October Releases

October is usually when the ball starts rolling on the big-time releases and this year is no different. A bunch of premier titles coming out this month, with a little something for everyone — Forza 7 and GT Sport for racing fans, WWE 2k18 for wrestling heads, Shadow of War for all your orc-head-chopping needs, Assassin’s Creed for your human-stabbing-needs, Call of Duty for those of us who can’t get enough of shooting Nazis and of course Super Mario Odyssey for those of us who know what real video games are. On to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Week of October 2nd

Week of October 9th

Week of October 16th

Week of October 23rd

Week of October 30th


Nintendo Switch

Week of October 23rd

Week of October 30th


Nintendo 3DS

Week of October 2nd

Week of October 16th


PC

Week of October 2nd
Damned Hours
Battle Chasers: Nightwar
EMPYRE: Lords of the Sea Gates
Omega Strike
JYDGE
Civil War: 1864

Week of October 9th
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Forgotten Land
Raiden V: Director’s Cut
Dungeons 3

Week of October 16th
The Jackbox Party Pack 4
Rogue Trooper Redux
ELEX
South Park: The Fractured but Whole
WWE 2K18

Week of October 23rd
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Week of October 30th
Spintires: MudRunner


Sony Playstation 4

Week of October 2nd

Week of October 9th

Week of October 16th

Week of October 23rd

Week of October 30th


Sony Playstation Vita

Week of October 2nd

Week of October 9th

Week of October 23rd


I’ll definitely be getting Super Mario Odyssey. What are you picking up this month?

(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

September Releases

We’re getting to that time of year, where the releases start piling up as companies start releasing marque games, hoping to get in on the upcoming holiday shopping sprees. There are a few games of note for this month, including Destiny 2 (not necessarily for me) and Cuphead (necessarily for me). On to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Week of September 4th

Week of September 11th

Week of September 18th

Week of September 25th


Nintendo Switch

Week of September 18th


Nintendo 3DS

Week of September 4th

Week of September 11th


PC

Week of September 4th
Beat The Game
Age of Gladiators II
An Occasional Dream
Time Golf Squad
Blood Bowl 2 – Official Expansion
Hexlide
DAMN!
Twisted S

Week of September 11th
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider
NBA 2K18
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA

Week of September 18th
Steampunk Syndicate 2
The Coma: Recut
Ancient Frontier
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
ECHO

Week of September 25th
Cuphead
Kaet Must Die!
Total War: WARHAMMER II
Hob
RAID: World War II
RUINER
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony


Sony Playstation 4

Week of September 4th

Week of September 11th

Week of September 18th

Week of September 25th


Sony Playstation Vita

Week of September 4th

Week of September 11th

Week of September 18th

Week of September 25th


What are you picking up this month?

(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

Games on my Radar

Each month, as I assemble the list of new titles releasing, I earmark a couple of them (usually adding them to my Steam Wishlist) to keep an eye on. Sometimes they are no-brainers that I am going to pick up as soon as I can (Resident Evil 7 and Breath of the Wild, for example). Others usually stay on my wishlist for months, until the Steam sale rolls around and I get the email deluge of 50 “An item on your Steam Wishlist is on sale!” and I remember “oh yeah, that game”.

One of those games was Agents of Mayhem, an open world game cut from the Saint’s Row cloth but gunning for the Crackdown throne. Being the loyalist I am, I was worried that AoM would be the death knell of the Crackdown franchise.

After reading a couple of reviews, it looks like I can take AoM off my wishlist and still be hopeful for Crackdown 3 to bring back that original Crackdown Magic.

Justin McElroy (whose opinion I trust) sums up his review succinctly with

Agents of Mayhem heaps theoretical fun on you. Characters, powers, upgrades, tons of missions — it’s desperate for the player to just have fun. It’s a noble impulse, but one that it’s depressingly incapable of consistently delivering on.

While John Walker (who I haven’t read enough to know if I can trust just yet) comes to pretty much the same conclusion at RPS:

I was, immediately, really excited. The game begins with your controlling three different characters, each in a different part of an underground bunker, jumping between them as you learn their distinctive combat styles in this enormously elaborate third-person shooter. The writing was incredibly funny, the character mix interesting, and the action fine enough – I was delighted! Volition doing their thing. The process of playing since this opening scene has been one of disappointment after disappointment, until I’ve come away from what is undeniably a huge and complex game with very few positive feelings about it at all.

Agents of Mayhem is no longer on my Steam wishlist.

Pyre from Supergiant Games was another I have been watching, as well. Steve Brown at GameCritics praises its lore and art style while souring on the actual gameplay, going as far as saying

… Pyre could have easily been a visual novel, and I would have honestly preferred that instead of being forced to suffer through the tedious magic-balling.

So this doesn’t necessarily strike the game from the Wishlist, but definitely moves it into “when there’s time” territory (Spoiler Alert: there’s never time).

Finally, after hearing mention of Oxygen Not Included on an episode of Idle Thumbs, I have added it to the Wishlist. With its combination of the Don’t Starve pastiche and the gameplay of Fallout Shelter, it has earned a spot on my radar.

Any games blipping up on your radar? Or any comments on the games mentioned here? Share them in the comments!

August Releases

Getting a new console always gives me a new perspective when I put this monthly release post together, but unfortunately Nintendo has nothing coming out this month on the Switch. There are still some solid titles this month, including Agents of Mayhem, aiming for that Crackdown Throne. On to this month’s releases:

Microsoft Xbox One

Week of August 7th

Week of August 14th

Week of August 21st

Week of August 28th


Nintendo Switch

No August releases for the Nintendo Switch.


Nintendo 3DS

No August releases for the Nintendo 3DS.


PC

Week of August 7th
– Occult Raise –
Batman: The Enemy Within – The Telltale Series
LawBreakers
Sine Mora EX
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Law Mower – I don’t think I’ve ever been more convinced I needed a game after watching a trailer than I am right now, having watched the Law Mower trailer multiple times.
Sudden Strike 4
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2

Week of August 14th
Agents of Mayhem
Sonic Mania
Nidhogg 2
Original Journey
Night Trap – 25th Anniversary Edition
Promethium

Week of August 21st
Project Remedium
F1 2017
Distrust
WESTSLINGERS

Week of August 28th
Bannerman – Getting a Prince of Persia vibe from this one. Also: Historically Accurate Bloodshed!
Tiny Echo
WARRIORS ALL-STARS
Absolver
Hello Neighbor


Sony Playstation 4

Week of August 7th

Week of August 14th

Week of August 21st

Week of August 28th


Sony Playstation Vita

No August releases for the Playstation Vita.


What are you picking up this month?

(Note: As always, all Amazon.com links have our affiliate code embedded in them. If you purchase something through our link, we get a little commission. It’s appreciated.)

In My Digital Hands

I’m pretty much an expert now and making onion soup and hamburgers, while my wife was killing it on the cutting board and my son was slinging dishes as fast as we could.

Seriously, this is a GREAT party game.

Weekend Gaming

It’s probably not going to come as any big surprise, but this weekend will be All About The Switch.

Setup is happening after this goes live, and then it will be Breath of the Wild until my eyes bleed. Then I’ll catch a couple Zees and be right back at it.

Most of the fam is gone this weekend, so it’s a perfect opportunity to get some quality time with the Switch before the Buttonmashing kids get their grubby hands on it and I won’t see it for a week.

Oh, and The International 7 is going on, too. So this is going to be a great weekend.

What will you be playing?

In My Hands

In my actual freaking hands!

This has actually been in my hand since yesterday, but life has been getting in the way and it’s still not set up. Tomorrow, for sure, and then we’ll be Weekend Gaming, Switch Style!

There were some cosmic forces at work getting to this point. Last Saturday, I went to Best Buy to get my son a birthday gift. Having procured the gift, I was perusing the Switch section when I was approached by a salesperson, asking if I needed help. “Yeah, you got any Switches in stock?” I asked, knowing full-well they didn’t have any in stock. “Yeah, I’ve got two right now. Want one?” Caught flat-footed and not ready to commit, I told him I was joking and moved on with my day. But for the next couple days, the feeling of “you should have bought it when you had the chance” gnawed at my mind.

I checked the Best Buy stock online Wednesday and everything was sold-out. On a whim, I swung by the store and lo-and-behold, there was the Switch you see above. I told the salesdude my story and he replies, “Yeah, this Switch showed up today and noone knows how or why. It wasn’t on any orders and we weren’t expecting new stock for a while.” Lucky!

Clearly, the Universe wants a Switch in the Buttonmashing household.

Weekend Gaming, Doomguy Style

Did you know that the protaganist of the DOOM series is just called “Doomguy“? Sure, he’s nameless, but he’s supposed to be referred to as Doomguy. I was equally as disappointed as I assume you are when I found out. Doomguy? What’s next, Haloman? Diablodude?

But who cares, because DOOM is free this weekend on Steam and is also on sale for 50% off, which means the Buttonmashing crew is going to be doing some DOOM multiplayer this weekend. We had a discussion earlier this week in Slack whether or not there should be co-op play in DOOM. We decided that DOOM is most definitely a single-player experience. Doomguy is a loner, Dotti. But that doesn’t mean DOOM multiplayer can’t be something that deserves a chance. Just don’t get your single-player campaign mixed into my multiplayer fun.

The “Steam Backlog” experiment from a couple weeks ago hit a slight snag. I got too involved with DOOM to really play anything else. But if there’s time this weekend to pull away from DOOM, I hope to get something else installed and played. But I have a feeling the majority of my gametime will be spent in DOOM.

So what are you playing this weekend?

On Steam Sales and Backlogs

The most recent Summer Steam Sale has come and gone, and in its wake are numerous Steam libraries overflowing with games, probably more than will be possible for one person to play. We’ll all chuckle and joke about our growing “Piles of Shame”.

I didn’t pick up a single thing in this most recent sale, which is a first for me. I can usually convince myself I might as well pick something up. It’s on sale, after all! That got me thinking about past sales and the number of games currently gathering dust in my library.

Click to Embiggenify

As far as I can tell, you can’t sort your Steam Library on “Date Purchased”, but you can sort it on the date you last played each game. If you have purchased, but not actually played, a game in your library, the last played date is preceded by the word “New”, meaning it hasn’t even been installed. As I looked through my library of almost 200 games, it looks like the Winter 2012 Steam Sale was the most fruitful for me. In the interest of space, I’ll just link thumbnails of some of the items I picked up in that sale:

There are some “Triple-A” titles here, including Darksiders and Sim City 4, but I’ve also got some titles I don’t even remember buying. Larva Mortus? Grotesque Tactics?

I know what this is. I recognize the signs. I’ve watched enough A&E to know: This is HOARDING.

Digital hoarding.

I’ve seen enough episodes of Hoarders to know that I’m hoarding these games. It’s almost become a badge of honor to have all these games in my library. “Look how silly it is! I’ve got all these games I’ll never play!” Justifications like “they were on sale” and “it was cheaper to buy all the DLC together” slightly ease the discomfort. Don’t even get me started on Humble Bundles. They have contributed to this mess just as much as Steam Sales.

The argument could be made that digital hoarding isn’t hurting anything. There aren’t cockroaches in my kitchen because I never installed Future Wars. But that title is there, in my library list, like a wedge in my brain every time I look at that list. It just sticks in there, nagging me with a sense of disappointment. Disappointment in myself that I still haven’t loaded up this thing that I paid for and disappointment in my lack of willpower in purchasing the trash in the first place. (Note that this post is not a reflection of the quality of the unplayed games in my library. I wouldn’t know. I haven’t played them.)

So as we kick of “Hate Tony Week” (everyone hates me once a year when the wife and kids are gone for summer camps and I have 5 uninterrupted evenings with as much gaming as I can manage) I’m going to take a hatchet to my “backlog”. My Pile of Shame will be turned into a Massacre of Bad Games. In between sessions of Doom, Dota, and Overwatch, I’m going to ruthlessly eradicate large swaths of my library. I’ll give them all a fair shake, but my time has become too valuable and too scarce to waste on bad games. So I’m going to install some of these games, give them a chance and if they don’t make the cut they get the axe. No longer worthy to take up a spot in the list, they will be banished.

And I will no longer feel guilty about hoarding them.

Weekend Gaming – SOMA

SOMA is what it’s like when its done properly.

The dark, dank atmosphere and overall persistent sense of foreboding and anxiety are so well done that it is very easy to hand your psyche over to the game, to place you directly under its spell.

For the first few hours of gametime, I kept on wanting to compare it to Alien:Isolation. Both games share a few of the same user-defined tags ala “Horror”, “Sci-Fi” “Atmosphere”. And both games fulfill these same roles very, very well.

But the further I progressed in SOMA the more it diverged from Alien:Isolation.

Where Alien:Isolation is instinctive and deathly tense, SOMA takes a more cerebral approach. Where the basic premise of A:I is ‘survive. get out.’, SOMA digs in like a philosophical tick. Both games are without a doubt engaging, but SOMA possess far more lasting power than A:I.

Progress in SOMA finds the player moving deeper and deeper. Deeper in the physical sense of its oceanic setting, and deeper in the sense of its philosophical queries. It is a game whose narrative works at multiple levels of meaning. Taking a step back to ask oneself “What do you think?” has a magnitude of implications – Perhaps, maddeningly, horrifically so.

SOMA is no slim fable. Measured benchmarks in progress may answer one question but will blast open another pressure lock, flooding the player with more inquiries and dilemmas. Player engagement is nurtured by posing meaningful questions about the self, intelligence, happiness, ignorance. And the way SOMA twists these themes in and out of each other is incredible.

I look forward to completing the journey this weekend. With the way the game has presented itself thus far, I am anticipating a conclusion that will blow what I think is my mind out of the back of what I think is my skull.

What are you playing this weekend?