Ah, the Steam sale. Yes, it’s that time of year again — the time when you open your wallet and let vast quantities of video games that you’ll never find the time to play into your life.
I jest of course; naturally everyone reading this is completely up to date on their game collection and most certainly does not have a backlog that extends back several hardware generations. I know I certainly don’t. Heh. Heh. Hehhhh…
Anyway, on the off-chance you want to supplement your already bulging, throbbing collection with even more material to stimulate and excite you, here are ten top picks from Steam’s summer sale for you to enjoy.
Gal*Gun Double Peace
You know how much we love Gal*Gun around here, and I’m pretty sure Steam knows how much I already love Gal*Gun. That doesn’t stop Gal*Gun Double Peace being my first, top recommendation every time I log in to the damn Steam sale though.
To be fair, Gal*Gun Double Peace is rather wonderful, with its blend of fun narrative, memorable characters, solid rail shooter action and dating sim mechanics. If you’re yet to dive into this series, Double Peace is a great place to start — but don’t forget to give Gal*Gun 2 and Gal*Gun Returns a shot, too!
With the recent news that Trails from Zero and Trails from Azure are getting proper, official localisations, isn’t it about time you caught up with Falcom’s sprawling, beautifully crafted RPG series? Well, lucky for you that the whole thing to date is available on Steam.
Exactly how you tackle the series is up to you, but I’d personally recommend playing the three Trails in the Sky games first, then the four Cold Steel games. Between those, that should get you close to a thousand hours’ worth of entertainment, no joke.
Dive down the rabbit hole as part of the Steam sale here:
- Trails in the Sky
- Trails in the Sky SC
- Trails in the Sky the 3rd
- Trails of Cold Steel
- Trails of Cold Steel II
- Trails of Cold Steel III
- Trails of Cold Steel IV
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Whether or not you’re a Dragon Ball fan, Dragon Ball FighterZ from Arc System Works is one of the best fighting games in years, featuring slick action, beautiful visuals and some of the most iconic characters from all of shounen anime.
If you’re often daunted by the complexity of modern fighting games, Dragon Ball FighterZ is regarded as one of the easier ones to get started with — so you could always cut your teeth on this one before moving on to something more ambitious. Or you could just stick with this one in the long-term — it’s been well-supported since launch, after all.
God Eater 3
If you enjoy Monster Hunter-style action with a bit more of an anime twist, the God Eater series is worth checking out — and this particular installment is on deep discount in the Steam sale.
Offering a selection of gloriously ridiculous weapons and some even more elaborate foes to insert them forcibly into, God Eater 3 offers plenty of satisfying hack-and-slash action that is just the thing to beat the summer blues into a bloody, messy pulp.
AI: The Somnium Files
If you like your Kotaro Uchikoshi mysteries, you’ll love this one — many regard it as one of his best works to date. Taking on the role of investigator Kaname Date, you’ll have to investigate both crime scenes and dreams to uncover the mysteries that will lead you to a serial killer.
Featuring the same blend of point-and-click adventure and visual novel gameplay that made Uchikoshi’s Zero Escape series so popular, AI: The Somnium Files is a thrilling, consistently intriguing adventure that will keep you up until the wee small hours.
World of Final Fantasy
Released to a positive reception but seemingly mostly forgotten today, Square’s unusual World of Final Fantasy is a delightful homage to the series’ history.
Featuring collectible chibi versions of classic Final Fantasy heroes and monsters, plus the ability to send them into combat in “towers”, this is a wonderfully cute game that provides ample proof that Square is still willing to have a lot of fun with its flagship franchise.
Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash
While the Senran Kagura series is primarily known for its hack-and-slash beat ’em up action, don’t pass up this one — it feels like a lost Sega game in terms of mechanics, and features a surprisingly heartfelt narrative that ties in with the overall series lore rather than being a simple spin-off.
At heart, Peach Beach Splash is a third-person shooter, but it also has a collectible card element, allowing you to customise and power up your characters as you see fit. Don’t count on the multiplayer being too active today, but the single player offering will keep you busy for quite a while!
As noted the other day, Rabi-Ribi is a great means of scratching that exploration-centric platformer itch while you wait for Metroid Dread’s October release. Offering a delightful blend of cutesy platforming, comedic narrative and bullet-hell elements, Rabi-Ribi is a highly memorable game that backs up its absurd premise with solid, satisfying gameplay.
Taking on the role of bunny-turned-bunnygirl Erina, you’ll explore a challenging 2D world filled with hazards, collecting new abilities and items along the way as you attempt to return yourself to normal. Expect the unexpected along the way.
Evenicle, an 18+ eroge RPG from the creators of the notorious Rance series, was a surprise to see appear on Steam a while back — but a very welcome one, because it’s a genuinely excellent game. Featuring an enjoyable narrative, some extremely memorable characters and some gorgeous artwork from Nan “Senran Kagura” Yaegashi, Evenicle is one of Alicesoft’s best games to date.
Be prepared for some dark humour and explicit sex scenes, however; this game doesn’t hold back. It’s far from being a “porn game”, though; the game’s narrative actually offers some surprisingly sensitive reflections on polygamous relationships.
A heartfelt magical girl adventure from the creators of the Atelier series, Blue Reflection is one of Gust’s finest. Taking on the role of Hinako, a girl whose life is forever changed when she suffers an injury that ends her promising ballet career, you’ll learn the fine art of empathy — and smacking down inner demons with sparkly crystal swords.
By turns thrilling, thought-provoking and heart-rending, Blue Reflection is a great example of narrative themes being tightly intertwined with game mechanics — and a truly memorable journey well worth taking. Also there’s a top secret “Mel Kishida loves stinky feet” scene; will you be lucky enough to stumble across it?
That’s your lot for now. What are your top picks for the Steam sale? We’d love to hear about ’em for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!
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