Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Games Release Roundup!
This week, Starfield is the big game, but is it Game of the Week?
Sorry about the lack of a roundup last week. It was entirely a time management issue on my part. And considering this roundup is late, I can safely say I have not improved all that much!
But here we are! The week of Endless Discourse as one of the biggest games of the year launches and everyone feels the need to have an opinion on it. My opinion? I’ve never had any interest in Bethesda’s RPGs and I’m not about to change that any time soon, but I’m happy for people who do care. Quite the hot take, I think you’ll agree.
But there’s plenty more to enjoy this week, with two (2) Games of the Week, one for this week and last week. I also recommend the new Samba de Amigo, Rune Factory 3 Special and Goodbye Volcano High. Mostly because I, shockingly, have played all three.
Rune Factory 3 Special (PC, Switch) is a remake of the third Rune Factory game for the DS. This spin-off of the Story of Seasons franchise brings that game’s love of farming and adds in traditional RPG elements, with dungeons and monsters. You play as a half-human, half-monster who finds themselves in a small village where he is instantly handed a farm and told to have fun with it. I played this, it’s a lot of fun. Also, due to my work on The Other Site, my playthrough required me to romance five ladies at once, a feat I have yet to achieve in real life.
Enchanted Portals (PC, Playstation, Switch, Xbox) is a 2D platformer taking some clear inspiration from Cuphead.
How 2 Escape (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox) is a co-op escape room game where one person plays in a 3D environment while a second player solves puzzles via a mobile app.
Crossfire: Sierra Squad (PC, PS5) is a VR shooter set in the universe of the massive Korean multiplayer game Crossfire. It’s standard military shooter, with more gameplay concepts designed for VR.
Daymare 1994: Sandcastle (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is a survival horror game taking inspiration from the Resident Evil series, especially the recent remakes of the PS1 games. You play as Dalila Reyes, a government agency sent in to investigate an experimental research centre. Spoilers: there are horrors.
Synced (PC) is a free-to-play co-op shooter. It’s set in a futuristic world of rogue technology and creatures made from nanomachines.
Fae Farm (PC, Switch) is a farming game set in a land of magic and fairies. Expect the usual harvesting and animal husbandry, but with additional quests about saving an island of magical beings.
Under the Waves (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is a narrative game set in a submarine under the ocean. You play as Stan, a diver who is working to overcome a great loss, escaping into the depths. The depths are real but also a metaphor for grief apparently.
Goodbye Volcano High (PC, PlayStation) is a visual novel about teen drama at the end of the world. You play as a dinosaur teen named Fang, entering their senior year of high school and trying to make it big with their band. Also the end of the Cretaceous is on its way, so you can figure out how this one ends. I’ve played this one (my review isn’t live yet) but it’s a decent little game that made cry and has some rad rhythm game segments. However, it does suffer from some pacing and technical issues.
Samba de Amigo: Party Central (Switch) is the long-awaited sequel to the Dreamcast era rhythm game about a monkey with maracas. This sequel uses the Switch Joy-Cons as maracas, although the Latin soundtrack has largely been tossed out in favour of modern pop music. It has OK Go though, so I have no complaints. I gave it 8/10 in my full review btw.
The big release of the past two weeks is, of course, Starfield (PC, Xbox X/S). It’s the latest big Bethesda Game Studios RPG, joining The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. It’s basically those games but in space, where you play as a space explorer in a future where humanity has begun to expand into space. If you like your Bethesda RPGs then you’ll likely love this too.
Game of the Week
Representing last week is Sea of Stars (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox), a retro throwback RPG from the developers of The Messenger.
Heavily inspired by the likes of Chrono Trigger, Sea of Stars tells the story of the Children of the Solstice. These two characters can use the power of the sun and the moon, which is required to defeat an evil alchemist.
This game is getting a ton of rave reviews and looks absolutely stunning from everything I’ve seen of it. Take the old school sensibility of classic JRPGs and add a touch of modern improvements and that’s what this appears to be. Definitely love an RPG with timed hits in its turn-based combat, so that alone has me interested.
For this week, we have Chants of Sennaar (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One), a mystery game focused on language.
It’s set in a mystical world inspired by the myth of the Tower of Babel, where a group of people can’t communicate due to a range of different languages. It’s up to you to figure out the various languages, solve the mysteries of the Tower and reunite the people.
This one looks like a bit of a sleeper hit, as it initially didn’t catch my attention until I saw critics on social media praising it. Then I did some digging and realised that this may be exactly my kind of game. It reminds me of Return of the Obra Dinn with an art style very reminiscent of Sable.