'Super Mario Odyssey,' 'Sonic Forces' planned for fall release

As summer turns to fall and the first signs of the holiday shopping season begin to appear, now is the time that major developers start to release the big titles that will compete heavily for gamers’ dollars. Here are but a few of the games expected from September to December.

In this modern age of downloadable games, many classic genres now have commercially viable means of being resurrected for modern audiences. With this Microsoft-exclusive title, the development team StudioMDHR Entertainment aimed to recreate the run and gun shooting game, in the style of classics like “Contra” and “Gunstar Heroes.” With an elaborate art direction inspired by classic cartoons from animators like Walt Disney and the Fleischer Brothers, the game lets players take control of the titular character, who spends the entire game going through strange worlds and fighting stranger enemies to repay a bet to the devil that he lost. One stand out element of the game is its boss battles. With 30 characters to fight, the game set the world record for most boss battles in a video game. "Cuphead", an upcoming run and gun action game focused on boss battles, will be released on Sept.29, 2017.

2014 saw the release of “The Stick of Truth,” the long awaited RPG based on Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s long running animated series on Comedy Central. Despite the delays that plagued the game, it still achieved commercial and critical success, prompting Stone and Parker to start developing a sequel. Taking place immediately after the previous game, the storyline takes its cues from the show’s Coon & Friends story arc. In this case, the kids of “South Park” are split into two sanctions: The Eric Cartman-led Coon & Friends and The Freedom Pals, led by the aptly named Mysterion. This ultimately leads to civil war within the small Colorado town. While the gameplay is more or less the same as before, with the player taking control of a silent protagonist simply named The New Kid, the major change this time around is that players can choose the gender of the protagonist.

Seven months after the launch of the Nintendo Switch, the newest 3-D entry in the perennial “Super Mario” series has arrived much sooner than usual. Compared to the “Super Mario Galaxy” and “Super Mario 3-D” duologies, which focused more on linear level designs akin to the classic 2-D Mario series, this game returns to the open world design made most famous with “Super Mario 64” and “Super Mario Sunshine”. The locales range from fantasy worlds to photorealistic cities. The main gameplay gimmick for “Super Mario Odyssey” is an established feature of the character, his red cap. Possessed by a friendly spirit named Cappy, the hat now has a wide variety of attacks, mainly to temporarily take control of anyone or anything wearing it.

After letting the fans pay tribute to the franchise with the 2D throwback game “Sonic Mania,” Sega and the main Sonic Team studio are delivering the latest 3-D Sonic game, the first main entry since 2013’s Wii U exclusive “Sonic Lost World”. After experimenting with different gameplay styles in the last game, Sonic Team decided to go back to the dual gameplay styles featured in 2011’s “Sonic Generations”. But rather than paying homage to Sonic’s past, this game is a completely original adventure. By means of a cosmic being named Infinite, Dr. Eggman, or Dr. Robotnik, has seemingly succeeded in finally achieving his plans for world domination. Sonic, as always, decides to put a stop to his nefarious schemes. Thanks to a time warp, he is also joined by a younger version of himself, Classic Sonic. Together, they set off on another adventure to save the world. Like “Sonic Generations,” the gameplay is divine into two ways. Modern Sonic continues the boost formula gameplay that was first introduced in “Sonic Unleashed” and Classic Sonic pays tribute toward the classic Sega Genesis games. Brand new for this game is a character creator. Using a wide variety of design options, players can create their own unique characters. As far as gameplay goes, these characters do not use the traditional high speed gameplay associated with Sonic, but use more of a weapon- based platforming gameplay, a irst in the series.

While it may have attracted criticism from fans of the original series, EA DICE’s reboot of the “Star Wars Battlefront” series was still a success and showed a bright future for EA’s Star Wars games. For the sequel, the developers decided to finally return to the original games’ style of also having a single player campaign mode. The game’s storyline takes place just prior to the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will have players take control of a character named Iden Versio. In addition, there are moments in which players also take control of both Luke Skywalker and sequel trilogy villain Kylo Ren.

For multiplayer mode, rather than having the paid season pass content like its predecessor, the downloadable content, this time around, will be free for anyone with an EA account. There will also be a wide range of characters available from the prequel, original and sequel trilogies for use in multiplayer.