Out this week: Death Stranding, Just Dance 2020, Need for Speed: Heat, Mario & Sonic: Tokyo 2020, more

Death Standing’s divisive reviews have been the talk of gaming town since last Friday. While the 85% Metacritic score is nothing to sniff at, with such words as “stunning” and “epic” being bandied about, it has also been said that it suffers from repetition.

So heavily, in fact, that EDGE couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to finish it, resulting in in the long-running magazine forgoing a review.

It seems that if you’re a Hideo fan it should be purchased without hesitation. However, if you’re expecting something resembling Metal Gear Solid, ergo a conventional video game, then you may be left scratching your head. The less-than-positive reviews also claim that “it’s weird for the sake of being weird” (or words to that effect.)

Nintendo continues their winning streak this week with a triple whammy of big-name titles – mini-game collection Disney Tsum Tsum Festival, 3DS remake Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and The Millionaires’ Conspiracy, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020.

If the sight of Luigi playing rugby wasn’t enough, 16-bit style mini-games are one of Tokyo 2020’s big new features, giving the world the Mega Drive/SNES crossover we never received in the ‘90s.

Sticking with Nintendo, Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2020 gives the humble Wii one last hurrah. This must be the final release, surely? It’s also out on PS4, Xbox One and Switch. We’ve included the trailer, with the tracklisting, below.

A couple of yuletide licensed games are upon us too – Garfield Kart: Furious Racing and Jumanji: The Video Game. We have a feline (feeling) Garfield Kart is a remake. We can’t find the enthusiasm to Google it for ourselves. The initial trailer failed to generate much excitement. In fact, the only thing it did generate was a bunch of memes.   

Then there’s the city-based Need for Speed: Heat, entailing a rogue police force. This generation’s NFS games haven’t been too exciting so far. Hopefully, this will provide a change of pace.

Also look out for the time-travelling beat’em up Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san!: A River City Ransom Story, the well-received pixel art shooter Valfaris, Xbox One mini-Metroidvania Alwa’s Awakening, and a re-release of the legendary shooter STURMWIND EX.

New release showcase

Death Standing

10/10 – Push Square: It may become slightly tiresome as you hit the halfway mark, but the phenomenal narrative is on hand to pick things back up again and its outstanding visuals are the cherry on top. Death Stranding doesn’t raise the bar for any particular genre, it creates an entirely new one.

10/10 – TSA: Death Stranding is like nothing I have ever played; beautiful, heart racing, heart breaking, frustrating, epic, stunning, and utterly nuts. I laughed, I cried, I cursed, and I went to the toilet an awful lot. Death Stranding isn’t just my Game of the Year, it’s a contender for Game of the Generation too.

9/10 – GameSpot: It is a dense, complex, slow game with a plot that really goes places, but at its core, it never stops being about the sheer power and purpose we can find in human connection, and that is its most remarkable achievement.

8/10 – VideoGamer: Death Stranding is filled with things that must be seen, a sprawling, genre-spanning sci-fi adventure from a developer like no other. Its tackier clumps of writing and stunt casting seem overwrought, but its direction and its stars shine brightest

8/10 – Destructoid: Death Stranding is not the overly-strange inaccessible walled garden the marketing has made it out to be. It’s weird, don’t get me wrong! But anyone with a surface-level understanding of surrealism in art should be able to acclimate to what is essentially a playable Hollywood production.

7.0 – GameInformer: It’s the normal Kojima mix of twists-and-turns, tropes, and overbearing themes, but at least I like that it explores real-world topics like the theory of multiple dimensions and key events in the history of the planet’s biodiversity. Like Sam himself, I often wasn’t sure why I kept going in Death Stranding. Maybe there was a little bit of pride in another task checked off the list, another job done. Unfortunately, this added up to little reward in the end.

7/10 – The Metro: A work of unbridled ambition and imagination but also a pretentious, contrived, and frequently quite dull gameplay experience – Death Stranding is peak Hideo Kojima.

6.8 – IGN: Death Stranding delivers a fascinating world of supernatural sci-fi, but its gameplay struggles to support its weight.

3/5 – VG247: At some specific story points, you’re whisked away to other places for exciting, one-off action sequences. These moments are huge standouts, but they come so late that I imagine a good portion of players would have fallen off by then. If you do manage to hold out, you will be rewarded with flashes of brilliance, it’s just that those flashes are buried as deep as the core story is buried in the endless dialogue

3.5/10 – Stevivor:  Being weird for the sake of weirdness isn’t enough — while Kojima hopes to hit the same level of work as David Lynch or Sam Lake (if we want to keep it in the same industry) he falls very short. Even if Death Stranding’s narrative was good — and it’s not — a game needs to have actual gameplay. What you find within is abysmal; frustrating, tedious and beyond repair, it is to be avoided at all costs.

Need For Speed: Heat

Just Dance 2020

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Disney Tsum Tsum Festival

New digital multi-format releases

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
  • Need for Speed Heat
  • Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san!: A River City Ransom Story
  • Jumanji: The Video Game
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Dragonhold
  • Just Dance 2020
  • Blacksad: Under the Skin
  • Garfield Kart: Furious Racing
  • Asdivine Kamura
  • Football Game
  • Light Fairytale Episode 1
  • MechaNika

New on PSN

  • Death Stranding
  • Valfaris
  • Audica
  • Vektor Wars
  • Blind Spot
  • Lithium: Inmate 39 Relapsed Edition
  • The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game
  • PBA Pro Bowling
  • WILL: A Wonderful World

New on Xbox One store

  • Alwa’s Awakening
  • Wizards of Brandel
  • Tanky Tanks

New Nintendo retail releases

  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020
  • Garfield Kart: Furious Racing
  • Just Dance 2020
  • Disney Tsum Tsum Festival
  • A Hat in Time
  • Super Street: Racer
  • Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and The Millionaires’ Conspiracy

Next week: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Pokemon Sword/Shield, Terminator: Resistance, Off Road Racing, Romancing SaGa 3, Bee Simulator, Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time VR, Ping Pong Pro, Yaga, Last Labyrinth, The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets, Tokyo Ghoul: re Call to Exist, Sparklite, ASTRONEER, Woven, Spider Solitaire F, Fractured Minds, and Tokyo Warfare Turbo.

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