It’s one of those rare weeks where almost every genre known to man is covered, meaning there’s something bound to please even the most conservative of tastes.
Super Mario Maker 2 leads the way, adding new themes and the ability for two players to create a course at the same time on a single device. We’ll take a better look on Thursday during our weekly eShop round-up. Our only concern is how online play works – in fear of ruining leaderboards, restrictions are in place when playing with friends.
Perhaps the most pleasing thing about this week’s new release assortment is that the major releases have all received positive reviews. Samurai Shodown has surprised many, offering a refined package with no fluff or filler. It’s gaining some very favourable comparisons with the fan favourite Street Fighter IV in terms of content and style. If you purchase it this week, you also get the Season 1 Pass for free too.
SEGA’s Judgment is a new Yakuza all but in name, putting a detective spin on things. It has all the silliness we’ve come to expect, only now there are new investigation bits and lockpicking mini-games. Lots and lots of lockpicking. However, nothing has been taken away from the Yakuza series, only added to.
F1 2019 also makes a pitstop. While it is very similar to F1 2018, as you’d expect, the refined handling model, new F2 mode, and other improvements have made F1 fans very happy, resulting in 9/10s from both God is a Geek and GameSpew.
For those seeking something different, there’s the court-sim We. The Revolution, set during a turbulent time in a changing France. Our review went live a couple of days ago. While we enjoyed the courtroom aspects, with their tough decisions to make, the strategic elements outside the courthouse sadly made the package feel bloated. Other reviews are more positive, as you can see for yourself below.
There’s plenty of other stuff to get stuck into as well, including BigBen’s Lovecraftian detective thriller The Sinking City, and the “highly realistic” Car Mechanic Simulator. Switch owners get a belated release of Bloodstained, too.
Finally, there are a few new additions to the PlayStation Hits line, including Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition and NIOH. Both are available for a mere £15.99 each on Amazon. We may even these two back in the UK chart next Monday.
New release showcase
9/10 – PSU: A sizeably riotous spin-off to Sega’s Yakuza franchise, Judgment combines the series penchant for balancing seriousness and absurdity with a hyper-engaging central protagonist whose deeply charismatic persona freshens the whole affair up massively. Judgment is a toweringly good offering then, and one that we hope leads to its own series with leading man Yagami at the forefront.
8.5 – PlayStation Lifestyle: Longtime Yakuza fans have a lot to look forward to here. But, admittedly, having a new setting, new characters, and new mechanics laid over top of the same framework dulls some of that “fresh” feeling. It’s a totally new story from Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, but it isn’t a totally new game. And that’s totally fine.
8.2 – IGN: Judgment is a superficial detective experience, but an extremely good Yakuza one.
8/10 – PlayStation Country: Judgment offers more of the same for Yakuza fans, with a slight hint of detective gameplay. Those looking for a deviation from the formula may be disappointed but it has the same strengths as Yakuza, with a new set of enjoyable characters and a strong, gripping crime drama narrative.
7/10 – The Metro: Judgment is rough around the edges and not every mechanic is as enjoyable as you might hope, but that too is very much in keeping with the Yakuza series as a whole. The franchise is set to get an overhaul with the next Yakuza, which will feature a new main character, and we wonder whether Judgment might have benefited from releasing after that rather than before. It’s more than good enough to justify a sequel though, not to mention encourage other games to explore the sorely underrepresented world of the private dick.
9/10 – God is a Geek: Last year’s game was brilliant and I genuinely wasn’t sure Codemasters could top it, but F1 2019 offers the best handling and the most content of any game in the series. The inclusion of F2 only adds to the experience, offering a fresh challenge and a new way to enter the improved and expanded career mode. Not only is Codemasters’ latest the best representation of F1, I think it’s fair to say that F1 2019 can go wheel-to-wheel with the best racing games out there.
9/10 – GameSpew: For F1 fans, the improvements and new content found in F1 2019 make it an absolute must-buy. It’ll feel familiar in many ways, but everything is just so polished and refined that it won’t bother you all that much.
4.5/5 – GameRevolution: Simply put, F1 2019 is fantastic. There’s enough here to take you well into next season (and beyond), while the Career Mode has finally shaken off the cobwebs to emerge as a genuinely thrilling highlight that players will pump hours and days into. Things aren’t perfect, sure. The Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost add-ons are too pricey, the press interviews are too one-note, and there’s no fully-updated Formula 2 2019 season on launch, but it’s hard to turn your nose up at an exceptional recreation of one of the world’s most adrenaline-pumping sports.
7/10 – Push Square: F1 2019 takes all the elements of the previous games and adds a very thin layer of polish. The introduction of F2 makes Career Mode a little more exciting, and the racing gameplay and graphics are still top notch, but there’s no getting away from the fact that this is really just F1 2018 again.
8.5 – PSU: Samurai Shodown returns, and it’s just as great as it’s ever been. Casual fighting game fans will have a hard time adjusting to the mechanics of Shodown. Those who stick with it will find a deep and rewarding fighter that makes every strike and every move as important as the finishing blow.
8.2 – IGN: Archaic story mode and load times aside, Samurai Shodown succeeds as a fundamentals driven 2D fighting game.
8/10 – Push Square: Samurai Shodown is back and it’s arguably better than ever. SNK has delivered a truly gripping fighting game where the tides can turn in an instant, and it’s this constant sense of tension that creates a uniquely electric experience. Against a backdrop of faster paced, combo-heavy fighters, Samurai Shodown stands out as a deliberate and excellently judged duelling simulator. Against a worthy opponent, there’s simply nothing quite like it on PS4.
8/10 – Destructoid: Nothing in this game feels like fluff or pure spectacle. Maybe the super specials have elongated animations, but they can only be used once per match and will pause the timer when playing out. The overhead “surprise” attack might not be effective at every moment, but it’s another tool in your repertoire that leads to diverse mind games.
7/10 – Xbox Tavern: Samurai Shodown marks the return of a beloved classic, and although not quite as refined nor as deep as its modern contemporaries, the game proves that there’s still plenty of life in the franchise yet. Through staying faithful to the series’ roots, Samurai Shodown offers up a different kind of fighter, one that retains the strategic action and high levels of tension that put this saga on the radar to begin with. Whilst not great, it’s certainly bold and unique.
We. The Revolution
8.5 – Nintendo Enthusiast: Providing this sort of perspective to this violent era of history is something which games haven’t really done prior to now. While We. The Revolution could never be defined as “fun” entertainment, it’s a satisfying addition to the Switch library that pushes the envelope on what video games can be.
8/10 – PSU: With its captivating and highly-original setting, engrossing story, and eye-catching visual style, We. The Revolution is without question one of year’s more intriguing titles. If not for the lack of polish and depth of its courtroom sections, coupled with a handful of minor issues, We. The Revolution would be well deserving of a place on anyone’s 2019 must-buy list.
4/5 – The Xbox Hub: If you’re after something very different, very in-depth and very unique then We. The Revolution is well worth taking in.
7/10 – Nintendo Life: Much of We. The Revolution may feel like busy work for a lot of people. You’ll spend so much of the game reading through reams of text and managing stats that we can confidently state that it’s definitely not for everyone. As an insight into the hardships of the French Revolution, however, it’s an incredibly authentic, thoughtful experience, and those with even a lick of interest in history will find a lot to love here.
Super Neptunia RPG
7.1 – VideoChums: Super Neptunia RPG does a solid job of providing an innovative blend of Metroidvania exploration and fresh JRPG combat with cool twists. However, it could definitely benefit from a lot of tweaks so hopefully, we’ll get a more ironed out sequel down the road.
7/10 – Nintendo Life: Super Neptunia RPG actually has more in common with South Park: The Fractured But Whole than it does more traditional RPGs, simply because it takes systems that can often be a little too complicated and makes them far more palatable for players hoping for a more casual experience. Combat can often drift a little too far into the casual zone – especially with the ability to speed up battles – but the strength of its environmental design and the light-hearted nature of its quests helps this spin-off hold a lot more weight than some of the throwaway cash-ins that have graced PS Vita in recent years.
2.5/5 – Pocket Gamer: Super Neptunia RPG isn’t very good. Play SteamWorld Quest for a decent 2D RPG, or Octopath Traveller. Just don’t bother with this
New digital multi-format releases
- Car Mechanic Simulator
- Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka With Love
- The Sinking City
- Monster Jam Steel Titans
- War Tech Fighters
- Attack of The Toy Tanks
New on PSN
- Akash: Path of the Five
- Counter Fight 3
- Kid Tripp
- Medusa and Her Lover
- Nekopara Vol.3
- Paper Dolls Original
- Pool Nation FX
- Super Neptunia RPG
New on Xbox One store
- Outbreak: Lost Hope
- Shadow Fencer Theater
New Switch retail releases
- Super Mario Maker 2
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
- Super Neptunia RPG
- MotoGP 19
Next week: Sea of Solitude, OVIVO, Illusion of L’Phalcia, They Are Billions, Stranger Things 3: The Game, A.O.T.2 Final Battle, Fort Boyard, Sairento VR, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, and Red Faction Guerilla Re-Mars-Tered on Switch.