The latest crop of video game releases, for the week ending August 15, gets really, definitively bizarre. Whether you’re flying a rainbow snake-thing through the surreal skies of Hohokum, doing your best impression of a terrible medical practitioner in Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition, or tearing the clothes off of Akiba’s Trip‘s demons in downtown Japan in a bid to save the world, none of the latest releases are quite… normal.
That doesn’t matter though. Games are weird, man. That’s not always the case, but when it is, you’ve just got to go with it. Here’s what you have to choose from…
Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed
In Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed, you run around a bustling, open-world downtown Tokyo — specifically the area known as Akihabara — in search of demons. There’s a catch though: The demons look like people, and you can only reveal their true form by ripping their clothes off and exposing their skin to the sun. There’s also a corporate conspiracy for you to explore, for good measure. But naked demons! Here’s what it looks like.
We’ll have a review of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed for you soon. In the meantime, you can head over to the game’s official English-language website for more info.
There’s no easy way to describe Hohokum. You just have to play it. The game’s colorful 2D worlds immediately bring to mind the more surreal aspects of The Beatles’ classic film, Yellow Submarine. Players guide a multi-colored flying serpent, referred to as the “Long Mover,” through a series of wildly different spaces as they try to puzzle out what each discrete environment’s main objectives are, and then complete them.
We’ve previewed the game before and really enjoyed our time, odd as the gameplay is. You won’t find a straightforward explanation for why the game exists in our interview with artist Richard Hogg, who collaborated with developer Honeyslug on Hohokum, but you’ll at least get a better sense of what the team is going for.
Surgeon Simulator: Anniversary Edition
Surgeon Simulator has rightly been compared to QWOP, the notoriously difficult running game in which four letters — Q, W, O, and P — each control one calf and one thigh on the runner’s left and right legs. It’s designed to foster failure and frustration. It’s a similar situation with Surgeon Simulator, which feels like a virtual version of that old board game Operation!, only it’s much more challenging.
In addition to carrying over all of the features of the previously released iPad and PC versions of the game, this PlayStation 4 release also includes something to set it apart. You want to know what? Too bad. It hasn’t been revealed yet. You can read the non-reveal in the dev’s (Bossa Studios) own words on Sony’s PlayStation Blog.
Risen 3: Titan Lords
The Risen games always seem to be saddled with a case of ambition exceeding execution, but we’ve dared to get our hopes up for this one. It’s set in a beautiful open world, just like the previous two games (and the Gothic series that Piranha Bytes worked on prior to Risen), but it’s one that’s been abandoned by the gods. The so-called Titan Wars rage on, and it’s up to your young hero to save everyone.
If you remember Gothic from back in the day, then you’ll want to know that the Risen games are heavily informed by the foundation Piranha Bytes laid in its earlier series. You can find more on Titan Lords at the game’s official website.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited
Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten was first released for PlayStation 3 in 2011. A Promise Revisited amounts to a content-packed PS Vita re-release. In addition to the original game and all add-on content that was released for it, you also get an assortment of Vita-specific extras. The game is an RPG that features tactical turn-based strategy, in the style of Final Fantasy Tactics.
The list of additions in the Vita release of Disgaea 4 is too lengthy to run through here, but there’s a comprehensive rundown on the Disgaea Wiki.