Considering the time of year, it’s a surprisingly busy week for new releases. Also surprising is how mixed reviews are for this week’s assortment, as you’ll doubtlessly notice in the round-ups below.
Capcom’s remaster of Onimusha: Warlords leads the way, out now on PS4, Xbox One and Switch. Critics claim it has a low budget feel, which explains the £15.99 price tag, but it still seems to be going down reasonably well. We hope Onimusha 2 isn’t far behind – it was an outright gem on PS2.
We’re still waiting on reviews for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, due out Friday. Expect them to surface either tomorrow or on launch day. This series has a strong following, giving a good chance of breaking the UK top ten next week.
Don’t expect to see many reviews for Amazon’s The Grand Tour Game, however. Being episodic, new content is rolling out alongside the show. The price dropped from £24.99 to £11.99 just a week before launch, which really wasn’t a positive sign.
Reviews for Switch mini-game collection Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes went live today and have been rather mixed so far – we’ve seen scores as low as 4/10 and as high at 9/10, plus everything in between. The Metacritic currently stands at 71%, formed from 51 reviews.
As for digital-only offerings, abstract adventure Vane on PS4 arrived to a lukewarm reception, top-down 2D survival game Smoke and Sacrifice has been described as compelling and addictive – even gaining a few 8/10s – while the pixel art adventure Planet RIX-13 has received a bit of a mauling due to its shortness and simplistic nature. We quite enjoyed it, though.
Then we have YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG, which, and as you may have guessed, is off to a bumpy start – COG Connected dished out a miserable 35% while Nintendo World Report awarded it a resounding 8.5. The former did note of rough edges and a few faults, however.
And after a hefty wait, The Walking Dead’s penultimate episode is also finally with us. Game Revolution felt it worthy of a 4/5, while claiming that it sets up last episode well. Hopefully fans won’t have to wait quite as long for the final episode.
New release showcase:
8/10 – Nintendo Life: “Almost two decades on, Onimusha: Warlords lives again thanks to a handful of truly impactful changes. Those tank controls are lighter to the touch and the improvements to the visuals help take the edge off those clunky PS2-era looks”
6/10 – The Metro: “A low budget but competent remaster of a game that’s showing its age – and yet still makes a good argument for a future franchise revival”
3/5 – The Telegraph: “There are archaic quibbles that can’t be ignored but, for nostalgia’s sake or an intriguing history lesson, Onimusha is a thoroughly enjoyable blast from the past”
8.5 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “It’s hard to speak of Vane with authority, because so much of it is unraveling what happens in front of you, and interpreting it for yourself. This is not a straightforward story, nor is it your typical indie puzzle-platformer”
5/10 – GameSpot: “There are moments where you can see what the game could have been–like when you soar through a valley in bird form, or morph the world around you–but Vane lacks a voice and a strong sense of purpose”
4/10 – PSU: “Though it boasts a resoundingly striking aesthetic, a haphazard save system coupled with a raft of glitches and a misjudged waypoint system all manage to tarnish what should have been one of the first major indie darlings of the year. Vane is simply too frustrating to recommend in its current form”
Smoke and Sacrifice
8.0 – God is a Geek: “Smoke and Sacrifice is a dark and compelling adventure that deserves to be played”
4/5 – The Xbox Hub: “The story and narrative is strong, dark and very well told, while the world is fascinating. Making your way through it can be a bit unwieldy at times, but for those who are looking for a well crafted RPG that tries something different then look no further than Smoke and Sacrifice”
7/10 – The Metro: “An enjoyably distinctive survival game, in terms of gameplay, visuals, and an unusually affecting story”
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
90% – Gaming Trend: “Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is outrageous. The game is uncompromisingly zany: full of smart design, fluid combat, and laugh out loud personality front to back. While some may be turned off by its low budget feel and disjointed design, those who can look past these rough edges will find a hack-and-slash so quirky that it’ll be tough not to fall in love. This title stands as a shining beacon of bold creativity and anyone who values risk-taking in games owes it to themself to give Travis Strikes Again a shot”
7/10 – Destructoid: “Travis Strikes Again has some undeniable lows but the No More Heroes charm and the prospect of co-op lifts it up. Whether it’s learning the intricacies of individual types of ramen or watching Travis curse at a talking cat, this is something that could only be born out of the mind of Suda 51 and his team at Grasshopper. Go in with an open mind and possibly a co-op partner”
4.5/10 – Critical Hit: “Fans might get a kick out of this self-aware spinoff, but its referential meta-jokes ultimately fall flat. Worse though is that it’s just not very much fun to play. It’s repetitive to the point of being tiresome, and not even its occasionally enjoyable boss battles save Travis Strikes Again from being dull and dreary”
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG
8/10 – Nintendo Life: “While some gamers may not see anything special going on here, YIIK will likely really resonate with some players. If a Weird Stuff RPG appeals to you, strap in and prepare for a wild ride. Surreal themes aside, if you’re simply looking for an RPG experience on the Switch with far-out visuals, YIIK should satisfy your turn-based desires”
5.5 – Destructoid: “There’s a fantastic game buried somewhere here, but its merits are clouded by a plethora of bad design choices, uneven writing, and a protagonist who nobody in their right mind would ever want to spend any time with”
4.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “It’s obtuse and poorly balanced, making each encounter a frustrating exercise in attrition. YIIK has big ideas but they rest on top of a shoddy foundation, one that crumbles the more you try to stay on top of it. I’d rather just play EarthBound again”
New digital multi-format releases:
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
The Walking Dead – The Final Season – Episode 3: Broken Toys
New on PSN:
SENRAN KAGURA Burst Re:Newal
Kingdom of Blades
Holy Potatoes! We’re In Space?!
YIIK: A Postmodern RPG
SWORD ART ONLINE: FATAL BULLET Complete Edition
New on Xbox One store:
ACA NEOGEO NINJA MASTER’S
Mulletman and the Molemen
New Nintendo retail releases:
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Next week: Resident Evil 2, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey, The Raven Remastered, At Sundown: Shots in the Dark, JackQuest: The Tale of the Sword, and Life is Strange 2: Episode 2 – Rules.