Treasure Hunter has been in hiatus for over a year. And just like that, I’m reviving it. As much as it has pained me to let this column sit dormant for a year, I needed to recover from burnout and life changes. Once again, I make no promises about the longevity of this column but I’ll do my damnedest to keep it going.
Video game and anime enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to this month. There are no shortages of special and limited edition releases for October– provided September didn’t squeeze your wallet dry. We have hotly anticipated titles ranging from the new Alien game all the way to Sunset Overdrive. Aniplex of America and NIS America also have a few releases this month and we even have new hardware to look forward to.
Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack | Release: October 5 | Price: $99.99 | Publisher: Activision
You have to give Activision credit, years after its initial release fans have yet to grow weary of Skylanders. The mixture of collecting physical toys and importing them into a video game has been so successful that both Disney and Nintendo are copying the formula. Even with added pressure from two major players, the Skylanders franchise is still trucking along. In this latest iteration villains have escaped from prison and must be recaptured by the Skylanders. Once the villains are captured they can be used to hunt other villains down. The Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack is bundled with the game, a “Traptanium” portal, three dark Skylanders, a double-sided poster, sticker sheets with secret codes and three trading cards.
Alien Isolation: Isolation Nostromo Edition | Release: October 7 | Price: $49.95 | Publisher: Sega
It seems like only yesterday when Sega released Aliens: Colonial Marines. In reality, that controversy between Sega and developer Gearbox took place nearly two years ago. As Alien Isolation is set to release fans can only hope Creative Assembly does a much better job with this newest entry in the Alien franchise. Fortunately, early reviews for the PC version are positive. Isolation is a survival horror game set 15 years after the events of Alien. Amanda Ripley vows to discover the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, even as she’s being hunted down by an Alien. Anyone who pre-orders Alien Isolation is upgraded to the Nostromo Edition, which comes with Crew Expendable, a digital graphic novel. The 24-page novel contains three short prequel stories. The kicker? Crew Expendable won’t be sold separately so pre-ordering the game is the only legal way to read these short stories.
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet | Release: October 7 | Price: $52.99 | Publisher: VIZ Media
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet was one of the most anticipated shows of the spring 2013 anime season. It was a gorgeously animated show by Production I.G and famed writer Gen Urobuchi penned a few episodes. I even wrote about its initial premier and retrospective. Regrettably, Gargantia never lived up to the tremendous hype, despite being generally enjoyable. VIZ Media is giving Gargantia the special edition treatment with a DVD/Blu-ray combo pack. The special edition is housed in a chipboard artbox and is stuffed with two books, one is an 80-page art book and the other is a smaller information booklet.
PlayStation TV | Release: October 14 | Price: $139.99 | Publisher: Sony
Formally known as the PlayStation Vita TV, PlayStation TV is set to release in a little over a week. The concept of this miniature console is fascinating. Not only can it play PS Vita games, but it can also play PS1 and PSP titles. Furthermore, it can stream PS4 games via remote play and is compatible with the upcoming PlayStation Now service. All of these features are available for the reasonable price of $139.99 with the inclusion of The Lego Movie Videogame on Vita and a DualShock 3 controller. In short, the PS TV is rich in features and it seems like a good work around for anyone who wants to play Vita games without actually owning a Vita. At this stage it is too early to say if the PS TV will help Vita software sales at the expense of Vita hardware.
Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition | Release: October 14 | Price: $59.99 | Publisher: Square Enix
It looks like Square Enix has no intention of bucking the trend of Definitive Editions. The publisher’s latest remaster for the current generation of consoles is Sleeping Dogs. The gritty cop drama set in the underworld was released in 2012. The Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition: Limited Edition for the PS4 and Xbox One includes a graphical overhaul, bug fixes, an upscale in resolution and all of the DLC from the original game. More importantly, fans who pre-order the game before October 14 will receive a 28-page art book.
Hanasaku Iroha the Movie: Home Sweet Home | Release: October 14 | Price: $36.99 | Publisher: NIS America
Hanasaku Iroha the Movie: Home Sweet Home is a slice-of-life movie produced by P.A. Works. This movie is a follow up to the 26-episode series, Hanasaku Iroha – Blossoms for Tomorrow. In the anime series Ohana was a normal high school girl who was suddenly sent to live with her grandmother, who runs rural hot spring inn. In the movie Ohana’s friend, Yuina comes to her inn for training. The two girls discover an old logbook with records of Ohana’s mother as a young attendant. While reading it, Ohana discovers she may not be so different from her mother. Hanasaku Iroha the Movie: Home Sweet Home Premium Edition is bundled with the movie on Blu-ray and a hardcover 32-page art book, which is to be expected from NIS America.