This week, a variety of games are launching across all major consoles. Whether you’re looking for a 50-hour RPG, an indie platformer, or a remastered version of one of the best games to come out in recent years, this week has you covered. All in all, it promises to be a fine few days for gamers of just about all stripes.
1. The Last of Us Remastered, July 29 (PlayStation 4)
For my money, The Last of Us is an absolute masterpiece, and one of the best games of the last console generation. Most critics agree, as the game has a score of 95 out of 100 on Metacritic. With this remastered edition, Sony is bringing the game to the current generation, with improved graphics and all of the main downloadable content included. The Last of Us tells a deeply personal story of a man named Joel who takes on the job of smuggling a 14-year-old girl across the country — which might be easy, except the game takes place in a post-apocalyptic America full of murderous beasts. If you haven’t played this game yet, now’s the time.
2. Lego Ninjago: Nindroids, July 29 (PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS)
While most gamers are familiar with Lego’s popular line of games based on movie franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter, they may not be aware of the animated TV series Lego Ninjago. This game is based on the latest season of the show, when the evil Overlord and his robot army of Nindroids attacks the heroes’ city. That kind of aggression won’t stand, so the ninja protagonists have to hack and slash their way through loads of enemies, solving puzzles and playing mini-games along the way. If it’s like the other recent Lego games, it should be a good time for gamers of all ages.
3. Rogue Legacy, July 29 (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita)
Rogue Legacy is an indie platformer with a goofy sense of humor. Much of the game is randomized, from the quirks of the heroes you control to the design of the dungeon, meaning no two run-throughs are the same. The goal is to make your way through the ever-changing dungeon, defeat four bosses, and then conquer the final boss. The thing is, the game is really, really hard. Every time you die, however, you get to spend the gold you collected to increase your stats. This means the more you play, the more powerful your characters become. It’s a cool gimmick that earned the game an 85 on Metacritic when it came out for PC.
4. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, July 29 (PC)
Until now, this RPG has only been available on the PSP in the U.S. — which is a shame, because it was very well reviewed. Thankfully, the game’s potential audience will expand with it hitting Steam this week. This is a pretty standard Japanese role-playing game, ringing in with more than 50 hours of adventuring and turn-based combat. The reason it’s so highly regarded is because it excels at just about every aspect of the genre. The dialog is witty, the combat is balanced and fun, and the story is fantastic. If you’re a fan of RPGs and never had a chance to try this one, grab this game and call off work for a few days.
5. Pinball FX 2, July 31 (Xbox One)
Another title that’s been out on other platforms for a while is Pinball FX 2, a game that’s heading to Xbox One on July 31. The main thing you need to know about this game is that it’s really, really good. Made by Zen Studios, the company responsible for more than its share of excellent pinball video games, Pinball FX 2 is basically an enormous collection of tables based on popular properties like Star Wars and Marvel superheroes. Better yet, the game is free to download, and you can try every table before you buy it. If you have an Xbox One, this game is definitely worth a look.