Five Games: ‘Valiant Hearts’ And Everything Else You Need To Play This Week

Consoles, PCs, handhelds, Facebook, smartphones — the world of gaming is becoming increasingly confusing and fragmented, but don’t worry, we’re here to simplify things for you. Each week I’ll rattle off five games I think you might want to check out this week. Keep in mind, these articles aren’t meant to be comprehensive lists of everything coming out that week so much as a nice rounded tasting menu. So, let’s get to it…

This Week’s Transformers Game

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 & Wii U, June 24th)

Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark is a mash-up between the Transformers movie universe and the Transformers video game Cybertron universe. Thankfully it seems to be lifting its gameplay mostly from the pretty good Cybertron games.

This Week’s JRPG With a Wacky Title

Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3 & PS Vita, June 24th)

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland was a PS3 RPG released back in 2010. Atelier Rorona Plus is a remake of that game — yes, a remake of a game that’s less than five years old. The Atelier games focus on female characters and complex item crafting and are generally good, whimsical fun. If you, like everyone else, missed this one the first time around, you may want to give this remake a look if you’re hungering for a new JRPG and can stomach generous servings of cute.

This Week’s Racing Game

GRID Autosport (PC, Xbox 360 & PS3, June 24th)

The GRID games look like fairly generic racing games on the surface, but they also feature some sim elements, such as the ability to manage your own race team. GRID Autosport should be another solid outing.

This Week’s Retro Platformer

Shovel Knight (PC, Wii U & 3DS, June 26th)

Shovel Knight looks and feels like a lost Capcom or Konami NES title. The game’s premise is summed up in its title — you’re a knight with a shovel. You can use to hit enemies, pogo jump like Uncle Scrooge and more. There are a lot of “retro” indie platformers out there, but Shovel Knight really takes 8-bit authenticity to the next level.

Pick of the Week

Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 & PS4, June 25th)

There’s basically two Ubisofts — the one that churns out Assassin’s Creeds and Tom Clancy stuff and the one that makes gorgeous little gems like Child of Light. From the latter Ubisoft comes Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a puzzle-adventure set during World War I. This one looks like it’s going to be a test of both your puzzle solving and manly tear suppressing abilities.

Hey, not a bad week! Maybe summer 2014 won’t be so bad after all. Any games you’re itching to get your hands on that I failed to mention? Hit the comments and let the world know.