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Games We’re Excited About: September 2017

Summer is over, but the season of games is just getting started. As we get ready to turn the page on August and head into the first big release month of the fall, we’ve got our first megaton release of the season in Destiny 2, as well as Metroid and the long-anticipated release of Cuphead. Without further ado:

 

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Pokkén Tournament Deluxe (Switch) – September 22
I’ll be honest, I’m not even really that into Pokemon, but I am so in love with the Nintendo Switch, that the idea of a Pokemon fighting game on the Switch definitely interests me. The game features over 20 fighters, and the controls will be simple enough that you can play on an individual Joy-Con, so it seems like this could be a fantastic multiplayer game for the Switch.

 

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Destiny 2 (PS4, Xbox One)–September 6

I played the heck out of the original Destiny when it first came out, but by the time the second expansion came along, I had completely lost interest. The story was so fragmented and thin that I didn’t care, and as soon as I fell behind my friends in levels, the group aspect of the game was gone for me. That said, Destiny 2 provides me a clean slate and a new chance to recapture that co-op magic with my friends, so I am definitely in.

 

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Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)–September 15
This was one of the biggest announcements of E3 in my humble opinion, and it may well be one the last great 3DS games we get. Not just a remaster of the 1991 Game Boy classic, Samus Returns features updated maps, gear and abilities, as well as additional content that can be unlocked with Amiibos. I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t rather have it on the switch, though.

 

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Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – September 19
Despite the lack of X-Men characters, I still think MvC: I is looking good. As expected, the Marvel side of the roster is pretty much all MCU characters, from mainstays like Iron Man to newcomers like Captain Marvel. Of the MArvel characters revealed so far, I’m most excited about captain Marvel and Spider-Man (I really was hoping for Shuma-Gorath, though). On the Capcom side, I’m all about Arthur, Haggar and Frank West. I recently bought a fight stick for my PS4, so that’s where I’ll be picking this one up.

 

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Cuphead (Xbox One, PC)– September 29
I will believe it when I see it, but Cuphead is fianlly set to release this month. When this 1930s cartoon-inspired shoot ’em up first showed up on the scene at E3 2014, I was immediately sold. And then it fell into the abyss for the apst few years. But it seems like we will finally, finally get our hands on this game this month. Can it even come close to living up to the hype? We’ll see.

Those are the games we’re most excited about for the month of September. What’s on your list of “must-have” games?

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Games We’re Excited About: July 2017

July is upon us, and we’ve finally hit the “slim pickins” month of 2017. On the bright side, the Switch is getting another fantastic game to add to its already great lineup. We’ve also got an old-school and new-school RPG and a fun summer platformer as well. Here’s what we’re excited about for July:

 

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Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4) – July 11
While most of the world is preoccupied with the snail’s pace progress of the Final Fantasy VII remake, we’re getting a remake in July only a year after its announcement (The Zodiac Age was announced at Last year’s E3). Improvements to game balance, the job system and a quicker play option will accompany the remastered visuals for a package the FF fans should really appreciate.

 

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Splatoon 2 (Switch) – July 21
The biggest release of the month is the sequel to the best new IP to come out for the WiiU. Splatoon was universally acclaimed for its take on the competitive shooter genre. From the neon color cheme to the fantastic chracter design, to the emphasis on paint splattering as opposed to kills, Nintendo proved once again they can provide an original take on a genre. And now that ARMS arrived last month, the Switch has two solid new franchises to go with Zelda and Mario.

 

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Pyre (PS4, PC) – July 25

The latest game from the makers of Bastion and Transistor arrives this month. It’s an action RPG with arena-style combat, and the story involves traveling through Purgatory to cleanse your soul through combat.

 

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Hey Pikmin (3DS) – July 28

If this month wasn’t so barren int terms of releases, this game might not have made the list. But the Pikmin franchise is a fun one, and it’s awesome that we’re still getting solid 3DS releases even as the Switch is taking off.

So, those are the games we’re excited about for July. What’s on your list? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on twitter.com/coopcritics!

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E3 2017: Our 3 Favorite Things from the Nintendo Presser

Only Nintendo could show up to E3 with a 20-minute pre-recorded presentation and almost run away with the show. in fact, if it weren’t for Bethesda, Nintendo would have won E3 by a mile. Here are our three favorite announcements from Nintendo’s presser:

 

Kirby–Kirby just rules. I feel like he’s one of the more underrated Nintendo mascots, but there are so many fun Kirby games throughout the history of Nintendo consoles. Looks like the Switch will be no different.

 

Super Mario Odyssey–Shame on everyone who even doubted how awesome this game was going to be. I think the T. Rex puts any questions to rest, don’t you?

 

Metroid: Samus Returns–A remake/update of the Metroid II GameBoy game? Hell. Yes.

 

Honorable Mention: Metroid Prime 4–The only reason this one wasn’t higher was because we basically saw nothing about the game. But we know it exists, and that’s pretty great.

In addition to the games above, we saw Rocket League on the Switch, a new Yoshi, a cross-platform Monster Hunter and more. Nintendo killed it at E3 this ear. What were your favorite announcements from them?

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E3 2017: Our 3 Favorite Things from the Sony Presser

Monday was Sony’s time to take the spotlight at E3 2017, and they brought the big guns. But it was a new game that may have stolen the entire show. Here’s our three favorite things from Sony’s presentation:

 

Spider-Man–Holy. Crap. I am lifelong Spidey fan, and this game looks amazing. The Miles Morales reveal at the end was just icing on the cake. This one stole the show.

 

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds–I am currently playing Horizon and loving it. This looks like it will be a great addition to the world Guerrilla has created already.

 

Monster Hunter World–I never thought I would be really excited about Monster Hunter, but between this and the Nintendo announcement, I am so in.

The new God of War looks great, the new Uncharted does too. But Spidey, Horizon and Monster Hunter were our three favorites. What were you most exited about from Sony’s E3 presentation?

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E3 2017: Our 3 Favorite Things from the Bethesda Presser

Following Microsoft’s Xbox One X-heavy presentation earlier in the day, Bethesda took the E3 stage on Sunday night and delivered what I think was the best presser of the show. Here’ are three awesome things from Bethesda’a presentation:

 

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus–I missed the latest Wolfenstein reboot when it came out a few years ago, depite having played the original on PC way back in the day. But what I saw of Wolfenstein II made me go back and buy the first game. This looks fantastic.

 

The Evil Within II–I played a few hours of the original and then got sidetracked, but again, this reveal made me dig out my copy of the first game to finish before this one arrives.

 

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider–I got about a quarter of the way through the first Dishonored, but kind of lost interest. This trailer had me wanting to head back and give it another shot.

So, basically Bethesda’s entire presser added games to my list of shame. I’ll be busy before this stuff starts arriving in the Fall. What stood out to you from their E3 presentation?

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E3 2017: Our 3 Favorite Things from the Microsoft Presser

The first of the big three took the state at E3 on Sunday afternoon, and Microsoft’s presser left us with a few things to get excited about this fall and beyond. Of course we new we would see the Scorpio (now dubbed the Xbox One X), and most of the other announcements were leaked ahead of time as well. But that doesn’t make them any less sweet. Here are our three favorite things from the Microsoft presser:

 

Crackdown 3–My all-time favorite series gets a new installment, and as icing on the cake, Terry Crews is in it. I have been waiting for this game for seven years now, and it looks like it has captured the core of what makes Crackdown great. Now if we can just get Crackdown and Crackdown 2 on the backwards compatibility list…

 

State of Decay 2–Despite rave reviews, I never got around to playing the first State of Decay. That won’t be the case this time around.

 

Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds–The Twitch sensation is coming to Xbox One, and it should be a mega-hit there as well.

 

Honorable Mention: Xbox One X

I’ll be honest, I could give a crap about the Xbox One X (or the PS4 Pro, for that matter). I don’t have a 4K TV, and I think the current gen of games look just fine. And $499 is way too much ($399 was the magic price point, and it will be there within a year of launch). BUT, if these half-measures by Microsoft and Sony will extend the life of this console generation, then I am all for it. And it wild rive the price of the original model down, so yay for that, too.

Those are the things we’re most excited about from Microsoft’s E3 presser. Stay tuned for our takeaways from the Bethesda, Sony, Ubi and Nintendo pressers over the next few days!

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E3 2017: Our 3 Favorite Things from the EA Presser

EA kicked things off for the Electronic Entertainment Expo this past Saturday, and while much of what they showed was expected, there were a few pleasant surprises to be had. Here are the three things we were most excited about from the EA presser:

 

Need for Speed: Payback–The latest entry in the NFS franchise feels like Burnout Paradise meets The Fast and the Furious.

 

A Way Out–A split-screen, co-op prison break game from the team behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.

 

Star Wars: Battlefront II–We knew this was coming, but it sure looks awesome.

Those were are three favorite things from the EA presser. What are you most excited about? Stay tuned for our top three from the Microsoft, Bethesda, Sony and Nintendo pressers!

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Games We’re Excited About: JUNE 2017

June isn’t as packed with big releases as some of the last few months have been, but it definitely still packs a punch (get it?), as we’re getting two hotly anticipated fighting games this month. June also sees a major expansion for an MMO and a remaster of a beloved PlayStation classic.

 

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Tekken 7 (PS4, PC, Xbox One)–June 6
Our favorite fighting game series is back on console this month, as Heihachi and crew bring the pain. If you want to know why we’re so excited about this one, check out the Tekken 7 tournament finals from this past weekend’s Combo Breaker 17.

Our only complaint is that Armor King won’t be in this one, as he’s always been Brian’s favorite chracter. Guess he’ll have to start practicing with Kuma.

 

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The Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind (Mac, PS4, PC, Xbox One)–June 6
Morrowind comes to ESO this month in a huge expansion for the MMO. Thirty hours of gameplay and a new character class are just some of what Morrorwind has to offer. If you loved Elder Scrolls 3, now’s the time to jump into ESO.

 

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ARMS (Nintendo Switch)–June 16
ARMS feels like the next Splatoon–a game many dismissed when it was first announced but went on to become a huge fan favorite. ARMS is a fighter where characters use extendable arms with unique abilities to battle up close or across entire arenas. Characters can swap out different combinations of arms, so there is a ton of options for customization. Nintendo seems determined to push for this one to have a competitive scene as well, so it should be an interesting summer for ARMS.

 

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Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)–June 30
There was a time when Crash was mentioned in the same breath as Mario and Sonic. Granted, that time was brief, but it existed nonetheless, and the early Crash games were a blast. The trilogy features the first three Crash games, and will feature updated sounds and individuals, controls and a new save system.

Those are the games we’re excited about for June 2017. What’s on your list of games to pick up for this month?

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The Combo Breaker 17 TEKKEN 7 Finals Were Amazing

With the exception of a short love affair with Super Street Fighter 2 on the SNES, the only fighting game series I have really gotten into over the years has been Tekken. Tekken 2 on the original PlayStation is without a doubt my favorite fighting game of all time, and the one I’ve spent the most time with. I’ve dabbled with the other games in the series, but have never gotten lost in one like I did with Tekken 2.

But man, after watching the Tekken 7 tournament at Combo Breaker 17 Saturday night, not only did I pre-order Tekken 7 for PS4, I ended up buying a fight stick as well. That tournament provided an amazing market showcase for the game, and the level of competition was great. The top eight overall were just outstanding matches, and the finals between Saint and JDCR were amazing.

Needless to say, I’ll be doing some Tekken 7 videos for our YouTube page, as I try and get these old tired reflexes back into fighting shape. You can watch the finals from yesterday’s Tekken 7 tournament in the player above.

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Please Don’t Go, Mass Effect

Sigh.

As you’ve probably seen across various gaming news sites by now, it seems that the Mass Effect franchise is going to be hiatus for a bit (you can read the USGamer story here and the Kotaku story here).

In some ways, this is not terribly surprising. Andromeda’s Metacritic scores current sit at 70 (PS4), 73 (PC) and 77 (Xbox One). Surely that’s not what EA was anticipating when they forced the game to be shipped before it was ready (EA’s fiscal year ended March 31). And it’s really inarguable that the game wasn’t ready. It’s received multiple post-release patches to address a variety of issues, from facial animations to bugs to stability issues and more.

But I can’t help feeling like the decision to put the franchise on hold was driven by the absolute savaging the game has received on social media. Spending any time in the Twitterverse in the first few weeks after release, you would have thought that Mass effect Andromeda was not only the worst game of all time, but that it had destroyed the ability of the people who played it to ever enjoy a video game again.

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The reaction was ridiculous, and it became more so, as the piling-on continued until there was essentially nothing Bioware could do to escape the narrative that Andromeda was an awful game that was a total failure.

It’s really sad, because the Mass Effect universe is one I have invested hundreds of hours in, through the games, comics, novels and more. I spent a good deal of time covering and discussing the original trilogy on Co-Op Critics, my own blog and for Comic Book Resources as well. And I was so excited for a whole new series of games set in the ME universe. My first dozen-plus hours with ME: Andromeda have been great overall. Sure, I see the lack of polish, but as the first game in a new series, I feel like the criticism of it has been completely overblown. I can only imagine if the Twitterverse had been at full force when the original Mass Effect came out. The issues with AI, the glitches, the Mako–I mean can you imagine? But at the time, reason prevailed, and despite its flaws, Mass Effect was given credit where credit was due. I don’t feel like that’s been the case with Andromeda at all.

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Instead, the vitriol directed at the developers and the tidal wave of negativity on social media has helped put the series on ice. I’m just hoping that once the fervor dies down, EA and Bioware will regroup and come up with a plan for moving the series forward. Because there is so much potential for storytelling in the Mass Effect universe, and it would be a shame if this is the end of it.

In case you want to take a trip in the wayback machine, here’s some of my previous stuff on the Mass Effect series:

2008 Interview with Mass Effect Lead Writer Drew Karpyshyn

Interview with Mass Effect 2 Lead Writer Mac Walters and artist Omar Francia about Mass Effect: Redemption comic*

Interview with comic writer John Jackson Miller and artist Omar Francia about Mass Effect Redemption comic*

Blog: My Mass Effect Experience–Part 1

Blog: My Mass Effect Experience–Part 2

Co-Op Critics Podcast: Mass Effect 1-2

Co-Op Critics Podcast: Mass Effect 3

*Due to the way CBR now archives old posts, a lot of the images are no longer embedded, but the content of the interviews is still there.