This week many gamers are keeping themselves occupied with Batman: Arkham Knight, the biggest game to launch in some time. But if the Dark Knight isn’t your thing or you’re in the mood for something else to play, you’re in luck: Plenty of smaller games are heading your way in the near future.
Whether you’re into fighting games, Japanese RPGs, or atmospheric adventure games, you’ll probably find something worth checking out this week.
1. BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma EXTEND
Releases June 30 for PS3, PS4, and Xbox One
Unless you’re a serious fighting game fan, the BlazBlue series may have flown under your radar for the past six years. While it might not have the name recognition of a Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, BlazBlue is still a solid series of games that have earned the respect of the hardcore fighting game community — which is no small task.
The latest entry is a souped-up re-release of BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma, a game that launched on previous generation systems last year. New to EXTEND are two additional characters, a new stage, a brand new mode, and a number of tweaked gameplay mechanics to keep the characters balanced just right. If you’re in the market for a serious, meaty fighting game, look no further.
2. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3: V Generation
Releases June 30 for PS Vita
It seems like every other month a new Hyperdimension game comes out on Vita. That’s OK, because they’re all a lot of fun. These action RPGs take place in the pun-filled world of Gamindustri and star characters based on video game consoles. This installment kicks off when Neptune (a stand-in for the Sega Saturn) gets sucked into an alternate dimension that’s stuck in the late 1980s.
It’s going to take quite a journey to get her back, especially since a group of seven powerful sages wants to make sure she’s gone for good. If you like JRPGs and silly humor that breaks the fourth wall, check this one out.
3. J-Stars Victory VS+
Releases June 30 for PS4, PS3, and Vita
From the pages of the JUMP manga and anime magazines in Japan comes this fighting game that pits characters from all manner of anime series against one another. The vast roster includes fighters from Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, Naruto, and many more series. It sounds like it might have limited appeal outside of Japan, but apparently Namco Bandai thinks it’s worth localizing and releasing on this side of the Pacific.
As for the game itself, it’s a fairly standard 3-D fighting game. You’re dropped into large stages based on the anime shows to compete in fast-paced two-on-two battles. To get a look at the game in action, check out the gameplay video above.
4. Red Goddess: Inner World
Release June 30 for PS4
This indie game, successfully funded on Kickstarter, is a “Metroidvania”-style adventure, which means you’ll explore a vast side-scrolling world and gain new powers as you progress. The game world actually exists inside the heroine’s mind, with the enemies being the personification of “dark thoughts.” It looks interesting, and may be worth checking out if you’re a fan of games like Super Metroid and Dust: An Elysian Tale.
5. Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3
Releases June 30 for Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita
Does the idea of using a sword to slice your way through hordes of oncoming enemies sound like a good time? Much like the Dynasty Warrior series, that’s exactly what you do in Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3. The premise of the game is that you take part in battles from an alternate version of Japanese history — battles that didn’t happen, but might have occurred if things had turned out a little differently.
There’s a lot to the game, from strategizing with generals to hacking through thousands of enemies in a variety of modes. If you’re into Japanese history and hack-’n-slash combat, check it out.
6. Whispering Willows
Releases June 30 for PS4 and PS Vita
This atmospheric game puts you in the shoes of a girl who can send her spirit out of her body, where it can float and interact with other spirits, both good and evil. The idea is to explore a mysterious mansion, using your spirit to reach places that would otherwise be inaccessible, and to solve puzzles in order to see the story through to its conclusion. Watch the trailer above to get a sense of what to expect from this Cross-Buy indie game.
7. Ar Nosurge Plus: Ode to an Unborn Star
Releases July 2 for PS Vita
This Japanese RPG follows two separate pairs of characters as they make their way through a complex and intriguing sci-fi universe. Though the two stories don’t seem to have much in common at first, they begin to weave together in interesting ways as you make your way across outer space. Ar Nosurge launched on PS3 last year to moderately positive reviews, but is now making its way to Sony’s handheld system. If you’re in the mood for a deep RPG to get lost in, this is probably your best bet.