VGL Pick of the Week Roundup: June 2016

vgl-pickThe 2016 E3 Expo provided video game fans with an early glimpse at some of the biggest titles planned for this Fall and into next year. But what about the games that are available now?

If you missed any Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week this month, I’ve collected them below.

Week of June 6, 2016

The Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week was Dead Island Definitive Collection (PS4, Xbox One), a compilation containing Dead Island, Dead Island: Riptide, and Dead Island: Retro Revenge.

Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide are first-person melee-focused zombie games where players try to escape a tropical island crawling with the undead. Both games were originally released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 a few years ago, and they were fairly well-received by action/horror fans at the time. Meanwhile, Retro Revenge is a brand new side-scrolling spinoff created exclusively for the Definitive Collection.

Week of June 13, 2016

The Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week was, believe it or not, a three-fer.

Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is a first-person action game from DICE, the same team responsible for Star Wars: Battlefront. Available for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst is a prequel/reboot to 2008’s Mirror’s Edge, which was a cult favorite among gamers for its focus on acrobatic wallrunning over gunplay. Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst will appeal to fans of the favorite, as well as anyone looking for something different from the first-person genre.

Kirby: Planet Robobot is the latest side-scrolling platformer in Nintendo’s Kirby franchise. This time, the pink puffball has to stop an alien invasion using his copy abilities… but he’ll also pilot a giant mech to bring the fight directly to the extraterrestrials. Kirby: Planet Robobot is an all ages title that should appeal to fans of platformer games and Nintendo-published titles.

Finally, Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir (PS4, PS3, Vita) is a high definition remaster of Odin Sphere, a side-scrolling RPG originally released for the PS2 in 2007. Developed by Vanillaware and published by Atlus, Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir draws on Norse mythology for its storyline and features beautiful hand-drawn graphics. RPG fans will definitely enjoy this one.

Week of June 20, 2016

The Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week was Minecraft: Wii U Edition and Ori and the Blind Forest.

Most game publishers won’t release new games during E3 week, so the appearance of Minecraft: Wii U Edition on store shelves is great for librarians looking to fill out their Wii U collection with a title they know everyone will love. Minecraft’s Wii U Edition is the same virtual playground that we all know and love, but it also includes the Super Mario Mash-up Pack expansion, which adds Mario-themed characters, textures, and music to the game.

Also available this week is Ori and the Blind Forest Definitive Edition, an enhanced and expanded version of the well-received “MetroidVania” for the PC and Xbox One. Players will still be able to guide young Ori through the forest of Nibel, but the Definitive Edition will add new areas, new abilities, more story sequences, and multiple difficulty modes to the game.

Week of June 27, 2016

The Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week was a tie between two Nintendo-published titles: Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE and Mario & Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE is an RPG for the Wii U that drops the medieval adventurers from a Fire Emblem-like adventure into a present-day version of Tokyo inspired by the Persona series. Developed by Atlus, it’s a unique title that’ll to a lot of people, and especially to fans of Japanese RPGs.

Meanwhile, Mario & Sonic at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games makes its Wii U debut a few weeks ahead of the actual Games, and it offers the usual mix of Olympic sports and mascot competition.

Also of note this week is Mighty No. 9 (PS4, Wii U, Xbox One), a new side-scrolling platformer from Keiji Inafune, the creator of Mega Man. Famously funded through Kickstarter a few years ago, Mighty No. 9 has been delayed several times, but retro gaming fans are very curious to see how Inafune’s return to the genre turned out.