The Latest

New Releases: August 13th-19th, 2020

This week sees the release of a few notable titles like Death end re;Quest 2 and A Total War Saga: Troy, and But don’t overlook some of this week’s lesser-known titles. Mortal Shell is drawing comparisons to the Souls series, with the diminutive fifteen-person studio able to offer a very competitive price point. Another effort that might slip beneath your radar as Milky Way Prince: The Vampire Star, a visual novel that centers on intimacy and abusive relationships.

Header image: Death end re;Quest 2, PlayStation 4 and PC

PlayStation 4
Darkestville Castle (digital, $14.99)
Death end re;Quest 2 (physical & digital, $49.99)
Dying Light: Hellraid (DLC, $9.99)
EA Sports UFC 4 (physical & digital, $59.99)
Mortal Shell (digital, $29.99)
Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition (physical & digital, $49.99)
The Alto Collection (digital, $9.99)

Switch
Big Dipper (digital, $4.99)
Bite the Bullet (digital, $11.99)
Boomerang Fu (digital, $14.99)
Cecconoid (digital, $5.00)
Collar X Malice -Unlimited- (physical & digital, $49.99)
Darkestville Castle (digital, $14.99)
Devious Dungeon Collection (digital, $12.99)
Double Kick Heroes (digital, $21.99)
Faeria (digital, $19.99)
Helheim Hassle (digital, $19.99)
Linn: Path of Orchards (digital, $4.99)
My Universe – My Baby (physical $29.99, digital $26.99)
Norman’s Great Illusion (digital, $3.99)
Of Tanks and Demons III (digital, $4.99)
Pool Pro Gold (digital, $7.99)
Prehistoric Dude (digital, $4.99)
Ramageddon (digital, $7.99)
Regina & Mac (digital, $9.99)
Shaolin vs Wutang (digital, $9.99)
The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines (digital, $14.99)
We Are Doomed (digital, $7.99)

Xbox One
Beyond Enemy Lines 2 (digital, $29.99)
Bite the Bullet (digital, $11.99)
Boomerang Fu (digital, $14.99)
Darkestville Castle (digital, $14.99)
Dying Light: Hellraid (DLC, $9.99)
EA Sports UFC 4 (physical & digital, $59.99)
Faeria (digital, $19.99)
Fortune Summoners ($TBA)
Linn: Path of Orchards (digital, $4.99)
Mortal Shell (digital, $29.99)
Norman’s Great Illusion (digital, $3.99)
Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition (physical & digital, $49.99)
Stones of the Revenant
The Alto Collection (digital, $9.99)

PC
A Total War Saga: Troy (Free on Aug 13th, $49.99 thereafter)
Bite the Bullet ($11.99)
Boomerang Fu ($14.99)
Death end re;Quest 2 ($49.99)
Double Kick Heroes ($21.99)
Dreamscaper ($TBA)
Dying Light: Hellraid (DLC, $9.99)
Eastern Exorcist ($TBA)
For the People ($TBA)
Kill it with Fire ($13.49)
Milky Way Prince: The Vampire Star ($7.99)
Northern Lights ($TBA)
The Alto Collection (Epic Store, Free)
Tokyo Re:Connect Prologue ($TBA)
ZAAM ($TBA)

Robert’s Pick: I greatly enjoyed the original Death end re;Quest. Much like TRON, the game’s plot centers on Shina Ninomiya, a young game director who wakes up one day to find herself trapped inside the VRMMORPG she helped develop. While isekai (a literary device where a protagonist is transported to a fantasy or parallel world) is pervasive, re;Quest blurring of real and actual worlds was adeptly handled, permitting a meta-analysis of game conventions. One example: Bugs in the game within a game not only displayed visual glitches but also changed the nature of NPCs. Compile Heart frequently comes up with some ingenious ideas, but in my opinion, re;Quest ranks among their best.

This week’s release of Death end re;Quest 2 recontextualizes the action. Instead of being inside a game, this time the plot is set inside an Eastern European women’s dormitory, providing a distinctly Argento-esque vibe. Expect the return of the first game’s ‘knockback system’, where enemies can be slammed around like bowling pins during the turn-based combat. Naturally, Death Ends also make a reappearance, adding a bit of anxiety to decisions. Make thew wrong one, and you’ll witness a gruesome death, affirming the sequel’s ‘mature’ rating.

Ryan’s Pick: Gigantic screaming bosses are back! That said I shall shake my halberd at Mortal Shell for PS4 this week for my pick. Once every few months I seem to have managed to draw some obscure parallels to the Dark Souls or Bloodborne universe, so this must be my week. This game has everything that I’m looking for when it comes to brutal gameplay, shiny realistic shaders, and massive grotesque despair-inducing bosses.

Rather than being married to one particular player, this game allows you to take control of different fallen warriors in order to use their abilities. Gameplay-wise this probably means that there are specific characters that need to be used to progress against more difficult foes, or in the least picking the right one should make your life less stressful. For some reason being able to take over enemy bodies to progress gameplay reminds me kind of the old PC game Messiah. That’s not a bad thing, that game was pretty awesome. I think that this one will fill the piece of me that has been missing FROM Software games as of late, at least until the Demon’s Souls remake makes its debut. So bring on the creative expletives and self-inflicted right thigh-slapping, it’s time to study enemy telegraphing!

Matt S’ Pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): Death End re;Quest 2 for me too! You wouldn’t think Idea Factory, the studio behind such light-hearted fan service as Hyperdimension Neptunia and Date A Live would have it in them to take that same basic approach to aesthetics, and spin it into something creepy and dark, and yet that is exactly what the original Death End achieved, and this sequel manages to up the ante further. It’s dark. It’s violent. It’s horror themed and yet… it’s still got those short skirts, panty shots and moments where that old Idea Factory sense of humour shines through. Somehow, all of these things come together in a way that works. I don’t really understand how it manages to work either, but I do very much like it.

Shoutout to Pathfinder: Kingmaker too. Pathfinder, the pen-and-paper tabletop RPG, emerged after the publisher, Paizo, was royally screwed over by Wizards of the Coast, which they had license for various Dungeons & Dragons things, and they managed to take D & D and spin it into something really special. I’ve been waiting for it to move into the world of video games, and with the result being a Baldur’s Gate-like? Yeah. Sign me up for that for sure.


Matt C’s Pick (editor, Shindig): It has to be Boomerang Fu, one of the most wild, chaotic, and fun party games I’ve played in a long time. Turns out if you give a bunch of anthropomorphic foods a boomerang each and drop them into an arena to slice each other up, hilarity ensues.

It’s really hard to find the right balance between something that a newbie can just pick up and get the hang of right away with something that has enough strategic depth to feel like it’s not just a glorified dice roll. (Or at least, if you’re Mario Party, to openly be a glorified dice roll but still feel worthwhile anyway.) Boomerang Fu gets that balance just right, and it makes for a game where everyone is mostly on an even playing field regardless of experience, but each different group of players will find their own emergent strategies over the course of a play session, alongside an ever-increasing degree of chaos has people start stacking power-ups.

It’s a game that’s very much built for local play—the frantic nature of the game feeds a lively energy and plenty of smack talk, which in turn feeds the chaotic nature of the game. The trade-off to this is that there’s no online multiplayer and very limited single-player, because they don’t really fit with the ethos of the game. But with a group of friends or family, Boomerang Fu is a whole lot of fun.

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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