My prediction of this month being the last chance to get on the preferential pricing for Humble Choice ended up being incorrect. There is another chance if you missed out. And if you still don’t know what I’m talking about — refer to that post, if you’re even remotely interested in the Humble Monthly setup the coming changes are likely to be of interest.

So perhaps this post will be the last one of the current format before Humble Choice kicks in? If Humble is to keep to their ‘in 2019’ timeline, it sort of has to be!

December Headline Titles

Yakuza: Kiwami

Transplant GTA from America to Japan, add in even more crazy — and you’re on the right path to thinking about the Yakuza series.

Yakuza: Zero — a prequel for the Yakuza series came in an earlier Humble Bundle. Now we’re getting the full 4K uncapped frames PC remaster of the entry that kicked off the whole series.

And at least for the remaster — it isn’t even that old, having come out just in Feb this year.

I’m pretty pleased to be getting this honestly, but it isn’t under any threat of being the cause for breaking the Five Game Challenge.

Soulcalibur VI

Hehe. Portals.

Frostilyte perhaps said it best with his post Fighting Games are F@$#ing Hard. Every time I was tempted to purchase this when it came out, I had to remind myself of this fact.

It’s a lesson I forgot though when Smash Ultimate came out on the Switch, but in that case it’s actually OK. It’s used as a family/party style game rather than endeavouring to climb beyond even the most rudimentary level of skill.

The fact that this one let you build a custom character and then play a story mode through with it though was the main draw that had me considering going against better judgement. So its inclusion now in a Humble Monthly pack is very welcome. Still no threat of derailing my Five Game Challenge though.

My Time at Portia

I’m kinda surprised this made it into the headliners. I would have thought this a better fit as a revealed title.

In any case, I tried this one out somewhere during its early-mid Early Access period. I wanted to give it a go after discovering that actually, I quite liked Stardew Valley after all and wanting to capture some of that magic again with something new.

But I ended up refunding it at that point in time. I think in part the art style was a contributor, but also… and I don’t know how well I can accurately articulate this… But I think for me it struck as being far too interested in being a game above all else.

Now that’s perhaps an odd complaint for… you know, an actual game. But Stardew Valley was far more natural feeling. This felt more mechanical in nature. Less soul, perhaps.

Still — I know a lot more was added and possibly things were further refined in my absence. I guess we’ll see. But I at least won’t — not while the challenge continues at least.

Revealed Titles

Adding to the headliners revealed last month, this bundle also included:

Nothing immediately leaped out at me here. I know in a vague sort of way that Shenmue is a well regarded series with a successful kickstarter that then went rogue on its backers and flipped to Epic Game Store exclusive, just like Phoenix Point did.

And I will admit, that does leave a bad taste in my mouth and possibly makes me less interested than I otherwise might’ve been. Still — it’s hard to be sure. Even without this being the case, it’s another entry in an increasingly large list of good things to look at. So who knows when, if ever, it would’ve surfaced to the top.

But running through the list of games here and investigating what they were — 11-11: Memories Retold came to the fore as my favourite in this list. A World War 1 story told from dual perspectives with an animated-painted style and a few recognisable names giving voice to it all.

It looks like quite a short game to get through, but with multiple potential outcomes. With that being the case the brevity could become a strength and make replays a more viable option.

Synthetik also looks pretty solid as a twin-stick (or mouse+keyboard) style rogue-lite shooter. It focuses on having a number of mechanics around the shooting itself, with active reloads, directional pushback/recoil etc — one reviewer said, ‘Feels like a futuristic John Wick’ which was about all I needed to know to feel at least a little interested.

Then we have Evergarden, quite a thematic polar opposite from Synthetik. Evergarden is a narrative-puzzler. The first description of it I read made me think of it more akin to something like the old Xbox Viva Pinata game, where adding different mixes of environments and ‘things’ would result in attracting different types of pinata-life.

Not so. Straight up puzzler with a story, but I certainly have time in my life for these from time to time. The Talos Principle still sticks with me even years later.