March 18 - 24

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

Welcome folks, and happy “59th Anniversary of the first space walk” week!

On 18 March 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first person to leave an orbiting space vessel and float freely outside of it (while still tethered to it, of course). The floating, or space walk, lasted 12 minutes and 9 seconds, however the live broadcast was cut short because of technical difficulties: Leonov’s suit had ballooned out from pressure imbalances and he couldn’t fit easily back into the inflatable airlock. His core body temperature was rising so fast his suit was filling with sweat, leading him to depressurise his suit so fast he got the bends. In any event, it had the USA playing catch-up until 3 months later. You may all celebrate by playing a game where you get the robots to do the space stuff.

It’s finally here: Dragon’s Dogma 2. The original Dragon’s Dogma from 2012 was a slow-burn cult hit. As an open-world RPG with challenging combat, often against bigger enemies, it was a blend of Japanese and US/European RPG conventions that occupied its own space somewhere in the middle of Skyrim, Dark Souls and Monster Hunter. I played it back in the day, but didn’t finish, for reasons I can’t remember because it was over 10 years ago.

There's 3 things I do remember about Dragon’s Dogma that made it unique: fast travel was costly and rare, the map was free of markers so you had to find your own way to quest locations, and Pawns. Pawns are NPC party members that accompany your main character. They have their own XP and memories of their travels, and you can create a Pawn for other players to hire, as well as hire other players’ Pawns.

All these features are back and improved upon in Dragon’s Dogma 2. The map is huge and travelling is most of the adventure. Fast travel is again expensive, so you will rarely do it. Alternatively, you can walk or hire a cart, which is cheaper than fast travel and faster than walking, but also could be ambushed. Risk and reward is often woven into RPGs when choosing to take on quests or bosses, but in Dragon’s Dogma 2 it is also part of the everyday task of getting from A to B.

The various vocations (character classes) have been tweaked and tuned to make each of them more distinct and viable. Some of them are hidden behind quests. The Pawn system has also been buffed to give Pawns more personality, memory and experience. They will remember where they’ve been and what they’ve fought, enabling them to give you tips and hints about locations, items and creatures. In this way, Pawns replace map markers and quest arrows. Each player will be able to have up to 3 Pawns: your main Pawn that you make, and 2 others that you hire, creating a nice little mini-party. There’s more going on with Pawns, such as the bonkers in-game lore explanation for the Pawn system and the dragonsplague, a disease that only affects Pawns.

All up, you get an RPG that is more than a ‘Souls-like’ because it does not copy the FromSoft formula, but makes different design decisions to create challenge. Add to that some impressive-looking, this-gen graphics and you get an enticing RPG mix.

Rise of the Ronin is a Sony ‘sclusy by Team Ninja, the devs of Ninja Gaiden and last year’s Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. It’s also an open-world game, set in mid-19th century Japan, which invites comparison to Ghost of Tsushima. Team Ninja is straying outside its comfort zone here, with a story-heavy game set in its first open world. The combat is stance-based and typically difficult for a Team Ninja game, but many previewers have commented that the open-world activities get very samey, and that most of its parts reminded them of other games that did them better. However, the previews were based on the first 8-10 hours of the game. Maybe it opens up, or maybe this could be a rare miss from the stable of Sony ‘sclusies.

On the ports front, there’s Hi-Fi Rush on PS5 and Horizon: Forbidden West on PC.

Alone in the Dark is a reimagining of the classic 1992 game, which was one of the earliest survival horror games. As with the Resident Evil remakes, fixed angles have been replaced by a 3rd-person view. It’s got all the trimmings of puzzles, horror, and combat, but how will it hold up next to Alan Wake 2 or the Resident Evil and Dead Space remakes?

MLB The Show 24 kicks off virtual baseball season.

Master Maker 3D Ultimate is a Minecraft clone that’s a bit more contained and directed. Firstly, you don’t build in entire worlds, just levels. Secondly, you don’t have to punch trees for wood, you get a boomerang hammer that does that for you. Thirdly, there’s a 50-level campaign mode for you to get the hang of the mechanics and to give you ideas for building your own levels.

On the Switch, Princess Peach: Showtime! is the first game to star Princess Peach as the main character since 2005. There’s a theatre conceit in that the levels are all different stage plays that Princess Peach has to save from being attacked by some sour grapes. Each level sees Peach as a different character with different abilities to get through: Swordfighter Peach, Detective Peach, Ninja Peach, and so on. It’s a typical Nintendo blend of light puzzling, platforming with coin collection and combat. Can you backtrack to earlier levels as different Peach characters to unlock secrets? Play to find out.

My GOTW is Dragon’s Dogma 2. I don’t have as much hype for it as many Dragon’s Dogma torchbearers do, but it still looks like a fine game. The improved grunt of modern systems has enabled the devs to do much more with Pawns and other game systems, which could translate Dragon’s Dogma from cult hit to smash hit. Perhaps I will finish this one!

GWJ Word of the Week

Survival horror: a sub-genre of the horror genre; or is it a sub-genre of the survival genre? In any event, it combines horror aesthetics with movement and combat that is usually more sluggish and restricted than other action games. The tension is further ratcheted up by scarcity of resources like ammunition or health. Jump scares and maze-like levels are also common features. The overall effect is that, instead of being in a power fantasy, you feel like you’re in one of those nightmares where you’re wading through treacle and can’t find the exit, even if you're just walking down a corridor. Debate rages among critics as to whether survival-horror games are a great place to dump sub-optimal game mechanics, or if it’s all finely-tuned on purpose to maximise spookiness.

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

PC

  • 03-18

  • Annoy This Guy
  • Asterball
  • Back to the Earth
  • Endless halo
  • field of vision
  • Galactic Ascendancy
  • Magic University
  • Pesticide Not Required
  • Sequential Dungeon
  • shining
  • Solitary mark
  • Space Hat
  • Splash Carnival
  • Trans-Siberian Express
  • 03-19

  • 100 Doors Escape: Let me In
  • 2x4 Nails
  • 3D Chess Q14
  • Kai Hanashi
  • KinnikuNeko: SUPER MUSCLE CAT
  • Midnight Scenes: A Safe Place
  • Operator Ace's Simple Infinite Survival
  • Raw Metal
  • Serafina's Saga: Awakened
  • 03-20

  • Alone in the Dark
  • Argyle Manor, Book 1: Away From The Sun
  • Decypher
  • Getaway Driver
  • Hidden Castle Top-Down 3D
  • House of Lust
  • Joe Dungeon
  • Krimson
  • Kunkun Battles
  • Master Maker 3D Ultimate
  • Planetstar Warrior
  • Project RyME
  • Saw Lab
  • Scott Whiskers in: the Search for Mr. Fumbleclaw
  • SCP: Descent
  • Slice & Dice
  • Twizzle Puzzle: Monkeys
  • Unknown Signal: Invasion
  • 03-21

  • +1x2
  • Cureocity
  • EMULATED: OpsRunner
  • Forest Ranger Simulator - Apprenticeship
  • Guerra Civil
  • Horizon Forbidden West: Complete Edition
  • Massive Defense
  • Midnight Ghost Hunt
  • Miss Neko: Pirates
  • PARRY NIGHTMARE
  • Piccadilly's Puzzle Museum
  • Prank Heart
  • Reimu's Chicken Fighting Festival
  • Retrolution Racing
  • Reverse Collapse: Code Name Bakery
  • Room -Random Dungeon-
  • Signal Force
  • Sneaky Snacks - Hidden Object Game
  • Soda scuffle
  • Stunt Paradise
  • Turbo Tails
  • XiuzhenWorld
  • 03-22

  • 4D Golf
  • A Game Called Paako
  • Barold:Inferno
  • Bears In Space
  • Bloody Ink
  • Circus of TimTim - Mascot Horror Game
  • Cozy Room Decorator
  • Dea
  • Desert Witch
  • Despot Zombie
  • Dr. What & Detective Son
  • Dragon's Dogma 2
  • EmyLiveShow: Dragon & Mistresses Tale
  • Enigmarble
  • Essence Bloom
  • From Soil to Bottle
  • gold scrapping simulator
  • HappyFunland
  • Kagachi-sama Onagusame Tatematsurimasu Kai ~Netorare Mura In'yabanashi~ashi ~
  • Let's Park Bus Edition
  • Living With Sister: Monochrome Fantasy
  • Lost In Failures
  • Lost Love Island
  • Lunatic Taxi Driver
  • Momo and the Mine
  • Part of You
  • Path to Nothing
  • Paws in the Maze
  • REAL ESTATE Simulator
  • Real Time Attack
  • SEARCH ALL - BALLS
  • Shadow of Engimor
  • Shining Girls
  • Singularium
  • Snip It!
  • Snowy Flag
  • Sugoi Ichiawase PRO 16
  • Super Kawaii Ninja
  • Sweet Pirates
  • The Forgotten World:Prologue
  • The Hell Inside
  • The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered
  • The Thief, the Witch, the Toad, and the Mushroom.
  • There's Always a Madman: Fight or Flight
  • True Virus
  • Unconsciously at 4 AM
  • Unlinked Mask
  • Winterclaw
  • Wishbound Desires
  • 03-23

  • PRIN-C1
  • 03-24

  • Artifact Seeker:Legend of Aurorium
  • hacker (wang huimin)
  • Hidden Pirates Top-Down 3D
  • Le Chateau
  • Liquid Entry
  • Mystery Box 5: Elements
  • OG Puzzlers: Synthwave Astronauts
  • OG Puzzlers: Synthwave Dinosaurs
  • OG Puzzlers: Synthwave Knights
  • OG Puzzlers: Synthwave Monsters
  • Tactic Boxing
  • Unreal Physics
  • Wildlands Resurgence

Xbox Series X

  • 03-19

  • MLB The Show 24
  • 03-20

  • Alone in the Dark
  • Master Maker 3D Ultimate
  • Power of Ten
  • 03-21

  • Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure
  • Krimson
  • Stunt Paradise
  • Tram Simulator Urban Transit
  • 03-22

  • Dragon's Dogma 2

Xbox One

  • 03-19

  • MLB The Show 24
  • 03-20

  • Master Maker 3D Ultimate
  • Power of Ten
  • 03-21

  • Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure
  • Krimson
  • Stunt Paradise
  • Tram Simulator Urban Transit
  • 03-22

  • Front Mission 1st Remake

PlayStation 5

  • 03-19

  • Hi-Fi Rush
  • MLB The Show 24
  • Mystic Pillars - Remastered
  • 03-20

  • Alone in the Dark
  • Master Maker 3D Ultimate
  • 03-21

  • Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure
  • Krimson
  • LISA: Bundle of Joy
  • Tram Simulator Urban Transit
  • 03-22

  • Dragon's Dogma 2
  • Front Mission 1st Remake
  • Rise of the Ronin
  • The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered

PlayStation 4

  • 03-19

  • MLB The Show 24
  • 03-20

  • Master Maker 3D Ultimate
  • 03-21

  • AMBITIOUS MISSION
  • Dragon Quest X Online All-in-One Package version 1 - 7
  • Dragon Quest X: Mirai e no Tobira to Madoromi no Shoujo Online
  • Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure
  • Krimson
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Gekan
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Vol. 5
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Vol. 6
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Vol. 7
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Vol. 8
  • 03-22

  • The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered

Nintendo Switch

  • 03-19

  • MLB The Show 24
  • 03-20

  • Master Maker 3D Ultimate
  • Power of Ten
  • 03-21

  • Aha! Let's Photo Hunt!
  • Air Traffic Sim: Airport Dispatch Simulator
  • Air Traffic Sim: Airport Dispatcher Simulator
  • Akuyaku Reijou wa Ringoku no Outaishi ni Dekiai Sareru
  • AMBITIOUS MISSION
  • April's Diary
  • Attack of the Karens
  • Bad Chicken
  • Dragon Quest X Online All-in-One Package version 1 - 7
  • Dragon Quest X: Mirai e no Tobira to Madoromi no Shoujo Online
  • Kemco RPG Selection Vol. 6
  • Krimson
  • LISA: Bundle of Joy
  • Mortal Fight: Lethal Revenge
  • Paper Dash - City Hustle
  • Pull The Pin: Ball Physic Puzzle
  • Rekishi Marubatsu Quiz
  • Scott Whiskers in: the Search for Mr. Fumbleclaw
  • Sector 98
  • Special Forces Strike: Tactical Swat Shooter
  • Stunt Paradise
  • Sushi Battle Rambunctiously
  • SUSHI Shot Online
  • Swipe Quiz Shiwakete Todoufuken
  • Virtual Girlfrend Dating Simulator
  • Western Frontier
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Gekan
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Vol. 5
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Vol. 6
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Vol. 7
  • Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru ~ Hanayui no Kirameki ~ Vol. 8
  • 03-22

  • Crypt Stalker
  • Flower Shop: Winter In Fairbrook
  • Princess Peach: Showtime!
  • The Legend of Legacy HD Remastered
  • Virtual Girlfriend Dating Simulator
  • 03-23

  • Demon Drop DX
  • PORTAL SHOT GUN TELEPORT
  • 03-24

  • Animal Buddies - Party Beasts

Comments

DD2 for me (PC version). I will also continue my personal quest to understand baseball by downloading MLB The Show 24 on Xbox through GamePass, and attempting to hit a ball.