Gaming: Notable Releases For December 2016

December 2
Super Mario Maker 3DS

The only game to truly justify the use of the touch pad on the Wii U has made its way to the supremely popular 3DS handheld. Unfortunately, this is a limited version that removes some of the cool social features, and you are forced to miniaturize the experience to the tiny 3DS touch screen, but even despite that it still might contain some of the best platforming a mobile console has to offer. Available December 2nd on 3DS.

December 6
The Last Guardian

This game is literally over 10 years in the making. With history going back to E3 2008, this title was originally slated to release on the PlayStation 3. Team ICO has been hard at work, and their masterpiece follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus will finally be in our hands in the near future. Expect a beautiful world, intense moments, and some sort of giant cat birds. Available December 6th on PS4.

Dead Rising 4

The first Dead Rising was a surprise hit in the early days of the Xbox 360, and while this entry is purported to have effectively eliminated the series’ telltale countdown timer, there is always more room in the year for more over the top themed zombie slashers. More wild weapons are there to be crafted, Frank West has returned, and it's all under the falling snow of the holiday season. Dead Rising 4 is available on Xbox One and PC December 6th.

December 8
Yakuza 6

While the Yakuza series has never become a smash hit in the west, the titles continue to have their small but devoted fanbase. It is likely that if you are a fan of this style of game you already know of it, but if you are looking for something new, think GTA meets a Takeshi Kitano movie with a little Shenmu mixed in there for good measure. Yakuza 6 (Like a Dragon 6: Poetry of Life as it’s called in Japan) hits store shelves and online stores December 8th, exclusive to the PlayStation 4.

December 13/14
Stardew Valley

In addition to being one of my favorite games of 2016, this love-letter to the 16-bit era is rapidly climbing my list of all-time favorite games. Stardew Valley combines elements of Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, Minecraft, and countless other titles to make a game about farming, exploration, and relationships that is as complex and deep as it is simple and relaxing. Stardew Valley is making its way over to consoles after nearly a year exclusive to the PC on the 13th and 14th for the PS4 and Xbox One respectively.

December 15
Super Mario Run iOS

This iOS exclusive is Nintendo’s third of a planned handful of mobile games they teamed up with massive Japanese mobile developer DeNA. Play Mario on your phone in this endless runner inspired by the franchise that made Nintendo a household name. Collect coins and eat mushrooms to become large starting December 15th on your iPhones and iPads.
December 20
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

Telltale Games sure have been busy the last few years since the surprise smash hit they had with the first episode of the now many-part adventure game series based around The Walking Dead. The third ‘season’ of content is here, expect more hard choices, emotional storylines, and likely, at least one rage quit moment when someone unexpectedly perishes. Available on literally every platform anywhere on December 20th (Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS and Android)

-Justin Wicker