New Game Releases 05/09/23 – 05/15/23



Top Releases:

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch) – Releases May 12th

Developed by: Nintendo EPD
Published by: Nintendo

Can you believe that the Switch is over six years old now? When it was released, the biggest launch title was, by far, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. An instant classic, Breath of the Wild attained elite status immediately and entered the pantheon of greatest video games of all time. Over the last six years, fans have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a sequel and, after a few delays, they’re finally going to get what they want this week, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom! Like so many sequels before it, Tears of the Kingdom features many ideas that the development just didn’t have the time to implement in the first game. This includes a giant, floating island above Hyrule (similar to the one in Skyward Sword), and special abilities, like Recall, Fuse, Ultrahand, and Ascend. Not much is known about the game’s story (unless you read the leaks; be careful out there folks), though the game does appear to have a much darker tone than its predecessor and looks to continue with the same characters from Breath of the Wild. For people who like to see things compared to other things, producer Eiji Aonuma has said that the team took a lot of inspiration from Red Dead Redemption 2 when making Tears of the Kingdom. I’m beyond excited to play this game, I don’t think all of the other games in my library know how ignored they are about to become.

TT Isle Of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases May 11th

Developed by: Raceword Studio
Published by: Nacon

Wait, there’s more games? Uh…here’s one about motorcycle racing.

Dokapon Kingdom Connect (Switch) – Releases May 9th

Developed by: Idea Factory/Compile Heart/Sting
Published by: Idea Factory

This is, like, a board game mixed with an RPG. I don’t know, I’ll be playing Zelda.

Fuga: Melodies of Steel 2 (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases May 10th

Developed by: CyberConnect2
Published by: CyberConnect2

I guess if you don’t have a Switch you might need something else to play this week, so why not this?

Band Camp Boyfriend (PC) – Releases May 11th

Developed by: Lovebird Game Studios
Published by: Lovebird Game Studios

I’m very happy for the 15 people that will play this.

Gekisou! Benza Race: Toilet Shooting Star (Switch) – Releases May 15th

Developed by: Da-Soft
Published by: Da-Soft

Okay, hold on. I might need to take a break from Tears of the Kingdom to play this bizarre toilet racing game. Come on, tell me this doesn’t look like absolutely bonkers fun. I bet the controls suck.


Ports and Re-releases:

Marvel’s Midnight Suns (PS4/Xbox One) – Releases May 11th

The XCOM inspired Midnight Suns is heading to last-gen consoles this week, along with all previously released DLC. Speaking of Midnight Suns DLC…



Marvel’s Midnight Suns: Blood Storm (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases May 11th

The final piece of DLC for Midnight Suns also drops this week, featuring one of the best X-Men characters of all time, Ororo Munroe, Storm! Not only will players get this new character to add to their roster, they’ll also receive several new story missions, new cosmetic items, and something called “Abbey Upgrades”, which probably makes sense to people who have played the game.

Crusader Kings III: Tours and Tournaments (PC) – Releases May 11th

The second major expansion for 2020’s Crusader Kings III, Tours and Tournaments, has players exploring their vast kingdom and enjoying the various tournaments that the cities have to offer. If you’re a fan of this game and series than you know that there will be all kinds of little things to do and see with this expansion, helping you to be even more immersed than you already are. Be on the lookout for smaller expansions to come later in the year as part of Crusader Kings III’s “Chapter 2” slate of releases.


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

Metro: Last Light (PC/PS3/Xbox 360) – Released May 14th, 2013: Wiki Link

Notable Film Release: Star Trek Into Darkness – Starring Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, and Peter Weller
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
*Click here to listen to the album*

There are only a few video games that I hate with a passion; Metro: Last Light is one of them, I LOATHE this game. This is good news for me, as it means I’m not going to spend a ton of time writing about it. If this is one of your favorite games, well, sorry, you’re not going to get a huge in-depth exploration of the game’s development. If you’ve never played Metro: Last Light, best to keep it that way.

The first game in the series, Metro 2033, was based on the novel by the Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, following the plot of that book closely. For the game’s sequel, the team at 4A Games decided not to use the second book, Metro 2034, as inspiration, instead crafting their own original story. Set one year after the events of 2033, Last Light has players once again taking on the role of silent protagonist Artyom, a Ranger who lives in an underground metro station following a nuclear war that devastated much of the Earth. In the metro, he Rangers keep the peace in a new society that has sprung up, protecting the citizens from not just the mutant creatures from the surface, but human threats in the metro, including the Soviet Red Line and the Nazi Fourth Reich.

At the game’s beginning, Artyom learns that the missile strike he conducted on the home of the Dark Ones, an evil race of surface mutants. failed to kill all of them, with a young Dark One running around the metro. A mystic named Khan tells Artyom that this Dark One child is the key to humanity’s survival…somehow…and asks the player to retrieve the child. The leader of the Rangers disagrees and tells the player to kill the child. While out searching for him, however, Artyom is captured, but manages to escape with the help of a Red Line soldier named Pavel. From here, players embark on a slow, methodical journey through the metro in search of the Dark One child.

The description above makes this game sound pretty cool, right? It’s nice, sci-fi pulp and, I’m sure, would make for a hell of a dime store paperback, but in video game form, this game fucking SUCKS. I just could not muster up any excitement when playing it, falling asleep, I swear to goodness, all five times I tried to play this game over the last week. Thank god I had a free copy for being a PS+ subscriber, if I had spent the $19.99 it cost to buy I would have felt really gross. Folks, don’t play this game. They developer was clearly trying to go for Half-Life 2 in its storytelling and world building, but forgot to add any of the fun that Half Life 2 possesses.

Enter The Matrix (PC/PS2/GameCube/Xbox) – Released May 14th, 2003: Wiki Link

Notable Film Release: The Matrix Reloaded – Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Jada Pinkett Smith
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: Alkaline Trio – Good Mourning
*Click here to listen to the album*

The bad times just keep on rollin’ with the 20 year old notable title, Enter the Matrix. After the landmark release The Matrix in 1999, science fiction and cyberpunk had a huge resurgence in popularity. Grossing over $460 million at the box office worldwide, The Matrix was a cultural phenomenon that ensured comedies and animated children’s films for the next ten years could always get a cheap laugh by parodying something from the film (why are you laughing? What’s ironic about that last statement?). In case you have no idea what The Matrix is, the film tells the story of an ordinary man who discovers that the world he lives in is a computer simulation. With the help of people who have escaped the simulation, this ordinary name, code named Neo, is also able to escape and must work with the others in order to bring the Matrix down and free humanity.

The movie is awesome, of course, and with all that money it was inevitable that a sequel would get made, the 2003 release The Matrix Reloaded. Now, film studios would, of course, want to market their movie to the public through commercials, product tie-in’s, talk show appearances, and, of most importance to us readers, video games. Usually, movie tie-in video games would take the plot of the film and kind of condense it down to a short version of the events, or include moments from the film as well as made up events that pad out the run time. For The Matrix Reloaded’s tie-in, the film studio went a bit unconventional with it, allowing The Wachowski’s to have full creative control over the game’s story, even granting them a budget to shoot over an hour’s worth of live action scenes.

This game, Enter the Matrix, would be more than just a tie-in, it would serve as a prologue to the events of The Matrix Reloaded, granting players a sneak peek at what they could expect from the new film, as well as giving a backstory to two side characters, Ghost and Niobe, who are the two playable protagonists in Enter the Matrix. The game opens with the crew of the Logos exploring the familiar underground tunnels that audiences had seen in The Matrix. Captain Niobe is alerted to a package left for them by the crew of a destroyed ship, the Osiris, with intel on the machines and their plans. From here, players will have the choice to play as either Ghost or Niobe, who then jack into the matrix in order to retrieve the package.

The dual protagonist mechanic seems neat at first, until you realize that it has very little bearing on the gameplay and zero bearing on the plot, meaning that there’s no compelling reason to play the game twice. This is the big problem with Enter the Matrix, there’s just no compelling reason for any of it, at least no further than the surface level stuff. Was it exciting to play a game set in the matrix? Yes. Was it exciting to learn about characters integral to the upcoming film’s plot and see them in a starring role? Yes. Was it exciting getting to see a small part of The Matrix Reloaded on your TV screen a few days before it hit theatres? Yes. Was it exciting that The Wachowski’s directed a short film EXCLUSIVELY for video game consoles? Yes! Yes, yes, yes to it all. However, once you peel away those interesting layers you find out that the core is rotten.

Reviews for Enter the Matrix were average to bad, with the worst score coming from the UK magazine Edge, basically calling it a bug filled mess that took better parts from other games (like Max Payne) and filtered it through the Hollywood churning machine to give us a gloopy concoction that only somewhat resembles a video game. With poor camera controls, and boring over the shoulder angles, the fighting in the game isn’t nearly as neat or impressive as the fighting done in the Matrix films. Criticisms didn’t matter one bit to players, however, who scooped up the game in record numbers selling 1 million copies in the first week, eventually reaching over 5 million copies worldwide.

While it may have sold well, even players eventually soured on it, making the game one of the laughing stock’s of 2003, being called one of the worst games of the year, as well as one of 2003’s biggest disappointments. As you might have guessed, Enter the Matrix is not available on any modern platform, meaning having an original disc or using emulation are your only options. However, like I say so many weeks, this game is absolutely NOT worth your time. If you’re a hardcore Matrix fan and you’ve never seen the cutscenes from this game, just search for them online, don’t bother putting any effort into finishing this game, you have better things to do with your life.

Shadowrun (SNES) – Released May 1993: Wiki Link

Notable Film Release: Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story – Starring Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly, Nancy Kwan, and Robert Wagner
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release:  Blur – Modern Life Is Rubbish
*Click here to listen to album*

With such terrible games coming out 10 and 20 years ago, what do you think 30 years ago has to give us? I’ll tell you what is has to give, one of the best god damn RPG’s ever made, that’s what! Based on the tabletop pen & paper RPG by FASA, Shadowrun was developed by the Australian company Beam Software, an independent developer that had seen success in the PC market in the 1980’s with titles like The Hobbit and The Way of the Exploding Fist, and early fighting game. By 1990, Beam was finally able to acquire a license to make NES games, releasing popular titles in Australia based on rugby and cricket, before putting out the game Nightshade, a point & click mystery game that wasn’t quite loved by players & critics, but contained the bones of something special.

Loosely based on the novel Never Deal With a Dragon by the original Shadowrun’s co-creator, Robert N. Charrette, the adaptation was written and directed by Paul Kidd, a fantasy writer who worked at Beam and was the lead on Nightshade. The Shadowrun table top RPG was fairly serious in tone, taking place in a cyberpunk vision of the year 2050 and was, basically, D&D in the future, with familiar monsters like Orcs, and people with the ability to perform magic. For the Shadowrun video game, Kidd and his team saw it as a chance to re-do Nightshade on the Super NES, and incorporated a lot of that game’s humor, city setting, and noir tone.

Development on Shadowrun began almost immediately after the launch of the table top game in 1989, under the leadership of a developer at Beam named Gregg Barnett. However, after two years in development, Barnett abruptly left Beam in order to start his own video game company, Perfect Entertainment (developers of the Discworld video games). This almost caused Shadowrun to be cancelled, but Paul Kidd was able to step in and take over production, which is where the comedic elements from Nightshade started to come in.

The plot in Shadowrun is pretty standard noir stuff, players start off as a “corpse” named Jake Armitage, who wakes up in a morgue, to the surprise of the workers, but has caught a bad case of amnesia. From here, players must piece together who they are and why someone wants them dead. Gameplay in Shadowrun is a mix of point & click adventure and isometric RPG. Players move freely around the game world, with combat being a mix of commands and clicking on enemies with a cursor. The game’s puzzles and story are driven by the point & click gameplay, with players collecting items, reading notes, and talking to various NPC’s.

Published by Data East in the U.S. and Japan, and Beam in Europe, Shadowrun was a major critical success, though it was a commercial failure. Still, this didn’t stop several gaming outlets from bestowing “RPG of the Year” awards on the game, and Nintendo Power giving it second place in the “Most Innovative” category. As time went on, the legend of Shadowrun only grew, as did it’s price on the second hand market due to a very limited print run. Developers and critics would continually bring up Shadowrun when asked about a series they would like to see get a sequel or reboot. Beam themselves released a spiritual sequel in 1998 called Alien Earth (which is available on Steam), but never got to make another proper Shadowrun game.

Beam were not the only company to make a Shadowrun video game, with Blue Sky putting out an unrelated title on the Genesis exclusively in North America, and Japanese developer Compile putting a Sega CD game exclusively in Japan, while Microsoft would put out an online area shooter called Shadowrun in 2007 to mixed reviews. It would be until 2013, 20 years after the release of Shadowrun, that another isometric RPG would come out, Shadowrun Returns. As a fun nod to the fans of both the SNES and Genesis versions, developer Harebrained Schemes added in a mission that helped bridge the two games, and even included protagonist Jake Armitage as an integral part of the game’s plot. Sadly, this cult classic is not playable on any modern platform, which is an absolute shame. This hidden gem masterpiece was far ahead of its time, inspiring countless video game designers and was a precursor to games like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment. Go out and emulate this game as soon as you can, it’s a rare treat that deserves your attention.


Andy Tuttle
Andy Tuttle

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