Port Roundup: Disco Elysium, Outbuddies DX, Samurai Shodown & Star Renegades

Ports of previously released games rarely get the attention they deserve, while there are plenty of them out there that are worth noting. We’re looking at four of them today – Disco Elysium, Outbuddies DX, Samurai Shodown and Star Renegades.

Disco Elysium – Final Cut  

To merely call Disco Elysium’s new console release a port wouldn’t quite do it justice, as the Final Cut version of the game is everything about one of 2019’s best games and a whole lot more. Its release also marks the moment that existing owners of the game receive a free update to the Final Cut, so everything that console players are getting is also available on the PC.

We absolutely loved Disco Elysium in our original review, and ZA/UM’s brilliant breakout debut was frequently mentioned in game of the year discussions after its release. The Final Cut brings that experience to consoles in full (with PlayStation 4/5 versions out now and Xbox and Switch editions coming later), adding full controller support in the process. For a game that I originally played on a PC with a mouse, the transition is rather seamless and navigating the game world and its many conversations and characters is as smooth an experience as it was the first time around.

disco elysium

The experience actually got better as well, thanks to the biggest change made to the game. No, I’m not referring to technical features that are exclusive to the PlayStation 5 edition of the game, I’m referring to the inclusion of an almost dazzling amount of voiceover work, bringing the entire city even more to life than before. Every single line for every single character is voiced now, and if you remember the impactful choices that you can make – as we pointed out in our original review – that’s impressive just by sheer numbers alone.

The voiceover work is also very well done, complementing what is one of the most memorable narratives ever done in a videogame context. Additional missions, locations and characters flesh out this narrative even more this time around, so even if you’ve already completed the game there is a lot here to surprise you on a second or third run. Game awards usually don’t count ports as contenders for “game of the year”, but every PlayStation owner should pick this up in 2021 – there is no doubt in our minds that this is going to be one of 2021’s best.

Outbuddies DX now on PlayStation 4    

When we first encountered Outbuddies, it was still in development and was a PC exclusive title. That was in the summer of 2019, after which the game launched in October. Now, almost two years later, the game was rebranded as Outbuddies DX, is available on all major consoles (the Xbox and Switch versions were released last year) and is a different game than it was back in 2019.


At its core, Outbuddies DX is still the same Metroid-like sci-fi adventure it was back then – taking place inside a sunken city in the South Atlantic Ocean. You awake far below the water surface after a shipwreck situation, and need to explore in order to find out what’s happening in the city of Bahlam and how it related to the Old Gods. A robot assistant called Buddy can help you by using his unique abilities – and as with any Metroid-like your abilities evolve over time.

Visually, Outbuddies DX is reminiscent of the classic era of indie programming for the Spectrum ZX and PCs running MS-DOS in the mid-to-late eighties, which stands out because it’s distinctly different from the usual ‘retro’ look that echoes the 8-bit NES visuals. It’s often less colorful, which is a great fit for the Lovecraft-inspired setting that Outbuddies uses, and even though the visuals have been given an slight overhaul since the original PC (now featuring a bit more detail) they still evoke that unique home computer feel of the time.


A special mention should also go out to the game’s soundtrack, which is amazing and transcends what was the norm back in the Spectrum/MS-DOS days and holds up to some of the best stuff out there for 16-bit machines like the Atari ST and Amiga. Based on what’s happening on screen, the music dynamically changes, always striking the right chord in what has clearly been a passion project for developer Julian Laufer. Now that it’s out on PlayStation in its final form, it’s clear that all the hard work was worth it.

Samurai Shodown gets an Xbox Series X/S update

Another game that originally saw the light of day in 2019 was SNK’s reboot of the Samurai Shodown franchise. A successful one in a crowded arena of fighters that includes Street Fighter, Tekken, Mortal Kombat, Injustice and SoulCalibur, where it’s hard to break into a lineup of established franchises – even if you’re rebooting a classic.

Samurai Shodown was well-received when it launched on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and was later converted to the Nintendo Switch – which is the version we ended up reviewing last year. While it was great to have a solid fighter on the Switch, on which the genre is underrepresented, the port suffered from performance issues – especially in handheld mode. Now, the game is making the leap to “next gen” on Microsoft’s Xbox platform, in a version for the Xbox Series X/S that’s free for everyone with the Xbox One version as well.

samurai shodown

Headlining the new port is a staggering 120 frames per second framerate – pushing the game firmly into next gen territory. And, coming from the Switch version and not having played the original Xbox One or PlayStation 4 release, it’s a giant leap forward. Not noticing any visible stutter is one thing, but with framerates like this the actual gameplay experience feels more responsive than anything else we’ve played in the genre. As a result, we wouldn’t be surprised if Samurai Shodown will grow to be increasingly popular in the competitive gaming scene as well.

SNK also has a special treat for those buying the newly released physical version of Samurai Shodown – dubbed the Samurai Shodown Special Edition. Buying the game on disc, which retails for the same price as the digital equivalent, also gets players access to the first season pass of the game, which includes four additional characters.

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If you’re coming from one of the previous versions of the game, then the new Xbox Series X/S version is – after Mortal Kombat 11 – another solid reminder of what next gen can mean for a genre that relies on quick reactions and flowing gameplay.

Star Renegades is out on PlayStation 4

We initially reviewed Star Renegades when it launched on Steam, but Massive Damage’s turn-based sci-fi adventure with rogue-lite influences is now also available for PlayStation 4 owners, as well as PS5 players through backwards compatibility.

Our original review should give you a pretty good idea of what you’re getting in the console version, where the gorgeous pixel art really pops on the big screen. The newly launched PS4 version isn’t identical in terms of content though – it features additional post-launch content that includes the brand new The Imperium Strikes Back pack. Yes, we too wonder where that name came from.

star renegades

Anyway, for free content (Raw Fury also previously released Total Lunarcy and Enter the Dragoon as free updates) this is an impressive package. Imperium includes a brand new planet to explore, new enemies and even some daunting behemoths. And to reassure PC players – yes, they too receive all of this post-launch content.

Star Renegades was already well worth it at launch and the new PlayStation 4 version just adds more content to it, making it a better value package than it already was.

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Indie roundup: Narita Boy, UnderMine & Squad Killer

It would feel like a oversight if we didn’t highlight a couple of excellent new indie games for you this week, so here are our thoughts on Team17’s Narita Boy, the just-released PS4 version of UnderMine and Eastasiasoft’s Squad Killer. Continue reading “Indie roundup: Narita Boy, UnderMine & Squad Killer”

Release roundup: Empire of Ember, Synth Riders & Generation Zero

Stepping away from hot new console game releases for a moment, we’re taking a moment to check out one game that’s coming in a few months but which just launched into Early Access: Empire of Ember. We’re also taking a look at new content for one of our VR favorites Synth Riders and upcoming content for Generation Zero. Continue reading “Release roundup: Empire of Ember, Synth Riders & Generation Zero”

Port roundup: El Hijo, Tennis World Tour & Hellbreachers

This week we’re seeing three games head to (next gen) consoles that were previously released on last gen consoles and/or PCs. Read on to find out about El Hijo – A Wild West Tale, Tennis World Tour 2 on PS5 and Hellbreachers. Continue reading “Port roundup: El Hijo, Tennis World Tour & Hellbreachers”

Indie Roundup: Can’t Drive This, Luckslinger & Escape From Life Inc.

The indie scene is alive and well and we’re looking at three more releases that caught our eye. The brand new Can’t Drive This is out for all major consoles, Luckslinger brings a 2015 indie hit to consoles and Escape From Life Inc is a Lost Vikings-inspired puzzle platformer. Time for a closer look!

Can’t Drive This

From what we had seen, Can’t Drive This looked a bit like a new take on Nadeo’s incredibly successful Trackmania franchise, which was more than enough reason to want to check it out. It was developed by Pixel Maniacs, whose previous game ChromaGun VR is still the closest thing to playing Portal in VR. In other words, we couldn’t wait to try this one out.

It turns out that, aside from the visual style, Can’t Drive This is something quite different, and a game that was designed with cooperative play in mind. In this scenario, one player controls a car, but you’ll quickly notice that the track isn’t finished. This is where player two comes in, who has to quickly lay out the track in front of you so you can keep going. Fall of the unfinished track and you lose. Go too slow because you’re waiting for more track, and you’ll explode, so speed is literally of the essence on both ends.

If we had to make a comparison, Can’t Drive This feels a bit like Trackmania meets Pipe Mania, a classic arcade puzzler where you have to guide water from A to B using different pipe pieces. Here, they’re track pieces, but the idea is the same – get your buddy to the end and make sure your track doesn’t dead end somewhere in between a ramp of ring you have to jump through.

can't drive this

Gameplay modes include Yardage, Game of Drones, Capture the Egg and Lone Racer – the latter one being a single player offline mode that combines both roles, but lacks the excitement that comes from cooperation. Capture the Egg is a local multiplayer mode that’s a lot of fun because of the party game-like structure of it, while the other two modes are online co-op centered.

As a whole, it’s a thin package no matter which perspective you’re coming from. As a local multiplayer game there aren’t enough modes to make it work like a party game, and as a single player game you’re way better off heading back to one of the Trackmania games instead. Yardage is a lot of fun, supports cross-generation play and is a truly great co-op experience, but it feels like a game mode for a broader experience that’s not really there. Can’t Drive This doesn’t feel like a single player game, and adding more local co-op options would go a long way in making this a fun couch co-op title.


It’s not uncommon to see well-received indie games make their way from the PC to consoles, but it’s quite rare to see one that was originally released almost six years ago. 2Awesome Studio is breaking that trend though, by bringing Duckbridge’s wild west luck-based action adventure Luckslinger to all major consoles next month. We got an early look.


As you can probably infer from the title, you play as a gunslinger in a world that is heavily affected by luck – for better or for worse. And while this mechanic translates to things like loot drops in RPGs, it’s applied in a much more direct and visceral way this time around, making for a refreshing experience in a crowded genre.

The setting, narrative and plot are straight out of the age where films like Once Upon a Time in the West and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly were hits in cinemas, with plenty of bad guys whose luck is about to run out. The gameplay is far more fast-paced though, with quick reflexes needed and sometimes unresponsive controls getting slightly in the way. Racking up some luck (you’ll collect this by killing bad guys) can make a big difference though, as bullets that look certain to kill you suddenly miss their target and platforms materialize out of thin air to break your fall.


The way luck is implemented can often be surprising, and brought a smile to my face while playing. The opposite is also true, because bad luck is generated if you get killed too often and will result in unpleasant surprises popping up left and right. To a degree, you can manipulate your luck as well, by temporarily boosting it – useful for getting out of a tricky situation or past a boss.

With its pixel art visuals, Luckslinger has ‘indie’ written all over it, and it’s as relevant and fresh today as it was back in 2015. That also applies to the soundtrack, which doesn’t opt for Ennio Morricone-like orchestral symphonies, but instead goes with hip-hop beats and scratches. It’s not what you’d expect, but with the luck-based dynamic that’s exactly what Luckslinger is all about.

Escape from Life Inc.

Escape from Life Inc was developed and published by PowerBurger on Steam last year, but was just ported to consoles by Sometimes You. At the time of the original release PowerBurger was actually a 15 year solo developer from Sweden, so we were curious to see what tomorrow’s coding talent would bring to the table.

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A puzzle platformer at heart, Escape from Life Inc. evokes memories of Blizzard’s recently re-released The Lost Vikings. There are no vikings here, but instead you get three animals that are trapped inside an evil corporation (Life Inc.) that they plan on escaping from. The storyline is silly (your fish character walks around on little stilts), but each character bring its own unique abilities to the game. Bob, Ern and Rick are your fish, eagle and reindeer protagonists, and you can switch between then at any time.

To make things a bit easier for single player gamers, there’s also the option to have the other two characters follow you automatically, though you need to be careful when using that option – for obvious reasons. Abilities are gradually unlocked, and in some cases they’ll allow you to revisit earlier levels to get access to spots you previously couldn’t get to – modern Metroidvania-like game design that wasn’t there when The Lost Vikings launched.

escape from life inc

Platforming can feel a bit floaty, but luckily the game is pretty forgiving in that you’ll just respawn and try again if you fall to your doom. This also makes it more interesting to go for the many unlockables the game has, and makes it less frustrating when you get noticed in stealth sections or fall in combat.

There’s plenty of personality in the game as well, because in addition to your main cast you’ll also run into plenty of other animals, often bringing a dash of humor to the proceedings through dialogue or cutscenes. Escape from Life Inc. is a lovely little budget-price game from a solo developer that fans of The Lost Vikings will want to take a look at.