Each week, we get launch trailers, teaser trailers, character reveal trailers, and more trailers than we really know what to do with. Most of them are quite good, some of them are quite weird. The best of them are both.
So here’s a roundup of the videos that came over the transom at Polygon dot com this week, ranging from the long-awaited return of Baldur’s Gate to a supremely funny and self-aware promo for One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows. Sit back, relax and enjoy these at work, in class, or wherever you’re trying to avoid responsibility right now.
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows
Who: Spike Chunsoft/Bandai Namco
When and where: Feb. 28 (today) on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.
Why? Spike Chunsoft promises One Punch Man is an actual fighting game, not a parody, despite its goofy, self-aware tone and the titular character’s titular ability to send anyone packing with just one punch. This trailer brilliantly sends up the genre’s fetish for swaggering character intros, and interrupts them all with but a single blow.
When and Where: April 28 on PlayStation 4.
Why? Much like One Punch Man, Sakura Wars is very much an acquired collection of tastes. As a game, it’s an action-RPG/visual novel/dating simulation. As a story, it comprises the 1940s, a steampunk Tokyo setting, and the Flower Division, the demon-battling combat arm of a theater troupe. It all sounds like a non sequitur, but fans familiar with Sega’s nearly 25-year-old franchise wouldn’t bat an eye at any of it. Then again, there may not be many of them in the west, as the Sakura Wars series has only seen two (of six) releases on this side of the Pacific, and the series as a whole has been dormant since 2005. Sakura Wars, which launched in Japan in December, is considered a “soft reboot” of the series.
Who: Frozen District
When and where: Available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Why? This 2018 Steam launch (and surprising best seller) launched this week on consoles, for starters. Its ESRB rating includes a content descriptor for “mild language”; that’s either too much for an E-for-Everyone title, or too little for home improvement. Also, this is the only video game I know of, simulation or arcade, in which you can Shop-Vac a colony of roaches.
Who: Superhot Team by way of Big Cheese Studio/PlayWay
When and where: Free update available now on Windows PC.
Why? Why not? In Superhot, time moves only when you do. So, in combination with Cooking Simulator, you can go all John Wick on the steak frites (with chimichurri and boursin cheese crostini). Downside: It takes eight years to bake a potato, instead of the usual four. Cooking Simulator’s Superhot Challenge Mode is a MAJOR UPDATE that went live on Tuesday; it celebrates the four-year anniversary of Superhot’s launch. The two games are also bundled together, at a big discount, for a limited time.
Who: Terri Vellmann and Doseone/Devolver Digital
When and where: This spring on Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.
Why? This is a Devolver Digital joint, so you know it’s going to be rebellious, ironic, and weird before you even get to the premise: You’re a vandal living on a sludge-covered planet, trying to make a name for yourself as an “upcoming tagger” trying to take down “the graffiti elite.” Features include peeing, pooping, and a cat with two buttholes. Joe Bob says check it out.
Baldur’s Gate 3
Who: Larian Studios/Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro
When and where: Sometime this year on Windows PC (via Steam Early Access) and Google Stadia.
Why? There is some serious Wrath of Khan shit going down with the mindflayer here, although content warning: It doesn’t enter through the ear — it’s much worse. And in case you didn’t get the message, you can see it a second time, POV. After that, the quarren/Cthulhu dude lays waste to King's Landing before Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal ride in to restore order. You probably need to be up on your Baldur’s Gate/Dungeons & Dragons lore, and I’m not, to get what’s really going on here. But this is a blood-pumping table-setter for the long, long-awaited third chapter of the 20-year-old RPG.