The week ahead in games is a proper genre buffet. We’ve got platformers, we’ve got sports games, classic RPG remakes, loot ’em ups, puzzlers, and even a retro console.
We’re also making a little change to the headline, just to differentiate us from our US friends’ own TWIG piece.
Righto, what’s on for this week? Let’s dive in.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (PS5, XSX, PC, NS, PS4, XBO)
There’s a surprising amount of hype around the new Lego Star Wars. Considering there have been four Lego Star Wars games released in the past, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a compendium of all those best bits. Not so! The Skywalker Saga rebuilds both the prequel and original trilogy content to be more in line with 2016’s Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Singular hub environments are gone, replaced with numerous hub worlds. The game features full voice acting from many of the original cast, and you can play through the saga in any order you wish.
MLB: The Show 22 (PS5, XSX, NS, PS4, XBO)
This is a series that only makes a minor ripple in Australia because we are known for not giving a shit about baseball. As a nation, we already have far too much cricket and footy to be going on with. The Show is nevertheless a consistent high watermark in the yearly sports games calendar. Every new series outing is as mechanically strong, or stronger, than the last. It quickly teaches you everything you need to know about how to play baseball, and who its major parties are. It’s also pretty engaging, nailing the imitation broadcast aesthetic that so many sports games try to reach. Until last year, this series was a PlayStation exclusive. Now you can get it on just about everything.
Chinatown Detective Agency (PC)
Chinatown Detective Agency is a cybernoir point-and-click adventure game that follows former INTERPOL agent turned private detective Amira Darma. The year is 2037 and the global economy has collapsed. Singapore, curiously enough, is the only city-state to survive the collapse, but even its government now stands on the edge of chaos. Dorma’s investigations will take her all over the world, and players will need to pull in real-world information from outside the game to solve its many mysteries. I hadn’t bumped into this before compiling this week’s releases and now I’m very interested in playing it.
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition (NS, PC, PS4, XBO)
One of the greatest JRPGs of all time is finally back. It is not a direct sequel to Chrono Trigger but is set in the same world and was designed by many of the same people that worked on the original. This remake will mark the first time the game has been released outside of Japan and North America. The list of RPGs we can say this about is thankfully, finally, growing quite thin. It was a popular import in its day and has spent the last twenty years toward the top of many Aussie collectors’ lists. Though I expect most JRPG and Chrono fans have played it via an emulator by now, if you’ve never played Chrono Cross, this presents the perfect opportunity to dive in.
Forgive Me Father (PC)
Forgive Me Father is an eldritch apocalypse shooter with an aesthetic somewhere between Borderlands, Duke Nukem 3D, and XIII. It’s all about blasting through mobs of Lovecraftian nightmare enemies. It’s a simple and effective premise, and honestly, the look is just so good.
Godfall: Ultimate Edition (PS5, XSX, PC, PS4, XBO)
The loot-em-up you’d probably forgotten entirely is going cross-platform. Godfall reminds us that the classic Console Launch Title is still very much a thing, that heady combination of beautiful visuals and the staying power of lettuce left on the kitchen bench. This edition contains all the current DLC and expansion content, in addition to speccy visuals on next-gen hardware.
Out There: Oceans of Time (PC)
Out There returns, embarking on a new trek across the galaxy. Part RPG, part FTL, part 4X strategy, and part No Man’s Sky, the Out There series is loved by fans for its crunchy management, its heady combo of exploration and strategy, and its striking artwork.
Slipstream (PS5, XSX, NS, PS4, XBO)
A pixel racer homage to genre greats like Outrun and F-Zero, Slipstream is all about the high-speed highway drift fantasy. Watch this trailer and tell me it doesn’t look like a great time. Slipstream has been out on PC for some time, but this week makes its way to consoles for the first time.
Metal Dogs (NS, PS4)
This is a twin-stick shooter about very good dogs with military-grade munitions strapped to their backs. If you need more convincing than that, I can’t help you.
Skul: The Hero Slayer (NS)
Skul has been out for a while but is only now getting a retail release on Switch here in Aus. It’s a 2D pixel platformer in the vein of Mega Man. It’s very cool and quite challenging. If you need something to tide you over while we wait for more Hollow Knight: Silksong info, perhaps this will be a balm.