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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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Games We’re Excited About: September 2016

September is weird this year.

Usually we anticipate September as the beginning of the big games release season. But September 2016 will be known more for hardware news than game releases, as we expect concrete news on both the PlayStation Neo and the Nintendo NX. On the game release front, there are more remasters we’re looking forward to than new releases, but one collection in particular is more than enough to carry us through to October. Here’s what we’re excited about:

 

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BioShock: The Collection (Xbox One, PS4, PC)–September 13th

The Bioshock series is easily one of the greatest trilogies of all time, and I can’t wait to jump into this remastered collection. And it’s great to see Bioshock 2 included, because it’s a fantastic game, even if it wasn’t developed by Irrational. In some ways, I think it’s even better than its predecessor. Now I’m just waiting on Dead Space to get the same treatment and our desert island game collection will be complete.

 

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Dead Rising Triple Pack (Xbox one, PS4, PC)–September 13th/September 27th

As much as I tried to get into the Dead Rising games in the past, it was their clunky control schemes that put me off. But this bundle with Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2 and DR2: Off the Record has me wanting to give the series another go. As a huge Romero fan, the mall setting of the first one is a real draw for me.

 

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ReCore (Xbox one, PC)–September 13th

An adventure game made by the creators behind the Metroid Prime and Mega Man? Yes, please. ReCore centers around Joule, a girl who wakes up from cryosleep to find the Earth is a wasteland.

 

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Adr1ft (Xbox one)–September 16th

In this game you take on the role of an astronaut marooned in space after the destruction of a space station. You have to try and repair an escape ship while finding clues about what happened to the station, as you have no memory of what occurred. This game feels like it could have a SOMA vibe to it, and that alone makes it worth checking out for me.

 

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Destiny: Rise of Iron (Xbox one, PS4)–September 20th

To be honest, I fell out of love with Destiny a while ago. Once my friends had gotten many levels ahead of me, the game became a lot less fun, and the gameplay loop had long since lost its luster for me. But I had a lot of fun with Destiny originally, and anytime new content is released, it’s something I’m going to check out.

 

So, that’s our list of September releases we’re looking forward to. What’s on your list? Let us know in the comments.

 

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No Man’s Sky–First Impressions

I spent about an hour and a half with Hellos Games’ No Man’s Sky last night, and the experience has been kicking around my brain since I put the controller down. In some ways it’s the game I hoped it would be, and in others it’s something entirely different. But it’s absolutely fascinating, and I can already tell I will be losing days of my life to this game over the next several months, at least.

No Man’s Sky throws you right into the deep end to begin with–you awaken after having crash landed on a random planet, and you must find resources to repair your ship and keep yourself alive. And that’s the first thing that kind of surprised me about the game–there’s a really big survival element to it. The resource management (which you have to do for your suit and your ship) was interesting, and I had to make a few difficult decisions fairly early on as far as what to keep and what to discard.

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In addition to managing your resources, there are robotic enemies that you encounter early on, and it’s the one part of the game I didn’t enjoy at all. These Sentinel bots roam around the planet, and if you draw their attention, they attack. Fight back, and your wanted level goes up (like GTA and Saints Row), and then things get ugly. So, I found myself regularly on the run from them, and I died to them about five minutes into the game. I finally figured out that mining a lot of resources in a particular area can draw them to you, so I was more careful, but for me it added a layer of tension that I was not looking for.

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The interface is very reminiscent to the one in Destiny, which actually helped me acclimate to it without much of a problem. I did have to increase the look sensitivity right away, as I felt very sluggish on the default setting. There isn’t a lot of hand-holding being done by the game either, and you can pretty much completely go it alone if you decline an early offer for guidance. That’s what I did, and while I got confused at times, I’m glad I just sort of went with it.

Because exploring in No Man’s Sky is amazing.

The scope of this game is mind-boggling. The planet that I’m on has enough resources, outposts, crashed ships and other secrets that I could probably spend a dozen hours in just this one place. It’s huge. To think that there are an almost infinite number of them out there that I could do the same with is just crazy. I actually jumped into an underground cavern at one point to avoid a Sentinel, and wandered around for a solid 25 minutes before I found the surface again. I honestly thought at one point I was trapped. And when I did come out, I stumbled upon an outpost and met a trader where I was able to upgrade my Multi-Tool and trade a bunch of the resources I collected.

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I also found a distress signal for a crashed ship that I was able to track down and then claim as my own.  And now that I have a ship and it’s repaired, I can explore the rest of this planet before I head out into open space.

So far, No Man’s Sky feels pretty epic. You can expect plenty of gameplay videos on both the Co-Op Critics and Let’s Play Quietly YouTube pages over the next several weeks.

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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.