Say goodbye to winter, because spring is coming! The long winter months have been relatively quiet with only a few huge titles being released. There were some definite standouts and experiences, but it’s pretty obvious that the mid-year dry season was still a thing that happens. Now, as we head into the hallowed and green halls of September, the game releases will start to pick up rapidly. September is still not quite as explosive when it comes to releases, but there are some big things coming our way. Let’s jump into them, shall we?
Knack II – PS4 – September 5
I can already hear the imaginary peanut gallery in my head booing at this entry and with good reason. Knack was a PS4 launch title that definitely did not live up to the lofty expectations that were put on it. It has become the butt of many jokes, but honestly, Knack wasn’t too bad. It was a mediocre platformer, sure, but it did have some interesting ideas. The animations were actually pretty well done within the game’s story and had a definite Pixar feel. It fell short because of unmemorable narrative, but the building blocks for something good were definitely in place.
The actual combat was decent, but it lacked sufficient variety and it just seemed like most of the emphasis was placed on the particle-based physics to try and show off the PS4’s rendering capabilities. Shortly after Knack’s launch, it fell into relative obscurity and nobody really bothered to defend it at all. It made me sad because I could see the potential looming in this title and with just a few changes, it could have been something more. Its sequel didn’t get much fanfare and the jokes were aplenty during its announcement, but I’m willing to give this game a fair shot. If they just tweak some things right, we might be looking at some greatness.
Prediction: Even if I may have the most faith in this title, I still think it will fall short. I’m fully expecting it to be average and perhaps getting a 6/10. The lower price point and relatively light exposure surely doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Destiny 2 – PS4, Xbox One – September 6
The original Destiny wasn’t exactly met with critical acclaim. The MMO FPS hybrid was hyped to the moon and back for years until the final release that ultimately just felt hollow and uninspired. You could see the makings of a solid experience within the structure of Destiny, but the barebones story and relatively sad end game content prevented it from being fantastic. It did get significantly better with subsequent expansions, even pulling in some detractors and becoming a lot of people’s online obsession. It’s sad that they had to rely on the expansions to create the game that we so desperately wanted in the first place, but it was better late than never.
Now with Destiny 2, things might just get exciting. Bungie has learned a lot throughout the years of Destiny’s existence and if they refine everything they got right while improving everything they got wrong, Destiny 2 might be exactly what we wanted. The game is a direct sequel to the original Destiny and it has a much more sinister and almost Wild West vibe, thanks to the destruction of The Last City and Guardians essentially becoming outlaws. There is a lot more space for narrative in this world that did not exist in the original and it’s Bungie’s chance to get it right the first time. There is still some hesitance and caution thanks to the original’s less than ideal reputation, but from what we’ve seen in Alphas, Betas and the numerous amounts of footage, the game is looking quite good.
Prediction: I actually have a lot of faith in this sequel. When Destiny first released in its relatively rushed state, I wished they could have just provided a little more to fulfil the expectations that they have given us. With Bungie having all this experience and knowledge, they might just do it right the first time. I’m hoping for an 8/10 to even a 9/10 on this one.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 – PC – September 14
Divinity: Original Sin was a welcome return to the world of hardcore RPGs with a delightful twist of brilliant and witty writing. You were also given an incredible level of choice regarding pretty much everything in the game’s world. If you want to talk yourself out of an encounter, you can. If you want to toss a burning barrel into a door to open it instead of lockpicking it, you can. Anything goes and the world shapes itself around what you, as a player, wanted to do. For that, it is much loved and revered amongst the hardcore RPG crowd.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 seeks to expand on its already established formula by refining many of the game’s attributes. The game had some areas of improvement, specifically the visuals and UI systems, and since the developers took this game to Kickstarter once more, a lot of community feedback has been taken into account. I know this game only excites a small subset of people because this particular brand of RPG is relatively niche, but Divinity: Original Sin 2 can potentially be mindblowing.
Prediction: An easy 8/10. From the pedigree of the original game, it will pretty hard for them to mess this up. The studio is somewhat limited in what it can do, due to them being effectively an indie studio, but they have made magic before, it’s only logical that they can do it again.
Metroid: Samus Returns – 3DS – September 15
To tide us over until the inevitable Metroid 4, we can be placed into the boots of Samus once more in a reimagining of Metroid II: Return of Samus. It’s as classic as Metroid gets, with side-scrolling action and all the things that have made the game the classic that it is today. It’s obviously not a completely new experience that will expand upon the Metroid world, but fans have been starved for another Metroid game for so long and Metroid: Samus Returns is as close as they’ll get to the classic experience.
Prediction: I’m thinking an 8/10 because the title that this is based on is already a classic and unless they really mess it up, it should be a surefire.
Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite – PS4, Xbox One, PC – September 19
Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 was a gigantic culmination of so many characters from the worlds of Marvel and Capcom, as you would think. The roster was absolutely massive, the gameplay tight and the enjoyment high. It has been so long without a sequel because they actually lost the rights to the Marvel characters from Disney and obviously couldn’t continue with the franchise with half of its namesake missing. However, that all got sorted out and we now have Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite gracing all you stick jockeys soon. It has everything you can expect from a fighting game, the huge rosters, the many combos and gameplay mechanics and so on.
How Infinite sets itself apart from its predecessors is the introduction of a story mode. The Marvel and Capcom characters will have to fight together again an ultimate evil and it will be interesting to see how the two worlds interact with each other. The only real issue we have so far is that the character models look a little… less than desirable. They kind of look like weird mismatched caricatures of the characters they should be portraying, but honestly, this is a fighting game, you barely see anyone’s face anyway.
Prediction: I’m thinking a strong 7 to a light 8 on this one. They can potentially take it into the stratosphere and cement this title into the annals of fighting game history, but something about it is still keeping me back from fully expecting that to happen. It just feels a little off from what we’ve seen so far.
Project Cars 2 – PS4, Xbox One, PC – September 22
Caaaars! People seem to can’t get enough of using what is supposed to be a mode of transportation to go ridiculously and dangerously fast in order to be considered faster than other hulking metal death machines. Project Cars has been the epitome of racing simulation, stripping away most of the fluff and being exactly what it is advertised to be: a hardcore racing simulator. Do you love tweaking your cars to be exceptionally precise and experience driving as close to real life as possible? Project Cars is for you.
Project Cars 2 is a continuation of that vision and they have been hard at work trying to deliver the hardcore simulation that your heart desires. The game is essentially just a few improvements, such as there being a time and weather system, Porche cars being added and even more realistic tracks and cars. It’s a racing simulator enthusiast’s wet dream, essentially.
Prediction: I’m pretty much the least qualified person to give any sort of prediction, but you can’t really go wrong with Project Cars 2 if you’re a person that is into racing sims. It’s a niche market for sure and it’s not the most exciting thing out there, but it is a true simulation unlike any other.
Cuphead – Xbox One, PC – September 29
Oh boy has Cuphead’s development been tumultuous. The little platformer has come a long way since its initial announcement that sent the gaming world into a frenzy. The game sports this strikingly unique 1950s cartoon art style that has been meticulously crafted and hand-drawn. This made it gain immediate prominence and excitement from gamers even when the gameplay wasn’t even yet established. Then the delays came, the small two-man indie studio struggled under the pressure and people started questioning if Cuphead would ever see the light of day. Thankfully it looks like it will, barring some major catastrophe and we can finally get to experience that wonderful art style for ourselves.
Obviously, the game can’t function totally on its art, it has to have gameplay. The game’s premise is simple, the titular Cuphead made a deal with the devil and now has to battle a series of bosses in order to get out of that deal. There are a lot of boss battles in the game, reportedly 30, and each of them has their own quirk and aesthetic. You can also brave against the bosses with a co-op partner. It’s a very pure game in many ways that is surrounded by a vast degree of individuality. I think we’re all excited to see how this one shapes up.
Prediction: I want to say that Cuphead will be a 10/10 indie game that will capture our hearts, but there is something that is holding me back from completely believing that. The game has been in development for a really long time and the two-man team seemed to run into quite a few problems along the way. There is also the question of longevity and staying power. Will the bosses be sufficient and unique enough to carry the whole game? It remains to be seen, but I am immensely hopeful.
Okay, this is admittedly a little lazy, but it seems everyone has decided to release literally all of their sports games in September. We got NBA Live 18, NHL 2K18, NBA 2K18, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 and finally FIFA 18 releasing in the same month. I believe most of you know that there are not a lot changes within these iterations besides some extremely specific things, so I won’t go into detail about absolutely all of them. I believe the biggest standout is that FIFA 18 will also release on the Switch, which can be a major move for the franchise. FIFA is pretty much the perfect game to have on the go with you for a couple of matches against friends and the Switch is pretty optimal for that. Besides that, it’s sports games. I don’t expect them to start winning prizes for immense innovation very soon. You can find all the release dates below amongst all the other releases for this month.
NASCAR Heat 2 – PS4, Xbox One, PC – September 12
Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 – PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC – September 12
Dishonored: Death of the Outsider – PS4, Xbox One, PC – September 15
NBA Live 18 – PS4, Xbox One – September 15
NHL 18 – PS4, Xbox One – September 15
NBA 2K18 – PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC – September 19
Pokémon Gold/Silver – 3DS – September 22
Pokkén Tournament Deluxe – Switch – September 22
Blue Reflection – PS4, PC)- September 26
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony – PS4, Vita – September 26
Ruiner – PS4, Xbox One, PC – September 26
FIFA 18 – PS4, Xbox One Switch, PS3, Xbox 360, PC – September 29
Gundam Versus – PS4 – September 29
Total War: Warhammer 2 – PC – September 29
And there’s your lot for September. It’s a pretty diverse list of games we have for this month. Destiny 2 is the obvious headliner, with Cuphead maybe coming in a close second because people have been waiting years for the title. The rest of the games are admittedly a little niche, but it’s also the good kind of niche with a ton of avid fans within them. It’s only going to get more exciting from here on, so strap yourselves in.