The Latest

New Releases: July 9th-15th, 2020

From new arrivals like Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2, Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise, and Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town the balmy days of summer offer no shortage of notable new game releases. There’s Switch releases like CrossCode and void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium, that will let you soak in the sun while gaming or you can enjoy Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris at home, with the air conditioning cranked to maximum cooling.

Header image: Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris, PS4, Xbox One, and PC

PlayStation 4
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 (digital, $14.99)
Budget Cuts (digital, $TBA, PS VR)
CrossCode (digital, $19.99)
Dance Collider (digital, $19.99, PS VR)
Kingdom Majestic (physical, $29.99)
Neon Abyss (digital, $19.99)
Rocket Arena (digital, $29.99)
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris (physical and digital, $59.99)
The Great Perhaps (digital, $9.99)
void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium (digital, $24.99)

Switch
1993 Shenandoah (digital, $12.99)
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 (digital, $14.99)
Bossgard (digital, $19.99)
Creepy Tale (digital, $7.99)
CrossCode (digital, $19.99)
Crowdy Farm Puzzle (digital, $5.99)
Dangerous Relationship (digital, $14.99)
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise (digital, $49.99)
Demon’s Rise – War for the Deep (digital, $4.89)
Distraint 2 (digital, $8.99)
Elden: Path of the Forgotten (digital, $14.39)
Gas Station: Highway Services (digital, $8.99)
Kingdom Majestic (physical, $29.99)
Laraan (digital, $6.00)
Neon Abyss (digital, $19.99)
Pangeon (digital, $9.99)
REZ PLZ (digital, $11.99)
Solitaire TriPeaks Flowers (digital, $5.99)
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town (digital, $49.99)
The Great Perhaps (digital, $9.99)
TroubleDays (digital, $7.99)
void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium (digital, $24.99)

Xbox One
CrossCode (digital, $19.99)
Distraint 2 (digital, $8.99)
F1 2020 (physical and digital, $59.99)
Kingdom Majestic (physical, $29.99)
One Dog Story (digital, $14.99)
Ooblets (digital, $TBA)
REZ PLZ (digital, $11.99)
Rocket Arena (digital, $29.99)
Sisters Royale: Five Sisters Under Fire (digital, $13.99)
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris (physical and digital, $59.99)
The Great Perhaps (digital, $9.99)

PC
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 ($14.99)
Cinnamon Fight ($TBA)
Death Stranding ($59.99)
Elden: Path of the Forgotten ($TBA)
End of Palette ($TBA)
F1 2020 ($59.99)
Hungry Boy ($TBA)
Landlord Girls ($TBA)
MahjongSoul ($TBA)
NASCAR Heat 5 ($59.99)
Neon Abyss ($19.99)
Primal Light ($TBA)
Rocket Arena ($29.99)
Samurai Aces III: Sengoku Cannon ($TBA)
Soda Dungeon 2 (Free to play)
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town ($49.99)
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris ($59.99)
Tanin Sekai Sue ($TBA)
The Plague: Kingdom Wars ($TBA)
The Wind Road ($TBA)
Wobbly Life ($TBA)

Robert’s Pick: Way back in the late nineties, I fell pretty hard for Harvest Moon, habitually buying each new entry that came out. Sure, the franchise was iterative, with just enough additions and tweaks to justify each purchase. But at their core, Harvest Moon games were built on extremely solid foundations. Titles moved players to a quaint, agrarian setting, where they’d develop a daily routine to work the land and build an idyllic life for themselves. As someone who has lived the majority of their life in the city often disconnected from the splendor of nature, Harvest Moon was a reminder that there’s life outside of high rises and convenience stores on every corner.

This week’s release of Story of Seasons remakes 2003’s Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, a title that took refuge in my Game Boy Advance’s cartridge slot for the holidays. Smartly, it’s not one of those quick-and-dirty cash ins. Marvelous’s remake gives the game a 3D overhaul as well as an improved localization. But underneath all of that, Mineral Town remains a breezy sim that balances autonomy with a delightfully relaxed pace. Given the predictable procession of patience-testing bosses in most modern games, revisiting the venue is pacifying and precisely the thing that helps me unwind when I’m a bit overburdened.

Certainly, Neon Abyss looks like another cathartic outlet, even if it’s side-perspective rogue-like action isn’t nearly as serene. Sometimes dodging projectiles is almost as satisfying as growing pineapples, at least in my idiosyncratic headspace.

Matt S’ Pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): A really tough one this week to pick just one, so I’m going to pick two instead. Firstly Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. What a delightful remake of a delightful game this is. Story of Seasons/ Harvest Moon has always been up there with the most wholesome, good natured stuff in video games, and Friends of Mineral Town is up there by that series’ standards. It’s beautiful and twee from start to finish, with a wonderful bunch of characters, cute-and-fluffy animals, a lovely chill soundtrack, and every vegetable is a delight to watch grow (and then sell for maxxxxxx profits). Feel-good game of 2020 for certain.

The other one is Deadly Premonition 2, which is so completely rough around the edges that it is an entirely different kind of charming. SWERY’s sequel to his cult classic is surrealistic and subversive in just about every way, and as a horror-comedy it’s deeply funny, consistently surprising stuff. I was worried going in that there would have been the temptation to compromise the “jankiness” that the original is so famous for, but, no, Deadly Premonition 2 dials that way up to 11 with a wink and a smile. Coming so soon after the over-produced and, intellectually, dull-as-doorknobs The Last of Us 2, this is the perfect challenge and counter, and looking at the other reviews and coverage of the game, you almost wonder if this entire project was a large meta-criticism of the way we look at and talk about games by SWERY – i.e. you just have to wonder if he deliberately made the game this way to get that response, and make a point of it all. Because the game does make that point, and it’s mesmerisingly funny and engaging in how it does it.

Ryan’s Pick: Bloodstained is my favorite Inti Creates series, so my love letter goes into Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2’s shoe locker this week. When the Kickstarter for the series happened it was right when a lot of the other older Japanese developers were using that platform to announce their new IPs, so it was very difficult to determine how the final product would be, or if it would come to fruition at all. Four years later however, I was really happy with how Ritual of the Night turned out and I had a lot of fun playing it and farming some of the extremely potent weapons and shards that Miriam could use. The companion game Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon also was a great product of the Kickstarter’s success, so I am eagerly awaiting to play the next installment.

Curse of the Moon is an 8-bit prelude to the larger 2.5D Ritual of the Night. While it was a shorter game, it embodied a lot of nostalgia and homage to the Castlevania series (specifically Castlevania III), so I really am glad the reception of Zangetsu and his crew was good enough to deem it worthy of a sequel. I did like in Curse of the Moon that gameplay did feel a bit more forgiving compared to the original Castlevania games, so I am hoping they have retained this for the sequel. Lastly, on top of new additions to the character roster I think the new coop option will be a great addition to this Igavania. Coop games always make things fun, except when you have that friend at full health eating those turkeys in trashcans, or pizzas. *Queues Tragic Prince bgm from Symphony of the Night* now, if you will excuse me, I have a letter to deliver.

Matt C’s Pick (editor, Shindig): I honestly just don’t even know where to start this week. There’s so much amazing stuff coming out this week that I feel like I’m verging on an existential crisis as I try to figure out how I’m going to find time to play everything I want to play. Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a wholesome, relaxing escape for all the reasons others have already touched on, and Deadly Premonition 2 is the latest example of SWERY’s subversive genius. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon was one of the better examples of a 8-bit style game made for a modern audience, so I’m never going to object to more of the same, but with some new characters, in Curse of the Moon 2.

But one game that hasn’t been mentioned so far and really deserves it is void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium. This is the latest outing from Masayuki Furuya, the guy behind Hotaru no Nikki: The Firefly Diaries and A Rose in the Twilight. Furuya has a remarkable talent for blending grim, oppressive worlds and morbid game design, to tell deeply moving stories that are far more grounded in hope and humanity than you might expect from their concepts. Void Terrarium continues that trend, but through a roguelike dungeon crawler rather than the puzzle platformer approach we’ve usually seen from Furuya, and I’m very excited to see how that all plays out.

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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