June is traditionally a weird month for video games. On the one hand, E3 brings a massive amount of news for players to passionately analyze and discuss. On the other hand, there usually aren’t too many high-profile releases in June due to the fiscal model of many development studios and E3 dominating the news cycle. However, this June is set to have plenty of excellent titles for gamers to check out in between E3 press conferences.
BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
- Release Date: June 5 (NA), June 22 (EU), TBA (PAL)
- Developer: Arc System Works
- Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC
- Genre(s): 2D Fighter
If you want to play a 2D fighting game with an anime aesthetic then Japanese developer Arc System Works has a lot of games you’d probably enjoy. Their upcoming title, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, is set to stand apart from other titles, though, by featuring characters from previous BlazBlue games, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, and RWBY.
Arc System Works is having a great year with the tremendous success of Dragon Ball FighterZ. This studio has proven time and time again that they can make great fighting games and the upcoming BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is sure to be no exception. Even if it’s less polished than previous games, it’ll still be pretty fun to see Yosuke get beaten up by Ruby Rose.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn
- Release Date: June 5
- Developer: Big Deez Productions
- Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Genre(s): Beat-em-up
Did you play the original Shaq Fu back in 1994? If you didn’t play it, you didn’t miss much. If you did, I’m sorry you had to go through that experience. Whatever your experience with it, the upcoming sequel, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, aims to improve upon this peculiar and much-reviled relic of the ’90s.
With a blend of ’90s arcade aesthetics and modern hardware affordances, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn seems like a fun time. This game’s set up is as ridiculous as ever, and it looks like Big Deez Productions is leaning into the craziness. If nothing else, it’s sure to be a step up from the original.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido
- Release Date: June 8
- Developer: indieszero
- Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, 3DS
- Genre(s): Puzzle
Speaking of bizarre premises, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is as ridiculous as it is colorful. In this game, players damage their opponent by matching sushi of the same color and then hurling the plates at enemies. The game also tells the tale of a child whose parents died in a war when an evil empire tried to remove sushi from the world.
This is definitely one of the more creative games Nintendo has published in recent memory. While it may not be for everyone, it seems like it should be a pretty popular game with kids. Here’s hoping it ends up as successful as Yokai Watch.
The Lost Child
- Release Date: June 19 (NA), June 22 (EU), June 29 (PAL)
- Developer: Kadokawa Games
- Platform(s): PS4, Vita
- Genre(s): Turn-based JRPG
From the relatively unknown studio, Kadokawa Games comes an interesting JRPG with a focus on the occult. The Lost Child follows Hayato Ibuki, a reporter for an occult magazine, who, after nearly getting run over by a train, stumbles into a world of demons and monsters. Hayato must travel through dungeons called Layers and capture monsters to return to his homeworld.
The Lost Child seems like it might be a unique, smaller scale title. It will be interesting to see a developer besides ATLUS make a game that focuses heavily on the occult, and the Vita could always use more games. If The Lost Child is well made and hosts plenty of quality of life features, this could be a welcome addition to the plethora of great JRPGs in the PlayStation 4 and Vita libraries.
Mario Tennis Aces
- Release Date: June 22
- Developer: Camelot Software Planning
- Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
- Genre(s): Sports
The Mario franchise has a long and varied history when it comes to sports games. While Mario Power Tennis and Super Mario Strikers (Mario Smash Football in Europe) are some of the most fun and creative sports games around, the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series were lackluster at best. Mario Tennis Aces looks like it’s going to return the plumber to his sporting glory, though.
This game seems to have a healthy blend of fun and competitive mechanics, as well as plenty of classic Nintendo zaniness. Waluigi clutches a rose in his mouth while celebrating how amazing he is, and you can play as a Chain Chomp that clutches a tennis racket in his mouth. This will be the first Mario sports game on the Switch and it could be a strong start for the genre on this platform.