New Game Releases 03/21/23 – 03/27/23

There’s not a lot coming out this week but the top game is big, and I mean BIG. I guess Resident Evil 4 Remake has…scared away the competition? You get it? Eh? Get it? GET IT?!

No video this week, export failed twice, not sure why. The video finally exported, enjoy!


Top Releases:

Resident Evil 4 Remake (PC/PS4/PS5/Series X|S) – Releases Mar. 24th

Developed by: Capcom
Published by: Capcom

After successful remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, Capcom decided to continue the remake train rolling along with the next entry in the franchise Resident Evil: Code Veronica Resident Evil 4. Arguably, the greatest Resident Evil game of all time, RE4 was a reinvention of the series, of sorts, with a concentrated effort to move away from the slow paced horror of the first three games into something that featured more action and enemies that could move faster than zombies. It was a smash hit for its initial home, the GameCube, selling over 1.6 million copies. When it released for PS2 nine months later, it sold an additional 2 million copies, with lifetime sales across all platforms and re-releases totaling well over 11 million copies. Alright, so why remake it then? Haven’t we all gotten enough of this game? Haha, no. No we have not. The remake doesn’t seem to stray too far from the original game’s plot, Leon S. Kennedy is sent on a mission to a village in Spain where Ashley Graham, the daughter of the U.S. President, has been kidnapped. Of course, strange things are afoot in this quiet village, thrusting Leon into yet another nightmare. Do you think I have time to play the original one before this comes out?

Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch) – Releases Mar. 23rd

Developed by: Gust
Published by: Koei Tecmo

I thought this had already come out but then I remembered that the date had been changed. I’m almost certain I wrote a blurb about it but I must have deleted it, oh well, you don’t care, why did I even write this? Anyway, Atelier Ryza 3 is the third and final entry in the Ryza series. Join the young, thicc alchemist and her friends as they embark on their final journey together where they will learn to live, laugh, and love. #blessed

Deceive Inc. (PC/PS5/Series X|S) – Releases Mar. 21st

Developed by: Sweet Bandits Studios
Published by: Tripwire Presents

Deceive Inc. is a first person, multiplayer espionage game where players must use disguises to try and steal various macguffin’s before the other players do. It’s Among Us meets Overwatch, and the servers will probably be shut down by next year.

Tchia (PC – Epic Games Exclusive/PS4/PS5) – Releases Mar. 21st

Developed by: Awaceb
Published by: Awaceb/Kepler Interactive

From Canadian indie studio Awaceb, Tchia is an action adventure game that seems to borrow heavily from the Breath of the Wild playbook. In Tchia, players take on the role of a young girl named, of course, Tchia. Players will explore a tropical archipelago which is, if you weren’t aware, a chain or grouping of islands. As Tchia explores the islands, players will be able to use her special “soul jumping” ability to take control of various animals and objects. By soul jumping, Tchia is able to reach areas she may not otherwise and can be used to solve puzzles. Sony is putting a lot of marketing behind this game and are touting it as one of the premier titles for their rival Game Pass service, PS+ Extra, where Tchia will be available to all subscribers on launch day. Check it out, we could have a sleeper hit on our hands.


Ports and Re-releases:

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Mar. 21st

Five years after it was released on the PS4, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is finally coming to Xbox consoles. Set several hundred years after the events of the first Ni no Kuni, players follow the adventures of a young prince named Evan who meets a mysterious man named Roland who has traveled from another dimension…ours. Evan, Roland, and a whole slew of other characters, must work together to thwart the plans of an evil usurper and restore peace to the kingdom!

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution (PSVR 2) – Releases Mar. 21st

Virtual reality is is sick; The Walking Dead is sick. Bro, what’s not to love?


Everything else:

Just look at all the raw emotion and energy spewing from this image. We are truly in the greatest era of humankind. Oh, and Storyteller is published by Annapurna Interactive, if that does anything for you.


Notable Releases from 10, 20, and 30 years ago:

Once again my work has stifled much of my creativity and taken up far too much of my time, so I’m juts gonna kind of speed round these. I mean, it’s not any of them are THAT important right? Okay, what do we have first…BioShock Infinite?! Crap.

BioShock Infinite (PC/PS3/Xbox 360) – Released Mar. 26th, 2013: Wiki Link

Notable Film Release: The Croods – Starring Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, and Clark Duke
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: The Strokes – Comedown Machine
*Click here to listen to the album*

Shortly after the release of BioShock in 2007, Ken Levine and the team at Irrational Games weren’t keen to immediately jump back into that world. Instead, Levin handpicked select members of Irrational to form a new studio, 2K Marin, to create and develop BioShock 2. Levin and the rest of Irrational would begin work on a new entry in the XCOM franchise (even though two OTHER 2K studios were working on XCOM games as well). After about a year Levin began to lose interest in the XCOM game and wanted to get back into the BioShock world. Unfortunately, 2K Marin was already well into production on their sequel, one that wasn’t quite living up to his standards, so Levin and his team began work on the REAL sequel, their sequel, BioShock Infinite.

With the massive success of BioShock it saw the team at Irrational explode to more than 150 people. Not only that, but with 2K Marin and a second studio, 2K Australia (also made up of former Irrational devs), the size and scope of the team working on Ken Levine’s stuff was becoming overwhelming. The pressure and attention was too much for one of BioShock’s key team members, Jon Chey, who was essentially Levine’s right hand man on the project. Chey was the “tech guy” and dealt with many of the day to day development tasks while Levine was more of a creative type who just wanted to spend time crafting the story and building the gameplay mechanics. With Chey gone the technical issues were coming solely to Levine, and he wasn’t really down with it. It was so debilitating that he felt it destroyed the company culture and was a key driver in downsizing after the release of Infinite.

The story in BioShock Infinite starts similarly to the first game with players taking control of a mysterious protagonist, named Booker DeWitt, who is heading to a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean. Instead of dropping down into an underwater city, however, players are launched into the sky, landing in the floating city of Columbia. This monument to American Exceptionalism appears to be, at first glance, a sprawling utopia of gentile kindness and good Christian values. Soon, though, players learn that Columbia is only a utopia for the (mostly white) elites, while the (mostly black) working class citizens were relegated to slums, prisons and, in the worst cases, experimented on and mutilated for research, sport, and sadistic fun.

While Columbia devolves into civil war and anarchy, Booker is tasked with finding a woman named Elizabeth and bringing her to New York City, alive, handing her over to some…people…I guess, who claim that they will erase all of Booker’s debts if he pulls off the job. Elizabeth, it turns out, is very important to Columbia, being used by its rulers to keep Columbia a shining beacon of technological wizardry. When Booker meets the woman she is confused but reluctantly joins him when he promises to get her out of Columbia and over to her favorite city in the world, Paris. Of course, things don’t quite go to plan, there’d be no game otherwise, and players must guide Booker and Elizabeth through a Columbia that is gradually catching on fire, so to speak, as the working class takes out their revenge on the elite’s, sparking revolution in the process (or are they…).

Despite starting production on BioShock Infinite in 2008, Irrational was having major issues with getting the game on track. With no one watching over his shoulder, Levine gave in to every wild brained idea he had, constantly asking dev’s to spend weeks working on very minor game mechanics, but to a meticulous degree in order to satisfy Levine’s “vision”. The higher ups at Irrational were becoming concerned that BioShock Infinite would never be released and, in 2012, hired three people to put the game over the finish line. A former BioShock and BioShock 2 dev named Jordan Thomas, and a “fixer” of sorts named Don Roy, who had helped several troubled projects make their deadlines. The third hire was Rod Fergusson, another “fixer” who was brought in to force Levine to make tough decisions and rein in his worst tendencies.

With a strong team of closers working behind him, Levine finally had people guiding him down a straight path, something he desperately needed, and BioShock Infinite began to finally take shape as a game, less than one year before it was supposed to come out. This, as you might imagine, led to INTENSE crunch to get the game out, with dev’s saying that they were working well over 12 hours a day to get the game ready. Ken Levine and his team had been working on BioShock Infinite for four years and it seems that they really weren’t doing anything, with the last nine months or so being the time in which the actual game was made.

When it was released, BioShock Infinite gained overwhelming praise from critics. It was the third highest rated game of 2013, behind GTA V and The Last of Us, and was named by many critics as one of the best video games of its console generation. Some critics hailed it as a masterpiece that would stand next to other great narrative FPS games like Half-Life and Deus Ex. The story was highlighted as being the best part of the entire game, with critics noting that it would certainly be polarizing and spark debate and conversation over its exploration of racism, classism, and nationalism. While the Columbia elite are ostensibly the bad guys, even the working class come across as less than virtuous and this caused some to say Levine was playing the “both sides are bad” card.

Following the release of BioShock Infinite and its DLC, Irrational let go of almost its entire workforce, going from nearly 200 employees to just 16. Levine didn’t feel comfortable with having that many people working for him, he preferred a smaller, more focused team. In 2017, four years after BioShock Infinite, Levine said that Irrational was changing its name to Ghost Story Games and, in 2022, announced their first game, Judas, set for release in 2025…twelve years after BioShock Infinite. Where are those fixers at when you need them?

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube) – Released Mar. 24th, 2003: Wiki Link

Notable Film Release: View from the Top – Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Mark Ruffalo, Candice Bergen, Rob Lowe, and Mike Myers
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: Linkin Park – Meteora
*Click here to listen to the album*

Well I guess this is just a week for massive, critical successes that had a deep and lasting impact on video games, huh? GREAT! WONDERFUL! Our notable title form 20 years ago is the GameCube masterpiece, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. During development of Majora’s Mask, rumblings within Nintendo were that Zelda director Eiji Aonuma and series creator Shigeru Miyamoto were making a new titles in the franchise for the upcoming GameCube console. A tech demo, shown at the 2000 Space World expo in Japan, featured a clip of a realistic looking Link fighting Gannondorf and was made to show the power of the console and its capabilities.

This tech demo was seen as confirmation that Zelda was coming to GameCube and that it would be just like Ocarina of Time but with way better graphics. Aonuma, on the other hand, hated it. He was unhappy that the tech demo clip was released as he felt they had done everything they could with that iteration of Link. Aonuma wanted to move in a different direction and found if after seeing a sketch of a cartoonish looking Link by designer Satoru Takizawa. Wanting to continue down this path, Aonuma asked Takizawa to draw a moblin in the same style. The team working on the new Zelda were intrigued and beagan taking these 2D sketches and turning them into 3D models. Employing cel shading on the models gave them a cartoon effect and Aonuma knew that he had his next Zelda game.

Production on the new Zeldabegan almost immediately after the team started playing with the cel shaded models. The game’s world was quickly drawn up, with the idea that Link explore several islands in a vast ocean, as it was felt that the cel shading would work well in this type of environment. While Aonuma and his team were giddy over the new look for Link, Miyamoto was not at all impressed. He was confused as to why the team went in this direction, saying that it was still early enough into production that Aonuma could change his mind and make a more traditional looking game. The team pushed back and insisted that this was the way to go, but Miyamoto needed convincing. One example states that Miyamoto was very concerned about how big Link’s eyes were, demanding to know the reasoning for it. After jokingly saying that they were thinking of making him be able to shoot laser beams from his eyes, the team instead decided that they could use Link’s eyes to point players in the direction of interesting objects and secrets, which satisfied Miyamoto.

Seeing how much enthusiasm Aonuma and the team had for this new graphical style, Miyamoto gave his blessing and work continued in full force. By the time the next Space World rolled around, the team had a trailer to show off to the public and…well…it didn’t go well. Critics and players were confused and angry, demanding to know where the badass Zelda game they were promised was. The new look for Link and Hyrule were mocked mercilessly online and critics dubbed the game ‘Celda’. Miyamoto, Aonuma, and the team were shocked by the negative reception and vowed to not show off any more of the game until there was a playable demo, insisting that fans would be blown away the gameplay, even if they weren’t by the graphics.

By E3 2002 the team had their playable demo and showed it off to a skeptical crowd. Like they had predicted, once players and critics got their hands on the game they were glued to the screen, saying that the game felt and played just like the previous 3D Zelda games and that its whimsical tone was charming and felt very much like the SNES title A Link to the Past. By the end of 2002 the new game would have its name, The Wind Waker. This tied into the sailing aspect which had Link riding in a red boat with a dragon head for a mast, which talked, as well as Link’s ability to control the wind with a conductor’s baton, whish he would use to solve puzzles and move wuickly around the sea.

As way to drive pre-orders, Nintendo released, in limited quantities, GameCube versions of Ocarina of Time and it’s unreleased expansion Uru Zelda which was a more difficult version of the game with rearranged dungeons. Despite this killer offer, The Wind Waker did not meet sales expectations, selling almost 3 million less copies than Ocarina of Time and is, perhaps, one reason why the GameCube may not have sold as many units as it could have. While sales were down, the reviews were up, way up, with multiple perfect scores from several gaming outlets, including Famitsu. The Wind Waker was hailed as a masterpiece in video games, being favorably compared to the works of Disney and Studio Ghibli, with major praise being given to Link’s facial expressions and emotive eyes.

While The Wind Waker’s gameplay was, particularly combat and movement, the sailing aspect fell a bit flat with critics, calling the traversal of Hyrule’s seas as tedious and boring. As for the game’s less than expected sales, Nintendo blamed a cultural shift in Japan away from video games, while bluntly stating that the cel shaded graphics were a complete bomb in the West, turning away the teenage male market that typically drove sales of Zelda games. Despite the negative reception at launch (though, still, remember that it sold over 4 MILLION COPIES) The Wind Waker has been re-evaluated by players and critics since its release and it is now held in high regard. An HD version would arrive on the Wii U in 2013 and actually increased the sales of that console by 685%, but good luck trying to find it today at a reasonable price.

Love it or hate it, The Wind Waker and its cel shaded graphics are part of the long standing Zelda franchise. It’s the odd duck out in a series filled with odd ducks, but I believe it stands heads above many of the other entries in the series, including the “real” Zelda game we got a few years later, Twilight Princess. Unfortunately Nintendo hasn’t released the game on Switch, instead opting to put out Skyward Sword, meaning that your only way to play this masterpiece is by getting a Wii U and the game for a ridiculously insane price, finding a GameCube copy for an even higher price, or emulating it for free. I know which one I’d choose.

Star Fox (SNES) – Released Mar. 26th, 1993: Wiki Link

Notable Film Release: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III – Starring Paige Turco, Elias Koteas, and Stuart Wilson, and four guys in rubber suits
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release:  Depeche Mode – Songs of Faith and Devotion
*Click here to listen to album*

Alright, surely the 30 year old game is an easy one…WTF; okay, here we go. In 1990, a British game developer called Argonaut Software began having a close relationship with Nintendo after they sent the company a report that they had found a way to break the Game Boy’s copyright protection. I’m not sure if they were impressed or just wanted to keep Argonaut under their watchful eye, but Nintendo was keen to see what else the company could to with their hardware. Argonaut was primarily a PC developer and had released a polygon based flight sim called Starglider in 1986 to critical acclaim. Nintendo wondered if Argonaut could bring polygon graphics to the NES, to which Argonaut politely said, “no”. Well, what about the Super NES? Argonaut took a look at the hardware and said it could be done, but you’d need an extra chip to make the polygon graphics work. This was all Nintendo needed to hear.

Inspired by the television Show Thunderbirds, Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to use puppets in the game’s promotional materials and box art.

Argonaut was tasked with coming up with this new chip, one that could be placed onto the game’s circuit board, as Nintendo wasn’t about to release a new version of the SNES so soon after release. After some trial and error, Argonaut, specifically chief engineers Ben Cheese, Rob Macaulay, and James Hakewill, came up with the Super FX chip, which would allow developers to render 3D polygons on the SNES, as well as create more advanced 2D sprites and effects. The first game to take advantage of the Super FX chip was a flight sim co-developed by Nintendo and Argonaut, Star Fox.

Set in a world populated by anthropomorphic animals, Star Fox tells the story of a hot shot pilot named Fox McCloud and his team, Slippy Toad, Peppy Hare, and Falco Lombardi. Together they form a mercenary group called Star Fox and can be hired to take on dangerous, impossible missions. The Star Fox team is called upon by General Pepper (a basset hound) to defeat the evil scientist Andross who has declared war on the Lylatt System. Fox and his team must make it to Venom where they will have to kill Andross and stop his armada from overtaking the Lylatt system.

The idea for Star Fox’s story and gameplay came from legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto while exploring the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, which was near the Nintendo offices in Kyoto. At the shrine are several Senbon Torii gates, which served as a major inspiration on Star Fox and its many gates that you must fly through. Miyamoto had wanted to make a science fiction game for some time, but always found it hard to do when populating the world with humans and/or robots. With the shire also prominently featuring a fox, Miyamoto decided that the world would be populated by animals, with the main character being, of course, a fox. Lead artist Takaya Imamura was tasked with populating the world and decided that the Cornerian army (the protectors of the Lylatt System) would be made up of dogs, while Andross’ army would be made up of monkeys. He rounded out Fox’s crew with a rabbit, a falcon, and a toad.

Oh, don’t forget that this game was also developed by some Westerner’s as well, with two Argonaut team members moving to Kyoto to work on the project, Dylan Cuthbert and Giles Goddard. The two of them were put in a remote part of Nintendo’s headquarters and were strictly forbidden from seeing anything that the team was working on as they may inadvertently see OTHER Nintendo projects and tell people about them. The two men mentioned that they really only ever spoke with Miyamoto who would come visit the two while taking lengthy cigarette breaks.

After a couple of years in development, Star Fox was released to a hungry crowd who ate the game up like it was their last meal. Critics were also impressed with what Nintendo and Argonaut had done, particularly in regards to the Super FX chip, nothing that it put Nintendo ahead of the competition in terms of graphics. While it didn’t receive a perfect score from Famitsu, it did receive an “A” from Entertainment Weekly, (they’re kind of like the American version of Famitsu…). Critic Bob Strauss was blown away by the 3D graphics and said that Star Fox was so fast and so immersive that it was like being in virtual reality.

Over the years, Star Fox would routinely show up on “best of” lists when talking about the greatest SNES games, or greatest Nintendo games. it would spawn several sequels, first on the Nintendo 64 all the way up to the Wii U. A SNES sequel was in the works and was, for the most part finished, but by the time it was ready to ship in 1995, Nintendo had moved away from 2D graphics and the SNES, instead focusing on the N64 and its “superior” 3D graphics. Leaked beta versions of the game would appear online, with players able to check the game out on emulators. It wouldn’t be until 2017 that Star Fox 2 would officially be made available to the public on the Super NES Classic mini console, before heading to Switch in 2019. As for the original Star Fox, it too is available on the Switch, as long as you have a Nintendo Switch Online membership. Star Fox is an all-time classic that is still just as fun today as it was back in 1993. If you’ve somehow avoided it after all these years I would strongly recommend you try it out, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.



Andy Tuttle
Andy Tuttle

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