Ten Games to Look For is a monthly feature that will be used to let people know what’s coming up in the gaming space. Every month, there are a lot of games that come out, and even in lighter months (like the summer traditionally is) it can be easy to miss something you might otherwise find interesting. Hopefully, these articles can be used as a guide to glimpse a wide variety of what’s coming in any given month.

This won’t just cover AAA releases – I try to include a little of everything for everybody. Retail, digital-only, console, handheld, PC – you name it. As a result, there still may be some noteworthy games that don’t make the list in favor of others that I feel deserve a bigger spotlight. But that’s okay! There’s plenty of info out there and if I did an entry on every single game coming out, we’d be here for hours.

So sit back, and look at a good cross-section of what we’ve got coming up this month. Even if it isn’t as busy as the holiday season, June has a number of releases that are sure to excite people. From fighting games to visual novels, there’s plenty to see and plenty to play. See you next month!

 

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle (PC/PS4/Switch)

 

Publisher: Arc System Works
Developer: Arc System Works
Release Date: 6/5/18

What is it?

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is a crossover-centric spin-off of Arc System Works’ Blazblue series. Combining Blazblue characters with fighters from Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, and RWBY, this game is pitched as the Marvel vs. Capcom equivalent for the series’ 10th anniversary. This includes a somewhat different fighting system, a host of downloadable characters, and a refocus on fans outside of Japan. Strangely enough, even though Rooster Teeth’s RWBY is represented in the game, Arc’s other series, Guilty Gear, is not.

Why is it on the list?

As Arc System Works establishes the presence of their new North American branch, it will be interesting to see how they handle the fighting game scene in place of their previous publisher, Aksys Games. Already, there has been some controversy about the number of DLC characters offered compared to the base roster. Though they have tried to rectify that, there are a couple other factors that will test them, too. The new fighting system will likely divide fans at least a little, and the dub for the game (the first since Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma in 2014) will inevitably draw comparisons to the work Aksys has done previously. You can’t fault a new publisher for trying to put their best foot forward, though.

 

Onrush (PS4/Xbone)

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Codemasters
Release Date: 6/5/18

What is it?

Classic car combat, from the folks keeping the racing genre alive and competitive with titles like Dirt 4 and F1 2017. This title in particular is noteworthy because you have the choice to take up one of a number of roles both in a team and against an enemy, and each role has a whole different set of attacks. This promises to open up car combat in a way that hasn’t quite been done before. There is also a PC version coming later, at an undisclosed date.

Why is it on the list?

This title is born from the ashes of the former Driveclub and Motorstorm developers at Evolution Studios. Following their closure by Sony in 2016, Codemasters hired the team, and Onrush is the first result from the fruits of their labor. With the former titans of the subgenre, Destruction Derby and Twisted Metal, nowhere to be seen, it will be interesting to see how vehicular combat changes and adapts 2018.

 

Vampyr (PC/PS4/Xbone)

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Release Date: 6/5/18

What is it?

Instead of directly following up their hit Life is Strange with a sequel, Dontnod decided to take a detour with Vampyr, an action RPG set during the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic. Following vampire Dr. Jonathan Reid, gamers must decide whether they’ll continue to live by the Hippocratic Oath, or follow his new role as a vampire and kill for blood. Each option has consequences, allowing gamers to find a new way choice can matter that’s different from Life is Strange, but just as meaningful.

Why is it on the list?

As a complete departure from Dontnod’s previous work, Vampyr has left a tantalizing trail of news since its announcement. However, anticipation for the game seems to have died down – I didn’t realize the game was, in fact, coming so soon. This is curious because while Vampyr isn’t the highest profile release this month, Life is Strange is a beloved game, and as a follow up, it would make sense to get the word out, instead of relying on word of mouth to do the job. Perhaps the game isn’t coming together like they planned? Is it just hard to market? Either way, we’ll be finding out very soon.

 

Sushi Striker: Way of the Sushido (Switch/3DS)

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo/indieszero
Release Date: 6/8/18

What is it?

Sushi Striker is an action puzzle game, where players match similarly colored plates of sushi and throw those plates to damage their opponent. It was originally announced as a 3DS exclusive, but has since also been announced for Switch, with the inclusion of online multiplayer. I wrote about Sushi Striker in the past, and in some ways, was weirdly reminded of Elite Beat Agents and other weird and wonderful titles that populated the DS’ lifespan. Here’s hoping it lives up to that.

Why is it on the list?

This is Nintendo’s first big title of the summer, in a season where the pickings are slim, among Mario Tennis Aces, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and WarioWare Gold. It’s also an interesting new IP that, if it catches on, can join the ranks of Splatoon and Arms as one of Nintendo’s new and successful properties that we’ll hopefully see in the new Smash Bros later this year.

 

LEGO The Incredibles (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbone)

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Traveler’s Tales
Release Date: 6/15/18

What is it?

The latest entry in the TT’s long running series of LEGO games, this title sticks with the superhero trend and tackles both The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2 just in time for the release of The Incredibles 2 in theaters.

Why is it on the list?

After last year’s rocky release of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, it will be interesting to see how the series bounces back in the months between then and now. It’s also nice to see the LEGO games move away from the large rosters DC and Marvel offer to provide a smaller cast again. Hopefully, the level design will feel more attuned to the powers of each of the individual supers as a result.

 

The Lost Child (PS4/Switch/Vita)

Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Kadokawa Games
Release Date: 6/19/18

What is it?

The Lost Child is a JRPG from the folks over at NIS America that involves an occult journalist, Hayato Ibuki, as he’s thrusted inro a new and scary world, filled with monsters to catch and dungeons to explore. Confusingly, the game is most definitely coming to PS4 and Vita, but its existence on Switch is not on the game’s website itself, but can be found ready for preorder on both NIS America’s store, and through Gamestop. Nintendo even has a page for the Switch version on their site – so, really, what’s up here?

Why is it on the list?

It’s a new RPG coming out that sounds a bit like Shin Megami Tensei. If the Strange Journey remake that released on 3DS last month wasn’t your bag, this is something new that might scratch that itch. Plus, it’s one of the few upcoming games headed to the Vita (digitally only, though), so that’s always nice to note, too.

 

Mario Tennis Aces (Switch)

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Camelot Software Planning
Release Date: 6/22/18

What is it?

The latest in the Mario Tennis series that Camelot has cultivated over the years, this entry looks to outdo everything that made the Wii U entry, Ultra Smash, lacking and forgettable. This time, Nintendo looks to be heavily promoting online play (the pre-launch tournament starts today!), and the Adventure single-player mode has a cool Avengers-like feel to it.

Why is it on the list?

This is Nintendo’s biggest game of the summer, as well as their biggest Switch exclusive. Sushi Striker is pretty cool, but it started life as a 3DS game, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, coming out in July, is an updated port of the Wii U game also coming to 3DS. Taken with what Nintendo seems to have planned over the next few months, this is no doubt the highlight.

 

Lumines Remastered (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbone)

Publisher: Enhance Games
Developer: Enhance Games/Resonair
Release Date: 6/26/18

What is it?

A remaster of one of the coolest PSP titles ever, Lumines Remastered brings the experience to modern consoles. It’s a puzzle game in the vein of Tetris but with the kind of synesthetic experience one might find with Rez Infinite. This isn’t surprising, as Rez and Space Channel 5 director, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, headed up this game as well.

Why is it on the list?

Among the many remasters and ports releasing right now, especially for the Switch, this is among the more interesting ones. While the other versions of the title will support the higher graphical and audio capabilities that are expected, the Switch version will support the system’s HD rumble, providing better haptic feedback than ever before. Having this series finally come to a Nintendo platform is definitely a treat and, really, any game Mizuguchi is involved with is usually among the most interesting and unique titles around.

 

The Crew 2 (PC/PS4/Xbone)

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ivory Tower
Release Date: 6/28/18

What is it?

Ubisoft’s second entry in The Crew franchise is another piece of the puzzle in Ubisoft’s current strategy of offering games-as-services and persistent worlds with most of their releases. The original The Crew met with some success, especially with its expansions, but never quite hit the highs seen by other titles like Rainbow Six: Siege. The Crew 2 seeks to correct some of the complaints of the original game, as well as fully integrate ideas that The Crew’s expansions introduced, like off-road gameplay. More than ever before, players can explore the continental US in style.

Why is it on the list?

In traditional AAA terms, this is the biggest game of the month. There is some hope that The Crew 2 can become the racing equivalent to Rainbow Six Siege, where fans can come back for years and years with continual updates and new content. This series is also a nice alternative to standard racing stalwarts like the Forza games and the F1 series. The games-as-service trend is still in a relative infancy, and time will tell if it can convince other companies that release games annually to go in this direction. It might be worth it, depending on how monetization would work.

 

Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk (Vita)

Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Otomate (Idea Factory)
Release Date: 6/29/18

What is it?

Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk is the sister game of Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, which Aksys Games published in late April. Both titles are otome games, which are usually geared towards women in Japan, and can be best described as visual novels with romance options being a primary component of the story. In particular, Ashen Hawk is about a woman who lives outside of her village disguised as a boy, because her eyes glow red when she feels strong emotions – the telltale signs of a witch, in her world.

Why is it on the list?

For people like me who have enjoyed following the work of niche game publishers, it’s interesting to see how they have all branched off from each other. Aksys used to publish a wide variety of niche Japanese games, like NIS America and XSeed Games. Now, though, Aksys has become partially a visual novel/otome publishing house, never shying away from bringing titles like Sweet Fuse and the Hakuoki series as full retail releases. That they can continue to do this is bold and fascinating, especially given the state of the Vita today. Here’s hoping it works out for them.

 

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