Hey look, real games from real companies are finally coming out! I mean, they’re still probably not the titles we’re all waiting for but, I mean, these look pretty damn good compared to what we’ve seen the last couple months.
On another note, this is the 4th anniversary of New Game Releases, AKA, Tuesday New Games! As always, I am incredibly grateful to everyone who stops by here every week to see what’s coming out and discuss stuff in the comments. The fact that, after four years, I can still keep doing this and still have people read it is an absolute joy. Love, love it’s who you know. Love, love, love solves everything. Love.
Mario Strikers: Battle League (Switch) – Releases Jun. 10th
Developed by: Next Level Games/Nintendo EPD
Published by: Nintendo
This is only the third entry in the Mario Strikers series after debuting on the GameCube in 2005, with this latest entry, Battle League, arriving a whopping 15 years after the last game, 2007’s Mario Strikers Charged on the Wii. In case it wasn’t apparent in the video above, Mario Strikers: Battle League is yet another sports title set in the Mario universe, this time the sport is soccer or, as they call it (just about) everywhere else in the world, football. In America we already have a game called football, so we called football soccer, so as to not confuse football with football. I’m not a huge soccer (football) fan, I’m more of a football (American football) fan. I wonder if they’ll ever make a Mario themed football game, American football. I know they have Mario football games already, we’re talking about it right now. I mean football in the sense that that is what (just about) every other country in the world calls soccer, which is football, but not THAT football.
The Quarry (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Jun. 10th
Developed by: Supermassive Games
Published by: 2K Games
Dear god, the most terrifying thing imaginable…DIGITAL DAVID ARQUETTE!!!
Meteor World Actor: Badge & Dagger (PC) – Releases Jun. 9th
Developed by: Heliodor
Published by: Shiravune
I think this is, like, a visual novel, or something. I don’t know, I don’t research these things. You look it up.
Metal Max Xeno Reborn (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Jun. 10th
Developed by: Kadokawa Games
Published by: PQube
Originally releasing on the PS4 back in 2018, Metal Max Xeno was the latest entry in the long running Japanese RPG series, Metal Max. While there are nine Metal Max games released, Xeno was only the second to be released in America, following the 2006 PS2 game Metal Saga. I bought this game day one back in 2018…and it’s still in the shrink wrap, so, huh, did I buy this again on Switch…I mean…do you really need the answer?
Ports and Re-releases:
Noel the Mortal Fate (PS4/Switch) – Releases Jun. 8th
Originally released in seven episodes, this JRPG, created in RPG Maker, Noel the Mortal Fate is now making its way to consoles in one complete package. The Steam reviews are overwhelmingly positive so, uh, it’s probably pretty good.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II (Switch) – Releases Jun. 8th
Originally released for Xbox in 2004, Knights of the Old Republic II was famously unfinished to meet publisher demand and get the product into stores for Christmas. Though a later re-release would claim to have the unfinished content, players would still argue that there are still many unresolved plots and an unsatisfying ending. Look at it this way, though. How many games do you own? How many have you finished? Exactly, so just get this game, play it for two hours like you do everything else and then forget all about it until the re-remaster comes out on PS4, PS5, and PS6 for it’s 25th anniversary.
Dead by Daylight – Roots of Dread (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Jun. 7th
I don’t think this is based on and existing horror franchise; pass, duh.
We’re really circling the drain on these ones.
- The Cycle: Frontier (PC) – Releases Jun. 8th
- POSTAL: Brain Damaged (PC) – Releases Jun. 9th
- Tour de France 2022 (PC) – Releases Jun. 9th
Notable Releases from 10, 20 and 30 years ago:
Lollipop Chainsaw (PS3/Xbox 360) – Released Jun. 12th, 2012: Wiki Link
Wholesome. Serene. Humble. Gentle. Subdued. These are a collection of adjectives (I think), though none of them describe the game Lollipop Chainsaw. The brain child of game developer Suda 51 and filmmaker James Gunn (just two years before he’d hit big with Guardians of the Galaxy), Lollipop Chainsaw is a hack and slash action game where players take on the role of an eighteen year high school cheerleader named Juliet. While she may seem like a typical American girl with blonde hair, giant tits, and a phat ass, Juliet is hiding a secret from the world; she’s a zombie hunter. On the day of her 18th birthday, a zombie outbreak occurs in her town, causing panic and havoc to ruin her perfect day. Joining Juliet on her journey is her boyfriend Nick, though not in the way you might be thinking. While waiting for Juliet at a nearby park, Nick is attacked by zombies and, while trying to save Juliet (not knowing she’s a bad ass zombie slayer) is bitten by one of the ghouls. In an effort to save his life, Juliet chops off Nick’s head and keeps him alive using dark magic, hanging his sentient head on her belt and using him to solve various puzzles in the game.
Despite the grim and dark tone of the situation, Juliet is overly optimistic and cheerful. Her cheerfulness is so overloaded that when she kills zombies she will often see pink hearts and other cute images flow out of their bodies instead of blood. As the game progresses, Juliet learns that a schoolmate has opened a portal to the Rotten World, a dimension in which demons and zombies reside. Juliet must then track down a group of intelligent zombies, referred to as the Dark Purveyors, and kill them, which will seal the portal to the Rotten World.
Both Suda 51 and James Gunn were, at the time, both well known for their weird, outlandish, and often offensive body of work. Suda 51 was just coming off of his work on No More Heroes and Shadows of the Damed, while Gunn was riding high on his recent indie darling Super starring Rainn Wilson and Elliot Page. In an interview with Destructoid, Gunn said that he was approached by Suda to write the story for Lollipop Chainsaw as well as the dialogue during cutscenes. What ended up happening, though, was that Gunn became so excited about the project that he ended up writing every single line of dialogue in the game, for example, the over 100 things Juliet can say after killing a zombie. When asked about his involvement with the gameplay, Gunn mentioned that he had a couple of ideas, but ultimately the gameplay and design were 100% the creation of Suda and his team.
In the weeks leading up to release, the game started to generate buzz around the gaming industry and with players. During the 2012 PAX East convention, “geek” cosplayer Jessica Nigiri was hired by the game’s two publishers, Warner Bros. and Kadokawa, to be a spokesmodel. Nigiri attended PAX East dressed up as Juliet, but her initial costume was considered too revealing and she was asked to change her outfit or leave the show floor. She would later change into Juliet’s in-game cheerleader outfit but this too was deemed inappropriate and was asked to leave the convention entirely. This was part of a larger push against the game and it’s perceived sexism and objectification of women. When asked about this in an interview with Jim Sterling, Gunn had this to say, “…I think it’s important people don’t confuse sexuality with sexism. There is nothing in the game, ever, that makes females somehow less than males. …I think a lot of the criticisms of LC‘s ‘sexism’ are really coming from a place where the secret message is sex is bad, sexual attraction is bad, lust is bad…Yes, Juliet Starling is hot as hell. And, yes, that probably helps to sell copies of the game. But my question is, so what? How in the world does that convey that women are less than men?“
Going further, Gunn had even more to say about the state of the gaming industry in 2012, “First of all, let me say, I think the gamer community has a big problem with women, and that is that so few women are in the industry! Going around to gaming conventions, I was shocked by the small percentage of women who work in gaming — there are barely any on the creative side, nor on the business side, nor on the journalistic side. I think more than worrying about how fictional women are treated in fictional worlds, we should care about how real women are treated in our real world — and that means hiring more of them within the gaming world, on all sides of the business. That, of course, would affect how women are treated in games as well”.
Critical reception to the game was mixed, with some outlets giving the game high praise, such as Jim Sterling at Destructoid, while others, like The Digital Fix, lambasted the game as uncomfortable and boring. Sales of the game were great, with Lollipop Chainsaw selling over 1 million copies worldwide (it was a huge hi commercially and critically in Japan), making it Grasshopper Manufacture’s most successful title to date. Suda 51 would follow-up with Killer is Dead, Let It Die and No More Heroes III, while Gunn would go on to become a household name with Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad, and Peacemaker. While doing press interviews for The Suicide Squad, Gunn admitted that he took inspiration from Lollipop Chainsaw when creating the scene in the film where Harley Quinn kills multiple people and instead of blood you see stuff like flowers and birds and other nice things. Sadly, after sitting here talking about this game for so long, I regret to inform you that there is currently no way to play Lollipop Chainsaw without owning a copy of the original disc. I’m not sure why the game has been relegated to the dust bin of gaming history, but something is stopping Warner Bros., Kadokawa and Grasshopper from putting the game back on the market. I I had to guess, though, my bet is that there are issues with the vast licensed soundtrack contained in the game. If you find this out in the wild at your local game store I highly recommend picking it up.
Resident Evil Gaiden (Game Boy Color) – Released Jun. 3rd, 2002: Wiki Link
One of those strange oddities in the Resident Evil franchise, the “non-canonical” Resident Evil Gaiden is an interesting, but flawed game. Set sometime after the events of Resident Evil 2 (though, again, non-canonical), players take on the roles of Leon S. Kennedy and Barry Burton, as well as a third character named Lucia that players meet later in the game. The premise is that a viral outbreak has occurred on a luxury passenger ship, prompting Leon and Barry to investigate. The game is played in a top down perspective, with battles taking place in a first person view. To attack, a scrolling cursor moves back and forth across a line, with players needing to press the button while the cursor is in an exact spot to inflict damage. It’s very frustrating, and very annoying, and I don’t like it.
Resident Evil Gaiden is very weird and most of its events are nullified by later entries in the series. It is notable, however, because you are basically playing the entire game as BOW clones of Barry and Leon. As you might expect, Resident Evil Gaiden is a difficult game to find at a reasonable price and, of course, there is no digital version available on any modern console, making emulation your best option. Still, there’s nothing much here aside from the curiosity factor, as the game is too hard to enjoy and not nearly enough fun to keep going back to.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (PC) – Released Jun. 1st, 1992: Wiki Link
By the end of the 1980’s, the film franchise Indiana Jones was at an all-time high in terms of popularity. With Indy’s adventures coming to a close in 1989 with The Last Crusade, any further stories would need to come from other sources, one of those being, naturally, video games. Having already made a point & click adventure based on The Last Crusade, the team at LucasArts got to work on a sequel. Originally, the game’s director, Hal Barwood, was told to base the game on a rejected script for the third Indy movie, referred to as The Monkey King or Garden of Life. Finding the script and idea “substandard”, Barwood scoured the LucasFilm Indy archives for ideas. Coming across a coffee table book on unexplained mysteries, Barwood found an entire passage dedicated to the lost city of Atlantis and it’s, supposed, three ring structure. Thinking this would lead to interesting puzzle ideas, Barwood decided to have Indy search for, and find, Atlantis.
Along the way, Indy would team up with, of course, a beautiful woman. This time a red haired psychic and former archeologist named Sophia Hapgood. Discovering that Nazis are also interested in finding Atlantis and the powerful energy source it contains, Indy must deal with them on occasion, getting into fist fights or using objects in his environment to dispatch them. While the game initially starts out going in one direction, there comes a point where players must choose their next path; Teams, Wits, or Fists. If you choose Teams, players stick with Sophia and must alternate between the two multiple times to solve puzzles. In Wits, the game tasks players with going to multiple locations around the world, having to solve incredibly tough puzzles. Finally, in Fists, players completely ditch Sophia (reuniting near the end of the game) and spend most of their time fighting and less time puzzle solving.
Critics were amazed by the game, calling it one of the best PC games of the year, as well as one of the best point & click adventures ever made. Multiple outlets praised the work done by the team at LucasArts and called it their best work to date, and when it came came for the year end accolades, Fate of Atlantis was called “Best Adventure Game” by multiple outlets, often tying with Ultima Underworld. Critics were impressed with the beautiful VGA graphics and stunning MIDI score (seriously, go listen to it), and though the game was just about perfect in every way. A year later, a CD-ROM version of the game would release, adding voice over work, elevating an already great game to new heights. Over the years the game would be released on PC multiple times, with a console version finally coming out on the Wii through an unlockable in the the game Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings.
Two sequels were planned, one involving Indy tracking down the philosopher’s stone before Nazis can find it and resurrect Hitler, and another revolving around the spear of destiny. Both games would be cancelled and eventually turned into comic book mini-series from Dark Horse. Unlike our other two notable titles, Fate of Atlantis is easily available today on PC, with the game being on both GOG and Steam. High replay value, great music, and a fun story make Fate of Atlantis a complete blast to play through. If you missed this game over the last 30 years, or are just now hearing about it, I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.