I don’t want to get to far into this right now, but the short and long of it is that a lot of games are getting major updates.
These aren’t bottom tier games like Halo and Pokemon, these are games I care about, rendering them games you care about by extension. Games with fascinating online multiplayer modes and fancy graphics. Games where lives are on the line and egos are routinely and summarily crushed.
Most of these updates are free, and the ones that cost money are but a pittance. So let’s take a minute to review what’s coming up and why you should care.
Assassin’s Creed Revelations: Ancestors Pack
The lamest of the updates on the agenda, the Ancestor DLC pack for Revelations adds four new multiplayer persona skins to the game. While you’re taking your time to yawn, keep in mind several of these characters are pirates, and therefore awesome. While Ubisoft has yet to comment on the potential of a ninja-based pack, you’ll have to settle for pirates in the interim.
I’m not particularly excited about any of the characters shown, though I’m happy it will mean a greater diversity of multiplayer appearances and even less popularity for my favorite Thespian skin.
The Assassin’s Creed Revelations Ancestors DLC is already live. If you have an Xbox 360, you can start downloading it on the newly revamped Xbox web site.
Battlefield 3: Back to Karkland Expansion Pack
The Back to Karkland Expansion Pack for EA/DICE‘s leading FPS contains a handful of revamped favorites from previous Battlefield games (including the much-beloved Wake Island), while filling them with additional land/sea/air machines and more thorough Frostbyte destruction. Why moar explosions weren’t included in the default BF3, I’ll never know, but I’d guess it has something to do with money, politics, or religious objections over the Big Bang.
Players should be glad to know that while the expansion’s new guns are a bitch to unlock (requiring special challenges to use them), they’re availalble for use on all maps, allowing gamers to rain down death on the pedestrians too poor or Irish to have gotten their hands on this update.
If you preordered Battlefield 3 or otherwise obtained the Limited Edition, you’ll be receiving this update for free. If you’re a late adopter or a sucker, you’ll have to shell out some real-life currency to try out everything inside. The update’s been live on Playstation 3 for a while, but it’s officially up for every system right now.
Team Fortress 2: Australian Christmas Again
Guy923 first intimated via e-mail that Grordbort’s equipment might be making its way back into Team Fortress 2, and with the uneveiling of a new Australian Christmas, it seems he was right on the ball. Namely, Valve’s latest TF2 comic hints at more other-worldly equipment, including a tease at new Engineer weapons and a straight up visual reveal of a new Pyro flamethrower. We all know how fun burning things is, especially things from space.
When can you expect the Team Fortress Grordbort Part 2 Update/Australian Christmas? Hell if I know, but there aren’t any two more deserving classes of some Yuletide cheer.
Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition: More suffixes
The Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition 2012 balance update. Sorry that was all one sentence, but there’s only so many words I can read in a row before getting visual fatigue, and Capcom has hit that limit. Anyway, the update is live, meaning you can now play Yun, Yang, and Fei Long without getting cursed at automatically online. You can also play characters like Hakan, Dan, and pretty much anyone else who wasn’t top tier below. Almost every mid-tier and low-tier character received multiple buffs, hopefully balancing out this game for good.
I’ve previously written up a full list of the 2012 Arcade Edition changes, so read that if you’re curious to see how M. Bison’s killer smile has been nerfed (it hasn’t).
Xbox 360: Fall Dashboard Update
Finally, Microsoft has released the highly divisive Xbox 360 Fall Update to its console’s dashboard.While I’ve had this update for weeks thanks to the Xbox beta program, the TL;DR version of my thoughts on it are that it’s wonderful, not that you have a choice. Instead of the old system where you scroll up and down ad infinitum looking for something like the Videos tab, you can now clearly see where you are in the navigation at any time. The use of stacked tiles makes navigation faster, since each item now has two to five adjacent selections, unlike the maximum two afforded by a linear list. The new dashboard drops you directly on the button that plays your fucking game so you no longer have to scroll up to do the thing you turned on your Xbox for.
And, most importantly, YouTube is now integrated into the Dashboard. Since that makes it easier than ever for you to watch my videos on your giant flatscreen, I it’s a win/WiNG situation.