by Hunter Heilman
June isn’t always a particularly lush month when it comes to game releases, but every now and then, we get a few gems scattered here and there for us gamers to peck at feverishly. The week of June 8-15 in gaming is one such week for people like me, and we’re spoiled for choices when it comes to the newest and shiniest products on the market to try…particularly if you’re an RPG fan, which I happen to be. This is The Tech Show’s This Week in Games for June 8-15.
– Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
The largest release of the week is also the one that actually isn’t an RPG, but rather an action platformer in the nearly 19-year-old Ratchet & Clank series that debuted on the PlayStation 2. Developed by Insomniac Games (who have a base in my hometown of Durham, NC), known recently for their work on Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but also developing the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy, my personal favorite game trilogy of all time, comes one of the first truly exclusive next-generation blockbuster releases for the PlayStation 5.
Following the success of 2016’s reboot of Ratchet & Clank, which in turn was a reboot video game based on the film adaptation of said video game (it’s a lot), A Rift Apart represents one of Sony’s largest PlayStation 5 exclusive games to date, showcasing stunning graphics, advanced physics mechanics, and the absolutely joyous charm that the Ratchet & Clank series is known for. It’s big! It’s raucous! It’s family-friendly! Let’s just hope you’re one of the lucky ones who were able to snag a PlayStation 5, because you’re not playing this without one.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart releases exclusively for the PlayStation 5 on June 11 for $69.99.
– Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade
It’s hard to call Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade a completely new game, but it presents a bevy of improvements and expansions upon the original PlayStation 4 release of Final Fantasy VII Remake that released last year. It’s not the highly anticipated Part 2 to the remake, which only covered a portion of the entirety of Final Fantasy VII, opting for an expanded, multi-chapter saga remake of one of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time. Intergrade both provides a next-generation upgrade to the original release for PlayStation 5 systems, as well as an expansion chapter, entitled FF7R EPISODE INTERmission, focusing on the popular supporting character Yuffie as the protagonist. Square has gone above simply improving the game’s visuals for new systems by providing players with some new content to keep them busy until the hotly anticipated next chapter drops.
Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade releases exclusively on the PlayStation 5 on June 10 for $69.99. If you already own Final Fantasy VII Remake for the PlayStation 4, you will be able to upgrade to Intergrade free-of-charge. Thanks Square Enix for not being complete penny-pinchers!
– Edge of Eternity
Speaking of Final Fantasy, it’s clear that Edge of Eternity is heavily inspired by the former games’ aesthetics and mechanics in the creation of their new RPG (the studio is literally called Midgar Studio, named after the central city in Final Fantasy VII, they’re not exactly subtle with it). Edge of Eternity is a JRPG (though in this case, more of a FRPG [French Role Playing Game]) inspired epic that has elements of the space opera genre as well. It looks to be a beautifully and lovingly crafted ode to the games that came before it, but with new and exciting elements, particularly with its mixture of turn-based and strategic tactical combat elements. It’s a unique and new twist on what can often be repetitive and rote grinding that happens in even the best RPG games. Promising more than 50 hours of gameplay, Edge of Eternity, particularly for its price and epic scale (by indie developer standards) looks to be a grand adventure brimming with both nostalgia and new, distinctive elements.
And the game was funded through a long, but successful Kickstarter campaign, so in the words of The Tech Show host Sonya Gavankar: take my money!
Edge of Eternity releases exclusively on the PC via Steam, Epic Games, and GOG on June 8 for $29.99. A console release for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is planned for release in Q4 2021.
– Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis
Much like how Final Fantasy VII Remake: Intergrade isn’t technically a new game as a whole, but rather expands greatly upon the base release, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, isn’t an entirely new Phantasy Star Online game, but rather an extension to the already vast world of Sega’s mega-successful free-to-play MMORPG. It offers visual upgrades, new story and combat elements, as well as six new character builds for players to customize and upgrade. Being a free-to-play game, it’s completely free to start playing the game, though there are optional quality-of-life improvements available for purchase should you see fit to procure them. With up to 32 player multiplayer, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis truly seems to be stretching the bounds of how far an expansion can go without necessarily calling itself a direct sequel. It’s fascinating and very admirable on the part of Sega.
Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis releases for the PC, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One on June 9 as a free download.
– Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection
Is Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection simply a remaster of Ninja Gaiden: Sigma, Ninja Gaiden: Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge packaged together in a neat combo pack? Yes. Does this make the prospect of taking what was once one of the most technically impressive video games of its time in your backpack on your Nintendo Switch any less exciting? No! Koei Tecmo’s popular action series gets a fresh coat of paint for new (albeit not next-generation) systems for more accessibility and a glossier, improved look. Not much else has changed on those fronts, but the availability of these excellent games on newer consoles, and with its reasonable price point (that I’m sure will be on sale at some point in the near future), it’s hard to argue with the value you get for the quantity, as well as the original DLC included for no additional cost.
Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on June 10 for $39.99.
Sales and Deals
While the PlayStation Days of Play sale is over, there are a number of games currently marked down across a variety of storefronts that are absolutely worth your time. Here are some of my favorites for recommendation.
– Disco Elysium – The Final Cut (PS4 and PS5): $27.99 (MSRP: $39.99)
– Untitled Goose Game (PS4): $11.99 (MSRP: $19.99)
– Blair Witch (PS4): $14.99, $13.49 for PlayStation Plus members (MSRP: $29.99)
– Cloudpunk (PS4): $14.99 (MSRP: $24.99)
– Darkwood (PS4): $8.99 (MSRP: $14.99)
– Outlast (PS4): $3.99 (MSRP: $19.99)
– South Park: The Stick of Truth: $11.99 (MSRP: $29.99)
– South Park: The Fractured But Whole: $14.99 (MSRP: $59.99)
– Child of Light: Ultimate Edition: $4.99 (MSRP: $19.99)
– Blasphemous: $9.99 (MSRP: $24.99)
– Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair: $7.49 (MSRP: $29.99)
– Dying Light: Platinum Edition: $24.99 (MSRP: $99.99)
– Graveyard Keeper: $9.99 (MSRP: $19.99)
– Shakedown: Hawaii: $9.99 (MSRP: $19.99)
Epic Games Store
– Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX: $33.49 ($49.99)
– Jurassic World: Evolution: $11.24 (MSRP: $24.99)
– Alien: Isolation: $9.99 (MSRP: $39.99)
– Carrion: $14.99 (MSRP: $19.99)
– Death Stranding: $23.99 (MSRP: $59.99)
– The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition: $9.99 (MSRP: $49.96)
– Afterparty (Starring The Tech Show host Sonya Gavankar’s sister, Janina Gavankar): $13.99 (MSRP: $19.99)
– Silent Hill 4: The Room: $7.99 (MSRP: $9.99)