Brace yourself, the Wii U is coming.
It may not feel like it to some of us, but this is the biggest week of the gaming year. Not only is it the week that the next next-generation begins, it also marks the release of what will likely be the biggest money-making game of the year. Someday we will reach a place where a Call of Duty game isn't the high water mark for the year, but considering the obscene amounts previous entries have made, there's no reason to think we've come to that place yet.
But, let's talk about the Wii U for a moment. I, for one, remain unsold on the product, and don't find myself with much of a desire to rush out and grab a new system, which is probably pretty good considering at this point I'd likely be out of luck having not pre-ordered one. That said, I'm pretty impressed at the weighty list of titles available at launch, which spouts some pretty heavy hitters from an array of third-party publishers along with a New Super Mario game. Looking at that list, you can almost begin to believe that Nintendo genuinely wants to court the core gamer market again, and they'll have their chance being the only game in town for a substantial length considering no one else has even announced their next-gen system.
But, this week also has some hidden gems that might otherwise get lost in the noise of Call of Wii U week. For myself, I'm planning to pick up Rift's first major expansion, Storm Legion. Introducing 4 new "souls" (otherwise known as talent trees), two new continents, revamped classes, a level cap bump, new raids and the normal general stuff you'd expect from an MMO expansion. I still think Rift is one of the best MMOs on the market, on par in my eyes with the quality of Guild Wars 2, and it has quietly been pretty successful in its own right.
Also this week, Lego finally turns its Sauron's eye to the Lord of the Ring franchise, having trodden fully and for the most part delightfully all over Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman and Harry Potter. As long as they can stay away from Lego The Hunger Games, Lego Twilight and Lego 50 Shades of Grey, however, I still can't complain too much. Fact is, Traveller's Tales makes some pretty good games out of these franchises.
And, for our "also ran" of the week, Disney's Epic Mickey 2 hits the Wii and Wii U.