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New Releases: July 23rd-29th, 2020

With releases like Destroy All Humans!, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger HD, and Hatsune Miku DLC for Space Channel 5 VR, this week feels like the early 2000s all over again. For those uninteresting in traveling that far back in time, the Switch port of Megadimension Neptunia VII allows you to revisit the 2015 release, although this time you can take Nep Nep and the gang on the go.

Header image: Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash! – Space 39 Miku Pack, PS VR

PlayStation 4
Cubers: Arena (digital, $14.99)
Destroy All Humans! (physical and digital, $39.99)
Escape Game Fort Boyard (physical & digital, $29.99)
Lost Wing (digital, $TBA)
Maid of Sker (digital, $24.99)
Max and the Book of Chaos (digital, $7.99)
Othercide (digital, $33.99)
Pistol Whip (digital, $24.99 PS VR)
Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection (digital, $39.99)
Skater XL (physical and digital, $39.99)
Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash! – Space 39 Miku Pack (DLC, $TBA)
Super Toy Cars 2 (digital, $11.99)
Tannenberg (digital, $19.99)
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger HD (digital, $29.99)

Aeolis Tournament (digital, $14.99)
Ageless (digital, $14.99)
Brightstone Mysteries: Paranormal Hotel (digital, $9.99)
Carrion (digital, $19.99)
Checkers (digital, $9.99)
Colloc (digital, $3.99)
Crysis Remastered (digital, $29.99)
Cubicity (digital, $6.00)
Detective Driver: Miami Files (digital, $8.99)
Dex (digital, $19.99)
Epic Word Search Collection 2 (digital, $7.99)
Escape Game Fort Boyard (physical & digital, $29.99)
Fibbage XL (digital, $9.99)
Gerrrms (digital, $9.99)
Hunt (digital, $9.99)
Interrogation: You Will be Deceived (digital, $12.99)
Jisei: The First Case HD (digital, $4.99)
Megadimension Neptunia VII (physical & digital, $29.99)
Mittelborg: City of Mages (digital, $7.19)
Max and the Book of Chaos (digital, $7.99)
Need a Packet? (digital, $5.59)
Quiplash (digital, $9.99)
Rainswept (digital, $8.99)
Sushi Reversi (digital, $9.99)
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Strix (digital, $9.99)
They Breathe (digital, $3.99)
Up Cliff Drive (digital, $6.00)

Xbox One
Cubers: Arena (digital, $14.99)
Carrion (digital, $19.99)
Destroy All Humans! (physical and digital, $39.99)
Lost Wing (digital, $TBA)
Maid of Sker (digital, $24.99)
Max and the Book of Chaos (digital, $7.99)
Othercide (digital, $33.99)
Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection (digital, $39.99)
Skater XL (physical and digital, $39.99)
Tannenberg (digital, $19.99)

Ageless (TBA)
Akai Noroi (TBA)
Ao Hako (TBA)
Carrion ($19.99)
Destroy All Humans!  ($29.99)
Grounded (TBA)
Maid of Sker ($22.49)
Max and the Book of Chaos ($7.99)
Meme Run 2 (TBA)
Otherside ($29.74)
Pieces of my Heart (TBA)
Roki ($16.99)
Synergia (TBA)

Robert’s Pick: When it comes to open-world games, few nailed it like Pandemic Studios. From the wanton mayhem in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (2005), to being part of the resistance and adding color to a dreary Nazi-occupied France in Saboteur (2009), they created some of the best tools and spaces for autonomous play. Released the same year as Mercenaries, Destroy All Humans! was another success, with Pandemic letting players loose in a campy 60’s sci-fi movie.

Fifteen years on, we’re getting a remake that stays faithful to the original. As such, elements like stealth and the evasion of police and army feel a bit antiquated. But devastation of the sleepy towns of Rockwell and Santa Modesta has been elevated and seeing a farmhouse burst into a ball of flames is mischievously satisfying as ever. While I’ve never been much of a delinquent in real life, virtual vandalism is an irresistible outlet. Hopefully, this leads to a Mercenaries remake or sequel. Mattias Nilsson has some unfinished business; I can feel it. Another notable is Nep Nep’s pilgrimage to portable. Now, I can play Megadimension Neptunia VII while waiting in line to enter the grocery store, which pretty much encapsulates 2020.

Matt S’ Pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): It’s hardly a new game, since it has already been released, not only once, but twice on PlayStation 4, but I do love Megadimension Neptunia VII. It’s the last “true” adventure that we’ve had of Nep Nep and her gang, and in many ways it is the epitome of everything that series has stood for; great humour, loveable characters, a healthy dose of charming fan service, and some more than reasonable turn-based JRPG action to back it all up.

What actually impresses me about this game on Switch is the quality of the port. It gets off to a rocky start if you’re playing it on handheld; it’s all a little too dark in the first level and opening chapter. But when the environments start lightening up, the team at Ghostlight demonstrate that they’ve really figured out how to bring Compile Heart’s work to the console – Fairy Fencer f from a while ago was a bit raw, but this one shows Nep and Co. in their very best light.

And so, even though it will be double or even triple dipping for a lot of fans of this series, I do highly recommend it.

Of the newer game releases, I’m quite intrigued by Interrogation: You Will be Deceived. It looks like one of those Papers, Please-likes in which you’re constantly asked to balance out difficult decisions that ask you to choose between morality and “the mission”, and that’s just fine with me. We’re at the point of diminishing returns with this particular “sub-genre”, as we become desensitised to the impact of the decisions that we make in these games, but I’m still keen to step into the shoes of an interrogator, and try to balance the “mission” against my desire to be a decent human being.

Ryan’s Pick: To be brutally honest it’s pretty difficult to remember the last time I played a skateboarding game. If I had to guess it was Skate on the 360 over ten years ago. I recall having a really difficult time even clearing some of the tutorial moves and how they related to the way the analogs worked, which may be why I haven’t tried another skating title in quite some time. This doesn’t mean however that I’ve written the entire genre off, so that said I’m going to give the Skater XL a spin.

The thing that has drawn me to this particular game is that it’s focused skating first. While Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series and Skate had a lot of big names, soundtracks, and studios behind them, the gameplay forced you to complete various goals to continue progress in the game. While I do recall they did have free skate modes, I really found myself just wanting to try new things out and to experiment versus trying to rack up a high score or to perform specific moves at specific locations. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the heck out of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 on Dreamcast. We even had a drinking game for it, and Rodney Mullen is still my favorite skater of all time. Heel-flip Darkslide for life. I think that with a sheer focus on skating and experimenting however, Skater XL will have a different agenda and less stressful feel than other skating games which is a good thing.

If skating isn’t your thing I think that the horror game Carrion looks pretty gruesome. This one should give new definition to the word, and it will no longer just be a thing dogs like to roll in out in a field. It certainly looks like it requires some strategy as well as finesse as one maneuvers the big ball of red death to explore and manipulate items with its tendrils. It’s quite gory, but if you are in for more visceral content then this is definitely your game.

Matt C’s Pick (editor, Shindig): Ageless gives me strong Celeste vibes, and that immediately makes me interested. Part of that is the colourful, pixel art style that, perhaps counterintuitively, builds a world of vibrant detail that feels alive precisely because of how things like animations and colour filter through its lo-fi presentation. But it also looks like a game that’s aiming to explore a particularly heartfelt, introspective story through its puzzle platformer mechanics. Where Celeste was a metaphor for dealing with depression seen through a masocore platformer about climbing a mountain, Ageless is a coming-of-age story about growing up and finding your place in the world, seen through the eyes of a girl with the power to manipulate the age of the flora and fauna around her.

In a completely different vein, Destroy All Humans! is something I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I was always intrigued by the concept of the original, it being a comical inversion of the world-saving heroics typically seen in video games and a Mars Attacks-esque parody of alien invasion B-movies. It’s actually probably for the best that I’m getting my first taste of Destroy All Humans! in 2020; I feel like a lot of its humour would have gone over the head of a younger me, but the remake is dropping right at the time when I’m ready to dive right into the tractor beam its dishing up.

And just to round out the eclectic mix of different genres, Skater XL has my attention. Like everyone else who grew up playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, I’ve been looking unsuccessfully for years for something that scratches that same extreme sports itch, but with its attention to detail and focus on creativity and exploration, Skater XL might finally be the one to do it.

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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