by Jason Parker (Ragachak)
First of all, can I just say how excited I am for Octopath Traveler? Because I cannot think of a game I’m more excited about beyond that in this year. It’s coming next week (July 13th) and is a pixel-styled RPG from Square-Enix done in the style of Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy VI. It’s a loving tribute to both as I understand it, and I have missed out almost entirely on playing the demo. I keep telling myself that I will, but I have yet to do so. It’s going to be a huge deal and easily one of the games of the year. You can mark my words on that. There are so many cool games coming to the Switch, like MY HERO ONE’S JUSTICE, which is the fighter in the My Hero Academia/Boku no Hero Academia series. I need to catch up on Season 3, but it is going to be another absolute slammer this year.
There’s some other interesting stuff coming to the Switch over this summer, like Curve Digital’FuturLab’s Shoot ‘Em Up Hybrid, Velocity 2X as well as the wacky Manual Samuel. Velocity 2X follows a character that gets sucked into a black hole and must fight their way back to freedom, outrunning and outfighting her captors. Then… there’s Manual Samuel. This one follows a trust-fundee who makes a deal with Death following a fatal car accident. If he can get through a single day manually doing the most menial, instinctive of tasks, and it’s up to the player to guide him through that. They have to manually make him walk, blink, exhale, inhale and more, so he can simply get through a day. It will also feature a time attack mode, and which could provide even more insanity and frustration, a co-op mode! This should be equal parts challenging and fun at the same time. But what came out this week?
Runbow (July 3rd): Runbow is another Wii-U game that is being ported to the Switch, and I’m glad that it was. I got to play a little Runbow with a friend, so I’ve experienced this one first-hand. It’s part runner, part puzzle, set in a world where the colors are changing, and platforms/walls can disappear with those changes, so you have to plan your route while also being able to think on the fly. And if that wasn’t enough, you can have eight or nine players all playing the same stage. You can also play as a host of Nindie (Nintendo Indie) characters like Shovel Knight, and that’s basically enough for me right there. Runbow is addictive and incredibly fun. (14.99)
Assault Gunners – HD Edition (July 5th): This was previously released on Playstation 4 and Windows PC, Assault Gunners HD Edition retains all of the absolutely intense mech combat and high levels of customization that fans have come to expect of the franchise. With 35 full-length, battle-heavy missions, a horde mode (Inferno Mode) that covers 5 varied maps and over 100 mech-customization options, there is lots of replayability and excitement to be had here. Fifteen intense, action-packed, mech-filled stages are waiting in Assault Gunners. (9.99)
Ultra Space Battle Brawl (July 5th): This one I received word of just last night, and it’s the first ever console game to come out of Indonesia, and that’s a pretty big deal. Ultra Space Battle Brawl is a pong-style game on steroids, that has an aesthetic mixing the best of Japan in the 80s and Indonesian urban culture. It’s a couch party game where the competitive edge of fighting games mixes with pong, and it’s just lovely to see. The CEO of Mojiken Studio described it thusly: “Imagine if a gaijin in the 80s made a Japanese style game with Indonesian characters, that’s basically what Ultra Space Battle Brawl is,” and I couldn’t put it any better. It has single-player mode, a bunch of competitive modes that support up to four players, 10 characters, and very catchy Indonesian house/80s synthwave music. It also (the biggest to me possibly) has a track from Manami Matsumae of Mega Man fame. (14.99)