as "KOF XII" arrives for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Instead of reusing sprites from previous versions of the game, all of the characters and levels in this 2D fighter have been redrawn and redesigned. The console version of the game will feature 22 fighters, two more than its arcade counterpart. Online matches will be supported and a lobby system will allow players to queue matchups and customize matches. There will also be online rankings and leaderboards, and the PS3 version will have an exclusive clan mode, where players can team up and face off against other clans in team matches.

Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part 2 (PS3/XBox 360) -- July 21 (Website)

The second half of the Nite Owl and Rorschach beat 'em up arrives on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network this month. For those that missed the first installment, the story takes place years before the events in "Watchmen," and involves the two crimefighters looking into the case of a missing girl. Jackie Earl Haley and Patrick Wilson voice the main characters, and Len Wein's story is presented through animated comic panels. For PS3 fans, a Blu-Ray version of "Watchmen" releases this month, with episodes 1 and 2 of "The End is Nigh" included on the disc. A retail release of the game for the Xbox 360 will be available the same day as well.

Wii Sports Resort (Wii) -- July 26 (Website)

The sequel to the Nintendo Wii's launch title will feature a slew of new activities as well as support for the new MotionPlus peripheral. Fans of the original "Wii Sports" will be happy to see golf and bowling making a return, and the ten new activities include something for everyone, including basketball, archery, Frisbee and wakeboarding. Many of the categories contain multiple activities. For example, Frisbee fans can either play fetch with a dog or get in a round of Frisbee golf, and basketball offers both a 3-on-3 pickup game as well as a 3-point shootout. A MotionPlus add-on comes bundled with the game. Those looking for a second MotionPlus will have to pick one up for $19.99, or grab "Tiger Woods 10," which also came bundled with it.

Battlefield 1943 (PS3/XBox 360) -- July (TBA) (Website)

DICE is bringing a new "Battlefield" experience to consoles in the form of this multiplayer-only downloadable title. As the name implies, the game is set in World War II and players will take on the role of either the US Marines or the Japanese Navy and battle across three maps set in the Pacific Theater: Wake Island, Iwo Jima and Guadacanal. Players can choose from rifleman, scout or infantry classes, each of which has their own weapon loadouts. Gameplay will be a mixture of first-person shooting and aerial combat. "Battlefield 1943" also features "Battlefield: Bad Company's" Frostbite Engine, so players can expect the same level of environmental destructibility that they had in "Bad Company."

Release Date Changes

"Marvel vs. Capcom 2" was originally slated to release in June, but according to Capcom's blog, the game is likely to be released near the end of July.

That brings us to the end of the Games Roundup for this month. August is looking to pick up the pace with some big releases, and then the fall months hit with the biggest games of the year. Stay tuned to CBR for exclusive interviews with the developers of some of this year's biggest games.

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