Things are starting to pick up. As gamers are working their way through “Infamous: Second Son” and “South Park: The Stick of Truth”, we’re about to get our first real sports game of the year, and two more games in the most prevalent franchises of the last year—“Final Fantasy” and “LEGO”. May is where things really start getting interesting but this month could end up being a nice prelude, the appetizer to the full meal coming as the weather gets warmer. Pick your favorite app.
1. April 1: "MLB 14 The Show"
Baseball season may have technically started a day before Sony released the annual iteration of the best sports series in history (it’s this or “NBA 2K”; sorry “Madden” fans) but it doesn’t really start until you get your hands on “The Show”. We’ll post our full review of the new PS3 version tomorrow; the PS4 version doesn’t hit until May 6th, but here’s a quick version—it’s nearly identical to the 2013 edition, for better and worse. If you have “The Show 13” and a PS4, wait for the next-gen version, for sure. If you don’t have anything and need a baseball fix…read more tomorrow.
Platform: PS3/Vita (PS4 on 5/6)
Developer: SCE San Diego Studio
Before You Buy: Check out About.com’s MLB site.
2. April 8: “LEGO The Hobbit”
Have LEGO games reached the point of exhaustion? On the PlayStation 4, you can already play “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes” and “The LEGO Movie Videogame” and there’s about to be a third game next week. We don’t have a single “GTA” or “Uncharted” game on the PS4, but we need THREE LEGO GAMES? Don’t get me wrong. I love the LEGO games (and my toddler son adores them) but perhaps we should pull back the throttle ever so slightly or this robust franchise will wear out its welcome. Is this the point where that happens? Doubtful, given that the recent “LEGO” games have been some of the best. And I look forward to how they render that barrel escape in “Desolation of Smaug” in LEGO toys. You know you do too.
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Before You Buy: Check out the Movies Expert coverage of the franchise.
3. April 14: “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn”
Four years after its lackluster debut, “Final Fantasy XIV” has been reimagined yet again for the PlayStation 4 era; the upgraded and updated version of the PS3 MMORPG released last August. While there were reportedly technical issues getting that game off the ground, it has now become quite a profitable venture for the people behind arguably the most long-standing successful franchise in gaming history. “Final Fantasy” just keeps going. And it’s been constant lately with “Lightning Returns”, the “Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster” release and now this. We’ll cover it in a few weeks. Stay tuned.
Before You Buy: Play a “Final Fantasy” game. You have several dozen to choose from.
4. April 29: “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”
Oh, boy. Movie tie-in game season. Whoopee. The fact is that movie tie-ins are the bottom of the barrel most of the time. So, why draw attention to this one? Because there are two elements of it that that could break the rules. One, Activision produced a “Transformers” game that is more fun than any of the actual films so they know how to turn a hit franchise in one medium into a creative one in another. Two, there have actually been some pretty great “Spider-Man” games. You have to play “Shattered Dimensions”. It’s excellent. Will this one carve its own path or just be an extended Happy Meal toy designed to sell movie tickets? Let’s be optimistic.
Before You Buy: Go watch “The Amazing Spider-Man” again so you know what’s going on.