With all of the news that came out today you would think that Red Dead Redemption 2 was coming out, but it’s not, we’ve still got one week before the nation’s productivity goes down the drain for a few days. What is coming out? Do you like war…comic books…space travel…beating the shit out people with swords, staffs and other various weaponry? Then feast your eyes on these beauties…
Soulcalibur VI (PC/PS4/ Xbox One)
After scrambling because I originally though Battlefield V was coming out today, I had to go back and replace it with this. Alright, so what’s new in the latest Soulcalibur? Well this is apparently a re-boot of the franchise, retelling the story of the first game, and promises a more robust story mode than previous entries. The game also features Geralt from The Witcher series, which isn’t the weirdest guest fighter Soulcalibur has ever had, or have you all forgotten the game did at one time feature Yoda, Darth Vader, Kratos, Ezio, Link and Spawn as playable characters? I gotta be honest, I had more to say about this game in regards to Battlefield V, comparing the two because “gamers” are upset at the historical inaccuracies of Battlefield but seem to be totally cool with them in Soulcalibur. Whatever, this game looks rad as shit and I can’t wait to play it.
Lego DC Super-Villains (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One)
This is the, by my count, 24th Lego game; 24th! While the games have gotten more polished and look prettier over the years, they have, for better or worse, stayed pretty much the same. Run around a stage, smash everything and collect characters; lots and lots of characters. For the 24th outing, the team over at TT Games is going to the dark side, and I’m not talking another Star Wars, no, they’ve entered a world of trickery and deception, SUPER VILLAINS! More specifically, DC super villains. Prepare to go on a journey with The Joker, Harley Quinn, Lex Luthor, Gorilla Grodd, and more! Why so serious?
Starlink: Battle For Atlas (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One)
First we had Skylanders, then Disney Infinity, and then Lego Dimensions. Disney and Lego are out of the market, and Activision has put Skylanders on hiatus; so what the hell is Ubisoft thinking here? I guess they must assume that since all of their competitors have left the market there is a hole to fill, but does anyone even care anymore? If you aren’t familiar with the toys to life craze that gained popularity back in 2011, the general gist is that you go out and buy little toys that have RFID chips inside of them. You would then place your figures on a “portal” attached to your video game console and have access to a digital version of that toy to play in various video games. In Starlink you will be buying spaceships, parts for your spaceships, and oh yeah, pilots. This will surely create a nightmare scenario for parents who will no doubt have to find not only their kid’s favorite ship, but also their favorite pair of wings and their favorite pilot; FUN! Perhaps the only good thing to come from this is that the Switch version will feature the Star Fox crew, including the Arwing and Fox McCloud as a playable ship/pilot combo. Since we haven’t had a truly great Star Fox game in some time (sorry Zero) their inclusion in Starlink might be worth the price of admission.
Warriors Orochi 4 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One)
11 years ago W-Force decided to combine their two big franchises, Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriros into one big crossover game called Warriors Orochi. Now, after several more games based on other properties, as well as new entries in their two big mainline series, we’ve got our fourth Orochi game. This time the game boasts not only characters from DW and SW, but Greek and Norse gods, including Zeus and Odin. I’m always down for more hack and slash fun from this developer, but after the highly disappointing Dynasty Warriors 9 from earlier this year I might wait a few weeks before jumping in. Side note, last year’s Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada was one of my favorite games of 2017, I highly recommend it.
Ports and Re-releases:
Dark Souls Remastered (Switch) / Dark Souls Trilogy (PS4/Xbox One) – Releases Oct. 19th. After a short delay, Dark Souls Remastered is being released on the Switch, but not without a minor slap in the face as Bandai Namco is also releasing the Dark Souls Trilogy on the big boy consoles, PS4 and XBone. For all you amiibo collectors out there, the Solaire of Astora figure is also releasing the same day as the game (good luck finding it).
Valkyria Chronicles (Switch). With part 4 releasing just a couple weeks ago, we now get the first game in the series remastered for the Switch. This appears to be a port of the re-release on the PS4 a couple years ago, but that system isn’t a portable console, so advantage Nintendo.
Resonance of Fate (PC/PS4) – Releases Oct. 17th. Originally released in 2010 on the PS3 and Xbox 360, this tactical JRPG is now getting a 4K/HD remaster and will be coming to the PS4 and PC. This one was way under my radar when it first came out so I don’t have a lot to say about it other than the combat system is supposed to be interesting/odd, and it looks like you spend a lot of time upgrading and customizing your gun.
The Jackbox Party Pack 5 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Oct. 17th. Who could have predicted that after almost going out of business in 2001 that Jellyvision, now known as Jackbox Games, would be here today releasing their FIFTH collection of party games? If you’ve never had the pleasure of playing a Jackbox game in the past then get out of my sight! No, just kidding, you can stick around, just take out your phone and enter the code on the screen, we’re about to play some of the wackiest party games you’ve ever seen!
Crayola Scoot (Switch) – Holds up a picture of a scooter next to some Crayola crayons. You know, it’s for kids!
Heavy Fire: Red Shadow (PC/PS4/PSVR/Xbox One) – Look out ladies and gents, the next game in the popular Heavy Fire series is here. Come on, Heavy Fire, you’ve heard of it, right? Right?
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – The first NBA Playgrounds was an early launch title on the Switch which gave it, I think, a better reputation than it probably deserves. Now we’re here a year and a half later with a follow up being produced by 2K Sports. The game is similar to NBA Jam in that it’s a very arcade-y version of basketball, but I just can’t get over those stupid big head models.
Heliophobia (PC) – Releases Oct. 18th – From Steam, “Heliophobia is a first-person horror/mystery adventure presented through a surreal, non-linear narrative. You awake on a vacant plane, given only a singular task: kill the one with the initials ‘J.R.’”. Sounds pretty good.
Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:
October seems to have been a pretty big month no matter the decade, showing us all that “Yep, the 4th quarter has started, let’s make some money”, and everyone goes in fighting for those Black Friday/Xmas bucks. In particular, this was quite a big week for 1998 as you’ll see below.
Far Cry 2 (PC/PS3/Xbox 360) – Released Oct. 21st, 2008: Wiki Link
In 2004, Crytek released Far Cry to showcase their CryEngine. After partnering with Ubisoft to release the first game, Crytek reached out to EA to develop another franchise with them (Crysis), which kind of pissed of Ubisoft, so they took the Far Cry name and gave it to their Montreal studio who would quickly put out a couple of smaller follow-up titles. In 2008, the Montreal studio was ready to unveil Far Cry 2, a game that had no ties to the original game aside from the idea that you are dropped off in an exotic location and must use your wits and skills with various weapons to survive. Far Cry 2 was hailed when it came out for its open world and sense of realism, with players able to destroy vehicles and burn foliage, as well as having to deal with weapons that would decay over time and having the ability to contract malaria. It was a huge success both critically and financially and went on to spawn three more sequels, including this year’s Far Cry 5.
Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation) – Released Oct. 21st, 1998: Wiki Link
It’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have Metal Gear Solid in our lives, it’s become as ubiquitous as Mario, Sonic and Pokemon, so much so that Snake himself has shown up in the Super Smash Bros. series. Like Final Fantasy VII, this game was probably many gamers first introduction to the series in North America. The NES had two Metal Gear games, but both have been famously disowned by series creator Hideo Kojima, with the sequel, Snakes Revenge, not even technically being part of the series. When Metal Gear Solid debuted we were shown just how far the video game medium had come since the previous generation of sprite based games. Metal Gear Solid was ground breaking, and brought video games closer to its, at the time, bigger and more successful cousin, the movies. I can’t say this for certain, but it might have been the first video game (certainly the first one I had seen) to open up with credits, like a movie. Not only that, but you were actively playing the game while the credits rolled, essentially directing the character. What happened from there is now video game history; the invention of the modern stealth genre, hiding in cardboard boxes, Psycho Mantis and the memory card/controller trick, using the fucking game packaging to solve a puzzle in the game! Games took a dramatic turn after Metal Gear Solid came out, it was a true achievement and is a masterpiece of gaming.
This was a pretty crazy week, check out the other titles that also came out: Oddworld: Abe’s Exodus Oct. 17th, Body Harvest Oct. 20th, and Turok 2 Oct. 21st.
1943: The Battle of Midway (NES) – Released Oct. 1988: Wiki Link
Originally released in arcades in 1987, 1943 was the sequel to Capcom’s earlier WWII shmup game 1942. The NES port that followed came in 1988, exactly a year after it was released in arcades. It featured some slight differences, aside from a downgrade in graphics, you were able to increase your stats permanently as opposed to losing them after being shot down in the arcade version. Capcom would go on to release 5 more games in the 19XX series, with the most recent one being 1942: Joint Strike in 2008.