Monthly Gaming Update: June 2022

The month of June is going to be a hot one, in more ways than one! Not only will there be a slew of summer gaming news coming from all directions, like the Xbox Bethesda Showcase and Sony’s State of Play, but we have some big games dropping too!

June’s Highlights

Mario Strikers: Battle League - June 10th (Switch)

Mario Strikers is Back! Tackle, pass, and score in this action-packed sport where anything goes! Introducing Strike, a 5-on-5, soccer-like sport with no rules—do whatever it takes to win! Get gritty and try to score the most goals by tackling enemies, using items, and pulling off score-boosting Hyper Strikes. It has been 15 years since Mario Strikers Charged came out for the Wii, and it's about damn time we are getting a new entry! The Mario sports games can be hit or miss, but more often than not are still fun to play. I personally loved the original Mario Tennis on GameBoy Color, which was a deep sports RPG. I am not expecting that here, but nonetheless, I can’t wait to smash my friends’ faces with a soccer ball when I get my hands on this.

The Quarry - June 10th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

The Quarry is the latest horror choose your own adventure game from Supermassive Games, whose most popular game, Until Dawn, is revered by many as one of the best horror games. The Quarry looks to continue the legacy of interactive storytelling with a stellar cast including, Justice Smith and Ted Raimi. This time around, a group of teenagers have finished summer camp, and hunting season has begun, but they can’t leave yet and have to wait for help, and you guessed it, things start to go wrong. I have never been a fan of the cinematic horror games like these that feel more like watching a movie than playing a game. I may have to give The Quarry a go, though, as it looks proper scary.

Sonic Origins - June 22nd (PS4, Xbox, Switch)

The Blue Blur is everywhere now with the latest movie out and a new game on the way. So why not celebrate with a fresh collection of the original Sonic games (*cough* cause Sega’s not done that a dozen times). Sonic Origins is a collection of the original Sonic The Hedgehog 1, 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD, digitally remastered for current-generation platforms. Including the original versions and the updated Anniversary versions of the games and some slick new animation cutscenes to boot. There is some confusion over the various add-ons that will be available, but if you are a true blue Sonic fan, just get the deluxe edition for the extra $5, which includes everything!

Capcom Fighting Collection - June 24th (PS4, Xbox, Switch)

Fighting Fans rejoice for another Capcom collection. At least this one is packed with Darkstalkers, a personal favorite opposite Street Fighter. Capcom Fighting Collection features 10 arcade classics, including one of my personal favorite oddball puzzle games Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, which is like Tetris but with fighting. All of the games feature online play, quality of life updates, extra features, and a museum packed with concept art and music. Included in the collection will be Red Earth; originally released in arcades in 1996, this fighter will be making its home console debut. Bust out those fight sticks and relive the glory days or, like me, play a butt load of puzzle fighter!

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes - June 24th (Switch)

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is the follow-up to Fire Emblem Warriors that puts an action RPG spin on the classic strategy RPG series. Fans of Fire Emblem looking to take a more direct control to combat, look no further as Warriors has you on the battlefield laying waste to thousands of troops. Set in the world of Fire Emblem Three Houses, Three Hopes will have you experience compelling new storylines of the Azure Gleam, Scarlet Blaze, or Golden Wildfire. Join the characters from each house in epic real-time battles across Fódlan, develop your base camp, train, and prepare for battle.

June 2022’s Release Schedule

Samurai Riot - June 1st (Switch)

Loopers - June 2nd (Switch)

Wonder Boy Collection -  June 3rd (Switch)

SpellForce 3 Reforced - June 7th (PS4, Xbox, PC)

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba - The Hinokami Chronicles - June 10th (Switch)

Mario Strikers: Battle League - June 10th (Switch)

Metal Max Xeno Reborn - June 10th (PS4, Switch)

The Quarry - June 10th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

The House of the Dead: Remake - Limidead Edition - June 14th (Switch)

The Hand of Merlin - June 14th (Switch. PC)

Zorro the Chronicles - June 14th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch)

Horgihugh and Friends - June 16th (Switch)

Final Vendetta - June 17th (Xbox, Switch)

Omori - June 17th (PS4, Switch)

Fall Guys - June 21st (Xbox, Switch)

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle - June 21st (PS4, Xbox)

Shadowrun Trilogy - June 21st (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Wreckfest - June 21st (Switch)

Sonic Origins - June 22nd (PS4, Xbox, Switch)

AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative - June 24th (PS4, Xbox, Switch)

Capcom Fighting Collection - June 24th (PS4, Xbox, Switch)

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes - June 24th (Switch)

Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei - June 28th (Switch)

Disgaea 6: Complete -  June 28th (PS4, PS5)

DNF Duel - June 28th (PS4, PS5)

F1 22 - June 28th (PS5, Xbox)

MX vs ATV Legends - June 28th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

Oxide Room 104 - June 28th (PS4)

Squish - June 28th (Switch)

Tour de France 2022 - June 28th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

Fobia - St. Dinfna Hotel - June 30th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

My Universe: Green Adventure Farmer Friends - June 30th (Switch)

Outriders: Worldslayer - June 30th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

Rabbids Part of Legends - June 30th (PS4, Xbox, Switch, Stadia)

WWI Isonzo: Italian Front - June 30th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

Miss last month's update? Check out May 2022’s releases right here!

What will you be playing this month?

Sony Bought Bungie- Is it Cause for Concern?

Sony Bought Bungie- what could this mean?

We are barely into 2022, and what a year it has been for gaming acquisitions already! On January 19th, Microsoft announced they were buying Activision Blizzard, best known for World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, for a pretty price tag of $68.7 billion. See fellow Couch Soup contributor Dan Morris’ take on this HERE!

Not to be outdone, on January 31st, it was announced that Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) was to acquire Bungie, the gaming studio best known for massive RPGs such as Halo and now Destiny. This seemingly random purchase seems to be another chess move in the acquisition match against Microsoft. Pete Parsons, CEO of Bungie, released a statement that said, “Today, Bungie begins our journey to become a global multi-media entertainment company.”  He went on to discuss the creative freedom SIE will be giving them as they continue to “…independently publish and creatively develop our games.”

Within the gaming community, this news was ‘greeted’ by shock. Not only was it kept unusually quiet, but Bungie only separated from its former publishing partnership with Activision/Blizzard two years ago, priding itself on its ability to operate as a fully independent studio. To say this was unexpected would be a disservice to the word ‘understatement.’ Destiny is Bungie’s most significant IP, with over 10 million Guardians logging in to save humanity from the Darkness over the past seven years. There is a rightful reason to be concerned for those players who play on a platform other than Sony’s own PlayStation. There have been many historical instances of platform-exclusive features appearing first on PlayStation, with many exclusive rights lasting over one year before being released to other platforms, creating a strong dividing rift in the player community. This acquisition comes only three weeks before one of the biggest expansions in the Destiny 2 universe, the much-anticipated Witch Queen, which already has nearly 1 million preorders. The last thing Bungie needs is a more divided community and preorder cancellations. 

On the other side, Bungie just spent years getting cross-save and cross-play functionality enabled and perfected. It’s doubtful that it will be retracted or that Destiny 2 will become an exclusive title to the PlayStation console any time soon. As seen in the photo below, the game will stay on all current platforms and expand to NEW platforms, whatever that means.

Note the description beneath #1: ..expand to new platforms. Something in development at Sony?

There was a lot of speculation about the reasoning behind the purchase, at $3.6 billion, which seems like a lot for a single studio. It was revealed that about one-third of that, or $1.2 billion, will be paid to keep the developers from jumping ship. What we need to remember is Sony bought Bungie, not Destiny. Sony has been itching to expand into other media outlets, such as TV. They announced at their investor presentation that they want to release 10 live service games in the next four years, according to this Kotaku article. That would be difficult to achieve without experienced developers like those at Bungie. There is also talk of a game already in development that Sony has seen and wants to have a hand in. While only theories, for now, we will see the true reasoning behind the secretive acquisition as the cards drop over the next many months and years

Pop-Culture Predictions #2

Hi, I'm Drew, a big nerd who happens to run a hybrid marketing and production company. I lead content and brand strategy and use data to build insights that inform our clients' business decisions. In this weekly series, I'm going to pick a couple of pop-culture IPs and make a bold prediction based on past experience, real-time data, and a boatload of moxie. Here we go...

Prediction - DC Films & WB will double down on adult oriented streaming Superhero shows and win

The first part of this prediction is a bit of a layup as far as predictions go. Peacemaker has made some waves in viewership according to Parrot Analytics who said the show was the most in-demand original stream TV series in the world as of January 22. In numbers that's 69.5 times more in demand than the average series. (When they say average I'm assuming they're talking about Netflix's "Cooking With Paris" which is a dumpster fire of an idea for a show.) That said, this is a huge win for DC/WB who in the past has struggled to find a tone and premium storytelling that works for their TV universe. Someone smart must have shown them this Venn Diagram for success.

This leads me to the second part of my prediction - If they stick to the above formula and stop making superhero shows for everyone below the age of 21 (Say hi and bye CW's The Flash, Batwoman, Supergirl, The Legends of Tomorrow), I can really see DC carving out a winning set of shows on a premium channel like HBO that knows how to make really really good TV. For context on how good HBO is at making good content; They spend about 1/5th the amount of money on shows than Netflix yet walk home with more Emmy awards than any other platform on average.

Bottom Line: The fans want violent and real superhero shows (exhibit A: The Boys, Invincible), but they want them with their comic book icons like Green Lantern (a series currently in development) and perhaps Justice League Dark (also in development). I'll leave you with a final chart aka nail in the coffin for CW superhero shows and the sub-par "Titans" show compared to the recent Peacemaker in terms of interest online over two years. Hint... "Peacemaker" leaves them in the dust.

Volume of interest over 2 years of The Flash, Supergirl, DC Legends of Tomorrow, Titians, and Peacemaker.

Prediction - Valves Steam Deck will be another Atari Lynx disaster

A quick history lesson for anyone below the age of 40. Back in the 80s, the Atari Corporation was a titian in the gaming industry. Having released the Atari 7800 and 2600 which were both huge hits along with a series of popular gaming hits (hello Tetris) they were raking in $452 million dollars a year and looking to the future of gaming. They needed something big since they knew a little company called Nintendo was releasing the Nintendo Entertainment System and a charismatic plumber. So Atari puts all its efforts into mobile gaming. Like, bet the farm big. Enter the Atari Lynx, a handheld gaming console with 16bit color graphics that would retail for $180 (which is equivalent to about $380 today). I'll make a long story short and just say it didn't work out well for Atari cause Nintendo launched the Gameboy and ate their lunch selling 16 million Gameboys to Atari's 3 million Lynx. Some tend to think that ET killed Atari, it was actually over-investing in the Lynx. They actually made a Lynx II (silly rabbit) hoping for the best I suppose.

Enter Valve and their very impressive Steam Deck that promises to bring PC gaming quality and games to a mobile device. And damn if it doesn't look good. It also looks giant. I saw a guy holding one up to his head and it was no joke was as wide as the guy's shoulders. I suppose he could've been a small dude. Let's talk about price for a second. The el-cheapo model with only 64GB of space (which is like half of a Call of Duty Game these days) is $399. That's about $50 more than the OLED Nintendo Switch (yes, I know different audiences but they are both mobile game consoles). The prices go up from there to $529 and $649 respectively. If this is an IQ test for how to spend my money, I'm having a hard time justifying this investment. Steam clearly has a lot of R&D cash to have developed and built this beauty and pulling numbers from Statisa.com in 2020 they reached 120 million active players (wow!). I'm sure they did the math and thought if we just sold to 15% of those 120 million we'd be doing ok.

Number of monthly active users on steam worldwide from 2017 to 2020.

The difference is hardware is hard and supply chains are harder. There's a reason nobody has entered the arena against Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo (sorry Meta/Oculus) because it's hard to make margins on hardware alone (note the recent purchase of Blizzard Activision to prove my point). If Valve is somewhat successful in selling millions of Steam Decks I wouldn't want to be in the boardroom the moment Microsoft announces their handheld gaming device that plays PC and Xbox games.

Bottom Line: I applaud Valve's effort here but all signs point to this being a flash in the pan of an idea and execution that Valve, if smart, will quietly walk away from over the next few years slowly phasing out the production of these. Otherwise this could be the beginning of the end for Valve as we know it if history repeats itself.

Prediction - The Next James Bond Will Not Be Idris Elba or any A-List Actor

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Idris Elba will not be the next James Bond even though he would've been great. Here are a few reasons why.

I see the resemblance.

The script for the next film will more than likely determine the look and feel for the next bond more than anything. If we've seen anything in pop culture that represents the kind of debonair secret agent personality type for today's audiences look no further than the popular Netflix series Lupin and Omar Sy's eccentric but brilliant portrayal of an art thief. He's honestly a mix between Pierce Brosnan's charm and Timothy Dalton's wit. Unfortunately, he's French so MI6 won't be giving him his OO status. I honestly don't have a great prediction on who the next Bond will in fact be. I don't think we've seen him yet. There might be a film this year that comes out with a British star who just commands the screen as Craig did in Layer Cake.

Bottom Line: I am pretty confident that we won't see another Bond film for at least 5 years and it won't star Edris Elba or any current A-List British celebrity. The world needs to get through what it's going through now and I promise you they will wait for a perfect script and perhaps a series of scripts with an arc before launching into a new set of films. Or just go with what Insider.com says (Golding is dreamy).

I'll be back every few weeks with some more predictions. The value of a prediction is not accuracy (though it is better to be right than wrong), but the reasoning and conversation that the prediction catalyzes. Let me know if you think I'm right or wrong in the comments below!

Is The Marcus Fenix Collection Actually Happening?

As the die-hard Gears Of War fan that I am, I cannot express the excitement that filled my soul when I heard the latest Xbox news going around the internet.

On the latest episode of The XboxEra Podcast, reliable insider, Nick "Shepshal Nick" Baker shared during the Rumor Mill segment, news that Xbox is giving another Microsoft franchise "The Master Chief Collection" treatment. The two top predictions going around are that it's between Gears Of War or Fable.

I personally would not be upset if it were one or the other. Both game series helped define the Xbox into what it is today and well deserve the honor of having such treatment. As much as I think it could be Fable getting the collection treatment, I'm leaning more toward it being Gears. I don't expect the next installment of Gears to release for at least another few years due to developer The Coalition switching over to Unreal Engine 5. I see this as a way to keep fans interested in the IP until Gears 6 is ready to show itself.

The XboxEra Podcast | LIVE | Episode 93 - Taylored Experiences

Fans of the series would have an abundance of content to chew on for years if a "Marcus Fenix Collection" came out. Some features could possibly include the campaigns of all main Gears games, with even the inclusion of the spin-off Gears Judgment. Also, we could maybe see the return of the vast majority of maps from previous titles that would provide countless hours of fun between online VS and the ever-popular Horde mode. At the moment there is no word on when it may be released, but if I were to guess I would say either holiday 2022 or early 2023. Regardless of if it's Gears or Fable, you can bet that you will see me among the millions of Gears fans on day one playing it feverishly.

Which Microsoft franchise do you think is getting the Master Chief Collection treatment? Is it Gears, Fable, or something completely different? Let me know in the comments below.

Monthly Gaming Update: November 2021

November is here and that means your wallet may run and hide as the holiday release window for games comes swinging for it. This is the time when most games release to be ready for the holidays and although Covid restrictions have slowed things down some, that didn't stop this year's massive list of releases. A barrage of some of gaming's biggest titles are coming at you, from FPS heavy hitters like Call of Duty and Battlefield to a slew of classic remasters. There is plenty to keep us busy on the upcoming holidays.


November’s Highlights

Call of Duty: Vanguard - Nov 5th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Call of Duty: Vanguard sees the long-running series return to World War 2 again. Sledgehammer Games, the studio that developed Advanced Warfare and WWII, is returning to the global conflict that was World War II. Experience an immersive and visceral campaign as you take on the role of a group of soldiers across several countries while they take on the greatest threats to freedom. The trailer looks to offer a riveting and intense story, one that may distract from the PvP. Returning is Call of Duty’s signature Multiplayer experience as well as an all-new Zombies that has been developed by the father of Zombies, Treyarch.

 

Forza Horizon 5 - Nov 9th (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, Gamepass)

Forza has been Xbox’s flagship car series since the original Xbox. The Horizon series has grown to be one of the biggest racing adventure games available and Forza Horizon 5 looks to be the biggest and most stunning game yet! Playground Games invites you to a realistic open-world recreation of parts of Mexico, to drive hundreds of the world's greatest cars in an ever-evolving and vibrant landscape. Developed for Xbox Series X|S, Forza Horizon 5 will feature 4k Ultra HD visual, 60 FPS, and Ray Tracing. It will also release on Xbox One, PC, and Cloud and will be playable for Gamepass subscribers on November 9th. For racing fans, Forza and Forza Horizon, are games you do not want to miss!

Jurassic World Evolution 2 - Nov 9th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a dinosaur management simulation by Frontier. Building on the success of 2018’ Jurassic World Evolution, the much-anticipated sequel takes place after the events of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom and features iconic characters, including Dr. Ian Malcom (voiced by Jeff Goldblum). Evolution 2 has you lead the efforts to control and contain rampaging dinosaurs around the USA. Contain the dinosaurs and wow your park guests with new and deeper management tools, new buildings, and new locations. A new Chaos Theory mode lets you relive iconic moments from the films, with a twist. Bioengineer more than 75 different prehistoric species that feel more alive and interact intelligently. If you liked playing with dinosaurs as a kid, you will want to check out Jurassic World Evolution 2 when it releases this November.

 

Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition (Digital) - Nov 11th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

The granddaddy of open-world games that started it all, comes back with updated visuals and controls for GTA III, GTA: Vice City, and GTA: San Andreas. All three classic titles in one package for a new generation will be available digitally, November 11th with a physical release to come in December. Featuring across-the-board visual enhancements while maintaining the original aesthetic, and GTAV-inspired controls, whether you would be playing for the first time or revisiting since the originals, there has never been a better way to experience these three titans of gaming. Each game will be available individually if you prefer only one and Gamepass members will be able to play the Definitive edition of San Andreas on the release day. Whereas,  PS Now members will be able to play GTA III Definitive edition on Dec 7th.

Battlefield 2042 - Nov 19th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Battlefield 2042 is the return of the iconic Battlefield series, returning with dynamically changing battlegrounds, support for up to 128 players on Next-Gen consoles and PC, and some all-new ways to play. New modes such as Battlefield Portal and Hazard Zone give players a diverse selection and customization to truly experience those “Only in Battlefield” moments. The new Battlefield Portal allows you to make your own experience with elements and weapons from past Battlefield games. Create and customize to play with anything and everything, all in the new 2042 engine. Hazard Zone is Battlefield's unique take on Battle Royale. Combining elements from games like Apex Legends and Warzone, but with the distinct Battlefield intensity. A Squad-based survival mode, utilize Specialist characters with unique abilities to insert, retrieve, and extract the Data Drives before the other squads. Battlefield 2042 looks to pay homage to what has made the series great and give fans what they want most. Charge up your defibrillator paddles for when it launches on November 19th.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond / Shining Pearl- Nov 19th (Switch)

Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl are two of the most beloved Nintendo DS pokemon games ever made and now, they are back! These two classic DS games have been reimagined for a new generation of Pokemon fans for the Nintendo Switch. Fans of the originals will be pleased to see that the remakes have faithfully recreated the region of Sinnoh and the original story while adding features from newer Pokemon games. The remaster will have updated visuals to reflect modern games, up-close-and-personal Pokemon battles, and new ways to spend time with your pokemon. In traditional Pokemon fashion, each game will be available separately for $59.99 USD each or you can get a double pack of both games for $119.98 USD. Either way, Pokemon fans new and old have plenty of fun and adventure to look forward to when Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shiny Pearl release on November 19th.

What will you be playing this November? Will any of these games be on your Christmas list? Let us know what you are playing and what you think about them.


November 2021 Release Schedule


For everything else releasing this month, here is the full list.

Cupid Parasite - Nov 2nd (Switch)

Hell Let Loose (Physical) - Nov 2nd (Xbox)

The Binding of Isaac: Repentance - Nov 3rd (Xbox)

Demon Turf - Nov 4th (Xbox, Switch, PC)

Just Dance 2022 - Nov 4th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch)

Call of Duty: Vanguard - Nov 5th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Blue Reflection: Second Light - Nov 9th (PS4, Switch)

Disney Classic Games Collection - Nov 9th (PS4, Xbox, Switch) 

Forza Horizon 5 - Nov 9th (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, Gamepass)

Instant Sports Winter Games - Nov 9th (Switch)

Jurassic World Evolution 2 - Nov 9th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Nov 9th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

My Singing Monsters Playground - Nov 9th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition (Digital) - Nov 11th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Pups & Purrs Animal Hospital - Nov 11th (Switch)

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic - Nov 11th (Switch)

Borderlands 3: Ultimate Edition - Nov 12th (PS5, Xbox Series X)

Shin Megami Tensei V - Nov 12th (Switch)

TY the Tasmanian Tiger HD and TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue HD Bundle - Nov 12th (Switch)

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One - Nov 15th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Battlefield 2042 - Nov 19th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Deluxe Edition (Physical) - Nov 19th (PS4)

Final Fantasy XIV Online Endwalker - Nov 19th (PS4, PS5, PC)

Nerf Legends - Nov 19th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch)

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond - Nov 19th (Switch)

Pokemon Shining Pearl - Nov 19th (Switch)

The Eternal Cylinder - Nov 19th (PS4, Xbox)

The Jackbox Party Pack 7 - Nov 19th (Xbox, Switch)

Farming Simulator 22 - Nov 22nd (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Gas Guzzlers Extreme - Nov 23rd (PS4, PS5, Switch)

My Universe: Interior Designer - Nov 23rd (PS4, Switch)

My Universe: Puppies and Kittens - Nov 23rd (PS4)

Cricket 22 - Nov 24th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

Evil Genius 2 - Nov 29th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

MXGP 2021 - Nov 29th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

Oddworld: Soulstorm Enhanced Edition - Nov 29th (Xbox)

Beyond A Steel Sky - Nov 30th (PS5, Switch)

Miss last month's update? Check out October 2021's releases right here!