Forever striving for comprehensiveness, our hallowed new release round-up evolves once again.
Hopefully, it’s a step in the right direction – last week’s cut ‘n paste effort left us feeling unclean. Only the laziest of journos resort to re-posting press releases, after all.
This week sees a trio of new beat’em ups battle it out, while fan favourite Final Fantasy IX makes a surprise arrival on PS4. Those who claim FF VIII was the better game are clearly mistaken.
The Raiders of the Broken Planet beta and the open-world space adventure Morphite appear to be worth a look, too. SteamWorld Dig 2 also hits the Switch eShop tomorrow, ahead of next week’s PS4/PS Vita release.
New release showcase:
Project Cars 2 (PS4/XO)
Arriving with less fanfare than expected, Project Cars 2 is nevertheless off a decent start with the Metacritic score of 87% currently surpassing the original (83%). Improving on almost every aspect, some reviewers even claim it’s the best console racer currently available.
9.2 – IGN: “The handling has been tuned to a T, the content is excellently curated, and the amount of variety and racing available in it is delightfully daunting. Even if you don’t care about the developer’s esports aspirations there’s still a mammoth solo racer here that’s always ready to roll whenever you are”
8.5 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “A solid focus in its career mode combine with tight community integration, which all mixes with a heaping helping of esports activities, giving fans and new racers alike plenty of reasons to buy Project CARS 2”
8.0 – God is a Geek: “While it is much more accessible than its predecessor, thanks to the new controller settings (that remain fully customisable, and I suggest you do just that to get the most out of the handling), it is still far more brutal and unforgiving than anything else in its niche. But it’s also the most comprehensive racer out there, and even its AI issues won’t stop you from having a fun and rewarding time”
Pokken Tournament DX (Switch)
The Switch receives another Wii U hand-me-down, and guess what? It fits like a glove. While the lack of content remains a concern, it’s still a decent alternative to ARMS.
9/10 – TheSixthAxis: “With an expanded roster that only improves on an already great lineup, fantastic gameplay, and an increased range of challenges and modes, Pokkén Tournament DX is true fighting game gold”
9//10 – Nintendo Life: “Pokkén is also a solid choice for Switch because it perfectly suits the console’s local multiplayer ethos; the game’s control scheme fits perfectly on a single Joy-Con, which means you can take the fight with you anywhere you wish”
8/10 – The Metro: “A Pokémon fighting game may not seem like the most obvious spin-off idea, but the end result is a surprisingly fun and inventive multiplayer game”
Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite (PS4/XO)
Those who keep a close eye on the gaming scene will have no doubt noticed the backlash against Capcom’s latest brawler. Marvel licenses aren’t as easy to obtain as back when this franchise started, resulting in a sporadic rooster that’s missing some key inclusions. The art direction has come under fire too, prompting Capcom to give the likes of Chun-Li a last-minute makeover before launch.
8.25 – GameInformer: “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is a fighting game that tries to appeal to everyone, and it largely succeeds (unless you’re a die-hard Wolverine fan)”
7.5 – Polygon: “Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is an Eyesore, but an exciting and expressive one”
7.5 – Destructoid: “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is sterile on the surface, but a functional as hell fighter. I’m fine with that. Are you?”
New digital multi-format releases:
Raiders of the Broken Planet – Beta (PS4/XO)
This online asymmetric sci-fi adventure arrived in the US last week. User reviews are wildly mixed so far, with controls and difficulty level receiving criticism. Still, it’s early days.
Caveman Warriors (PS4/XO)
This Kickstarter-backed platformer takes elements from Metal Slug, Joe & Mac and Trine. We’ll have a review before the week is out.
Over 75 stages and numerous boss battles feature in this 2D platformer. Think Super Meat Boy, only splatters of paint fill and outline the previously invisible path ahead.
The Coma: Recut (PS4/XO)
This remastered version of a cult Korean horror adventure entails a hapless Korean student who trapped in the nightmarish halls of his high school.
Just like Caveman Warriors, Pankapu is also influenced by ‘90s platformers. This one is narrative driven and has a magical theme.
There’s a whiff of No Man Sky about Morphite, thanks to its procedurally generated universe and focus on aerial combat. The story mode does away with randomisation, featuring 15 “handcrafted” planets to explore.
New on PSN:
Final Fantasy IX Digital Edition
Revealed at the Tokyo Game Show just days ago, Square’s classic PSone JRPG makes a surprise PS4 appearance, complete with a free theme.
Burly Men at Sea (PS4/PS Vita)
A folktale about a trio of burly bearded fishermen seeking adventure. One of TIME’s top ten games of the year.
Hidden Dragon: Legend
Ninja Gaiden and Shinobi influence this 2.5D hack and slasher. Intriguing.
After debuting on Switch last week, this colourful arcade shooter graces PS4.
Blasting Agent: Ultimate Edition
This tiny pixel art shooter may not be much to look at, but it’ll only set you back £2.49.
Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash
The curvacious Senran Kagura crew take a break from brawling to partake in a water fight. Five-on-five competitions and four-player co-op feature.
Plague Road (PS4/PS Vita)
This visually appealing 2D RPG tells a story of a lone doctor who once abandoned their home and now returns to learn the fate of those they left behind.
Mary Skelter: Nightmares (PS Vita)
Also heading to retail, this RPG – set in a living prison – includes a “strategic blood-licking transform system”, and a “blood-rubbing system” to power up your party. Bloody hell.
New on Xbox One Store:
SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell
Billed as “the world’s only competitive heavy metal first-person platformer”, SEUM allegedly plays like a “bastard child” of Quake III and Super Meat Boy.
After hitting PS4 last week, nDreams’s London-set zombie brawler shuffles onto Xbox One with a focus on co-op play.
This 2D pixel-art shooter has a rather early ‘90s look to it. Not quite Amiga, not quite Super Nintendo.
A physics-based puzzle/platformer with a twist. Rather than control the main character – Reevo, a drone on wheels – you instead control the world around them.
New Nintendo releases:
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (Switch)
In addition to online play, this belated Switch conversion also supports local co-op raid boss battles for up to 6 players, as well as 3-on-3 versus matches. Stock shortages in Japan bode well for a Dragon Ball FighterZ Switch release. Here’s hoping.
Next week: FIFA 18 (Multi), Total War: Warhammer II (PC), Cuphead (XO), SteamWorld Dig 2 (PS4/Vita), Demons Age (PS4/XO/PC), Gundam Versus (PS4), WRC 7 – The Official Game (PS4/XO), Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4), YO-KAI WATCH 2: Psychic Specters (3DS), One Piece Unlimited World Red – Deluxe Edition (Switch), Shoppe Keep (PS4), Ruiner (XO), Splasher (PS4/XO), Pharaonic Deluxe Edition (PS4/XO), The Girl and the Robot Deluxe Edition (PS4), Blue Reflection (PS4), Fallout 4 GOTY (PS4/XO), and Hob (PS4).