While we’re grateful for Obsidian’s Pentiment, it has ended up being the only first-party Xbox exclusive for the holiday season. In place of a new Halo, Gears, Forza, Fable or a Rare IP revival, High On Life steps in as a replacement. This comical first-person shooter – set in a world where weapons can talk – was once primed as a Stadia exclusive until MS snapped it up. At least MS has the foresight to plug gaps in the release schedule.
High On Life comes from Justin Roiland, the creator of Rick and Morty, and as such features similar humour and near-constant impromptu bickering between characters. Preview footage raised some concerns – if you aren’t fond of the back-and-fourths between Rick and Morty, you may find dialogue here fatiguing too. The game itself looks suitably next-gen, though, set in a vast, vibrant world with plenty to catch your eyeholes. There are seven hours of animated shorts to watch back at your bounty hunter HQ too.
Square-Enix’s big winter release is also out this week. Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion is available on all formats – even Switch – despite Final Fantasy VII Remake remaining a PlayStation exclusive. It’s a remake of a PSP action RPG, tying Zack, Cloud, and Sephiroth’s backstories together. Reviews went live early last week and were generally positive, being a mixture of 7s, 8s, and 9s.
Other releases include the open sea adventure Wavetale, dating sim Raptor Boyfriend: A High School Romance, Annapurna’s critically acclaimed first-person platformer Neon White on PS4, GRIS on PS5, the next-gen versions of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Wayforward’s River City Girls 2, shoot ’em up Cassiodora, and Focus’ dark fairy tale adventure Blacktail.
We were anticipating Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission, but it appears to have gone AWOL. Given that the first batch of screens looked a little ropey, a delay is probably for the best. Did you know the original Operation Wolf was a Christmas no.1 for Ocean back in 1988?
Finally, there’s new hardware to mull over. The Evercade gets a ‘glow-up’ with the new EXP handheld, boasting an improved screen, vertical play, and built-in Capcom titles. Two new carts launch alongside it – IREM Arcade 1, with six games including R Type and In The Hunt, and Toaplan Cartridge 1 with Snow Bros, Truxton, and more.
New release trailers
Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion
High On Life
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Complete Edition
Raptor Boyfriend: A High School Romance
River City Girls 2
Kawaii Slime ARENA
New multiformat releases
- Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition
- Raptor Boyfriend: A High School Romance
- Aery – Path of Corruption
- Akai Katana Shin
- River City Girls 2
New on PSN
- GRIS – PS5
- Neon White
- Azure Striker Gunvolt 3
- Arcade Archives PAC-MANIA
- Rush Hour® Deluxe Edition – The ultimate traffic jam game!
- Broken Lines
- Kawaii Slime ARENA
- VR Pigeons
New on Xbox Store
- High On Life
- Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily
- Formula Retro Racing: World Tour
- Vampire Survivors: Legacy of the Moonspell
- It’s Kooky
- Potion Craft
- Box Align X
- Alphadia Neo
New Switch retail releases
eShop round-up coming Thursday
- Crisis Core: FFVII Reunion
- Evercade EXP handheld
- Evercade Toaplan Cartridge 1
- Evercade IREM Arcade 1
Next week: VALKYRIE PROFILE: LENNETH, Project Snaqe, Wally and the FANTASTIC PREDATORS, 8-Ball Pocket, Grappling Dash, Pure Chase 80’s, Cubic Light, Wild Trax Racing, Speedway Racing, Wave Break, and Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (PS4).