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RPGs Coming This Week, 8/23/21

A happy redheaded character in Baldo: The Guardian Owls

We interrupt my typically chipper intro banter for something genuinely sobering: my elderly cat is not doing well at all, and she may not be long for this world. It’s not the first time I’ve gone through this, but I love her dearly, and I’m rooting for her. Still, when it’s her time to go… well, you know.

Whew, what a start, right? But let’s not dwell. I wouldn’t have even brought this up if I didn’t have a game plan. So, let’s briefly chat about some great RPG pets. I wonder who’s the best? (Trick question: every pet is the best pet.) There’s Repede, Yuri Lowell’s faithful hound from Tales of Vesperia. There’s Dogmeat, the terribly-titled companion available in Fallout. And Fallout 3. And… Fallout 4. Koromoru from Persona 3, Saber from Dragon Quest V, Interceptor from Final Fantasy VI. Lunar Silver Star Story has Nall. And who can ever forget Xenogears‘ Chu-Chu? (Seriously, it’s impossible.)

Given my love for cats, I suppose that it won’t be terribly surprising that my favorite choice is feline. Or rather, multiple felines. In Chrono Trigger, you can receive pet cats. In fact, you can receive many pet cats. You can receive so many pet cats that GameFAQs was stuffed with posts like this one for a very long time. Good work, Samholy; you received many cats.

I seldom say this — I mean, not a whole lot of folks bother with the comments section these days — but if you’re feeling up to it, let me know your favorite RPG pets. It’s fun! (Editor’s note: If you’re curious about my [Alana’s] picks, then Koromaru and Repede are pretty perfect. Also, how can I not mention Pow from Skies of Arcadia for being a mascot jester dog for your pirate crew?)

Now, let’s get this show on the road, shall we? The road full of RPGs Coming This Week…


Googass – August 23rd (Windows)

A turn-based battle scene in Googass with four player characters on the right and robots and one-eyed bats on the left.

There are many ways to get your upcoming RPG on people’s radar if you’re clever enough to do so. For example, You can rent a plane with a banner dressed to the nines with your game’s title and fly it over Hollywood and Tokyo. You can befriend whales and convince them to sing the song of your game to fellow whales. You can even pay Sony an absurd amount of money to advertise it conventionally.

One day, someone, presumably an associate at Brewsterland Studios, decided to outdo the plane, the whales, or the whole shebang by naming their RPG Googass. Googass speaks for itself. You cannot forget the word. You will try, but you will fail. It will cling to you like sour cream to an expensive suit. You could glance at its RPG Maker visuals and come away unimpressed; you’ll be less dismissive when you find out that the game lifts inspiration for its tone and content from not just from Final Fantasy VII but also Die Hard. So, because of those last things, you will never, ever forget… Googass.


King’s Bounty II – August 24th (PS4, Switch, XB1, Windows)

A soldier holds up a broadsword to a giant in King's Bounty II

He was a four-eyed, big-hoofed, grounded, purple people eater. And you with your shield, as if that wooden circle can ever defy your blatantly grim destiny.

Conspiracies. Sabotage. Necromancy. Welcome to the world of Nostria, the setting for King’s Bounty II. The long-awaited sequel in this legendary franchise looks solid, to be sure. You must do your best to bring order to a realm in chaos and recruit and lead your own personal army in a stylish, devilish, turn-based WRPG. 1C Entertainment promises an epic, character-driven story; I do so love those, so color me intrigued. (A light shade of blue, for the record, or perhaps a dim yellow.)


The Craft of the Samurai – August 25th (Windows)

Craft of the Samurai Screenshot of Despairing Dialogue all in black and white.

I was debating how best to describe the serious tone of The Craft of the Samurai when this particular screenshot came into my life and I realized I could illustrate it instead. An hour-long visual novel inspired by legendary Japanese film directors such as Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi, and Hideo Gosha, The Craft of the Samurai looks stunning. While I was doing my weekly scouting for games for this list, I stumbled upon this one and frankly fell in love. You should totally take a look at the game’s Steam page if the thought of a classic samurai flick in a modern medium sounds appealing to you.

17th-century Japan has seldom appeared so sharp, and film influences like Yojimbo and Three Outlaw Samurai are blatant but not overbearing. That is to say, The Craft of the Samurai appears to have its own soul. I hope this one’s at least half as good as it looks.


Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness (Early Access) – August 26th (Windows)

A group of allies are missing and dodging attacks from a group of monsters on the beach in Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness.

Dodged! Missed! Two words you hate to see when going up against multiple predatory beasts in the dead of night, but Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness does not care. Built from the framework of a successful Kickstarter campaign, this isometric, party-based high fantasy RPG will task you with creating your own hero, recruiting key allies, all while tantalizing you with countless small choices that will ultimately dictate whether or not the hero maintains an air of goodness. Battles typically play out in real-time, but you can pause when breathless to issue orders without dying from whatever it is those beasts above most enjoy slaughtering with — claws, fangs, spiked tails, Carlos Mencia comedy sketches, etc.


Myst (Remake) – August 26th (XB1, XBX, Windows)

A sunset covered by clouds lighting up the shores of Myst in Myst (Remake)

I almost missed Myst, which is a statement I’ve probably wanted to make for decades, not because I dislike the original but because it sounds funny when you say it out loud. For mercy, But, mercifully, Alana Hagues brought it up; thus, Hilary Andreff, a Myst aficionado, will not throw books at us. Do you see what sort of working conditions we’re dealing with here? (Editor’s note: I promise that books are loved here. Dearly. Also, there’s Myst music on the latest Rhythm Encounter, so you should go and check that out.)

Cyan Worlds was tasked with the challenge of rekindling this classic mystery-based adventure game with modern visuals whilst making sure to maintain its timeless sense of style. I don’t envy them, but per promotional screenshots, it appears they’ve been wildly successful. If you happen to have a VR set for your PC, then the Oculus Rift version came out last year. However if you’re like me, you’ll just dive into the experience with an Xbox console in this new VR-less release. Either way, holy mackerel, Myst has never looked better.


Baldo: The Guardian Owls – August 27th (PS4, Switch, XB1, Windows, Apple Arcade)

Sunlight trickles down into a forest in Baldo, where a young boy is surrounded by strange white creatures with sprouts out of the top of their heads, and a deer standing in the background.

Baldo: The Guardian Owls is adorable. My boss says it’s channeling Zelda and Oceanhorn, but its visual style is very Ni no Kuni (and, in turn, Studio Ghibli). I’m filling up an entire line of this column by stealing his claim and making it my own. A pure-hearted child has been born, and it’s up to you, the player, to guide him. That’s not what it says on the tin, mind you; I’m simply breaking the fourth wall by pointing out that this is an adventure game, and the titular character can’t move if you don’t press buttons. Your mission, if you choose to accept it (and seriously, you should accept it because the game is super cute), is to decipher a cryptic prophecy. Meet quirky characters, explore numerous towns, fight foes, and do whatever else a pure-hearted Baldo might do.

Like, go fly a kite or something, I don’t know. I was never pure.


The Stone of God – August 27th (Windows)

A character portrait of Myra, a girl with light pink hair, saying that "This is serious Simone" in The Stone of God

Seriously, Simeone, snap out of it.

The Stone of God is the latest in a long line of JRPG-influenced indie titles from publisher Aldorlea Games. Dei Lapis is a special stone created by the maker of existence itself. Some seek it for evil means; others are more altruistic. The world is said to be dynamic, changing as the story progresses. I do like that when that happens. A twist-filled main plot and meaningful side quests sound great, too. Let’s hope the world changes a lot then!

Will you pursue the stone? Simeone, I’m talking to you. Simeone, oh my god, answer my texts.


Given the erratic nature of my weekend, I appear to be doing things backward today. I’ve only just now prepped a pot of coffee. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with this energy now. I had a Random Encounter guest appearance recording yesterday, so I may as well mention that as a form of dutiful advertising for the stellar podcast. Look out for that episode in the next week!

Oh, I know what I’ll do with this caffeine. Some more Ring Fit Adventure. Did I ever tell you the game is no longer completely kicking my ass? I am now capable of meekly kicking back. I bet it didn’t expect that. I must needs continue kicking.

I’m off to kick, so have a great week, and I’ll quit kicking to pen another “Coming This Week” next week!

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Quinton O'Connor

Quinton O'Connor

Quinton cut their chops on the games journalism thing in 2020 right here at RPGFan. They left the site for about five months in 2022, but you know what they say. You can take the RPG out of the Fan, but you can't take the... Fan out of the RPG? Anyway, they're back.

4 Responses to RPGs Coming This Week, 8/23/21

Jbumi
Jbumi

I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. I've gone through it myself - it's a tough thing, but I will say that over time, the memories you'll recall most often will be the happy ones. The top of my RPG pet list is going to seem weird to most - it's Nok-Nok from Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Yes, I know he's a Goblin, but throughout the game I've thought of him as my pet - he's about as bright as one, & I just can't help but think of him that way. Second would be Shorty, Jr. (named after one of my late cats) my black panther companion from Torchlight II.

gourley4p
gourley4p

Sorry about your kitty. My wife and I have four. A couple of years ago when we were about to move in together, we each had two cats. Hers were old men, 13-14 years old. One died before she moved in, and then we learned the other had an inoperable condition two months later. After she took some time to heal, we got two more cats, sisters, and we live a happy life with our feline companions. I don't know that I have a favorite pet from RPGs. I often find pets in games to be poorly executed. They are there for the cute factor without providing meaningful contributions to the world. Or they perform extraordinary tasks to adapt an old school mechanic to a better quality of life. Maybe if pets got kidnapped or could get killed--or if I could get a relevant backstory involving the pet--I would feel connected. As it is, pets in games mostly show up as decoration or a mechanic to me.

Quinton O'Connor
Quinton O'Connor

Thank you so much, Jbumi. <3 That means a great deal to me. And wow, those are great picks! *_* Nok-Nok has me laughing. He's totally a pet.

Quinton O'Connor
Quinton O'Connor

Rest in peace, older kitties. It's lovely, raising a pet family together! Sure, there's something to be said for having, like, "real" children? But bah, pets are totally real children, too. I'm glad your wife was able to heal and move forward. I realize most of us can, given enough time, but as I'm sure you understand it doesn't always feel like that in the heat of the moment. <3 That's an interesting counterpoint re: pets in RPGs. I'm not sure I've ever heard/read anybody saying it before. But I guess I can't really disagree! I'd love to see more backstory and plot potentiality from RPG pets.

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