February 17 - 23

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IMAGE(https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/pictures/pictures/picture-13445.jpg)   Felix “Draw your sword” Threepaper

Welcome all, and happy “84th anniversary of the first comic strip of The Phantom” week! You may all celebrate by arguing whether the Phantom was the first-ever comic-strip superhero: he didn’t have any super-human powers, but he did wear the tight costume and pioneered the “undies on the outside” look.

I don’t know if it’s because Valentine’s Day was last week, but I had to edit out about twice the usual number of hentai games this week. There’s an argument to be had about different levels of tolerance for violence vs sexual content in games and media generally, but honestly, these things look to be just catering to the male gaze, and thus creepy. Apologies if Gun Lady actually had something interesting to say. I’m also not checking out any games trying to cash in by using “Coronavirus” in their name.

Otherwise, it’s another week of ports, re-releases, and miscellaneous titles.

DCL - The Game is the official game of the Drone Champions League. I am shocked to discover that the Drone Champions League involves racing drones sensibly along a track and not in a free-for-all deathmatch.

Did you play Gone Home, but were disappointed whenever the game seemed to veer into horror game territory, then pulled back? Did you wish it had just been a spooky horror game with really heavy themes? Then check out The Suicide of Rachel Foster.

Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story drops this week. Katana Kami is a spin off of the PS2 and PS3-era Way of the Samurai series, which has been dormant since about 2012. Apparently, Way of the Samurai 5 was jettisoned in favour of making this game. This will have story and character continuity with the earlier games, and will still be all about that hack’n’slash, but has shifted to an isometric presentation. As an interesting twist, loot-selling feeds into the faction mechanics: collecting and selling every spare sword you can find (which is perfectly normal RPG behaviour) has consequences. You can help the shopkeeper sell the wares you sell to him, and the 3 factions in the game get stronger and change their attitude toward you depending on how many swords have sold.

Bayonetta and Vanquish are 10 years old this year, and Platinum is putting out this-gen versions of each (and a bundle of both) to celebrate. Bayonetta is a well-loved classic at this point, but Vanquish didn’t get the credit (ie, sequel) it deserved. While I’m not complaining about these games being remastered, I can’t help but wonder how studios’ embrace of remastering and recycling IPs affects the issue of backwards compatibility for the next generation of consoles. Microsoft has said that Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with all previous Xbox games, whereas Sony has said that PS5 will only be backwards compatible with PS4. But who cares about backwards compatibility when all the decent games get remastered anyway? Would you want to play a backwards-compatible game without upscaled graphics and controls? The Playstation Store has hundreds of PS2 games that I wouldn’t touch now, even if you paid me. Perhaps we will see even more of a remaster rush this year for the PS4, to fluff out the PS5 launch catalogue.

Speaking of recycling IPs, Arc System Works is re-releasing almost its whole back catalogue with the Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle. Arc System Works is the successor to “huge in the 80s, gone by the 90s” developer Technos Japan, who developed all the games in this 18-game bundle. Double Dragon is probably the most recognisable title, as most of the games in the Kunio-kun series didn’t come out in the US. They started as brawlers, but once the Super Famicom (aka Super Nintendo) came out in Japan, Techno switched its focus to pumping out as many console soccer and other sports games as it could, returning to the arcades only to make Double Dragon sequels and the first two WWF arcade games ever. It never repeated the dizzying, global success of Double Dragon, though, and went bust in 1996. All that is to say, these games are likely of archival value only. Sega is pushing a lot of its old arcade titles out the door this week, too.

Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt is a medieval city-builder that looks pretty but doesn’t do much new with the genre. It’s also a port from mobile platforms, and I always fear that such ports will have toxic free-to-play features lurking in their DNA.

I’ll give a GOTW to Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story for being an isometric hack’n’slash game that’s trying to do more than just be a Diablo clone. If you want a taste of what made the Way of the Samurai games cult classics, check out ccesarano’s 2013 piece. If nothing else, you can simply marvel at the days when a front page article would get 3 pages of comments!

Here's the list, now in release-date AND alphabetical order!

PC

  • 02-17

  • ANIME WAR - Modern Campaign
  • Banzai Escape 2
  • Corruption 2029
  • Dantes Bullet Inferno
  • Diesel Attack
  • Era of Survival
  • Isle of the Conjured
  • Jinga Online
  • LOGA: Unexpected Adventure
  • Magic of Autumn
  • Magical Diary: Wolf Hall
  • Mokoko
  • Project RTD: Random Tower Defense
  • Rule the Rail!
  • Slay The Bigies
  • Super Crystal Hunter
  • Tiamat's Drink
  • Trap
  • VE GSIM Overhead Crane Simulator
  • 02-18

  • 1001 Jigsaw. Ice Age
  • Adore
  • Astonia: The Return of Yendor
  • DCL - The Game
  • Deadtime Defenders
  • Empire Defenders
  • Game of Drones
  • Giraffe and Annika
  • Guns of Bulls**t
  • Lost Brothers
  • Shenmue III: Story Quest Pack
  • Skul: The Hero Slayer
  • Super Hiking League
  • 02-19

  • Counter Fight 4
  • CRASH THE GAME
  • fullybroKEN - A Unique Post-Apocalyptic RPG
  • Indian Army - Mission POK
  • Phoenix Strike
  • Ramiwo
  • Reach
  • Roman's Christmas
  • Sea Fishing Simulator
  • Shadows of Larth
  • Sigma Theory: Global Cold War - Nigeria
  • Steamliner
  • TAG.IO
  • The Crimson Diamond: Chapter 1
  • The Suicide of Rachel Foster
  • Tribloos
  • 02-20

  • An Impostor
  • Blendy 2 Dolls Factory
  • Bloody Rally Simulator
  • Bob Wants to Go Home
  • Bomb Fight
  • Castra
  • Cube Chase
  • Cult GO!
  • Curse of Anabelle
  • Death and Taxes
  • Deep Despair
  • Defend Them!
  • Die Fantastischen VR - Fantaventura
  • DreadOut 2
  • Dreamgate
  • DREAMO
  • Existence = !Existence;
  • Fight High
  • Forest of MATH
  • FOS
  • GlowyJump
  • Gravity Golf
  • Hippocampus
  • How do you like it, Elon Musk?
  • Infiniball
  • Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story
  • Katanakami
  • Ludus
  • Lumote
  • Me and (My) Cat's Castle
  • Me and (My) Cat's Castle X
  • MENTAL
  • Monster Jaunt
  • Nakadashi Banzai
  • NUMTATE
  • Orbit of Death
  • RACOW
  • Scraper: Gauntlet
  • Season Match 4
  • Shining Song Starnova: Idol Empire
  • Shuriken and Aliens
  • Sine Wave City
  • Sixth Night
  • Sky Cannoneer
  • Sorbetta: Gravely in Debt
  • Stellar Commanders
  • Super Foosball
  • Tank Mechanic
  • Taur
  • TrymenT
  • Ultra Foodmess
  • World of Horror
  • Zip! Speedster of Valiant City
  • 02-21

  • Barro F
  • Bloody Ending
  • Ciel Fledge
  • Coronavirus Simulator
  • Elf Breeding Farm
  • First Contact
  • Forest monster
  • Fragile Box
  • Goblin treasure
  • Hot steel
  • Idle Warrior
  • Lair of the Clockwork God
  • LilyDeux
  • Mini Transport
  • Nonogram Animal Griddlers
  • Parallel Catastrophes Chronicles
  • Pixel Pileup Party
  • Princess Guard
  • Psychedelic world
  • Skeleton Warrior
  • Super Arcade Boy in Goodbye Greenies
  • Terra Lander II - Rockslide Rescue
  • The End of an Actress
  • Tony Stewart's Sprint Car Racing
  • Witchsword Remake
  • Zombie Towns
  • 02-23

  • God of Ghosts and Red Moon 2

PS4

  • 02-18

  • Bayonetta
  • Bayonetta & Vanquish
  • DCL - The Game
  • Hunt: Showdown
  • Knightin'+
  • Shenmue III: Story Quest Pack
  • Vanquish
  • 02-20

  • Autobahn Police Simulator 2
  • Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle
  • Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story
  • Townsmen: A Kingdom Rebuilt
  • Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late|cl-r|
  • 02-21

  • Bullet Sorrow VR
  • Draugen
  • 02-22

  • Fire Pro Wrestling World: Takayama Charity Part 2

Xbox One

  • 02-18

  • Bayonetta & Vanquish
  • DCL - The Game
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
  • 02-19

  • Bunny Parking
  • Lost Artifacts
  • 02-21

  • Ailment
  • Draugen

Switch

  • 02-18

  • Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo
  • 02-19

  • 3000th Duel
  • 02-20

  • A Sound Plan
  • Blood will be Spilled
  • Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition
  • Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle
  • Fred3ric
  • Georifters
  • Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story
  • Lines XL
  • Sega Ages: Puyo Puyo 2
  • Sega Ages: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Sudoku Relax 4 Winter Snow
  • Uncharted Tides: Port Royal
  • Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late|cl-r|
  • 02-21

  • Brief Battles
  • Ciel Fledge: A Daughter Raising Simulator
  • Ego Protocol: Remastered
  • Fishing Adventure
  • King Lucas
  • Knightin'+
  • Otherworldly
  • Tower of Babel - no mercy
  • UBERMOSH:OMEGA

Vita

  • 02-18

  • Knightin'+

Comments

What's interesting about the Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle is that there are a ton of Kunio-kun games being localized/translated for the first time.