The Week in Gaming

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This week brings July to a close with an admittedly sparse release slate. Still there are some new games. In case everything was getting a bit stale, this week shakes things up with indie platformers, remasterings of older games and (what else?) MORE indie platformers!

What’s that? You want another remaster? Shut up yes you do! Legend of Kay was a stealth-platformer from that mythical age of original games being released regularly. It told the story of Kay, a cat trained in martial arts who fights hordes of rats, crocodiles, turtles, bears and… ladybugs? Okay, maybe the good old days weren’t that great after all. Still, you know we’re in a good position when games with a metascore of 72 percent are getting anniversary editions. Legend of Kay: Anniversary is released on the PC, PS4 and Wii U on the 28th July. Watch the trailer below and behold the mediocrity!

The first episode of The Odd Gentlemen’s revival of classic adventure game King’s Quest is also released on the 28th. For those of you not familiar with the series (myself included), King’s Quest chronicles the saga of the royal family of Daventry, a kingdom which is home to many famous fictional characters, like Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood and Count Dracula. The last game in the series was released in 1998, and the times have changed quite a lot since then. It used to be that ‘adventure’ games were all point-and-click affair, centred on puzzle solving and storytelling. Nowadays the label refers more to games like Uncharted, or Assassin’s Creed. However the rebooted King’s Quest aims to be more like its original counterparts, albeit slightly updated. With the genre undergoing something of a renaissance lately, thanks to the work of Telltale Games (of The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead fame), now might be the perfect time for something like this to make a comeback. The first episode will be released on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles and also on PC.

The Swindle, available on PS3, PS4, and PS Vita is a Steampunk, cyber-crime game about breaking into buildings, hacking their systems, stealing their loot and escaping before the police show up. You then use said cash to upgrade yourself and steal more loot, and the process repeats itself. However the game actually has a clear end point, as you have 100 days to upgrade yourself to the point where you can break into Scotland Yard, where a secret artificial intelligence program is being launched. Should you fail to do so in the time limit, then it’s game over. Another indie platformer, The Swindle has depth and character beneath it’s seemingly basic premise and is released on the 28th July.

If you’re in the mood for something thouroughly Japanese, then look no further than Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment. This took some research to figure out, but essentially this is a directors cut of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment. What’s that you may ask? Why it’s the second game in the Sword Art Online franchise… duh. So what’s it all about? Well a plot synopsis would require several articles to get the basics down, but you play Kirito, who has been trapped in an MMORPG, where dying in the game will lead to his death in real life as well. However in terms of gameplay this is not an MMO. Despite the title, there’s no online play to speak of. What there is is the usual mix of RPG-ing, mixing up party members, and dating sim elements. The Game is released on Playstation 4 on the 28th July.

Last week I previewed Squares, a strange, handheld puzzle game that confused the hell out of me, despite looking like something you’d use to teach a 4 year old about shapes. Finally able to get over my humiliation, my ego and I eventually recovered. Then I watched the trailer for N++ and I once again felt inanely stupid. There seems to be a small man jumping over things. Watch it yourself, maybe you can tell what’s going on. It’s a sequel. Apparently the first one was good. In all seriousness it’s another platformer (which I guess is a staple of indie gaming), one that requires an excess of  both patience and skill to master. Neither of which I posses. It is available (once again) on the PS4 on July 28th (Once again).

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I have the enviable skill of making TV watching, Video-game playing and ranting about films appear to be a legitimate form of work. It's exhausting. Oh and I am the Culture Editor now... that too!

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