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August 2012 PS3 Highlights

Football, Robots, and War

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Wake up, gamers! The world of PS3 games has been a bit dead for the last month or so as players caught up with titles like "The Amazing Spider-Man," "LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes," or "Spec Ops: The Line" from June or dove into the only July title really worth anyone's time -- "NCAA Football 13." A whole month with only one exciting game? Aren't you hungry for one of those months where every week produces something worth playing? Well, we can't say for sure that all four of these weekly highlights will meet your needs but it seems likely that your PS3 is going to get more of a work out as summer wraps itself up and we move into the most crowded season of the year.

August 7: Persona 4 Arena

Persona 4 Arena
Image © Atlus

For the right audience, this game is a highlight of the season. Do you know your Japanese games? Do the words "Shin Megami Tensei" mean anything to you? If the answer is yes than this fighting game is for you. If you don't know anything about the "Persona" franchise this might not be the place to start. Known as "Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena" in Japan, this fighting game is technically a follow-up to "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4." It takes place two months after the end of that game and uses characters from it and "Persona 3" in a fighting game mold. Combos, special attacks, arenas -- you know what to expect here. Does it hold its own with the best fighting games on the market? It's a glutted genre with great titles like "Mortal Kombat," "Street Fighter x Tekken," and "Marvel vs. Capcom 3." It may be difficult for "Persona 4 Arena" to break through above its loyal core audience.

Publisher: Atlus

Before You Buy: Do some research. Find out what a Persona is and look into the "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona" series to learn how those characters could be best employed in a fighting arena.

Suggested Reading: Best PSP Role-Playing Game of 2010: "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable"

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August 14: Darksiders II

Darksiders II
Image © THQ

We've already written a lot about "Darksiders II," including it in our most anticipated games of Summer 2012 and putting together a screenshot gallery of some of its coolest images. 2010's "Darksiders" was easily one of the most underrated games of the last two years and everything that we've seen of its follow-up looks like it could be even more impressive in its scope and execution. Taking place at the same time as the first game, you will play War's brother, Death. That's right. "What are you doing, son?" "I'm playing Death." Don't tell me you're not curious about what that feels like. It also features the two remaining horseman of the apocalypse -- Strife and Fury -- and a heavier emphasis on action over the puzzle-solving elements of the first game. We can't wait.

Publisher: THQ

Before You Buy: Go back and play "Darksiders," a game that never got the attention that it deserved.

Suggested Reading: The Five Most Anticipated PS3 Game of Summer 2012

Alternate: "Sleeping Dogs"

August 21: Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
Image © Activision

Activision has a spotty track record with "Transformers" games. 2010's "Transformers: War for Cybertron" was a beauty, a more fun and engaging experience than any of Michael Bay's movies. 2011's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" was a disaster. Where will "Fall of Cybertron" end up on that scale? There's reason for hope since it's a direct sequel to the 2010 game that ignores the previous, movie-based installment from High Moon Studios, the same company as "War for Cybertron." Peter Cullen is back, High Moon is back, Cybertron is back -- you'll probably be back too.

Publisher: Activision

Before You Buy: Go back and play "War for Cybertron," one of the best games based on a toy ever produced.

Suggested Reading: "Transformers: War For Cybertron" Review

Alternate: "Way of the Samurai 4"

August 28: Madden NFL 13

Madden NFl 13 Cover
Image © EA

Another year, another "Madden." How will this one stand out from last year's incarnation? In all likelihood, it won't. There are only massive leaps forward in sports games every few years but as my grandpa used to say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The "Madden" line of football games is popular beyond belief. There are people who will line up for hours just to be the first person to get their favorite team on the virtual field or start building their dynasty. It's addictive, accomplished, and consistently impressive. It's the New England Patriots of sports video games. It may not win the Super Bowl again this year, but it will certainly compete.

Publisher: EA Sports

Before You Buy: Get deep into your favorite sport at About.com Football Guide

Suggested Reading: Cover Art Revealed For Madden NFL 13 with Calvin Johnson

Alternate: "Damage Inc. Pacific Squadron," "Journey Collector's Edition," "Ratchet & Clank Collection"

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