This month needs to calm down.
There's been no absence of banger games throughout 2019, but what the year's been missing is the traditional glut of games where everything falls all at once. That's well and truly blown out of the water not just by this week, but every week that follows.
Consider what's just coming out this week alone:
- Monster Hunter: Iceborne
- Catherine Full Body
- Torchlight 2
- Gears 5
- Final Fantasy 8 Remastered
- Spyro: Reignited Trilogy (PC, Switch)
- Creature in the Well
- NBA 2K20
Small asterisk on Gears here, in that it launches on September 10 if you're not subbed to Game Pass Ultimate (although anyone who got Game Pass has probably upgraded by now, which makes sense given it was a good deal at the time). Those who are subbed get it on Friday.
Still, that's a solid package just for one week. FF8 would be enough to keep some people going right through to October, the same way some people are onto their third or fourth saves of Fire Emblem. And NBA 2K20's singleplayer mode could last you weeks or a full year, depending on how grindy the campaign mode is this year.
So that's a fairly solid seven days. Next week is just as filled with choice, or worse depending on your point of view:
- Daemon X Machina
- Star Wars Pinball
- Gears 5 (if you don't have Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)
- Borderlands 3
- Total WARHAMMER 2: Hunter & The Beast
- Men of War: Assault Squad 2 - Cold War
- Queen's Wish: The Conqueror
Borderlands 3 is probably the one I'll hit up the most during that week, but Greedfall is gathering a lot of interest over the last few weeks as well. Total WARHAMMER fans will enjoy more content, and I know plenty of friends from LANs past that will be happy about a new GRID game. And Daemon X Machina could be a ton of fun with its soundtrack and artstyle, but I'm a bit worried how the Switch will handle all those effects.
That's nothing compared to the Mega Week of September though. Enter stage left, our avian overlords.
- SEGA Mega Drive Mini
- Nintendo Switch Lite
- Untitled Goose Game
- Link's Awakening
- Police Stories
- Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remaster
- LEGO Jurassic World
- Castle Crashers Remastered
Overland's release date — that's the game about taking a road trip through a post-apocalyptic America — just got announced today. And even without that, there was already plenty with the oodles of games on the Mega Drive Mini, which is certainly the best mini console I've laid my hands on so far. Untitled Goose Game has more appeal to me than Link's Awakening, and that's looked outstanding from the day it was announced. It'll probably be one of the best games this year, since Link's Awakening is already one of the best Zelda games ever made, but Link and his sword ain't got shit on an arsehole goose.
Not to be outdone though, Ni No Kuni remastered on PC? I hated the loading times on that game originally, so dropping this onto an NVME drive and bringing everything up to 4K should be quite the treat. And Castle Crashers is nice to have on the Switch as a party game (although the recently released Heave Ho is seriously very, very good).
And the month's still not done.
- Mario Kart Tour
- Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition
- Code Vein
- FIFA 20
- Ori and the Blind Forest (Switch)
- Contra: Rogue Corps
- Baldur's Gate / Baldur's Gate 2 / Icewind Dale / Planescape Torment Enhanced Editions
- The Surge 2
- Tropico 6
- Northgard (Switch)
- Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Switch)
- Spellcaster University
- A Glider's Journey
- Infinity: Battlescape***
The image above is from a game you probably haven't heard much of: Nordlicht. It's a vibrant, stylised adventure about a family journeying into the cold north, where you have to overcome the fear of nature and their inner fears to keep Aurora, her dad Rupert and their guinea pig Peter Silie alive.
It's just one of the things that's popping it's head up in an already stacked week, let alone the month. Code Vein's brand of Dark Souls weeb is going to be right up some people's alley, especially if you love that Bloodborne or Sekiro style of combat. Mario Kart Tour will capture everyone's attention mid-transit for a few days, however good or bad it ends up being.
And there's plenty of niche indies that will capture attention for their own reasons. I've put asterixes on Infinity: Battlescape because there's still a chance it hits its early access launch at the end of the month. The developers reckon they're on target, but the official Steam page says late 2019, so we'll see how they go with that one.
Plus, there's the exceedingly good FIFA 20's Journey mode, a new Contra game, Darksiders 2 again, and a host of Bioware's best work hitting the Switch for the first time. All in the same week..
It's pretty normal for some months to be a little quiet the year before a major hardware refresh, particularly as the major publishers look ahead to the next generation. It's usually October or November that gets weeks as stacked as this, like that Friday at PAX a couple of years ago where Wolfenstein 2, Super Mario Odyssey and Assassin's Creed: Origins all launched on the same day, with Destiny 2 having hit the PC, Fire Emblem Warriors, The Mummy Demastered and Observer all dropping a few days prior to that.
There's no other week right now that's quite as stacked as the four in September, although AOE 2: Definitive Edition, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Pokemon Sword & Shield and Shenmue 3 in mid-November comes close. It's a good thing I've got plenty of annual leave stored up.