Friv 2022 games Angry Birds Rio Free
Friv 20 Games Wheely 8 - 2017Description of Friv 20 Games Wheely 8 - 2017 game:
Wheely and his girlfriend Jolie went on a picnic. They were having a good time, until something unexpected happened! A UFO lands one of the aliens inside needs a component to be able to fly back to space.. In Wheely 8 you have to help him to get back to h
Our little red friend Wheely is back again with fun point-and-click challenging adventures! This time he has to help some friendly aliens who crashed on the Earth. Are you going to be able to help our new friends get back hom
The X-Men franchise is a strange beast to keep up with. The timeline is muddled, there's a variety of offshoots that include everything from Wolverine to Deadpool, and the quality of the movies is all over the map. For every X-Men: First Class and X2: X-Men United, there's an X-Men: Apocalypse or X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
That's what makes one of the upcoming X-Men titles, The New Mutants, so interesting. For the first time in the franchise, this isn't your typical superhero film. New Mutants is diving deep into horror territory as it adapts a truly scare line of comics.
In a franchise littered with movies, New Mutants is trying something new to stand out and, though it's been repeatedly delayed, we can't wait to see how it turns out. That is, if it retains the horror style we've seen from clips and trailers thus far.
There are still a lot of things we don't know about New Mutants, which is surprising given that it was originally set to be released in 2018. However, after doing some digging, we've learned quite a bit about this horror offshoot of the X-Men films.
Here's everything we know about The New Mutants. Luckily for you, GameSpot has also pulled together information for a bunch of other things you're looking forward to in 2019, including Godzilla: King of Monsters, Captain Marvel, Shazam, Wonder Woman 84, Star Wars: Episode IX, Toy Story 4, and Game of Thrones Season 8.
We have a release date, unless it gets delayed again
Originally, New Mutants was expected to release in early 2018. However, that was then pushed to February 2019 due to reshoots. Still, even that wasn't permanent. Now New Mutants won't be in theaters until August 2, 2019. That is unless it gets delayed one more time. Still, chances are you'll see it before that Gambit movie that's definitely never going to happen.
New Mutants a horror movie
When it comes to the X-Men films, you usually know exactly what you're getting yourself into. New Mutants is going in a very different direction, though. As the trailer released in 2017 shows, this isn't your run of the mill superhero film. Instead, it's a horror movie that happens to be populated with Marvel Comics characters, which is an exciting new direction to take the franchise.
But it has a John Hughes vibe
According to Anya Taylor-Joy, who stars in the film, the director wanted to mix the horror genre with the feel of a John Hughes movie like Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club. "And you can really, really feel that," she told Upbeat Entertainment in an interview.
Who is directing this X-Men film?
Josh Boone, most known as the director of the young adult drama The Fault in Our Stars will help New Mutants and also serves as screenwriter on the project. It's his first time tackling the superhero or horror genres, so it'll be interesting to see how it turns out.
It's heavily inspired by the comics
While we haven't seen a superhero horror movie before, New Mutants is sticking very close to the story as it unfolded in the comics. Boone told IGN that his pitch for the film was based on several issues from Volume 1 of The New Mutants. "We were incredibly inspired by the Demon Bear story which is probably the best, well-known New Mutants story," he said. "We also drew on movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Stephen King stuff, and even Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors."
The first trailer is seriously scary
When you hear something like an X-Men horror movie is happening, it's hard to imagine it being very scary. The first New Mutants trailer, though, is downright creepy. It shows the young mutants being held in a government facility that looks a lot like a haunted insane asylum and some deeply scary moments. There's no telling how much of the horror tone will remain after the reshoots New Mutants has gone through, but we are hopeful that the movie is as disturbing as the trailer.
This movie is set in the X-Men film continuity, somehow
The X-Men movie timeline is ridiculously complicated and only gets weirder with every single new film that's added. That said, New Mutants exists somewhere in that timeline. Where, exactly, we can't say. It will take place during present day, though, meaning it happens after most of the other X-Men films, save for Logan--and potentially the Deadpool movies.
Don't walk into New Mutants expecting to see the likes of Cyclops, Jean Grey, or Wolverine. Instead, the film will introduce a new group of mutants as they come to terms with their new abilities.
Here's the cast that's been announced so far:
- Anya Taylor-Joy as Magik
- Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane
- Charlie Heaton as Cannonball
- Henry Zaga as Sunspot
- Blu Hunt as Mirage
- Alice Braga as Cecilia Reyes
Antonio Banderas may appear as a mystery villain
While so much is still unknown about New Mutants, it's been reported by the Tracking Board that Antonio Banderas will appear in a post-credits scene, introducing him as a villain. Originally, it was believed Jon Hamm would appear as Mr. Sinister, though that plan reportedly changed during reshoots.
Marilyn Manson recorded a song for the movie
Manson announced in May that his cover of Gerald McMahon's Cry Little Sister--a song that originally appeared in 1987's The Lost Boys--was recorded for New Mutants. Thanks to the movie's delay, the song was released in June but the film won't be out until sometime next year.
There are already plans for sequels with more mutants
If you love the New Mutants comics and are bummed that certain characters aren't slated for the film, have no fear. Boone is already planning for future movies. Speaking to IGN, he explained, "I will say we're going to introduce new characters in the next movie as well. Characters like Karma and Warlock, and all that will be in future movies."
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
The X-Men franchise moves forward, and in 2019, the 11th movie in said franchise--including the three Wolverine movies--will hit theaters. Ignoring the fact that the newest line of X-Men films completely messes with the franchise's timeline, the new series of movies, which debut with First Class, has been a blast, filled with more highs than lows.
The latest movie, titled Dark Phoenix, tries once again to tell the tale of Jean Grey turning into the Dark Phoenix. This is something 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand tried to do and failed at horribly. From the looks of the first trailer, the movie seems a bit more grounded and less focussed on how much they can cram into a single movie.
While we're still months away from its release, there is a fair amount we know about the next X-Men movie, probably because it was originally supposed to hit theaters during the winter, before it was pushed to late spring. So if you can't wait for the next installment in the X-Men franchise and have to take in as much about the movie as possible, we got you covered.
Here's everything we know about Dark Phoenix, and if you want to learn more about 2019 movies that we're excited to see, check out our everything we know galleries about Godzilla: King of Monsters, Captain Marvel, Shazam, Wonder Woman 84, Star Wars: Episode IX, Toy Story 4, and Game of Thrones Season 8.
The tricky release date and its delays
As it stands, Dark Phoenix will hit theaters on June 9, 2019, which has been pushed back a few times in the past year. The day after the first trailer's release, the movie was pushed back from February 14 to its new June date. Originally, it was supposed to come out in early November, but Fox kept moving the dates back. However, with Marvel's buyout of Fox coming to a close, movie dates were shifted around for many movies, so the studio wouldn't be competing with itself.
The latest X-Men movie has all the cast of characters we've fallen in love with in previous movies with a few added extras. The biggest addition to this year's installment is Jessica Chastain as Smith, a very mysterious role, which we'll talk a bit more about in detail later. Here's the cast for the movie.
- Jennifer Lawrence is Raven/Mystique
- Sophie Turner is Jean Grey/Phoenix
- Nicholas Hoult is Hank McCoy/Beast
- James McAvoy is Professor Charles Xavier
- Michael Fassbender is Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto
- Evan Peters is Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver
- Kodi Smit-McPhee is Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler
- Evan Jonigkeit is rumored to be Mortimer Toynbee/Toad
- Tye Sheridan is Scott Summers/Cyclops
- Alexandra Shipp is Ororo Munroe/Storm
- Jessica Chastain is Smith
Who is directing?
Dark Phoenix will be directed by none other than Simon Kinberg, someone who has a long history with the X-Men franchise. While he was one of the writers of the aforementioned X-Men: The Last Stand--the movie that we all thought killed the franchise--Kinberg was also the screenwriter of Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. Dark Phoenix will be his feature-length directorial debut.
Fans of the X-Men comic books have a good idea of what this movie will be about. Obviously, the film revolves around Jean Grey and her becoming the Dark Phoenix. As to whether or not its a cosmic entity is still unknown--we'll get to that--but from what we know, this movie is also very much about rifts growing between the X-Men and all mutants. Obviously, the X-Men will have to face Jean Grey and stop Dark Phoenix from destroying the world, as this franchise loves villains who can destroy the world.
The X-Men go to space, the final frontier… for X-Men movies
While we don't know the extent of how much the mutant team will spend in space, we do know for a fact they will be there. During New York Comic-Con, we got a look at roughly 10 minutes of the movie, where the team heads to space, and Jean Grey ends up becoming the Phoenix. We'll leave out the specifics, but this is an important moment because so much of Phoenix's origin is tied heavily to the cosmic part of the Marvel universe. Will the team head back space any time else during the movie, we're unsure about that at this time.
Rumors around the plot
Obviously, not everything is laid out all nice and fresh for everyone when it comes to the story. There is also Jessica Chastain's role of Smith, and it's hard to tell how she fits into the grand scheme of things, from what we've seen in the trailer. There are a couple theories floating around. One of which is that she's actually Lilandra or someone else involved with the Shi'ar Empire--some folks from space who want to put the Phoenix on trial. Or Smith is actually Mastermind, one of the members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who manipulates Jean Grey in the comics. The latter seems more plausible. One thing is for sure though, Smith isn't Smith.
Lines drawn in the sand
This movie seems like it's going to drastically affect the X-Men team in future movies. Obviously, the timeline for the First Class run of movies is completely different than the original three X-Men movies from the early 2000s, so all bets are off. In the trailer, we see a greater rift between Magneto and Professor X, where Charles is running his X-Men school and Magneto has founded his all-mutant island/nation/piece of land called Genosha.
It doesn't stop there though, as there is a greater rift between Charles and Beast, who are supposed to be the closest characters in this series. This raises the question of what's going to happen by the end of this movie? Will there be multiple X-Men teams, one led by Charles and the other led by Beast?
Hans Zimmer comes out of retirement
Legendary composer Hans Zimmer called it quits on superhero movies after composing Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, he will continue to score Dark Phoenix as he found Simon Kinberg came in very prepared and professional, which was a plus in his book.
18 Of The Best PS4 Games In The Holiday Sale
Here's good news for anyone who owns a PS4 and likes saving money: Sony is running a massive holiday sale on PSN between now and January 15. The company has pulled out all stops during this promotion by dropping prices on over 1,200 games, expansions, and in-game items. And if you have a PlayStation Plus membership, you'll save even more money on most of the games.
While the magnitude of the sale is undoubtedly a good thing, it also comes with a challenge of its own: it can be hard to find the deals worth buying. To help you hack through the wilderness of deals, GameSpot's editors and producers have pitched in to highlight some of our favorite games available on discount during the sale.
If you'd prefer to spend as little as possible during the PlayStation holiday sale--which is understandable, considering we're elbow-deep in the gift-buying season--you can also check out our rundown of the best games in the sale available for $5 or less. Because what would you rather have, a new game or a latte?
And while we're on the subject, a number of other retailers are having video game sales right now as well, including GameStop, Walmart, and GOG. Check those out to save money on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch games and hardware.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the best PS4 games in the PlayStation Store's holiday sale 2018.
Supergiant's debut game remains perhaps my favorite of the bunch. That's thanks in large part to its novel use of narration, performed by the incomparable Logan Cunningham, who articulates and contextualizes your actions as you progress. This is accompanied by Darren Korb's brilliant soundtrack, which consists of some of the catchiest tracks you'll find in a game and some that are hauntingly beautiful. For $3.75, Bastion is worth the price just to listen to the music.
Even seven-plus years on from its release, Bastion's visual style is still striking and gorgeous, and its core gameplay is still satisfying. The action RPG-style combat is somewhat basic, but the variety of weapons and optional difficulty increases allow you to tailor the experience to your liking. If you want to casually smash everything with a giant hammer, have at it; if you love nailing perfectly timed shots with a bow (netting you a damage boost) but want enemies to regenerate health, you can do that, too.
Throughout the game, you'll discover what happened to the now-destroyed world, which manages to have more personality than many games despite having no characters for you to interact with. Bastion is one of those games that I'll buy and play each time it's released on a new platform. While it's by no means new to PS4, it is a game that deserves to be part of your library. -- Chris Pereira
- Buy Bastion -- $3.75
Battle Chef Brigade Deluxe
Battle Chef Brigade serves up a delightful mixture of brawler combat, challenging puzzles, and adorable story-telling, so it's a shame that the game went under so many people's radar in 2017. You play as Mina, a young chef who dreams of joining the brigade that protects the realm of Victusia by hunting down violent monsters and cooking them into meals for the hungry populace.
Hand drawn in a colorful art style and well voice-acted, BCB tells the wonderful story of a young woman giving it her all to pursue her dream. The accompanying winner-takes all matches you have to play through are just the icing on the cake. You spend most of your time facing off against other would-be Brigadiers in cooking competitions where you'll need to factor in specific ingredients, judges' personal tastes, and a time limit. Once you have an idea for a dish, you'll need to rush out and slash your way through the world's monsters and vegetation for materials, before hurrying back to the kitchen to complete puzzled-based challenges to cook your ingredients correctly.
A rather simple balancing act in the beginning, managing how much time you spend hunting or cooking becomes more difficult over time. But it's incredibly satisfying to see your opponent's crestfallen face after you frantically complete a last-second combination and get your round-winning meal in front of the judges with seconds to spare.
One of the better additions included in Battle Chef Brigade Deluxe is a couch co-op versus mode, which adds Ziggy, an undead necromancer, as a playable character. -- Jordan Ramee
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
When I think about games as an art, and how to handle storytelling in video games, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is one of the first examples I usually give. In the game, you control a set of two brothers who have lost their mother, and set out on an adventure to save their sick father. However, one of your analog sticks will control the elder brother, while the other analog stick controls the younger. They each have their own strengths which you have to correctly play off in order to solve the puzzles at hand. And, while the gameplay is fun, Brothers expertly utilizes its game design to tell a story in a way only a video game could, and I think that’s what’s so special about it. I don’t want to spoil any of this, but think it’s well worth a play, as the game is worthy of the discussion of how to best tell story in a video game. -- Dave Klein
Danganronpa 1-2 Reload
Danganronpa remains one of my favorite series of all time. The premise is simple, really: Some anime high school students are locked in their school and told that, in order to leave, they need to get away with murdering a classmate. You're hoping that everyone just agrees not to murder each other and will instead work together to catch the mastermind behind all this, but the pressure is mounting, and soon enough someone turns up dead. Through a class trial, your job is to catch the killer (or face execution at the hands of a talking bear). It only gets weirder from there.
I'm a big fan of murder mysteries, and Danganronpa is one of the most out-there murder mystery stories I've ever encountered. 1-2 Reload includes the first and second main series Danganronpa games, both of which go to some absolutely bonkers places. They're anything but predictable or normal, and that's what makes them so special. -- Kallie Plagge
- Buy Danganronpa 1-2 Reload -- $24
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Remember when I said Danganronpa isn't predictable? I thought, after two games and maybe a bit of an obsession, that I had a good idea of where the story was going. I started Danganronpa V3 thinking that I'd be hard to surprise. Not only did it surprise me--like, a lot--it also seemed to know how confident I was and actively used that against me. I can't explain it without spoiling everything, but suffice it to say that I view the entirety of the Danganronpa series differently now that I've played V3. It's the pinnacle of what the series is, and it would be a mistake to skip out on it. Just trust me on this. -- Kallie Plagge
The thing about Darkest Dungeon is it's a constant mess of death and horror--in the best way possible. An indie rogue-like lite-RPG, Darkest Dungeon puts you in the role of the inheritor of a frightening estate, where your debauched family conjured up all manner of eldritch horrors basically for the fun of it. They're dead and gone, and they've left you holding the bag--so you pass the bag to the countryside's various mercenaries and heroes. You control teams of four characters as they delve into the estate's depths and dungeons, but the conceit of the game is that they all could die down there, and the ones that survive will probably lose their minds.
Darkest Dungeon is all about making the best of a bad situation and mitigating damage as things go from bad to worse. And while that makes it pretty tough, it's weirdly fun to see how bad things can go, and then try to salvage the situation. Its evocative art style combines with its Lovecraftian subject matter to create a powerfully oppressive, despairing atmosphere that makes every single dungeon run feel like a major, dangerous undertaking. You'll have a tough time in Darkest Dungeon, but leveling up your (surviving) characters and clearing out the estate's various dungeons is always a powerful accomplishment. -- Phil Hornshaw
- Buy Darkest Dungeon -- $8.24
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Deus Ex is a tough name to live up to, and while Mankind Divided doesn't make the same impact as the original, it's still a hell of an immersive sim. Mankind Divided picks up Adam Jensen's story two years after the events of Human Revolution, though its not entirely necessary to have played that game. The overarching plot may not stand out, but for $7.50 ($4.50 with PS Plus), Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is well worth the asking price as it delivers thrilling moments and some impressive set pieces for missions with a world you can influence. There's an oppressive atmosphere throughout the cyberpunk future whether you're going about your day in Prague or investigating the slums of Golem City. And like its predecessors, you can go about uncovering the conspiracy any which way you want, whether it be with heavy weaponry, non-lethal tools, or clever augmentations that get you past conflict altogether. -- Michael Higham
- Buy Deus Ex: Mankind Divided -- $7.50
Goat Simulator is a wacky and wonderful game that's sort of like the Tony Hawk skateboarding games--except you control a goat and you're trying to rack up as many points as possible as fast as you can by causing damage. You can press a button to extend your tongue to connect it to objects to zip around the big sandbox world faster and in weird ways. It is every bit as absurd as you can imagine. The game is very buggy (intentionally) and it doesn't look all that great, but it's oddly endearing and satisfying. And for only $3.50 USD or $2.50 if you have PS Plus, it's well worth it, especially if you have holiday parties coming up. Goat Simulator also has multiplayer, along with a number of expansions to pick up if you enjoy the base game. -- Eddie Makuch
- Buy Goat Simulator -- $3.50
Gravity Rush 2
Gravity Rush 2, much like the first game, gets overlooked far too often. It's not without a few nagging flaws, but what game is? Even when compared to something like Marvel's Spider-Man it offers one of the most inventive and thrilling traversal systems out there. Playing as Kat, a superhero who can control and tweak her ties to gravity, you can freely fly through the air for extended periods of time, stand on the side of buildings, or dangle from ceilings. Environments are built adequately large and with enough ornamentation to give you lots of room to enjoy the spirit of flight and snake through high-rise architecture simply for the fun of it. Fitting for a character like Kat, Gravity Rush 2 also delivers anime-grade spectacle and villainy, rounding out a fun and spunky experience that is well worth the current $14 asking price ($12 with PS Plus). -- Peter Brown
- Buy Gravity Rush 2 -- $14
Hitman 2 takes everything that made the 2016 quasi-reboot great and cranks it up to 11. The maps are bigger, there are more ways to knock off your targets, and the stiff humor is even punchier. If you didn't give Hitman a go but just wanna play around on a hilarious yet violent playground, there's still a lot to love here.
The beauty of Hitman 2 lies in breaking routines. Targets and NPCs follow routes and deliver lines like actors in a play, just begging you to interrupt with a sniper bullet or brick to the head. This game is about learning how the gears turn, then jamming them up with a wrench--sometimes quite literally. The maps are big for a reason: each has dozens of areas to discover, and you'll want to learn every corner as you analyze your targets and find increasingly creative ways to take them out.
Even better, the entirety of Hitman 2016 is playable in the sequel. All the new mechanics work retroactively, so you can revisit that Paris fashion show or Japanese mountaintop hospital and find even more ways to play around on maps you once mastered. -- Tony Wilson
- Buy Hitman 2 -- $30
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Before The Last of Us and Uncharted, Naughty Dog had already mastered the art of the 3D platformer. The Jak trilogy (each game of which is on sale right now) explored the genre from various angles, but for my money, they nailed it out of the gate with 2001's Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. It's a bright, colorful game with pixel-precise controls and large spaces that are filled with enemies, clever obstacles, and--importantly--lots of things to collect. The whole trilogy is worth playing, but make sure you don't skip the first one. -- Chris Reed
Life is Strange - Complete Season
Life is Strange tried to do something different for the medium of the video game. With a strong focus on dialogue, a mature tackling of the sometimes subtle, but deeply affecting issues that can haunt us while growing up, and a superpower you can use in refreshingly original ways, Life is Strange vastly succeeded in its biggest challenges. It truly is a unique experience, which some today might call an understatement given some of the trends the gaming industry has taken in the last few years. If you can forgive some of the loose ends not being tied as tight as they could, you're going to find a game that's a breath of fresh air--a genuine piece of art. -- Nick Sherman
- Buy Life is Strange -- $6
Monster Hunter World
This was actually one of my top three games of 2018, so seeing it for $25, there's no way I couldn't recommend it. The premise of the Monster Hunter games is simple: There are giant monsters roaming the land that you need to hunt down and either kill or trap. Each of these monsters is equivalent to an in-game boss, so you’re essentially running from one boss fight to the next.
Monster Hunter World takes the pre-established gameplay elements of the long running Japanese series, and makes them slightly easier to understand. While long-time Monster Hunter fans may be disappointed by some of the changes, for me, these quality-of-life improvements opened up the world and helped truly immerse me into the game. I’d dabbled in Monster Hunter 3U, World felt like an entirely different experience, and I absolutely loved hunting down the various monsters with my trusty Palico.
Monster Hunter World is at its best when you’re playing with friends, as you can play online with up to three other hunters and work together to take down these beasts. However, this time around, I found myself having just as much fun playing the game solo, and grew absolutely obsessed with it.
There’s a reason this series has been incredibly popular in Japan, and this game is helping it pick up steam in the US as well. If it interests you at all, World is definitely worth grabbing while it’s on sale, as it’s the best in the series for beginners. -- Dave Klein
- Buy Monster Hunter World -- $30
No Time to Explain
"I'm you from the future. No time to explain. Follow me." And with that, you and up to three friends are flung into a journey across time and space that includes evil twins, flying dinosaurs, and aliens.
No Time To Explain isn't very long--about three hours--but it's packed with tons of hilarious jokes and self-references, as well as some rather tricky platforming levels. If you're just looking for a goofy way for you and some friends to spend an afternoon, look no further than this game.
Your methods of navigation become more wacky over time, and cover everything from a laser that's strong enough to propel you through the air, to a shotgun that can quickly launch you across the screen. The game keeps throwing new mechanics and features at you with remarkable speed, so you'll never grow too comfortable with what you have. -- Jordan Ramee
- Buy No Time to Explain -- $3
It can be difficult for platformers to stand out, but N++ offers a distinct feel you won't find replicated elsewhere. Its fast-paced action carries a weight and heft to it, as your character's inertia plays a role in how you move. You might not be able to make a series of jumps in a vacuum, but build up enough speed and have the confidence to attempt them without stopping, and you've got an exhilarating ticket to success.
N++ is a constant race against the clock, and its many, many, many levels do a wonderful job of introducing new obstacles and combinations of challenges to keep you on your toes. Lasers, mines, homing missiles, deadly clones that follow in your path--there are many ways to die that don't involve a steep plummet to your death. Levels are comprised of only a single screen but can pack in a surprising amount of complexity and excitement; I often find myself inching toward the end of my seat and holding my breath while making the final sprint to the exit as a missile or some hazard is bearing down on me. Of course, finishing levels is not the only objective, as each one is filled with squares to collect that extend your timer. Collecting them all becomes an obsessive chase, but whether you're the sort to care about high scores or not, there's a ton--including co-op multiplayer--to enjoy here. -- Chris Pereira
- Buy N++ -- $7.50
The thing I like most about Oxenfree is the quality of its writing. It deftly handles the game's two core ideas: first, it's a supernatural ghost story about a town's tragic local history, and second, it's a story about teenagers working through their trauma and history together. It's rare that anybody is able to write credible teenagers, but Oxenfree spins characters who are smart, funny, and most of all believable--and their interpersonal issues are as compelling as the fact that some of them are getting possessed by the dead.
That ghost story is pretty solid too, and Oxenfree is great at conveying spookiness and dread through its great music and the cool conceit of tuning a radio to reach the spirit world. With its story focus, gameplay is mostly about messing with that radio and making dialogue choices, and yet Oxenfree never drags. It's a quick, well-paced story with a cast of compelling characters--the sort of title that's a good reminder that video game stories can be very good, and that they're often able to engage you in ways other media can't. -- Phil Hornshaw
- Buy Oxenfree -- $5
Peggle 2: Magical Masters Edition
Clear the orange pegs off the board. That's your job in Peggle 2, a game of skill and chance whose colorful exterior masks the enormously effective claws this game has to hook you. Because once you start clearing pegs, you'll fall under the Peggle spell. And once you do, you're helpless against its many charms.
All you do in this game is aim your shots and press a button. That makes a ball shoot from a nozzle at the top of the screen and bounce off pegs as it makes its way down to a pit at the bottom. Each peg you touch disappears. Clear the orange pegs, and you can move on to the next level. But once you've done that, tougher challenges remain, like clearing all the pegs and racking up a certain score on each level. Throw in some creative superpowers to help you snag more pegs, and you're looking at a nearly flawless game. -- Chris Reed
Supergiant Games really thought outside of the box with Pyre. Not only did the studio create an entirely new sport that's part basketball, part team deathmatch, but it set it in a dour underworld. You're not just competing to win some shiny trophy. The winning team of these games, known as Rites, gets to release a player from this purgatory.
It's not just about mastering the sport, either. As you slam-dunk orbs into the opposing team's pyre, your players grow stronger. Each party member has their own perks, opening up deeper strategies during games. Some are slow and steady; others can dash straight for the goal. A few party members even have odd abilities like instant backtracking or self-destruction, leading to some trickier plays.
What's more, this RPG-slash-sport can be played with others in local multiplayer. You can choose any of the enemy teams from the campaign, letting you experiment with other formations and skills. Pyre may take you out of your comfort zone, but mastering an entirely new sport is its own reward. -- Tony Wilson
- Buy Pyre -- $8
Shadow of the Colossus Remastered
After all that's been said of Shadow of the Colossus over the years it feels almost trite to rehash it here, but it absolutely bears repeating while it's only $16 ($14 with PS Plus) for anyone who may have no idea why it's considered a classic. There are no swarms of enemies to fight or tech trees to master--just you, a horse, a sword, and a gaggle of enormous beasts known as Colossi. They tower above you, but their size makes them perfect for scaling. You'll have to time your ascent while monitoring a stamina meter and fighting the Colossus' attempts to knock you off. If you're resilient enough, you'll eventually reach a weak spot and begin your attack.
The enormity of the Colossi and the feat of taking them down is consistently empowering, but on the flip side, the moments in between these encounters are special for completely opposite reasons. Shadow of the Colossus is so isolating and lonely, and thus when you are exploring on horseback, the beauty of the world around you calms your nerves, allowing for time to reflect on the massive challenge you've overcome and to mentally prepare for what's next. Just as much a spirit journey as a boss rush game, Shadow of the Colossus, and especially the recent remake for PS4, is a wonderfully balanced game unlike anything else out there, even 13 years after its release. -- Peter Brown
Spyro and Crash Remastered Bundle
Crash Bandicoot and Spyro are two of the most beloved mascots of the Playstation 1 era. The gameplay of these 20-year-old games stands the test of time, and they're still an absolute blast to play today. Even better, the remastered graphics render them absolutely beautiful to look at.
Crash Bandicoot errs more on the unforgiving platform side, with the games dutifully testing your controller skills in a 3D space, slowly ramping up in difficulty. Spyro, on the other hand, is a little more laid back in its feel, with it being more of a collectathon, as you’ll be focused on collecting while also completing the levels.
Both the Crash N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited Trilogy are well worth their original asking prices, as they each contain three excellently remastered games. So to get all six for less than the price of a standard new release is an absolute bargain. If you’ve never played these games and enjoy platformers, I highly recommend picking these up with the gorgeous remastered visuals. -- Dave Klein
While rhythm games had their hay day back in the late 2000s, Thumper is a more recent release originally coming out in 2016. For this particular one, you’re cascading down a track in a series of horrific worlds. And, as it would turn out, this track leads directly into a monstrous creatures mouth, which you’ll have to battle against in order to pass onto the next stage. Notably, the game is also compatible with PSVR, which was the way I first experienced it. There’s something mesmerizing and terrifying about drowning in its world when you first put on your headset, and it’s definitely the way to play if you have one. But even on a standard TV, it's still a fun rhythm experience well worth the low price. -- Dave Klein
- Buy Thumper -- $8
Transistor builds on much of what made developer Supergiant's previous game, Bastion, so great; it combines gorgeous visuals and a stellar soundtrack with a deep new combat system. While you can move around and attack in real time, the real strategy emerges when utilizing its turn-based system. This provides you with a finite amount of energy that is consumed to varying degrees by moving and executing your various attacks. This not only is more effective than real-time combat, it also presents you with the time and ability to plan and enact the most devastating turn possible. I'm delighted each time I manage to squeeze more mileage out of the energy bar than seems possible.
Providing further depth to combat is the way in which the skills you acquire can be used: Each of them can be an active ability, an upgrade for one of your abilities, or a passive buff. There are costs and restrictions on the number of skills you can have active a time, though frequent checkpoints allow you to swap things in constantly; it's really up to you to decide what's best. Experimenting with the many combinations is enjoyable in its own right, and I loved seeing how encounters could play out based on whether I built the most devastating attack possible or spread out my allotment of memory points. As an added benefit, using skills in each of the three ways unlocks additional lore that fleshes out the world. That world is, again much like Bastion, mostly devoid of living humans, but that's all in service of the narrative, and Supergiant's writing still manages to infuse a great deal of personality into the experience. -- Chris Pereira
- Buy Transistor -- $5
Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[st]
2D anime fighters are a dime-a-dozen, but Under Night In-Birth is something special. Having lineage from the cult classic Melty Blood, developer French Bread built upon the tight, balanced fighting system while integrating smart tweaks to meters and move-sets. This game is especially recommended for beginners of 2D fighters since it has one of the most robust tutorials in any game; it walks you through terminology, mechanics, and tactics for every level of expertise with 100+ instances for you to practice.
Exe: Late[st] is the definitive version with a fully fledged story mode that plays out as a visual novel to give a rich backstory to each of its distinct characters. It's one of the most complete packages that hooks you in with a fast, layered fighting system but leaves a lasting impact with a striking anime art style, memorable characters, and wonderful soundtrack--composer Raito blends electro-pop, traditional J-rock, and drum and bass cohesively to fit the sci-fi fantasy setting. Fighting game enthusiasts and beginners alike owe it to themselves to give Under Night In-Birth a try as it executes the many things it aims for exceptionally well. -- Michael Higham