This could very well be the second to last new release round-up of 2016. A handful of games are due next week, but we doubt anything will appear on the digital services between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The gaming industry pretty much comes to a standstill over the festive period.
We’re more confident in saying that this week sees 2016’s last retail releases â€“ Minecraft Story Mode: The Complete Adventure on Wii U and Don Bradman Cricket 17 on PS4 and Xbox One. It’s interesting to note that the last Don Bradman game held its value â€“ even now, mere days away from Don Bradman Cricket 17’s release, the cheapest pre-owned copy on Amazon is Â£36. We’d wager that the latest edition plays a decent game of cricket, but may be lacking in some areas. The last game apparently wasn’t a huge improvement over Don Bradman 14.
On the download services the undeniable highlight is Stardew Valley, the popular Harvest Moon alike that went down an absolute storm on PC, gaining a steady string of 9/10s. It’s the kind of game you’ll start playing late evening, and before you know it you’ll be heading into work with only a few hours sleep. “Stardew Valley would be a fantastic accomplishment for a team of any size, but the fact that it’s a labor of love from one man is staggering,â€ said Giant Bomb before dishing out full marks.
Both PS4 and Xbox One also get the FTP voxel-based MMO Trove, Mekazoo â€“ a platformer influenced by Sonic, Donkey Kong Country and other classics â€“ and Curve Digital’s cartoony point and click adventure The Little Acre.
Sadly, scores for The Little Acre haven’t been great so far, including a mediocre 5/10 from The Sixth Axis and 4/10 from Push Square. â€œThe story leaves a lot to be desired and the easy puzzles won’t pose much of a challenge to mostâ€ said Push Square. They did however point out that it’s a â€œa decent family friendly titleâ€. Those looking for something simple to play with younger gamers may still want to give it a try.
Back on Monday, indie darling Bastion hit the Xbox One store. Those who own it on Xbox 360 can grab it for free. That was shortly followed by Feist, a Limbo-style 2D adventure six years in the making. Both physics-based Bridge Constructor Stunts and retro 2D Shooter Steel Rain X are also due on Xbox One before the week is out.
The PS4 meanwhile gets the original Bridge Constructor, 3D rogue-like NECROPOLIS: A Diabolical Dungeon Delve, cel-shaded car combat racer Motor Strike: Immortal Legends, local co-op battler Magnet Knights, adventure Subject 13 â€“ from the man behind Flashback â€“ and Active Soccer 2 DX.
Active Soccer 2 DX also graces PS Vita this week. The Xbox One version â€“ which launched way back in March â€“ reviewed badly, with some scores as low as 3/10.
This leaves us with Drive! Drive! Drive! on PS4. It’s an intriguing neon-hued racer in which the idea is to race up to four cars at once on different tracks. AI takes over in your absence, and here’s the twist â€“ the AI purposely isn’t very good, and so you must switch between tracks constantly to get every vehicle over the finish line.
We’re still waiting on reviews. Engadget has however chalked up a few early impressions which are mostly positive. â€œIt’s a safe bet for some fun timesâ€ they said.
Next week: The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (Multi), Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Multi), Industry Giant 2 (PS4/XO) and Boom Ball 2 for Kinect (XO).