Welcome to another Monthly Summary! I recall saying at the end of May’s summary that I was looking forward to seeing the results of this post due to all the new releases June brought… Unfortunately, this has actually turned out to be one of the most uninspiring posts, ever. I went on holiday at the beginning of the month and left all my gaming gear at home to give myself a break and I’ve since taken a few long weekends off as well to go out and do some other stuff. I’m also frantically looking to buy a house, so I’ve been spending a lot of time searching online and going out to viewings too. This has taken up a lot of my time, so I’ve not had the interest to start any new games for now.
A lot of my minimal gaming time this month was actually dedicated Steam’s Next Fest which you can read all about here. I played 21 demos during the week-long festival and found some awesome new indie games to keep my eye on. Aside from that, I’ve only really been playing one game – but you’ll have to read on to find out which game completely captured my attention!
There’s only been one completion this month with otome visual novel, Nightshade. Despite having heard such good things about this game, I never fully seemed to get into it and I’m quite glad I’m done now. Of course it had its good points, but I just felt like the routes were quite samey and they could’ve been improved with a bit more detail. Kuroyuki ended up being my favourite of the bunch as I didn’t expect his route to turn out like it did, but overall, every character was likeable in their own way.
RESEARCH and DESTROY
even if TEMPEST
I really haven’t played many games this month. RESEARCH and DESTROY has been the main game for me over the past few weeks mainly due to the local co-op element so I could play with WesleyWhale. It’s so much fun and we’ve managed to play this game for 35 hours already and we’re still loving it! We’re on our second run right now and are aiming to collect all the achievements! I’ve also played more Smite than usual this month due to not wanting to get involved with a new game, and I’m loving this patch’s Battle Pass because you can pick your own skins. Lastly, I managed to start this month’s most talked about otome, even if TEMPEST, although I have only just got past the opening credits. It takes me a while to get into games so I don’t really have an opinion of yet, but I do know that this is a massive step up for Voltage!
Game of the Month:
RESEARCH and DESTROY
RESEARCH and DESTROY, developed by Implausible Industries and published by Spike Chunsoft, was released on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One on the 26th of April 2022. The game featured a demo in one of Steam‘s previous Next Fests but appears to have slipped under the radar despite this marketing approach.
I’ve never picked the same game twice for ‘Game of the Month’, but RESEARCH and DESTROY definitely deserves this title considering I’ve pretty much played this game non-stop for the past few weeks. We’d only just started the game last month, and now we’ve gotten to the end and beyond, I can confidently say that RESEACH and DESTROY is more fun than I ever imagined it could be. The inclusion of 9 weapons and 9 gadgets really changes up the gameplay, and the upgrades you can get for them can seriously change the way you play. Our second playthrough of the game saw different levels that we’d never even experienced before and since each map is randomly generated, there’s tonnes of replay value! The game also features 45 achievements for story and collectable purposes, but also provides some super enjoyable tasks in order to get them all – usually involving trick shots or other cool moves!
Presenting a fair challenge with a unique hybrid of turn-based / real-time action gameplay, RESEARCH and DESTROY is a fantastic little game that fans of co-op games will surely love. The game provides plenty of laughs as it never gets old to ‘accidentally’ launch your own scientists into a wall, knock out your allies with items from another dimension or even make use of the gadgets to fly around the map – there’s loads of crazy things to try! The demo is still available on Steam, so please go check out this gem of a game!
Higurashi When They Cry Hou – Rei
even if TEMPEST
Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei
I bought a lot of brand new games this month considering I haven’t actually played any of them… I suppose I did start one, but that was only for a few hours so I guess it doesn’t really count. I’ll be spending a lot of my time trying to catch up with the games I’ve missed, but now the Steam Summer Sale is here, who knows what I’ll end up buying next! I do have my eye on AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative, but I think I have enough to be getting on with in the meantime so I’m going to wait until the price is discounted a bit. Plus, Birushana is arriving tomorrow!
Looking Forward To:
TAISHO x ALICE: HEADS & TAILS
River City Girls 2
There’s only two games that spring to mind when I think about games that I’m really looking forward to. The first is TAISHO x ALICE: HEADS & TAILS, the FD for the series which I absolutely adored, so I cannot wait to see what’s to come. Apparently the localisation for Steam is due sometime around July/August – so it doesn’t seem like we have long to wait! The other game I’m dying to play is River City Girls 2. The first game is still one of my favourites and I’m super excited to see more from Kyoko and Misako, scheduled for release sometime during summer 2022!
I’ve taken part in every single Next Fest since it began a few years ago, and the quality of games we see each time becomes better and better! This month’s festival was my favourite of them all and I managed to play so many amazing demos with WesleyWhale. We spent a lot of time playing through 21 demos and then writing about our experience with each one. We chose a variety of games from different genres, so if you’re looking for some more indie games to keep tabs on, go check out out Steam Next Fest: June 2022 post!
It’s not only gaming I’ve been struggling to keep up with this month. Whilst I was away, まふまふ (Mafumafu) announced his indefinite hiatus. This came as a bit of shock because of how active まふまふ has been, but I’m also pleased to see he’s taking some time out for his health. It’s going to be weird without him since he’s such a prominent figure within the music I listen to, but I’m happy that his Tokyo Dome performances are available for overseas fans and I’m also glad he posted one last song, エグゼキューション (Execution) before his absence.
Putting that aside, there’s been some pretty good songs this month, starting with 君が飛び降りるのならば (If You’re Gonna Jump) by another of my favourite vocalists, あほの坂田。(Aho no Sakata). Unfortunately, he doesn’t post utaite covers as much as he used to, but I always enjoy them when he does. I think the style of this song (original by Omoi) really suits his vocals and I really love listening to this song!
Something a bit more chilled out now with new release from もさを。(Mosawo) with this song, ラクガキ (Graffiti). I really love もさを。songs as they have this really distinct style to them and they’re so easy to listen to. This song is no exception!
Next up is new song, 知らないままで (As You Don’t Know), by ロクデナシ (Rokudenashi). I only became aware of this project last month which features vocalist MIMI collaborating with a selection of upcoming vocaloid producers and illustrators contributing for each song. I love projects like these as it gains artist recognition and this song has become one of my new favourites!
Last on the list this month is a cover of ド屑 (Scum of the Earth) by my all time favourite, そらる (Soraru). I was already familiar with the original vocaloid version of this song by なきそ (Nakiso), but this version just seems to hit different. It’s great to hear Soraru sing something in his lower register too as it sounds a lot more like his older stuff as opposed to the ‘showier’ songs he’s been covering more recently. I love his voice either way though, so I’m not fussy, but I’m seriously addicted to this cover right now.
I know this post hasn’t been as interesting as usual, but I hope I’ve managed to fill the void somehow with my rambling about how good RESEARCH and DESTROY is. Hopefully I’ll be spending more of my free time gaming next month since I have a lot to catch up on and I’m hoping to make a start on some of the games on my backlog list that I wrote a few months ago. If it all goes to plan, I’m going to be super busy!