There are a ton of new games coming this week, but I’m not sure any of it is particularly noteworthy or “must play”. Still, indie titles typically outshine the AAA’s, so maybe something here is the next Braid or Celeste. There’s also a bunch of ports coming out, so if you’ve been sleeping on something, or maybe you’re a one console/pc only player, then you have a chance to check something out that you haven’t had previous access too. I drank an entire bottle of wine yesterday, so let’s just get this over with.
Miitopia (Switch) – Releases May 21st
Originally released in North America back in 2017 on the 3DS, Miitopia is a lighthearted RPG with relationship simulator elements with the gimmick that all of the main characters in the game are user generated Mii’s. The 3DS version received okay reviews when it came out, sitting at 67/100 on Metacritic, with Famitsu even giving it a 31/40. While this game is mostly a 1/1 port of the 3DS version, there are a couple new things to look forward to, including a brand new horse companion, as well as a multitude of new design options for your Mii’s. In fact, the creation tools are so powerful that the artistically inclined can create some really interesting (and copyright infringing) Mii’s that can make Miitopia the weirdest RPG of all time. Just look at these:
Just Die Already (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases May 20th
From the creators of Goat Simulator comes their latest sandbox farce, the senior citizen “simulator” Just Die Already. After being kicked out of our retirement home, you and our geriatric pals start wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting townsfolk, bringing mischief and mayhem wherever you go. If you like silly games with crude undertones than I think you’ll be more than pleased with Just Die Already.
Mind Scanners (PC) – Releases May 20th
This game looks wild. Diagnose patients using the latest in medical technology, all while living in a dystopian state that looks straight out of 1984. Based on the graphics and color palate, I’d wager this will appeal to fans of games like Papers Please. Will it be as good as that all-time classic? I’m sure the developers from the studio The Outer Zone are hoping it will.
The Wild At Heart (PC/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases May 20th
ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! WE HAVE AN XBOX CONSOLE EXCLUSIVE! ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!
It’s not too often that hardcore Xbox devotees get a console exclusive, so anytime one arrives that looks even remotely interesting I think we should all stop and take a look. What we appear to have here is a Pikmin-like game where you play as two tweens trying to keep their wits in a magical forest. It looks HELLA indie, from the all too familiar art style, to the (I’m sure) very tragic backstories of each kid, to the slightly cynical, yet wholly endearing, homage to a AAA Nintendo title. Will it be good? Maybe.
Knockout City (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases May 21st
Team up with your besties, fam. This game looks like it was created in a lab by scientists who ran focus groups consisting of kids between the ages of 7 and 23. Whut up, playa’s!
Ports and Re-releases:
Days Gone (PC) – Releases May 18th
Hey, remember Days Gone? It’s on PC now.
Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Dry Twice (PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases May 18th
I only play Leisure Suit Larry games on my PC with a mouse because I need one hand free. To eat snacks!! OH MY GOD, WHAT DID YOU THINK I MEANT???!!!??
Void Terrarium++ (PS5) – Releases May 18th
I’ve been meaning to pick this up on Switch ever since it released, but now it’s on PS5 and I can play it in 4K with HDR. JUST LOOK AT THAT IMAGE ABOVE!! Imagine THAT in 4K, mind blowing.
Jay & Silent Bob: Mall Brawl (PS4/Xbox One) – Releases May 19th
Now you can snootchie and bootchie on the PS4 and XBone, just like God intended.
Manifold Garden (PS5) – Releases May 20th
Now you can hit “Crazy Stairs” in 4K.
Rust: Console Edition (PS4/Xbox One) – Releases May 21st
A buddy of mine LOVES Rust and plays it almost daily on PC. Will this survival sandbox game where you build and defend your base be as popular on consoles as it is on computers? Sure, why not.
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey (PC) – Releases May 19th
Elite Dangerous is a grand, space epic MMO that has you flying around is starships taking part in dog fights and other aerial missions, confining you to the cockpit for most of the game…until now! With the new Odyssey expansion, players can now travel across the surface of planets on their own to legs, surveying, collecting, whatever. The person who designed this key art must have been inspired by that image of Rust above.
Arcaea – New Dimension Rhythm Game (Switch) – Releases May 18th
Essays on Empathy (PC) – Releases May 18th
Ariel_Knight’s Never Yield (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases May 19th
Mayhem in Single Valley (PC) – Releases May 20th
Of Bird and Cage (PC) – Releases May 20th
Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (PC) – Released May 17th, 2011: Wiki Link
After the success of The Witcher on PC, CD Projekt Red’s first game, the company had plans to port it to consoles, but financial struggles hampered those efforts, threatening to bankrupt the company. With that plan now axed, the development team decided to shift gears and begin work on the sequel to The Witcher, called Assassins of Kings. Set “some time” after the events of the first game, protagonist Geralt of Rivia finds himself being held captive, accused of murdering the king. Through a series of flashbacks you play through the events of this tragic day, learning the ins and outs of the game mechanics in the process. At the end of the prologue you see that Geralt is innocent and an unknown Witcher assassin has murdered the king. It is from here that the main story campaign begins, with Geralt, Triss, and Roche on the trail of this assassin, hoping to clear Geralt’s name. With Assassins of Kings, CD Projekt Red wanted to improve on just about everything in the original The Witcher, building an entire new, proprietary game engine, overhauling the combat, and focusing on branching storylines that, while it won’t necessarily give you 16 endings, there are 16 possible outcomes for the fate of The Continent, or whatever this world is called. Game play in The Witcher 2 is not unlike its contemporary rival The Elder Scrolls, with Geralt exploring a semi-open world, taking on a multitude of quests from the various townfolk, killing monsters, crafting potions, weapons and armor, and talking to numerous NPCs. This is where The Witcher 2 deviates a bit from Elder Scrolls, because as I mentioned above, there are multiple branching pathways and endings you can get in the the game, and these all come form dialogue choices you make. Even simple sidequests can have multiple outcomes depending on what you say and who you kill, or don’t kill. Critical reception to the game was mostly positive, with many outlets giving it near perfect scores, but it also received middle of the road scores from a few outlets. Most of the praise was given to the rich, detailed graphics, the multitude of dialogue options, the stellar writing, and the vastly improved combat. Negative parts of the game included gratuitous nudity, and in higher difficulty settings, some reviewers thought that the early combat was far, FAR too difficult. Players tended to side with critics on this, with the game selling phenomenally well, particularly in CD Projekt Red’s home country, Poland. The game was such a cultural phenomenon in Poland that the character Triss appeared on the Polish version of Playboy, prompting Kotaku to run an article about it, with the most upvoted comment being this, “If they have anything as blatantly, disgustingly objectifying as the trading cards that you get for sleeping with women in The Witcher I, then not only will I not purchase the game, but I’ll probably end up pirating it. If video game companies want to complain that piracy is stealing, then I want to give them as tangible a ‘lost sale’ as possible for that absolutely vile garbage“, so that should put you in the mindset of how some players felt about not just this game, but CD Projekt Red in general (something we all probably feel after the release of Cyberpunk 2077 in 2020). Nude characters aside, the most notable thing about The Witcher 2 is who owns a copy, not just myself and over 1 million other players, but also the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. During a visit to Poland early in his presidency, Mr. Obama met with Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk, and as a gesture of kindness, and to symbolize Poland’s growing place in the worldwide economy, Tusk gifted a copy of The Witcher 2 to Obama (or as my daughter calls him, Bo-mama). About a year later an “Enhanced Edition” would release on PC, as well as debut on the Xbox 360. This new edition would add a few quality of life improvements, as well as almost four hours of new gameplay content. It’s sequel, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, would release in 2015, gaining overwhelming praise and be called one of the greatest video games ever made. I’m really glad I spent the weekend playing this game, it took me right back to that high fantasy, CRPG feeling that stuff like Elder Scrolls and Baldur’s Gate gives me, and I regret not giving this a shot back in 2011 when it released the same day as L.A. Noire. Oh well, that’s why backlog’s exist.
Red Faction (PS2) – Released May 22nd, 2001: Wiki Link
With the moderately well received PS2 launch title Summoner under the belt, developer Volition’s second game to hit Sony’s new console was the first person shooter Red Faction. Set in the 2070’s, Red Faction takes place on the planet Mars, where a major corporation has begun vast mining operations in order to keep natural resources flowing to Earth. The planet is one, giant industrial plant, where miners live in deplorable and inhumane conditions. With conditions getting worse by the day, and a mysterious illness overtaking many of the workers, the player protagonist, Parker, witness the brutal killing of a fellow miner, setting off a chain reaction that leads to a worker led uprising, causing Parker to take up arms against his oppressors and fight for the rights of the miners on Mars. Development on the game started in 1998, with Red Faction being a re-worked version of Descent 4, a prequel game that would have starred the same protagonist, but in a slightly different setting, in a slightly different set of mine shafts. The game was pretty well received when it came out, getting a perfect score in bot Maxim and OPM, and high praise from Game Informer, IGN, and everyone’s favorite video game magazine, Playboy. Praise was given to the game’s smooth camera work and clean presentation, something that most console FPS games lacked in those days, and reviewers were very fond of the destructible environments, with players able to blow up much of the game’s scenery, allowing you to skip through the level by finding shortcuts, or reach areas that might otherwise by inaccessible. Over the weekend I had to choose between this and The Witcher 2, and while I had a pretty good time with the couple hours I put into this, Witcher 2 kicked its ass. Sorry Red Faction. Thankfully you don’t need a PS2 to play this, as the game was also released on PC a little later, but if you have a PS3 you can download the game through the PlayStation Store, OR, if you’re one of those weirdos with an N-Gage you can try and find a copy for that little piece of junk. Red Faction would get a few sequels, but overall, to me, this is kind of one of those game franchises that is just always kind of there in the background. It’s part of gaming history, but it’s mostly a foot note to me. That’s probably just my fault for ignoring all these years. Now excuse me, I need to get back to playing The Witcher 2.
Go! Go! Tank (Game Boy) – Released May 1991: Wiki Link
With “Tank” in the title and busy cover art, you’d probably think Go! Go! Tank was an action game; but you’d be wrong. You see, like many Game Boy titles, Go! Go! Tank is a puzzle game where you must fly history’s worst controlling airplane, pick up impossibly tiny boxes and place them, haphazardly, against walls and pits so that a tank can drive over them and reach the end of the level. It’s incredibly difficult, and not in a fun “let me keep trying” way. There’s not a lot of info out there about this game, and the Japanese developer, Copya System (eventually renaming to Shangri-La in 1996), didn’t really put out anything notable before (or after) Go! Go! Tank. Honestly, I don’t even know why I picked this as a notable title, aside from just being a weird little curiosity. I do think its Japanese cover art is a much better representation of what the game has to offer, however, I can not in good conscience recommend you let a child play this game. They would get bored, confused, and angry in less than ten seconds. As an adult I got bored, confused, and angry in about 30 seconds, so there’s that. Anyway, check this shit out:
See you folks next week!
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