This Week in Gaming

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This week in gaming is distinctly child-friendly and features a burst of nostalgia so potent, that I got lost watching gameplay footage of 10 year old games and basically wasted my entire weekend. Thanks Rare!

Now I tend to be quite critical of the recent push for nothing but re-releases and remasterings of old games, but this one is a little different (also I happen to be a fan so deal with it). To celebrate its 30th anniversary, developer Rare is bringing together 30 games from its history into one complete package, entitled Rare Replay. That’s 30 games! Included in the package are retro classics like Battletoads (the one where no one can get past the 3rd level), Banjo-Kazooie (The one that is incidentally better than Mario, Sonic and Crash Bandicoot combined) and its sequel, Banjo -Tooie, as well as newer things like Perfect Dark Zero, Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Viva Pinata! It may be evident that I’m a little bias here, but they’re kind of like the Pixar of gaming, so who could resist? The bundle is released on the 4th of August on the Xbox One, and at the price of £30 it’s the most bang-for-your-buck that you’ll find this week. That is unless you count our next entry, which admittedly has the advantage of being free.

On 6th August a major new update is coming to the surprise Wii U hit Splatoon. This free software update adds a large amount of new content to the game, including two new matchmaking modes, new weapon types, an increase to the game’s level-cap and more than 40 pieces of new gear. The matchmaking modes should be the main draw though, as the update introduces Squad Battle and Private Battle. The former allows players to participate in ranked matches with friends, as opposed to being teamed up with other players through a random selection. Private Battle meanwhile is just that, as friends can now compete in private, customisable games. The reason this update is such a notable event, is that the prior absence of these two modes was a frequent source of criticism for the game, as many felt that too many commonplace features like this were missing. If you already own Splatoon then there’s absolutely no reason not to check out this update, and equally if you’ve been holding off on the game, then now might be the perfect time to jump in.

The Castle Game looks like every other Real-Time-Strategy in existence and doesn’t even have the decency to contain 30 games. Nor is it free. There is very little to distinguish this one, it’s set in a fantasy medieval world (Woah!), where the player can build their own castle and defend against an army of evil (that’s out there). Players are able to build towers, walls, traps, and other structures, train troops, and cast spells and blah blah blah…. there’s just nothing. Still, if you like defense strategy games there’s nothing that looks particularly offensive about this one, besides its total lack of ambition. The game is released on PS4 on August 5th.

Submerged is also relatively child friendly, at least as far as post-apocalyptic games go. It’s not violent anyway. A third-person, combat-free game which centres on exploration, Submerged sees you play as a young girl who must navigate a flooded city and scale drowned buildings in order to find the supplies she needs to save her dying sibling. Being an action-less indie game, a lot of the emphasis is placed on artistic design and emotional storytelling, as evidenced by the trailer. The game is released on Steam on the PC  on August 4th,  PS4 on August 5th and XBOX One on August 7th.

Rounding things off is another shrug-worthy title, but hey, anything’s better than a Legend of Kay Anniversary Edition (I’m still lost for words on that on that one). Galak-Z: The Dimension is a two-dimensional sci-fi shooter. More specifically it’s a fly-around-shooting-things type affair, with levels that are uniquely generated uniquely for each playthrough. You might be wondering why I saved a game that’s released on Tuesday for the end of the article. Well, that’s because the rest deserve your attention more. You’re welcome. If intense dogfights are your kind of thing, then Galak-Z is released on the 4th August on the PS4.

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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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