I don't know about you, but I've been looking forward to this weekend all year long -- but not for the release of a new video game. I've been looking forward toIts one of the few fandoms I have that I can share with my parents. It's also a huge part of my history as a gamer.
My first online shooter? Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. My first arcade flight sim? Star Wars: Tie Fighter. From Knights of the Old Republic and Rebel Assault II to the delightful MMORPG mess that was Star Wars: Galaxies, many of my favorite games growing up were the ones that let me live in the Star Wars Universe. Every time a new film comes out, I want to play them all again. Lucky for me, then, that almost all of my favorite Star Wars games are on sale on Steam.
If the mythos of George Lucas' space opera isn't your speed, there's plenty of other games to play this week -- not to mention a PlayStation holiday sale (with discounts on games like Grand Theft Auto V and Middle-earth: Shadow of War) and the GOG Winter sale.
Just looking for what's brand new? OK, let's get this started.
New Releases (Dec 11th to Dec 17th):
- Okami HD (PS4, Windows PC, Xbox One) -- After Twilight Princess, a lot of people might balk at the idea of a Zelda-type game where you play as a dog the whole time -- but Okami is a modern classic for a reason. Now it's back in HD, making its already gorgeous cell-shaded ink-wash painting visuals look even better.
- Night in the Woods (Xbox One) -- If you missed this quirky college drop-out homecoming adventure story when it came to PC and PlayStation earlier this year, now's your chance. I hear it can be a little depressing and emotional -- but I've also heard it's worth it.
- Hammerwatch (Xbox One, Switch) -- A hack and slash dungeon crawler in a charming pixel style. It's exactly what it looks like.
- Ultimate Chicken Horse (Xbox One, PS4) -- Ever thought it might be fun to play a game with the creation aspect of Mario Maker, the challenge of Super Meat Boy and the goal of frustrating your friends in a multiplayer race through a crowdsourced platforming death-trap? That's Ultimate Chicken Horse. Honestly, I included the game on this list for the name alone but... it actually looks like a ton of fun.
- Yooka-Laylee (Nintendo Switch) -- This crowdfunded retro-platformer landed to mixed reviews earlier this year, but this Switch release is still worth a mention. Despite its flaws, Yooka-Laylee is an interesting take on collect-a-thon platforming games from the N64 era. Something like that belongs on a Nintendo console.
- Brawlout (Nintendo Switch) -- Nintendo hasn't announced a Super Smash Bros. game for its new console -- but if you just can't wait for something official, Brawlout might be for you. It looks an awful lot like a certain Smash game with a similar name -- albeit without the Nintendo branding.
- Romancing SaGa 2 (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One) -- In the 1990s, Squaresoft was the king of JRPGs, but a few of their games never made it outside of Japan. Romancing SaGa 2 for the Super Famicom was one of them. The game has only ever seen one western release -- as an iOS and Android last year. Now the game is finally available on US consoles.
- Poly Bridge (Nintendo Switch) -- How hard is it to drive across a bridge? Pretty hard, actually. You've probably seen a GIF somewhere of the ridiculous, car-flinging contraptions that pass for bridges in this game. Either way, it's a wacky, fun and challenging puzzler. Now it's mobile, too!
- Animus: Stand Alone (iOS) -- Looking for something kind of like Dark Souls that fits in your pocket? Well, here you are.
- Oddworld: New and Tasty (Android, iOS) -- Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey was one of my favorite puzzle platform games growing up. It had a creepy story, great character design and a ton of challenging levels. The New and Tasty remake is great, and now it's on my phone. I can't ask for much more.
- Fez Pocket Edition (iOS) -- Speaking of puzzle platformers that now fit in your pocket, Fez Pocket Edition is exactly that. Fez is one of the biggest indie gaming successes in the last decade. If you've never tried it, there's no time like the present.
- Xbox One X before the end of the year, . -- If you haven't heard of PUBG, you haven't been paying attention to one of the biggest gaming trends of the year. If you've heard wind of a "battle royale" game recently, this is the game you have to thank. It's sold over 24 million copies on PC, and now its available on the Xbox One. Better still? If you're thinking about buying an