Xbox sales: TA Team Picks (October 7th)

Tom West - October 7th 2021

We've managed to do the impossible! Each member of the News Team has pulled together and tirelessly trawled through this week's sales to offer you, fine readers, our top picks. Yes, you heard that right, this week's Team Picks features each one of us — and the resulting list of titles is a wide range, indeed!

Heidi — Okami HD

Okami HD is gorgeous, and judging by its 4.45/5 TA rating, it more than lives up to its looks. You play as the Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu in the form of a white wolf. Your goal is to take down the eight-headed demon Orochi using the Celestial Brush, but it seems as though you could easily forget what you’re supposed to be doing as you stop to drink in Okami’s gorgeous art style, which looks as though you’ve stepped into an ink painting. The Celestial Brush is essential to the tale, and you wield it both in combat and when doing puzzles. Altogether, Okami exudes an irresistible air of mischief, magic, and escapism. I’ve been eyeing Okami HD for a while now, and have heard nothing but praise for it — at 50% off and under £10, now looks like a perfect time to snap it up.

Experience the critically acclaimed masterpiece with its renowned Sumi-e ink art style in breathtaking high resolution.

The worst thing about Overcooked! All You Can Eat is that the name is horribly punctuated. But listen, you and I both know exactly what Overcooked is and how good it is. You and your team of up to four co-op pals must make recipes and then deliver them to customers in increasingly more carnage filled kitchens. It’s simple: grab ingredients, chop the ingredients, cook some ingredients, make up a plate, serve the plate, clean the plate. Naturally, though, you get slapped with obstacles, strange divisions of labour, moving levels, and more. All of a sudden, you have multiple ingredients in the wrong place, messy plates everywhere, a burning soup, and a lettuce rolling into the ocean. Commence the post-failure pep-talk.

You yell at your lovely cousin that you can’t clean the bloody plates, you're busy frying the burger. He tells you to chill out, but you are just vamped on these meat fumes you’ve been sniffing up for five minutes. You tell him he’d better start preparing these plates better or you will never get those three stars for being the best chefs… and make no mistake, we are the best chefs in the entire Onion Kingdom of Overcooked. He tells you that he can take over the plates, but that if you ever raise your voice like that again he will bounce you into the freezing-cold water surrounding the iceberg that you are using as a kitchen for no discernable reason. You tell him he can try, but that your pirate character has seen many rival chefs fall to their watery doom and you’ll bounce him right back into the bowls of the Kraken’s gullet. Needless to say, you get the perfect three stars thanks to this spectacularly organised pep talk. Though, you did little to help achieve this feat except fall into the icy seas with a pan of burnt meat.

Overcooked is great, Overcooked 2 is great, and the Overcooked DLC is great. The achievements are easy. It’s on sale. Excuse me, I must prepare onion soup on a pirate ship.

Overcooked! All You Can Eat

Overcooked!, Overcooked! 2 and all additional content are blended together and rebuilt from the ground up in crisp 4K and 60fps in this delicious definitive edition. Enjoy over 200 levels including an exclusive new adventure; The Peckish Rises!

I’m just finishing up the original game, so I was happy to see Nexomon: Extinction on sale this week so I can grab it and continue my adventures as a Pokémon trainer Nexomon tamer. Anyone who claims these games are better than the mainline Pokémon games is a few Digletts short of a Dugtrio, but they’re certainly still fun even if creature designs and mechanics aren’t a patch on Nintendo’s monster series. Pick a starter creature, level them up, teach them new moves, add more to your squad by catching them in the wild… it’s all very familiar, but it’s as close as you’ll get to the real thing without booting up a Nintendo console.

Neither game is an especially challenging completion, but they can take a little while due to having achievements related to catching ‘em all and beating every opponent in the game (multiple times, in Extinction’s case). Hopefully Extinction will keep me busy for a while, because I have no interest in playing the gross-looking Diamond/Pearl remakes next month...

Nexomon: Extinction

Nexomon: Extinction is a return to classic monster catching games, complete with a brand new story, eccentric characters and over 300 unique Nexomon to trap and tame.

Hotshot Racing was recently removed from Xbox Game Pass, so if you didn’t get it completed in time (and I wouldn’t blame you, the achievement list is a nightmare), or if it passed you by, now is the time to pick it up. For just $9.99/£7.99/€9.99, you’re getting a pretty decent little arcade racer. Hotshot Racing is all about speed and drifting. You’ll be flinging your car sideways at breakneck speeds around strikingly visual tracks. Sure, Hotshot Racing isn’t the best arcade racer out there (the AI is pretty unforgiving with its rubberbanding on harder difficulties), but it is a truckload of fun, especially if you’re playing with pals. The Cops and Robbers and Drive or Explode modes are a particular highlight. In Cops and Robbers, you’re either trying to escape the police while collecting as much cash as you can or playing as a cop with the sole goal of taking down other racers, who then become additional police — things can get intense pretty quick! As for Drive or Explode, you need to keep above a speed target that constantly increases, but damage is enabled, so other players can ram you off the road in no time at all. If you do decide to pick Hotshot Racing up, just be aware that the achievement list is no walk in the park. There are numerous difficulty-specific achievements for coming first in a Grand Prix on Expert difficulty — good luck if you decide to go for the completion!
Hotshot Racing

Hotshot Racing is a blisteringly fast arcade-style racing game fusing drift handling, razor-sharp retro visuals and an incredible sense of speed to create an exhilarating driving experience.

I’ve picked Cars 3: Driven to Win this week due to having just finished it off, and it’s safe to say that I enjoyed every darned moment of it. This is the perfect pick-up if you have little ones that enjoy the movies, which is why I bought it originally. The investment has given me hours of fun with my son, as well as a great arcade racing experience. The nuts and bolts of the game are built on racing and using turbo to outmanoeuvre your competition. But layered into the racing is the ability to perform air tricks when blasting over jumps and performing other stunts such as drifting, backwards driving, and two-wheel driving. Each race is a fun, action-packed experience because of it, and your time with it is unique compared to other games of its ilk.

The fun doesn’t just stop with the basic races either, because Cars 3: Driven to Win hosts a multitude of game modes that keep everything feeling fresh. You can take part in Mario Kart style Battle Races, Takedown races that have you destroying as many AI vehicles as possible within a time limit, Best Lap challenges, a small open-world area to mess around in, and online play. As I said before, if you have children that love the movies and you want something that they can enjoy, and you can master... then 80% off is the perfect time to grab this game!

Cars 3: Driven to Win

Get ready for the ultimate racing experience in Cars 3: Driven to Win inspired by Disney•Pixar's film, Cars 3. Play with over 20 characters including Lightning McQueen and cruise through over 20 tracks. Advance your abilities in 6 game modes to become the Hall of Fame Driver.

Anything here making you reach for your wallet, or do you have another suggestion? Let us know down below!