Arts & CultureTechnology

This fall’s new video games are sure to be (left, down) right up your alley

As the leaves begin to turn shades of burnt sienna and roasted maroon, and the scents of roasted pumpkin waft from every foodstuff, the heart of any true technophile starts to double beat.

With the looming holiday shopping season and the national riot/holiday known as Black Friday approaching, enterprising publishers push new video games out to the masses at a dizzying pace. With incredible new releases every week, keeping up is tough. But with this guide, I hope to provide you with enough preparation time to cancel the necessary classes and focus on what really matters.

For many people, Super Smash Brothers is not just a game, it’s a culture, a lifestyle—a fighter that spits in the name of convention and appeals to casual or core audiences in equal strength. Nintendo’s legendary mash-up brawler is a 2D fighting game with a focus on platforming agility, diverse fighting styles and cartoon fun. Players will get their first taste of the game on the 3DS on Oct. 3, with the more party-friendly WiiU version likely hitting the scene on Nov. 21.

If you’re looking for more than one reason to pick up a WiiU, also look for the flashy, beat-em-up Bayonetta 2 on Oct. 24, and adorable puzzler Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker later this year.

With Halloween in the fall gaming spree, it’s only natural that horror is a big part of the upcoming release schedule. Fans of the classics will be delighted and distraught by Alien Isolation (PS4/PC/ONE/PS3/360), a canonical sequel to the 1979 classic that plays like a twisted sci-fi version of Amnesia. Board the Nostromo one last time on Oct. 7.

For fright seekers with more of a taste for action, The Evil Within (PS4/PC/ONE/PS3/360) should fit the bill. Coming from Shinji Mikami, the man behind Resident Evil 4, expect great gun play, stunning action beats and new nightmare-inducing monsters on Oct. 14.

If your terror tastes veer more into the psychological, look out for the indie stunner Neverending Nightmares (PC/Mac/Linux). Based on the developer’s real-life experiences with mental illness, the game’s 2D hand-drawn art style promises a different breed of terror.

Action games come in all shapes, sizes and genres—this fall’s lineup is no different. The biggest release of the season is all but guaranteed to be Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare  (PS4/PC/ONE/PS3/360)—with new multi-player features, a new next-generation focused engine and even Kevin Spacey lending dramatic credit to this year’s installment. Reenlist on Nov. 4.

If you prefer your brutal gun play to be in 16-bit than high def, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PC) will be a must-play. Akin to a video game version of Drive, with brutal combat, a bumping soundtrack and twitch-reaction game play. No release date has been confirmed, but expect it sometime this fall.

Overall, fall 2014 is building to be a unique season for gaming enthusiasts. With some of the more bombastic titles (Witcher 3, Batman, Evolve, Battlefield: Hardline) getting pushed to 2015, this is a great opportunity to expand your tastes and play something outside of your comfort zone. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite.

Follow Chris Berg on Twitter @Mushroomer25

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Chris Berg

Chris Berg