New Game Releases 05/31/22 – 06/06/22

You would think that the release of a new Diablo game would be cause for celebration and mass hysteria, but instead it feels muted and uninspiring. The rest of this week’s games look interesting but, overall, these last couple of months have been pretty boring, right? I should wander, yet, I shaln’t gander far. (Really, Billy, “shaln’t”?)

 

Top Releases:

Diablo Immortal (Android/iOS/PC) – Releases Jun. 2nd

Developed by: Blizzard/NetEase
Published by: Blizzard

“Do you guys not have phones?”

Silt (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Jun. 1st

Developed by: Spiral Circus
Published by: Fireshine Games

Set sometime in the “future” (maybe), Silt is an underwater exploration and puzzle solving game. With the creatures and landscape of the Earth’s oceans reaching Tim Burton-esque levels of insanity, players must guide their deep sea diver through a maze of grotesque tunnels and caves, using some kind of super power that allows them to possess underwater creatures. As you dive deeper and deeper into the abyss, you will encounter giant sea monsters that you must overcome if you want to obtain the ultimate power lying deep underwater.

Card Shark (PC/Switch) – Releases Jun. 2nd

Developed by: Nerial
Published by: Devolver Digital

One part card game, one part adventure game, Card Shark is another unique title from publisher Devlover Digital. Set in 18th century France, players find themselves playing cards with an assortment of characters, working their way up the ranks, hoping to get a seat at the most high-stakes card game in the country. Use your wits, and your best cheating techniques, to win; just don’t get caught.

Souldiers (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Jun. 2nd

Developed by: Retro Forge
Published by: Dear Villagers

Souldiers is the latest in a long line of side scrolling games inspired by Dark Souls. In this game, players find themselves trapped in a mysterious land called Terragaya, which sits on the edge of the afterlife. While our heroes were, in fact, taking part in a fierce battle, their appearance in Terragaya is curious, mostly because they have not died. Discover the mystery surrounding your appearance as you journey through Terragaya, fighting enemies and gaining experience along the way.

 

Ports and Re-releases:

Arcade Archives: The Tower of Druaga (PS4/Switch) – Releases Jun. 2nd

tower of druaga

Originally released in arcades in 1984, Namco’s The Tower of Druaga is considered by some industry insiders to be one of the most influential games in the adventure genre, said to have inspired titles like Ys and The Legend of Zelda. With the goal of climbing a 60 story tower, players must navigate complex mazes while avoiding traps and enemies. The game is quite difficult, but that didn’t stop it from generating millions of dollars in revenue in Japan in 1984. Now you can just drop $7.99, or whatever, play it forever, and probably still never beat it.

Wonder Boy Collection (PS4/Switch) – Releases Jun. 3rd

wonder boy collection

A few of the Wonder Boy games have gotten modern remakes over the last few years, however, if you just want the originals, well, there’s a brand new collection just for you! Featuring:

  • Wonder Boy
  • Wonder Boy in Monster Land
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World
  • Monster World IV

 

Expansions:

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle (PC/Stadia) – Releases Jun. 6th

eso high isle

The second of four planned DLC chapters in the Legacy of the Bretons, High Isle is the largest of these. There is a slew of new content for the game including a new zone to explore, an in-game collectible card game called Tales of Tribute, a new 12 player trial called Dreadsail Reef, two new companions, as well as new world events called “fissures”, and new delves, dungeons, & world bosses. If you pre-order the expansion you’ll also receive a new unique mount and 2 unique pets (must be purchased by Jun. 4th to receive both pets).

 

Everything else:

may 31st else

There’s a few other games coming out, these are the three most interesting, though not interesting enough to actually talk about.

  • Dwerve (PC) – Releases May 31st
  • The Last Taxi (HTC Vive/Oculus Rift/Valve Index) – Releases May 31st
  • TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity (PC/Switch) – Releases Jun. 2nd

 

Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:

Inversion (PC/PS3/Xbox 360) – Released Jun. 5th, 2012: Wiki Link

inversion

Notable Film Release: Snow White and the HuntsmanStarring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth
Notable Album Release: Japandroids – Celebration Rock

We talk about a lot of games in the Notable Titles section and, believe it or not, some of them a terrible. I mean, that shouldn’t be too hard to believe, how many of these New Game Release columns are me saying “eh, this week sucks, play your back catalog“, more than a few, just look at these last couple months for proof. Suffice to say, this is all lead up to the notable title from ten years ago, the cover based shooter Inversion. A clear rip-off of Gears of War, Inversion has you playing as a “bad-ass” cop instead of a “bad-ass” marine, but they both fuckin’ talk like this with that gravelly voice and IDGAF attitude and fuck these aliens, I’m gonna fuckin’ kill all these fuckin’ bastards, etc., etc.

Developed by Saber Interactive, a company that has put out a lot of titles that fit into what you might describe as “mid-tier” or “AA” games. Stuff like TimeShift, World War Z, and the most recent example Evil Dead: The Game. They’ve also got an extensive history as a studio that will port other studio’s games to consoles or PC, such as Halo and Crysis. Inversion was Saber’s third original title behind Will Rock and TimeShift, and they don’t seem to have strayed far from their formula. You run around with a big gun, kill aliens, say “fuck” a lot, and watch a dozen cut scenes of buildings crumbling and people screaming. Normally this is where I tell you if the game is available anywhere, and Inversion is easily available on Steam, but don’t bother. I purchased a copy, installed it, fired it up and then, black screen. I looked at the forums on Steam and there were tons of threads of people saying this happened to them but they could remedy it by making adjustments to their video cards. I tweaked a couple, updated to the driver and then I got to play the first level. Great, right? Wrong, when it tried to load level two the game crashed again, prompting me to quickly request a refund. Inversion sucks, that’s all you really need to know.

Way of the Samurai (PS2) – Released May 31st, 2002: Wiki Link

way of the samurai

Notable Film Release: Undercover BrotherStarring Eddie Griffin, Chris Kattan, Denise Richards, Dave Chappelle, Aunjanue Ellis, Neil Patrick Harris, Chi McBride, and Billy Dee Williams
Notable Album Release: Avril Lavigne – Let Go

Way of the Samurai, unlike Inversion, is a fantastic game, but it still has problems. Set in the year 1878 at the start of the Meji period in Japan, Way of the Samurai has players taking on the role of a samurai, exploring the countryside on a quest to do…something…anything. Instead of having a specific goal in mind, Way of the Samurai lets you kind of choose your own path, living either as an honorable do-gooder or a (slightly) nefarious baddie. The catch, however, is that you only have one life, so when you get killed (and you will get killed) you are forced to start over from the beginning. With the game only featuring about 2 1/2 hours of gameplay, Way of the Samurai is more like watching an interactive samurai film than it is playing a game.

While this is a bit of a bold idea, in practice I did not find this quite so fun. Battles can be incredibly difficult, with some enemies dealing high amounts of damage while also having a large amount of health. I suppose you can say this adds a level of realism to the game, as you aren’t some invincible god, but the fact that one wrong move an hour into playing the game can end your run, forcing you to start over, is incredibly defeating. I suppose if you played the game enough times you’d be able to figure where to go and who to fight or not fight, but most of us have only got around 70-80 years on this planet, I don’t have time to waste on this kind of bullshit. Way of the Samurai is not available on any modern consoles or PC, however the third entry, Way of the Samurai 3 (duh), is available on PC and maybe the PS3 as a digital title. I liked what this game had going for it, but I just can’t bring myself to ever play it again.

Krusty’s Fun House (Game Gear/Genesis/SNES) – Released May/Jun. 1992: Wiki Link

krustys fun house

Notable Film Release: Sister ActStarring Whoopi Goldberg
Notable Album Release: Sublime – 40oz. to Freedom

For The Simpsons first 16-bit game you might have thought maybe some kind of platformer starring Bart, or maybe a port of the arcade game but, no. Although it contains platforming elements, the game that fans would get would be a puzzle game called Krusty’s Fun House. Similar to Lemmings, players must move around a level using blocks, pipes, and other items to guide a group of mice to a trap where they get exterminated. If you’re wondering why someone thought kids were clamoring for a puzzle game starring a second-tier Simpsons character, well, that’s because Krusty’s Fun House was actually a re-skinned game. In the UK, a developer called Audiogenic released a game for the Amiga called Rat-Trap which, like Krusty’s Fun House, had players solving environmental puzzles in order to lead a group of marching rats to their doom. Since Acclaim owned the publishing rights to The Simpsons, they decided to license Rat-Trap and add in characters from The Simpsons.

While publishers today typically only have to worry about putting their games on four platforms (and maybe mobile devices), back in the early 90’s there were A LOT of platforms to take into consideration. Not wanting to pass up any opportunity for money, Acclaim released Krusty’s Fun House on EIGHT different platforms. The first versions arrived in May of 1992 for the Game Gear and the Genesis, followed by the SNES version in June of 1992. Subsequent releases would follow over the next few months on Amiga, PC, NES, Master System, and finally Game Boy in January of 1993. Critics were pleasantly surprised by the game but didn’t necessarily think it was good. Decent, at best, seemed to be the consensus. On a personal note, this was one of the first Sega Genesis games I got when I was a kid (where it was called Krusty’s Super Fun House, as was the SNES version). I would spend hours and hours and hours trying to beat the first set of stages, but just never quite making it to the end. While the puzles aren’t incredibly challenging, there are a lot of hazards that can drain your health and make you lose lives. If you die, that’s it, game over and you must start from the beginning. As with most licensed games, Krusty’s Fun House is not available on any modern platforms, making emulation or a copy of the original cart your only chance to play it. The game is a lot of fun, though, so try it out if you ever come accross it.

 


 

Andy Tuttle
Andy Tuttle

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