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Friday, July 31, 2015

The games of August: Visual novels, dungeon crawlers, and more!


You know you're in for a big month when the very first game is a compilation of 30 games that people would still happily purchase individually. Rare Replay will set up what will be one of the most vibrant and exciting months of game releases to date.

There are two excellent-looking dungeon crawlers - one for the 3DS and the other for Vita. There are two visual novels, and on top of that, narrative fans will surely be looking forward to the newest game from Dear Esther developer, The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone To The Rapture. Even the big release of the month, the PlayStation 4's Until Dawn, has a strong narrative focus.

Then there's a couple of reliables to look forward to, too - Madden, Disney Infinity, One Piece Warriors, and remasters of Gears of War and Dishonored.

Yes, it's going to be a busy month of games indeed.

Rare Replay – XB1 – Release Date 4/8/2015

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Rare has put together this compilation of 30 of its hit games, all for $US30! With games such as Conker's Bad Fur Day, all three Banjo-Kazooie titles, and Battletoads, this collection of games is sure to please just about everyone.



Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight – 3DS – Release Date 4/8/2015

Dungeon crawler fans rejoice, becuase this is going to be a big month for you. The first one you'll be playing in August is the 3DS remake of Etrian Odyssey 2. By now you should know what this series is about - you'll be wandering around a sprawling, deadly dungeon, taking the time to draw the map on the touch screen as you play. This series is reliable, deep, and challenging, and a great way to get August off to a start.



XBlaze Lost: Memories – PS3, Vita – Release Date 11/8/2015

Fans of BlazBlue should be looking forward to this one. It's a sequel to the previous XBlaze Code: Embryo, but where BlazBlue is a complex series of fighting games, this series is all about the pure visual novel experience. You'll be doing a lot of reading, and you'll love it.



Everybody's Gone to the Rapture - PS4 - Release Date 11/8/ 2015

The latest game from maverick studio, The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Raptures is going to be a narrative-focued exploration game. Or, as others might dismiss it, a "walking simulator." Not us though. We love walking simulators. We love them a great deal, because some of the most interesting work going into narrative storytelling across all art forms is what is being done with these walking simulators at the moment.



Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal – Vita – Release Date 18/08/2015

We did say that it was a good month for dungeon crawlers, didn't we? Earlier in the month 3DS owners got to enjoy Etrian Odyssey. Now Vita players get to get stuck into Dungeon Travelers 2. This game has already proven to be controversial, with certain critics decying its more otaku elements, but we think those complaints might be premature, because this game looks absolutely spectacular.



Amnesia: Memories - Vita - Release Date 25/8/2015

It's also a good month for visual novels, with otome hit, Amnesia: Memories, also making its way to the PlayStation Vita this month. Otome games are a real rarity in English, with developers and publishers previously assuming that a genre of "dating games," in which players play as a girl looking to woo over some gorgeous guys, wouldn't find an audience in the west. So Idea Factory deserve real kudos for taking the risk, and hopefully it pulls off with commercial and critical success.



Until Dawn – PS4 – Release Date 25/08/2015

This will be the biggest blockbuster game this month, and based on our preview a couple of weeks ago, we are certain that Until Dawn will be a real hit. Anyone who has ever watched a slasher horror film, from Friday the 13th to Nightmare on Elm Street, will know what to expect with Until Dawn. It's not often that we see game developers try to capture that kind of experience in a game, so hopefully, for gore fans, it works.



Madden NFL 16 – PS3, PS4, 360, XB1 – Release Date 25/8/2015

Another year brings us another Madden NFL. New this year is Total Control Passing, Receiver/Defender Controls, and Draft Champions. And for people that don't know what all that means there is the promise of comprehensive training modes to get people up to speed. With over 60 tutorials and drills, newcomers to the sport should be able to learn the basics. Also for the first time in three years EA Trax is back in the game. If you're a new football fan this may be the year to pick up Madden NFL.



One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 – PS4, PC, PS4 Release Date 25/8/2015

One of the more reliable Warriors series spin-offs, One Piece Pirate Warriors promises to be more of the high action that we have come to love in the previous two games. The oddball cast of One Piece make for a good range of playable characters and fighting styles in a Warriors game, which means that you'll get a lot of replay value in trying to master each character across each map.



Disney Infinity 3.0 – PS3, PS4, 360, XB1, Wii U – Release Date 30/08/2015

Uh oh. Parents, hide your wallets. A new Disney Infinity title means new collectible miniatures to spend big on, and collecting all these things is not a request - to experience everything the game has to offer you really do need them all. But given the games are such high quality, the miniatures are so collectible, and now that Disney is adding in Star Wars, of all franchises, we can't see people ignoring this one.



Other releases

Celestian Tales: Old North – PC Digital – Release Date 11/8/2015
Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition – PS4, XB1 – Release Date 11/8/2015
Garfield Kart – 3DS – Release Date 11/8/2015
Paddington Adventures in London – 3DS – Release Date 11/8/2015
Helldivers Super-Earth Ultimate Edition – PS4 – Release Date 18/8/2015
LBX: Little Battlers eXperience – 3DS – Release Date 21/8/2015
Risen 3: Titan Lords - Enhanced Edition - PS4, XB1 - Release Date 21/8/2015
Gears of War Ultimate Edition – XB1 – Release Date 25/8/2015
Dishonored Definitive Edition – PS4, XB1 – Release Date 25/8/2015

- Jim S.
Contributor
The games of August: Visual novels, dungeon crawlers, and more!
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