The Latest

New Releases: June 25th-July 1st, 2020

This week, Trails of Cold Steel III, Brigandine The Legend of Runersia, and Collar X Malice arrive on Switch, Mr. Driller returns after an extended hiatus, and a pair of Blaster Master Zero titles get ported to PlayStation 4. Meanwhile, Dungeons 3: Complete Collection bundles the base game and seven expansions into a single package.

Header image: Conspiracy Field: Fog Shadow, PC

PlayStation 4
A Summer with the Shiba Inu (digital, $9.99)
Arcade Archives: Wiz (digital, $7.99)
Blaster Master Zero (digital, $9.99)
Blaster Master Zero II (digital, $9.99)
Dungeons 3: Complete Collection (physical & digital, $39.99)
Party Pumper (digital, $16.99, PS VR)

Switch
A Summer with the Shiba Inu (digital, $9.99)
Blair Witch (digital, $26.99)
Brigandine The Legend of Runersia (digital, $49.99)
City Driving Simulator (digital, $8.99)
Collar X Malice (digital, $39.99)
Grimshade (digital, $21.24)
Iron Wings (digital, $11.99)
Miden Tower (digital, $13.49)
My Bewitching Perfume (digital, $19.99)
Mr. Driller DrillLand (digital, $29.99)
Pachi Pachi On A Roll (digital, $6.99)
Ploid Saga (digital, $11.99)
Poopdie – Chapter One (digital, $4.00)
Quell Zen (digital, $1.99)
Sudoky (digital, $0.69)
The Almost Gone (digital, $14.99)
The Forgotten Land (digital, $9.99)
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III (physical & digital, $59.99)
The StoryTale (digital, $11.99)
Towaga: Among Shadows (digital, $13.49)
Tower of Time (digital, $19.99)
Truck and Logistics Simulator (digital, $39.99)
Unitied (digital, $2.99)
Urban Flow (digital, $14.99)
Urban Trial Tricky (digital, $13.49)
Yes, Your Grace (digital, $16.99)

Xbox One
A Summer with the Shiba Inu (digital, $9.99)
Dungeons 3: Complete Collection (physical & digital, $39.99)
Tower of Time (digital, $19.99)
Yes, Your Grace (digital, $16.99)

PC
Conspiracy Field: Fog Shadow ($TBA)
Dungeons 3: Complete Collection ($29.99)
Galmon Folklore ~Monster Girl Galore!~ ($15.29)
Keen – One Girl Army ($14.39)
Love Spell: Written In The Stars ($TBA)
Mr. DRILLER DrillLand ($29.99)
Paradise Island ($13.49)
Rescue Team: Danger from Outer Space! ($5.59)
Space Court ($2.99)
Strikers 1945 III ($TBA)
The Almost Gone ($14.99)

Robert’s Choose Your Own Adventure:
(If you already own The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III, jump to paragraph two)
Like the Star Wars movies, most episodic role-playing games feel like they were made up as they go along. Cold Steel is the exception to that trend, following Rean Schwarzer’s education at the Thors Military Academy and depicting bonds with his Class VII-mates. Rather than an erratic tale that pushes the protagonist across Erebonia, Cold Steel feels classical, revealing the ongoing life of an exceptional hero. With the release of Cold Steel III, Schwarzer returns as Class VII instructor, continuing his growth as a character, while providing space for new cast members. Few series cultivate character bonds as well as the Trails arcs, and if you enjoy watching relationships flourish, Cold Steel III is essential, especially since you can play in on the go now.
(Story ends with a heroic fanfare).

Congratulations, seasoned player! Your appreciation of one of the best role-playing series around demonstrates taste. As someone who appreciates the modern classics, let me introduce you to a abandoned character called Susumu Hori. He’s the son of Dig Dug’s Taizo Hori and Baraduke’s Masuyo Tobi, who, sadly, divorced some time back. But the split seemed to inspire resilience in Hori, who indefatigably drills downward, causing blocks to disappear when four or more of the same color connect. We haven’t heard from Hori recently, which is tragic, because Mr. Driller is one of the best action-puzzlers around. Mr. Driller DrillLand adds missions, smooth difficulty spikes, and offers a few other quality-of-life improvements to Bandai Namco’s subterranean series. I’m amazingly fun, quite addictive, and I’m happy that’s it back.
(Story ends with Susumu striding confidently into the sunset).

Matt S’ Pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): I am curious about Brigandine The Legend of Runersia. I never played the PlayStation 1 original (yes, I know, naughty Matt… but believe it or not it’s not possible to have played every game ever made), however this new one has a number of markers that qualify it as intriguing even for those with no familiarity with the series.

Firstly, looking at the screenshots and promo art, Brigandine has hexes, fantasy characters, and anime girls with great legs. You put those three things together and you’re off to a really great start with me. A holy trinity, if you will. Hexes because hexes are a sign of a strategy game you can take seriously. Fantasy characters because I love JRPGs. Anime girls with great legs because… well, you know.

Secondly, it’s by Matrix Software, and if I were to be kidnapped, and my kidnappers were to hold a gun to my head, demanding that I recruit one developer to make a game that they absolutely must love, otherwise they would shoot me, I would probably choose Matrix. Now, that probably would be a mistake since I would be betting it all on the kidnappers enjoying a niche JRPG rather than, say, a FPS (and they do have a gun to my head)… but I have to go with what I know, and I know and trust Matrix to deliver on the niche JRPG thing. Point is, if Matrix Software is making Brigandine, then I’m fairly certain that I’m going to love Brigandine.

Also, after playing Robert’s Choose Your Own Adventure game I’ve got to echo his thoughts there too. Mr. Driller is good stuff.

Ryan’s Pick: If people could make dioramas of my life, I wonder what would be in them. I suppose that’s a rhetorical question. They’d be full of Cowtail candy wrappers, dojinshi, squirrel masks and other important yet seemingly unrelated items, resulting in pure absurdity. Luckily this whole diorama of my life creation thing probably won’t pan out, so we can focus on something much more interesting, which brings me to my pick this week, The Almost Gone. I think that this cerebral isometric puzzle game looks pretty heavy, so I think that it will be a nice change from platforming.

Searching for clues and investigating to uncover truths and progress storylines in games is a great game mechanic that has been employed in countless memorable game series, including Leisure Suit Larry, Danganronpa, Ace Attorney, and more. Star Trek The Next Generation – A Final Unity tested my sanity in the mid 90’s with point and clicking with my tricorder thousands of times while trying to uncover clues, only to be rewarded with the pre-recorded Geordi La Forge sound clip “It didn’t work,” over and over again.  It felt like the ride would never end, until one day, I won. I think with all investigation games it brings out acts of pure will to try and push the story forward when you just can’t seem to figure out the next step. I suppose that’s why I like games like this. They test your patience and perseverance as a gamer. For this game I think that being able to manipulate the scenes isometrically provides you with some interesting options, so count me in for some clues and exposition. Thematically the game seems to cover death, loss, and mental health, so I imagine my referential brain will be drawing parallels to miss Enoshima or Monokumas right quick. Speaking of mental health, I think I triggered some bad repressed memories thinking about that Star Trek game. I’m going to go have a lie down.

Matt C’s Pick (editor, Shindig): When it comes to otome games, people tend to focus on the romance and cute anime boys, which is fair enough. But it’s also a genre that developers often use to explore all manner of other themes and ideas, often with a level of nuance and creativity that you rarely see in other genres. I can think of no better example of this than Collar X Malice, a romantic thriller from Otomate that delivers one of the most potent explorations of gun control I’ve seen in a game.

Collar X Malice takes place in a grim future where, due to a series of highly publicized murders, Shinjuku has been locked down and Japan’s extremely strict gun laws revoked within the city – the idea being that if people are able to arm themselves, they’ll be safer. As a detective roped into investigating the case alongside a rogue group of former police (the love interests), you’re left to navigate the lawlessness that arises from the idea that more guns and fewer restrictions on them somehow makes the public safer.

The way the game uses the otome structure to explore this idea is fascinating. Bad endings feel a lot more common here than in other Otomate games, and often feel deliberately random: you chose to go down this street instead of that one, and found yourself face to face with a panicked, armed citizen with no training in how to safely use a firearm, who mistakes you for an attacker and pulls the trigger. Game over. That’s not to say Collar X Malice doesn’t have its share of levity and romance, but the way it holds a mirror up to the world is unlike anything else out there.

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.

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