This week in video games, September 25, 2017: New Metroid brings back Samus

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      This week, play some indie games in Gastown on Monday night, Fallout 4 gets a Game of the Year edition, and Forza Horizon 3's Hot Wheels expansion is a blast. But first, enjoy becoming space adventurer Samus in Metroid: Samus Returns.

      New Metroid game puts Samus back in the action

      Metroid: Samus Returns is a slick side-scrolling adventure for Nintendo's 2DS and 3DS handhelds. It's based on the second game in the franchise, Metroid II: Return of Samus, originally developed for the Game Boy and released in 1991.

      Samus Returns is much more than a remake, though. It's an entirely new game, and the most significant change is the ability to counter an enemy's attack. The manoeuvre becomes a key strategy, in fact, discouraging players from crashing through the caverns of the game and rewarding slower, more thoughtful progress.

      Discovering gear and upgrades has always been part of the Metroid experience, and it is here, too. But with the better controls and improved graphics that are possible with the modern-day technology, Samus Returns is a welcome reimagining.

      Public arcade opens in Gastown for one night only

      At the Parking Spot Gallery (8 East Cordova Street) this evening (September 25), six independently produced video games will be showcased and available to play.

      The event is produced by Heart Projector, a video-game arts collective that stages pop-up arcades featuring experimental digital experiences.

      The six games at Heart Projector Volume X are:

      • Stick Shift, by Robert Yang
      • Monkey Fortunately, by Nathalie Lawhead
      • Lim, by merritt k
      • Slave Of God, by Stephen Lavelle
      • Anatomy, by Kitty Horrorshow
      • Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, by Tales of Game's Studios

      Here's another excuse to spend more time in the Wasteland

      Though it was first released two years ago, Fallout 4 remains one of the games I go back to. The open-world, postapocalyptic adventure shooter is so expansive that there's always more to do.

      With the release of Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition, you can get the entire experience—including the graphical enhancements that were released after the game first came out—in one box.

      Available for PS4, Windows, and Xbox One, this edition also comes with the six add-ons, including three workshops—which enhance the game's crafting system—and three adventures:

      • Automatron
      • Far Harbor
      • Nuka-World (pictured here)
      • Contraptions Workshop
      • Vault-Tec Workshop
      • Wasteland Workshop

      Forza goes retro with Hot Wheels expansion

      I can't be the only person to feel nostalgic about the plastic orange tracks and metallic cars that were part of growing up. Hot Wheels was about building tracks that went under furniture and had loop-de-loops and crazy corners and hairpin turns. The objective was to see just how dynamic the route could be while keeping the cars on the track.

      That's exactly what the Hot Wheels expansion to Forza Horizon 3 is all about. With natty cars that look like they came right out of a toybox and those winding, undulating orange tracks, never before have I so wanted to rev up an engine.

      Microsoft has released a Hot Wheels bundle that includes an Xbox One S packaged with Forza Horizon 3 with the Hot Wheels Expansion, for $349.

      Meanwhile, racing gamers are gearing up for the release of Forza Motorsport 7, which is out on October 3. A demo for Forza 7 is available on Windows and Xbox One now.

      Games released or releasing

      • Project Cars for PS4, Windows, Xbox One
      • Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, and Xbox One, based on the movie that opened last weekend
      • Final Fantasy IX, originally released in 2000 for the PlayStation, is now available digitally for PS4