August 23 - 29

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IMAGE(https://www.gamerswithjobs.com/files/pictures/pictures/picture-13445.jpg)   Felix “Monarch’s Mounds” Threepaper

Welcome folks, and happy “90th anniversary of Coccinelle's birthday” week! Coccinelle was the stage name of a French actress and singer, who was a transgender trail-blazer. After her gender confirmation surgery in 1958, she was re-baptised and later married by the French Roman Catholic church, paving the way for transgender marriage rights in France. She was also the first French trans woman to become a major star, starring in movies, her own revue at the Paris Olympia, and building a singing career. You may all celebrate by playing a game where just being who you are changes the world.

August continues to pump out the goodies, games-wise. We’re seeing a bunch of games that were some of the earliest to be delayed due to COVID, so “well done” to the folks who worked on them, and “hooray for safe working conditions.” It’s nice to see people appreciate the lesson behind the fable of the tortoise and the hare, especially when you’re stuck in quarantine because of your government’s total hare job on vaccinations, but I digress.

King’s Bounty II is finally here. The original game, which came out in 1990 and saw many remakes, was a precursor to the Might and Magic style of gameplay: you play as a hero with RPG stats and skills, leading an army around the world, talking to people, and gathering quests. It’s set in the same world as the first game, with continuity of lore, which I am not an expert on. Combat is turn-based on a hex grid. You can choose the composition of your army and look for synergies between different unit types; plus, terrain features heavily in how fights go down. The combat system is not the same as the combat in Divinity: Original Sin 2, but it looks as complex. Exploring the learning curve in D:OS 2 was fun, even if I had to redo some early fights many times, and it became one of my favourite games of the last decade—fingers crossed that King’s Bounty II has the same legs.

Another sequel that’s been a long time coming is Psychonauts 2. Its story picks up after the events of that Psychonauts VR game that I’m sure everyone played. It’s a third-person platformer with exploration, puzzling, and combat. It’s certainly got more, and more varied, combat than in the first game. Your psychic abilities often have a dual purpose, where they can help in, say, dialogue and then have a different effect in combat. It’s got that signature, Double Fine humour and art, and with any luck the Xbox Games Studios money has helped to smooth out any Meat Circus-y difficulty spikes. I never played Psychonauts, so this is super intriguing.

Rounding out the list of long-awaited sequels to beloved games is No More Heroes 3 on the Switch. Travis Touchdown is back, and so is the open-world format from the first game. So, on top of the series’ signature hack’n’slash gameplay, there will be various minigames and side activities sprinkled around the map. The Death Glove also makes a return. Some preview videos earlier in the year showcased the open world and drew some worried comments due to low framerates and performance issues, so hopefully those have been sorted.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a third-person, co-op cover shooter where you team up with other marines and take out waves of aliens. It’s a different vibe from the movies, and from previous games, which have a survival horror vibe as one alien takes out a whole fire team. I also remember the aliens as being mostly melee creatures, so I wasn’t sure why you’d need cover. It’s because this game departs from the movies, by introducing lots more different types of xenomorphs and sending them to you in waves, with more of a Left 4 Dead vibe. Nitpicky lore qualms aside, it’s got high production values and previewed well. Hopefully it can beat the odds and be a quality Aliens game, but fans have been burned before.

This week’s quirky Early Access game is METAL DOGS, a top-down, roguelike action shooter set in a post-apocalypse where you play as a dog with a weapon mounted on its back. ‘Ruff sed.

And if you don’t want anything new, but simply to bathe in the golden glow of nostalgia (or just to experience a classic for the first time) there’s the Myst re-release. This is basically a port of the 3D VR Myst re-release from last year. The Myst island, and its puzzles, have been rendered in 3D and with animation. There’s an in-game photo mode to help you remember clues and, if you’ve played the original game to death and remember all the puzzle solutions (yet still want to play this game), there’s a puzzle randomiser that jumbles up all the solutions somehow.

It’s another hard week to pick a GOTW as there are some strong candidates. Despite having a real soft spot for anything Double Fine, and being interested to finally check out a No More Heroes game, King’s Bounty II gets my GOTW. Tactical, turn-based combat RPGs are my jam (though, strangely, not JRPGs), and I’m looking forward to having this on my PS4.

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

PC

  • 08-23

  • A Day In Space
  • AimGoGoGo
  • Bird's Eye
  • Claire's Quest: GOLD
  • DeadLock
  • Drift King
  • Fling to the Finish
  • G-Mode Archives 19: Magical Drop DX
  • Googass
  • Heroes of Yore
  • Jubilane
  • Labyrinth of Touhou: Gensoukyo and the Heaven-Piercing Tree
  • Last Journey: 19 Shengli Road
  • Magic defense 2: The Return of the Legend
  • Milena's manor house
  • Mummy, mummy, mummy!
  • PIXASSO 2
  • POG 5
  • Purrgatory
  • RoboJep
  • Rust 'n Dust
  • Shattered Reality
  • Somewhere in the Shadow
  • Station Commander
  • The Final Stand: Breakout
  • Treasure of Barracuda
  • UFO vs Bikini
  • 08-24

  • Aliens: Fireteam Elite
  • Calturin
  • Chicken Ranch
  • Fracture Hell
  • Freon
  • Hoa
  • I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy And The Liar
  • King's Bounty II
  • Lake of Shadows
  • METAL DOGS
  • NIGHTSLINK
  • Photo Puzzles HD
  • REVO
  • Soukou Akki Muramasa
  • Spellarium 7 - Match 3 Puzzle
  • The Daunting House
  • War Of Gold
  • Wing Chun Pak Sung Bo Legends
  • 08-25

  • Amane Switch
  • BACK OF SPACE
  • Bacteria Wars
  • Behind the Frame: The Finest Scenery
  • Calculator and monsters
  • Chariot Land
  • Crime District
  • DIY MY BOY
  • Dungeon Clicker
  • Everescape
  • Every day is more incredible than the previous
  • Fallow
  • FGTeeV Goozy
  • Hungry Dino
  • Live Empire 2
  • Makber
  • Mi Fuchi
  • Murder Mystery Machine
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Rabbit Hole
  • Random Blacksmith Game
  • Shop Tycoon: Prepare your wallet
  • Space X Collector
  • The Craft of the Samurai
  • VGL: Imperative
  • Volseons
  • VR basketball shooting practice
  • VR stage dancer
  • VR table tennis (Ping pong)
  • 08-26

  • A Winding Path
  • Assimilate! (A Party Game)
  • Axis Football 2021
  • Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness
  • Bum Simulator
  • Cats in Time
  • Der Geisterjager / The Ghost Hunter
  • Elmarion: the Lost Temple
  • Green Phoenix
  • Have a Blast
  • Hot Tub Simulator
  • Medieval Shop Simulator
  • Myst
  • ProtoCorgi
  • Rent's Due: The Game
  • Reshaping Mars
  • SPOOKWARE
  • Stories of Mara - Chapter One
  • Sweet Shine
  • T-Minus 30
  • The Play's the Thing
  • Watch Your Ride - Bicycle Game

Xbox Series X

  • 08-24

  • Aliens: Fireteam Elite
  • 08-25

  • Darker Skies
  • Phoenotopia: Awakening
  • Psychonauts 2
  • 08-26

  • Hotel Life: A Resort Simulator
  • Myst
  • 08-27

  • Tormented Souls

Xbox One

  • 08-24

  • Aliens: Fireteam Elite
  • King's Bounty II
  • 08-25

  • Darker Skies
  • Mask of Mists
  • Mechstermination Force
  • Murder Mystery Machine
  • Phoenotopia: Awakening
  • Psychonauts 2
  • 08-26

  • Hotel Life: A Resort Simulator
  • Myst
  • Star Hunter DX
  • Tropico 6: Festival
  • 08-27

  • Baldo: The Guardian Owls
  • Inked: A Tale of Love
  • Space Station Sprint
  • Zoffice

PlayStation 5

  • 08-24

  • Aliens: Fireteam Elite
  • Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2
  • 08-26

  • Hotel Life: A Resort Simulator
  • 08-27

  • Tormented Souls

PlayStation 4

  • 08-24

  • Aliens: Fireteam Elite
  • I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy And The Liar
  • King's Bounty II
  • 08-25

  • Murder Mystery Machine
  • Psychonauts 2
  • 08-26

  • Hotel Life: A Resort Simulator
  • Traffic Jams
  • Tropico 6: Festival
  • 08-27

  • Baldo: The Guardian Owls
  • Inked: A Tale of Love

Switch

  • 08-23

  • Night Flight
  • 08-24

  • Hoa
  • King's Bounty II
  • Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask
  • RiMS Racing
  • 08-25

  • Murder Mystery Machine
  • 08-26

  • Cape's Escape Game 3rd Room
  • Dark Thrones
  • Garden Paws
  • Green Phoenix
  • Have a Blast
  • Hermitage: Strange Case Files
  • Hotel Life: A Resort Simulator
  • Instant Farmer
  • May's Mysteries: The Secret of Dragonville
  • Off The Road Unleashed
  • Pretty Girls Panic!
  • Secret Neighbor
  • SHAPE SUITABLE
  • Spelunky
  • Spelunky 2
  • The Magnificent Trufflepigs
  • Titans Black Ops
  • Wildbus
  • Witch Hunter
  • 08-27

  • Baldo
  • Baldo: The Guardian Owls
  • Hammer 2 Reloaded
  • Inked: A Tale of Love
  • No More Heroes III
  • One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party
  • Orbibot

Comments

Welcome folks, and happy “90th anniversary of Coccinelle's birthday” week! Coccinelle was the stage name of a French actress and singer, who was a transgender trail-blazer. After her gender confirmation surgery in 1958, she was re-baptised and later married by the French Roman Catholic church, paving the way for transgender marriage rights in France. She was also the first French trans woman to become a major star, starring in movies, her own revue at the Paris Olympia, and building a singing career. You may all celebrate by playing a game where just being who you are changes the world.

I had no idea the Catholic church would do that.

In fact, I knew none of wha tyou wrote. Cool stuff!

///

I'm stoked for Psychonauts 2 since it's a Gamepass game. Otherwise it would've been a sale. Double Fine and I don't have a great track record with game completion, so Gamepass is perfect for me. No pressure and all.

King's Bounty II is something I would've been excited about a decade ago but I don't know if I have any interest in the series in my current gaming habits.

No More Heroes III. The first game was open world on an underpowered system for open world, the third game repeats that.

‘Ruff sed

*groan*

No More Heroes 3 for me this week, surprising no one. I recently replayed both 1 and 2, and the first was definitely more enjoyable despite a lot of the bosses becoming very damage spongey by the end. Every foe had a personality, at least, and ultimately the game felt more... consistent? despite a bit of a whacky series of turns that never failed to break the fourth wall. But the second was... it took superficial elements that defined the first game and cranked them to 11, abandoning anything that was actually interesting in the first game. It wasn't actually directed by Suda51, and it's obvious.

I'm hoping NMH3, which is now directed by Suda51 again, is more along the lines of the first game, but improved. What "improved" means in this case, who knows? The first game was mad jank, yet somehow still enjoyable.

Aliens: Fireteam is tempting, but also I'm wary of it. That it's releasing for $40 has me wondering what's wrong with it, there are too many Left 4 Dead clones missing that touch of je ne sais quoi already (including Back 4 Blood, judging by the Beta), and I don't have any friends that seem itching to give it a whirl. So I shall wait and see.

$40 price tag tells me one thing:

We were afraid to go F2P despite the game likely being better as a F2P title.

Even though I'm wary of SkillUp's recommendations since he oversold Narita Boy (not a bad game, but... so meeeeeh), his video review of Fireteam has me thinking it might not be so bad. The gameplay footage was actually looking quite fun. It seems the $40 price point is more due to a lack of cut-scenes and even lip synching, which... y'know what? For a game whose primary purpose is horde mode co-op, I'm fine with that. More than fine with it. If those missing $20 from full price is for the stuff to make it pretty, then I'm good with that left in the wallet to just make a fun to play game.

I have one friend that's interested at least, so maybe I'll snag it after all.

Been holding out for Spelunky 2 on switch, so keen to pick that up finally.

Spelunky and Spelunky 2!

I did snag Fireteam and gave it a spin, though only up to the first checkpoint of the first mission. It's definitely not full blown AAA production values but it felt more like what I wanted in a co-op horde game than Back 4 Blood did, and that was just testing the waters in single-player. I have some friends now interested in grabbing it so I'm looking forward to playing it more in co-op.

Can't speak for everyone since a lot of folks in the Back 4 Blood beta were also specifically looking for a versus mode, which Fireteam does not have, but what time I played of Fireteam went from "hrm, guess I'll check this out a bit, I'll refund it if it's a bust" to "oh yeah I'm playing this with friends, it'll be a good time, wonder how much the horde and difficulty levels will do for extended play time".

Unfortunately I didn't play enough to say why I found it so fun, though. That first map is mostly drones, with some spitters, prowlers, and fighters running in to shake things up. You can tell when you're about to fight a bunch because explosive barrels are everywhere. I think, for me, it was constantly using class abilities whenever they were available, the nature of the xenos to run along walls and ceilings and find multiple paths to try and flank, and noting how obvious the game's feedback was for power-ups and kills that made reading the action swift and easy. It lacks production value but doesn't feel unpolished, is the best I can say.

I'd recommend anyone curious, or perhaps burned by the Back 4 Blood beta and interested in co-op horde games, check it out on Steam. If the first 30 minutes doesn't get you, take advantage of the refund policy and get your money back.

I've tried King's Bounty II for a few hours and the combat system is definitely the jam in the donut. The downside is, there's too much donut! I just want to get to the next battle and test out my army. The game sprinkles like a dozen NPCs between you and the next battle, and you kinda have to talk to them and finish talky fetch quests to get the XP and gold rewards to necessary to boost your armies. The scenery is pretty, but the writing isn't stellar, though there's some humour. Plus, your character walks too slowly. I am craving a sprint button.

It's definitely not on a level with, Divinity Original Sin 2, but there's fun to be had. I'll keep playing.