There is an exhausting amount of games coming out this week, but nothing is really BIG, ya know? I guess the video game companies are just giving us a breather as the entire gaming community is playing Anthem, right? Right? I mean, I am, alone…on Xbox One…gamertag Lazerbot…someone please play with me. Oh god, I’m lonely!
Dead or Alive 6 (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases Mar. 1st
The long running fighting game series Dead or Alive is releasing its 6th entry on Friday, and there are some changes coming. The first big change that people noticed in the previews is the high amount of gore and blood in the game as opposed to previous entries. The Wikipedia page indicates that there is a new slow motion feature, that will highlight particularly brutal hits (not unlike the ones in the recent Mortal Kombat games, I assume), and fighters will have noticeable damage done to their bodies (well, mostly faces I assume). The other big change is that Team Ninja has indicated that they wish to downplay the sexual nature of their previous titles and focus it more on the core gameplay. However, according to a Kotaku article, this directive did not seem to make it to the marketing department at Koei Tecmo, who brought two women on stage during a live event and had their clothes strategically ripped to show off that good ol’ T&A we gamers can’t get enough of. Finally, after pausing the game while two characters were in a sexually provocative position, Evo Japan cut the live feed. With a bigger push towards the ever more lucrative eSports craze, the last thing Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja probably want is to be associated with their past behavior. Once again, the pre-release banter on a game is kind of overshadowing the release itself (see; Metro Exodus, Anthem), and in the already crowded fighting game and eSports world’s, going into your release with negativity is going to make your game that much easier to overlook based on an already established, and convenient excuse.
The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases Feb. 26th (Switch version Mar. 18th)
In a somewhat baffling move, Warner Bros. and Tt Games decided to not release this the same weekend as the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, the story picks up after the events of the first film, and then fast forwards a few years into the future, where a struggle between the dark and brooding characters from the first movie, must now contend with a new group of happy-go-lucky characters trying to make things more bright and fun, you know, like how it used to be. The plot of the film is pretty easy to spot after knowing what we do from the events of the first movie, and I can’t imagine this game is any different. This is already being sold at a reduced price, so expect the price to come down even more as we head in the holidays later this year, if not sooner.
RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Feb. 26th
This rogue-like anime hack & slash game doesn’t look like it’s going to be breaking any new ground, but if you’re trying to find a good couch co-op game for you and a friend to play, then why not give this one a shot? A lot of the marketing seems centered around the Switch, which makes sense given the style of game, but there bound to be anime fans who own an Xbox One, so rejoice at this new action game all five of you!
Trials Rising (PC/ PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Feb. 26th
Making video game characters fall down and get hurt is always a delight, from Skate’s Hall of Meat mode to the trial and error of games like Super Meat Boy, we do like seeing our digital avatars get the shit kicked out them. In the Trials series, you are a motorcyclist who must drive their bike through some of the most brutal, unrealistic and sadistic obstacle courses ever seen. Using a unique physics engine, the game is less simulation and more a test of your wits and will as you struggle to keep the motorcycle moving forward in the face of an ever increasing difficulty. It’s nice to see this indie series continue, even if it’s with major publisher Ubisoft now.
ToeJam & Earl: Back In The Groove (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Mar. 1st
During many a lazy Saturday afternoon in the mid 90’s you could find me sitting down on the floor holding a Sega Genesis controller in my hands, playing Toe Jam & Earl. The game was a Sega original, and despite poor initial sales, it eventually hit cult status and made the two a sort of second-tier mascot for the Genesis, after Sonic. Two sequels, both of dubious stature, were released over the years, but there has been a long hiatus between the Xbox exclusive Mission to Earth and this new multi-platform title (it should be noted that Sega has nothing to do with this game). Looking like it will return to the formula of the first Sega Genesis game, you will control Toe Jam, Earl, or one of the other playable characters, in this 1 to 4 player game; searching for the pieces of your busted up space ship. Along the way you’ll meet a cast of strange enemies, collect presents and “MONEY”, both of which give you access to a wide variety of strange gadgets like rocket skates, Icarus wings, and tomatoes.
Ports and Re-releases:
Anodyne (Switch) – Releases Feb. 28th
Another week, another retro-inspired pixel graphic release for the Switch. Thankfully this week’s port is one that I absolutely adore; Anodyne. Inspired by the Game Boy Color, this game was originally released on PC back in 2013 (with smartphone versions coming shortly after), garnering praise for the two person team behind it, Han Tani and Marina Kittaka. In Anodyne, you play as a protagonist named Young, walking, and eventually jumping, around various locales in a surreal world that is probably all just a dream. Taking elements of Zelda games, most notably Link’s Awakening, Young must collect cards in order to advance further into the map. A highly charming and thought provoking title, I cannot recommend Anodyne enough.
Nier: Automata Game of the YoRHa Edition (PC/PS4) – Releases Feb. 26th
Two years after its initial release, Nier: Automata is receiving the game of the year, excuse me, game of the YoRHa treatment. Last year, Xbox One owners got the Become as Gods edition, and this new version is similar to that release, which includes all previously released DLC and bonus content. I got this game on the day it came out, and now two years later I’ve still yet to play it, and it’s gotten two re-releases since that day. You know what I have played, Dynasty Warriors 9, which suuuuuuucks.
Deltarune: Chapter 1 (Switch) – Releases Feb. 28th
Back in October of 2018, Tumblr god Toby Fox released his follow-up game Deltarune, a game that wasn’t necessarily a sequel to Undertale, but was still somewhat connected to it (the name Deltarune is even an anagram of Undertale). Since this game has pixel graphics it was only a matter of time before it got ported to the Switch, and on Feb. 28th, you can download this first chapter of the game FOR FREE!
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes – Additional Content Vol. 1: Black Dandelion (Switch) – Releases Feb. 28th
The Switch exclusive Travis Strikes Again released last month, and if you bought the physical copy there was a code inside that gave you access to the game’s upcoming season pass DLC. The first part of that season pass is releasing on the 28th, adding a new playable character to the mix, assassin Shinobu. An 18-year old high school student in the first No More Heroes game, Shinobu believed that Travis was responsible for the death of her father. I’m not sure how she’ll figure into this game, but having the chance to play as a new character and see new content is something I am very much looking forward to.
Dirt Rally 2.0 (PC) – Releases Feb. 26th
The Dirt series has been going since 1998, when the first title Colin McCrae Rally was released for the PlayStation and PC. After twelve entries in the series, the thirteenth title, Dirt Rally 2.0 hits stores today. According to the developers, the game is more focused on being a more hardcore racing simulator rather than the more accesable nature of the previous entry, Dirt 4.
Fate/Grand Order VR feat. Mash Kyrielight (PSVR) – Releases Feb. 26th
I’m going to let the PlayStation Store take it from here, “’Fate/Grand Order VR feat. Mash Kyrielight’ is an original Fate VR Drama where players can spend some special time with Mash Kyrielight, the heroine of the mobile game ‘Fate/Grand Order.’ Players can experience a unique story only a VR game can offer”. You down?
The Lost Light of Sisu (PC) – Releases Feb. 27th
We’ve got yet ANOTHER physics based platformer in the vein of Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV and others. In this game you play as a malleable cube searching other cubes to power your (I assume) cube space ship.
Overcome (PC) – Releases Feb. 27th
We’ve got yet ANOTHER indie platformer in the vein of Super Mean Boy, VVVVVV and others. In this game, you play as a heart shaped being who is not allowed to attack its enemies. Instead you must throw up a shield and use it to defeat the enemies with their own negativity. Oh, did I mention this game is about the developer’s fight against cancer?
PlanTechtor (Rift/Vive) – Releases Feb. 27th
What happens when you mix VR and the the tower defense genre? You get PlanTechtor. Design a supposed unlimited number of weapon load outs in your quest to keep your base or castle or tower or whatever, safe from an invading army of robots.
Tech Support: Error Unknown (PC) – Releases Feb. 27th
In this story driven simulation game, you are a tech support agent for a major corporation. Through the course of resolving tickets you become embroiled in a conspiracy and must decide who to help and what side of the law you want to be on.
Ape Out (PC/Switch) – Releases Feb. 28th
If you thought Hotline Miami couldn’t get MORE stylized, well…you were wrong. In Ape Out, the new title from Devolver Digital, you must escape your captors by using your wits and your brute force. Set to a blistering jazz soundtrack, this hyper violent title is bound to be one of the more talked about titles of the year.
BATTLLOON (PC/Switch) – Releases Feb. 28th
This is a PVP arena fighting game in which you and your friends are balloons. Push them around and try to pop them before thy pop you.
Blast Zone Tournament (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases Feb. 28th. Has been in early access on Steam since July 2018
Hey look, another arena based PVP game, this time it is a riff on the Bomberman formula. Play in a 32 person battle royale as you try and be the last person standing.
The Castles of Burgundy (PC) – Releases Feb. 28th
Based on the popular board game, Castles of Burgundy is a dice rolling, tile laying, and resource management game for up to 4 players. You each have a game board in front of you that you will fill up with tiles, in your attempt to create the most prosperous land in the kingdom, and will gain victory points by shipping goods and strategic placing your tiles.
Fimbul (PC) – Releases Feb. 28th
Fimbul an action adventure game that takes place in a fantasy Viking setting. Apparently The Fimbul Winter is the final winter before Ragnarok, which you need to stop from happening.
Treasure Stack (PC/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Mar. 1st
This 4 player puzzle game takes cues from all the greats of the past like Tetris, Yoshi, Wario’s Woods and more. Some charming pixel graphics and and frantic pace could make this a fun party game.
Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:
As I type this my eyelids start to droop; it’s time for bed. Maybe in my dreams I’ll play a game that no one thought was good, or a game that’s long overdue, so the most realistic video game driving simulator that money can buy in 1988.
Killzone 2 (PS3) – Released Feb. 27th, 2009: Wiki Link
Once a bright burning fire of excitement, the Killzone series just kind of left the world as a smoldering ash pit in 2013. This was actually the third entry, following the events of the PSP exclusive Killzone: Liberation, and was the first to be released on the PS3. Initial sales were poor for the game, however it eventually went on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide. I have zero experience with these games, as I do with most PS3 exclusives. This seems to be very much a series of its time, one that many players don’t seem to miss all that much.
Beavis and Butt-Head (Game Boy) – Released Mar. 1st, 1999: Wiki Link
By 1999, Beavis and Butt-Head had already aired its last episode two years earlier, and it been six years since it debuted on MTV. They were kind of relics at this point, surpassed by South Park in terms of what was considered edgy and satirical animation. Mike Judge had moved on to King of the Hill, and the Game Boy Color was already out on the market, so who the hell thought this game would be a good idea to release? This title was based on, in part, the 1994 Beavis & Butt-Head game released for the SNES and Sega Genesis, but without any of the references to the band GWAR. This largely forgotten and underwhelming title is a strange piece of video game history, for not only the missed opportunity to cash in on it while the property was hot, but to also not even release it optimized for the latest console available.
Hard Drivin’ (Arcade) – Released Feb. 1989: Wiki Link
Just like today, even the games of yesteryear were trying to immerse you into something that felt like our real world. Early “3D” games were basically just vector drawings, with titles like Battlezone and Atari’s Star Wars, but it wasn’t until the late 80’s that we finally saw true, polygonal 3D games hit the arcades. First with Namco’s Winning Run, and then second with Atari’s Hard Drivin’. Aside from the “realistic” 3D graphics, the game was also noted for having a very accurate stick shift and clutch which functioned very much like the real thing, even stalling the car if you mess up. There were several cabinets made for the game, but perhaps the most famous was the cabinet built to look like the front end of a car with you in the driver’s seat, walls on either said of you, and a cozy seat to park your butt in while you tried to break onto the high score board, which the game is also noted as being one of the first to allow for more than three initials. Finally, a place for me to type the word “fuck” onto a screen for everyone to see.