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Games to Get Excited About: July 2017

H2x1_NSwitch_Splatoon2

As we start through the summer months, the releases to feed our gaming addiction get slimmer and slimmer.  There really only seems to be three actual new games coming in July from any major publishers, and a couple of expansions or re-releases.  That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to look forward to, but this will be a bit of a short post since we don’t really have much to talk about.

Following up on one of the more popular release of 2015, Splatoon 2 is coming near the end of July.  This time the game will be released exclusively on the Switch on the 21st.  Like the original, this will be a 4v4 multiplayer shooter played in the third-person view.  Leading up to the game’s release, you can read the Squid Sister Stories on the official site and catch up on events between the two games.  Players in Europe and Japan will also be able to snatch up pink and green joycon controllers released with the game, though I expect they’ll be available to gamers around the world through third-party suppliers shortly after.

As the story goes, after the first game the sisters go back to relatively normal lives.  They start to do their own thing, but Marie worries that her sister might be having trouble with the events of the first game.  After spending some time together, Marie leaves Inkopolis to see her parents.  When she gets back home she discovers that Callie is missing and the Great Zapfish has been stolen.  Marie believes the Octarians are responsible so goes looking for a squid recruit to infiltrate the Octarians and save the day.

Why Should we be Excited?

Splatoon was popular for a reason.  The game was fun, colorful, and whimsical.  People could play competitively, without the super serious nature of games like Siege or Battlefield.  Those games are fun of course, but sometimes we just want to throw down on some goofy fun, like shooting paint at each other in a ridiculous world of multi-colored squid people.  I think this will be another fun game for people who like to goof off but also have a good time being competitive.  The original spawned a lot of fan art, stories, and even a manga, so it’s likely even more colorful squids are in our future.

Notable Releases for July

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age – Coming out early in July is a remaster of International Zodiac Job System for Final Fantasy XII that was previously a Japanese-only release.  It’s coming to Playstation 4 exclusively.

Miitopia – An RPG coming to the Nintendo 3DS at the end of the month.  It was previously released in Japan in December of 2016.  It is a fairly standard JRPG using the popular Mii avatars for characters.  The characters interactions will affect combat, meaning if they don’t like each other they will be less effective.

Dragon Quest XI – This JRPG is coming to Nintendo Switch, 3DS, and PS4 at the end of the month.  It mixes traditional turn-based combat with exploration like previous titles in the long running series.

Hey! Pikmin – Another game coming to the 3DS at the end of the month this will be a side scrolling adventure game based on the Pikmin franchise.

Games to Get Excited About: June 2017

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June is showing a slimmer release schedule than the earlier months of the year, but there are still a few choice games coming to us for the last month of Spring.  Today, I started playing Little Nightmares, a game I talked about a couple months ago, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.  Hopefully, June will also turn out an equally fun title for all of us to enjoy.  Without much more babbling; onto the game that looks to be the most promising of the bunch.

Tekken 7 is probably the most anticipated game coming in the month of June.  Originally, it was released in Japan in 2015, with an expansion called Tekken 7: Fated Retribution released in 2016.  As with previous titles, Tekken 7 focuses on 1-on-1 fighting, but has added new mechanics.  Power crush allows players to attack even when they are being overwhelmed by their enemy, though it doesn’t stop the damage.  The second new feature is rage art which allows the player to trade their normal attack power increase for a more damaging critical hit.

The game’s story features a darker theme according to the producer Katsuhiro Harada.  It is the conclusion of the Mishima Clan saga and will answer the questions about the feud between the Mishimas and Jin Kazama.  There are several side stories related to non-Mishima characters, and Akuma from Street Fighter will have a guest spot.  The cast of fighters is huge and as diverse in technique and nationality as expected of the series.

Why I’m Excited

Why am I excited?  That’s a good question on this one, because fighting games aren’t normally my bag.  Except for Soulcalibur that is.  I won’t be buying Tekken, but there is reason to be excited to see a tent pole franchise get another release with a lot of excitement and discussion.  It means we’re more likely to get another Soulcalibur release before too long.  Hopefully in time for me to pick up the Switch next year or so.  So yah that’s me being honest, I’m excited for this one because it might mean another release of about the only fighting game I liked.

Notable Releases for June

Seiken Densetsu Collection – Originally released as a Final Fantasy game under the title Final Fantasy Adventure the Mana series is an action RPG set in a fantasy world.  The game releases on June 1st and will include Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden, Seiken Densetsu II, and Seiken Densetsu III.

Dirt 4 – Coming early in June is the 6th installment of the rally racing game Dirt.  It’s the 12th in the Colin McRae Rally series.  Spanning 5 regions around the world players will race on various surfaces, under changing weather conditions, and can even race in procedurally generated tracks to keep things unique.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – The last expansion for the Final Fantasy XIV MMO comes out at the middle of June.  The base game has been through a roller coaster of criticism, development and redevelopment, and finally success.  This will also mark the end of PS3 support for the game.

Games to Get Excited About: August 2016

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Games to Get Excited About: August 2016

Welcome to August! Our scorching summer is wrapping up but there are still a few interesting titles coming our way. The fall rush of releases is just around the corner but here are a few promising games we’re looking forward to getting our hands on before the big name titles start releasing in September.

No Man’s Sky

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It shouldn’t be any surprise to see this on our list, given that we previously wrote a spotlight about it. No Man’s Sky will be releasing August 9th on PS4 and August 12th on PC. The game promises a frankly ridiculous amount of space to explore along with an art style that is reminiscent of sci-fi art of the 60s and 70s. Think classic paperback covers come to life.

God Eater 2

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The God Eater franchise belongs to the hunting action genre pioneered by the Monster Hunter Series. It trades the medieval fantasy setting of Monster Hunter for an anime-inspired post apocalypse and places a heavier emphasis on story than some of its peers in the genre. God Eater 2 continues the story of the first game and introduces new monsters, new customization options, and new ways to upgrade your gear. Don’t worry if you never got the chance to play the first game on the PSP. Buying the game for PS4 or PC will give you the updated remaster, God Eater Resurrection, for free so you can get caught up.

Abzû

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One of the best games to come to Sony’s PS3 was the meditative and surprising hit Journey. After that game was completed, a few members of its design team left that studio to form a new studio and begin work on what many are viewing as Journey‘s successor. Abzû puts players in the fins of a diver, exploring gorgeously rendered ocean environments and seeking answers to the game’s central mysteries. The game promises an extremely dynamic virtual eco-system and hopes are high that it will capture some of the magic and wonder of its predecessor.

Grow Up

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Grow Home surprised many with its robust and intuitive climbing system. Given its success, it should come as no surprise that the game is getting a sequel. Grow Up is releasing for PC, PS4, and XBox One, so whatever you game on, you’ll be able to take on a whole new world of climbing challenges and colorful surprises.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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If No Man’s Sky is the epitome of techno-optimism in science-fiction, then you could probably make the case that the Deus Ex series sits at the other end of spectrum as a representation of the idea that progress can never truly save us. Following the events of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mankind Divided continues to tell the story of cyborg Adam Jensen as he must attempt to navigate a murky future of conflicting loyalties and frightening advances in technology. Square Enix has promised to give fans of the series more of the action, stealth, and choice that they love, while also addressing criticism of the previous game such as lackluster story paths and poor boss fights.

This is just a taste of the games coming out this month. We’ll also be seeing the release of a new Madden game and Assetto Corso, if sports or racing are more your speed. As always, there are more Indie games releasing at any one time than we could ever hope to cover. Here’s hoping you have a great month and happy gaming!