New Game Releases 04/11/23 – 04/17/23

It’s another slow week for new releases, but a great one for game preservationists and fans of visual novels.

This week’s video was supposed to feature a segment on Injustice: Gods Among Us but the skit I wrote just didn’t work after I saw the footage. I wanted to do a send up of southern, mega church preachers and their bombastic, over the top personalities when they talk about God and Jesus, and what not, but instead I’d be talking about the various DC super heroes. Well, my “southern preacher” voice came across a little…um…ethnic, if you will, and I was super embarrassed by it and decided to throw the footage into a bucket of acid and launch it into space, where no one could ever find it. I might put it on Patreon.


Top Releases:

Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Apr. 14th

Developed by: Capcom
Published by: Capcom

After the release of Pokémon in the 1990’s, several other video game companies tried to capitalize on the trend by releasing their own monster collecting games. There were copy cats like Digimon, genre adjacent originals like Medabots, and established franchises like Dragon Warrior and Shin Megami Tensei all putting out games that tried to appeal to the Pokémon market. Another established franchise that threw its hat into the ring was Mega Man, with the “chip collecting” game Mega Man Battle Network. Originally released in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance, Mega Man Battle Network had players taking on the role of a young boy named Lan who takes it upon himself to save the internet by defeating an evil organization known as WWW (World Three) with the help of his program, a “NetNavi” called MegaMan.EXE. Along the way, Lan collects more NetNavi’s, which are based on classic Mega Man enemies and bosses (for the most part), and uses them to fight battles INSIDE the internet on a grid, using tactical combat. This collection, split into two volumes (though you can purchase them bundled together) contains all ten GBA releases, though it should be noted that parts 3 through 6 went the Pokémon route and released two different versions of the same game. While the titles are aimed at children, they are still very fun to play and are a neat little side franchise in the greater Mega Man universe.

Tron: Identity (PC/Switch) – Releases Apr. 11th

Developed by: Bithell Games
Published by: Bithell Games

Heading back into the computer realm, we have Tron: Identity, a brand new visual novel set in the cult classic universe. Someone has built a new Grid but has seemingly abandoned it. With the programs left unchecked, things are running amok and it is up to the player protagonist, Query, to figure out just what the HELL is going on here. With a “choose your own adventure” vibe, your dialogue choices and actions will affect the game’s final outcome, making Tron: Identity sound very replayable.

Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened – Remake (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Apr. 11th

Developed by: Frogwares
Published by: Frogwares

Oh look, another re-release (sort of). Originally released on PC back in 2007, then remastered in 2008/2009, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened has now received the remake treatment and is being released for all modern consoles and PC. When it was released in 2007 it was the third entry in Frogware’s Holmes series and was the first to prominently feature supernatural elements, specifically the Cthulhu Myhtos made popular by writer H.P. Lovecraft. With this remake, not only has the game received a significant facelift, the story has received a substantial rewrite as well, though I’m not sure if that means they re-wrote the dialogue or that the plot has been changed. In any case, it looks really interesting and I wouldn’t be surprised if it became a sleeper hit.

Process of Elimination (PS4/PS5/Switch) – Releases Apr. 11th

Developed by: Nippon Ichi Software
Published by: NIS America

Looks like Tron: Identity isn’t the only new visual novel this week. In Process of Elimination, players find themselves in a world where a sadistic serial killer has already claimed the lives of over 100 people. In a society gripped with fear, it is up to the Detective Alliance, an organization made up of the world’s greatest minds who sit at the top of their respective fields, to figure out just what the HELL is going on. To average, ordinary high school student Wato Hojo, the Detective Alliance are his heroes and role models, so it’s a dream come true when he’s contacted by the group and asked to join…but why? He soon gets his answer when he is knocked unconscious and forcibly taken to a remote, uncharted island where secrets will be revealed!

Cannon Dancer – Osman (PS4/Switch) – Releases Apr. 13th

Developed by: Mitchell Corporation
Published by: ININ Games

Yet ANOTHER re-release in the “Top Games” section, that tells you a lot about the strength of the new titles this week. Originally released into arcades in 1996, Osman, or as it is now known, Cannon Dancer – Osman, is a side scrolling hack & slash game from the creators of Strider. Conceived as a sequel/spiritual successor, Osman has players controlling a mercenary named Kirin, who is a martial arts master, and must stop an evil sorceress named Abdullah The Slaver as she tries to take over the world. Look, it’s an arcade hack & slash, okay, don’t expect Shakespeare when it comes to plot and story.


Ports and Re-releases:

Ghostwire: Tokyo (Series X|S) – Releases Apr. 12th

The Microsoft owned Ghostwire: Tokyo is finally coming to a Microsoft console.

Castle of Shikigami 2 (Switch) – Releases Apr. 13th

Man, I freaking LOVE shoot ’em up’s.



Vampire Survivors: Tides of the Foscari (PC/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Apr. 13th

On the biggest surprises (and hits) of 2022 was the roguelike shoot ’em up Vampire Survivors. It shouldn’t came as a surprise, then, that then game would receive DLC, with the first one released in December of 2022, and its second being released this week, called Tides of the Foscari. Featuring a new stage, 8 new characters, 13 new weapons, and the strong possibility that there may or may not be vampires, Tides of the Foscari promises more of the same great gameplay and humor that fans have come to expect.


Everything else:

How about that Wrestlemania ending?


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

Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS3/Wii U/Xbox 360) – Released Apr. 16th, 2013: Wiki Link

Notable Film Release: 42 – Starring Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, André Holland, Christopher Meloni, John C. McGinley, Toby Huss, Lucas Black, Alan Tudyk, and Nicole Beharie
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: Ghost – Infestissumam
*Click here to listen to the album*

For nearly 20 years, Ed Boon and his team were known for one thing, Mortal Kombat. However, in 2008, Boon and his team were able to work together with Warner Bros. to create the game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, which, as you might imagine, featured characters from the Mortal Kombat series, like Sub-Zero & Scorpion, going up against characters from DC Comics, like Batman & Superman. The game was a delightful surprise and helped spark renewed interest in the Mortal Kombat franchise after nearly a decade of poorly received spin-off’s and mainline entries. While Boon and his team reveled in their success and sudden relevancy, it was a short lived party as the company they worked for, Midway Entertainment, was having money problems and would soon be bankrupt. However, it wasn’t all bad new for Boon and his team, as their former partners at Warner Bros. would purchase all of Midway’s assets and rebrand their Chicago development studio as NetherRealm Studios.

NetherRealm’s first title post-WB sale was the Mortal Kombat reboot. Well received by critics and players, Mortal Kombat was the lifeblood that Boon and NeterRealm needed, allowing them to move onto Boon’s first new property since 2001’s The Grid, a fighting game called Injustice: Gods Among Us that featured a playable roster of DC heroes and villains. Set in one of the infinite DC universes, Injustice tells the story of an Earth completely run and controlled by Superman who keeps peace through fascism and brutal violence. The catalyst for all this comes in the beginning of the game in which players learn that Superman was tricked by The Joker into killing Lois Lane, which ended up setting off an atomic bomb in Metropolis, killing millions and wiping the city off the face of the Earth. Stricken with grief and guilt, Superman murders The Joker and begins his reign of terror/justice against anyone he deems a threat, plunging the world into peace through fear.

Meanwhile, in another DC universe, the Justice League battle Lex Luthor and The Joker as they, too, attempt to blow up Metropolis with an atomic bomb. Batman, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are able to thwart the attack but, in a strange twist of fate, the five heroes (and maybe more), along with The Joker, end up in the universe where Superman is a fascist dictator. From there, players meet various versions of heroes and villains how are either working with Superman, or against him. These encounters are what lead to many of the fights in Injustice and drive the game’s central plot.

OH.MY.GOD. Injustice: Gods Among Us is so good, I mean, like SUPER good. I was not expecting this game to be worthwhile at all, boy do I have egg on my face. The story mode is brilliant, telling a rich, engaging story that seamlessly moves between cutscene and fight. Playing through Injustice I kept wondering why no other fighting game had tried this kind of storytelling before (now someone will tell me that another game already did it…), it’s magical. The combat is solid, as you would expect from NetherRealm, with an easy to learn, difficult to master set up. There is an extensive tutorial that teaches you everything, and I strongly recommend you play it before jumping into the story mode.

Of course there is also a multiplayer mode where two players can square off against each other, choosing from 36 different DC characters, and one Mortal Kombat character, Scorpion (note that this number includes DLC characters and alternate skins for others). Critics heaped overwhelming praise on Injustice, with only GameSpot scoring it below an 8, claiming that the story was so laughably bad that it bordered on parody; I guess he was having a bad day. When it came time for the end of the year accolades, Injustice won several “Best Fighting Game” awards, including the two most prestigious from The DICE Awards and Geoff Keighly’s VGX Awards for Spike TV.

The critical and commercial success of the game led DC to create an entire comic book series based on the game, showing what happened in the six years before the events of Injustice, with an animated film, based on the Year One storyline, coming out in 2021. A sequel, Injustice 2, would arrive in 2017, continuing the story. Folks, if you haven’t played Injustice, maybe because you figured it was mainstream dogshit like I did, stop being an asshole and PLAY IT. I am blown away by how much enjoyment I’ve gotten out of the first couple of hours with this game and I fully intend on finishing it, then getting all the comics and reading those, and then playing Injustice 2. You can easily get the game today on your Xbox console either digitally or physically through backwards compatibility, or the ultimate edition on PC through Steam, or on the PS4/PS5. You’ll thank me later.

X2: Wolverine’s Revenge (PC/PS2/GameCube/Game Boy Advance/Xbox) – Released Apr. 15th, 2003: Wiki Link

Notable Film Release: Anger Management – Starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: Kelly Clarkson – Thankful
*Click here to listen to the album*

Thanks in part to Atari and Steven Spielberg, movie tie-in video games were a longtime staple of the industry. With titles released for every console for just about every Summer blockbuster, these games were almost impossible to escape for the better part of thirty years. Sometimes developers were given a decent amount of time to create the games, sometimes they were only given a few weeks, and sometimes they were told to take their existing game and turn it into a movie tie-in. This last example is what happened to the short lived British developer GenePool Software, whose video game based on Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, called Weapon X, was transformed into a tie in with the 2003 film X2: X-Men United.

GenePool software was founded by two brothers, Dave and Mike Anthony, who had just left their jobs at Warthog Games following the release of Star Trek: Invasion. With a decent sized team behind them, the Anthony brothers were able to continue their relationship with Activision and were slated to, as I mentioned above, make a new game based on the New X-Men comics that had started in mid 2001. Titled Weapon X, the game was set to explore the origin story of, arguably, Marvel’s most popular character at the time, Wolverine. This was sometime in early 2002, with the obligatory E3 announcement coming later that year where it was revealed that the game was now called X-Men: Wolverine’s Revenge. It wasn’t until sometime in 2003 that Activision let GenePool know that their game was being renamed, again, this time to X2: Wolverine’s Revenge and would be marketed as a tie-in with the upcoming X2 film, despite the game having nothing to do with that film series or its universe.

Wolverine’s Revenge is a third person beat ’em up, with players taking control of Wolverine/Logan as they first escape the Weapon X facility in 1968, before needing to go back in order to find a cure for some kind of virus that Wolverine has contracted. Along the way, players will fight numerous guards, as well as classic X-Men/Wolverine villains like Sabertooth, Magneto, The Wendigo, and Lady Deathstrike. While the game cover featured Hugh Jackman’s take on Wolverine, the actor picked to play the famous mutant was none other than Mark Hamill, best known as Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars series, who was also an accomplished voice actor, being best known for his portrayal of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series.

The game’s stealth view, which shows what Wolverine COULD do if he snuck up on the guard.

On top of the beat ’em up gameplay, Wolverine’s Revenge also features a stealth mechanic that is clunky at best and downright unusable at worst. To go along with the stealth mechanic is Wolverine’s heightened senses which can be used to see guard’s footprints and to see hidden traps. Wolverine also has his two most iconic attributes, that being his healing factor and his adamantium claws. However, in order to keep the game interesting, I guess, players can only heal if they retract their claws, meaning that if you want to play the game using Wolverine’s iconic weapons you will likely die much faster, which in a game with no check points is not something you want to do. However, with sluggish controls and a terrible camera, dying will happen more often than you like, meaning you’ll be playing the same sections of a fairly bad game over and over.

A screenshot of the GBA version, a side scroller that received much better reviews than its 3D big brother.

As you might have imagined, Wolverine’s Revenge didn’t get very good reviews, BUT, it didn’t get really bad reviews either, sitting somewhere in the middle. The game feels undercooked and sloppy, likely rushed to meet a deadline for the movie’s release, which was in May of 2003, but it’s combat is really nice once you kind of learn how to deal with the bad controls and nauseating camera. The story and voice acting are also top notch, with of course Mark Hamill as well as Jennifer Hale, Patrick Stewart, Mayim Bialik, and Fred Tatasciore, with a story by the legendary comics writer Larry Hama who co-created Bucky O’Hare and was known for his stellar work on the G.I. Joe comic book for Marvel.

Of course, being a licensed title from 20 years ago, Wolverine’s Revenge is not available on any modern consoles, making finding a physical copy, or emulation, your only way to play this game. However, I don’t really recommend it, there’s not much special about Wolverine’s Revenge and you can play much, much better super hero games today, so just search those out instead. As for the developer, this was GenePool’s only game before the company went under. They had been contracted to make a game based on an Iron Man film (though not the Iron Man film you’re thinking of) but that game was cancelled when the movie was scrapped, and GenePool was no more, with a lot of the staff moving to other Activision owned/partner companies like Treyarch, as well as other UK companies like TT Games and Sony Liverpool. Perhaps a bit ahead of its time, Wolverine’s Revenge is sort of a failure, but also sort of a triumph, with good ideas that just weren’t given enough time to be fully realized, what a shame.

Yoshi’s Cookie (NES/Game Boy) – Released Apr. 1993: Wiki Link

Notable Film Release: The Sandlot – Starring Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Patrick Renna, Chauncey Leopardi, Brandon Adams, and James Earl Jones
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release:  Radiohead – Pablo Honey
*Click here to listen to album*

With the release of Tetris in the 1980’s, the puzzle game craze continued to expand in the early 1990’s, with even Nintendo deciding that they wanted their own entry in the genre (after all, their Tetris deal wouldn’t last forever). They started this in 1992 with the release of Yoshi on the NES and Game Boy, but wanted a follow-up. They would eventually find it, however it would be their own creation. The game was originally developed by another company called Home Data (who later changed their name to Magical Company) under the name Hermetica. Home Data put one cabinet in a test location where it bombed, hard, and so they sold the entire game to another company called Bullet-Proof Software who was founded by none other then Henk Rogers, the person responsible for bringing Tetris out of the Soviet Union and into the rest of the world.

The team at Bullet-Proof threw together a demo of Hermetica for the SNES and showed it off at CES in 1992. It was here that Nintendo representatives saw the game and approached Rogers about licensing the game to Nintendo for the NES and Game Boy. Rogers agreed and Nintendo promptly changed the name to Yoshi’s Cookie and, basically, did a total conversion of the game to feature Mario and his green dinosaur friend, under the watchful eye of legendary developer Gunpei Yokoi (in a producer role).

Yoshi’s Cookie is a matching game, though instead of your typical match 3, here you only need to match 2. Players can not move the pieces as they enter the play field, both vertically and horizontally, but they can manipulate the pieces that have already landed in the play field, both in rows and columns. Once two of the same kind of cookies touch they are transported into a clear tube and sent off into the void. In my (very limited) time playing the game, I only saw Yoshi in the form of a cookie, which acts as a wild card that can match with any other cookie, so I’m not sure what Yoshi’s significance is here, as players take on the role of Mario who is in a chef’s outfit, adding to his already substantial list of odd jobs he’s had over the years.

The Game Boy version as played on a Super Game Boy

Critics were mostly positive towards the game, though it was brought up a few times that it seemed odd for Nintendo to keep supporting the NES, given the SNES’ continuing rise in popularity. One critic even cheekily noted that players shouldn’t play Yoshi’s Cookie before bedtime, lest they have nightmares about their NES rising from the grave to replace their shiny new Super Nintendo. The Game Boy version was much better received by critics, who called it one of the best games for the platform in 1993. Speaking of the Super NES, Yoshi’s Cookie would appear on that console in June of 1993, however this version was developed by Bullet-Proof Software, who licensed the Mario characters for their game, with Tetris creator, Alexi Pajitnov, designing the game’s puzzles. It’s basically the same game, though it feels a bit more solid compared the NES version.

The Super NES version

Yoshi’s Cookie was remade for a Japan-only GameCube title called Nintendo Puzzle Collection (which also included Dr. Mario and Panel de Pon), while the world wide release Game & Watch Gallery 3, for the Game Boy Color, contained the game Egg which was rethemed to feature the character Yoshi who would eat cookies that resembled the same ones from Yoshi’s Cookie. Unlike the puzzle game Yoshi, Yoshi’s Cookie is not available on the Nintendo Switch Online NES, nor is it’s SNES or Game Boy version. I would assume this has to do with licensing rights, as Nintendo does not own the game design, just the characters. Honestly, though, Yoshi’s Cookie isn’t really all that fun. It’s slow (at least in early stages) and isn’t nearly as addictive as other puzzle games. If you’d like to try it out then I’m sure you’ll be able to easily find it on an emulation website. Other than that, you can just skip it.


Andy Tuttle
Andy Tuttle

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