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July’s a slow month for video games but here are a few gems

Not a big month for major game releases, July still has a few cool titles hitting the shelves

July is extremely light on big game releases. But if you are desperate to play something new, I have compiled a list of games that will be worth playing through regardless. 

Rocket League: Collectors Edition – Xbox One, PS4, PC

Rocket League was previously only available via digital download, but in July it comes to retail with all of its DLC packed in for good measure. If you’ve never played Rocket League, think of it as soccer with cars. You pick your ride and then take to the turf, ramming into the giant ball to bounce it into the net. 

Your car can also flip forward, sideways and backward, giving players much more mobility over the course of a match. There is a single player season to play through, but the game is at its most frantic and fun when you jump into multiplayer. 

The action is hectic and sometimes hard to follow, but the mechanics are rock solid. There is definitely a steep learning curve, but once you figure out how to steal the ball and break away down the field, or boost into the fray and slam the ball into the net there isn’t much that is as satisfying in video games.

Inside – PC, Xbox One

Inside released on Xbox One June 29, but a week later it’s coming to PC. It is an experience, unlike anything you’ve ever played before. It’s a 2D puzzle platformer that excels in telling a story simply through its environments and actions. There is no text; the story is told as you run through the world, avoiding obstacles and solving devious puzzles. 

The world is grim and relentless, with enemies nipping at your heels when they rear their ugly heads. The game is only about three hours long, but every second is polished beyond belief. Everything in the game happens as it was intended to, down to the pixel. 

It’s a hard game to talk about without spoiling the story because the entire game revolves around the yarn it spins. The gorgeous visuals perfectly depict a world that has broken down and is crumbling into decay. The absence of text actually works in the game’s favour, letting the animations speak for themselves. If you want an emotionally charged and puzzling game to play through, you owe it to yourself to check out Inside. 

Song of the Deep – Xbox One, PS4, PC

What is most interesting about Song of the Deep is its distribution. It is being developed by Insomniac Games, the creators of Ratchet and Clank, and the Resistance franchises, and is being published by EB Games. 

Yes, the retail store is selling the game, and it is only available on-disc in the store. It is only $20 and is set to be more of an experiment to see if the exclusivity can get more people to come into the brick and mortar shop. 

The game itself is a beautifully stylized side-scrolling action game that takes place entirely underwater. Players pilot a small submarine through hazardous obstacles and vicious enemies, working their way through the expansive world map. 

You will collect new abilities as you progress, which, in turn, will grant you access to new areas of the map. There is a focus on exploration and finesse. You gain new powers and must master them if you want to survive the gauntlets that lay ahead of you. 

Monster Hunter Generations – 3DS

Monster Hunter is all about building out your character with strong weapons and gear in order to take down stronger and stronger enemies. But these beasts aren’t easy to take down. Each major monster encounter is like an incredibly difficult boss fight, with patterns to memorize and weaknesses to exploit. 

Hunting monsters nets you new materials to craft armor and weapons. So you kill a monster, gather its resources, make new gear and repeat. This may sound tedious, but mastering the games mechanics and building out an incredibly powerful warrior is too satisfying to ignore. 

Timing and skill are everything in the heat of battle, so even after 20 hours the fights still feel fresh. Get lazy for even a second and you’ll get knocked into the dirt. It never a dull moment, especially when you can switch out the type of weapon you use and completely change the way the game plays. 

I Am Setsuna – PS4, PC

Square Enix, the developer of the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Heart franchises, is releasing I Am Setsuna, a charming throwback to 1990’s RPGs. It looks heavily inspired by Chrono Trigger, the famous time-travelling adventure. This doesn’t mean that it will treat players to a story that will take them through the ages, but the mechanics will be familiar to fans of Chrono Trigger.

The graphics are gorgeous, mixing cartoonish character designs with a painterly style that brings out the beauty of the world. The combat is turn-based, with the player selecting the actions of each character in their party. 

We still don’t know too much about the game, but the fact that it is inspired by older RPGs will surely heavily influence the nature of the story and progression. Fans of the classic Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games will find plenty to love in I Am Setsuna. 

Wrap Up

These games aren’t the biggest of the year by any stretch, but each one offers up very unique gameplay and experience. In particular, Inside stands as one of the best and most unique games to release this year, so if you have a Xbox One or a decent PC, Inside is well worth the asking price.

Matthew Herst is a Carleton University communications student, video game journalist and’s resident geek writer. Yeah, this guy love’s video games. Besides, you can also find his work on Follow him on Twitter @supergurst.


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