Happy Tuesday! Yes, I know that some of you have been playing Mortal Kombat 1 since last week, or seen your favorite streamer playing it, and you’ve seen reviews and countless hideous images of the god awful Switch version, yes, yes. That was early access, though, for the elite rich who eat caviar on a daily basis, delicious caviar with a side of Pâté. Now all of us beer swilling, burger chomping, dirt people get to play Mortal Kombat 1 en masse, feeding off the scraps of the chosen few who partook in early access.
Mortal Kombat 1 (PC/PS5/Switch/Series X|S) – Releases Sep. 19th
Developed by: NetherRealm Studios
Published by: Warner Bros. Games
In case you’re wondering just why the hell it’s called Mortal Kombat 1 when the last game was considered part 11, well, you see, this is a reboot! However, it’s not a gritty reboot, like Batman Begins, no, this is more like a “fun” reboot, you know, with, like, Joss Whedon dialogue and fun, cool stuff like you’d see in a Marvel movie. One liners and shit, it’s so rad. There’s obviously blood & gore, I mean come on, so fans of that will be pleased. Of course, because this is the world we live in, a certain group of players (you know the ones) are crying that the series has “gone woke” in what is the most overused word of the decade, because the female characters have the nerve to be “unattractive” and “black”. Anyway, please take a side in this culture war in the comments so I know where you all stand in the great Mortal Kombat 1 battle that our grandchildren will read about in their history books on their VR goggles from the AI teacher, sponsored by Pfizer.
While Mortal Kombat 1 is the biggest release of the week, there’s still a few other titles to keep an eye on. Payday 3 sees the return of the online multiplayer bank robbery/heist series after a ten year absence. Fans of the Tralils series are in for a treat when the formerly Japan-only PSP title The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails makes its way West. Speaking of gritty reboots, our last big game is from South Korea, Lies of P. It is a “soulslike” game set in the world of Pinocchio, that seems to fuse Bloodborne with Bioshock. People seem to be excited for this, I think it looks fucking dumb as shit; but what do I know?
Payday 3 (PC/PS5/Series X|S) – Releases Sep. 21st
Developed by: Starbreeze Studios
Published by: Deep Silver
The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails (PC/PS4/Switch) – Releases Sep. 19th
Developed by: Nihon Falcom
Published by: NIS America
Lies of P (PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Sep. 19th
Developed by: Neowiz Games/Round8 Studio
Published by: Neowiz Games
Finally, two smaller titles are coming that might pique your interest, BIT.TRIP RERUNNER a new game in that long running franchise, which is, *gasp* a reboot of the first game! Well, remaster/remake, I guess, but still, can’t forget to shoehorn in the theme of the week. It also comes with a level editor, letting you get as creative/sadistic as you like. For the young and young-at-heart, we have Avatar: The Last Airbender – Quest for Balance, a, what appears to be, mid-budget, run-of-the-mill 3d action/adventure game. This will, apparently, tell the entire story of the original series, so there’s a big nostalgia factor here for fans of the old Nickelodeon series. Not me though, okay? I’m an adult, I play things like Mortal Kombat 1. I hang out with high schoolers…wait…
BIT.TRIP RERUNNER (PC) – Releases Sep. 19th
Developed by: Choice Provisions/Gamecraft Studios
Published by: Choice Provisions
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Quest for Balance (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Series X|S) – Releases Sep. 22nd
Developed by: Bamtang Games
Published by: GameMill Entertainment
Ports and Re-releases:
Pikmin 1 + 2 (Physical version) (Switch) – Releases Sep. 22nd
After a digital release in June of this year, Pikmin 1+2 is getting a physical release from Nintendo so that fans can, presumably, enjoy the game for years and years, long after Nintendo shuts down the Switch eShop in 2027 (don’t act surprised, you know it’ll happen).
For all you die hard Xbox fans out there, you’ve got a console exclusive this week, the multiplayer party game Party Animals. I kind of wish they used a “z” instead of an “s”, but what are you gonna do? If you’re wondering why Mon-Yu has that little ellipses at the end of the tile there, that’s because it’s super long. You ready for it, okay, here it is, Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters And Gain Strong Weapons And Armor. You May Be Defeated, But Don’t Give Up. Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be A Day When The Heroes Defeat The Devil King. Here, lets just make it easier and use the game’s initials. You gonna get MY: DMAGSWAAYMBDBDGUBSIBTWADWTHDTDK? Oh, and two other games a coming out, Lunar Lux looks kind of cool.
- Party Animals (PC/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Sep. 20th
- Mon-Yu: Defeat Monsters… (Switch) – Releases Sep. 21st
- Paperman: Adventure Delivered (PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One/Series X|S) – Releases Sep. 21st
- LunarLux (PC) – Releases Sep. 25th
Notable Releases from 10, 20, and 30 years ago:
This week’s notable titles are a couple of mostly forgettable games, and one game that is considered a masterpiece (by people who aren’t me). Starting with the 2013 title Armored Core: Verdict Day, this was the direct sequel to 2012’s Armored Core V, and leaned heavily into online multiplayer, making the single player game an afterthought. In fact, even the single player version of the game was designed for you to play online in co-op mode, making things very difficult for solo players. Overall, Verdict Day was seen as a subpar follow-up to Armored Core V and had players & critics longing for another Dark Souls game from From Software.
2003’s title is the 3d platformer Billy Hatcher & the Giant Egg. Produced by Sonic the Hedgehog creator, and insider trading scoundrel, Yuji Naka, Billy Hatcher was an attempt by Naka and Team Sonic to get another hit franchise under their belts. Did it work? Well, have you been playing games in the Billy Hatcher franchise since 2003? No, you haven’t. Critics and players were not very impressed with the game, despite Naka’s reputation (or perhaps because of it…), and the series never took off past its lone GameCube release. Despite the weak reception, Billy Hatcher would appear in other Team Sonic games, typically in racing titles, and as recent as 2022, Team Sonic has entertained the idea of making a second game. Go ahead and sit on that egg, see how long it takes to hatch.
Our last notable title is considered, inexplicably, to be one of the greatest video games of all time; 1993’s Myst. Released at the dawn of the CD-ROM era, Myst is a 3d puzzle adventure game in which players move around pre-rendered still images, flipping switches, moving gears, opening books, and trying to solve some grand mystery. You see, Myst is the name of a book that the player character is reading. When they finish the book they are transported to the island in the story, it is called, yes, Myst. While on Myst, after reading Myst, as players play Myst as the unnamed player character, they discover two books with missing pages. These books contain a trapped soul, each begging the player to release them by finding the missing pages. As the game progresses, players discover that the two trapped souls are the sons of Myst’s author, a man named Atrus, and they are imprisoned because they are evil, or whatever.
Now, the story in Myst is not bad. It’s gripping, entertaining, and most of all makes you want to play this boring fucking game in order to find out how it ends. It’s like if Breaking Bad was a video game instead of a TV show, and in order to see the ultimate fate of Walt & Jesse you had to play through the most asinine and tedious 6 hour point & click adventure game. Look, I get why Myst is so popular, it was like watching a move or a TV show on your computer, and the graphics were fucking PHENOMENAL for 1993, nobody had ever seen anything like it (well, sort of). I remember being so excited to play Myst when I went to visit my dad at his place, he fired up the PC and I popped in the CD-ROM and…just sat there, confused, bored, wondering when something, ANYTHING, interesting was going to happen. Eventually I gave up on it and went downstairs and watched Full House or Beverly Hills 90210, just to get some excitement back into my life. Myst sucks; it’s overrated and I hate it.
Let’s talk about the notable films. 2013 gave us the debut American film from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners. This thriller, starring Hugh Jackman & Jake Gyllenhaal, was well received by critics and audiences, setting Villeneuve up for major success in Hollywood with films like Sicario, Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, and the two most recent Dune films. 2003 gave us the first film in the long running Underworld franchise, a movie that appears to have been heavily inspired by The Matrix, Blade, and just about every action/adventure video game released in the previous five years. It did make Kate Beckinsale a mainstream star, after previously only starring in indie films. Last we have Martin Scorsese’s 1993’s romantic drama The Age of Innocence. My god, talk about a move as boring as the game Myst. I watched this the other night and immediately went to bed afterwards, and it was only 4pm!
As far as albums go, each of the notable releases were massive hits for their respective artists. Drake’s Nothing Was the Same contained a slew of hits that you probably know by heart, like the inescapable “Started From the Bottom”. Speaking of songs that were inescapable, 2003’s album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below found hip-hop duo Outkast putting out a double album that was, essentially, two solo efforts. After years dominating the underground hip hop scene, the group broke through with their 2000 album Stankonia, but became a worldwide with Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, thanks to Andre 3000’s instantly catchy tune “Hey Ya!”. On the flip side, Big Boi’s single, “The Way You Move” was just as well regarded, and just as ubiquitous. You might have loved “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move” the first few times you listened to them, but constant replay of both (well, “Hey Ya!” in particular) probably ensured you would eventually come to hate both songs (I know I do).
Our last notable album gets its own paragraph because it’s fucking Nirvana. Yes, folks, Nirvana’s final studio album is 30 years old, the (in my opinion) masterpiece, In Utero. High off the success of 1991’s Nevermind, In Utero continued the band’s upward trajectory. The first single, “Heart Shaped Box” continued to feed the band’s counter culture vibe and cynicism towards fame with its striking music video, directed by auteur Anton Corbijn. With a sound that is rougher than Nevermind, In Utero was the band trying to reclaim some of its indie cred, despite being (arguably) the biggest band in the world.
Sadly, the reason this would be Nirvana’s final studio album was due to the suicide of Kurt Cobain in 1994. Dime store psychologists would study the lyrics of In Utero and say that “all the sings were there”, and maybe they were, but I think we all just assumed Cobain was being shocking for shock’s sake. Nirvana’s next release would be the posthumous MTV Unplugged in New York, but with Cobain dead it was impossible for Nirvana to continue. Drummer Dave Ghrol would go on to form Foo Fighters (with newly added Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear) and, once again, become one of the biggest rock stars in the world, while bassist Krist Novoselic has been a part of coutless bands and studio sessions over the last 30 years. Suicide is never the answer, folks. Please, if you’re feeling alone and like you might hurt yourself, talk to somebody, anybody, and let them know what you’re feeling. You can even call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 and speak with someone there. You are loved, you matter, people care.
Armored Core: Verdict Day (PS3/Xbox 360) – Released Sep. 27th, 2013: Wiki Link
Notable Film Release: Prisoners – Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: Drake – Nothing Was the Same
*Click here to listen to the album*
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (GameCube) – Released Sep. 23rd, 2003: Wiki Link
Notable Film Release: Underworld – Starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, and Michael Sheen
Notable Album Release: Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
*Click here to listen to the album*
Myst (Mac OS) – Released Sep. 24th, 1993: Wiki Link
Notable Film Release: The Age of Innocence – Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder
*Click here to watch the trailer*
Notable Album Release: Nirvana – In Utero
*Click here to listen to album*
Some of you might be wondering “Gasp! Where’s this week’s video?“, well, I’m kind of getting burned out on them, so they might pop up more infrequently. I’m also going to try a thing where I (potentially) put out multiple videos in a week, making the standard “New Game Releases” video, then for the notable titles I’ll put out a skit or two, maybe a video essay, whatever I get the feeling to do. I’m still trying to navigate all this, shudder, content, to the best of my ability while also maintaining a full-time job, and spending time with my wife, kid, and family, and friends. I appreciate your continued patronage and readership.