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Digital Down-Low for 07/21/2023: War in a Pocket

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
Any way you slice it, this is the longest I’ve ever had to go without having to do long division, and I don’t mind that one bit.

Jumping forward with a heavy kick, followed by a light-punch combo into a Hadoukens this week is LISA: Definitive Edition! It’s a collection of both Lisa the Painful and Lisa the Joyful, and I *infer* it be one of them Earthbound-y RPGs except side scrolling and, based on the ESRB rating, *rowdy*.

I bet it’s a medication on grief at some point! But also they make jokes about butts!


Next up is something I’m much more jazzed for, and I tried the demo for and said “Oh Heck Yes” and purchased (and also it’s got a day-one sale that makes it pretty inexpensive) is Oaken! This here is an SRPG that kind of has some Hearthstoneiness to itself. Which is a nice combo and it has some appealing art. Furthermore, the publishing studio is one of those ones that has, like… a nearly perfect track record for releasing Games I Think Are Neat and Fun.

Well, I didn’t play one of them, but everything else they’ve made has been top notch.

Use a turns worth of replenished widgets to summon monsters and spells and use them to pound the BAJEEPERS out of Bad Monsters.


Next up is a video game called… umm… Armored Lab Force: Vulvehicles.

Look… I had to write that title out, and so you have to read it, it’s only fair we shoulder this blame together.

Despite the title, and the fact that the cast is made up of bosomy anime gals with exposed midriffs, it’s, in fact pretty innocent (the title is there to tie it to a series of shmups with Vul in their title, and not anything anatomical); and kind of plays like a combination of Blaster Master, Assault Suit and maybe a *squidge* of Bangai-Oh; where you have one of a great many possible weirdly agile tanks with distinct weaponry and have to get through some levels chock-a-block with BAD BOTS and release a large enough flood of artillery to drown leviathan.

I tried the demo and now I’m buying it.


Next up is easily the game I’m the MOST jazzed for this week; a strategy game based on a franchise that I’ve been hoping to get a sequel to for… about a decade now; Heroes of Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes!

Instead of being *anything at all* like the previous HoMM games, let alone the earlier M&M games, this is a match 3 puzzle game that kind of feels like if Magical Drop was an SRPG; matching similar classes and colours of units to either activate them to attack enemy units or form defensive barriers to intercept and different armies have different kinds of strengths and weaknesses apart from the individual units abilities.

It’s legit one of my all time favorite SRPGs and I’ve bought every re-release so OF COURSE I’m buying it, and I stood up and did a little dance of joy when I saw a Switch port was incoming. Not sure what’s been rebalanced for this version, but I’m reasonably sure some of the character art was changed a bit.


And finally, and the Strategy game that I’m sure everyone else is most excited for (sorry HOMMCOH and Oaken), Pikmin 4! Which I think was originally announced, like, five years ago. But now it’s here! Well… it will be in a few days, but REAL SOON! As per usual; you command a vast swarm of *widdle bitty guys* to consume the strange inhabitants of the Nameless Planet and recycle the artifacts contained therein for precious loot/cash.

But this time there’s lots of little side jobs you can do like duelling other l’il Astroguys and being able to explore at night when the environment gets a lot harsher. Also there’s a weird dog!


That’s all you’re getting out of me, kids


Round and round I go
Staff member
I will +1 the Clash of Heroes recommendation. A very good game unlike anything else I've played. In contrast to Octo, I have played zero other M&M games and still thought it was fantastic.


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
Yeah, I played a metric fuck-ton of Clash of Heroes back on the 360. It's a GOAT.


Sudden chomper
I would be interested in Pikmin 4, but Nintendo kind of shot themselves in the foot by making TotK so massive. It'll be at least a couple more weeks before I'm done with that behemoth. Sorry, Olimar!