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5 PlayStation Series We’d Love to See Return

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2017 has been a fantastic year for the PS4. The current king of consoles has seen the release of no less than 3 genuine game of the year candidates – Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier: Automata, and Persona 5 – along with a raft of other excellent titles, such as Gravity Rush 2, Yakuza 0, and Nioh.

As good as these games are individually, however, perhaps the most important thing for the continued success of the PlayStation brand going forward is that each of these titles is either the latest in an established series or the starting point of a brand-new one.

And this got me thinking. With Sony in such a strong position at the moment and thus better placed than the competition to indulge in the odd passion project or two, wouldn’t now be the perfect time to revisit some of the platform’s former successes? And, if so, which now defunct series would PlayStation aficionadas most like to see return?

Based on my own past experiences and a bit of good old-fashioned research, I’ve narrowed it down to 5 enjoyable, interesting, or exciting franchises that we’d welcome back with open arms.

Just a quick heads up before we start, there a few ground rules.

Firstly, only PlayStation-exclusive series appear in this list, hence the omission of Spyro, Soulcalibur, Katamari, Time Splitters, and any other series that branched out to other platforms after debuting on a Sony console. Secondly, entries have to have been part of a bona fide series, so don’t expect to see one-off titles like Bloodborne, Heavenly Sword, or Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Thirdly, I’ve taken the executive decision to exclude any franchise that’s released a standard or remastered title on the PS4 (sorry LittleBigPlanet and Crash Bandicoot!).

Anyway, now that’s out of the way, let’s get started.

Sly Cooper


Gamers love an anthropomorphized animal protagonist. From Sonic the Hedgehog and Banjo the bear to Crash Bandicoot and, rather neatly, the star of our first entry: Sly Cooper. It seems we’re a sucker for anything that features a talking ball of fur in a prominent role.

I’m being facetious, of course. What actually makes these games special are the supremely imaginative worlds they invite us to explore and the finely-crafted platforming mechanics that are, more often than not, enjoyably challenging; testing your patience, reflexes, and timing. And, while the Sly Cooper series might not be quite as well-known as Banjo Kazooie or (early) Sonic the Hedgehog, it’s a superb one nonetheless.

Sly himself is the perfect protagonist. Somewhat different, yet eminently likeable, he stands out from the crowd thanks to his mischievous nature and charming demeanour, backed by a cast of equally appealing supporting characters, most notably Bentley, Murray, and Carmelita Fox. All of which are rendered in effortlessly stylish, cel shaded visuals that exude a cartoony, film noir vibe, and give the world of Sly Cooper a wonderfully fresh appearance.

The combination of robust, well-balanced platforming and stealth mechanics, meanwhile, offers a similarly unusual platforming experience that’s quite distinct from the titles mentioned above.

Emphasising agility over brute strength, players are encouraged to adopt a cautious approach to the various challenges they’re faced with over the course of the 4 games, utilizing the rakish raccoon’s arsenal of special abilities to either eliminate foes silently or avoid them altogether. This singular gameplay style, combined with the series’ heist-based structure, makes playing Sly Cooper feel as much like Metal Gear Solid as Super Mario Bros.

Unsurprisingly, given its popularity, an animated series is in the works. Here’s hoping it reignites interest in the IP and we see a new game in the not-too-distant future.

Dark Cloud


Released on PS2 between 2000 and 2003, Dark Cloud and sequel Dark Chronicle/Dark Cloud 2 (depending on where you live) are everything a JRPG should be: immersive, fun to play, charming, imaginative, challenging, and stylish, with an excellent soundtrack and just a dash of quirkiness thrown in for good measure.

Yet, while I could waffle on about the refined combat system and rich world till kingdom come, one of the most interesting aspects of these two superlative games is the signature ‘Georama Mode’.

Similar to the building mechanics featured in surprisingly good RPG-Minecraft hybrid Dragon Quest Builders, Georama Mode is a fundamental part of both games that tasks players with restoring a variety of the respective game-world’s settlements in order to progress through the story; each set of increasingly challenging, procedurally-generated dungeons only becoming accessible once a specific town or village has been completely rebuilt.

It’s not quite as extensive as Dragon Quest Builders’, of course, but it’s still a highly satisfying mechanic that differentiates the series from the majority of JRPG’s in existence today.

So good and highly regarded are these games, it’s actually quite surprising we haven’t seen a sequel in the decade and a half since Dark Chronicle released. Especially considering one producer at developer Level 5 has previously suggested the team would seriously consider making a third instalment if there was enough public demand.

Well, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of that.

Resistance


Changing tack somewhat, we have Resistance; a trilogy of sci-fi shooters developed by Insomniac Games (the same studio behind Ratchet and Clank and Spyro) set in an alternate version of the 1950’s in which planet Earth has been invaded by a malevolent alien race known as the Chimera.

Though not the most innovative of shooters – the mechanics, environments, and story have been labelled as slightly run-of-the-mill by a number of critics – the series received largely positive reviews nevertheless. The fact that Resistance 3, the lowest rated of the three, currently sits at an impressive 83/100 on Metacritic, speaks volumes.

Indeed, despite suggestions the series lacked originality, the franchise was largely praised for its compelling, coherent narrative and entertaining combat mechanics that, minus a couple of missteps in Resistance 2 (specifically, the removal of the health bar and weapon wheel) rarely disappointed.

Each title even came equipped with a comprehensive multiplayer offering to keep players interested once the single player campaign was done and dusted, complete with a variety of game modes and challenges. Though unfortunately, the servers were closed in 2014.

With Insomniac ruling out a return to the series, we probably won’t see a fourth instalment any time soon. That being said, Insomniac is open to the possibility of farming out the IP to a third-party, so, never say never.

Jak and Daxter


Okay, so, by the rules set out above, this could be construed as cheating. However, since the PS4 version of Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is a port rather than a remaster, I’ve decided to go ahead and include it anyway.

With 4 critically-acclaimed, main-line platformers under its belt (along with a car combat game that’s broadly similar to Mario Kart or CTR, and a PSP-exclusive spin-off starring side-kick Daxter), the Jak And Daxter franchise is certainly one of PlayStation’s most recognizable and a classic of the platformer genre.

At a time when 3D platformers were all the rage, Jak and Daxter (the first 3, in particular) received lavish praise for their light-hearted and amusing protagonists, solid gameplay mechanics, imaginative setting, and innovative blend of different genres, the latter of which would come to characterize the series as a whole. Highlighting Naughty Dog’s innovative approach to the genre, in their review of the Jak and Daxter Collection, Game Informer said: “falling squarely in the action/platforming genre, the series was driven by a restless sense of innovation, evolving from the standard ‘90s collection-driven design to Jak 3’s apocalyptic open-world that suggested what Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome might have looked like if conceived by Pixar”.

Despite its popular and critical appeal, rather disappointingly, Naughty Dog has no plans to make another game anytime soon. However, in the same PSU article in which Community Strategist Arne Meyer quashed any hope of an imminent release, he did state that the current lack of activity “doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t be able to do it [create a new game] in the future”.

But, with The Last of Us Part II currently in development, it’s safe to assume it’ll be a fair while before we see the charismatic duo on our screens again.

Jade Cocoon


This one might be a bit of an outlier, but who remembers turn-based, Pokémon-inspired PS1 JRPG Jade Cocoon: Story of Tamamayu and its PS2 sequel Jade Cocoon 2?

Released, rather unsurprisingly, around the same time Pokémon fever began to infect playgrounds across the globe, Jade Cocoon’s 1 and 2 weren’t the most original in terms of plot: young adult aspires to a life of adventure, is subsequently tasked with saving the world from an insidious magical force, travels said world in an effort to hone his skills ahead of the final showdown against the big bad, triumphs against all the odds. Nor were the central gameplay mechanics particularly revolutionary: the rock-paper-scissors-style combat and monster capturing/raising systems are hardly unique.

However, to focus on the similarities between Jade Cocoon and other JRPG’s, including Pokémon, would be doing the series a huge disservice.

Breeding, for instance, was an integral part of the Jade Cocoon experience from the very beginning (unlike Pokémon which only introduced a comparable mechanic in generation 2), and allowed players to freely combine the games’ numerous monsters in order to create colourful, distinctive new creatures.

More generally, the world in which the games were set is rich and charming, chock-a-block with interesting characters and a genuinely impressive visual style that features a cavalcade of delightful FMV cut-scenes and pre-rendered backgrounds.

Of all the series mentioned in this list, it’s probably the least likely to make a comeback, what with the current superfluity of RPG’s and the dangers of entering an over-crowded market (just look at Battleborn’s attempt at carving its own niche in the hero shooter genre). Still, there are a couple of Reddit and Facebook groups dedicated to entreating developer Genki to make a third, so, it’d be foolish to rule out the possibility altogether.

It goes without saying there are plenty of other series that are more than worthy of a recognition – Ape Escape and Alundra spring to mind.

But, what these series demonstrate is that, for all the exciting new IP’s, Sony has plenty of absolutely cracking franchises in its archives that still have plenty to offer.

Besides, what’s a list without a bit of controversy?

Counting Final Fantasy VII, The Last of Us, the original Mass Effect trilogy, and The Witcher 3 amongst his favourite games, John enjoys anything that promises to take up an absurdly large amount of his free time. When he’s not gaming, chances are you’ll find him engrossed in a science fiction or fantasy novel; basically, John’s happiest when his attention is as far from the real world as possible.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Brent Middleton

    October 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    I always loved the characters, world and animation of Sly Cooper, but I absolutely hate stealth games. Still, I’d love to see it come back if only to watch someone else play it other than me!

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Game Reviews

‘Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ Defines Three Incredible Generations

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the best bang for your buck compilation that the Super Mario Bros. franchise and the Nintendo Switch currently has to offer.

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Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Super Mario 3D All-Stars Review

Developer: Nintendo | Publisher: Nintendo | Genre: Platformer, Action | Platforms: Nintendo Switch | Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch


After nearly half a year of rumors, it was no surprise that Nintendo was going to jump up super high with another compilation title on their red plumber’s next special numbered anniversary. It’s absolutely undeniable to say that Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the best bang for your buck compilation that the Super Mario Bros. franchise and the Nintendo Switch currently have to offer. However, there are still a few pesky problems that persist through its leaking warp pipes. Nonetheless, what you are getting here is three updated masterclass retro classics that I probably don’t have to sell you on.

Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy are not only some of the most critically acclaimed titles on their respective systems, but they’re also among the most influential games ever made. Having all these platformers on one modern console handheld hybrid system sounds certainly promising, but how do they hold up in comparison to other games out on the market today? Is this really the best way to play these three classics? Have they been obliterated by time? Of course they all still hold up exceptionally well, but there are some upsetting answers to be found. Veterans and newcomers of Mario’s three-dimensional adventures will be rather pleased though by what is being offered in Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

3D All-Stars is a great best-hits package that can sometimes skimp out on features and upgrades, but it’s simply exceptional nonetheless.

Taking it all the way back to the past, 1996’s Super Mario 64 still holds a candle to many of today’s modern platformers as it flaunts its rebellious spirit through open environments and selective mission paths. The Nintendo 64’s shining star is just as good as you’ve heard or remember it to be. Despite some of its troublesome camera rotation and weird analog movement, the first three-dimensional Super Mario title still lives up to that high standard you would expect from a Nintendo release. Even after all these years, Super Mario 64 still comes out on top as the king of its generation.

There are plenty of cleaned-up trimmings, including new textures and user interface icons sprinkled here and there that benefit the original game’s noticeably aging areas throughout it’s latest rerelease. In comparison to its bundled successors, however, Super Mario 64 received the short end of the enhanced stick. While I certainly won’t say that Super Mario 64 was utterly cheated out on receiving the gleaming treatment it deserves, in comparison to something like Rare’s remasters of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, Bethesda’s recent DOOM 64 port, or even just the other games within 3D All-Stars for that matter, Nintendo’s fifth-generation golden goose has disappointingly been adapted to Switch, to say the least.

Not only is the game not in widescreen like the other titles, but the framerate is still capped at 30 frames per second. Nintendo has created an authentic experience for those looking for the same adventure players witnessed when this groundbreaking masterpiece initially hit the public, but that does not mean these features could not have been optional. Considering Super Mario Galaxy is running at 1080p, sixty frames per second, surely Nintendo could have gotten the more primitive Nintendo 64 title up to that pristine quality.

Revisiting 2002’s summer vacation to Isle Delfino was a tear-worthy experience for me that one could say was fludding with nostalgia. I am not going to lie, Super Mario Sunshine was one of the very first console games I ever owned and it is still one of, if not my all-time favorite titles out there. However, ignoring my deep-rooted connection with the GameCube, objectively speaking Sunshine may perhaps be the Mario game that benefits the most from this compilation. Not only does the game look fantastic in widescreen format and high definition like the other games, but that extra field of view increases Delfino’s sense of scale and vision. It is truly incredible how well some of Nintendo’s earliest library of sixth-generation titles hold up visually despite being almost twenty years old.

The biggest concern longtime fans of Super Mario Sunshine will have going into this collection is how the control scheme would function. As someone who has played through the GameCube release dozens of times, I can happily confirm that Nintendo has done a fine job porting the game over to Switch. For those who are unaware, Sunshine originally allowed you to dictate the amount of water pressure F.L.U.D.D. would power out depending on how far you held the right trigger in. Due to the Switch’s lack of back analog triggers, replicating the original game’s experience was going to be difficult from the get-go. Nintendo’s solution was to make the character operate entirely on full power mode. This may sound like a major change, but in reality, the old control scheme was merely a feature that was fun to mess around with rather than a game-changing aspect. Outside of the late game’s irritating casino pachislot before the King Boo boss fight, there is no other area affected by the alteration.

While Nintendo’s newest GameCube emulation is surely impressive, it may not be entirely flawless for every perfectionist’s liking. Sunshine does indeed contain some minor faults that can likely be fixed in a future patch if Nintendo ever so chooses to release one. There are two notable quirks that will bother longtime fans although it should be mentioned that these are incredibly nitpicky changes in the grand scheme of things. For one, I noticed that a specific sound effect heard multiple times before timed missions had been changed to an oddly annoying censored beep- way to make El Piantissimo and Blooper racing bother more newcomers. Secondly, during some of the Fluddless missions focused on platforming, textured blocks that players are not supposed to see can appear that indicate an object’s trajectory.

Speaking of trajectories, its time to talk about the outer space adventure veterans probably have the most questions about. To bring this library to a close, we have 2007’s astronomical hit Super Mario Galaxy– the most critically praised game in this entire package, with the highest Metacritic and OpenCritic scores out of these three monoliths. Super Mario Galaxy is definitely the closest game to hit the modern standard of Mario’s latest globe-trotting adventures. When it comes to gorgeously designed landscapes and compact areas to explore, there are times where Galaxy could quite honestly stand toe to toe with Super Mario Odyssey from a distance. On top of this, we have what is arguably the most heartfelt Mario story to date as its beautifully constructed narrative never pulls any punches with its wholesome story entirely told through chapters of short text and subcontext.

Galaxy heavily utilized the Wii remote and nunchuck, but Nintendo is offering players with quite a few ways to now enjoy the title. Both Pro-Controller and Joy-Con proclaimers can breath easy because Galaxy supports both formats. While they may not be as pinpoint accurate as they previously were, the latest control schemes are exceptional. When playing with either of these controller options, you will have to utilize either motion or gyro to move the Luma cursor used to collect star bits, stop enemies, or solve various puzzles. Since the Switch lacks the intricately designed motion controls of the Wii, the developers have smartly mapped the right trigger to reset the cursor to the center of the screen.

The only aspect of Super Mario Galaxy that can often become problematic is when the game is being played in handheld mode, but this really only applies to specific sections of the game. In regards to on the go action, the game’s motion controls have been optimized for the touch screen, however, anyone who has played the Wii release can probably tell why this would not always work efficiently. When it comes to specifically collecting star bits, Galaxy can be a nightmare to try and multitask as you have to either pull your hand away from moving the left stick or inputting basic action commands like jumping. Menus and motion puzzles work great in handheld mode and can even be easier to play at times, but it is odd that the docked and tabletop control schemes can not be used with attached Joy-Cons.

Outside of the core three titles, Nintendo has opted out of including any special modes or features, unlike some of their various other notable anniversary titles such as Kirby’s Dream Collection or even the original Super Mario All-Stars rerelease on Wii. Without the additional extra content that properly commemorates the history of the Super Mario Bros. series, this anniversary can feel dishearteningly shallow as it looks more like a hangout than a massive birthday on the surface. Aside from including each game’s incredible soundtracks that double down as a way to always mix up your main menu experience, there are no art pages, interviews, design documents, or anything significant to glance at in this collection when it comes to additional trincites to awe at.

At the bare minimum, Nintendo could have at least included each title’s original manual for players to browse through, but even that is absent here. Even Super Mario Maker’s physical release came with a special booklet for fans to peruse five years ago. The games are obviously what matters most, but for something made to celebrate such a noteworthy milestone, audiences will definitely be expecting more from a character as iconic as Mario. The Super Mario Bros. franchise has such a fascinating history with a literal ocean of trivia and art worth exploring that you can find across several official artbooks, social media platform pages, and wikis. It is truly a shame that Nintendo did not go the extra mile to include any of this when commemorating 35 years of their mascot, but once again, the games at the spotlight are what truly matters most.

Despite its minor emulation issues and missing opportunities, 3D All-Stars manages to defy three incredible generations in one worthwhile package.

With its outstanding lineup of three masterclass generation-defining titles, Super Mario 3D All-Stars exceeds in a value rightfully way above its retail price tag as it bundles together three incredible journies into one package. Whether it is your first time getting to know Mario’s fantastical world or you are coming back to relive your childhood memories, this is a special title that offers some of the finest platforming adventures the red plumber has embarked on. Outside of the fact that it is literally a limited-time release, Nintendo’s latest anniversary best-hits extravaganza is well worth running out to purchase. If you have not played Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, or Super Mario Galaxy, you owe it to yourself to experience every one of these games.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is indeed lacking in bonus content to make this truly feel like a shebang worth celebrating, but its three games keep the entire party from ever being less than exceptional. All three games included still remain tremendously entertaining as they prove to excel upon the passage of time. Perhaps it is not the grand superstar it could have potentially been, but it will put a huge smile on any veteran or newcomer’s face as they explore Peach’s castle grounds, take on a thwarted island vacation, or skyrocket into the cosmos that have brought decades of enjoyment to audiences of all ages. Collect your coins and get it while you can or begin plotting a Bowser-like scheme to score a copy in the distant future.

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PAX Online: ‘Unpacking’ and ‘Infernax’

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game the calm and relaxing Unpacking and the not-so calm and relaxing Infernax.

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Unpacking and Infernax

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game that takes a hated activity and somehow makes it relaxing and another game that will leave you clenching your buttocks.

Unpacking

Unpacking game

Platforms: PC
Release: 2021

As someone who is coming fresh off of moving just a little over a month ago, you couldn’t have blamed me for being a little skeptical going into what was dubbed a “zen puzzle” game based on the final stretch of the process. Unpacking is just that, though. It’s a calming, almost therapeutic exercise that happened to serve as a wonderful way for me to unwind at the end of a day.

Unpacking is exactly what it says on the tin. There are no scores, no timers, no leaderboards, just you, and a few boxes with various items in them that need to be placed somewhere. The demo starts with a single bedroom in 1997. There’s nothing in the game that tells you where something should go, only your own taste and intuition; a locked diary would probably go in a desk-drawer while a soccer trophy would probably be displayed on a shelf.

As I slowly unearthed items one-by-one, I gradually got a feel for what the room’s new inhabitant was most likely like. The endless supply of stuffed animals implied someone of younger age while the numerous art supplies indicated someone inclined to right brain thinking. It’s rather engaging to learn about this person’s life purely by their belongings.

Every item taken out was like a delightful surprise and would sometimes even make me feel a little sentimental such as when I took out a small device that was clearly a Tamagotchi. More importantly, Unpacking nails that sinking feeling of when you feel like you’ve used all your available space but still have boxes left. Reaching the point of just throwing stuff wherever it fits is such an immediately relatable feeling that I was almost offended. And that was only for a single bedroom!

Unpacking game

The demo’s second stage was a little more involved with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen in the year of 2004. The hilarious moments of finding a boot in your kitchenware box or a bra with your toiletries also felt like a call-out to my own hodge-podge packing methods. It’s something I can’t help but let out an exasperated chuckle at.

It was also neat to see how this person has grown since their earlier abode. Much fewer stuffed animals but more art supplies and a brand new computer imply this character is maybe entering the working adult world. I’ve never actually seen this character, but I can’t help but feel a connection to them already, and that was only after two moves. The full game will have eight total moves to follow them through and I am genuinely curious to see how our nameless and faceless protagonist grows throughout them.

Now if only unpacking in real life could be this soothing.

Infernax

Infernax

Platforms: PC
Release: TBA

Some players may recognize Berzerk Studio for their excellent 2018 bullet-hell, rhythm game Just Shapes & Beats. Coming hot of the heels of that hit they immediately pivoted in the new direction with Infernax, a delightfully edgy 8-bit adventure platformer that takes cues from old-school Castlevania titles.

Our hero returns to his land after a successful crusade only to find it overrun by horrible monstrosities in every which direction. With nothing but mace in hand, he sets out on a quest anew to rid the land of the undead filth. Immediately apparent upon starting is just how tightly the game controls; anyone fond of earlier NES titles will feel right at home with Infernax. I quickly got a handle on my exact attack reach down to the pixel and began mowing down the zombies in front of me. It emphasized how much joy a game is possible of eliciting from simply a jump and attack button.

Getting to that proficiency is important too because the game doesn’t waste any time in taking off the training wheels! Even the base enemies shaved off half my HP if I got careless and that difficulty ramped up at a rapid rate as new enemy types were introduced at a decent clip such as flying evil eyes and jumping rodents. Not only do these foes burst into tasty experience points and gold to be spent on upgrades, but also into extremely satisfying fountains of blood.

Infernax isn’t particularly shy about turning up the gore factor, but it’s still impressive by just how creative they get with it using simple pixel art. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you are killed. Every single enemy type has a unique kill animation when they deal the final blow to our hero. From the chump ass pillbugs to the big bad bosses, all of them mutilate you in a different way and it’s honestly morbidly mesmerizing to witness. It made me want to suicide against every enemy I came across just so I could see what creative way they took my life.

Infernax

Depending on your playstyle you might not want to do this, though, as Infernax features two different ways to respawn when you die. Hardcore respawn sends you all the way back to your last save point, just like in those classic NES titles. Casual respawn lets you restart right where you left off with no loss in progress, but choosing to do so locks you out from Hardcore the rest of the game. It’s a sort of mark of shame that I was glad to wear during the demo after I came up against the final boss and promptly got my ass handed to me. It sounds a little cheeky on paper but is actually very consistent with the game’s overtly edgy tone.

Infernax feels like a game that was lost to time during the NES era and is just now being rediscovered. Those looking for for a game that harkens back to the simplicity of the olden days need not look any further.

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Indie Games Spotlight – Going Full Circle

We’re featuring five exciting indie games in our latest spotlight, including the internship roguelike Going Under and the cozy puzzles of Lonesome Village.

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Journey of the Broken Circle

Indie Games Spotlight is Goomba Stomp’s biweekly column where we highlight some of the most exciting new and upcoming independent games. Summer may have come to a close, but that hasn’t stopped big announcements from rolling in. With events like PAX Online and the recent PlayStation 5 Showcase flooding the web with announcements, trailers, and gameplay footage, there’s been a constant deluge of news to keep up with. With so much coming on the horizon, we’re spotlighting five exciting indies that you’ll be able to play sooner rather than later. Whether you’re in the mood for a brutally addictive action game or a cozy adventure and social sim, there’s bound to be a game that speaks to you in this spotlight.

Moving Up Professionally in Going Under

Work is its own payment in Going Under. In this action game from developer Aggro Crab, you’re put in the shoes of an unpaid intern who must explore the endless ruins of failed tech startups while fighting off the monsters that spawn within them. It’s hard work to do without a single paycheck—but hey, at least you’re gaining valuable experience!

As a former unpaid intern myself, the writing in Going Under certainly resonates with me and it’s sure to strike a chord with anyone who’s ever felt underappreciated or overworked. Its vibrant and colorful 3D graphics, as well as its satirical story, only make it all the more enticing. It really should offer a great working experience when it hits all consoles and PC via Steam on September 24.

Animated GIF

Fill in the Gaps in Journey of the Broken Circle

Something’s missing in Journey of the Broken Circle. Like its name would suggest, this puzzle platformer follows a Pacman-like circle with a hole to fill. It wanders through a world that is whimsical and existential at once, searching for a companion to fill its gaps. As the circle rolls through ethereal environments, it encounters different shapes to use that allow for new gameplay mechanics.

Journey of the Broken Circle might be about an abstract shape, but in its quest to become whole, it strives to capture the human experience. It promises to be an intimate experience that clocks in at about five hours to complete. If you’re interested in getting this ball rolling, it’s already available now on Switch and Steam.

Prepare to Get GORSD

There’s a delicate balance between unsettling the player without being outright scary. GORSD treads the line here as a one-hit-kill shooter that stars humans encased in the skins of octopuses, dragons with human faces, and nightmarish environments. Something feels off about GORSD, but that’s exactly what makes it so interesting.

Brought to life with detailed pixel art, GORSD supports up to four players who can face off in chaotic matches in varied arenas. It also features a full-fledged single-player campaign with a vast overworld with dozens of unique stages. Its concept is inspired by its developers’ native Southeast Asian cultures, making for a unique gameplay and aesthetic experience. If you’re ready to dive in and see it for yourself, it’s available now on all consoles and PC via Steam.

Get Ready For a Foregone Conclusion

Saying Foregone is a 2D Dark Souls would be cliché, but accurate nonetheless. It’s a hardcore action game where you’ll fight against insurmountable odds to prevent monsters from overrunning the world. It has a brutally addictive gameplay loop—its difficulty may be excruciating, but because it offers a wide assortment of abilities to leverage, it’s immensely euphoric once you overcome the challenges before you.

This beautiful 3D/pixelated hybrid action game has been available on PC in early access since February, but at long last, it’s seeing its full console release in October. It’s been a promising title ever since its pre-release days, and now that it’s finally seeing its complete iteration, there’s never been a better time to dive in and give it a shot. It’s hitting all platforms on October 5, so there’s not long to wait!

Finding Good Company in a Lonesome Village

Mix Zelda with Animal Crossing and you might get something like Lonesome Village. This newly-revealed puzzle adventure game features Zelda-like adventure in a hand-drawn world populated by animal characters. Players control a wandering coyote who stumbles upon a strange village and decides to investigate its mysterious happenings by interacting with villagers, solving puzzles, and exploring its dungeons.

It’s more than a simple adventure game. In addition to puzzle-solving, you’ll interact with Lonesome Village’s eclectic cast of characters to forge relationships and unravel brooding mysteries. It’s showing plenty of potential with its cozy gameplay loop, and if you want to give it a shot, check out its official demo from its Kickstarter page! It’s already been fully funded in less than 24 hours, but if you want to help the developers out even further, consider contributing to their campaign.

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