The Latest

New Releases: July 22nd-28th, 2021

From Samurai Warriors 5, NEO: The World Ends with You, and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles this week bring a number of notable new titles to consoles and computers. But there are also a few lowkey gems in the release schedule with Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ and Clone Drone in the Danger Zone arriving on Switch, while Bishoujo Battle Mahjong Solitaire offers PlayStation and Nintendo owners offers an eye-catching mix of mahjong tiles and military maidens.

Header: Samurai Warriors 5 (PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One)

PlayStation 4
Bishoujo Battle Mahjong Solitaire (digital, $5.99)
Blightbound (digital, $19.99)
Blue Fire (physical & digital, $29.99)
Last Stop (digital, $TBA)
Minecraft Dungeons: Echoing Void (DLC, $5.99)
NEO: The World Ends with You (physical & digital, $59.99)
Night Book (digital, $TBA)
Orcs Must Die! 3 (digital, $29.99)
Samurai Warriors 5 (physical & digital, $59.99)
Splitgate (digital, free)
The Forgotten City (digital, 29.99)
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (physical & digital, $39.99)
The Sims 4: Cottage Living (DLC, $39.99)
Tribes of Midgard (digital, $19.99)
Trigger Witch (digital, $TBA)
Urban Trial Tricky: Deluxe Edition (digital, $19.99)
Winds & Leaves (digital, $TBA)

Switch
#Pinocchio/Super Puzzles Dream (digital, $5.99)
112 Operator (digital, $19.99)
Aery – Calm Mind (digital, $8.99)
Ayo the Clown (digital, $19.99)
Bishoujo Battle Mahjong Solitaire (digital, $5.99)
Bunny Bounce (digital, $4.99)
Clone Drone in the Danger Zone (digital, $19.99)
Corpse Killer – 25th Anniversary Edition (digital, $14.99)
Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ (physical & digital, $39.99)
Dininho Space Adventure (digital, $9.99)
Freddy Spaghetti 2 (digital, $4.99)
Fuga: Melodies of Steel (digital, $39.99)
Hunter Shooting Camp (digital, $7.99)
Last Stop (digital, $24.99)
NEO: The World Ends with You (physical & digital, $59.99)
Night Book (digital, $11.69)
Nyakamon Adventures (digital, $4.99)
Racing Xtreme 2 (digital, $6.99)
Samurai Warriors 5 (physical & digital, $59.99)
Sports Pinball Bundle (digital, $8.99)
Terra Bomber (digital, $9.99)
Terra Lander (digital, $9.99)
Terra Lander II – Rockslide Rescue (digital, $9.99)
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (physical & digital, $39.99)
Timothy vs the Aliens (digital, $14.95)
Truck Simulator 2 (digital, $11.99)
Unbound: Worlds Apart (digital, $19.99)
US Navy Sea Conflict (digital, $4.99)
Wood Block Escape Puzzles 3 (digital, $5.99)

Xbox One
Aery – Calm Mind (digital, $9.99)
Alchemic Cutie (digital, $19.99)
Blightbound (digital, $19.99)
Clone Drone in the Danger Zone (digital, $19.99)
Last Stop (digital, $24.99)
Minecraft Dungeons: Echoing Void (DLC, $5.99)
Night Book (digital, $TBA)
Orcs Must Die! 3 (digital, $29.99)
Samurai Warriors 5 (physical & digital, $59.99)
Scrap Garden (digital, $6.99)
Splitgate (digital, free)
The Forgotten City (digital, 29.99)
The Sims 4: Cottage Living (DLC, $39.99)
Trigger Witch (digital, $TBA)
Urban Trial Tricky: Deluxe Edition (digital, $15.99)
Where the Snow Settles (digital, $10.49)
Winds & Leaves (digital, $TBA)

PC
Deepest Chamber ($TBA)
Final Fantasy ($9.59)
Final Fantasy II ($9.59)
Final Fantasy III ($9.59)
Idol Manager ($TBA)
Last Stop ($24.99)
Natural Instincts ($TBA)
Noosphere ($TBA)
Orcs Must Die! 3 ($29.99)
Samurai Warriors 5 ($59.99)
The Crackpet Show ($TBA)
The Forgotten City ($29.99)
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles ($39.99)
The Sims 4: Cottage Living (DLC, $39.99)
Tribes of Midgard ($19.99)
Unbound: Worlds Apart ($TBA)
Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector ($39.99)
Yume 2: Sleepless Night

Rob’s Pick: While I’ll always love 2D pixel art (aka raster graphics), there’s a special place in my heart for vector graphics. My dad was an Asteroids fanatic and I can still remember seeing Tempest for the first time in all of its geometric glory. Sure, I never got that Vectrex console, but that didn’t tarnish my admiration for games that looked like they were drawn in neon. This week, the Terra trilogy makes its way onto Switch, with a trio of titles that draw inspiration from Lunar Lander, Scramble, and Gravity Crash Ultra. I’m intrigued.

But the big title this week is Samurai Warriors 5. I’m a musou junkie, but even if you’re not one of the enlightened, there’s a lot to like about the latest iteration in Omega Force’s spin-off franchise. The recent demo gave players access to Oda Nobunaga, who is shown hacking his way toward a unified Japan. Just as the need for variety intensifies, Mitsuhide Akechi becomes available, which demonstrates the title’s habit of providing new playables, upgrades, and skills. When coupled with experience growth for characters, and even a post-stage dividend that can be given to any other playable, Warriors 5 showers players with rewards. I also really enjoy how Omega Force keeping building on the series’ narrative foundations, which help flesh out the docudramatic figures and relationships depicted in the game.

While some will fault the reduction in roster size (SW 4 had 55 playable characters, there are 37 here), the developers counters that by revising nearly every move-set. Additionally, the new visual style is gorgeous, offering a delightful cell-shaded rendition of the action. For a series often unfairly dismissed as ‘being more of the same’ Warriors 5 offers some smart changes to the core formula.

Matt S’ pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): A fair few years ago now, I was working at Gamepro in Australia. For some reason none of us understood Nintendo had decided to take on publishing duties for Samurai Warriors 3, the Wii-exclusive brawler (possibly they needed content for the console), and as a Nintendo-published game, it had enough profile that we needed to cover it. I’d ignored the Warrior series to that date, buying into the critical consensus that they were “mindless button mashers”, but the editor gave me the copy and told me to do it, so I had little choice to sit down with it.

Over a decade later, I have been to two separate historical battlegrounds in Japan, a half dozen castles, and read lord knows how many books about Sengoku Japan. I find it all fascinating, and Samurai Warriors 3 was the genesis of it all. This series has become my favourite, bar none, thanks to the profound fascination that these “silly button mashers” inspired in me about the history, events and people they depict.

Samurai Warriors 5 is even better for that because it is more focused. Rather than try and tell a lot of stories by only depicting the biggest battles, this one focuses on one particular story (that of Nobunaga and Mitsuhide) and spends more time with it, highlighting more key moments and smaller-scale skirmishes in the process. With most Samurai Warriors games, Nobunaga’s first battle is Okehazama. Here, it’s a battle deep into the midpoint of the game. With a stronger, deeper effort at telling stories, I only hope that Samurai Warriors 5 will be able to inspire more people into a life-long interest in history, as Samurai Warriors 3 inspired me.

Also, Oichi is ultimate-tier waifu and she looks absolutely stunning in the game’s new engine. That’s important, too.

Ryan’s Pick: I’m in for Samurai Warriors 5. The last samurai era game I played was Nioh 2 when they offered the higher resolution version on PS5, so I am very much looking forward to a much different type of grind with this game. I think that’s honestly what I like so much about the Samurai Warriors/Dynasty Warriors series, it just has a ton of content that you can mindlessly move through AND it doesn’t require any ki pulses while you’re wailing on your enemies. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Nioh 2, just in a different way.

From a content standpoint these games can either be an absolute joy or may end up feeling like a bit of a slog depending on the type of gamer you are. If you are a completionist, there is so much content and characters to play as that from a value standpoint it’s really tough to not pick these games up because it does take a long time to play them to full completion. If you are more of a one-and-done type gamer, I can see how the series would be fun for a little bit as you play through the main campaign, but it may not hold much for you afterwards if you aren’t into finishing the game 100%. Personally I find the games relaxing and easy to just turn on and semi-space out as you flashily rip through hordes of zakko, so it’s a bit of a slow-ride game for me.

The DLC that was announced also really seems enticing, with various weapons, horses, and scenarios to purchase – one of these being “The Battle for the Legendary Hot Springs.”, which is always a welcome addition. I typically play as female characters, so I have chosen Sena to be my character on the first playthrough. In the game she is actually married to Tokugawa Ieyasu, but in the universal law of waifus I believe this does not matter. This is a matter I should research further, and I will report back.

Matt C’s pick (editor, Shindig): I’d hate to be seen as a contrarian, so I guess I have no choice but to pick Samurai Warriors 5, too. But on a more serious note, this is a series that’s spent the last couple of decades refining its ability to combine historical detail, authenticity, dramatic storytelling, kinetic action, and a light strategic touch. Samurai Warriors 5 takes all those elements to new heights.

This time around, it’s a more story-centric affair, delivering a more intimate and dramatised version of the rise and fall of Nobunaga Oda and Mitsuhide Akechi. Where previous games tended to focus on the major events in order to try and cross the full timelines of at least six different clans, Samurai Warriors 5’s narrower focus means it can spend the first two chapters looking at Nobunaga’s early defeats, and the turmoil within the Oda clan arising from having the “Fool of Owari” as their leader, to lay crucial groundwork for the rise to glory that would follow.

But it’s also not solely focused on the main characters. Nobunaga and Mitsuhide’s respective journeys see them cross paths with plenty of other famous Sengoku figures, and Samurai Warriors 5 gives them plenty of the spotlight through side stories and the like. It also expands and refines the action at the core of the game with a greater emphasis on momentum, and ties everything together with a beautiful new art style inspired by manga and traditional ink wash paintings.

While we’re on a history trip, let’s not forget The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, either. The Meiji era, when Japan was coming out of its lengthy period of isolation and getting its first introduction to a Western legal system, makes a fascinating setting for an Ace Attorney game, and it’s something that Great Ace Attorney Chronicles delves deep into.

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.

4 comments

  1. Wow, four for four with SW5. I guess I need to get on board with this.

  2. Doesn’t Oichi mean “tasty”? Seems appropriate!

  3. I didn’t know there was a Orcs Must Die! 3. Remember liking the first 2 games way back when.