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Summer Games Guide

Summer used to be the doldrums for game releases. Prevailing logic dictated that the primary consumers of games, kids, were too busy playing outside during their summer vacation to have time for video games. Luckily, game publishers eventually wised up and realized that more free time meant more time for games, and now the summer brings plenty of major game releases to look forward to. Here is our Summer Games Guide featuring twelve of the hottest game releases this season.

Mario and Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Release Date: June 24

Platform: Wii U

Kids of the 1990s dreamed of the day when Mario and Sonic would finally do battle, but after multiple Olympic battles, the dream has been a reality for years. Of course, it’ll never get old to see Mario, Sonic, and all their goofy friends compete in even more varied competitions than before. Beyond the usual games like soccer and swimming, the Wii U version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games includes 4 x 100m Relay, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Triple Jump and Rugby Sevens. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Shadow the Hedgehog do Rhythmic Gymnastics.

Henry Gilbert, Senior Games Editor

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness

Release Date: June 28

Platform: PlayStation 4

It’s been seven long years since the last Star Ocean game, and longtime fans should be excited to return to the stars. Set between The Second Story and Till the End of Time, the protagonist’s normal life is thrown into chaos when his underdeveloped planet is invaded by a more advanced, spacefaring alien species. Expect frantic real-time battles and an expansive universe to lose yourself in.

Doug Trein, Staff Contributor

Monster Hunter Generations 

Release Date: July 15

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Hunters rejoice! Monster Hunter returns to the 3DS with Monster Hunter Generations in July. Generations is the most customizable Monster Hunter experience to date, and it serves as a fitting tribute to the last decade of the series with a blend of brand-new areas and monsters, and returning fan-favorites. With four weapon styles to choose from, players can expect a wide variety of ways to tackle the four flagship monsters.

Doug Trein, Staff Contributor

I Am Setsuna

Release Date: July 19

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC

For fans of classic role-playing games, look no further than I Am Setsuna. In a land of never-ending winter, a mercenary must embark on a quest to find the maiden Setsuna. Setsuna must sacrifice herself at a sacred shrine to appease hostile demons. The game’s battle system is a modernization of Active Time Battle systems found in games such as Chrono Trigger and the Final Fantasy series. The game’s central theme is sadness and self-sacrifice, so expect an emotional plot as well.

Doug Trein, Staff Contributor

We Happy Few

Release Date: July 26

Platforms: Xbox One, PC, Mac

We Happy Few debuted a teaser gameplay video during this year’s E3 that created some significant buzz. The psychological thriller/survival game takes places in a world where everyone is controlled by a personality-altering pill called Joy. When the main protagonist halts taking the medication, he must set out into a world much different than the reality he is used to living within.

Doug Trein, Staff Contributor

No Man's Sky 

Release Date: Aug. 9

Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC

No Man's Sky promises to be the open-world game that finally delivers on the dream of doing almost anything and going anywhere in the universe. It's a lofty ambition from a tiny little game developer, which maybe explains why No Man's Sky was delayed from June to August. Despite the long wait, the hype for the space-exploration-simulator remains high. Soon you can explore new solar systems, visit new planets, discover new animals and kill them.

Jorge Albor, Games Editor

Metroid Prime Federation Force

Release Date: Aug. 19

Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

Federation Force isn’t the Metroid game fan had been waiting for, but it’s the only one they’re getting any time soon, so why not enjoy the ride? This multiplayer-focused shooter drops fans into the Metroid universe, tasking them to create their own bounty hunter to play as instead of Samus. Buzz hasn’t been great for the game, but maybe this could surprise folks and be the start of a new spin-off franchise (look, I’m trying to stay positive here, ok?).

Henry Gilbert, Senior Games Editor

Madden NFL 17

Release Date: Aug. 23

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Madden NFL 17 is set to bring more game modes and features for football fans. Players can expect an upgrade to the running plays and the ground game, along with a redesigned Franchise Mode. The game will also receive new Ball Carrier UI Prompts to help teach moves and a new Path Assist tool that helps receivers anticipate throws downfield. New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski won the title of this year’s cover athlete, so Patriot fans better hope the Madden curse doesn't strike again and force Gronk to sit out most of this season with another injury.

Doug Trein, Staff Contributor

Deus Ex Mankind Divided

Release Date: Aug. 23

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The Deus Ex series made a triumphant return with Human Revolution in 2012, and Mankind Divided looks to keep the momentum going. This first-person action role-playing game focuses on player choice, letting them accomplish objectives via combat, stealth, or dialogue choices. Mankind Divided takes place two years after the events of Human Revolution, with Adam Jensen working with Interpol to capture a terrorist group of augmented humans.

Doug Trein, Staff Contributor

King of Fighters XIV 

Release Date: Aug. 23

Platforms: PlayStation 4

If you’re one of those fighting game fans let down by Street Fighter V, you should be looking forward to the triumphant return of SNK’s King of Fighters series. After years of dormancy, King of Fighters XIV brings back all the NeoGeo regulars and some new battlers in the main series’ first entry with 3D visuals. SNK is looking to make this the most approachable entry in the hardcore series yet, though it’ll be interesting if the game can go that way while still appealing to the longtime KoF community.

Henry Gilbert, Senior Games Editor

World of Warcraft Legion 

Release Date: Aug. 30

Platform: PC, Mac

World of Warcraft gets its sixth major expansion this August with the launch of Legion. The add-on capitalizes on the Fel Magic theme in the Warcraft film, setting players against the demon armies of the Burning Legion and even Gul'Dan himself. Legion also adds the Demon Hunter hero class, new raids, and an increased 110 level cap.

Jorge Albor, Games Editor

Grow Up

Release Date: August TBD

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

2015's Grow Home seemingly came out of nowhere and instantly won players and critics over with its charming robotic hero, B.U.D. (Botanical Utility Droid), unique climbing controls, minimalist graphical design, and sense of exploration. The sequel, Grow Up, was announced during Ubisoft's E3 press conference this year, and it looks to take everything that made the original so much fun and add a whole lot more, including new powers for B.U.D. and an all-new planet to explore.

Matthew Allen, Executive Games Editor


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