This Week in Games
Too Much to Play
by Heidi Kemps,
Hey all, it's another TWIG kinda day. I'm not gonna lie: it's been another pretty damn slow news week, so I'm not exactly swimming in material to talk about. There are plenty of noteworthy new releases, however! Judgment hit PS4, Samurai Shodown is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One (and I'm reviewing it over here!) and Super Mario Maker 2 drops on Friday. I want to play all of these, dammit! And then there's the Switch version of Bloodstained, which, uh… well, from what I'm hearing, you should probably stick to one of the other platforms. I'm hoping to actually start it up once I'm done writing this!
But I'm always about championing more obscure stuff, and a somewhat less prolific new release that's still worth your attention is Dandy Dungeon on the Switch eShop. Dandy Dungeon is by Onion Games, the folks behind Black Bird and Million Onion Hotel (both of which I've discussed on this column before), and they were kind enough to send me a preview code. I haven't played quite far enough in to offer a full review, but I've been digging what I've played so far.
This game is a port of an out-of-service mobile title of the same name – but worry not, you won't encounter predatory microtransactions here! Instead, you'll follow the tragicomic life of Yamada, a software developer stuck in a lousy job who becomes absolutely obsessed with creating an indie game. As the game's story progresses, Yamada begins using the game as a fantasy-proxy to fix his increasingly sad life through his imagination. Onion Games’ work tends to offer a lot of dark humor to complement its cute spritework and odd music, and Dandy Dungeon is no exception: Yamada's exploits can be funny, but deep down he's pitiful and also a little creepy.
The title Dandy Dungeon might lead you to think this is some sort of dungeon-crawler or roguelike, but it's actually an RPG-themed puzzle game. Yamada's game features a self-insert RPG hero trawling through monster lairs, and he needs to debug his masterpiece by solving the various puzzles. In each room of the dungeon, you're tasked with slaying monsters, collecting treasures, and unsealing the exit – but you must plan all of your movements in advance, and you can't cross the same square twice. Ideally, you'll figure out a path through the room that clears out all the monsters, snags all the goodies, and doesn't leave a single step unexplored, but that can be easier said than done. Fortunately, some of those treasures you grab are items that can be used to help clear out monsters, recover health, and cast useful spells.
I'm honestly not much of a puzzle-game person, but I'm really digging Dandy Dungeon. I've liked all of Onion Games’ other work, and this offers more of what I enjoy: charming, well-made sprite graphics, interesting game concepts, and odd, discomforting humor. I definitely see myself coming back to this one every so often.
News this week is somewhat sparse, but on the plus side, that means we can devote more attention to Summer Games Done Quick!
Yes, everyone's favorite speedrunning marathon is back once again, and we've still got a few days left of people blasting through old favorites in strange and often hilarious ways. There have been plenty of amazing runs so far, and there's still more to come. Beloved games like Super Mario World, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Starfox 64, several Megaman games, Link to the Past and Super Metroid randomizers, and much more are planned to happen as I write this.
A lot of amazing runs have already happened, however, and I'd like to recommend a few you may have missed: There's Streets of Rage (linked in the video above), Pokemon Crystal, Shrek Extra Large, and bizarre anime-flavored Resident Evil wannabe T.R.A.G. The standout run so far by a longshot, however, has to be Zallard1's incredible blindfolded Wii Punch-Out session, where he takes out every fighter in the game in both the original run and Title Defense rematches, including the secret Donkey Kong battle. What he managed to pull off while not being able to see a damn thing is truly awe-inspiring and must be seen to be believed.
Anyway, SGDQ is a good time and you should watch when you can. (And donate if you can.)
Now, onto what I guess passes for news this week…
THERE'S A ONE-PUNCH MAN GAME COMING, AND I DON'T THINK ANYONE'S FEELING IT
Bandai Namco's anime-based games seem to make them a lot of money, because they just keep making them. Well, it's time to add another one to the pile, because One-Punch Man is coming to PS4, PC, and Xbox One!
Titled One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows, this game's set to be a three-on-three brawler featuring favorites from the manga and anime. 3v3, huh? That format sounds familiar. Lots of Bamco's Jump-themed games have used it. And something about the way the game looks feels familiar too...
Well, it turns out that One Punch Man is being developed by the part of Spike Chunsoft that handles outsourced stuff… the very same folks who made Jump Force. Given that the overall reception to Jump Force was “resounding disappointment,” I'm not sure if anyone feels confident in this particular game. Also: it's One Punch Man, a story about a guy who is so absurdly overpowered that he is constantly battling existential ennui. How the hell do you translate that into a game effectively without making something horrifically unbalanced?
This game was announced a couple days ago, but after a slate of disappointing Jump-based releases last year, most reactions to the announcement I saw could be summed up like this:
SEGA STREAMS SOME EARLY GAMEPLAY OF PROJECT SAKURA WARS
I was rather sad that Project Sakura Wars didn't have more a presence at E3 this year, given that the Western and Japanese releases were announced near-simultaneously. I know I'm looking forward to playing this, though I'm trying to stay away from learning too much about the game. I like going in not totally knowing what to expect. Yeah, that's kinda hard to do when you're doing a weekly news column, but I try to avoid as much as I can anyway!
Anyhow, it looks like for this game in particular, Sega is adopting Nintendo's strategy of streaming information broadcasts – not quite “Hanagumi Direct,” but pretty close. They had their first such broadcast this week, and it was quite lengthy, showcasing gameplay and new characters for the first time.
Among the new reveals is a familiar face: Sumire's back, and she's in charge of rebuilding the Combat Revue. There's also secretary Kaoru Rindou, goofy merchant Komachi Ooba, and Tomokazu Sugita-voiced mechanic Reiji Shiba to throw a bone to all the fujoshi.
If you're interested in seeing more of the game in action, grab a sandwich and watch the video above. I'm sure Sega will be dropping more of these before the game's launch “this winter,” and now I'm wondering if any other fan favorite characters might be coming back. (Please bring back Gemini and Erica, please, please…)
FIGHTING GAME NEWS ROUNDUP: DLC FOR DAYS
Samurai Shodown just launched, and for a limited time, the first season pass is free! Upon the game's official release, SNK revealed the full roster of season one:
Yeah, no big surprises here – these characters were either old favorites or standouts in the games where they were introduced. There's been some wailing and gnashing of teeth over the lack of waifus like Iroha and Mina, but there's a good chance that there will be more than one season, so who knows? They could very well turn up again.
Also, Tifa's joining Dissidia NT. I don't have anything more to say because I'm honestly sick of The Tifa Discourse. She's in the game, play her if you like her.
So that just about does it for a pretty dull newsweek. Well, there's one other thing worth talking about – you all seen this SolSeraph thing? It's basically an Actraiser spiritual sequel (because Actraiser 2 was, uh, kinda weird), and it looks really good. It's even got a Yuzo Koshiro soundtrack! Can't do better than that. I know I'm excited!
So are you playing any particular games this weekend? Or are you just going to watch the rest of Summer Games Done Quick before cracking open the cellophane on that hot new release? Share your thoughts in the forums!
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