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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: April 2017

March was a huge month for games and games hardware, with the launch of the Switch and the arrival of tentpole releases like Zelda, Horizon and Mass Effect. And while April can’t possibly live up to last month, there are some great games in the queue, including some updated ports and one of the year’s biggest RPGs.

 

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Persona 5 (PS4)–April 4
While I (Brian) did not play Persona 4, I have very fond memories of the over 100 hours I spent with Persona 3. Persona’s blend of story, combat and relationship management make it stand out from the rest of the pack. And Persona 5 looks super slick. The story for this latest installment takes place in Tokyo and involves students using their persona powers to travel to an alternate dimension here they must remove corruption from the hearts of adults.

 

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Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition (PS4, Xbox One, PC)– April 7
When Bulletstorm came out in 2011, we had an absolute blast with its over the top action and low-brow humor. But it was the combat mechanics that made it great–a Scorpion-like energy leash that could pull enemies in for brutal kills, and a reward system that gave you points for creatively destroying enemies. It was like Gears of War on two pots of coffee. This remastered edition includes better visuals, new maps, DLC and gives players the ability to play as Duke Nukem. Bring it.

You can also hear Dan and Brian wax poetic about their love for Bulletstorm in an old episode of the Co-Op Critics podcast right here.

 

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Stardew Valley: Collector’s Edition (PS4, Xbox One)–April 11
We’ve been playing Stardew Valley for a year now on PC, so we know what a treat console gamers are in for this month. This Harvest Moon-inspired gem has you managing a farm you inherited from your grandfather. Farming, fishing, crafting, cooking, fighting monsters and managing relationships are all part of what makes Stardew Valley so great. The soundtrack is amazing, too.

 

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) – April 28
Mario Kart 8 was already amazing on the WiiU, and now it’s coming to Nintendo’s new console with a bevy of extra stuff. All the DLC from the WiiU version, new tracks, new tracks, new vehicles and more. Zelda may have carried the launch of the Switch, but Mario Kart 8 will keep people playing through the summer.

Those are the games we’re excited about for April. What’s on your “to buy” list? Let us know in the comments!

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Co-Op Critics Podcast–No Man’s Sky

In the latest episode of the Co-Op Critics podcast, we discuss our game of the month, No Man’s Sky, look at some of October’s releases, and talk about what we’ve been playing over the summer.

You can listen to the episode right here in the player above, or check us out on iTunes and Spreaker. You can also listen to back episodes on our podcast page. And don’t forget to check out the YouTube page for videos and discussion on all of the games we’re playing!

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Co-Op Critics Podcast–Overwatch

In the latest episode of the Co-Op Critics podcast, Brian and Nick discuss our game of the month, Overwatch, look at some of August’s releases, and talk about what else they’re playing for the rest of the summer.

You can listen to the episode right here in the player above, or check us out on iTunes and Spreaker. You can also listen to back episodes on our podcast page. We’ll be catching up on a bunch of games over the remainder of the summer, so check out the YouTube page for all kids of videos and discussion.

Co-Op Conversations: Alasdair Beckett-King Talks Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet

Brian recently chatted with the creator of Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet, award-winning comedian and filmmaker Alasdair Beckett-King. They talk about everything from the 2007 game that started it all, to the the appeal of adventure games as a genre.

The game arrives on March 22nd for PC, Mac and Linux. You can find out more at nellycootalot.com, and pre-order the game on Steam right now at http://store.steampowered.com/app/317320/.

Game Synopsis:

Join Nelly Cootalot in this indie adventure game, and rescue birds hypnotized by the villainous Baron Widebeard. Explore a charming, hand-drawn world created by award-winning comedian and filmmaker Alasdair Beckett-King. What is Baron Widebeard planning? Can he be stopped? In what way is a frozen volcano involved? To answer these questions comes Nelly Cootalot: pirate heroine and defender of endangered and adorable creatures. Nelly’s journey will take her from Port Rubicund in the South Seas to the lonely isle of Gloomholm in the icy north. She’ll meet outlandish characters and face perplexing challenges in her quest for the Treasure of the Seventh Sea.

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Console Gaming is No Longer a Smoother Experience Than PC Gaming

Seems like you can’t go three clicks on a gaming site these days without reading about broken console experiences. Games like Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Halo: Master Chief Collection have been rife with bugs and major issues since launch. The recent hacks of both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network meant many people who got a new console for Christmas couldn’t download or play games on them. 

As I downloaded the 40GB update for Assassin’s Creed: Unity on XBox One this week (because a screw-up meant the “patch” was actually a re-download of the entire game), I couldn’t help but think:

Has console gaming lost the one true edge that it had on PC gaming for years?

I don’t think I’m alone in the reason I’ve preferred console gaming to PC gaming for years now–it’s been a much smoother experience. Not having to worry about different control schemes, driver updates and compatibility issues was a major reason that I have been primarily a console gamer for most of my adult life. If there was one thing you could count on when it came to console gaming, it was that things would just work. Buy a game, put it in your console, and play.

But not only has PC gaming gotten much easier over the past few years with things like Steam’s ‘Big Picture Mode’ and the fact that most games have controller support, but PC games offer a substantial edge to console games when it comes to pricing. As I type this, you can get the Tomb Raider: Game of the Year Edition for $6 on Steam. And through sites like Good Old Games, you can play classics like the original Deus Ex for $2.50.

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have come out of the gate with a lot of the same problems that used to make PC gaming such a pain in the butt–constant updating, lots of bugs and in some cases, games that are broken on arrival and require multiple patches to fix. Add into that their unstable online services, and it feels like console gaming has lost pretty much all of the advantages it used to offer over PC gaming.

Most of the conversation around broken games and constant updates has centered around publishers and developers. But Microsoft and Sony might want to take a larger role in quality control moving forward, because the easier PC gaming becomes, the more likely console gamers are to jump over to the land of better visuals, better prices and a more stable user experience.