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Gaming Roundup – Three Weeks of Releases

Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!

This week, a whole load of releases from the past three weeks!

Apologies for the past couple of weeks without a roundup. I took a week off two weeks ago because I was struggling to write that week and figured a week off was in order. And last week I was at EGX and forgot to write a shorter roundup ahead of time. So this week, I’ll be gathering up every single release that I missed, adding this week’s releases onto it and then putting it out there. And there’s a lot, so the news will be left out for this week, otherwise this will be way too long!

Before we begin, I do want to note that the games Aeon Must Die and Far Cry 6 have both released in this time period as well, but they will not be covered normally. Instead, I feel it’s more important to address the fact that both games are coming from companies with severe controversy surrounding them.

The former game is currently in the middle of legal disputes involving staff pay and possible IP theft. Meanwhile, the latter game is coming from a publisher that has protected sexual predators for years, and has shown no robust signs of improvement in the year since these allegations emerged.

While you are free to purchase these games as you see fit, I feel it’s more important to address these concerns than to blindly promote games made in conditions that have allegedly caused harm. A such I will not be describing their content or providing trailers. So instead, let’s talk about all the others!

New Releases

Ports and Remasters

Alan Wake Remastered (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is a full re-release of the classic horror adventure from 2010, not only releasing in an enhanced form for PC and Xbox, but also releasing on PlayStation for the first time. You play as thriller writer Alan Wake whose work comes to life during a trip to the deceptively idyllic Bright Falls, Washington. And then when you’re done, you can also play Control, the second game in Remedy’s shared universe. Oh yes, I managed to shoehorn that in. You’re welcome.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox) is an enhanced remaster of the first three Super Monkey Ball titles, only now with additional Sega characters sealed in balls along with the usual cast of monkeys. So if you want to play physics-based rolling games with Sonic, Morgana from Persona 5 or a chibi version of Yakuza’s Kazuma Kiryu, this is for you.

Wholesome Games

The Lightbringer (PC, Switch) looks like a simple Zelda-style game all about bringing light to a corrupted world, guided by your sister’s spirit.

In a similar vein, Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) is another game about bringing life back to a corrupted world, but with an art style making it look like a wholesome version of Cuphead.

If you’re looking for a super chill game, A Little Golf Journey (PC, Switch) seems to fit the bill perfectly. A minimalist golf game that sees you moving from hole to hole with a relaxed vibe.

A Juggler’s Tale (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox) is a cinematic platformer set in a puppet theatre, with a story inspired by fairy tales and mechanics that use puppet strings as part of puzzles. This is a beautiful-looking game with a great art style.

Survival Games

Away: The Survival Series (PC, PlayStation) is a game about nature where you play as a flying squirrel and other assorted wildlife, trying to survive in harsh conditions. It’s all narrated by a David Attenborough impersonator too.

For something similar but more alien, The Eternal Cylinder (PC, PS4, Xbox One) is a survival game about weird Q-Bert type creatures trying to survive an even harsher environment and using their unique mutation abilities to rapidly evolve. Also, the title refers to a giant rolling pin that’s crushing the world, at least that’s what I can from the trailer. Bizarre.

Jett: The Far Shore (PC, PlayStation) is a game about space colonisation that looks a lot like an “arty” version of No Man’s Sky. It encourages minimal interaction with the environment, so you don’t cause too much disturbance in a message critical of resource exploitation seen in other games. Reviews really are all over the place with this one, so it seems to be for those of a particular taste.

Pixel Art Action

Unsighted (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox) is a top-down action game sitting somewhere between 2D Zelda and Metroid in its execution. You play as a cyborg named Alma attempting to navigate a world ravaged by a war between humans and androids as she tries to prevent her friends from being turned into mindless killing machine.

Aeon Drive (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox) is a stylish action platformer set in a cyberpunk world, where sword proficiency, a warp dagger and time control abilities are your tools for survival. It’s also playable in co-op, so that’s neat.

UnMetal (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) is a blatant Metal Gear parody in every possible way it can get away with. From a gravel-voiced, bandana-wearing protagonist to a top-down world heavily inspired by the old MSX games, UnMetal is a tongue-in-cheek action game about a soldier on the wrong side of the law, and looks like it refuses to take itself seriously.

Strategy

Despot’s Game (PC) is a strategy game where you must set up your limited troops in a continuous arena where you are wildly outnumbered and outgunned, in a desperate hope you will survive.

The Riftbreaker (PC) is a base builder crossed with mech combat. You play as Captain Ashley Nowak, who is tasked with building a base on a far-off planet, using her complex mech suit to assist and defend from attacks from the local creatures.

RPGs

Rogue Lords (PC) is a roguelike horror RPG where you control the devil’s forces trying to take over the world. You gather your troops and set them on the demon hunters desperately trying to stop you.

Astria Ascending (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox) is a new JRPG features Square Enix alumni among its team, as you battle to save the world from evil. As you’d expect.

Book of Travels (PC) is an online RPG that sets you adrift in a painted fairy tale world. Billed as a “tiny multiplayer online RPG”, Book of Travels lets you forge your own path in its world, and team up with other travellers as you go.

New World (PC) is Amazon’s big new title, and unlike their last game (remember Crucible? Of course you don’t), this MMO seems to be doing a little better than expected. You play as colonists in the land of Aeternum, battling the supernatural horrors that await you as part of one of three major factions.

Horror

In Sound Mind (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S) is a psychological horror game set in a surreal landscape full of puzzles and strange creatures. Also you have a cat companion, and yes, you can pet it.

Industria (PC) is a dark first-person shooter with horror elements set just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. A young woman named Nora receives a message from within a secret research facility in East Berlin and heads into a strange world out of time and full of robots to investigate what’s happened.

Shooters

Lemnis Gate (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is a multiplayer deathmatch game with a massive twist – you control all your teammates, and each round is a repeating 25-second loop. You have to use time travel and strategy to get through a round in a mind-bending twist on the FPS genre.

For something more straightforward, Back 4 Blood (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is Left 4 Dead 3 with the trademarks filed off. No really, it’s quite literally that. It’s even made by the same development team. You and your team have to fend off hordes of “Ridden” (aka zombies) in a big co-op experience, with some unique twists to the formula here and there.

Licensed Games

Demon Slayer: Kimestu no Yaiba: Hinokami Chronicles (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is based on an anime I’ve never heard of, but it apparently follows the events of that show’s first season with a ton of flashy playable sword fights. From the title, I assume you fight demons? I really need to keep up with anime, don’t I?

Hot Wheels Unleashed (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox) is an arcade racing game based on the toy line every boy drove around their bedrooms. You drive around on the famous orange tracks as they loop and corkscrew their way around kitchens and living rooms. It’s a Hot Wheels racing game, it’s exactly what you expect from that, basically.

Games of the Weeks

For my own sanity, this week’s picks are just an indie and AAA release from the past three weeks, rather than picking something for each of the past 3 weeks. Let’s keep it simple. Anyway.

Indie Game of the Week is The Good Life (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One), released this week. It’s the latest game from bonkers cult designer Hidetaka “Swery65” Suehiro’s latest bit of weirdness, crowdfunded and now released to the excitement of Deadly Premonition fans everywhere.

You play as Naomi Hayward, a journalist from New York who’s been sent to a small British town to uncover a mystery. A combination of murder mystery and Animal Crossing style debt erasure game, The Good Life features photography as a central mechanic. Oh, and also everyone turns into cats and dogs under the right conditions. So it’s a bit of everything, it sounds ridiculous, and knowing Swery it might be a disaster full of wonky charm.

Overall Game of the Week is Metroid Dread (Switch), the beloved return of the Metroid franchise since 2017’s Metroid 2 remake and the first wholly original game since 2007’s Metroid Prime 3 (because NO OTHER GAMES were released since then, don’t argue with me).

This long-awaited title (first discussed by Nintendo in 2005!) is a return to the traditional 2D style of Metroid, and sees Samus facing off against indestructible robots on yet another tense and spooky planet. It’s Metroid, and that’s always a good time, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

And that’s it for this week! Hopefully normal service will resume next week.

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