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Digital Down-Low for 09/29/2023: Planting Bullets and Planting Seeds

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
The weather report today is "Everything outside my house kind of smells like farts", so let's talk about video games instead!

We're kicking things off with no fewer than three different flavours of Starman Farm Game this week; Paleo Pines is one where you have t-rexes instead of cows, Harvest Moon: Winds of Anthos is the newest game to have the Harvest Moon name, even if the actual Harvest Moon series changed its name because of copyright ownership nonsense, and Minekos Night Market is less of a Farming and more of a General Chores game as you're The New Kid in Town and that means Doing Chores and Inducing Friendship in order to get yourself ready for the big Nightly Weird Flea Market!


Next up, after... I'm not even sure how long, we've got a brand new Ty the Tasmanian Tiger game; Ty The Tasmanian Tiger 4! I do not know how loud the demand for this was, but I also don't pay attention to the rumblings of the free market; I only write the news; you want a prediction of the future; you go consult your local Bog Hag. Anyway, while the other Ty games were 3D platformers, this one sheds a few of those pounds as it's 2D instead.


Speaking of unexpected revivals; remember Bud Spencer & Terrence Hills Slaps and Beans? The beat-em-up based on the exploits of two of the main actors in a largely forgotten series of light hearted Westerns in the late 60s? It was weird that that happened, right? Well, get ready to be just as perplexed, because Bud Spencer & Terrence Hill: Slaps and Beans 2 is out and it's... more of that.

It's been a while since I saw the Trinity trilogy, but I remember liking them so... there's that much of a pedigree?


Now you might be rolling your eyes and saying "Well, duh" when I say that Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai Infinity Sirash is based on Dragon Quest, but you shut your smart-ass mouth, because it's more specifically based on the anime and manga spinoff of DQ; The Adventures of Dai, which I haven't watched despite my love of the DQ series, since it was only subtitled, and shonen anime works better the less focus I have to put on it.

Anyway, it's an action RPG where all the character designs are slightly to the left of Akira Toriyama designs; like the Spirit Halloween versions of Dragonball Z.


Gothic Classic is "the classic that revolutionized roleplaying games", according to the eShop; which is pretty impressive since I don't recall hearing about it before. And all the attendant screenshots of are of Early PS2-y peeps crowding around a campfire. From the description, it sounds like Escape from New York, except in Wizard Times.

Traipse around a castle and stab a buncha bad guys, eh? Maybe huck a lightning at some suckers?


Vampire the Masquerade Is one of them Telltale-y walky adventure games, except based on Vampire the Masquerade; you know, one of the things that What We Do in Shadows exists to make fun of. Traipse through scenic "Boston, at night" and try to figure out who is a the center of a web of deadly intrigue; because VtM vampers are the kind where you can't put two of them in the same room without them coordinating a decades long game of murderous subterfuge.


Speaking of killing the undead; we have Forgive Me Father which, based on the screens, appears to be a FPS take on Darkest Dungeon; and more specifically a Doom-y style one (or "Boomer Shooter" as the children like to say); and it looks frickin' rad as hell and I will definitely be picking it up.

Power Metal your way through a bunch of murderous monster mazes by exploding the sh*cks out of everything that looks funny.


A different kind of Doom-y style shooter is Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition (the FPS that revolutionized 1994, as the eShop description reads). I didn't play it back in the day, but I understand that it bridged the gap between Doom and Duke Nukem 3D, and it isn't held up on nearly the same level as either of those games historically, but it does do a few neat things, like offering different characters with different abilities and offered just preposterous levels of cartoonish violence for the time, and this version reintroduces cut content from the original game, as well as new stuff and the usual kind of general improvements you'd expect from a Nightdive port.


Before the Night is a spooky style game in a Planet of the Apes-y world where the role of Human and Pet are reversed; and you've got the jones to do something about the fact that your bunny rabbit owner dunn got ganked. And, well... things take a turn after that and you learn that the bright sunny world of talking varmints might.... kind of suck.


FATE: Samurai Remnant is a new FATE game that takes place in Old Timey Japan, back when there were Samurai and Nobunagas all over the dang place. But more relevantly, also a crap load of Yokai what need a good chopping, with the help of a spooky ghost lady who swords good. I do not know if this affects the series' main draw of "Literally any historical figure with any kind of general public awareness gets to be a Pokemon" thing, I'll assume it's mainly a Japanese Historical Figures Fighting kind of game.


And finally we got another NSO update on the GBA; Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, which is definitely one of the more polarizing Kirby games, but one which I love dearly. It's a Metroid-inspired take on Kirby and Exploration Platforming is kind of at odds with gameplay where your abilities last until you take one single point of damage, and the map is both difficult to follow and the games geography is completely inexplicable however the game is also fully non-linear, and it's fast and breezy to play and it's got more Video Game crammed into it than any two Kirby games AND it has one of my favorite finale segments I've ever seen.

Truly, Dreamland is a land of contrasts.



The Goggles Do Nothing
I'll assume it's mainly a Japanese Historical Figures Fighting kind of game.

I mean, we've already got confirmed Cú Chulainn, and certainly-looks-like Fate's version of Joan of Arc in there, so I'm going to go ahead and assume it is going to be a healthy mix of the usual European brats running around Japan in FATE: Samurai Remnant.


Next up, after... I'm not even sure how long, we've got a brand new Ty the Tasmanian Tiger game; Ty The Tasmanian Tiger 4

This is actually just a rerelease/rebadging of a Ty game made around 2015 that is now on its third title (originally just Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, then Ty 4, now Ty 4 Bush Rescue Returns)


Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Okay, got an absolutely ludicrous number of games I'm covering this week so I wrote this ahead of time for the most part. Here we go.

Starting off with things both on Switch and bigger HD machines, we have Paleo Pines! This one's a farming game where you also befriend and ride dinosaurs to force into servitude on your ranch.

Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos is the latest farming game Natsume has produced under the brand name they own. And what do they not own? Bokujō Monogatari, the series that used to bear that name before Marvelous! had the far more competent XSEED take up localization duties and rebranded itself as Story of Seasons.

Nothing against the new HMs but...This feels dishonest of Natsume? Like, I know Stardew Valley has eaten everybody's lunch and farming simulators are the new hot trend, but taking the name brand you used to use for one specific Japanese series whose translations you mangled, by the way and continuing to use it for some unrelated farming games you commissioned just doesn't sit well with me.

Mechs V Kaijus is a tower defense game where you build an army of super fighting robots to fend off the Godzilley menace in the only ways they know how.

Infinity Strash: DRAGON QUEST The Adventures of Dai is an action RPG vidyagame adaptation of the 2020 anime based on the 1989 Shonen Jump manga! Stab it up as a typical shonen manga kid with his marketable slime sidekick and his companions who are named after English words for relatives and the inevitable poorly aged anime humor.

Abomi Nation is a monster-taming roguelike where you tame and fight weird ugly cute monsters in a world inspired by the Pokémon fans' Nuzlocke challenge. Fight, or die! Or rather fight and die.

Rise of the Triad: Ludicrous Edition is a remaster of the classic 1995 FPS where you do your damndest to thwart some cultists trying to cause a mischief in L.A.! And you can get a killer baseball bat that shoots flaming baseballs!

Paw Patrol World is the latest 3D platformer based on Nickelodeon's toy-selling CGI community service work pup property that the li'l Bimmys of the world will beg you to buy even though you explained that repeatedly to them that ACABD. This time it's a world tour, so Chase can horribly maim anybody the popo points him towards in various scenic countries where he should have no authority! Like all of them!

EA Sports FC 24 is Electronic Arts' annual fútbol series, now with the FIFA license filed off. I hear the Switch version is actually pretty competent this time since they went back to the drawing board on some things since losing the big worldwide soccer brand name. But good luck with explaining that to the casual audience.



Now to briefly look at stuff just on the big boy boxes...The Crackpet Show: Happy Tree Friends Edition is a game where your favorite adorable Flash cartoon animals known for getting horribly slaughtered in freak accidents and generally not regularly resorting to violence themselves aside from that one PTSD bear who I think I heard they retired a while back and not using guns because that's TOO EASY...use guns to shoot up legions of mutant animals in a Smash TV-esque rogue-lite game. Well then.

Fun Fact: Did you know some of the HTF writers did the writing for Sonic Colors and some other Sonic games for a while? Warren Graff and Ken Pontac, off the top of my head.

And Wildmender is a procedurally generated gardening survival game where you try to build a thriving green society in the middle of the desert and try to solve mysteries like "Why did this previous civilization fall?" and "Why do wraiths keep trying to kill me?"

Moving onto a Switch focus we have Robo Dunk! This is roguelite robot basketball with skill trees that carry through past your many failures and lots of explodey robot b-ball violence.

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4: Bush Rescue Returns is the first new entry in the series in almost two decades! The series lived and died with the PS2/GC/Xbox era, you see. And this latest 3D platformer with an extinct tiger species throwing boomerangs in the outback...is a 2D platformer with cheap Flash cartoon-looking graphics?! Okay then...

Mineko's Night Market is a social simulation adventure game where you explore a Japanese-inspired island and try to find out more about the people's cat god while men in black occasionally chase you for investigating the mysterious goings-on. Oh, and you craft and do jobs and stuff. I think this is on other platforms this week too but Switch was the one where it was pre-orderable.

Autumn Hike is a budget first person game all about exploring in the woods in the fall and filling out a checklist of designated fun to have.

Gothic Classic is a remaster of an old computer RPG where you've been shoved inside the magic fence of a medieval prison mining colony ruled over by three rival factions and now you must survive and forge tenuous alliances as you try to escape the inescapable.

Kumakichi's Birth * Destruction God had the adorable bear cub Kumakichi get really pissed off 'cuz his cat friend Nyanzou won't clean up his mess, so now Kumakichi is gonna go Wreck-It Ralph on the entire town in a fit of rage. Never forget, inside of every bear cub there are two bigger, stronger, angrier bears.

Only $1!

Firefighting Simulator - The Squad is a game all about fighting fires and saving lives. When a diner burns, or a plane explodes, or those asshole neighbors decide your lawn in our wooded apartment complex is the best venue for their personal fireworks show, The Squad will be there.

Games Advent Calendar - 25 Days - 25 Surprises is a digital vidyagame advent calendar available ahead of time for tech-savvy grandmas to disappoint their grandchildren in the Decemberween season with! Enjoy 25 days of crushing disappointment as you unlock mediocre Christmas-themed mobile game after mediocre Christmas-themed mobile game. Or cut off that infected glowy nose and unlock them all at once.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong: Primogen Edition is a game about following three vampires in modern day Boston as crimes happen. And it has the DLC stoof included.

Freak Crossing is a budgety HD-2D game where your second uncle has fallen ill and now you have temporarily taken over as mayor-uh, Village Head in the town he ruined. This involves appeasing a bunch of horrible needy anthropomorphic animal villagers who want you to do every last thing for-Wait a minute...

Pizza Possum is a top-down tactical espionage action 3D game where a possum is out to steal pizzas all all of the other food while evading the Popo Dogs who want to stop them.

CHIPMONK! is a brawler where the chipmunk clan have had their nuts stolen by those damned invasive grey squirrels and now they shall go across the woods and beat the everloving fuck out of every woodland critter that gets in their way on their quest to get their food supply back.

COCOON is the latest game by the lead gameplay designer of similarly search engine hating-named games like LIMBO and INSIDE! But istead of a child in a scary 2.5D platforming world, you are some bug thing who's top-down puzzle adventuring across multiple worlds held within an orb on your back.

NINJA KIDZ: TIME MASTERS is a game based on another one of those children's YouTube phenomenons I have never heard of until now! Have kids dressed as ninjas beat up lots of stuff on a time-spanning quest to save their masters.

Foot Clinic is a game all about caring for people's filthy nasty disease-ridden feet, and like the various dentistry games I suspect whoever made this is most likely turning their fetishes into a profit.

Love Kuesuto is a NES-y looking game that has a dying old man meet the Greek goddess Aphrodite and now, in a younger and customizable avatar form, he must fight for the fate of the entire world's love across four board games as the God lady and Satan lady watch and judge him.

Coming to the more premium Switch Online + this week is Kirby and the Amazing Mirror! An evil mirrorverse version of Meta Knight has cut Kirby into four Kirbys and broken a mirror and now they must go through a Metroidvania that is a bunch of standard Kirby stages with piles of doors and one-way paths and the barest minimum of collectible guide map UI design to save the real Meta Knight and get things back to normal and everyone has cell phones.

Maybe people can actually play the multiplayer this time? I think it works on the GBA service somehow!

And Trip World DX...was delayed yet again. This time it's allegedly coming near the end of October. Clearly Sunsoft is spending this extra time making the most hi-def of AAA game graphics and audio for this Game Boy port, like every last individual strand of Yakopoo's fur and whatnot.

Hopefully it will come out next time.


Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Before the Night is a spooky style game in a Planet of the Apes-y world where the role of Human and Pet are reversed; and you've got the jones to do something about the fact that your bunny rabbit owner dunn got ganked. And, well... things take a turn after that and you learn that the bright sunny world of talking varmints might.... kind of suck.
Wow, surprised I missed that one.


Let's Pock (Art @szk_tencho)
(he / his / him)
Alpha Squid coming at ya!

Namco's bringing the mecha this time around. I mean Arcade Archive. This game has a mecha. Look, I'm tired.

Anyway, Finest Hour hasn't seen a rerelease since the Wii, it's a run n' gun with a Transformer with the serial numbers filed off, it was the eighth most successful "table" arcade game in Japan back in 1989, and it looks pretty neat.


Til next time! Splat ya later!


Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Okay, one more before the week is out.

The unoriginally named Hidden Gems: Volume One is a collection of four Commodore 64 games, two starring people enacting get-rich-quick schemes in dangerous locales (Gilligan's Gold for platformer mine mazery, Mutant Monty for top-down mutant lair mazery), one being a shooty game where a bunch of people what built a robot presumably wanna get rich quick by stopping a wanted crime boss by blasting his ass (N.O.M.A.D.), and a creepy blob-ghost mascot what wanted to hit the slopes and occasionally play some Frogger (Horace Goes Skiing).

Not a big selection here, but it's only like $7 or so.