Alright folks, this is it, the long, steady march of brand new AAA games is upon us. Spider-Man and Shadow of the Tomb Raider were just the appetizers, now we’re about to take our first bites of the main course. Major new releases are coming out on all of your favorite gaming platforms, including three high profile exclusives! Pick and choose wisely, but don’t bemoan your bad choices for too long; Black Friday is just around the corner, which means today’s $60.00 game is about to drop to $30.00, well, except for the Nintendo games; those never drop in price.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (PC/PS4/XBone) – Releases Oct. 5th
THIS…IS…ASSASSIN’S CREED!!! 300 came out 11 years ago, so that’s plenty of time for the 18 year old’s of yesteryear to have some nostalgia for the property and plop down their hard earned dough to play a game that is essentially that movie but with less homo-eroticism and more Medusa. We are now three AC games in for this console generation, and what initially started out as kind of a bust with Syndicate, took some time off and bounced back with critically acclaimed Origins. Ubisoft looks to continue their winning streak with Odyssey, and if early reviews are any indication then this will be a massive hit for them.
Fist of the North Star Lost Paradise (PS4)
Man, I just finished Yakuza Kiwami 2, now they want me to go back? Like that series’ protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, every time I try to leave the yakuza life I get sucked right back in. However, instead of traipsing around Kamurocho, you’ll be spending time in the post-apocalyptic world of the anime/manga Fist of the North Star. For those unaware, Fist of the North Star is a brutal and gory anime/manga about a man named Kenshiro who does what he can to protect the weak and the innocent from evil warlords and vicious gangs. While the name of the game is Fist of the North Star, this is for all intents and purposes a Yakuza game. The open world setting, the vast amount of mini-games (including arcades, because why not), in fact not only is main character Kenshiro voiced by the same Japanese actor who voices Kiryu in the Yakuza games, but for a limited time you can download a skin that will change Kenshiro into Kiryu, so you can act out all your Yakuza/Fist of the North Star crossover fantasies. One other thing to note, the game comes fully voiced in English, which, according to the Wikipedia page for this game, is the first time a Yakuza game has been dubbed in English since the first PS2 title. You will have the option to choose your language, but for those who don’t like subtitles this might be of great interest to you.
Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One)
Do you like racing cars really, really fast across America against other people both fake and real? Then Forza Horizon 4 is just the thing you need! Xbox fans, this is your big exclusive of the fall, so show your friends at M$ how much you care by buying 10 copies of this game that will be free in 8 months with Xbox Live Gold.
Mega Man 11 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One)
If you had asked me 20 years ago what Mega Man game we’d be playing in the 2018 I’d probably say part 30, but I’d be wrong. We’re only up to 11, which still seems like 7 or 8 too many, but here we are. After two retro throw back titles, the Mega Man series is moving forward into the future with updated graphics for the modern age and a killer new “double gear” system which allows you to slow time and charge up your mega buster and collected boss weapons for devastating attacks. I had a chance to play this during Comic-Con and was not completely blown away, nor was I bored with it. The game is going to be a nice and very challenging title, but sadly it is not essential in my opinion.
Be sure to wear your Mega Man costume while playing, it totally enhances the experience.
Super Mario Party (Switch) – Releases Oct. 5th
Nintendo sure does like shooting themselves in the foot, don’t they? After the not so great reception to their new online service, we find out that the new Mario Party game will not take full advantage of all the things the Switch has to offer. Nintendo has confirmed that the game will not support the pro controller, and you cannot play it in handheld mode. The only way to play the game is with Joy-Con controllers and either docked or set up in tabletop mode. I have no doubt that the game will be a big seller this holiday season, but I also have no doubt that many frustrated parents and gaming adults will either return the game or feel burned by Nintendo and maybe lose some enthusiasm for the Switch. Nintendo are the masters of self sabotage and this could be our first glimpses of it for the Switch.
WWE 2K19 (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases Oct. 5th
I saw the guy on the cover of this game at Comic-Con, he has really nice hair. Do you like wrestling? I don’t, so I’m only writing this much about it. The game is also not coming out for the Switch, but you can get copes of WWE 2K18 dirt cheap from most retailers.
Ports and Re-releases:
Animated Jigsaws: Japanese Women (Switch) – Releases Oct. 4th. Well this is a thing that exists. Now creeps who own the Switch can play the game that creeps who own PCs are also playing. Complete puzzles that are animated images of various Japanese women doing stuff like eating watermelon, holding umbrellas, and taking dips in hot springs.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics (PC) – Releases Oct. 4th. Based on the Achtung! Cthulhu game universe, which itself sprang forth from the Call of Cthulhu universe (which also has a game coming this month), in Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics you lead you squad of WWII era mercenaries against Nazi forces who are hellbent on bringing the Old Ones to Earth in a bid to destroy humanity, and stuff.
Twilight Path (Rift/Vive) – What do you call point & click adventures in VR, grab & click adventures? Anyway, this game looks like Myst in VR, so for those of you who don’t get motion sickness, I hope you enjoy this game.
Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story (PC/PS4/Switch) – Live out your fantasies of being the Headmaster of a school that trains JRPG characters and then take those characters out on quests. What began life as a Kickstarter project back in February 2017 has finally borne its fruit. The game was created by a studio in Indonesia, so that’s pretty cool to see something come out that isn’t from the US, Europe, or Japan.
Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:
I was sitting in my room wondering, “How could I make this feature even longer with even MORE pictures? Oh, I know, I’ll add an entirely new section“. Just kidding, I got the idea when I was sorting through all the ROM…er the games that I own…and looking up their release dates. I’m fascinated by history and I will sometimes choose a year at random and just think about what it was like to live in that time and experience the pop culture as it was happening. In that regard, please enjoy a brief discussion on three games that came out 10 years ago, 20 years ago and 30 years ago this week (approximately).
Mega Man 9 (Xbox 360) – Released Oct. 1st, 2008: Wikipedia Entry
As mentioned above, before Mega Man 11 came out there were two retro-style sequels made. The first one to come out was Mega Man 9 in 2008. Released a week earlier on the Wii after a 12 year hiatus, the game made its way to the Xbox Live Arcade on Oct. 1st and garnered almost universal praise. The game even featured a fun call back to the original North American release of Mega Man by imitating its notoriously bad box art for its listing in the various digital marketplaces.
Original North American box art on the left, Mega Man 9 “box art” on the right.
Pokemon Red & Blue (Game Boy) – Released Sep. 28th,1998: Wikipedia Entry
Perhaps one of the biggest and most important game franchises of all time was released this week 20 years ago. I have to imagine that there are many adults in their twenties who would not be playing video games if it wasn’t for Pokemon. I was in the 11th grade when this game released and remember asking my parents to buy me and my brother a Game Boy and a copy of Red and Blue so that we could play together. Well I didn’t really play with my brother (sorry John), but I sure did play against my friends at school. One of my friends had his Game Boy confiscated because he was sitting in the back of class playing it and the teacher was like, “(Redacted) are you playing with yourself?!” “No! I’m playing Pokemon on my Game Boy“. He got it back eventually.
Mickey Mousecapade (NES) – Released Oct. (date unknown), 1988: Wikipedia Entry
Originally developed and published by Hudson Soft in 1987 for Japan, this was the first Disney game to be published in North America by Capcom who would then later go on to publish many other titles including Duck Tales, Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, and Adventures in the Magic Kingdom. While not nearly as technically impressive as some of the later games, there is still some charm to be found in this strange little title. If anything there is some importance to this game due to the fact that it was the first Disney game to be released on the NES, but NOT the first Disney game to be on a Nintendo device, as there were two Game & Watch titles released in 1981 and 1982 called Mickey Mouse and Mickey & Donald respectively.