It’s another very packed week of new releases, but once again I don’t think any of these are major, AAA titles that you need to run out and buy on day one (unless you’re a die hard SMT fan). Still, there’s some pretty cool looking stuff that you can put on your wishlists and purchase in a few months during the semi-monthly bi-annual golden fall leap year mega bundle Steam sale.
Biomutant (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases May 25th
After being announced in 2017, developer Experiment 101’s Biomutant is finally coming out to show just what a “post-apocalyptic kung-fu fable” is. Created by roughly a dozen or so former members of the Just Cause team, Biomutant is an open world action/adventure game in which players control a small, mammalian creature as they journey across the world in an effort to either save, or destroy, something called The Tree of Life. While the graphics and atmosphere are gorgeous, since this is coming from, more or less, and indie developer, I’m not so sure this open world will be as robust or “livable” as something you might see in GTA or, it’s obvious inspiration, Breath of the Wild. Early reviews are pretty mixed, with some saying it’s remarkable and others saying its broken & boring. My suggestion, wait until this drops to $9.99 on Black Friday…or is free with Gold/PS+.
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases May 25th
Honestly, I would have rather highlighted this as the top game of the week, but since Biomutant is a brand new IP, and could theoretically be amazing, I’d much rather play SMT III: Nocturne. This HD remaster is based on the PS2 version that released in North America back in 2004 and received overwhelmingly positive reviews. If you aren’t familiar with the series, Shin Megami Tensei got its start on the PC and Famicom in Japan in 1987. Based on a series of novels, the games told a story about using technology to summon demons, allowing humans to create and control them. This series would eventually spawn the Persona franchise, which I’m sure you HAVE heard about (right?), as well as several other spin-off’s and side games. In Nocturne, players will find themselves in a modern day, alternate reality, post-apocalyptic Tokyo that is housed inside a sphere, populated by humans who died in the apocalypse (called “The Conception”), demons who are waging a war against one another, and a group of deity-like beings that are created by various in habitants of the sphere. Got it?
Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases May 27th
Fight alongside BROTHERS, okay! No girls allowed here, this is a straight up, hardcore BF weekend and I don’t want to see any SISTERS in here; got it. Finally, a game for men.
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (PC – Epic Games Store/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases May 27th
ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! WE HAVE AN XBOX CONSOLE EXCLUSIVE! ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!
For the second consecutive week we have an Xbox console exclusive. Who would have ever thought we’d see that happen again? After an over twenty year absence, the MechWarrior franchise is back, and it’s exclusive to the Epic Games Store…and the Xbox. Set in the year 3015, you take on the role of a rookie MechWarrior pilot, fighting as a mercenary for whoever pays you the most. According to pre-release info, the campaign will take place over the course of 44 years, giving you plenty of time to become that grizzled veteran you’ve always dreamed of being. Giant robots, civil war, over forty years of story to get through; what’s not to love?
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Storm Ground (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases May 27th
It’s rapid fire time. Hey, this is a Warhammer card game, now it’s a strategy game. Tight.
Wonder Boy: Asha In Monster World (PS4/Switch) – Releases May 28th
Hey, this was an old Sega Genesis game, now it’s remade for modern consoles. Tight.
Ports and Re-releases:
Here’s this week’s ports and re-releases…
- Final Fantasy XIV (PS5) – Releases May 25th
- Maneater (PC – Steam/Switch) – Releases May 18th
- Saint’s Row: The Third (PS5/Series X|S) – Releases May 25th
- Super Bomberman R Online (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch) – Releases May 27th
- Port Royale 4 (Switch) – Releases May 28th
- World’s End Club (Switch) – Releases May 28th
Here are the expansions…
- Minecraft Dungeons: Hidden Depths (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases May 26th
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity DLC..thing? (Switch) – Releases May 28th
What a line up.
Here’s everything else…
- King of Seas (PC/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases May 18th
- Weaving Tides (PC/Switch) – Releases May 25th
- Sumire (PC/Switch) – Releases May 26th
- Fishing Fighters (Switch) – Releases May 27th
- The Longest Road on Earth (Android/iOS/PC) – Releases May 27th
I’m so fucking stoked right now.
Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:
Dead or Alive: Dimensions (3DS) – Released May 24th, 2011: Wiki Link
The Dead or Alive series of fighting games are one of the most prolific and well known Tecmo games, so it was surprising to find out that this 3DS version was the very first time the franchise was released on a handheld console. Originally slated as a launch title for the 3DS, Dead of Alive: Dimensions was delayed by two months due to the devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011. Aside from it being the first DOA game on a handheld, it was also the first one on a Nintendo system, the first to be co-published, the first game without the involvement of series creator Tomonobu Itagaki, and was also far less sexual than its predecessors. A surprising feat, considering the game is a re-telling of the first four DOA games. Yes, folks, Dimensions is not a sequel, it is actually a compilation titles featuring characters and stages from all of the previous entries in the series, and even includes a condensed story mode that speeds you through each game, told through the eyes of a single protagonist. It’s this “Chronicle Mode” that I spent all of my time with, and I have to say, I absolutely loved it. The battles are quick and easy, made even more so by the use of the 3DS’ touch screen to pull off massive combos and special moves. You can get through the first fifteen years of DOA history in just a couple hours, making this a must play for those of you, like, who don’t get a lot of free time anymore to play and finish games. Critics enjoyed the title, giving it high scores, but some players, particularly fighting game purists, were turned off by the simple controls and toned down sexuality. Still, even with the sexual stuff scrubbed from the game, DOA: Dimensions was banned in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark due to players being able to change the camera’s angle, allowing them to put the game’s underage characters into sexually suggestive poses, so there’s that. If you have a 3DS, though, I highly recommend giving this game a try, it’s a ton of fun.
Bejeweled (PC) – Released May 30th, 2001: Wiki Link
After a failed attempt at being edgy with Foxy Poker, game developer Sexy Action Cool changed their name to Pop Cap and put out a game that would start a revolution in the puzzle genre that hadn’t been seen since the release of Tetris. Originally called Diamon Mine, Pop Cap would change the name at the request of Microsoft to what we know as the world wide phenomenon Bejeweled. Inspired by a 1988 Russian video game called Shariki, Bejeweled is a match three game in which players must swap brightly colored gems on a massive grid, attempting to make them disappear, as they try to rack up big points and huge combos. The game found a massive following online, being one of the most popular browser based video games of its day, and cemented itself in the hallowed halls of the top casual games. For over a decade, the game industry had been growing its fan base to include women of all ages and older men with titles like Tetris, Madden, Myst, and The Sims. With Bejeweled, Pop Cap was able to harness this casual audience and keep them hooked on their games, as well as the multitude of copy cats that have released over the last twenty years. Sometimes “real gamers” have a hard time accepting these games as equals to the more traditional action titles, yet I can almost guarantee that all of them, and probably you reading this, have either a copy of Bejeweled or some other match three puzzle game downloaded to your phone. They are fun, quick, simple little diversions to pass the time while you wait at the DMV or go poop. Pop Cap would go on to have a ton of success thanks to Bejeweled, releasing some of the best casual games of all time, including Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies. Their studio might not be as “sexy action cool” as places like Platinum Games or Rockstar, but their checkbook’s after Bejeweled gave them all the cred they needed. Pop Cap was here, brother, and they were going to let the world know.
Hatris (Game Boy) – Released May 1991: Wiki Link
Originally released to arcades in 1990, the puzzle game Hatris was the next game from famed Tetris creator Alexi Pajitnov. Developed by Bullet-Proof Software, the company founded by Henk Rogers, the man who brought Tetris, and Pajitnov, to the masses, Hatris takes only the most basic concept of Tetris, clearing lines to increase your score, but presents it with entirely different game play mechanics. Instead of moving falling blocks into place to clear horizontal lines, Hatris has hats falling, in pairs, from the top of the screen as you try to clear vertical stacks of the same hat. With multiple types of hats that range in size, from small baseball caps to long wizard cones, players need to navigate the pairs of hats around the play field, hoping to set one before trying to independently move the other to a matching column. It’s not nearly as addictive as the simple joys of Tetris, but Hatris does contain that same kind of magic that makes you want to play it more and more. Still, I can’t imagine playing this for hours on an airplane like I can Tetris, and really, unless you have a Game Boy, you can’t, because Hatris doesn’t exist anywhere outside of its original releases. I mean, it didn’t reach near the same level of notoriety as Tetris, so its not like the masses are demanding a Switch re-make or anything, and I can see why Pajitnov and Rogers have decided to just focus on their cash cow and let Hatris go the way of the dodo. Still, if you want to check out this curious little title I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, I certainly wasn’t.
That’s going to do it for this week folks. Sorry if things felt a little rushed, sometimes real life intrudes on my fun time and I gotta throw some shit on the screen. Take care out there, I hope you have a wonderful week.
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