The Latest

New Releases: August 20th-26th, 2020

From the return of Rash, Zitz, and Pimple in Battletoads to Kandagawa Jet Girls’ leap from animated series to racing game, there’s plenty of notable new releases. Beyond these two highlights, RPG Maker MZ provides a toolset and a bit of tutelage for making your own role-playing game, while Ogre Tale channels classic hack-and-slash action as a trio of fearless sisters take on folkheroes gone bad.

Header image: Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue, Switch

PlayStation 4
Death end re;Quest 2 (physical & digital, $49.99)
Descenders (physical, $29.99)
Giraffe and Annika (physical & digital, $49.99)
Kandagawa Jet Girls (physical & digital, $59.99)
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind (digital, $24.99)
Madden NFL 21 (physical and digital, $59.99)
New Super Lucky’s Tale (physical & digital, $39.99)
No Straight Roads (physical & digital, $39.99)
PGA Tour 2K21 (physical and digital, $59.99)
Remnant: From the Ashes – Subject 2923 (DLC, $9.99)
Remothered: Broken Porcelain (digital, $29.99)
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (digital, $39.99)
Street Power Soccer (physical & digital, $49.99)
Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series (digital, $9.99)

Switch
4×4 Dirt Track (digital, $8.99)
Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue (physical & digital, $26.99)
Bunny Adventure (digital, $6.00)
Chinese Parents (digital, $11.69)
Digerati Presents: The Dungeon Crawl Vol. 1 (digital, $7.87)
Ellipsis (digital, $4.99)
Even the Ocean (digital, $14.99)|
Giraffe and Annika (physical & digital, $29.99)
Gleamlight (digital, $19.99)
Indygo (digital, $6.99)
INMOST (digital, $14.99)
Jenny LeClue – Detectivu (digital, $19.99)
Jets’n’Guns 2 (digital, $11.99)
Kids: Farm Coloring (digital, $3.99)
Kwaidan ~Azuma manor story~ (digital, $22.49)
No Straight Roads (physical & digital, $35.99)
One Line Coloring (digital, $6.99)
Over the Alps (digital, $11.04)
Paratopic (digital, $5.49)
Parking Madness (digital, $6.00)
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind (digital, $24.99)
Phoenotopia : Awakening (digital, $19.99)
Puzzle Bundle – 3 in 1 (digital, $4.99)
Retro Tanks (digital, $5.99)
Runestone Keeper (digital, $9.99)
Rusty Gun (digital,  $4.99)
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (digital, $39.99)
Street Power Soccer (physical & digital, $49.99)

Xbox One
Battletoads (digital, $19.99)
Control: AWE (DLC, $14.99 or via Season Pass)
Dungeon Scavenger (digital, $8.99)
Gleamlight (digital, $19.99)
Madden NFL 21 (physical and digital, $59.99)
New Super Lucky’s Tale (physical & digital, $39.99)
No Straight Roads (physical & digital, $35.99)
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind (digital, $24.99)
PGA Tour 2K21 (physical and digital, $59.99)
Remnant: From the Ashes – Subject 2923
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (digital, $39.99)
Street Power Soccer (physical & digital, $49.99)
Tell Me Why (digital, $29.99)

PC
Battletoads ($19.99)
Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions ($59.99)
Gleamlight ($19.99)
Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
Griefhelm ($17.99)
INMOST ($TBA)
Kandagawa Jet Girls ($TBA)
Ogre Tale ($15.99)
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind (digital, $19.99)
PGA Tour 2K21 ($59.99)
RPG Maker MZ ($71.99)
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time ($39.99)
Tell Me Why ($29.99)
Train Sim World 2 ($26.99)

Robert’s Pick: Death end re;Quest 2 came out last Tuesday for PC and arrives this week on PlayStation 4. For anyone who’s remotely interested in giallo all’italiana (especially fans of Dario Argento’s Suspiria), I recommend it. And even if you’re indifferent about horror, the game’s knockback mechanic makes it worth seeking out for role-playing fans who appreciate eccentric battle systems.

The other endorsement goes to Kandagawa Jet Girls, the latter part of a multimedia franchise conceived by Senran Kagura’s Kenichiro Takaki. Sure, the anime wasn’t exactly groundbreaking. But in the words of lead character’s Rin Namiki Nagasaki dialect, it was pure “mijoka” (think “adorbs”). Centering on a spirited young jet racer attempting to replicate her mother’s legacy, the show’s got two-girl teams straddling jet skis.  While one steers, the other uses a water gun to disrupt competitors, connecting two gems of Nintendo history: Wave Race 64 and Mario Kart: Double Dash. Sure, Jet Girls isn’t as good as either of those classics, but it’s a sexy and satisfying racer, a combination that’s a bit too rare in gaming.

Matt S’ Pick (Editor, DigitallyDownloaded): It’s got to be RPG Maker MZ this week. Kick back, folks, for it’s story time! Back in the very early days of RPG Maker (when it was XP), there was no official localisation of the software. The only way to use it was… less than legitimate means. But there was a community that built up around that unofficial localisation, and when I discovered it, I was absolutely mesmerised by my ability to make my own games and then share them with family and friends by putting them on 3.5-inch floppy discs (remember those, oldies?). I ended up making quite a long series of JRPGs (at the time, rivalling Final Fantasy for the sheer number of titles, though nowhere near the quality) and then distributing them to an audience of about a dozen people.

These days of course you distribute games over WeTransfer, Dropbox, or Itch, but I’ve never lost that spirit for creation that RPG Maker was instrumental in providing me. I can’t code, but I love telling stories, and the Dee Dee visual novels are probably the end point of decades of these “Makers” letting me do that. I’ve kept up with the RPG Maker series since, and I do like what RPG Maker MZ seems to be offering, so if you’ve never tried these before, here’s your big opportunity to get in at ground floor.

Ryan’s Pick: The last time I played a full-on jet skiing game was probably Wave Race 64. The GTA series has offered a few missions that involved them, but a game that completely revolves around watersport racing is fairly rare. Kandagawa Jet Girls appears like it will be my next jet skiing race game, which isn’t a bad thing. I’ll take anime voice actresses over that droll Wave Race 64 announcer telling me how bad I was doing every few seconds any day.

At first glance this one looks like a mash up between Mario Kart and Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash, except all of the characters are new and they are racing jet skis. I like all the character designs and their archetypes all seem pretty diverse and fun. The fact that you can also shoot at the other racers while you are competing is pretty cool, which kind of brings in the Peach Beach Splash part. In general it looks pretty fun and will provide hours and hours of racing for completionists that want to see each team’s story line.

I can’t let this week slip by without mentioning Battletoads releasing on Xbox One and Steam. It has a lot of different game sequences inside of it, including some bullet hell portions. The art and animation in the game is equally as impressive. Hopefully if Turbo Tunnel returns it will be slightly more forgiving than in the original game.

Matt C’s Pick (editor, Shindig): I’m really intrigued by Tell Me Why, the first episode of which comes out next week. With both seasons of Life is Strange, Dontnod really proved their ability to use a backdrop of mystery to tell deeply human stories, and to explore complex, difficult themes with a level of nuance and care that’s often missing from even the most well-meaning of attempts.

Tell Me Why looks to continue that approach with a story centered around a trans man, Tyler, and his identical twin sister, Alyson, as they revisit their childhood memories. Since the game’s announcement, Dontnod has emphasised the effort they’re going to to ensure Tyler is presented in a way that’s authentic and handled with care, including consulting with GLAAD and making sure he’s played by a trans actor, August Black. There’s always a lot of justified concern about non-trans developers telling trans’ people’s stories—often overshadowing actual trans people in the process—but I’m cautiously hopeful that Tell Me Why will get it right.

And then, to go in a completely different direction: jet skis are cool, water guns are great, and fanservice is fun, so I can’t go past Kandagawa Jet Girls. I’m not expecting it to be a particularly groundbreaking game, but I do think it’ll be 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.

6 comments

  1. I’m liking the artwork this week!

    I’ll probably pick up Kandagawa Jet Girls eventually. But it doesn’t look like a full price pickup.

    • KJG looks cutes. But Peach Beach Splash didn’t have much longevity. Waiting for reviews on this one.

  2. PSA: Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue is going to be censored on PlayStation. Get the PC version. Don’t support Sony.

  3. Robert, waiting for your PGA Tour 2K21 review. When will it be published?

  4. “Tell Me Why” better have a Backstreet Boys soundtrack.

  5. I didn’t know a Samurai Jack game was coming out. I’m quite curious…