New Game Releases 09/17/19 – 09/23/19

This is a stacked week, my friends. We’ve got a major new release from Nintendo, some big ports/remasters, 13 new games coming to PC with roughly 80% of them being exclusively on PC and not any consoles, three brand new(ish) consoles, and of course Untitled Goose Game.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch) – Releases Sep. 20th

Based on the 1993 GameBoy title of the same name, Link’s Awakening is the latest in the long line of remakes/remasters in the Zelda franchise. What sets this one apart, however, is that while most of these remakes are superficial upgrades to the graphics (generally HD conversions), Link’s Awakening appears to have been rebuilt from the ground up. While I’m sure many of us would have been happy with a straight port of the GameBoy game to the Switch, the fact that we have a completely new modern engine is a real treat. The graphics are beautiful, and some of the best I’ve seen on the Switch, with an almost photo-realistic toy quality. I’m very excited to play this.

AI: The Somnium Files (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Sep. 17th

Trailer says July 25th, well we clearly missed that date. The latest visual novel from Spike Chunsoft looks intriguing, very, very mysterious. I’m also unclear why bears seem to factor into their games, do the Japanese have something against them? Maybe they’re just big Colbert fans.

Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son (PSVR/Rift/Vive) – Releases Sep. 17th

Like many of you, I’ve spent the last 16 years wondering what TV weatherman Phil Conners’ son has been up to after the events of Groundhog Day. Thankfully developer Tequila Works (who should probably lay off the booze, hahahahahahaha!!!!) has answered my prayers and given the world the closure that the events of the film Groundhog Day clearly needed. Plus the game is in VR, which is just #winning.

Rebel Cops (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Sep. 17th

Hey, did you like the tactical X-Com style combat of This is the Police 2? Then you’re in luck, as Rebel Cops is a game that is pretty much just those tactical combat maps. Put together a sick ass police force, and then rough up those bad guys; “When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody. Don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay“.

Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Sep. 17th

Just because we’re only two weeks into Fall it doesn’t mean you can’t be nostalgic for the Summer. With Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure, you and your two buddies pile into a van (that likely smells like decaying fish guts and farts) to fish some of the greatest spots in the country, searching for the elusive, and “cleverly” named, Legendary Fish.

Untitled Goose Game (PC/Switch) – Releases Sep. 17th

I know we’re all excited for the new Zelda, but honestly, Untitled Goose Game might be the one that we all really want to play instead. I’m not very clear on what this game is, exactly, aside from you playing the role of a goose that is terrorizing, or maybe just annoying, a small village and its residents. Despite the meme-y nature of the game, this appears to be a more substantial offering than other meme related animal games like Goat Simulator. Could this be the greatest fowl related video game of all time? I don’t know, does it have Keanu Reeves in it? How about Bill Murray? “Do you have any regrets?” “I don’t know…maybe Garfield“.


Ports and Re-releases:

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Sep. 20th

The 2013 PS3 RPG Ni No Kuni is coming out with two different versions on the 20th; one is a remaster and one is a straight port. For PC and PS4 you get the remastered version which, from what I can tell, just means that the game looks better and probably runs a little faster. The Switch version is just a port of the PS3 game, with no graphical enhancements, which, okay, whatever; the game was already beautiful to begin with. For those unfamiliar, Ni No Kuni tells the story of a young boy named Oliver who must travel to “the other world” and rescue his mother. On your journey you will find several little pocket sized monsters to aid you in battle. These pocket monsters, or poke-mon, as I’ve abbreviated them, are the main way to fight, as you will train them to follow your commands. Have fun being a pocket monster trainer, and be sure to collect them all!

Castle Crashers Remastered (PS4/Switch) – Releases Sep. 17th

In 2008, Microsoft started its once popular “Summer of Arcade” program, featuring the title Castle Crashers as one of its first offerings. The four player hack and slash side scroller from developers The Behemoth, was a throw-back to the popular arcade beat ’em up’s of the late 80’s and early 90’s, such as Double Dragon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The game was both a commercial and critical success, appearing in many “Best of” lists for 2008, and is generally considered one of the best Xbox Live Arcade offerings of all time. It’s almost hard to believe that this title is 11 years old as it does not seem like that much time has passed, but I think that is the beauty of this title; it’s timeless. The graphics are sharp, the controls are intuitive, and it’s something you can play with a seasoned gaming veteran or a complete newbie and still have a fantastic time.

Devil May Cry 2 (Switch) – Releases Sep. 19th

While this is generally not considered one of the best games in the series, Devil May Cry 2 can still be a fun diversion if you’re in the mood for something mindless. The added benefit of being portable on the Switch is the most attractive selling point of this title, honestly.

GRID Autosport (Switch) – Releases Sep. 19th

Hey, remember GRID Autosport? No? Me either. A Switch port is coming, and a re-make is coming for all the other consoles in like a month. Yay?


Everything else:

Apple Arcade – Releases Sep. 19th

Prepare yourself folks, the great streaming/games as a service war is beginning. With early entries like Xbox Game Pass, EA Access, Playstation Now, and Ubisoft+, just to name a few, our options to play and stream video games is getting very crowded. You might be asking yourself, what sets Apple Arcade apart from the competition? Well, like any console, it has exclusive games, like the Capcom metroidvania title Shinsekai Deep Sea. They will also be the exclusive mobile home of games like Sayonara Wild Hearts, which will not be available on Android devices (but will be available on consoles); it’s a bit tricky to comprehend. Apple Arcade seems to be positioning Apple devices as the Nintendo Switch of mobile gaming ahead of Google’s Stadia, by touting its ability to let you play games on the go or at home, either through your iPad, your AppleTV, or your Mac. The games do look pretty stunning in the sizzle reel they put together, and I’ve read a few good things about Shinsekai Deep Sea which make it seem like paying the $5 a month subscription price is well worth your time. Concrete information on the platform is, surprisingly, a bit hard to come by, and I’m not 100% sure what games will be available at launch, nor what devices it will be available on. From what I understand, it will be available on iPhone and iPad on the 19th, then AppleTV near the end of the month, then MacOS in November, maybe? As far as the games coming, there are some really big names behind the launch window, including Sega, Square Enix, Annapurna, and Mistwalker, but what is actually going to be available on the first day is difficult to determine. In any case, look out for these titles when Apple Arcade launches: Chu Chu Rocket! Universe, Frogger In Toy Town, LEGO Brawls, Rayman Mini, Shantae 5, Steven Universe: Unleash The Light, Various Daylife, and at least 100+ more. Will Apple Arcade be the future of gaming, eh, I doubt it, but it will likely be around for a good amount of time; will the games be though, and is it enough to make you give up your other consoles?

Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Mini – Releases Sep. 19th

If streaming game services are the future of gaming, then mini console replicas are the future of retro gaming. After the massive success of the NES and SNES Classics, companies began to line up with their latest tiny consoles. We’ve already seen the release of the Playstation Classic and the NEOGEO Mini which were not so well received (the PS Classic is an abysmal piece of hardware), and we’ve even been promised a tiny TurboGrafx16. Let’s also NOT forget all of the tiny Atari consoles that have been cluttering up the bargain bins of Walmart and Target since 2004, those little tiny arcade cabinets of Mappy and Burger Time that usually sit on the shelf next to the baby Atari’s, and of course, the already released Sega Genesis mini consoles that apparently ran like shit. Okay, is that it? What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, the Genesis Mini. It has 40 games, and looks like a tiny Genesis, sooooo, I guess if you didn’t already buy the Genesis collection for PS4, Switch or XBone, then maybe pick this up. At least it’s cute.

Nintendo Switch Lite – Releases Sep. 20th

Continuing the trend of “is this necessary” comes the Nintendo Switch Lite. My biggest question about this machine is “Who is this for?”, I mean, really, who needs this? Is it for kids; if so, what makes this any different than a standard Switch. Kids like playing games on the TV too, but even if they don’t, the standard Switch is handheld too. Is this more durable? Maybe. Is this for casual gamers; if so, I think the same logic applies here that it would for kids. The Switch is already a portable device, but has the added benefit of both letting you play on your television and having a built in two player mode. The main selling point, I guess, is the price ($199 vs $299), but come on, is this really worth it? If you’re serious about playing games you’ll eventually want to play them on your TV, so in the end you’ll be spending more money by buying the Lite and the standard console. I’m probably not the first person to mention this, but without the ability to change (or switch) between TV play and handheld play, should they even call this a Switch? Anyway, Nintendo fans can sometimes be asinine in their devotion to the company, so I can see many of them buying this as a supplemental device, but without cross-saves what would be the point? Parent’s may choose this over the full priced device, but again, they’ll likely buy the standard Switch at some point, which means they’re losing money. Man, I just don’t get it from a consumer standpoint, but from a business standpoint this is probably a great idea.

Daymare: 1998 (PC) – Releases Sep. 17th

A “90’s inspired” horror game that, surprisingly, doesn’t have 90’s graphics. Why even say it’s inspired by the 90’s then?

Devil’s Hunt (PC) – Releases Sep. 17th

A generic third-person action game that looks like it’s about ten years too late; but I guess Xbox 360 nostalgia is poised to happen any day now.

Jet Kave Adventure (Switch) – Releases Sep. 17th

You’re a caveman with a jetpack; what a world.

Crying Suns (PC) – Releases Sep. 18th

This is an interesting looking tactical game set in space and claims to be inspired by the classic game Dune, or maybe the David Lynch film Dune, or maybe the boardgame Dune, or the miniseries Dune, or the novel Dune.

Exorcise The Demons (PC) – Releases Sep. 18th

In this co-op adventure horror game you must, well, exorcise the demons. The trick here is that you must play this game in tandem with a friend on two separate screens; one of you must move around the game world while the other reads from a book of spells that you use to, again, exorcise the demons.

Little Misfortune (PC) – Releases Sep. 18th

Features (According to Steam):

  • You may pet a doggy, a fishy, a wolfie, the Kraken, the kitty and the foxy.
  • Visit a pet cemetery with a shovel.
  • Now with real human voices: Hear Misfortune say some pretty cute things!
  • Missing children.
  • There’s a monster!
  • Fall in love.
  • Commit petty crimes.
  • Original art by Natalia Martinsson.
  • Original soundtrack by Isak Martinsson.

You can’t see me, but I’m rolling my eyes right now.

Mutazione (PC/PS4) – Releases Sep. 19th

Another indie narrative adventure with minimalist graphics. Are we all really so predictable that if we see a game with simple colors and shapes with a light, breezy soundtrack, that is either about children or adults acting with childlike wonder, we’ll gobble it up? When did this style become the defacto indie aesthetic? Who’s going to change it?

Overland (Apple Arcade/PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Sep. 19th

Jesus, yet ANOTHER indie game with minimalist graphics, but this time it’s a tactical adventure game. I saw an article earlier talking about Apple Arcade and how all of the games on that system (and really, most indie games) all just kind of look the same. Every single indie title from the last three of four years all have this exact same art style, which is really depressing because as “artists” with “unique visions”, these indie creators are supposed to be a step above the AAA companies because of their “integrity” and “one single unique voice”. When everyone thinks they’re being unique then I guess no one is unique. #food4thought

Sayonara Wild Hearts (Apple Arcade/PS4/Switch) – Releases Sep. 19th

This game looks like every other indie bullshit title out there, but at least it looks fucking cool. If this was an Apple Arcade exclusive I’d be all over it, but I’ll be getting this on Switch instead.

The Sojourn (PC – Epic Games Store/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases Sep. 20th

Hey, it’s another indie game; can you guess what the graphical style is? Can you? CANYOU!!!!!!!!!!


Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:

No new consoles came out this week in gaming history, thank goodness, so now we’re just back to talking about good ol’ fashioned software; enjoy!

Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360) – Released Sep. 22nd, 2009: Wiki Link

After giving Master Chief a (seemingly) final ending, Bungie and Microsoft were in a bit of a bind. You can’t just stop making Halo games, there’s way too much money to be made, so what do you do? Ah-ha, prequels! While the game was initially going to be an expansion bridging the stories of part 2 and 3, the scope of the game increased to a point where it felt more like a full game rather than an add-on, although critics did note that the game was fairly short compared to Halo 3. Using elements of classic detective and noir films, the game was a bit of a departure from the tried and true Halo formula which had some players scratching their heads. Critics were more kind to the game, praising the change in direction, as well as the atmosphere and music; as mentioned earlier, though, the length was criticized, with some critics wondering why this was priced like a full game. While some players didn’t quite get what the single player campaign was trying to do, they still flocked to the online multiplayer deathmatches. Even with increasing competition from the likes of Call of Duty and Gears of War, Bungie didn’t give up on the multiplayer mode, and made sure that ODST came with a dedicated disc full of all the multiplayer maps, including DLC, from Halo 3. The game doesn’t really have a lasting legacy, other than it being “that one Halo game where you don’t play a Spartan”, but there is a fun little easter egg in the game. During one of the missions you come across a poster featuring a picture of the Earth and the Moon with the text “Destiny Awaits“, a subtle nod to Bungie’s next big thing. With Destiny still three years away from being announced, it’s an interesting piece of trivia, and one that Microsoft has scrubbed from all current copies of the game.

Thrasher Presents: Skate and Destroy (PlayStation) – Released Sep. 26th, 1999: Wiki Link

This one is a bit of a cheat as it actually came out the next week, but I wanted to talk about it before that other skateboarding game which also came out at the same time (It rhymes with Bony Smock’s Crow Maker). Unlike that other skateboarding game, Skate and Destroy was focused more on being a skateboarding simulator, with an increased focus on performing tricks correctly. Bony Smock, on the other hand, relied more on arcade controls which led it to be less simulator (and in the end, more fun). This realistic skating approach was seen as a plus by critics, but players found them to be too unforgiving, requiring much more skill and patience to master, which ultimately seemed to doom the game. You might be looking at the Rockstar logo on the front and go “Woah, how was this not a massive hit?“, well, GTA III was still two years away, so the Rockstar pedigree hadn’t been established, and with only a few small titles under their belt and the Grand Theft Auto games being niche PC games for the most part, having their logo on the cover didn’t make the game an instant seller. In another contrast, while Bony Smock would focus heavily on pop-punk and third wave ska to fill its soundtrack, Skate and Destroy’s soundtrack was nothing but old school hip-hop. On paper, this game sounds fucking awesome, but as we know, playability is key, and it seems that, while this is a valiant effort, the title just wasn’t fun to play when compared to the competition. If you want to visit a time capsule please check on the official website for the game from 1999 (don’t mind the Nov. 15th street date, I assume it’s either wrong or when it came out in Europe):

Fester’s Quest (NES) – Released Sep. 1989: Wiki Link

Created in 1938 by cartoonist Charles Addams, The Addams Family has gone through several iterations over the last 81 years, first appearing as a comic strip in The New Yorker before becoming a live action television series, followed by an animated series, two successful live action films in the 90’s, a few less than successful films afterwards, and their latest iteration, an animated film. When Fester’s Quest appeared in 1989, players were likely only familiar with the popular TV series, as the film was still a couple years away, but if you know anything about marketing and brand recognition, getting The Addams Family in the public consciousness would be a boon for the film. However, I’m not sure a frustratingly difficult adventure game with grotesque alien bosses was the right choice. The plot of Fester’s Quest is fairly straightforward; aliens land on Earth and are trying to take it over. Fester Addams decides that it is up to him to stop this invasion, so armed with his trusty blunderbuss gun, he sets off to save humanity. It’s hard for me to understand just what prompted developer Sunsoft to make this story decision; were they in the middle of making an alien game and then presented with The Addams Family license? It’s just a bizarre premise for these characters to have to react to. As far as gameplay goes, Fester must move around the city traveling to different areas of the map in an overhead view, shooting monsters and collecting items. Since this is a Sunsoft title, they were able to recycle the engine and assets from Blaster Master’s overhead stages, which likely helped cut production time down (though I’m speculating here). With the city under alien attack you will find that certain areas are blocked by large holes in the ground, and the only way around these barriers is to travel through the sewers where you must face off against even more monsters, and traverse a maze. Once you make it through the sewer mazes you will eventually find houses and buildings that, when entered, are faux 3D mazes in a first person perspective. If you make it to the end of this maze you’ll face off against a hideous alien boss who will give you a piece of a photograph showing the alien mothership, which, when all are collected, allow you to face off against the final boss.

I feel like I just described a pretty interesting game, and I have, but unfortunately this is all thrown out the window because of the game’s, often unfair, difficulty. Two things really make this game hard right off the bat; your health and your speed. With only two life points, Fester is incredibly squishy and can be knocked out after only a few minutes of gameplay. Couple that with his very slow walking speed and you’re in for a bad time. The world is also very difficult to navigate, with multiple mazes to get through and barriers to get around, it takes a long time to even figure out where to go, and when you do figure it out, you get hit twice, die and then get respawned AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE GAME! If you’re lucky enough to finally make it through the city streets, the underground sewer maze, and find a building, you’ll likely become frustrated at the first person, Bard’s Tale-esque, mazes. There is no on screen map, or even any defining features to the mazes, they’re just generic hallways. If you happen to exit the building you’ll have to go back in using a key from your inventory, every time, meaning if you leave by accident and are out of keys, well, you’re out of luck; go find some more. Other annoyances include enemies constantly respawning if you move just slightly off screen from their spawn point, and bullet formations that both completely miss the enemy and cannot fire through walls, making the (many) tight corridors of the overworld map and sewer mazes difficult to shoot in. This is another one of those games that I feel like I really enjoyed as a kid, but if I was asked to play it again now I’d be throwing my controller through the window. As a kid I didn’t mind running around the same couple areas over and over again, it was just fun to play, but now that I know what the end goal is, the frustrations pile up and take away any fun I may have thought the game held.