Treasure Hunter—November 2014: Holiday Gaming Season Madness (Part 1)

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November is nearly finished and as expected several triple-A games were released this month. Additionally, several highly anticipated niche games also dropped, ensuring everyone had something to play. Thankfully, only a fraction of the games released had swag worth writing about, otherwise this column would have been much longer than three parts. Surprisingly, there is some controversy surrounding various video game and anime releases, making for an interesting Treasure Hunter.

In this part of my column I tackle Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Harvest Moon, Disney Infinity, and Nyaruko: Crawling With Love.

 

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Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle | Release: November 2 | Price: $349-$449 | Publisher: Microsoft and Ubisoft

It wouldn’t be November without the release of an Assassin’s Creed game. In this case, Assassin’s Creed Unity received an Xbox One bundle that was released a week ahead of the standalone game– although fans had to wait the entire week before they could play AC Unity. This bundle includes a regular Xbox One and a digital copy of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Unity. Fans of the Kinect bundle will also receive a download code for Dance Central Spotlight. All of the various Xbox One bundles are part of Microsoft’s $50 price reduction for the holiday season. Considering two to three games are included with the console (a savings of more than $100), the price of the bundle is quite a deal—provided you care about the games. Sadly, the days of having physical copies of games in bundles to resell are long gone.

 

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Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle | Release: November 3 | Price: $449 | Publisher: Microsoft and Activision

Like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty is another annual staple in the gaming world. The latest iteration of the series, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is also getting an Xbox One bundle. This bundle includes a special edition CoD branded console, a 1TB hard drive, and a digital copy of the game. Amusingly, people who wanted the Day Zero edition of Advanced Warfare on November 2 didn’t receive their consoles until the 3rd. Others had problems downloading the massive 50GB game. The problems seem to be largely resolved, as it has been three weeks since the bundle was released. Again, I’m feeling some nostalgia for the days when physical copies of a title were included with console bundles.

 

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Atlas Pro Edition | Release: November 3 | Price: $119.99 | Publisher: Activision

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare marks the end of the Modern Warfare series. CoD firmly moves a few decades into the future and this time a major corporation is the enemy of the single player campaign. In fact, the collector’s edition is named after the corporation. The Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Atlus Pro Edition contains an art and data book, a copy of the soundtrack, a steelbook for the game discs, and lots digital content, including a season pass. At this point the Atlas Pro is easy to find, but it’s also selling for slightly higher than its original retail price.

 

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Harvest Moon 3D: The Lost Valley | Release: November 4 | Price: $29.99 | Publisher: Natsume

Harvest Moon 3D: The Lost Valley is the first game in the long running series not to be developed by Marvelous Entertainment. Natsume who normally publishes the game was also the developer this time around. The actual Marvelous developed game is titled, Story of Seasons and it will be localized by XSEED Games. Geoff wrote extensively about the issue in May. The reviews of this Natsume developed Harvest Moon aren’t great, but I’m sure that didn’t stop hardcore fans from pre-ordering. Anyone who pre-ordered a copy before November 4 received a dog or bunny plushie. As of this writing the only place to obtain a plushie is on eBay and some of them cost nearly as much as the game.

 

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Disney Infinity: Toy Box Starter Pack (2.0 Edition) | Release: November 4 | Price: $59.99 | Publisher: Disney Interactive

Disney Infinity was released in August 2013 and is Disney’s answer to the runaway success of Skylanders. The action-adventure games are a large sandbox where players can import their favorite characters using figures with embedded NFC chips. Unlike Skylanders, the game has two modes, Play Set mode and Toy Box mode. The former features a story mode and sets from a given Disney franchise, while the latter gives players the ability to create their own worlds. The Disney Infinity: Toy Box Starter Pack 2.0 Edition adds new Toy Box discs, two Disney figures (Merida from Frozen and Stitch from Lilo & Stitch), a poster, and a web code card. Not a bad deal if you haven’t already spent your money on Nintendo Amiibo figures.

 

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Nyaruko: Crawling With Love! S2 | Release: November 4 | Price: $47.99 | Publisher: NIS America

Nyaruko: Crawling With Love! Season 2 continues the strange anime adaptation of the 12-book light novel series sharing the same name. The series was inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and in this universe those monsters are actually aliens. Nyaruko (based on Nyarlathotep) is a formless monster who can assume the shape of an ordinary girl with silver hair. She saves a high school boy named Mahiro Yasaka from an alien, and explains she’s been sent to Earth to protect him from alien traffickers. The two are soon joined by two other Lovecraft monsters, namely a high school aged girl named Kūko (Cthugha) and young boy named Hasuta (Hastur), who end up moving in with Mahiro. Weird love triangles, hostile aliens and a duty to save the world naturally ensue. The Nyaruko: Crawling With Love! Season 2 Premium Edition contains the series on Blu-ray and a hardcover, full color art book. Anyone who orders the set directly from NIS America will also have a 6”x8” magnet sheet included.

Stay tuned, part two of this month’s Treasure Hunter will be released tomorrow.

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