December 19 – December 25

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So the year winds down, and the release list slows to a trickle of desperate, fourth-quarter releases and games that were supposed to release last week but were delayed just to make me look bad. I see that Telltale is going for that coveted “Game with the longest possible title that includes as much punctuation as possible” award. It will be nice to see that go to a developer other than Atlus for once.

For me, I’m not picking a game this week. Sunday is Christmas, so I’ll be spending time wrapping and unwrapping gifts, assembling Lego monstrosities with my kids, and possibly assembling and painting a set of Space Hulk miniatures (Santa, are you listening?)

Merry Christmas to those of you who want it, and a convivial sunday in December for those of you who don’t.

Felix “Yuletide Yourself Over This Week” Threepaper

This week is harder to pick than a broken nose, not just because of the difficulty of the task but because of the more fundamental issue: Why would you even want to? Surely, it’ll get easier if you can just hold off for a week or so.

My search for an exciting game this week was more fruitless than the tinned Christmas pudding I had to rush out and buy last Christmas Eve, after burning my wife’s labour-of-love pudding in its 16th hour of creation with an excess of Christmas spirit and a match. I was momentarily interested by 12 Labours of Hercules VI: Race for Olympus, but it’s just another FarmVille-esque time-management game.

The most intriguing of the VR stocking-fillers, gameplay-wise, is Mass Exodus: asynchronous multiplayer hide-and-seek. VR players play as the “seeker” hunting down the PC-controlled “rogue AI” in an atmospherically-lit factory. Finally a VR game that has something for the people NOT wearing the helmets to do.

Really, it’s a good week to tuck into your Pile, unless you absolutely crave newness, in which case, take a lucky dip in the PC indie pool. Do what I’ll be doing this Christmas and Grab the Bottle, an arm-stretching puzzle game that seems based on an animated gag from Monty Python.

In the absence of a pick this week, the Threepapers instead offer well wishes for the holidays and goodwill to youse all.

Chris "C" Cesarano

I'd question the logic of releasing anything the week before Christmas. Everyone has finished shopping by now, right? Then I recall my father driving me out to the King of Prussia Mall every year after picking me up from college, storming the jewelry stores the last weekend before Christmas to find something for my mother. An irony, but that was a very special type of Hell dwelling within the supposed celebration of the birth of the Christian savior.

Of course, not everyone celebrates or cares about Christmas, and for them Hollywood is a bit more kind than the gaming industry. I don't know what defines Halo Wars, but Microsoft has chosen to redistribute it in Definitive Edition form. Perhaps of greater interest to most is the premiere of the new season of Telltale's The Walking Dead, which sees players swap to a new protagonist some years after the prior two seasons. I have to admit, the first episode looks interesting.

If I had to make a choice, though, it would be Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. WayForward has quite the reputation for fans of old-school console games, as they seem to be masters of taking the essence of those experiences and delivering them with more modern polish and sensibility. It should come as no surprise that Yacht Club Games, developers of Shovel Knight, were formerly team members of WayForward. As such, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a solid bet in terms of bang for buck.

Erik "wordsmythe" Hanson

Traditionally, the Advent season in Christian circles is all about anticipating a "new release" – literally counting down the days, even. Before that, though, is the Solstice, which heralds the changing of the season as surely as do the odds and ends of this week's list. The next season, regardless of your faith tradition, is a time for those of us in the northern hemisphere to feast on that which we have stored up in prior months. Winter is coming, my friends.

Catching up on Game of Thrones, while it's still free to stream on Xfinity until the end of the year, is my pick of the week.

This week:

PC

  • A Demon's Game: Episode 1
  • Able Black
  • Angels of Death
  • Behind the Memory
  • Bunnyrama
  • Downward
  • Game Royale 2: The Secret of Jannis Island
  • Grab the Bottle
  • Halo Wars: Definitive edition
  • Happy Room
  • Heroine Anthem Zero
  • Juno's Darkest Hour
  • MAGICALxSPIRAL
  • QUACK ATTACK 1985: TURBO DX EDITION
  • Revenge of the Spirit: Rite of Resurrection
  • REVIVAL RESET
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
  • SOS: SPECIAL OPERATIVE STORIES
  • SoulHunt
  • Space Slam
  • The Grey Man
  • The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier: Episode One: Ties that Bind Part 1
  • Wanderland
  • Xmas Zombie Rampage

PS4

  • Rollercoaster Dreams
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
  • The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier: Episode One: Ties that Bind Part 1
  • Tom Clancy's The Division: Survival
  • Wild Guns Reloaded

Xbox One

  • Crypt of the Serpent King
  • Halo Wars: Definitive edition
  • Momonga Pinball Adventures
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
  • The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – A New Frontier: Episode One: Ties that Bind Part 1

Wii U

  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

3DS

  • Mini Golf Resort

Vita

  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

RIFT

  • Quizality - Christmas!
  • SwingStar VR

Vive

  • Child Of Ault
  • Crazy Max VR
  • Mass Exodus
  • Quizality - Christmas!
  • Robot City Stadium
  • Sanctuary VR
  • Smash Party VR
  • Space Slam
  • SwingStar VR
  • VR the Anime Girls Method
  • Wanderer: The Rebirth
  • Weird creatures

Comments

Halo Wars: Definitive edition

A heads up for anyone who might be interested in the game: It's only available this week (Dec 20) if you pre-ordered Halo Wars 2. (source)

Reminder: never pre-order games.

A Demon's Game: Episode 1
Angels of Death
Revenge of the Spirit: Rite of Resurrection
SoulHunt
Xmas Zombie Rampage

Merry Christmas!

This week's header image is really great.

IMAGE(http://www.shantae.net/images/shanate_dance.gif)

It wasn't until looking at the header image that I realized Shantae had elf ears.

Granted I've still not played any of the games, but...

Needs more Christmas, Mantid!

I was just impressed by all the holiday decorations that got snuck in. It took me a couple glances to realize it wasn't official holiday Shantae art.

danopian wrote:

Needs more Christmas, Mantid!

I was just impressed by all the holiday decorations that got snuck in. It took me a couple glances to realize it wasn't official holiday Shantae art.

That is a huge compliment! Thanks!

I think my photoshop skills have improved in this past year of making TWA headers.