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New Releases: December 24th-30th, 2020

As 2020 comes an end, the year’s concluding releases are arriving. Most of the industry is taking a much-deserved breather. But not Nintendo, with the Switch receiving its usual sizeable schedule of new titles. From JDM Racing – 2’s drifting, Dungeon Limbus’ roguelike explorations, and The Hong Kong Massacre’s visceral shootouts, the console’s library continues to grow at a remarkable rate.

Header Art: JDM Racing – 2, Switch

PlayStation 4
Warhammer: Chaosbane – Slayer Edition (physical, $59.99)

Switch
BIT.TRIP BEAT (digital, $4.99)
BIT.TRIP CORE (digital, $4.99)
BIT.TRIP FATE (digital, $4.99)
BIT.TRIP FLUX (digital, $4.99)
BIT.TRIP RUNNER (digital, $4.99)
BIT.TRIP VOID (digital, $4.99)
Candy 2048 Challenge (digital, $7.99)
Cube Life: Island Survival (digital, $14.99)
Cube Raiders (digital, $12.99)
Door Kickers (digital, 11.99)
Dungeon Limbus (digital, $14.99)
Dungeonoid (digital, $6.99)
DungeonTop (digital, $13.99)
Elliot (digital, $9.99)
Hell Sports (digital, $19.99)
JDM Racing – 2 (digital, $4.99)
Kauil’s Treasure (digital, $9.99)
Kingdom Tales (digital, $9.99)
Kolumno (digital, $1.99)
Match Three: Pirates! Heir to Davy Jones (digital, $9.99)
Quell Reflect (digital, $7.99)
Spirit Arena (digital, $9.99)
Super Sports Blast (digital, $24.99)
The Hong Kong Massacre (digital, $15.99)
The Last Dead End (digital, $9.99)
Void Source (digital, $5.99)
Wingspan (digital, $19.99)

Xbox One
Super Sports Blast (digital, $24.99)
Warhammer: Chaosbane – Slayer Edition (physical, $59.99)

PC
Connected Towers ($TBA)
Magic Potion Millionaire ($TBA)
My Boss is Weird ($TBA)
My Ten-day Girlfriend ($TBA)
Omori ($TBA)

Rob’s Pick: Growing up, two of my favorite films were The Killer and Hard Boiled. In each, director John Woo envisioned pulpy worlds of principled assassins and strong-willed undercover cops. Both films tossed reality out the window, with breathtaking gunfights draped in layers of slow-motion. Showdowns were as lithe and beautiful as ballet, and it’s here that going akimbo entered the vernacular of theatrical violence. Naturally, games are an adept medium for recreating this, and undoubtedly influenced titles like Max Payne, Stranglehold, and Sleeping Dogs.

This week, The Hong Kong Massacre glides its way onto Switch. Hopefully, it’s as agile as Chow Yun-Fat’s staircase railing slide. Framerates are important for this kind of game, since you’ll be dodging bullets with the kind of precision needed for a danmaku. Sure, some might say Massacre is little more than Hotline Miami with the addition of slow-motion. But I’d argue it’s things like the red-hot radiance of a shotgun blast and the splintering of breakable environmental objects that makes this a legit homage to 90’s-era HK cinema. On the other side of the intensity spectrum, Wingspan looks like another great table-top to Switch adaptation and I’m really looking forward it.

Matt C’s pick (editor, Shindig): With their rhythm-based riffs everything from pong to bullet hells, minimalist pixel graphics, and catchy chiptune music, the BIT.TRIP games are a wonderful way to spend a few hours and a great example of how far a little creativity can go. The first six games finally making their way to Switch is a wonderful Christmas present, although the lack of Runner2 is a little odd—it’ll be on the only game in the series that’s not on Switch, with Runner3 being there already. Still, seven BIT.TRIPs is better than one.

I’m also intrigued by Dungeon Limbus, a classic-style roguelike with a beautiful, colourful pixel art style that calls to mind the SNES at its best and brightest. I’m not expecting the depth of Shiren the Wanderer or the narrative strength of Void Terrarium, but a fun, no-frills roguelike is something I can get behind—and any game that lists “tile maps and turns!” among its selling points is speaking my language.

Ryan’s Pick: While I am heavily considering I stomp in and forcefully slam an unfired bullet on the table with The Hong Kong Massacre written on it as white doves somehow are flying around indoors, alas, I must give my pick this week to another game. The RPG Omori on Steam has caught my eye with some of its interesting hand-drawn visuals and unique use of color. At first glance it does not seem like the subject matter of the game may be too light, but I feel like it’s story-driven elements will bring a much-needed contrast as Ralphie Parker’s plight is marathoned on television yet again this year on our television.

One other reason I am drawn to this game is because some of the art has me drawing some parallels to the ending episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion. This game’s use of black/white contrast and pastels really gives off the same vibe for me, so I really am interested to dive in to experience the content and story. As a huge proponent of strange monsters (extra points if they are large and screaming), I do have high hopes for an interesting battle system as I attempt to flay these strange creatures that live inside the game. Traveling around on the world map also definitely has a retro appearance and feel to it as well, so that is always quite welcome. If you prefer lighter subject matter, then I must suggest you try The Hong Kong Massacre. I still have both Hotline Miami games on my Vita and the top-down shooter genre is absolutely great on handhelds.

Matt S’ pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): I just want to start by saying I hope you’ve all had the most wonderful Christmas (or are having, depending on what part of the world you live in as you read this). It’s been a horrible year for most of us. I genuinely hope this last little bit at the end brings some relief.

Now. On to the games. For me there’s one standout this week: Wingspan. Wingspan is a board game that has been turning heads since it first released a year ago, and with good reason – it’s one of those “easy to learn, difficult to master” experiences, and the way that it is structured forces you to be flexible in how you play every single time you do play. Also, it’s a gorgeous celebration of wild birds from around the world, with some really lovely art depicting them.

Wingspan on the Switch means I can play Wingspan anywhere, and not have to worry about the set up and pack-away time at the start and end of the game. In addition, the digital edition of Wingspan takes advantage of the videogame format to animate that lovely art in a subtle, classy way. Having arguably the best board game of the last decade on the Nintendo Switch is a big plus, and now, when I’m in the mood for the genre, I’ll be able to default to something other than Armello (though Armello is essential stuff too).

I’ll also echo Matt C’s note of Dungeon Limbus. I’m always up for a good classical roguelike, and this one looks like it’ll deliver. It probably released right at the right time, too – it’s the kind of game that looks like it’ll be easy to overlook but given the relative dearth of releases in this particular part of the year, it might just catch the eyes of people with a bit of downtime.

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.

5 comments

  1. I’m so glad I dedicated four weeks of my life trying to find a PS5 and there’s really no interesting new games for it after beating Demon’s Souls.

  2. I’ll be chipping away at my Wish List with the Steam holiday sale this week.

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

  3. Once this is all over, I’d love to visit friends and play a game of Wingspan. That might be here for a while, so I’m thinking about the Switch version to hold me over and maybe improve.

  4. Magic Potion Millionaire Looks kind of cool.

  5. Merry Christmas and Many Happy Waifus to everyone!