The Latest

New Releases: November 5th-11th, 2020


With the release of the Xbox Series S/X and the imminent debut of the PlayStation 5, gaming grows a bit more complicated this week. Beyond tracking cross-gen upgrades (often free, but intermittently limited to certain editions) you’ll probably want to know which titles offer “Smart Delivery” versus stock “Optimization”, at least in Microsoft’s ecosystem. Fortuitously, the industry has prepared us for careful chart reading, with games habitually launching with multitude editions and the ubiquity of season passes. While confusion is nearly certain and mistakes will undoubtedly be made, it’s always an exhilarating moment when new hardware is unveiled.

Header image: Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC

PlayStation 4
Arcade Archives: Pettan Pyuu (digital, $7.99)
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (physical & digital, $59.99)
Black Desert: Prestige Edition (physical, $29.99)
Borderlands 3: Designer’s Cut (DLC, $14.99, included with Season Pass 2)
Cloudpunk (physical & digital, $29.99)
Dead Cells – The Prisoner’s Edition (physical, $119.99)
Destiny 2: Beyond Light (DLC, $39.99)
DIRT 5 (physical & digital, $59.99)
Dishonored and Prey: The Arkane Collection (physical & digital, $59.99)
Fuser (digital, $59.99)
Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story (digital, $14.99)
Lair of the Clockwork God (digital, $14.99)
My Universe: Cooking Star Restaurant (physical & digital, $29.99)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered (physical & digital, $39.99)
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay (physical and digital, $39.99)
Planet Coaster: Console Edition (physical & digital, $49.99)
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin (physical & digital, $39.99)
Slide Stars (physical & digital, $39.99)
Speed 3: Grand Prix (physical & digital, $39.99)
Train Sim World 2: Collector’s Edition XIII (physical & digital, $49.99)
Wolfenstein: The Alternative History Collection (physical & digital, $79.99)
XIII (physical & digital, $49.99)
Yakuza: Like a Dragon (physical & digital, $59.99)
YesterMorrow (digital, $14.99)

PlayStation 5
Planet Coaster: Console Edition (physical & digital, $49.99)

Switch
8-Bit Farm (digital, $14.00)
Area 86 (digital, $7.99)
Battle Hunters (digital, $16.99)
Café Enchanté (physical & digital, $49.99)
Chess Minimal (digital, $1.99)
Chicken Police – Paint it RED! (digital, $19.99)
Choices That Matter: And the Sun Went Out (digital, $5.99)
Crazy BMX World (digital, $3.00)
Descenders (physical $39.99, digital, $22.49)
Dragon Lapis (digital, $13.49)
Duck Life Adventure (digital, $7.99)
Elliot Quest (physical, $29.99)
Fantasy Tavern Sextet -Vol.1 New World Days- (digital, $7.99)
Fuser (digital, $59.99)
Fuser VIP Edition (digital, $99.99)
Iris and the Giant (digital, $14.99)
My Little Dog Adventure (digital, $6.99)
My Riding Stables 2: A New Adventure (digital, $29.99)
Ord. (digital, $4.99)
Outbreak the Nightmare Chronicles (digital, $11.04)
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay (physical & digital, $39.99)
Pokémon Shield + Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass (Physical, $89.99)
Pokémon Sword + Pokémon Sword Expansion Pass (Physical, $89.99)
Red Rope: Don’t Fall Behind + (digital, $12.99)
Re:Turn – One Way Trip (digital, $11.99)
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin (physical & digital, $39.99)
Salad Bar Tycoon (digital, $4.99)
Seven Knights -Time Wanderer- (digital, $15.99)
Speed 3: Grand Prix (physical $39.99, digital, $35.99)
Survival (digital, $9.99)
TENS! (digital, $9.99)
The Pew Pew Bundle Vol. 1 (digital, $44.99)
Trail Boss BMX (digital, $19.99)
Tropico 6 – Nintendo Switch Edition (physical, $49.99, digital, $44.99)
What the Fork (digital, $17.99)
World of Solitaire (digital, $14.99)
YesterMorrow (digital, $14.99)

Xbox One
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (physical & digital, $59.99)
Black Desert: Prestige Edition (physical, $29.99)
Borderlands 3: Designer’s Cut (DLC, $14.99, included with Season Pass 2)
Cloudpunk (physical & digital, $29.99)
Crystal Ortha (digital, $14.99)
Dark Sauce (digital, $4.99)
Dead Dungeon (digital, $14.99)
Destiny 2: Beyond Light (DLC, $39.99)
DIRT 5 (physical & digital, $59.99)
Dishonored and Prey: The Arkane Collection (physical & digital, $59.99)
Fuser (digital, $59.99)
Gears Tactics (physical & digital, $29.99)
Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds Story (digital, $14.99)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered (physical & digital, $39.99)
PAW Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay (physical and digital, $39.99)
Planet Coaster: Console Edition (physical & digital, $49.99)
Speed 3: Grand Prix (physical & digital, $39.99)
The Falconeer (digital, $29.99)
Train Sim World 2: Collector’s Edition XIII (physical & digital, $49.99)
Wolfenstein: The Alternative History Collection (physical & digital, $79.99)
XIII (physical & digital, $49.99)
Yakuza: Like a Dragon (physical & digital, $59.99)
YesterMorrow (digital, $14.99)

Xbox Series S/X
Gears Tactics (physical & digital, $29.99)
Planet Coaster: Console Edition (physical & digital, $49.99)
The Falconeer (digital, $29.99)
Yakuza: Like a Dragon (physical & digital, $59.99)

Evercade
Oliver Twins Collection 1 (physical, $19.99)
Xeno Crisis/Tanglewood (physical, $19.99)

PC
Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Star Kings ($19.99)
Aokana – EXTRA1 ($TBA)
Borderlands 3: Designer’s Cut (DLC, $14.99, included with Season Pass 2)
Chicken Police  ($15.99)
Destiny 2: Beyond Light ($39.99)
Destiny 2: Beyond Light Deluxe Edition ($69.99)
DIRT 5 ($59.99)
Fuser ($59.99)
Iron Reckoning ($17.99)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered ($29.99)
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin ($39.99)
Tear and the Library of Labyrinths ($TBA)
The Bluecoats: North & South ($17.99)
The Falconeer ($29.99)
TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity ($TBA)
XIII ($49.99)
Yakuza: Like a Dragon ($59.99)

Robert’s Pick: You may have heard the Japanese idiom, “every grain of rice has seven fortune gods”. Often repeated to children, the phrase dissuades waste. It’s also quite important to respect the hardworking farmers who harvested the rice, so if you are invited to a friend’s home in Japan, be sure not to leave a single grain. All these point to the importance and artistry involved with one of the world’s most popular food staples. But besides the odd onigiri used as a power-up, games have seldomly highlighted the significance of rice.

This week, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin looks to change that. Armed with traditional farming tools, you’ll take on a steady succession of demons. The action looks fine on its own, with enough combos to keep combat interesting. But Sakuna offers an ActRaiser-like juxtaposition, with a detailing rice-cultivating sim, that truly has me excited. These kinds of seemingly divergent activities are truly mesmerizing when developers weave fundamentals between the two pursuits. I’m hopeful that developer Edelweiss (Astebreed) will be able to. But at the very least, it’s got a visual style that’s completely charming. Also arriving this week is Yakuza: Like a Dragon. While I’ll undoubtedly miss the irreplaceable Kiryu, the shift to Yokohama and turn-based combat look to be a fitting distraction.

Ryan’s Pick: I know I’ve mentioned this particular franchise at least three separate times over the past few years, so my endorsement this week absolutely goes to Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered. This was my all-time favorite racing game until Criterion put out Burnout 3: Takedown, and it holds a ton of nostalgia and hilarious memories for me. The late 90s and early 2000s had some really great racing games, especially when it came to police chases, and this was the quintessential game for it. Well, the original Driver had some really fun challenge modes with police changes as well now that I think of it. But, in general Need for Speed really does a great job of giving a sense of speed as well as makes some of the police mechanics like spike strips and other speed trap mechanics really fun. I feel like the times when I messed up and got caught by them was just as fun as making it through those traps.

While it is another remaster, I think that XIII is another great pickup if you aren’t into racing. Cel-shading was quite the fad back in the early 2000s and was one of the large defining characteristics of this game when it first released. The part I like about this game is certain aspects of the game mimic a comic book in that certain attacks/effects are emoted with text, and the new cel-shading overhaul only does the game more justice.

Matt C’s pick (editor, Shindig): Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is shaping up to be one of this year’s most remarkable and surprising games, and certainly lives up to its description as being “ode to the artistry of rice cultivation”. There’s a detailed (but not needlessly complex) simulation of every step of growing rice, from sorting seeds and creating fertilizer to harvesting your crop, threshing, and hulling those precious grains. But more than that, it’s a game that puts all that into a cultural context, through the story of a lazy harvest goddess who’s never worked a day in her life and suddenly finds herself having to learn how to grow the rice she’s spent her whole life taking for granted.

Drawing heavily on Japanese mythology, it’s a tale full of adventure and a quintessentially Japanese sense of humour—think Ōkami or God Wars in terms of tone, and you’re on the right track. It’s a game that cleverly blends its action and farming elements, with Sakuna’s combat capability directly tied to her growth as a rice farmer (and vice versa). It all comes back to rice, not just as a crop, but as a way of life and a philosophical outlook. Anyone with any interest in Japanese culture, history, or mythology won’t want to miss this one.

Matt S’ pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): I’ll be going with Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin too, and for many of the same reasons the other Matt just mentioned. Sakuna is the kind of game that people who find Japanese culture will find fascinating, drawing on everything from mythology and Shinto philosophy, right through to the reverence that the Japanese have for rice cultivation and a good dash of humour thrown in for good measure. Oh, and it’s gorgeous. How two people managed to create something that incredible is beyond me.

I’m also going to say it: I want to play Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Yes, it’s going to be a Ubisoft open world game with all the microtransactions and senseless grind that is involved in that. Yes, it’s going to be overburdened with useless features and bloat – no, Assassin’s Creed never needed RPG mechanics. And yet… I can’t help myself with this series. As a student of history I’m always interested in seeing how game developers choose to depict historical moments, locations, and people, and while I have minimal interest in Yet More Norse Content(™) in video games, I am interested in seeing just what Ubisoft does with Valhalla. As a rule and in complete fairness to the company, they have generally done a good job with the history side of things.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

2 comments

  1. This whole PS5 and XSSX (or whatever the acronym is) feels half-assed. It’s more of a PS4 Pro 2 and Xbox One X 2 kind of upgrade. Plus, this is the first time there are no launch games that interest me. Sure, Mile Morales looks kind of cool, but it’s supposed to be 7 hours or shorter. I’m not going to spend $500 on one 7 hour experience.

  2. Does “Smart Delivery” or “Optimization” really matter? You put the disk in and it’s improved. You don’t have to think about it.

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