New Game Releases 11/26/19 – 12/02/19

The last five weeks have been so jam packed with games, so it’s nice that the game companies decided to give us all a breather. Well, everyone but Square Enix who decided to release a huge JRPG while I’m busy playing hating loving asdfghjkl Death Stranding. I think I’ll just play Persona 5: Dancing In Starlight which I just got on Amazon for twenty bucks; boo yah! On that note, following each game I will post the first song that comes to mind that I feel best encapsulates that title.

SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS (Android/iOS/PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Dec. 2nd

I had a hard time finding a trailer of just SaGa SCARLET GRACE AMBITIONS, so I hope you enjoy this thing above. Originally released in Japan for the Vita in 2016, we are finally getting a release for this title in the West. You can tell this is a quality title because not only is it coming out for the PC, PS4 and Switch, but you can also get it for your mobile devices where it will run just fine. Unfortunately the Xbox One didn’t make the cut, sorry guys, maybe next time.

Sanic The Hawtdawg: Da Movie: Da Game 2.1: Electric Boogaloo 2.2 Version 4: The Squeakquel: VHS Edition: Directors cut: Special edition: The Musical & Knackles (PC) – Releases Nov. 29th

The amount of titles coming out this week is so sparse that I had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find anything remotely interesting; so on that note, I’m sorry. This “game” is supposedly an interactive film in which you guide Sanic’s actions and choose his dialogue. There is currently no price, but I’m thinking $59.99. Oh, and spoiler alert, the game description gives away the ending:

Ports and Re-releases:

Blaster Master Zero II (PC) – Releases Nov. 29th

Released earlier this year on the Nintendo Switch, this fantastic sequel is now being ported to the PC. Picking up just a few months after the events of the first game, Jason and Eve are in a race against time as they try and find a cure for Eve who has been infected by mutant cells which are slowly transforming her body into a horrific creature. Using the same gameplay as the first Blaster Master Zero, which was itself an upgraded version of the gameplay from the NES title, you pilot the GAIA-SOPHIA going from planet to planet, driving your vehicle, getting out, climbing ladders, entering dungeons, fighting monsters, and slaying giant beasts. It’s a wonderful, old school inspired romp and you deserve to play it.

Five Nights At Freddy’s 1-4 HD (Switch) – Releases Nov. 29th

Few other video games in the last decade have had as big an impact on the culture as Five Nights At Freddy’s. From launching the careers of many a YouTuber, to having its characters slapped onto lunch boxes, t-shirts, and backpacks, FNAF is a phenomenon. While many things come onto the Switch and feels like the game is just finally coming out, for some reason getting FNAF on the Switch in the last 32 days of the decade feels more like a fitting ending. I’m sure the creator is still working on the series, but this just seems like a good way to say goodbye to the 10’s and ring in the 20’s.

Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:

Things were much more exciting in years past than they were in the present, including the first release in one of the most popular game franchises of all time.

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes (Nintendo DS) – Released Dec. 1st, 2009: Wiki Link

After acquiring the Might & Magic franchise in 2003, Ubisoft went on to make three connected titles that capitalized on the name; Heroes of Might & Magic V, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, and a wonderful tactical puzzle game from Capybara called Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes, set chronologically between the other two. Releasing for the Nintendo DS, Capybara Games created a unique and challenging title that rewarded careful planning, but also made sure to leave room for go for broke improvisation. Playing as several characters each with their own unique units and abilities, after being separated by a catastrophic event, players had to travel through several locations to gain information on what initially drove them apart, and come together to put a stop to a nefarious plan set in motion by an unknown dark entity. Using elements of a deck building card game, a tactical war sim, tower defense, and match three puzzle mechanics, players would position their units on a battle map, facing their opponent, in an effort to destroy them and their units before the same would happen to them. The game was well received upon launch, gaining praise for its unique battle system, but was knocked for being a tad repetitive (which I 100% agree with). HD remasters would come out in 2011 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, and mobile ports would come out in 2013. My wife absolutely loves this game, and it always a real joy when we can both share my gaming passion together. I love you KJ!

Quake III Arena (PC) – Released Dec. 2nd, 1999: Wiki Link

There were likely three things every college student came back to school with after Winter Break; a VHS copy of The Matrix, bootleg VHS copies of Cowboy Bebop, and Quake III Arena. While every generation may assume that their problems and controversies are unique to their current lives, the fact is that we have been dealing with the same kind of shit for centuries. In the last few years we have been told many times by companies like Activision and EA that single player games are dead and players just want to play online games with no story, this led to things like BLOPS IIII and Star Wars: Battlefront having no single player campaign, and back in 1999 id Software tried to tell everyone the same thing. Despite two compelling and moody title beforehand, it was the multiplayer deathmatches that really drove the success of the first two Quake titles. It’s no wonder, then, that id was keen to just focus on that aspect of the game when creating the third entry, and boy did they commit to it. When it was released the game was an unequivocal hit with critics who found that the streamlined focus on multiplayer was a huge boon, complimenting the design of the levels and weapons, praising the intense feeling of competition that the game was trying to drive home. With such a robust suite of tools, modders were able to create intricate maps and weapons themselves, giving the game an almost endless feel due to the sheer amount of content. While it initially received some flak for ditching the story mode (to be fair, there was a barebones story mode about the character Sarge being kidnapped and forced to fight in an area for the amusement of space aliens), when players were finally able to fire the game up they were treated to what was, at the time, the best multiplayer deathmatch game ever made.

John Madden Football (PC) – Released Nov. 1989: Wiki Link

Following the success of Earl Weaver Baseball in 1987, EA would go on to release a football game featuring another legendary coach, John Madden. Released for the Apple II in 1988, the game was eventually got ported to DOS based machines in 1988 to an even larger audience. Planning for the game, however, began as early as 1984, with EA founder Trip Hawkins taking a smaller football he had made and showing it to Madden in order to receive his endorsement. Madden didn’t know much about computers, but he was intrigued by the way that players could test and experiment with various football plays. Hawkins and his team assumed that Madden wouldn’t have much input on the game beyond his endorsement, but to their surprise he was actually interested in being involved…a bit to their chagrin. While the team had only wanted to include eight players per team, but Madden, insisting on realism, demanded a full 11 player team or he would walk. The team tried to tell him that it was nearly impossible for modern computers to display 22 players on screen at once, but John was having none of it. The team would work for several years, delaying not only John Madden Football, but other titles as well, putting them in legal trouble with Bethesda over breach of contract when they failed to deliver a new entry in their football series Gridiron!. After all the delays and legal issues, the game was finally released and featured Madden’s 1980 Raiders playbook as a companion piece. While the game did not feature any NFL teams or players, it did feature actual plays from every team, and with 11 players on each team, EA was able to claim that they had the most authentic football game on the market. While many of us today would consider Madden to be one of the most successful franchises in video games, the original title was not so well received by the public. Sure, the people who liked it REALLY liked it, it was seen as too much of a simulation for the casual crowd, and while having 22 players on the field was authentic, the high number of players on screen meant that John Madden Football ran very slow in comparison to other football games on the market. However, since we aren’t all playing Weaver 20, it should be obvious that John Madden Football would eventually become a success. The Sega Genesis version released in 1990 emphasized arcade fun while also being able to feature a robust playbook and 22 players on the field. One funny story, John Madden was given the opportunity to buy an unlimited amount of EA stock when the company went public in the late 80’s, and in a move that he still regrets, declined to buy any of it. It seems the master strategist wasn’t keen enough to see that video games would be the future, although I’m pretty sure he did okay for himself, regardless.