The Hardcore Hook

It is the opinion of this writer that Nintendo's 3DS has been suffering through a software drought. Sure, there are some really great games out there, but a good few of the most notable ones are nothing more than 3D remakes of classic games. And while a handful of sequels have provided hardcore gamers with a decent argument against trading in their handhelds, it's hard to say how long gamers will wait for something big. Heroes of Ruin might be that game.

Heroes of Ruin casts you as one of four mercenaries in the city of Nexus. Its ruler, a sphinx named Ataraxis, has been cursed and is dying. Your job as one of the aforementioned adventurers is to find a way to save him. This leads to some monster-slaying, character-building, loot grabbing, dungeon crawling goodness.

What's particularly striking about Heroes of Ruin is how it is positioning itself as a very social experience on a platform which, like its developer, is not at all known for facilitating great social gaming experiences. In addition to drop-in/drop-out four player cooperative play, Heroes of Ruin will feature functions that make use of both StreetPass and SpotPass. StreetPass allows players to access the Traders Network, which is presumably similar to Diablo III's Auction House. In addition to that, SpotPass will supply gamers with a healthy dose of challenges to complete over time.

Heroes of Ruin is due out July 17.