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?

Kirby and the Forgotten Land Constructs a World of Liminal Space

“Liminal space” is a sort of niche, pseudo-architectural terminology frequently associated with creepy shit on the Internet. If you enjoy looking at weird Photoshop creations online (think Trevor Henderson), pictures of strange or “dying” places, or have a passing familiarity with, say, “The Backrooms” lore, you might already have some sort of idea about what a liminal space is.

The very concept of liminal spaces might be confusing to the uninitiated–but that’s kind of the whole point. According to good ol’ Merriam-Webster.com, the state of liminality is a descriptor for “an intermediate state, phase, or condition.” Liminality defines a state between states. It’s a snapshot of a longer, as-of-yet-incomplete metamorphosis.

Liminal spaces occur where physical locations have outlived their utility. Derelict and decrepit, these places still echo stories from when they were bustling with human activity. Even still, there’s an eerie otherworldliness to liminal spaces. Though these environments may be empty now, a truly liminal space feels ready to teem with new life, to embody a new existence entirely. In this way, the exploration of these spaces is equal parts awe-inspiring and disconcerting.

Green, murky water fills this dark and unused pool. It embodies the “state between states.”

It might be strange to associate liminal space with a character as cute as Kirby. He’s a powerful little pink puffball full of carefree whimsy! But avid Kirby fans know that the series has a dark side. Allies frequently betray the titular hero, final bosses often warp into eldritch horrors, and everything is never as it seems on Planet Popstar and the space it inhabits.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land continues the tradition of placing its namesake in mind-bending, horrific scenarios. In fact, this might be the darkest entry of the Kirby franchise to date. I don’t want to spoil the game for anyone who hasn’t given it a go yet, but Forgotten Land’s plot vaguely echoes a couple of story beats from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (yes, really).

This game builds a sense of dread throughout the world that the player has to traverse on the way to the end–where the true horrors lay in wait. The Forgotten Land is a world in flux, and the player has no choice but to confront the past through the struggles of the present. Every section of the world is trapped in its own unique in-between state, a singular snapshot in a history the player isn’t privy to.

The second set of levels in the game crosses industrialization with a beachside bay, leading out to the ocean.

The game guides the player through several familiar themes, warping them in ways that make them feel like distant pipe dreams. Towering cities are trellised with plant life, looking like a cartoonish rendition of something that might be seen in The Last of Us Part II. The oceans have swallowed up heavy-duty industrial equipment, leaving only the very tops of cranes and half-constructed platforms for Kirby to travel across. An entire gothic city is frozen over, pockmarked with flooded subways and frigid, wind-blasted skyscrapers straight out of The Day After Tomorrow.

All of these disparate vignettes are tied together under one common throughline: this land has been abandoned by the humans that left these structures behind, and Mother Nature is taking it back. Every liminal space in the Forgotten Land is a twisted amalgamation of the manmade and the natural.

The fourth set of levels includes a frigid, flooded train station. The contrast of the more cartoonish elements with the environment adds to the game’s bizarre feel.

The liminality of these spaces is indicative of Kirby’s journey through the Forgotten Land, too. The lil pink poyo was just ripped from his home planet, and all of his friends, the Waddle Dees, were taken captive right before his eyes. He suffers from a broken past and an uncertain future, much like the Forgotten Land itself.

The beautiful thing about Kirby and the Forgotten Land, of course, is that the player can always rest assured that Kirby will eke out a win by the end of the game. The haunting liminality of both the physical world and Kirby’s predicament is predetermined to be resolved when all is said and done, making it much easier to enjoy the bizarre atmosphere as the game builds up. After all, the player is supposed to feel good by the time they put the smackdown on the final boss. It’s a “kids’ game!” That’s sort of their whole M.O.

I love that HAL Laboratory, Inc. is always willing to take risks when designing Kirby games. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a joy to explore, fun to ponder over, and an absolute blast in general. I can only hope that we get a sequel jam-packed with just as much chillingly beautiful environmental design as this entry into the series!

These haunting transitory spaces can make all the difference in how memorable a game is to a player. Do any games you love implement liminal space into their environmental design? Let me know in the comments down below! I’d love to hear all about them!  

Monthly Gaming Update: May 2022

May is a slow month for big releases, but there are still a few worth mentioning or at least taking a look at. Some games of note include a samurai tale straight from a Kurosawa film, Bruce Campbell’s beautiful mug back in a video game, and a vampire game, but not the one you've been waiting for. Here are the games for May. 

May’s Highlights

Trek to Yomi - May 5th ( PS4, PS5, Xbox, Game Pass, PC) 

Trek to Yomi is an interactive game inspired by 50s and 60s Japanese cinema and films like Seven Samurai. You are Hiroki, a young and lone samurai who vowed to his dying master to protect his village. Experience Hiroki’s tale through a classic cinematic presentation, complete with black and white film and no color. Using camera angles and striking visuals from the classic films, engage your enemies with streamlined combat centered on traditional samurai weaponry. Any fan of samurai games or movies will enjoy this cinematic adventure, especially if you are like me and couldn't get enough of Ghost of Tsushima in Kurasawa mode. For Game Pass subscribers, Trek to Yomi will be available on day one, Yatta! 

(That’s Japanese for hooray)

Evil Dead: The Game - May 13th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Shop smart, shop S-mart! The first proper Evil Dead game since 2005s, Evil Dead Regeneration, is here, and it looks amazing (at least for those of us that like graphic horror games). Evil Dead: The Game is inspired by the three films and the Starz series Ash vs The Evil Dead. You can play as a number of characters, including deadites, all with varying abilities for their role type. The game has 4v1 multiplayer gameplay similar to Dead by Daylight but also features some solo missions giving a little more to fans. Bruce Campbell plays a big part in the game and its inception, voicing several different versions of Ash. Many of the original actors return to voice their digital counterparts as well. So grab your boomstick and some friends to fight the hoards of undead when Evil Dead comes to swallow your soul. Groovy! (There, one last reference to the movies)

Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong - May 19th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch. PC) *UPDATE Delayed to June

A new vampire RPG set in the World of Darkness universe (Not to be confused with the forthcoming Bloodlines 2, which is the one I am waiting for). Anyway, Vampire: The Masquerade Swansong has you playing as three different vampires, each with a different set of vampiric skills, as you try to uncover a plot that might expose all of vampire kind. Swansong is a narrative RPG that focuses on storytelling and unique vampire abilities to navigate the world and the people of Boston. This particular journey into the underbelly of the supernatural hierarchy looks reminiscent of Detroit: Become Human, and fans of games that focus on dialogue choices over gunfire may take a shine to this one. As this is not me, I will be biting my tongue instead of necks until Bloodlines 2 appears.

May 2022’s Release Schedule

Dungeon Defenders Awakening - May 3rd (PS4)

Trek to Yomi - May 5th ( PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC) 

Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters - May 5th (PC)

Elemental War 2 - May 6th (Xbox, PC)

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising - May 10th (Xbox. Switch, PC)

Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 2 - May 10th (Switch)

Salt and Sacrifice - May 10th (PS4, PS5, PC)

This War of Mine: Final Cut - May 10th ( PS5, Xbox Series X|S)

Evil Dead: The Game - May 13th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Instant Sports - May 13th (PS5, Switch)

DEADCRAFT - May 19th (Switch, PC)

Deliver Us The Moon - May 19th (PS5, Xbox Series X|S)

Souldiers - May 19th (PS4, PS5, Xbox) Switch, PC)

Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong - May 19th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch. PC) Delayed to June

Cotten Fantasy - May 20th (Switch)

Dolmen - May 20th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Relayer - May 20th (PS4, PS5)

Touken Ranbu Warriors May 24th (Switch)

Sniper Elite 5 - May 26th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Kao the Kangaroo - May 27th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure -  May 27th (PS4, Xbox, Switch)

Pac-Man Museum+ - May 27th (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

SnowRunner - May 31 (PS5, Xbox)

That’s it! A bit of a short month, but I am excited for a few of them. Honorable mention to Sniper Elite 5 which is a fun series. Let us know what you'll be playing in the comments. 

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

Faithful Remakes: A Pokémon Battle to Determine the Fate of the Franchise

For my 4th birthday, my mom got me a silver Nintendo Game Boy Advance. She packaged it up with whatever games she thought I’d be interested in. At the time, my small collection of odds and ends was mostly composed of those weird Disney ports that today's YouTubers make niche video retrospectives on. I have fond memories of playing Toy Story 2, Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure, and Spider-Man 2. But my crown jewel on the GBA was always Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire. I fell for that game hook, line, and sinker, and I’ve had a love for pocket monsters ever since.

Screenshot for Pokemon Pinball for Game Boy Advance
Pokémon Pinball was a blast. A fun game with a retro style that introduced me to the wonderful world of Pokémon!

Before my 6th birthday, I began seeing ads for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. GameFreak had me reeled in the first time that they flashed Dialga on the TV screen. I begged my mother for a Nintendo DS so I could play the shiny new game. My birthday was even more exciting than I expected as I was met with not just a Nintendo DS, not just the amazing new Pokemon Diamond, but with a copy of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team as well.

My dearest reader, I regale you with these tales so you can understand how truly invested I am in these games. I was basically learning how to read from Pokémon text boxes, and I was brute-forcing my way through these games without understanding what a "super effective" attack is. It took me months to beat these games because I frankly didn’t understand a thing. And yet I loved them! Some of the most foundational memories of my childhood stem from these games.

That’s why I approached the recent remakes for both games with cautious optimism. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX was released in March of 2020, a remake of that Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team game I got with my Nintendo DS. And Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were released in November of 2021, a remake of (believe it or not) Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the other games that meant so much to me.

Screenshot of a classic turn-based Pokemon battle between Chimchar and Starly on Game Boy Advance.
This literally became an integral part of how I learned to read.

I’m now 15 years removed from being that kid tapping away on his DS, and I’m far more jaded with the state of the games industry now. I’m not impervious to the sweet allure of nostalgia, though, and I’ll admit that I spent a lot of time getting hyped up listening to old music, playing ROMs, and watching videos in the months leading up to these releases.

But now that both remakes have had their time in the spotlight, I must admit that one surpassed my expectations, and one left me a little bit disappointed. Here's my in-depth look at these games, in which I pick apart two very different remake philosophies to find out why that is.

Let's start with Mystery Dungeon DX, which does a wonderful job of recreating the original Red and Blue Rescue Team games. Everything from the original games was remade with beautiful new assets. The art style can only be described as a watercolor fever dream. It’s refreshing, and it helps differentiate the title from any other game in the franchise.

Mystery Dungeon DX screenshot showing Pikachu in a charming wooded scene
The updated visuals of Mystery Dungeon DX might not feature "top of the line" graphics, but they’re charming and unique, and that’s what matters most.

More importantly, Mystery Dungeon DX isn’t content to use its predecessor as a crutch. It has a certain reverence for the game it’s based on, but it also wants to stand alone as something entirely new. 

For instance, the developers cracked down hard on some of the balancing issues present in the original games. I’m not saying Mystery Dungeon DX is perfectly balanced. I still wanted to bash my head into the wall any time an enemy Pokémon used Earthquake and damaged my entire party from across a room. But there are some really thoughtful changes here, such as reducing the level grind and rewarding players who link their moves together with more explosive damage output than ever before. There’s no doubt in my mind that the remake offers a more refined gameplay experience than Red Rescue Team.

What’s more impressive, though, is how much new content was packed into this remake. Mega Pokémon. Shiny Pokémon. Primal legendaries. New postgame dungeons. A selection of new playable Pokémon from the Sinnoh Pokédex! These are massive additions that are indicative of just how much TLC went into the making of Mystery Dungeon DX. These are the kind of changes that justify bringing a game back to life!

Screenshot of the Primal Groudon fight in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX
The Primal Groudon fight is challenging new content, negating all water-type moves. It shakes the game up a bit!

Mystery Dungeon DX embodies what I believe a perfect remake philosophy should be: Rebuild something worthwhile from the ground up, improve it for a more modern audience, and add new content that couldn’t be there when the game was originally made.

But then you have Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. These are not bad games, not at all. They’re like comfort food. They don’t take risks. The devs took a much more conservative approach to remaking these games, and I think that plays out to their detriment.

There aren’t many changes made from the original games that I can see in these remakes. Trainer battles are slightly more challenging to compensate for how Pokémon experience gain has changed in the franchise over the past decade and a half. The need to keep an HM slave Bidoof in the player’s party throughout the game is gone. Hooray!

In this remake, new areas are added to the underground, allowing the player to find rare Pokémon as they gain gym badges and travel around the region. Now, if you want a fire type that isn’t Ponyta or Chimchar, you can actually get one before the end of the game. And Ramanas Park was a nice addition as a way for players to catch all of the legendary Pokémon from generations 1 through 3 without needing to use Pokémon Home’s cloud service (provided you have a copy of both Brilliant Diamond AND Shining Pearl, because of course you’d need both).

These are all definitely nifty little "bumps" in the game’s overall quality, sure. But guess what? These aren’t the first Diamond and Pearl remakes that have come out! Pokémon Platinum, a straight upgrade to its predecessors, was released back in 2008. The remakes of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are very conspicuously missing almost all of the improvements made to the Sinnoh region in Platinum. 

In fact, large swaths of content from Platinum were cut from these remakes altogether. For one, the entire Distortion World adventure was cut. This is a damn shame, as it would’ve been really fun to see that part of the game in an updated visual style. Worst of all, though, is the omission of the Battle Frontier, which was what gave Platinum so much replayability. Without that robust endgame, I simply don’t feel the urge to go back to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl when a better postgame already exists elsewhere.

Screenshot from the original Pokemon Diamond and Pearl video game.
How cool would it have been to see this in the updated Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl visual style?!?

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are the products of a strict remake philosophy: they offer some quality of life upgrades and a smattering of new content, but it’s plain to see that the developers were far more concerned with creating an exact replica of the original product.

The different remake philosophies of Mystery Dungeon and BDSP are illustrative of design approaches in the wider gaming industry right now, and that’s why I think it’s so important to highlight them.

We’ve reached a point in the games industry where the "power players" and Triple-A companies seem to want to remake every game that they feel like they can turn a second profit on. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, honestly. There’s definitely a market for fulfilling the nostalgic whims of an older gaming audience.

What I do think is a bad thing is when these supposed "remakes" are just $60 remasters of games that were released a decade and a half ago. That’s not taking care of a consumer need, that’s preying on the goodwill these developers built up with their initial game. Why would I buy a remake that does the exact same thing the original game did? Emulators exist for a reason, after all!

Instead of giving me remakes, I want to see that the game companies have taken some risks. I want something that captures the spirit and story of the original game, but that also mixes things up a little! Hell, let’s see some more wild shit like the Final Fantasy 7 Remake!

What do you think about the state of remakes in the games industry? Do you prefer "faithful remakes" that are just remasters of the original, or do you think that developers should mix it up a bit?

Elden Ring: A Literal Pain In the Ass

After over 100 maidenless hours spent on my first playthrough of Elden Ring, I’ve been given a great sense of triumph and accomplishment. To read my initial thoughts on the first 30 hours of the game, click here. Besides claiming my seat on the throne as an Elden Lord, I’ve also received something that will stick with me longer than any in-game achievement ever will, back pain. Through all the spellcasting, monster-slaying, and dog spotting, my character, Triss, easily got her 10,000 daily steps in. She explored crumbled ruins, dense forests, and scaled the tallest mountain in all of The Lands Between. On the other end of the controller sat a man in his apartment, enjoying a genre-defining adventure while contorted in rotating spots on his office chair or the cheap, uncomfortable couch he found on an online marketplace. I’m no stranger to multi-hour game sessions, but as I reach the decrepit age of 30, the damage inflicted by these long gaming shifts vividly rears its ugly head. Playing Elden Ring has become a literal pain in the ass.

As nerd culture connoisseurs, we all have our personal “Elden Ring.” An experience you enjoy can be so consuming that you neglect your body’s warning signs and basic needs to stretch and move. Between the abundance of entertainment services fighting for your attention (and your wallet!) and the increase in work-from-home positions over the last two years, I know I’m not the only one aching. This isn’t an article meant to shame you for enjoying time-consuming activities. But to remind you that finding a balance between your physical and mental health needs is key to living a happy, healthy life.

An Elden Lord’s best attempt at the Mountain Pose

So, what are we to do as indoor inclined individuals? Over the years, many new experiences have emerged to help keep gamers physically active while holding a controller in their hand. With the emergence of virtual reality consoles being more accessible than ever, games like Beat Saber, Supernatural, and Pistol Whip combine sweat-inducing action with addictive game mechanics. My favorite exercise-centric videogame, Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch, hit all-time popularity in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For months this title couldn’t be found on store shelves. Two years later, the game is very accessible and still a blast to play on a rainy day. Ring Fit Adventure combines yoga and cardio exercises with the help of placing both Joy-Con controllers into a ring-shaped Pilates peripheral device as well as a leg strap, provided with a copy of the game. Over time, creative minds have even found a way to use a modified version of the Ring Fit Adventure controller to beat a boss in Elden Ring.

Having lived through many gloomy Seattle winters, I’m someone who counts down the days until daylight savings time when the light lingers further into the evenings. With literal brighter days ahead of us, I know that the opportunities to keep my body in motion will multiply. In the meantime, I’ve prioritized limiting my single session playtime, invested in a yoga mat, and stretching utilizing a foam roller. While I won’t be attempting any boss fights using the produce in my fridge, I’m hoping to keep my body limber so that I may comfortably enjoy my preferred hobbies for years to come! 

Companies in the entertainment sphere will always compete for your time, data, and wallet. And while I loved every second of my playthrough of Elden Ring, it has really been a wake-up call that I’m not as limber as I once was. If I want to continue being able to enjoy playing games pain-free until I’m much older, some lifestyle changes will need to be made. They don’t have to be earth-shatteringly large commitments from the start, but I know that the longer you wait, the harder it is to break a bad habit. Committing to daily exercise or small changes like including Ring Fit Adventure into my gaming routine should be seen as an investment in myself. It’s easier said than done, but I know we could all benefit from getting off the couch a bit more and staying active. 

What is your personal “Elden Ring” these days? What are some of your best practices for keeping your body flexible while enjoying your favorite hobbies? Let me know in the comments below! 

Monthly Gaming Update:  April 2022

April is a much-needed break in terms of high-profile releases after the past few months of knockout games. There are still some releases worth looking at, especially if you are as excited as I am for a remaster of a certain real-time strategy Gameboy Advance game. April may be your best chance at catching up on some backlog games before May and the slew of information that will be assaulting us around the time of E3 and the usual summer game press releases. Let’s get into those highlights for this month.

April’s Highlights

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga - Apr 5th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

https://youtu.be/syvicyCN_lw

LEGO Star Wars is back, and it’s about dang time. Originally slated for a 2020 release date, Lego Star Wars the Skywalker Saga had been severely delayed due to COVID and a few other development setbacks. BUT it’s here, and it looks amazing. Fans of Lego games, shows, and Star Wars have a lot to look forward to as the newest game will have you playing through all NINE Star Wars films with the signature brand of Lego style and humor. This will also be the largest Lego game to date, with dozens of planets to explore, side missions to complete, and lots and lots of collectibles. Skywalker Saga is also breathtaking to look at and may very well be the most comprehensive Star Wars experience you will find. 

MLB The Show 22 - Apr 5th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch)

I’ll be honest with you, I am not a baseball fan. I do respect sports games and play them from time to time, and MLB The Show has done that, standing up to time as the greatest baseball series ever. Plus, it’s on every console now! Players across Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation can enjoy America's pastime with MLB The Show 22 featuring Shohei Ohtani (I’m not gonna pretend I know who that is). The most amazing thing to me is that MLB 22 will feature full support from Cross-Play, Cross-Saves, and Cross-Progression, meaning you can play your saved games and progress across all platforms. You could be playing on your PS5 or Xbox, then grab your Switch and pick up where you left off on the go! This should be how all multiplatform games are, and I hope the rest of them are paying attention. Anyway... Get your yearly baseball fix when MLB The Show 22 drops on April 5th or a few days early if you grab one of the special editions.

*UPDATE Advance Wars 1 and 2 Re-Boot Camp - Apr 8th (Switch) Indefinitely Postponed

Advance Wars was released on the Game Boy Advance in 2001 and holds a Metacritic score of 92. Now, finally, after much demand, Nintendo is releasing Advance Wars 1 and 2 Re-boot Camp for the Switch. A completely overhauled remaster of both original games, featuring a new take on the original art style and animations. Advance Wars is a beloved strategy game, and fans have been pining for a new entry, enough so that indie developers made their own versions and love letters to the series like Wargroove. I personally loved Advance Wars on my Game Boy Advance back in the day, and I am very excited to get back to the battlefield to command my troops and crush my enemies (maniacal laughter). If you are feeling nostalgic or want a truly great strategy game, then check out Advance Wars™ 1+2: Re-Boot Camp.

Nintendo Switch Sports - Apr 29th (Switch)

Everyone has a relative that bought a Wii to play and probably still plays Wii Sports. Nintendo is going for gold again with Nintendo Switch Sports, a new version of the classic Wii game utilizing the Switch’s Joycon Controllers. Nintendo Switch Sports will include six games, including new versions of old favorites like Bowling and Sword Fights, now called Chambara. Sadly, Golf is not available but will be coming as a free update in the fall. The Switch allows for online play to face people around the world. You also earn points to unlock new customizations for your avatar cause we all know you play better when you look good. Let’s hope this new version can live up to the legacy of Wii Sports later this month.

April 2022’s Release Schedule

MLB The Show 22 MVP Edition - Apr 1st (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch)

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga - Apr 5th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

MLB The Show 22 - Apr 5th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch)

Outbreak: Contagious Memories - Apr 5th (Xbox)

Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition - Apr 7th (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Advance Wars 1 and 2 Re-Boot Camp - Apr 8th (Switch)

Skul: Hero Slayer - Apr 8th (PS4, Switch)

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim Launch Edition - Apr 12th (Switch)

After the Fall: Frontrunner Edition Virtual Reality - Apr 12th (PS4)

Epic Chef - Apr 12th (PS4, Xbox, Switch)

Road 96 - Apr 14th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

Ikai - Apr 15th (PS4, PS5, Switch)

Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars - Apr 19th (Switch)

Moto GP 22 - Apr 20th (PS4, PS5, Xbox)

Ganryu 2 : Hakuma Kojiro -  Apr 21st (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Nintendo Switch Sports - Apr 29th (Switch)

Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth - Apr 29th (PS4, PS5, Switch)

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

Monthly Gaming Update: March 2022

All the video games going straight into your backlog this month! If you thought February was an intense month, here comes March swinging with some out of nowhere heavy hitters. Ghostwire and Kirby, both getting surprise date reveals, have launched March into the stratosphere like a homerun bat smash in Super Smash Bros. 2022 is already shaping up to be one hell of a year with Elden Ring receiving high praise across the board, and we don’t even know most of the games slated for the holiday season. OK, I’m going back to playing Elden Ring before these bad boys drop.

March’s Highlights

Gran Turismo 7 - Mar 4th (PS4, PS5)

The Granddaddy of simulation racing is back! Gran Turismo 7 is car fans and stans dream come to life. Get behind the wheel of over 420 real-life cars and compete in casual, competitive, and GT career races on real tracks across the world. Showcasing some of the best visuals to date with ray tracing, 4k and HDR support targeting 60 fps. The PlayStation 5 version will feature haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, but not on PS4. We shall see how this PS5 brewed game holds up on the PS4 when it launches. The original GT 2 was one of the first racing games I ever played, and it made me a fan, so let’s see if they can recapture the magic.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - Mar 24th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Borderlands DnD version is here. Wait, Wonderlands is here. This Borderlands spin-off that takes place in the universe as a DnD style board game being played by the characters… ah yeah, it gets weird. Like Borderlands, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands will have you choose from a list of classes to set out on a wild and zany adventure with an over-the-top twist on Dungeons and Dragons but played like a first-person shooter with spells and numbers flying out of people’s heads when you shoot them. Anyone familiar with previous games will be right at home with the rock-solid shooter RPG mechanics, and new players have a lot to look forward to.

Ghostwire: Tokyo - Mar 25th (PS5, PC)

From famed game director Shinji Mikami comes Ghostwire: Tokyo. This game looks like a Japanese horror movie come to life. Tokyo has been overrun by a deadly supernatural force that has made the population disappear, except you. Teaming up with a powerful spectral entity, you will wield devastating elemental powers and use ghost hunting skills to battle the supernatural. Ghostwire is labeled as an Action-Adventure game, but come on. Look at it, it looks terrifying, and it’s from the creator of Resident Evil and the studio that made The Evil Within! It’s going to be spooky, haunting, and beautiful! I have been excited about this since its announcement, and Bam! Now it is here!

Kirby and the Forgotten Land - Mar 25th (Switch)

Kirby, everyone’s favorite pink puffball that eats everything, is getting his own open-world adventure on Nintendo Switch. Kirby games are notorious for being baby games (super easy) besides Kirby’s Adventure on Game Boy; that game was hella hard! Kirby and the Forgotten Land looks to give Kirby the Mario Odyssey treatment allowing Kirby to explore large, open, and lush environments. We all know Kirby likes to suck up enemies and absorb their powers, but now he can take on huge things like cars, and you know, be a car or a vending machine? Kirby has always been one of my favorite characters to play in Smash Bros. The difficulty of his own games has made them a rather dull endeavor for a grown man to enjoy. Here’s hoping that this one has some challenge to it cause it looks fun.

March 2022’s Release Schedule

Conan Chop Chop - Mar 1st (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

ELEX II - Mar 1st (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Far: Changing Tides - Mar 1st (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Game Pass, Switch, PC)

The Cruel King and the Great Hero - Mar 1st (PS4, Switch)

Shadow Warrior 3 - Mar 1st (PS4, Xbox, PC)

Babylon's Fall - Mar 3rd (PS4, PS5, PC)

Legends of Ixtona - Mar 3rd (Xbox, PC)

Gran Turismo 7 - Mar 4th (PS4, PS5)

Ryan's Rescue Squad - Mar 4th (PS4, Xbox, Switch)

Triangle Strategy - Mar 4th (Switch)

Aztech Forgotten Gods - Mar 9th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

The Last Cube - Mar 9th (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

RPG Time: The Legend of Wright - Mar 9th (Xbox, PC)

Submerged: Hidden Depths - Mar 9th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC, Stadia)

Century: Age of Ashes -  Mar 10th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök - Mar 10th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC, Stadia)

Time Loader - Mar 10th (PS4, PS5, Xbox. Switch, PC)

Hotel Transylvania: Scary Tale Adventure - Mar 10th (PS4, Xbox, Switch)

WWE 2K22 - Mar 10th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Disco Elysium The Final Cut - Mar 15th (Switch)

Five Nights at Freddy’s Security Breach - Mar 15th (PS4, PS5)

Grand Theft Auto V Next-Gen Upgrade - Mar 15th (PS5, Xbox)

Phantom Breaker: Omnia - Mar 15th (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

The Cruel King and the Great Hero - Mar 15th (PS4, Switch)

ANNO: Mutationem -  Mar 16th (PS4, PS5, PC)

Tunic -  Mar 16th (Xbox, PC)

Monster Energy Supercross 5 - Mar 16th (PS5, Xbox, PC)

Gal Gun: Double Peace - Mar 17th (Switch)

Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin - Mar 17th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Grand Mountain Adventure: Wonderlands - Mar 22nd (Switch)

Grow: Song of the Evertree - Mar 22nd (Switch)

Rune Factory 5 - Mar 22nd (Switch)

Relayer - Mar 23rd (PS4, PS5)

The Ascent - Mar 24th (PS5)

Oddballers - Mar 24th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC, Stadia, Luna)

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - Mar 24th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Dodgeball Academia - Mar 25th (PS4, Switch)

Ghostwire: Tokyo - Mar 25th (PS5, PC)

Kirby and the Forgotten Land - Mar 25th (Switch)

Skul: The Hero Slayer - Mar 25th (Switch)

Stranded Deep - Mar 25th (Switch)

Crusader Kings 3 - Mar 29th (PS5, Xbox)

WRC 10 - Mar 29th (Switch)

Ikai - Mar 29th (PS4, PS5, Switch, PC)

CRYSTAR - Mar 31st (Switch) 

Shredders -  Mar TBD (Xbox)

Weird West - Mar 31 (PS4, Xbox, PC)

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

Which of these will you be playing? Which are getting added to the pile of your backlog? Let us know.

Monthly Gaming Update: February 2022

February will have some of the biggest games of 2022 and one of the most anticipated games of the last few years, Bassmaster Fishing 2022. No, not really, it's Elden Ring. Kicking 2022 into high gear will also be a new PlayStation exclusive and a very, very long-awaited sequel that many consider one of the best zombie games out there. Let the many, many hours of gameplay begin!

February’s Highlights

Dying Light 2 Stay Human - Feb 4th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Dying Light 2 is the long-awaited sequel to 2015s Dying Light. Set 20 years after the events of the first game, you are a wanderer named Aiden, trying to find his young sister in what is being called a new Dark Age. Humanity survives on the brink, and your choices will change the fate of The City and the people in it. Featuring advanced parkour movement and creative weapons allows for visceral and clever combat. What has me excited is that the entire game can be played in co-op with up to three friends, and you can see how the city changes based on their decisions. 

Rosario Dawson also stars as Lawan, one of the main NPC characters you interact with, who you can also influence with your choices. According to the devs via Twitter, they have noted that the main campaign takes 20 hours to complete, 80 to finish all the side quests, and 500 hours to get 100% of the game. WOW! Let's go bash some skulls.

Sifu - Feb 8th (PS5, PC)

Sifu is the game that will let you live out that fantasy of beating up thugs in a hallway you’ve had ever since watching Daredevil do it on Netflix. There is an excellent parody of that scene on the Joel Mchale show too, but I digress. Developed by Slowclap games, known for their martial arts-inspired Soulslike, Absolver. A third-person action game focusing on intense hand-to-hand combat, Sifu has you assume the role of a young student of Pak-Mei Kung Fu. Your family has been killed by assassins, and it is up to you to seek great vengeance. Use of the environment, throwable objects, and makeshift weapons assist you in your conquest through a gang-ridden city. If you fail, you pay the price in time, which is the unique feature of Sifu I look forward to seeing. Every time you die, your character ages but is also allowed to unlock abilities and skills. This applies a simple rogue-like element that will enable you to carry over certain knowledge when you eventually die of old age and start again.

Horizon Forbidden West - Feb 18th (PS4, PS5)

Dinosaurs? Check. Robots? Check. Robot Dinosaurs? Drops the clipboard and yells excitedly. Horizon Zero Dawn had probably one of the coolest ideas to ever come out of video games. It has also received much fan love and praise. Now, Horizon Forbidden West, the much-anticipated PS5 and now PS4 sequel is finally here. Forbidden West will see the return of Aloy as she takes on a new evil that threatens us all, but I believe Aloy can save the world (Que Avatar theme Song).

Horizon Forbidden West will boast an all-star cast with the return of Ashley Burch as Aloy and Lance Reddick. Joining is Carrie-Anne Moss and Angela Basset to round out the lineup. It seems that a lot of the greatest concerns for the first game have been addressed as well. I think we all remember the conversations in Zero Dawn where we couldn't tell if we were looking at people or the robot dinosaurs that we were hunting. I am excited to see how they have improved an already good game and fight more crazy robot dinosaurs!

Eldin Ring - Feb 25th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

“Return to your world, Tarnished.” What does that mean? Who knows, it's a Miyazaki game. Elden Ring is the extremely, highly, incredibly anticipated game from FromSoftware and Director Hidetaka Miyazaki and famed author George R.R. Martin. Sounds like a nightmare match in purgatory as both of these men create worlds of immense suffering and death, and I am excited. I love Game of Thrones, and I love FromSoftware’s Souls games. To explain these games is like explaining to my 4-year-old why she can't have ice cream for breakfast. Impossible. Like the story in a Souls game, information for Elden Ring was scarce until very recently, which led to much speculation and considerable hype. For those unfamiliar, Souls games and Elden Ring are generally very challenging games that make you “Get Good.” Still, they do it in very clever ways that make you learn from your mistakes and overcome the hurdles presented. The level of challenge is very different from a hard setting on most games, which just makes it so you die quicker. Our very own Liz Phoenix wrote about her excitement for Elden Ring, even though she has never played a Souls game before. I cannot wait.

February 2022’s Release Schedule

Life is Strange Remastered Collection - Feb 1st (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC, Switch, Stadia)

Webbed - Feb 1st (Xbox, Switch)

The Sacred Ampoule - Feb 2nd (Xbox, Switch)

Dreamscaper - Feb 3rd (Xbox)

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment - Feb 3rd (Switch)

Dying Light 2 Stay Human - Feb 4th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Maglam Lord - Feb 4th (PS4, Switch)

Death end re - Fe 8th (PS4, Switch)

OlliOlli World - Feb 8th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Rumbleverse - Feb 8th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Sifu - Feb 8th (PS4, PS5, PC)

Youtubers Life 2 - Feb 8th (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

KungfFu Kickball - Feb 9th (Xbox)

Besiege - Feb 10th (Xbox)

Crossfire X - Feb 10th (Xbox)

Edge of Eternity - Feb 10th (PS4, PS5, Xbox) 

Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind Cloud Version - Feb 10th (Switch)

KINGDOM HEARTS - HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX - Cloud Version - Feb 10th (Switch)

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue Cloud Version - Feb 10th (Switch)

KINGDOM HEARTS INTEGRUM MASTERPIECE for Cloud - Feb 10th (Switch)

Egglia Rebirth - Feb 10th (Switch)

Ocean’s Heart - Feb 10th (Switch)

Powerslave Exhumed - Feb 10 (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Rise of the Third Power - Feb 10th (Xbox, Switch)

Grand Theft Auto: Trilogy - The Definitive Edition - Feb 11th (Switch)

Bassmaster Fishing 2022 - Feb 15th (PS5, Xbox)

Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires - Feb 15th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

The King of Fighters XV - Feb 17th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Total War: Warhammer III - Feb 17th (PC)

Horizon Forbidden West - Feb 18th (PS4, PS5)

Monster Crown - Feb 21st (PS4, Xbox)

Assetto Corsa Competizione - Feb 22nd (PS5, Xbox)

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Feb 22nd (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

MONARK - Feb 22th (PS4, PS5, Switch)

Truck Driver - Feb 22nd (PS5, Xbox)

Martha is Dead - Feb 23rd (PS4, PS5)

Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream - Feb 25th (PS4, Switch)

Eldin Ring - Feb 25th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Grid Legends - Feb 25th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Far: Changing Tides - Feb 28th (PS4, PS5)

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

What will you be playing this month?

Monthly Gaming Update: January 2022

Another year has come and gone during a pandemic that has taken a toll on all of us, in one way or another. That's especially true for gaming, but for the better. Video games have never been more popular, and this, along with the very real chip shortage, has made it incredibly difficult to acquire the latest generation of gaming gear, be it PC components or a PS5 or Xbox Series S|X. 

Were you able to get a hold of a shiny new console that you have been waiting oh so patiently all year for? No? Me either, but that's ok, as the start to 2022 is thankfully a bit slow. There are a few notable entries like an all-new Pokemon game, a full game based on a seasonal event for Rainbow Six, and Kratos making the jump to the realm of PC. I was personally looking forward to Weird West this month, but, sadly, my fantasies of killing cowboys with tornadoes will have to wait since it has been delayed until March.

If you are a fan of indie games, there are a slew of them making their way to Switch, and now may be the time to play them. February will be a monster of big releases, so suspend any mid-pandemic Valentine's Day plans you may have. For now, use this time to play some smaller releases or catch up on the backlog.

January’s Highlights

God of War - Jan 14th (PC)

Kratos and boy—ahem, I mean Atreus have traveled to many a realm, and now they have found themselves on PC after almost 4 years. As part of Sony’s PC initiative to port PlayStation exclusives to PC, God of War (2018) joins the likes of Horizon: Zero Dawn and Days Gone. Hopefully, we won’t see more videos of die-hard fans smashing their controllers and consoles over this latest release of the beloved PlayStation exclusive, which many believe to be one of the best games ever made. The PC version comes with similar enhancements as the PS5 upgraded version, but it also supports true 4K resolution, ultra-widescreen aspect ratios, a swath of PC enhancements through NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), and controller support for a wide range of gamepads, including the PS4 and PS5 DualSense controller. If you are a PC gamer who's been waiting to see Kratos be best Dad, now you can on January 14th.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Extraction - Jan 20th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC, Stadia, Luna)

Extraction started life as a limited-time event in Rainbow Six Siege, where players had to fight monsters instead of other players. Now it is a full stand-alone game where (gasp) aliens have invaded earth and it’s your job to stop them. It might not be the most original idea, but it's nonetheless fun. You will pick from a roster of operatives that are part of REACT (Rainbow Exogenous Analysis & Containment Team), each with unique skills and perks. Unlike Siege, Extraction will have a deep progression system to unlock new gear, improve abilities, and boost the stats of your operator. In an extra twist, Ubisoft has decided to offer Extraction at a lower price point of $40, and anyone who purchases the game will get two Buddy Passes that allow friends to play the full game with them completely for free for up to 14 days. Plus, all future DLC and planned content will be free! A little hard to believe, I know! This new PvE Rainbow Six looks akin to Back 4 Blood with its focus on teamwork, but with a much more tactical approach, and, it supports Cross-Play on any platform, which is a big plus. Drop-in and fight the hordes of Archaeans on Jan 20th.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus - Jan 28th (Switch)

Are you tired of catching Pokémon yet? Does anyone tire of it? Assumingly not since the 50th entry in the series is here. (Well not literally the 50th, it might be, I don’t know, there are a lot of them.) Anyway, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the first new mainline Pokémon game in some time, and it looks to have gotten the Breath of the Wild treatment as it is now a large open world with a very similar visual style. Acting as a prequel to the series, Legends takes place in the Hisui region, in a time before people and Pokémon lived in harmony. As in all Pokémon games, you play as a young girl or boy who sets out on an adventure to study and collect Pokémon for the Survey Corps. Collect Pokémon and battle on your journey to complete your Pokédex and take on fierce Alpha Pokémon. Unlike previous Pokémon games, this entry has only one title as opposed to the normal release of two simultaneous games, which have some slight differences. Choose your starter and see the world on Pokémon Legends: Arceus coming to Nintendo Switch on January 28th.

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection - Jan 28th (PS5)

Nathan Drake is swinging on to PS5, but not in the way you hoped. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: Lost Legacy are getting the upgrade treatment with improved frame rates and visuals for PlayStation 5. This version will also have DualSense features so you can now feel things like “rope tension and vehicular traversal…”. OK. Sure. More importantly, the games will now offer Fidelity, Performance, and Performance+ Modes to experience these great adventures in the best way possible. They will be upscaled to 4K in Fidelity mode at 30fps or up to 120fps on Performance+ Mode. This package will be available for $49.99 or for an upgrade fee for those that already own the PS4 versions of the games. Sadly, the amazing multiplayer experience will not be getting any upgrades. But you can get a voucher for a free ticket to the upcoming Uncharted movie! A PC release was expected to hit around the same time as this PS5 release, but as of this writing, is still TBD.

January 2022’s Release Schedule

Sorcerer Knight - Jan 1st (Switch)

Biker Garage: Mechanic Simulator - Jan 3rd (Switch)

Crumble -  Jan 3rd (Switch)

Arcadia Fallen - Jan 5th (Switch)

Dead Cells: Road to the Sea Bundle - Jan 6th (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Justice Chronicles - Jan 6th (Switch)

Sword of Elpisia - Jan 6th (Xbox, PC)

Super Sami Roll - Jan 9th (Xbox)

Mushroom Wars 2 - Jan 12th (Xbox)

Astroneer - Jan 13th (Switch)

Dual Princess - Jan 13th (Switch)

Eternal Radiance - Jan 13th (Switch)

Headland - Jan 13th (Switch)

The Last Friend - Jan 13th (Switch)

God of War - Jan 14th (PC)

Pinball Jam -  Jan 14th (Switch)

Labyrinth Legend - Jan 18th (Switch)

Strategic Mind: Fight for Freedom - Jan 19th (PC)

Strategic Mind: The Pacific - Jan 19th (PC)

Vivid Knight - Jan 19th (Switch)

Animal Revolt Battle Simulator - Jan 20th (Switch)

Expeditions: Rome - Jan 20th (PC)

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Extraction - Jan 20th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC)

Windjammers 2 - Jan 20th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Blackwind - Jan 25th (PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Chicken Range Bundle 2 - Jan 25th (Switch)

Death's Gambit: Afterlife Definitive Edition - Jan 25th (Switch)

Super Street Racer Bundle - Jan 25th (Switch)

Train Sim World 2: Rush Hour Deluxe Edition - Jan 25th (PS5, Xbox)

WWI: Tannenberg - Eastern Front - Jan 25th (PS4, PS5)

WWI: Verdun - Western Front - Jan 25th (PS4, PS5)

COGEN: Sword of Rewind - Jan 26th (PS4, Xbox, PC)

Unforeseen Incidents - Jan 27th (Switch)

Human: Fall Flat Anniversary Edition - Jan 28th (PS5)

Pokemon Legends: Arceus - Jan 28th (Switch)

Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection - Jan 28th (PS5)

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

Are you planning to get or currently playing any of these releases? Let us know what you think of them in the comments!

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!

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