The Latest

New Releases: May 28th-June 3rd, 2020

Beyond a multitude of 2K Switch ports, (BioShock, Borderlands, and XCOM 2), and a new Shantae game, this week sees a pair of Umihara Kawase titles, expanding the rucksack-wearing sushi chef’s exploits. With Sony shutting down the SingStar servers earlier this year, karaoke fans might have to resort to the release of Let’s Sing 2020 to showcase their crooning competences.

PlayStation 4
Atomicrops (digital, $14.99)
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (digital, $24.99)
Genetic Disaster (digital, $14.99)
Hotel R’n’R (digital, $19.99, PS VR)
Let’s Sing 2020 (digital, $44.99)
Little Misfortune (digital, $19.99)
Shantae and the Seven Sirens (digital, $29.99)
Those Who Remain (digital, $19.99)

Switch
Adam’s Venture: Origins (digital, $39.99)
Atomicrops (digital, $14.99)
BioShock: The Collection (physical and digital, $49.99)
BioShock 2 Remastered (digital, $19.99)
BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition (digital, $19.99)
Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition (digital, $29.99)
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (digital, $39.99)
Borderlands Legendary Collection (physical and digital, $49.99)
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (digital, $24.99)
Castle Pals (digital, $4.99)
Climbros (digital, $9.90)
Despotism 3k (digital, $10.99)
F-117A Stealth Fighter (digital, $4.99)
Flux8 (digital, $9.19)
Fly Punch Boom! (digital, $12.74)
Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special (digital, $23.99)
Genetic Disaster (digital, $14.99)
Hill Climbing Mania (digital, $6.00)
Indiecalypse (digital, $12.99)
Let’s Sing 2020 (digital, $44.99)
Little Misfortune (digital, $19.99)
Resolutiion (digital, $19.99)
SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC (digital, $7.99)
Shantae and the Seven Sirens (digital, $29.99)
Synaptic Drive (digital, $29.99)
Turmoil (digital, $14.99)
Undead & Beyond (digital, $10.99)
WildTrax Racing (digital, $7.99)
XCOM 2 Collection (physical and digital, $49.99)
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (physical and digital, $59.99)
#womenUp, Super Puzzles Dream (digital, $6.19)

Xbox One
Atomicrops (digital, $14.99)
Awesome Pea 2 (digital, $4.99)
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (digital, $24.99)
Castle Pals (digital, $4.99)
Genetic Disaster (digital, $14.99)
Little Misfortune (digital, $19.99)
Shantae and the Seven Sirens (digital, $29.99)
The Last Scape (digital, $5.99)
Those Who Remain (digital, $19.99)
Ultimate Fishing Simulator (digital, $19.99)

PC
Dungeon Defenders: Awakened ($29.99, Early Access)
Fly Punch Boom! ($12.74)
Hotel R’n’R ($19.99)
Indiecalypse ($12.99)
Resolutiion ($19.99)
Savage Halloween ($TBA)
Shantae and the Seven Sirens ($29.99)
Synaptic Drive ($26.99)
Those Who Remain ($17.99)
Umihara Kawase Bazooka! ($29.99)
Umihara Kawase Fresh! ($47.99)

Robert’s Pick: Sure, 2K Games has dabbled with Switch software, offering up mostly decent ports of Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, NBA 2K, WWE 2K, as well as the persistently mediocre Carnival Games. But this week the publisher is trotting out adaptations of their top-tier properties. I’ll be tempted with picking them all up eventually, but I’m adopting a wait and see approach after purchasing the thoroughly disappointing PlayStation 4 port of XCOM 2. Dealing with unpatched glitches and a thoroughly uneven performance spoiled an otherwise engrossing experience.

Now let’s get to the real highlight, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. For some strange reason, I’m indifferent about actual MMOs. But create a single-player, off-line experience that emulates the basic mechanics of an MMO (.hack//G.U., Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online) and I’ll devour it like a Swiss roll cake. Ten years on, Tetsuya Takahashi’s open-world opus is still a stunner. The term ‘epic scale’ gets tossed around media with worrisome frequency, but Chronicles is one of those rare games that articulates an immense scope. Maps are enormous and convey a genuine feeling of exploration. For those who trekked through the original Wii iteration or 3DS port, Future Connected is a new epilogue that’s correspondingly sized, grafting another 12-15 hours of adventure onto an already great package.

Matt’s Pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the easy choice here. It’s very easy to forget, but Xenoblade Chronicles isn’t just a big game with lots of content and some fanservice thrown in. The thesis of the game is a pretty intensive discourse around existentialism, determinism, and all those other pop philosophy things that are so enjoyable to muse on after play. It’s for this reason that this game has stuck with me even after the first time I played it through on Wii, and not being an overly big fan of it on that run through. That time I came for the reasons that people commonly celebrate Xenoblade Chronicles, and ended up getting bogged down in terrible sidequests and “exploration” for the sake of it. On subsequent replays I focused on the narrative and discovered where the game’s magic lied.

Speaking of magic, let’s not overlook Shantae this week. The genie-girl has been such a persistent part of the 2D platforming world for so many years now that she deserves to be held alongside Mario and Sonic as a true mascot for the genre. Truth be told, I actually prefer Shantae, for the exotic settings, the excellent music and… well, the whole harem costume thing. It’s good stuff. I wish Shantae could spread her wings and take a crack at an RPG or other narrative-focused genre, but I’ll still play anything that she shows up in.

Ginny’s Pick: People are probably going to put my head on a stick here for not saying Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, but that’s because I’m going with another standout classic from my favorites library. Yes, I have an immense soft spot for Xenoblade, but I’m also super into tactics games so it might come as no surprise to you that I’m going to be recommending the XCOM 2 Collection.

When it was first announced that XCOM 2 was coming to the Switch, I was stoked. It’s really one of those games that has clawed its way into the tactics genre’s canon, and it’s nigh indispensable to those who consider themselves fans. If you don’t know anything about XCOM, it’s pretty easy to sum up: make your mates, turn them into your squad, shoot aliens with them, cry when they die because an enemy’s 66% chance to hit them turned out to be a critical and your 97% shot before that was a blatant miss.

Funky math aside, there’s just something about the series that makes it very hard to put down. Virtuos, the company behind the Switch port, are well-known for their masterful work with the Dark Souls remaster as well as L.A Noire, and they’ll also be working on The Outer Worlds when that finally hits our favorite handheld console. Being able to take all of these lengthy, amazing experiences portable is really like a second chance to introduce beloved franchises to the masses, so I’m very keen to see how XCOM 2 is received this time along with all the other Virtuos projects that we have to look forward to.

Ryan’s Pick: A non-conformist appears! While the world is going gangbusters on single player games, I’m opting for the multiplayer brawler Fly Punch Boom! Why would I be picking a multiplayer game during these trying times? Well, you just need to watch the trailer for this one and you’ll understand why. This is a cartoon brawler with anime inspired fights reminiscent of those in DBZ, with characters fancy-crazily flying about and pummeling each other with fantastic barrages. It’s like they took Dragon Ball Z’s fighting and merged it with an art style like Regular Show. It’s well worth a look.

If you are still on the fence about this one because it’s a multiplayer game, there luckily is both online play as well as the ability to play single player. The soundtrack is equally full of win, and the theme song reminds me a lot of the South Park episode when they were singing the Let’s Fighting Love anisong. As for the battle, complimenting the flashy animations and close-up fighting sequences, there are stage fatalities as well – one being where you can explode in the moon’s butt. Things don’t get much better than that.

Matt C’s Pick (editor, Shindig): As much as I want to be a contrarian, I have no choice but to add another vote for Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. This is my first Xeno game (I know, I know), and while part of missing is disappointed about how much I’ve missed out on over the years, I think this release is the perfect place for a newcomer to the series to dive in.

I don’t just say that because it’s a remaster of the first game in the Chronicles sub-series. Xenoblade Chronicles is incredibly ambitious in terms of building a world that feels expansive and alive. With revamped visuals and the relative power of Nintendo Switch (at least compared to Wii and 3DS), this remaster truly lives up to that ambition. I’m sure the previous releases were beautiful, but I have to imagine the sheer scope would have been compromised by hardware limitations. On Switch, at least, it’s consistently breathtaking.

I also want to give a nod to Shantae and the Seven Sirens (I’m not a clone of Matt S, I swear). The half-genie hero’s misadventures are always a source of joy and laughter, with plenty of wonderful oddballs to meet and a colourful world of magic and pirates. Seven Sirens is a return to the more exploration-driven style of earlier games in the series, after the more linear Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, and that’s where I think Shantae works best.

 

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.

10 comments

  1. Shantae is really bringing that anime vibe, isn’t she?

  2. Savage Halloween is so savage it doesn’t have a price. (and looks like a sprite swap)

  3. Fly Punch Boom! has that bright color scheme I really like. Shantae too.

    Has anyone ever measured if bright or dark colored games sell better? Most of Nintendo’s stuff uses light colors and seems to always do well.

  4. What is everything thinking? It’s all Xenoblade Chronicles this week.

  5. One more reason to hate the coronavirus. It delayed shipment of XC.

    Let’s kill this f&*king virus. Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way.

  6. There’s a boss called “Metal Face” in XC? That takes me back to middle school when I wore braces.

  7. Robert, Matt, and Matt:

    Are any of you reviewing Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special this week?

    • Too SHMUPPY for me, I’m afraid. I would never be able to give those kinds of games a review that does them justice.

      I’m sure other Matt and/or Robert would nail it, though.