Summers spent indoors

Summer is not usually a time for video games. What with the warmth and generally livable outdoor environment, the game industry has a tendency to slow down. In fact, summer is usually the game industry’s slow season. But not this year.

Summer is not usually a time for video games. What with the warmth and generally livable outdoor environment, the game industry has a tendency to slow down. In fact, summer is usually the game industry’s slow season. But not this year. Which is why the Vanguard‘s here with a guide to some of your best bets of the summer gaming season.

All systems
Release date:
June 16
Get excited for this one, kids—Ghostbusters is a direct video game sequel to Ghostbusters II, penned by none other than Harold Ramis and Dan Akyroyd themselves. All four original ‘busters are doing the voice work for this top-notch looking third-person Luigi’s Mansion killer, arming you, a new Ghostbusters recruit, with a proton pack to work with the original crew to, uh, bust ghosts.

Flower, Sun and Rain
Nintendo DS

Compared to the blockbusters on most of this list, FSR is a much quieter (and more bizarre) affair. That’s because it comes from the mind of Suda 51, the madman behind Killer 7 and No More Heroes. Old school adventure fans will dig this one—you’re a “searcher” (paid to find lost items) who gets stuck in a Groundhog Day-esque time loop at a tropical resort. Insanity, terrorist bombings and touch-screen puzzles ensue.

Red Faction: Guerilla

PS3, Xbox 360
Release date:
June 2
Remember Red Faction? The for-the-time-revolutionary PS2 FPS with completely destructible levels? After lying dormant for many years, the series is back, going third person in a GTA-style open world shooter. Why should you care? The game uses both the Havok engine and Geomod 2.0 for accurate, dynamic physics. In laymen’s terms, you can blow-up the shit out of everything. And really, isn’t this why we play video games?

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings
All systems
Release date:
June 9
Despite the flack from Crystal Skull, I’m pretty stoked for Indy’s first game in six years. This time, Indy’s on a quest for the Staff of Moses in an adventure created in the image of Raiders. The Wii version is stressing Indy’s whip, and there should be a good mix of exploration and brawling. Plus, as a bonus, said version includes Indy’s point-and-click classic Fate of Atlantis—that’s practically worth the cost of admission alone.

PS3, Xbox 360
Release date:
September 9
Bayonetta is the new game from Hideki Kamiya, the creator of Devil May Cry. Fans can tell after watching the game for just a few seconds. Bayonetta is essentially DMC starring a witch. A witch whose outfit is made up of her hair (though it just looks like leather) … hair that she can use to attack the game’s crazy collection of angelic and demonic enemies. Thus, the larger and more ridiculous her magical hair attacks are, the less costume Bayonetta is actually wearing. She can also turn into a cat. And did I mention you can equip guns to her stilettos, for some four-gun-blazing action? Throw in a crazy heaven vs. hell plot and this game almost makes DMC sound boring. A must play for action fans.

Little King’s Story
Nintendo Wii
Rlease date:
July 21
Aww, Little King’s Story is so cute! But don’t let that fool you. It’s as deep as they come. Modeled somewhat after the FF spin-off My Life as a King, LKS is a town-planning sim, whereby you must make your kingdom grow and spread. But there’s also a good bit of Harvest Moon and some Pikmin, what with all the resource management, material gathering and leading groups of townspeople to do your bidding. If you’re a Wii owner in need of a tens-of-hours long distraction, LKS might be just the ticket.

Dissidia Final Fantasy
Release date:
August 25
Dissidia looks like the ultimate Final Fantasy fan service, even though about half of whatever comes out of the Square-Enix machine these days might fit that description. At any rate, it pits characters both good and evil from FF‘s I through XII in a battle royale of epic proportions. Although Dissidia‘s technically a fighting game, there’s apparently a really deep leveling/stats system, and the game can literally take hundreds of hours to max all the characters out. Plus, if you’ve ever wanted to see Cloud to face off with Kefka, now’s your chance.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade
Release date:
July 29
In the most exciting bit of fighting game news this side of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom getting a U.S. release, the house of Street Fighter is bringing us a new, downloadable, updated-for-HD edition of the sheer three-way insanity of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the only game where you can pit Jill Valentine, Cable and Mega Man against Wolverine, Iron Man and Strider Hiryu. You get the idea—56 playable characters beating the shit out of each other in glorious 2D, now updated for HD. Considering the going price for the last-gen console editions of this game was hovering around $80, Capcom’s going to have a lot of happy fighting fans on their hands real soon.