Summer is starting to heat up, and not just the weather. There are quite a bit of games coming out this week so hopefully you should find something you like, after all what are you going to play at the beach, sitting in your fold out chair under the umbrella, while the normies are out enjoying the sun and the ocean?
Octopath Traveler (Switch) – Releases on Jul. 13th
Developed by: Square Enix Business Division 11
Published by: Square Enix
This Switch exclusive is the latest RPG from Square Enix, and was created by the same team that worked on Bravely series for the 3DS. In this game you play as one of eight different characters who each have their own unique class and abilities, so expect quite a bit of replay. One thing to note is that there is a bit of controversy surrounding the game in regards to the “dancer” character who is, by all accounts, a prostitute who endures the wrath of her pimp in some quite unsavory ways. How much of the game is dedicated to this I can’t really tell you, but if that kind of thing is something you are concerned about you should take it into consideration. As far as graphics and gameplay, this looks to be a major throwback to the SNES era of JRPGs, harkening back to the classic Final Fantasy games. If you’re a fan of those types of turn-based combat RPG games then you should feel right at home here.
Shining Resonance Refrain (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases on Jul. 10th
Developed by: O-Two
Published by: Sega
Originally a Japan only RPG that came out in 2014 for the PS3, this game has been remastered and localized for world wide release on all of the major consoles, including the Xbone! It is the latest title in Sega’s long running Shining series that date all the way back to the Genesis/Mega Drive and has been compared to the Tales series in terms of combat and game play. Put on your best cosplay outfit and brush your hair for your waifu, senpai! This one looks like it’s going to be fun.
The Spectrum Retreat (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases on Jul. 13th (Switch later this summer)
Developed by: Dan Smith Studios
Published by: Ripstone Games
Narrative driven walking simulators have been a part of our gaming consciousness since probably Gone Home, and long before that we had fantastic puzzle narrative games like Myst. The Spectrum Retreat appears to be a bit of both, as you navigate the sprawling Penrose hotel trying to uncover the mysteries it holds, which appear to be locked behind a series of puzzles that you must solve in order to advance the narrative. This game looks like a delight and should hopefully be worth the time and effort.
Earthfall (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases on Jul. 13th
Developed by: Holospark
Published by: Gearbox Publishing
It’s been ten years since Left 4 Dead came out and created what was essentially an entirely new genre, the four player co-op wave shooter. There have been imitators, some mildly successful (Killing Floor/Killing Floor 2), and some not so successful (Evolve), so will Earthfall be the one to finally give us another big hit? Current user review on Steam have been mostly positive, however there there are those that think it needs more content (apparently it will only launch with 2 of the 5 maps that have been out since early access began in April of last year), and are not sure the player base is strong enough to sustain the game for very long. The game play looks solid though and it could be a great game to play with a group of friends as you all yell “MOTHER FUCKING SHIT” at the top of your lungs every time you get overrun by hordes of aliens. I guess we’ll see where Earthfall lands on the four player co-op wave shooter scale this Friday.
20XX (PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – This roguelike platformer came out last year on PC and looks to heavily inspired by the Mega Man X games. It should fit in well on the Switch and be a nice compliment to the graphical beasts on the PS4 and XBone.
Blacksea Odyssey (PS4) – Yet another roguelike PC port, except this game is a top down bullet hell shooter that takes place underwater, I think. It looks like a nice little time waster but not overly impressive. It has great user reviews on Steam though.
Bomber Crew (PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Yet ANOTHER PC port is coming to your favorite home console. This one is not, thankfully, a roguelike. Instead it is a simulation game in which you pick the right bomber crew to complete various missions. It’s got cutesy polygon graphics if you’re into that kind of thing.
Defiance 2050 (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – This MMO is an update to the previous Defiance game that came out a few years ago to coincide with the SyFy television series. The series has been cancelled, but the game lives on with various updates to the gameplay and story. “Founders” have been playing this since last Friday, a bonus for pre-ordering, so don’t be surprised if people are already at the level cap.
Dig or Die (PC) – This has been in early access on Steam since March of 2015 and appears to be poised to finally come out as a full title. It’s got hints of Terraria and Minecraft, so expect a lot of building, surviving, and open ended gameplay.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Monsters Overboard (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Our first movie tie-in game since Lego Incredibles! Remember when just about every new movie that came out had a tie in video game? Someone over at Sony must still have the 2008 marketing handbook sitting around. Expect to see this in Walmart bargain bins for the next 15 years.
Insane Robots – (PS4 July 10th/PC July 12th/Xbox One July 13th) – A 1 v 1 card combat game with robots. Apparently there is a single player campaign that takes 15 hours to complete, so take that Persona 5!
The Lion’s Song (Switch) – This week’s “mobile game ported to the Switch” game! This point and click adventure was released in four episodes over the course of a year on mobile phones and PC, however you can now get the whole thing for one low, low price on the Nintendo Switch! Trains are involved somehow, and features zero lions from what I can tell. For what it’s worth, the game looks gorgeous.
Muddledash (PC/Switch) – Someone saw Splatoon and said, what if this was flat 2d graphics with octopuses who are all trying to be the first one to deliver a present to their mutual friend. Grab your friends for some couch co-op and ‘za.
Mindball Play (PC) – Releases on Jul. 11th. Have you ever wanted to control a ball…with your mind? I guess you can if you somehow have one of the brain sensing headbands made by the creators of this game. It’s been in early access on Steam since December, 2016 and is now finally ready to be unleashed on the world, bringing us a new breed of telekinetic children who will one day rule over us in the vast deserts of the Outerland, forcing us to play Mindball with our hands, like a baby’s toy.
Rifter (PC) – Releases on Jul. 12th. This neon soaked ultra-fast platformer is oozing with 80’s cool. Is it good though? I guess that all depends on your tolerance for the 80’s.
Seeking Dawn (Rift/Vive) – Releases on Jul. 12th. This VR only multiplayer survival game takes place on another planet where you must fight to survive in an unforgiving alien wasteland. I can’t play VR games because they make me throw up, but if you’ve got a better constitution than me you should check this out.
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War (PC) – Releases on Jul. 12th. This is the third Warhammer 40K game to come out in three months, so if you’re a fan of that series then you must be having the time of your life! The gameplay is similar to Civilization, choose a faction, build up your stronghold, collect resources, research upgrades, take over territories, rule the planet.
Ball Grabbers (PC) – Releases on Jul. 13th. This tongue-in-cheek game looks pretty simple. You in an enclosed arena with a ball and your opponent. You are both trying to grab the ball and toss it into your opponent’s goal before they do…and…that seems to be it, so go grab some balls.
Notable Releases from 10, 20, and 30 years ago:
We Love Golf! (Wii) – Released Jul. 15th, 2008: Wiki Link
Tomba! (PlayStation) – Released Jul. 16th, 1998: Wiki Link
Iron Tank: The Invasion of Normandy (NES) – Released Jul. 1988: Wiki Link