New Game Releases 08/15/23 – 08/21/23

Well, it’s happened. Madden NFL 24 is the top game of the week just by virtue of being the only major title to come out. I mean, I’ve put sports games in the top spot before, MLB The Show, WWE 2K, Moto GP, and probably others but, for some reason, having Madden in the top spot just feels weird. It’s like putting Call of Duty in this spot, it’s for fuckin’ jocks who don’t care about video games as an art form. Sigh, what are you gonna do? Oh, they updated the player skeletons this year, so now their arms and legs will be more natural looking while they hunch over at the line of scrimmage. FUCK YEAH!

If you’re a REAL gamer, then you have a couple things to look forward to. The team behind Jet Set Radio are back with a spiritual sequel, Bomb Rush Cyberfunk that looks and plays just like those old Dreamcast & Xbox titles. Does that mean it will give me intense motion sickness to the point that I’ll get dizzy and throw up? Well, just writing that last sentence gave me heart palpitations, so probably. Let’s see, what else…oh! Moving Out 2 is here to cause more chaos at your gaming party, so that should be fun. Marble It Up! Ultra looks great, Gord is, uh, something, and there’s a new horror game, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This is from the same publisher that put the Friday the 13th video game. They claim that this asymmetric game WILL NOT shut down like Friday the 13th, TRUST THEM! Spend your money on it!

Top Releases:

Madden NFL 24 (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Aug. 18th

Developed by: EA Tiburon
Published by: EA

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk (PC/Switch) – Releases Aug. 18th

Developed by: Team Reptile
Published by: Team Reptile

Moving Out 2 (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Aug. 15th

Developed by: SMG Studios/Devm Games
Published by: Team17

Marble It Up! Ultra (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Aug. 17th

Developed by: Marble It Up, LLC
Published by: Marble It Up, LLC

Gord (PC/PS5/Series X|S) – Releases Aug. 17th

Developed by:
Published by: Team17

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Aug. 18th

Developed by: Sumo Digital
Published by: Gun Media

Ports and Re-releases:

081523 ports exp

Vampire Survivors (Switch) – Releases Aug. 17th

Two Point Campus: Medical School (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Aug. 17th

Hey, remember Vampire Survivor from 2022? Wasn’t that a great game? I bet you stopped playing it, didn’t you? Well, it’s on Switch now, so start playing it again. Now, NOW! Don’t tell me that you’d rather play the new Two Point Campus expansion, Medical School, which is probably just a re-hash of the previous game, Two Point Hospital. What are you, a nerd? Nerds play simulation games, bad ass mother fuckers play Vampire Survivors. Go to the store, RIGHT NOW, pick up your copy of Madden NFL 24, play that for six days straight, without showering, then go to your Switch, download Vampire Survivors, play that for another six days straight, lose your job, get a bad case of gout, go to the doctor, get a cortisone shot, get back to Madden, stop picking your kid up from school, get yelled at by your wife, tell her to fuck off, keep playing Vampire Survivors, half-heartedly wave at your wife and kid as they leave you, continue with Madden, stop eating, have a possible stroke, but don’t go to the doctor because doctors are for pussies, where am I? Vampire Survivors, okay, so yeah, keep playing that, invite your friends over, wait, your cell service is turned off because you didn’t pay the bill. Fuck it, take the Switch on the go, walk around your neighborhood barefoot, ignore your neighbors as they call out to you and demand you put on pants, FUCK YOU TED, I DON’T WANNA WEAR PANTS! Realize that you aren’t really going very far because you probably had a stroke, so hobble back home to play Madden, oh fuck, the door is locked, that’s weird, you didn’t lock it. Oh, you’ve been evicted. Okay, no big deal, just go over to Ted’s house and ask to crash there, he owes you anyway, stupid bitch. Fuck, the battery in the Switch died. That’s okay, the effects of the stroke on your body have taken their toll and you’re now lying in Ted’s front yard, feeling the water from the sprinklers run down your face as everything slowly fades to black. I can’t believe they gave the players a new skeletal structure in Madden NFL 24, that’s really tight.

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

Well, this week’s notable titles are some all-time, stone cold classics; what a treat! Let’s start with 2013’s Gone Home, probably one of the most revolutionary and polarizing games that has ever been made. Created by the indie studio The Fullbright Company, Gone Home is a small, intimate game that is, basically, an adventure game without any stakes. It’s the video game equivalent of a short story, albeit one that tasks players/readers with discovering the story on their own, in a non-linear fashion, and perhaps not even getting the whole story. Now, the marketing and aesthetic of Gone Home kind of plays the game out to be a horror story, which it kind of is, but perhaps not in the way you were thinking.

Gone Home takes place in the year 1995 and tells the story of a young woman named Katie, returning home after an overseas trip. She finds her home deserted, with moving boxes placed around the house. Confused as to why no one is home, Katie searches all of the rooms in her family’s sprawling mansion, looking for clues to their whereabouts. What ensues is a story of forbidden love, heartbreak, joy, and anguish, that sneaks up on you in such subtle and devastating ways that you find yourself fully engrossed, despite doing, well, nothing; except walking.

The non-traditional gameplay of Gone Home is both its strongest feature and its biggest criticism. Critics and fans of “games as an art form” were over the moon with Gone Home, calling it brilliant. Gamers who were used to more action and interactivity felt that Gone Home was a joke of a game, giving it the derogatory term “Walking Simulator”. Some of these same critics (not all, but probably a good amount) also took issue with Gone Home’s strong feminist, and LGBT themes. Gone Home was, unfortunately, a driving force in the Gamergate movement that sprang up in 2014. It was a piece of a larger culture war that was brewing under the surface of America, one that would lead to the election of Donald Trump in 2016, and is still being used to exploit all of us today. I’m sure most of us here at The Avocado agree that Gone Home is an important and significant game, so I probably don’t need to convince you to play this, you already have. HOWEVER! If you’ve never checked out Gone Home, do yourself a favor and pick it up, you’ll have a great time with it. Finally, I feel like I’d be doing a disservice to you all if I didn’t mention that the founder of The Fullbright Company, Steve Gaynor, was later accused of fostering a toxic workplace and would single out female staffers for ridicule and micromanagement. He is now the lone employee left at the studio.

Wow, we talked a lot about Gone Home, I thought this was supposed to be shorter now! Ha, well, let’s quickly talk about two Nintendo classics, one on the cult side and one about as mainstream as it gets. From 2003 we have F-Zero GX for the GameCube, the fourth entry in Nintendo’s futuristic racing series, and third on a home console. Developed by Sega’s Amusement Vision (who would later go on to become Ra Ga Gotoko Studios, the team behind Yakuza), F-Zero GX expanded upon the already stellar game play of the N64’s F-Zero X and made it even more polished. Containing some of the most gorgeous graphics ever seen on the GameCube, F-Zero GX is considered to be one of the greatest games for the system and sold a respectable 1.5 million copies worldwide. This would, however, be the last home console F-Zero game, with only an arcade port and two GBA titles (one of which was Japan-only) coming out afterwards. Nintendo has seemingly abandoned the franchise, instead focusing on the much more successful Mario Kart franchise, going so far as to have the latest entry contain tracks and vehicles that mimic the game play style (and look) of F-Zero.

Our last notable title, from 1993, is the SNES game Super Mario All-Stars. While video game compilations weren’t a new thing in the industry, a remake compilation was mostly unheard of. Seeing a gap in their release schedule, developer Shigeru Miyamoto suggested that Nintendo release a “value pack” that would contain the first three Super Mario Bros. games, as well as Japan’s version of Super Mario Bros. 2, which would be referred to as “The Lost Levels” in the West. While the company could have easily put the NES games onto a SNES cart and called it a day, the company took this as an opportunity to completely remaster the games from the ground up and give them 16-bit graphics. The idea paid off handsomely, as Super Mario All-Stars became one of the best selling SNES games of all-time. Critics called the game a masterpiece and a must-have for the console. A re-release would arrive on the Wii in 2010, and once more on the Switch in 2020.

Wow, those games sure where incredible, how about the films and albums? Eh, not so much. As far as movies go, our 2013 title is the Steve Jobs biopic, Jobs, with Ashton Kutcher in the titular role; it was widely panned. Okay, so let’s go back to 2003, what did we have…Freddy vs. Jason, oh boy, okay. Now, I was incredibly excited for this movie and I dragged my now wife to go see it (yeah, we’ve been together 20 years, can you believe it?), and she hated it! I thought it was alright, but it’s not a particularly well aged movie, what with Kelly Rowland dropping the hard OTHER F-word in the film. We’re not done with horror, as 1993 brought us Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, billed as the franchise’s swan song. Audiences were told that this would be the end for Jason, he’d finally die…except he didn’t he just got sent to Hell. It does, famously, end with Freddy’s gloved hand reaching up out of the ground to pull Jason’s hockey mask down into the ground, setting up the crossover film that would arrive ten years later.

Okay, the movies weren’t so great, but how about the music? Well, if you’re a fan of underground hip-hop (that was now the mainstream) then you were treated to Earl Sweatshirt’s debut album, Doris (though he had a few mixtapes before that). 2003 gave us another hip-hop album, T.I.’s Trap Muzik, which continued to see rappers from the “dirty south” continue to rise up the charts (see also, Ludacris, OutKast, Lil’ Wayne, Chingy). 1993’s notable album is not hip-hop and was decidedly NOT mainstream, though it was part of a genre that was booming, Type O Negative’s Bloody Kisses. Starting off with a 41 second clip of a woman having an orgasm, it was certainly not an album you’d want Pastor Dave to hear you listening to on the youth group tape deck in the church basement. However, the dark, industrial sounds that came from the album would strike a cord with the youth of America, propelling the album to platinum status and ushered in the industrial sound that would be ruled by acts like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson through the rest of the 1990’s.

Gone Home (PC) – Released Aug. 15th, 2013: Wiki Link

gone home

Notable Film Release: Jobs – Starring Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: Earl Sweatshirt – Doris
*Click here to listen to the album*

F-Zero GX (GameCube) – Released Aug. 25th, 2003: Wiki Link

fzero gx 02

Notable Film Release: Freddy vs. Jason – Starring Robert Englund, Ken Kirzinger, Monica Keena, Kelly Rowland, Jason Ritter, and Chris Marquette
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: T.I. – Trap Muzik
*Click here to listen to the album*

Super Mario All-Stars (SNES) – Released Aug. 11th, 1993: Wiki Link

super mario all stars

Notable Film Release: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday – Starring Kane Hodder and a bunch of people that get killed by Jason
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release:  Type O Negative – Bloody Kisses
*Click here to listen to album*

Andy Tuttle
Andy Tuttle

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