The point in the year when almost every week is bringing you yet another AAA release is upon us, and it's hard to keep track. This week has two major releases, both of which are sequels, a localisation that's coming to the West three years after its release in Japan, and yet another indie gem for the Switch. Here's all the big releases to keep an eye out for.
88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition - October 10, Nintendo Switch
Originally released on Steam earlier this year, 88 Heroes is coming to the Nintendo Switch with the 98 Heroes Edition, which adds 10 new characters, new levels, and a new boss fight. As the 88 heroes, you must stop Dr. H8 by getting through 88 levels, with 88 seconds for each level while the 88 minute doomsday clock counts down, before he explodes 88 warheads. 88. You might even recognise some of the characters, as Rusty from SteamWorld Dig makes an appearance.
There's something almost WarioWare-like in 88 Heroes, as 88 levels that can include 88 (98 in this version) heroes means everything quickly gets very weird, and it's a test of you being able to adapt quickly to what each hero does and what each level offers.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online - October 10, PS4
This spinoff to the Hyperdimension Neptunia series is getting somewhat meta: the four goddesses, Neptune, Noire, Blanc, and Vert, are the focus of a new game. In Cyperdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddess Online, the four goddesses play the new game 4 Goddesses Online, where they're four of the main characters. In the Cyberdimension, they must fight off the looming threat of the Demon King, to save the world.
So, that all sounds very confusing, but here's the easier to understand version: you can play the game Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online. In that game, you will play as the titular 4 goddess. As a part of the game's story, they're the focus of a game within this world called 4 Goddesses Online, where they must play to possibly save the world. If you've managed to put all of that into some sort of chronology and enjoyed putting that together, Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is probably for you.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War - October 10, PC, PS4, Xbox One
It might have been hard to miss this one, as there have been trailers being released constantly for the last few weeks, but Middle-earth: Shadow of War is coming out on October 10, 2017. For PC, Xbox One, and PS4, it's the sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which pitted you against legions of orcs, arming you with supernatural powers to overwhelm and control your enemies. What made it special was the Nemesis System, where enemies that either best you or flee from battle would remember who you are. If, for example, an enemy beat you by riding a beast, they might reference that later.
It also featured a full hierarchy system, where you could undermine targets by taking out their bodyguards, or possessing them to possibly have an enemy leader assassinated. The Nemesis System hasn't ever been replicated, and Middle-earth: Shadow of War looks to build on it in every way.
The Flame in the Flood: Complete Edition - October 12, Nintendo Switch
Already out on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, The Flame in the Flood is now coming to the Nintendo Switch to round off all the platforms it's available on. As a young girl and her dog, you must survive in the wilderness, hiking over land and barrelling down river on a flimsy raft.
A great storm has turned the entire of America into a series of islands, with huge, fast-flowing rivers separating them. Your goal is to fend off or flee from hostile creatures to, eventually, find shelter. Rather than being about creating a base, like other survival games, it's more about constantly finding a new place to rest, as wild animals or the weather will, eventually, catch up to you.
The Evil Within 2 - October 13, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Shinji Mikami stepped down as director for his horror game's sequel, with John Johanas stepping up to the role of director, but that doesn't change how exciting The Evil Within 2 looks. While the first game definitely had some flaws, it was a tense and scary survival horror experience that showed promise in a genre that had, for a long time, felt like it was on its last legs.
This time, though, things are apparently going on a more "psychological horror" route, with a more personal story about a detective who must save his daughter by going into alternate dimensions. It's also less linear this time around, giving more ways around each level, perhaps rewarding different playstyles. Any survival horror game with Shinji Mikami on the team is worth keeping an eye on.
Chaos;Child - October 13, PS4, PS Vita
Originally released in December 2014, Chaos;Child had never made it out of Japan until now. It's the fourth game in the Science Adventure series, which you might recognise for being the series Stein's;Gate belongs to. While plot elements and certain other things carry over between games, it's not a series that requires you to know everything about the games before it. Chaos;Child follows on from Chaos;Head, but you don't need to know what's already happened to enjoy Chaos;Child.
It's a gruesome visual novel where you must work to investigate a series of murders that relate back to the events of Chaos;Head, while trying to fight against many delusions that the main character experiences while doing so. Positive and negative delusions will push the story in different directions, ultimately finishing with a different ending. If a little absurdity in your sci-fi and some rather gruesome (actually incredibly gruesome) murder cases are your style, Chaos;Child is coming to PS4 and PS Vita soon.
Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle - October 13, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS Vita
The Touhou games, all coming under the Project Touhou banner, are generally incredibly difficult bullet hell games, where you're forced to learn patterns and perform precise movements to avoid attacks. Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle, though, is a 3D fighting game where you'll use characters' abilities to fight with both ranged and melee attacks.
There's still that bullet hell element to the game, where you're avoiding projectiles, but it's much more relaxed, as 3D movement and the alternate focus of fighting game-based combat makes the bullet hell element less of a focus. It's very much for fans of the Touhou Project, but if you are a fan of it, it's definitely going to be up your street.
There's a lot more to come for the rest of 2017, too, and October is especially busy. You're going to have a very full Christmas list.