September 2021 video game releases to look out for

The summer’s over and major releases are rolling out in the fall. We get to see the release of some major next-gen console killer apps, some interesting indie games, some colorful Switch titles, and the return of a much-loved indie fighting game franchise revived for a new age. And this is just the beginning of the fall release block. Major franchises are getting their next installments over the next few months, from the Tales series this month, to the much-awaited Metroid Dread next month. Clear your calendars, because this release season is stacked.

Lake (Sept 1 – PC, Xbox One)

Lake is a “choice matters” game that positions itself something like a Telltale game mixed with the time management simulation parts of the Persona series. You take control of Meredith Weiss in the year 1986. You take a break from your career to travel back to your hometown and take a small job delivering mail.

You have only two weeks in the sleepy little burb of Providence Oaks and how you spend it is up to you. There are no right or wrong choices, just choices that reveal more about the characters around you, and that stand to change Meredith’s outlook on life.

F.I.S.T. Forged in Shadow Torch (Sept 7 – PC, PS4, PS5)

OK, get it out of your system. Make the jokes about the game being named F.I.S.T. Then come back and realize that this Metroidvania is a pretty amazing concept. You get to wander around a post-apocalyptic dieselpunk world filled with a cast of dark anthropomorphic characters, all the while getting new upgrades for your cybernetic robot arm and participating in a high-speed free-form combat system.

Sonic Colors: Ultimate (Sept 7 – PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One)

Sega’s new policy toward the Sonic franchise seems to be “just remake the good ones,” and, hey, it’s a good strategy. Sonic Colors was an underappreciated gem due to it releasing on the Wii and partially depending on motion controls.

This new version brings an increased framerate, enhanced visuals, new controls, but also new remixed levels, new power-ups, new multiplayer modes, and more. You can even dress Sonic up in different costumes including a few based on the 2020 movie! No word on whether or not he has a terrifying early trailer human-teeth costume, though.

Life is Strange: True Colors (Sept 10 – PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia)

We’ve always been a big fan of the Life is Strange series, a series of mystery/adventure games that deals with topics most other games refuse to touch. True Colors continues that tradition by focusing on the Asian-American experience, tied up with coping with a family death.

Of course, true to the Life is Strange formula, our young, cool, queer protagonist, Alex Chen, gets a superpower, in this case, empathy and the ability to read and possibly even jump into the minds of others. The big question is will Deck Nine be able to break the series’ bad reputation for shallow puzzles reliant on pixel-hunting around small maps?

Tales of Arise (Sept 10 – PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)

It’s been five very long years since we got a new game in the Tales series, and Tales of Arise didn’t make the best first impression as Bandai Namco revealed that they would be removing the series’ iconic multiplayer functions. However, ever since that PR snafu, they have gone out of their way to show that this is a Tales for a new era, one with bigger maps, deeper characters, stories that rise above the anime tropes of yesteryear, and a totally revamped combat system. Will the sheer quality of this title make up for not being able to play with your family and friends? Will it all be worth giving up the Tales identity of being the world’s premier multiplayer JRPG?

WarioWare: Get It Together! (Sept 10 – Switch)

The WarioWare series is back and once again you’ll be tasked with completing several microsecond mini-games, this time with a twist! Multiplayer! Yes, this time around instead of just playing mini-games you actually control the WarioWare series of characters in each game. Each has its own special skills and abilities that may make some mini-games easier or harder to complete. By teaming up with a friend, you can create the perfect combination to… pluck someone’s nose hairs… or something.

Deathloop (Sept 14 – PC, PS5)

Despite next-gen consoles being out for the better part of a year, we still haven’t quite entered the “next generation” yet, since most games that have been released are still playable on old hardware. Not so with Deathloop, a 70’s retro shooter from Bethesda that tasks you with killing rich, enigmatic targets on an island throwing a hedonistic party to end all hedonistic parties. You either succeed, or you die, and if you die, you have to do it all over again. It’s groundhog day with a shotgun and an afro, and it’s awesome.

Skatebird (Sept 18 – PC, Switch, Xbox One)

Are you jonesing for some classic skateboard action similar to the Tony Hawk series? Well, now you can get it, with one major twist. BIRB! No, I didn’t misspell that. Skatebird has you controlling a tiny little feathered friend, pulling off sick tricks in skateparks made up of common small human objects, like mugs, staplers, pencils, and more. Ever do a sick kickflip over the tape dispenser? Well, now you can.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Sept 21 – PC, PS4, PS5)

Speaking of next-gen titles, Kena was originally built up to be a cool new PS5 title, a Legend of Zelda-like adventure where you control a young spirit guide with magical abilities attempting to save the world from a force of destruction known as The Rot. In fact, the team at developer Ember Lab even cited The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask as a major inspiration. Now that time has passed, however, it appears as if Kena will also be available for the PC, and PS4 crowd, losing its PS5 killer app status. Still, it looks like a pretty

Pokémon Unite Mobile Version (Sept 22 – iOS, Android)

We usually don’t put ports on this list, but Pokémon Unite has taken the world by storm… despite being largely pay-to-win. Now that it is coming to mobile platforms, you can convince your friends who don’t have switches to play with you. Or, more importantly, you can run an Android or iOS emulator on your computer and play the game with a keyboard and mouse like the good lord Arceus intended.

Death Stranding: Director’s Cut (Sept 24 – PS5)

We aren’t really selling this “no ports” thing are we? Anyway, Death Stranding: Director’s Cut is such an incredible concept because it means that someone, somewhere, told Hideo Kojima that there was something he COULDN’T put in his package delivery game where you throw bottles of pee at ghosts. What are those things? According to the trailers, it’s robotic walking legs, package cannons, VR missions straight out of Metal Gear Solid, and extended story segments where you actually get to go inside compounds and, GASP, maybe even interact with another human being. Look, we genuinely loved this game, despite its genuine weirdness, and if you haven’t tried it out yet now is a perfect time.

Lost Judgement (Sept 24 – PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S)

Were you left wanting some old-school Yakuza action after it went all JRPG with Like a Dragon? Well then check out this spinoff. Lost Judgement is a sequel to the original 2018 Judgement spinoff, and puts players in the shoes of private detective Takayuki Yagami. It has all the battles you could want, with a unique style-shifting mechanic that allows Taka to change his moveset from focusing on one-on-one battles to group ambushes to defensive counterattacks. There are also stealth elements, information gathering segments, light platforming segments, and a whole bunch of sidequests.

The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki (Sept 30 – PS4 Japan Only)

This ones for the importers. The next episode in the Trails series is looking amazing, with the best graphics yet, a new battle system that straddles the line between turn-based and active, returning characters, new faces, and much much more. If you can read Japanese, it might be worth the import. Otherwise, we are sure to get this on our shores in a few months.

Melty Blood: Type Lumina (Sept 30 – PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One)

Storytime, and it’s one of our favorite types of stories: a fighting game story. Melty Blood was a doujin-soft fighting game based on the Tsukihime series of visual novels/manga/anime. That means that it was in this weird grey space between fan-made works and official products, but the point is, it was so good it became loved by fighting game fans the world over.

It’s what eventually allowed the dev studio, French Bread, to go on to create the Under-Night series. In fact, it can easily be claimed that Melty Blood surpassed the popularity of the franchise it was based on. Come to 2021 and Tsukihime is getting a reboot.

You know what that means. MELTY BLOOD REBOOT! Hence we have Melty Blood: Type Lumina, a new entry with the series with redone character sprites, a new battle system that allows limited charges of special moves tied to a moon gauge, modern-day fighting game conveniences like rollback netcode, and much much more.

What games are you looking forward to this September? Let us know in the comments.