Hey: let’s not waste too much time. Normally you open up a piece like this and there are all these sentences you have to skip over to get to what you wanted to see. Obviously this sentence right here is one you should’ve skipped over, along with the two before it, so let’s just dump this whole charade and dive into the slightly less skippable sentences below. Here are five games coming out in July that we’re interested in playing. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Release Date: July 10
Hidetaka Suehiro’s oddball cult hit finally gets a sequel, 10 years later, and it promises to be just as full of Twin Peaks-style weirdness as the original. This time it’s exclusive to the Switch, though, and the thought of taking this game on the go was exciting back in the pre-pandemic days when we actually went anywhere. The sequel trades in the Pacific Northwest setting of the original for a fictional town in Louisiana, so maybe expect some True Detective Season One getting swirled into the mix this time. We’ll find out next week.
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release Date: July 17
With the PlayStation 5 set to be released late this year, Sucker Punch’s homage to samurai films is poised to be the last major first-party game for the PlayStation 4. Between Sekiro and the Nioh games, there’s a bit of a trend of action games set in Medieval Japan right now. Tsushima is unique among them in that it was made by an American studio, and one who was justifiably criticized for its depiction of Native Americans in Infamous: Second Son, where they created a fictional tribe and a lead character voiced by a white actor. Sucker Punch’s Chris Zimmerman told Paste in 2018 that their relationship with Sony, a Japanese company, would ensure the game was accurate and faithful to Japanese culture. Sucker Punch has a track record of action games that are exciting and well-designed from a mechanical standpoint, and it’d be a surprise if Ghosts of Tsushima didn’t follow suit. We’ll see how much they learned from the Second Son criticisms later this month.
Release Date: July 17
Mario’s witty, whimsical RPG spinoff series returns with its first new game in four years, which also represents its Switch. If you’ve never played a Paper Mario game, know that it’s really nothing like the different Mario series you might be thinking of. It’s not a platformer or a kart racer or a puzzle game, or anything like that. It is similar to the Mario & Luigi RPG series—both tell light, humorous stories for all ages through the structure and expectations of a traditional role-playing game—but with a 2D, papercraft aesthetic that’s unique in the Mario canon. The Origami King promises a 3D element, perhaps similar to the 2007 Wii game Super Paper Mario. These games are almost always as charming as can be, so of course we’re looking forward to the new one.
Platforms: Xbox One, PC
Release Date: July 17
The latest game from The Flame in the Flood developers The Molasses Flood (named, of course, after the real life molasses flood that took 21 lives in Boston’s North End over a century ago) looks like an agricultural fort-building game, with Pixar-y looking characters using plants as well as weapons to keep bad things at bay. This one’s on our radar because of how much we dug The Flame in the Flood, and also because, yeah, you guessed it, we just wanted to mention the Great Molasses Flood again.
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: July 28
Skating games are back in vogue, and we can thank Skater XL for that. Although it’s been in Early Access on PC since late 2018, the cult hit is finally coming out on console later this month, beating the next Tony Hawk reboot and recently announced Skate revival to the punch. Skater XL doesn’t ask you to pull off prefab tricks on static, unchanging courses; it captures the individuality and creative spirit of skating by giving you total control of your character’s motions. Basically you use the thumbsticks to freestyle your way through the game, landing the tricks you’re able to land, and bailing on the ones you aren’t. It’s beyond time it came to console, and we’re pretty sure it’ll wrap July up on a high note.
Senior editor Garrett Martin writes about videogames, comedy, travel, theme parks, wrestling, and anything else that gets in his way. He’s on Twitter @grmartin.