New Game Releases 07/23/19 – 07/29/19

Summer gaming had me a blast…
Summer gaming happened so fast…
I play till dawn, it’s not crazy you see…
Full of joy, I’m cute as can be…
Summer games, playing all day to, ooo-oo-ah, oh the summer nights.

Tell me more, tell me more…
Did you get very far?
Tell me more, tell me more…
Like did you pee in a jar?

Fire Emblem Three Houses (Switch) – Releases Jul. 26th

It’s been twelve years since we’ve had a Fire Emblem game on a console, but with Nintendo now in the business of hybrid machines, I can now sit at home on my couch in front of my big screen and play some sweet, sweet tactical fantasy battles. Set in the continent of Fodlan, three rival nations, who are mostly peaceful with one another, work in the shadows to vie for power. As the main character, Byleth, you find yourself teaching at an academy where students from all three nations gather together to study. It is here that you start to learn of various plots and such that threaten to end the peace that each nation shares with each other. Gather your students for all out war on the famous FE battle grid, where swords beat axes, axes beat spears, and spears beat swords. Huzzah!

Kill la Kill – IF (PS4/Switch) – Releases Jul. 26th

The team at Arc System Works is back with their latest title, a fighting game based on the anime series Kill la Kill. Generally known for their stunning looking 2D fighting games, this title is in 3D. All of the promotional materials I’ve seen is really stressing the fact that this game was supervised by Studio TRIGGER, creators of the series, so I guess if you’re a hardcore fan of the anime, then this is good news. However, they’re an animation studio, not a game studio, so maybe they have really bad ideas about how to make a game, who knows? In any case, Kill la Kill – IF looks pretty nice, even if it is just a bunch of women in fan service outfits, but we haven’t really seen a lot of fighting games this year as opposed to the plethora we got last year, so maybe give this a look if you’re into that genre.

Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (PSVR/Vive) – Releases Jul. 26th

I was 100% convinced that VR was just going to be a fad that fizzled out with possibly a few decent titles, but overall, just a total mess. Well, that might still be the case, but with the amount of high profile VR games released on a regular basis, it could potentially be a worthwhile piece of hardware to own. The latest big VR title comes from the folks at Bethesda, who are giving us not just one, but two, brand new titles in the Wolfenstein franchise. The first title we’re taking a look at is Cyberpilot, set in the year 1980, Nazi’s are still a threat in this alternate reality, and it is up to you, a hacker working with the French resistance, to decimate the forces of evil. Using your sick skillz, you’ll hack into various machines, like turrets and robots, turning them against their Nazi creators , slaughtering many along the way.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood (PC/PS4/ Xbox One) – Releases Jul. 26th

The second Wolfenstein game of the week also takes place in the year 1980, as you work with the French resistance to help drive the Nazis out. This is a co-op game, the first in the series, and you have the choice of playing as one of BJ Blazkowicz’s twin daughters. As is par for the series, you’ll run and gun your way through hordes of Nazi scum bags, watching the bullets tear their flesh apart with satisfying glee. Do you have what it takes to liberate Paris? I AM DEATH INCARNATE!

Ports and Re-releases:

Tetris Effect (PC/Rift/Vive) – Releases Jul. 23rd

After a brief exclusivity window on the PS4, Tetris Effectis now making its way to PC, where you can use your favorite VR headset to lose yourself in this gorgeous mind-trip of a game.

Raiden V: Director’s Cut (Switch) – Releases Jul. 25th

After briefly being an Xbox One exclusive, Raiden V went to PC and PS4 in 2017. Now, two years later, the title is making its way to Switch to delight with its stellar gameplay, and annoy with its baffling cheer system. This was one of my top 20 games of 2017, so if you have any interest in shmups, pick this up!

Battleship (Switch) – Releases Jul. 24th

Every week there’s usually at least one mobile port to the Switch, and they usually appear to be garbage. However, this week’s mobile port to Switch actually looks worthwhile. Based on the classic board game, you can play against the computer or a real person over the internet. The game also supports local matches, however, you must download a companion app to ensure it works properly. This is almost a day one purchase for me, but with so much going on, I’m not ready to jump on this right away, but I mean, come on. Who doesn’t love Battleship?

 

Everything else:

EA Access (PS4) – Releases Jul. 24th

Finally, PS4 players are being given the chance to sign up for yet another service that allows them to download a bunch of five year old games that they’ll never play because their back catalog is already big enough. That’s exactly what happened to me, as I could not justify downloading some old game and play it while I had, literally, hundreds of old games sitting on a shelf that I had yet to play (not to mention the hundreds of games in my Steam library I’ve never installed). For the casual crowd, this is probably a great service, but for guys like me, the ones who obsess over release dates and Steam sales, paying $10.00 a month to have access to a couple dozen old EA games just isn’t an appealing idea.

 

Alright, enough funny business. I just spent 4 1/2 days at Comic-Con, let’s lightning round this shit…

Automachef (PC/Switch) – Releases Jul. 23rd

Build a kitchen machine like the one in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. “I pity the fool who don’t eat my breakfast cereal!”

DATE A LIVE: RIO-Reincarnation (PC/PS4) – Releases Jul. 23rd

I mean, if you’re into visual romance novels that feature girls who look twelve, you should consider professional help. “THE GAME SAYS THEY’RE EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD!!!!” Sure pal, keep telling yourself that.

Bad Business (PC) – Releases Jul. 24th

This looks like a shitty Hotline Miami clone.

Interstellar Space: Genesis (PC) – Releases Jul. 25th

If 2018 was the year of the fighting game, 2019 seems to be the year of the strategy game. I swear, we get a new one of these every other week…and I like it!

A Place for the Unwilling (PC) – Releases Jul. 25th

A interesting looking narrative game in which you must try to solve several mysteries in a city that dies in 21 days. With multiple branching story lines, it’ll be some time before you see it all.

Songbird Symphony (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Jul. 25th

Puzzle platforming with a musical component that wouldn’t look out of place on the Sega Genesis in 1994.

Smoots Summer Games (PS4/Switch/XBone) – Releases Jul. 25th

Just wait for Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.

Turok: Escape From Lost Valley (PC) – Releases Jul. 25th

I’ve always said that we needed a shitty looking, kid-friendly version of Turok. It’s good to see that someone out there was reading my Live Journal.

Unlucky Seven (PC) – Releases Jul. 26th

A hyper violent adventure narrative game with furries.

Tetsumo Party (PC/PS4/Switch/XBone) – Releases Jul. 26th

Position sumo wrestlers so that they fit in the cut-out shapes on a wall charging towards them.

One Year Ago:

Top Game – The Banner Saga 3 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Released Jul. 24th, 2018

What started in 2014, finally came to a close in 2018. The epic, three part story of a hunter named Rook and his daughter Alette came to a close, showing us the fates of several characters we had grown to love and/or hate over the course of the 15-20 hours it takes to play through the games. I had many lumps in my throat throughout this final chapter, and I’m happy with the way things turned out, even if it didn’t give everyone the happy ending they wanted. I’d be very sad if this series was lost to time, so please keep playing it, and tell your friends to play it; it’s a triumph in modern gaming.

Interesting tidbits – The “Ports and Re-releases” section made its debut this week last year after realizing that there was a plethora of them coming out on a regular basis. The short lived “Mobile Game Being Ported to the Switch Game” section debuted here as well. I eventually ended this section as I needed to retain some of my sanity week in and week out.

What were we saying in the comments? I got a lot of advice on The Banner Saga, as I was curious if I should jump right into three or play part 1 + 2 first. Some people hated it, some said it was good, and others thought it was too difficult/random. I ended up playing through the first two games quickly and then jumped into part three, as I found the series to be fascinating and the story profound, exhilarating and ultimately heartbreaking. If you’ve never played through these three games then I highly recommend you try them out.

Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:

Man, Nintendo sure does like June 26th, releasing big games on that date in 2019, 2009 and 1999. In 1989 they must have been busy trying to get the Game Boy ready for its launch, something we’ll talk about next week…

Wii Sports Resort (Wii) – Released Jul. 26th, 2009: Wiki Link

Upon its release, the Nintendo Wii was a bonafide, certified, genuine success thanks in part to an incredibly low price tag ($249.99 in NA), and the best pack-in game in, probably, the entire history of console launches; Wii Sports. With the intuitive design of the Wii remote, players aged 8 to 80 could easily pick it up and go bowling, play golf, or swing a tennis racket. It’s no surprise, then, that Nintendo decided to continue the train rolling, and in 2009, on the heels of a new peripheral (the Wii Motion Plus), came what was probably one of the most anticipated sequels of all time; Wii Sports Resort. Adding in several new mini-games that took advantage of the new capabilities that the Motion Plus offered, the title was another smash hit, becoming the third highest selling game of all time on the Wii, trailing behind the original Wii Sports and Mario Kart Wii. On a personal level, I did not find any of the new games as engrossing as Bowling and Golf (which is probably why those are also included on this disc), but I do have a lot of fond memories playing the sword fighting game at work when this came into the video store. Eventually the Motion Plus would be baked into all existing remotes, and the system itself would slow down in terms of dominance, and suffer a fairly rough attachment rate, as most owners either never bought a new game for the system, or only one or two extra, most likely being either Mario Kart or this game. Despite these future setbacks, the Wii and its motion controlled games would influence both Sony and Microsoft to explore the capabilities, and Nintendo itself has not completely given up on the concept, using it in many (if not all) of their first party titles on the Switch. With the Wii name retired, I’m not sure we’ll ever see another game in the Wii Sports series, but you can see its fingerprints in titles like Arms and Mario Tennis Aces. Kudos to you, Wii Sports!

Mario Golf (N64) – Released Jul. 26th, 1999: Wiki Link

Before motion controls and Mii’s, there was another Nintendo sports game played on a funky controller, Mario Golf. After last playing golf on the NES in 1991’s NES Open Tournament Golf, Mario and his pals once again hit the links in one of the Nintendo 64’s most timeless classics. Unlike the Mario Party games that required you to have multiple controllers, in Mario Golf, all you needed was one, which you would pass to your friend as they took their turn. This was a big hit a sleep overs and birthday parties, or just lazy Saturday’s with the family. Like the later Wii Sports titles, this was a game that could transcend the “gamer” crowd, and was appealing to a wide audience. Many of my friends and family who had no interest in video games would stop what they were doing and play a few rounds of Mario Golf because it was intuitive, fun, and didn’t talk down to them. We get so caught up in our gate keeping sometimes, that we forget that games should be enjoyed by everyone. Nintendo gets that, which is why despite everyone saying they need to get out of the console business, or claim that they’re a “failure”, they survive. Their ethos that games should be enjoyed by all is wonderful, and unless the other big two companies figure that out, they could be the ones in danger.

Defender of the Crown (NES) – Released Jul. 1989: Wiki Link

It’s always a tough sell when a PC game is ported to consoles, especially in the processor challenged days of the NES. In 1986, developer/publisher Cinemaware released an ambitious strategy game for the Amiga, in which you took on the role of a Saxon knight, looking to take control of the surrounding lands and avenge the death of king. When released, the game was missing several features that the developers wanted, so in the subsequent years, as the game was ported to various home computer systems, the features would be added in. By 1989, when the NES version came out, it was one of the most comprehensive versions of the game on the market. It’s too bad that it played like ass. This is a bad game, and as noted in last week’s Sega Master System version of King’s Quest, a controller with a d-pad and buttons is no substitute for a a mouse and keyboard (something that a lot of PC players will still tell you). Ugly graphics, fairly confusing UI, and stiff controls would make this something to avoid. If you must play Defender of the Crown, seek out one of the PC versions, it’ll be so much better.