The Latest

New Releases: December 13th-19th, 2018

With the return of Billy and Jimmy Lee, Borderlands 2’s Axton, Maya, Salvador, and Zer0, World Heroes’ Jeanne D’Arc, and even Adventure’s square-shaped protagonist, this week’s new releases feels rooted in game’s past. But if you are hoping for something new, Seed of the Dead is an eroge that might tempt, while GRIS looks to challenge game conventions.

Header Image: Food Girls, PC

PlayStation 4
Atari Flashback Classics: Volume 3 (physical, $19.99)
8-Bit Armies (physical, $19.99)
Arcade Archives: Athena (digital, $7.99)
Bibi & Tina: Adventures with Horses (digital, $24.99)
Bibi Blocksberg: Big Broom Race 3 (digital, $17.99)
Borderlands 2 VR (digital, $49.99)
Escape Game: Aloha (digital, $5.99)
Kingmaker: Rise to the Throne (digital, $TBA)
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – The Lair of the Lost Lord (DLC, $TBA)
Razed (digital, $TBA)
RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride (digital, $19.99)
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy – Jeanne D’Arc (DLC, $TBA)

Switch
ACA NeoGeo Twinkle Star Sprites (digital, $7.99)
Almightree: The Last Dreamer (digital, $19.99)
Arcade Archives Double Dragon II The Revenge (digital, $7.99)
Atari Flashback Classics (physical and digital, $39.99)
Big Bash Boom (digital, $29.99)
Blue Rider (digital, $9.99)
Double Switch: 25th Anniversary Edition
Football Manager 2019 Touch (digital, $39.99)
Firewatch (digital, $19.99)
GRIS (digital, $16.99)
Gnomes Garden (digital, $4.99)
Hunter’s Legacy: Purrfect Edition (digital, $6.99)
Hyperide: Vector Raid (digital, $3.99)
Instant Tennis (digital, $8.99)
Ivanych vs Eared Beast (digital, $2.39)
Julie’s Sweets (digital, $9.99)
Knights of Pen and Paper Bundle (digital, $22.49)
Knights of Pen & Paper 2 Deluxiest Edition (digital, $12.99)
Lazy Galaxy: Rebel Story (digital, $7.99)
‘n Verlore Verstand (digital, $13.99)
Omensight: Definitive Edition (digital, $19.99)
Oxyjet (digital, $14.99)
Peace, Death! Complete Edition (digital, $4.99)
Quarantine Circular (digital, $5.99)
Race Arcade (digital, $9.99)
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures (digital, $49.99)
Sega Ages: Phantasy Star (digital, $7.99)
Sheltered (digital, $14.99)
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy – Jeanne D’Arc (DLC, $TBA)
Solar Flux (digital, $9.99)
Starman (digital, $8.99)

Xbox One
8-Bit Armies (physical, $19.99)
Below (digital, $TBA)
Knights of Pen & Paper 2: Deluxiest Edition (digital, $12.99)
Lazy Galaxy: Rebel Story (digital, $7.99)
Plague Road (digital, $TBA)
Rally Racers (digital, $TBA)

Vita
Atari Flashback Classics (digital, $39.99)
Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition (physical, $TBA)

PC
2084 ($8.49)
Below ($TBA)
Bloody Chronicles – New Cycle of Death ($19.99)
Bloody Rally Simulator ($TBA)
Coldfall ($2.69)
DayZ ($29.74)
Food Girls ($TBA)
Football Director 2019 ($TBA)
GRIS ($16.99)
I Walk Among Zombies Vol. 1 ($TBA)
Lost Lands: Mistakes of the Past ($6.99)
Lucius III ($17.99)
Mech Rage ($TBA)
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – The Lair of the Lost Lord (DLC, $9.99)
Seed of the Dead ($TBA)
Shadow Uprising ($TBA)
Skater XL ($TBA)
Slave’s Sword ($TBA)
Tiny Tanks ($TBA)
Victory Project ($TBA)

Robert’s Pick: It could be argued that Atari’s Eighties-era games haven’t aged gracefully, with the 2600 limited to a 160×192 resolution and sprites a mere eight pixel wide. But dig into the company’s archives and you’ll discover a lot of timeless gameplay. Thirty-six years later, Yar’s Revenge remains engaging and Astrosmash (which was originally Intellivsion property, but the VHS version is pretty solid) is still a great mix of Space Invaders and Asteroids. This week’s release of Atari Flashback Classics offers a bundle that compiles the three discs that have been previously released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One into a single anthology. Beyond 2600 titles, there’s even a sprinkling of 5200 and coin-op games in there. While I wish they were able to license some of the Imagic titles like Demon Attack, this is a whole lot better than one of those wonky faux-consoles that manufacturers puts out around the holidays. Also, shame on Activision for not letting Battlezone show up in the compilation.

Matt’s Pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): It’s really tempting to recommend hardcore adult shooter Seed of the Dead, because if “zombies plus bukkake” isn’t morbidly intriguing, then nothing is… and also the actually shooting bit of this game appear to mark it out as something more than the usual trash that gets dumped on Steam, at least as far as the trailer goes.

But my real pick this week would have to be SEGA Ages: Phantasy Star. Not only do you get one of the best JRPGs from the very earliest era of the genre (one that certainly holds its own in comparison to Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest), but you also get a much improved version. The first-person dungeons, which had a maze-like design that could send any player batty, now have a mapping option. It’s optional, for people who want to turn it off and experience the game in its original glory (or draw their own maps on physical grid paper as the galaxy brains used to), but it’s there to make the game more playable for newcomers. Phantasy Star will remain a delightfully challenging, classic JRPG. One I have fond memories of and can’t wait to experience again.

Jay’s Pick: It feels like I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel recommending DLC in my second week but it’s something I just can’t ignore. Ni no Kuni II’s The Lair of the Lost Lord DLC is my pick because I can’t wait to step back into the charming world of Ni no Kuni II.

I am personally looking forward to checking out the new content but beyond that, I’m hoping it’s enough to bring lapsed players back into the fold. Ni no Kuni II was heavily criticised on launch for its lack of difficulty, I never had a problem with it, but I know many people who did. This prompted the developers to spend several months rebalancing the game which culminated in a free update that added brand new difficulty modes – it didn’t offer much else though, so it failed to entice players back.

Adding brand new, tangible content is a sure-fire way to pique player’s interests and I really want more people to experience the gorgeousness and majesty of this brilliant game. On another note – was the subtitle really necessary, Bamco? Ni no Kuni II was just fine without Revenant Kingdom, and now that you’re giving the DLC Ludicrously long titles poor Robert is going to blow the word count budget.

Ryan’s Pick: Phantasy Star is mighty tempting, but I feel like my time is best spent with GRIS for this week. There are a lot of interesting ideas in this sidescroller, and to be honest the sound design alone was enough to hook me on this title. I instantly am drawing parallels to Abzu and Journey with the chill ambient music. Games that are free of death are also a rare occurrence, which equally is refreshing lately with all these hyper realistic open world games that are full of death everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to drag one of them good ol’ O’Driscoll boys through the campfire, but it’s nice to change things up. Visually the environments and character animations are stunning, which help create a cohesive relaxing experience with the music. Interestingly, your dress drives part of the characters growth in the game by evolving as the story unfolds. I shall be enjoying this experience for some serenity in my life, before I head back to dragging those O’Driscoll boys behind me on my horse.

 

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.

7 comments

  1. I thought the SNK characters were $6 or did I hear wrong?

  2. Robert and Matt, you need to review Seed of the Dead. You’re about the only two I trust.

  3. I want to know what Robert’s word count is. His reviews are pretty long…

  4. Sad to see Zack go, but Jay has filled the gap very nicely. Well done, sir!

  5. Phantasy Star for me this week.

  6. Firewatch ran awful on PS4. I can only imagine it on Switch.

  7. FYI: Astrosmash was renamed AstroBlast when it was ported to Atari. Yes, it was confusing and I never head an explanation why.