Out this week: Puyo Puyo Champions, Shakedown Hawaii, Brief Battles, Life is Strange 2: Episode 3, more

SEGA’s Puyo Puyo Champions is now available on PS4, Switch, Xbox One and PC for a surprisingly low £7.99. Unfortunately, there is a catch – it’s a very slim package, without even a tutorial to speak of.

Some critics even claim that if you already own Puyo Puyo Tetris, then you may want to give this a miss. Achievement/Trophy hunters may want to pick up regardless, though.

Speaking of small packages, four-player party game Brief Battles is also out now. As the pun-tastic name suggests, it’s all about pants. Review scores are positive so far, although it does appear to suffer from being local play only. It’s still worth a look, we reckon, especially considering all future updates will be free.

Then there’s the eagerly awaited Shakedown Hawaii, Vblank’s 16-bit style follow up to the open-world GTA alike Retro City Rampage. It’s a game a long time coming (we’re pretty sure it was one of the first indie titles to be revealed for the Switch), and it appears to be worth the wait. “You get quite a bit of game for your money and there is a lot to do in this uncanny little title,” said PlayStation Universe. We’ve rounded up scores below.

Life is Strange 2: Episode 3 is another long-anticipated release, finally out this Thursday. This episode sees the lead characters take to the woods to escape their troubles.

Sadly, there’s another long wait ahead for the remaining two episodes. Episode 4 isn’t due until August, while the finale is currently down for a December(!) release. Talk about keeping fans waiting.

Finally, there are a few belated conversions. Cartoon-like adventure The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business makes its way to Xbox One, while Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package is out on Switch this Friday, both at retail and on the eShop.

We reviewed the Switch version of Bertram Fiddle some time ago, awarding it a lukewarm 6/10. “I ended up feeling like this was a TV show I really wanted to watch, but not particularly a game I wanted to play,” said our man Rich.

New release showcase:

Puyo Puyo Champions

8/10 – GameSpew: For fans of Puyo Puyo then, picking up Puyo Puyo Champions should be a no-brainer. Those with only a passing interest who already own Puyo Puyo Tetris, however, might not really get much out of it. Playing against the CPU is bound to lose its appeal eventually, which leaves Puyo Puyo Champion‘s local and online multiplayer modes being the main draw. But for not much more than the price of a couple of coffees, that shouldn’t be much of an issue.

7.5 – VideoChums: Puyo Puyo Champions offers familiar and fun competitive puzzle gameplay with a huge selection of delightful characters. That being said, the overall lack of substantial content and options makes it a somewhat limiting experience.

7/10 – Nintendo Life: Puyo Puyo Champions ably covers the essentials of the series at a great price point. The inclusion of the Fever ruleset provides something of interest for veteran players and the most enthusiastic of new fans created by Puyo Puyo Tetris, and should be at least considered for any party game library. However, the lack of other single or multiplayer modes or a real tutorial make this less of a definitive entry-point or second helping for newly created casual fans than it perhaps could be.

Shakedown Hawaii

8.5 – GameSpace: Shakedown Hawaii one-ups Retro City Rampage in almost every way, and is most certainly a must-play on the Nintendo Switch. Heck, it’s a must-play on every system, because Vblank made sure to put it on just about everything. If you like things that are fun, you’re not going to have much bad to say about this one. It would have been nice to pick from a man or a woman main character, but that’s about the largest complaint I can levy. Go get this game.

8.5 – PSU: Shakedown: Hawaii builds on its predecessor by improving its visuals and music massively. It does keep the unique humour, story and over the top action though, while the city building systems are a welcomed addition and I feel most players will enjoy what’s on offer. You get quite a bit of game for your money and there is a lot to do in this uncanny little title.

7/10 – Push Square: Despite some repetitive mission design, Shakedown: Hawaii manages to entertain in much the same way as its predecessor. It swaps out pop culture references for jibes at the modern world, and it’s an angle that slots right into the GTA-esque design. The business management aspects are what will keep you hooked, with each day bringing you more and more cash to splash. Its brand of action is simple but satisfying, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the game if you’re after some breezy open world antics — just don’t expect it to blow your socks (and sandals) off.

Brief Battles

9.0 – PlayStation Lifestyle: Brief Battles is a fun party game that is easy to pick up and play, while also being rewarding to master. The novel ability to be able to climb along most surfaces inspired some great level design, while still being approachable. A large variety of levels, and even plenty of solo/co-op modes, ensures Brief Battle’s replayability. Juicy Cupcake has created a whimsical game everyone can get into, that is far deeper than its simple controls and silly sense of humor betray.

4/5 – Screen Rant: Brief Battles offers a specific kind of experience and it does its job very well. The couch gaming experience has fallen out of favor with a lot of developers, who choose to focus on online gaming over everything else, and Brief Battles helps to fill that gap in the market. It’s just a shame that there isn’t an online component or a beefier single-player campaign, as they would have given Brief Battles a lot more playability outside of its main niche. As it stands, Brief Battles aims to do one thing, but it does it incredibly well.

New digital multi-format releases:

Life is Strange 2: Episode 3 – Wastelands
Reverse Crawl
Lovecraft’s Untold Stories
For the King
My Big Sister

New on PSN:

Ugly Dolls: An Imperfect Adventure
Doughlings: Arcade

New on Xbox One store:

The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business
Legend of the Tetrarchs
ASCENDANCE: First Horizon
Super Space Serpent: Secondary Edition
Woodle Tree Adventures

New Nintendo retail releases

Saints Row: The Third – The Full Package
Mortal Kombat 11
Farm Expert 2019 for Nintendo Switch

Next week: Rage 2, A Plague Tale: Innocence, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, Bubsy: Paws on Fire, Castlevania Anniversary Collection, Feudal Alloy, Undead Horde, Darkwood, Redout, Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Edition, and Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut.

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