Every 365 days, humans mark the passage of one rotation around the sun by upping the number they associate themselves with. On August 14th, I will turn 21 because I’ve associated myself with the number 21 ever since I originally turned 21 way back in 2008. That is precisely how this works.
Now that we’ve cleared that one up, let’s talk about the real reason you’re here — you’re as curious as I am to find out about the RPGs Coming in Quinton’s Birthweek.
I’m excited to say there’s some nice diversity this week, which is perfect for someone as eclectic as me. There aren’t a huge new releases, but that’s probably because publishers are well aware that I only have so much free time to give things a try, especially when I plan to gorge on Korean fried chicken on Saturday. All things considered, I am convinced that the entire industry took my thirteenth twenty-first birthday into account every step of the way.
But enough about why these RPGs launch between the 9th and 15th of this month. Let’s start talkin’ about what they even are. If, by the end of this week’s column, you’ve not found at least one new game to fetch then see me at the outro, and we’ll sort things out for you just fine.
Black Book – August 10th (PS4, Switch, XB1, Windows)
Oh man, Black Book looks so cool. I mean that! It’s set in 19th-century Russia, and its primary building block is the vast and woefully internationally underrepresented field of Russian folklore. The development studio, Morteshka, worked alongside anthropologists every step of the way to ensure a strong sense of sincerity and authenticity in the source material. I love anthropology. I almost became an anthropologist in real life! I love this.
So, you’re a young sorceress who aids commonfolk across the rural domains of Russia. You’ll solve puzzles and overcome challenges that just so happen to tie into deck-building gameplay mechanics, because why not, right? Also, your beloved is dead so you’re looking for the titular black book that can grant any wish. I reckon the idea here is that heroine Vasilisa wants to resurrect her dearest, but I think it’d be pretty great if you reach the end of the game, she finds the book, and she wishes for a pony instead.
Just throwing it out there.
Godfall – August 10th (PS4)
Who did this? It was you, wasn’t it? This was totally your doing. You refused to purchase Godfall, a loot-slasher action launch title for the PlayStation 5 that also felled gods the same day on PC. You weren’t enticed by the game’s tagline, “Gods will fall” (which honestly, at this point, I can’t recall if that’s the tagline or if I made it up because it’s funny). Nor did you find its middling reviews tantalizing. You laughed at Godfall. And now, Godfall has laughed back.
“So,” Godfall speaks. “The PS5 market share remains relatively slim, and there are so many PC games that we were, perhaps, not paid the attention we deserve on Epic Games Store.” Godfall then smirks, grabbing you by the scruff of your neck. Its eyes glow a sinister shade of godlessness. “Very well, fool. We shall simply lower our graphical threshold, reduce our frame rate, and capture your credit card for PlayStation 4. Everybody owns a PS4. Everybody… will hence… fell… gods.”
We’ve been cornered, friends.
Crimson Spires – August 11th (PS4, PS5, Switch, XB1)
You’re a small-town sheriff in a run-of-the-mill mining village. The world around you happens to be populated by character designs that feel less like the Hatfields & McCoys and more JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and wealthy vampires line the streets alongside your expected clan of conspiracy theorists. Other than that, it’s a straightforward enough pitch. Oh, and this is a visual novel with adventure elements, and there are totally several sexy romance options. Have fun, Erika. The pleasure is, allegedly, all yours?
Welcome to Crimson Spires, a game that only eastasiasoft could think to publish. More than an otome story, Crimson Spires is also an investigation simulator featuring a myriad of 3D backgrounds to poke and prod as needed. When a bunch of spires, shaded crimson as it happens, sprout up across town it’s up to Erika Wright to set things to rights. And find true love while she’s at it. Or not! I guess, hopefully, you can tell everyone off and remind them that the town is in peril.
Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four – August 13th (Switch)
Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is a clever one. It slipped past our radar as a Steam release back in February, where it’s sometimes just called Cardcalysm. One could feasibly argue that it’s my fault for failing to include it then, but it’s my birth week this week, so I’m blameless, and I’m pinning the responsibility on President Biden instead.
In Cardaclysm, you’ll have the unenvious task of facing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Small mercy, they’d sooner duel you with trading cards than just, like, behead you outright. Now, their unholy benevolence leaps to Nintendo Switch. Oh, speaking of blame, you’re apparently a dark wizard whose recklessness unleashed this chaotic quartet in the first place. Good job. I guess if anybody’s going to set the world to rights, and seeing as Sleepy Hollow was canceled (it’s OK, it was really falling apart, anyway), it’s gotta be the dark wizard who started the fire.
Yes, dark wizard. You did start the fire. It was not always burning since the world’s been turning. You did light it. At least you’re trying to fight it.
Hades – August 13th (PS4, PS5, XB1, XSX)
I may be the last RPG fan on earth who has yet to play Hades, the award-winning roguelike about the title god’s son, and the quest to just not take a hint until he’s finally escaped his fate. Or the player gives up, I guess. I should really get around to this one; it achieved instant-classic status when it launched on Switch and PC last year, it was nominated for Game of the Year at The Game Awards and won in numerous other categories. (Including a few here!). It also has the coolest-looking Athena since Grace Park’s.
Anyway, I’m sure you know more about Hades than I do. And if you don’t, read Bob Richardson’s stellar review. And if you still don’t, then I know more about Hades than I realized.
WitchSpring3 [Re:Fine]: The Story of Eirudy – August 13th (Switch)
I don’t know why.
Witchspring3 [Re:Fine] – The Story of Eirudy is one of those game titles that people who really hate JRPGs will cite as an example of how “dumb” they all are. Whatever to them, says I; they’re tritely unaware of the awesome JRPG names, like 7th Dragon III Code: VFD and Bravely Second: End Layer.
Big-eyed young witch Eirudy is a naughty witch living in the middle of a forest. It’s there that she meets a gallant, adventurous lad named Adrian who alters her worldview but keeps her eyes exactly as big as before. At least, I’m assuming so. Will Eirudy walk the path of darkness? Or will she choose to step into the light? There’s only one way to find out.
But wait, there are technically two ways. You can play the game when it hops onto Switch this week, or you can look up spoilers. But then you wouldn’t experience Eirudy’s growing compendium of puppet pals whom she summons in turn-based battles to lay the sorceress smackdown on some seriously salty foes. Well, unless you watched a Let’s Play. But then you wouldn’t be in control. Well, unless you participate in a Twitch Plays marathon. But then you wouldn’t have direct control. Well, unless you’re Harbinger.
Fantasian (Part Two) – August 13th (Apple Arcade)
OH! What’s this? We’re being graced with the second part of Fantasian the day before my birthday? I mean, I can’t say I’m personally responsible for this, but I will absolutely take your thanks. But gosh, it was only a few days ago that the head of Mistwalker and RPG-megalord Hironobu Sakaguchi teased that Part Two of this brilliant Apple Arcade exclusive is almost done. Well, he wasn’t joking! As announced via IGN, this Friday, Mistwalker’s diorama delight will be fully complete when we see the conclusion of Fantasian.
Part One already blew Caitlin Argyros’ socks off, so what will Part Two bring to the table to make this gorgeous little gem sparkle even brighter? Well, how about 50 all-knew original diorama backdrops? Double the amount of main story content as the first part? The ability to swap party members around during combat? Expanded skills? It’s everything you want from a meaty classic RPG. That trailer is also absolutely to die for, too, isn’t it? This weekend might be time to break out the free subscription I have… or, well, y’know what day it is on 14th…
I promised you, my friends, that we’d sort things out just fine if you don’t find anything enticing to check out among our list of RPGs coming this week. I do not break my promises.
Go watch Loki or something. Seriously, it’s very funny! I’m not even a superhero diehard. I still laughed!
Failing that, have you tried the critically acclaimed MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV? It has a free trial that includes the base game, A Realm Reborn, the first expansion, Heavensward, and leveling all the way to 60 with no playtime limits; plus, there’s a hot guy with a gunblade. (But you have to get to Shadowbringers to see his complete evolution.)