I’m Kinglink and it’s the middle of October, so let’s talk about the Xbox Game Pass October 2021 Review… Part One. Wait what’s that about?
On screens is the list of games, and like always I play all of them, every game that comes out on Xbox Game Pass. It’s been about a month since my last video, and how has Xbox done? Well, they’ve released 25 titles that I have to cover. That’s a lot, considering if I played one game each day, that’s almost the entire month, and that’s sort of what I did.
So I still want to cover them, but 25 titles, a minute a title is gonna be a huge video… so I’m doing the next best thing. I’m going to bring you 13 titles today, and the rest next week. I’ll still choose the best out of all 25, but we’re just going to break up the delivery… so let’s see which 13 titles made it onto the first half. Starting with.
Flynn: Son of Crimson. This is an excellent 2d action platformer from Humble Games.
Flynn: Son of Crimson constantly reminds me of that feeling when you’re playing a classic NES or Super NES title. It’s a nostalgic feeling in a modern game that looks amazing. Seriously, the graphics here do not let up and the art style is fantastic. The enemies too are great, not too hard, not too easy, with a focus on dodging attacks.
The gameplay here feels right, the only real issue is it takes a long time to start unlocking almost anything in the game. For example, around the halfway point you get your second weapon, which is super late. Still, the experience is really good, it just takes a long time to start unlocking pieces of the game.
Pick this up if you like what you’re seeing. The art is what kept me going here. The platforming and combat are good, though the story is the one piece that tried but didn’t hook me. I still think this whole package is worth checking out.
Superliminal. This is the third time I’m playing through this and the third time I’m loving it.
Superliminal is all about dreamscapes. You start in a dream and learn you can grow and shrink objects depending on how you manipulate them. I’m not going to discuss controls because much of the game is learning how the controls work and then capitalizing on them. The puzzles in Superliminal are all well designed and involve interesting leaps of logic and unique solutions to everything. I love how surreal everything here is.
Superliminal pushes what can be done in a game, and while it’s usually using a pretty normal toolkit, it still finds ways to blow players minds, such as giving them a way to pull an object from a painting on a wall, or grow and shrink objects with simple controls.
Pick this up if you like 3d puzzle games like Portal or Talos Principle. As I said, I’ve played through this three times, no lie, and it’s still great, though I wish I could forget it so I can experience it again. The only real negative is the length, where the game will only run two to three hours. There is a challenge mode, as well as a way to create your own levels, and more, but really once you beat the game, you’re pretty much done here.
I Am Fish. Another game from Bossa, last month we had Surgeon Simulator 2, this month we have a sort of sequel to I Am Bread.
I’m not a huge Bossa fan, I think physics-based games are a bit of a gimmick, and I Am Fish doesn’t change that opinion. You have a game where you’re a fish, rolling around with fishbowls shaped like balls, mop buckets, and odd-shaped jars. It could be a fun and interesting version of Super Monkey Ball.
Instead, this game seems to try to be more frustrating with weaker controls and annoying tasks. While there are moments of pure exhilaration here, there’s always an annoying task around the corner, usually with a jar-shaped player contained. I still enjoyed three out of the seven levels I played, but that’s mostly despite the controls, not because of them, and I played on the simplified controls as well.
Pick this up if… I’m not sure. I think some people want to be frustrated and play games like I am Fish, if that’s you, great, but I don’t know. If you liked Surgeon SImulator 2 last month or I Am Bread, this will be in that vein, but if you do enjoy this, please let me know what you prefer about it. I am genuinely curious.
Skatebird. Sounds like Tony hawk and he was once known as Birdman… yeah it’s Tony Hawk but with birds.
That is what this game is going for. You start in a human’s home, and a bunch of birds give you various challenges. You need to skate around on a board and try to complete various goals. It can be hard to find the quest givers but many of the quests here are typical simple fare. Do a trick in a specific location, collect items, or go somewhere.
So let’s use the easiest bar for this game to beat. Can this game compare to Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 or 2 for the Playstation, not the remake but the titles made for the original Playstation? Man, I want to say yes, but the levels are weak, the controls aren’t as tight as they should be. The writing can be funny at times. But ultimately… I can’t say it’s as good as that, and that’s as much of an advantage as I can give this game.
Pick this up if you want a subpar Tony Hawk game. I don’t think this is a definite no, but it’s really for someone dying for a Tony Hawk-type game and can accept a weaker title. It’s sad, but I hope they can turn this around and create a better title somehow because I wanted a better version of this game to succeed, but as it was released? I’m sorry, no. And that hurts me.
Sable. An incredible journey awaits.
Sable is a very impressive game. It’s a game completely based on the exploration of a large open world, and allowing the player to find their way. The player is leaving their tribe for the first time, to be on their own. It’s like the Amish tradition of Rumspringa, or sending your child to college. And the first hour is mostly preparation.
This is well done. The writing is fantastic, the music is lovely, the experience is serene. There are touches like having to build your vehicle but the instant you do you feel an important attachment to the vehicle. Stuff like that is powerful, and Sable feels incredible. There are glitches, I have to mention them, but this is going to get a lot of attention.
Pick this up if you like exploration games. This isn’t a walking simulator, there is climbing like Breath of the Wild, and searching a large map, but there’s a lack of combat, and a push to explore more than anything else in the game. That exploration though is top-notch at the beginning, though I think over time some of the shine comes off the game. However, it’s still a very enjoyable experience.
Aragami 2. Chance to be the shadow in the night, or to be a ninja in a group.
Aragami was a solid game, which I enjoyed. It told a story over several long levels and had players working through areas to accomplish goals. Aragami 2 feels like a completely different game. No longer is the player focused on working in the shadows or using shadow powers, even if they are named that, instead it’s a typical stealth game focused on small levels.
Players take missions, are magically teleported to a level, and then are given some task to accomplish, either killing someone, tagging something, or stealing something. The levels are tiny, the interactions are pretty average, and while players will get more power over time, nothing in the opening couple hours felt on par with the original game. The big addition is the possibility of playing multiplayer but it feels the gameplay and mission structure is weaker to support that, and the levels don’t feel like they need co-op at all.
Pick this up if you want to play a stealth game with someone. I couldn’t get the co-op to work, there’s a lot of bugs with the game, and hopefully, they’ll get fixed, but it’s clear this game wants you to play online and work in a group, even if there’s not a strong reason for that. Generic enemies and more didn’t help.
Tainted Grail: Conquest. It’s another deckbuilding rogue-lite, but before you tune out, this one deserves a look.
The Deckbuilding rogue-lite genre is just packed with versions of Slay the Spire, and truthfully, Tainted Grail takes a decent amount of inspiration from Slay the Spire. However, there are several refinements to the formula. A block for instance dodges an entire attack, there are nine different characters, all pulling from one of three caches of cards, but each with unique skills and abilities that heavily change the game a lot.
The overworld map is nice as well, allowing players to pick and choose their encounters and sidestep them. There’s a strange system with the darkness, called Wyrdness with a Y where you have to use candles to dispel it, and there’s a lot more that has changed. It’s still a deck builder, but it’s attempting to differentiate itself.
Pick this up if you want another deck builder rogue-lite. Personal opinion, I’m burnt out on rogue-lites, but I still wanted to play a lot more of this. I only played three classes, because I kept wanting to play one more run on that first class. There’s a LOT of content here if you want to see everything as well.
Lost Words: Beyond the Page. This is a heavy subject matter walking simulator with some interesting tricks.
This will look like a lot of stuff, but Lost Words is a walking simulator that lasts about four hours, maybe a little more if you go for all the achievements without consulting a guide off the bat. It has an interesting style where you walk along with the words in a diary with some platforming thrown in and then will tackle a platforming level with a beautiful and colorful world.
I don’t want to spend too much time here, but… listen, this game deals with some heavy subject matter, stuff that probably is a little raw to many people over the last year and a half. I can’t say it’s a good or bad experience, and I don’t want to directly give it away because it’s the core of the story, but this game really might be more emotional than it intends to be. That’s what I’ll say, just prepare yourself if you’re going to play and take care of yourselves.
Pick this game up if you like platformers, but I do still caution people for the story. I almost put down this game three times because it tore at my heart about experiences I’ve had over the last year and not in a way anyone would want. Just take it with a grain of salt.
Lemnis Gate. Chess meets multiplayer FPS, with a strategic new feel.
Lemnis Gate is a multiplayer FPS that does something a bit different. The entire game revolves around players making 25-second moves back and forth between opponents with different characters. Each character comes from a different class, there’s the sniper, the rifleman, the rocket wielder, and so on. But what makes this stand out is each move allows the game to calculate who kills who.
So if you capture three points, well if you die in the first few seconds from your next life, suddenly those captures never happen. If you do 100 points of damage to a target, but suddenly the other team does 101, that object is theirs. The idea of this is a more strategic and fast-paced shooter, and Lemnis Gate delivers, but there are a few caveats.
Pick this up if you want to check out a fresh and new idea for multiplayer. There’s no single-player content here, so you’ll have to find an opponent and that means this is going to be based on how the player base exists. If this stays popular this will be great for a long time, though if people move on like the multiplayer crowd usually does, this might be short-lived, sadly, and I don’t know which way this will go, though the numbers on Steam Chart are rougher than they should be.
Dandy Ace. You’re a magician trapped in another universe with your cards… .yeah it’s a rogue-lite.
This is yet another rogue-lite and listen, I know this genre is really popular, but Dandy Ace kind of is one of the issues. It looks flashy at first but doesn’t do anything interesting with the genre. I noticed a lot of Dandy Ace just reminded me exactly of Dead Cell’s progression, with a Hades-style view. While the game is based on cards, they are equipment, so it’s much more Dead Cells than a deck builder.
I found the game rather hard and struggled to make progress. I’ve played it for a few hours and couldn’t get past the first three areas. The enemies are interesting, the gameplay is fast-paced and very active, though the levels are a bit too linear in my opinion. However, there’s nothing bad about this game.
Pick this up if… I keep saying this if you need a new rogue-lite, but this is my third video covering Xbox Game Pass. In just that time, this is the ninth rogue-lite and some are good, some are bad, but it’s really hard to decide which one is right for the audience. If you like what you see, check it out. Personally, this one isn’t going to top my list.
Subnautica: Below Zero. The sequel to the underwater survival game delivers a chilling new experience.
Subnautica was a solid survival game focused on an underwater exploration of beautiful environments, and Below Zero does the same thing. There’s a brand new story that’s rather compelling about a sister who has wound up dead. There is a very hostile environment that seems to spend all its energy trying to kill you above water, and there’s a new world underwater just waiting to be explored.
Subnautica: Below Zero is just an excellent sequel to an already great game. It pushes what can be done, it refines the formula and there’s a feeling that this is a better-paced experience. But it equally has all the same issues the first game has. If you don’t like survival, you’ll still probably won’t enjoy this one. If you are afraid of the water, or monsters, they’re still here.
Pick this up if you like survival games or Subnautica. This is a really good sequel. I enjoyed the first fifteen or so hours of Subnautica, and I enjoyed my first four hours here. Don’t know if I’m going to go all the way through this one, but I definitely wouldn’t mind coming back to explore the deep.
Mighty Goose. A new take on a classic run and gun shooter.
Mighty Goose involves the player running around shooting everything they can and surviving an onslaught of enemies. It reminds me of the very best of Metal Slug, though quite a bit easier with infinite lives. There’s a variety of different levels for players to run through and colorful backgrounds.
The downside though it is also a bit simple like a Metal Slug game, it’s a pure run and gun shooter. There is a number of upgrades or skill load out systems, but nothing really changes the game from the simplistic platforming and shooting involved in it. This game took me a couple of hours to run through it and then as if the devs needs to lengthen the game at the last minute, the finale requires the player replay the whole game a second time at a harder difficulty level.
Pick this up if you like Metal Slug, or Contra, or any old run and gun shooter. It’s a good game for that, but it’s also way too short. If you don’t have Xbox Game Pass, I’d probably skip this, it’s 20 bucks which is entirely too much for the length of the game.
Unsighted. A challenging isometric Metroidvania, with a few new twists.
Unsighted looks great. The pixel art is amazing and there’s a lot of care taken with the look and feel of the game, and it shows. The combat flows well with a focus on parrying attacks and managing your stamina while fighting large groups of enemies. Everything here works well. You also can swap out weapons and there are a couple of choices to your equipment that allows you to mix and match.
The challenge is pretty high at least at first. I found it frustrating, but I don’t tend to go for Souls-like games, so that’s my personal preference. A big piece of this game is about a society where robots are dying and becoming Unsighted which happens when they run out of special fuel. Each character has a timer ticking down such as the main character has 330 hours. This is the make-or-break feature of the game. You can sort of disable this feature but it adds a fresh and unique system to the game, and I think that’s worth looking into.
Pick this up if you like the art, or want a challenging top-down Metroidvania. The combat is good, the art is consistently solid, and the story is intriguing. It is worth checking out, but the time system might not be for everyone but it doesn’t feel ultra-strict so far.
So that’s thirteen games. I know that’s already a lot but Xbox keeps releasing titles this month. I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far,
Next week, we’ll have the second part I hope and we’ll have Scarlet Nexus, Astria Ascending, AI: The Somnium Files, Marvel Avengers, Visage, The Procession of Calvary, Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, Ring of Pain, Back 4 Blood, Destiny 2, The RiftBreaker and finally Good Life. And I’m going to have to choose the best out of that bunch?
I’m sure you’re interested, I know I am. So consider subscribing and ring that bell so you’re notified when I release that video, and if you want, check out the past two Xbox Game Pass videos I’ve made.
See ya then.