June provided gamers with a nice variety of games to play. Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for July. It’s not that the first full month of summer is bereft of games. Far from it. But anyone looking for any big blockbusters is in for some disappointment. I suppose there’s a reason players call this time of year “The Summer Drought.” Still, there are quite a few small and interesting titles to tide you over this month; even if the vast majority are remasters and re-releases. If nothing suits your tastes, you have time to invest in whatever games are still in your backlog.

Red Faction Guerilla: Re-Mars-Tered Edition

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: July 3

We haven’t heard any rumblings about a new Red Faction. In fact, the series has more or less been forgotten. That being the case, I suppose this remaster will have to tide fans over until we hear about a new entry.

According to THQ Nordic, Red Faction Guerilla: Re-Mars-Tered Edition features fully reworked graphics, improved lighting, improved shadow rendering, shader and post-processing rework, and native 4K support. Does this remaster mean a new Red Faction is on the way? It’s certainly possible given how THQ Nordic has essentially resurrected itself in recent months. Considering the power of modern consoles, it’s easy to see the game’s trademark destructible environments becoming better realized with a new entry. We’ll have to wait and see, I suppose.

You can pre-order Red Faction Guerrilla: Re-Mars-Tered from Amazon.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Platforms: Switch, 3DS
Release date: July 13

Nintendo Switch owners clearly love their Wii U ports, so it’s no surprise to see Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker make the voyage over to their system. This is fundamentally the same title originally released on Nintendo’s ill-fated console. Of course, it has the added benefit of being portable and having new levels based on Super Mario Odyssey. The game is also getting a 3DS port, but you’re probably going to want the Switch version since it’s both a handheld and console game. With over a hundred levels, this is a perfect game to pass the long summer months with.

You can pre-order Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker from Amazon.

Octopath Traveler

Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release date: July 13

First shown during the Nintendo Switch reveal event, Octopath Traveler is a unique kind of JRPG. You play as eight different characters whose narratives intertwine as the story unfolds. In addition to its unconventional story structure, the game features a nice mix of 2D and 3D graphics. Though everything looks pixelated, it retains a modern look.

I’ve been excited for Octopath ever since it got announced. I thought the demo from last year was fantastic so I’m definitely looking forward to playing the complete game. Considering how the lack of JRPGs in the summer months, Octopath Traveler is a must for fans of the genre.

You can pre-order Octopath Traveler from Amazon.

Sonic Mania Plus

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Release date: July 17

Sonic Mania was one of 2017’s best games, so it’s great to see it get a new lease on life with Sonic Mania Plus. This version includes two new characters, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. Each new critter has their own special abilities that help them navigate the world differently than Sonic, Knuckles, and Tails. The game also has a new zone, remixes of current zones, adjusted difficulty for bosses, four-player co-op, and more. Best of all, this release is physical. You can now display a (good) modern Sonic game on your shelf.

I’ve purchased Sonic Mania on every system I own, so you already know I’m looking forward to this release. Hopefully, Sega will take note of the game’s success and release a proper sequel in the near future.

You can pre-order Sonic Mania Plus from Amazon.

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Release date: July 24

The original Mega Man has gotten considerable love in recent years thanks the Legacy Collections. But what about our boy X? Fans of Mega Man’s 16-bit counterpart will be happy to know his adventures are also getting the Legacy treatment. The first Mega Man X Legacy Collection contains Mega Man X, X2, X3, and X4. The second installment features Mega Man X5, X6, X7, and X8. Each collection will have options for smoother graphics, CRT filters, widescreen modes, and the original resolutions. Mega Man X7 and X8’s 3D models have also gotten an improvement. This collection is perfect for fans of the originals and those like yours truly who never played these games.

You can pre-order Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2 from Amazon.

No Man’s Sky Next

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: July 24

No Man’s Sky is getting a substantial update called No Man’s Sky Next. The big deal here is the fact the game is getting multiplayer. Now, players can explore the galaxy together, get into epic space battles with one another, build settlements, and more. Basically, it is getting features players assumed would be there from the start. This will no doubt completely change how users play the title and could completely reinvigorate the community. The game is also coming to Xbox One, which is a good thing.

You can pre-order No Man’s Sky Next from Amazon.

The Banner Saga 3

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Release date: July 24

One of this generation’s most underrated franchises is The Banner Saga. Players turned this crowdfunded franchise into a success thanks to the series’ deep Strategy RPG mechanics, enthralling story filled with relatable characters, and Don Bluth-esque art style.

The third (and final?) chapter doesn’t do anything to change the formula. To be honest, it doesn’t have to. This is for the folks who enjoyed the previous installments who want to see how the epic concludes. If you want to check out The Banner Saga 3, you should definitely go back and play the previous games to prepare. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

You can pre-order The Banner Saga 3 from Steam.

 

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