Xbox sales: TA Team Picks (October 14th)

Tom West - October 14th 2021

This week's team picks from the Xbox sales are mostly brought to you from beyond the grave, with both Heidi and Luke revelling in the morbid curiosity of death. Kes, on the other hand, decided to walk through the shadows in a different way — as everybody's favourite secret agent, Sam Fisher. Sean has been super busy this week, so has had to miss out, and Tom couldn't find anything that took his fancy. Nevertheless, these three options might just be all you need to find your next game to play.

Anything that describes itself as an “inaccurate medieval cemetery management sim” is always going to grab your attention — for that reason, Graveyard Keeper is my pick of this latest sale. This chaotic management sim throws ethical dilemmas at you, asking you just how far you’re willing to go in the name of capitalism. Just when you think you know where you stand with Graveyard Keeper, it’ll fling something unexpected at you — whether it’s a talking donkey or a witch-burning festival. It’s got the management elements, the community, farming, and fishing aspects, but is completely different in tone to other games in the genre — less cutesy farming and more cannibalism and capitalism. Altogether, Graveyard Keeper offers such a bizarre mash-up of ideas and gameplay mechanics that it’ll always be worth a look — especially when it’s 55% off.
Graveyard Keeper

Build & manage your own graveyard while finding shortcuts to cut costs, expand into entertainment with witch-burning festivals, and scare nearby villagers into attending church.

I really haven’t played Blacklist for that long, nor have I really played much of the rest of Ubisoft’s stealth-spy games. However, every time I head home, my sister and I try to stick an hour or so into the co-op campaign. We are terrible at it. The wild combination of tactical stealth, gunplay, gadgetry, and timing makes it hard to play for two manic idiots. We have been trying to infiltrate a dock to grab some files, but I don’t think we have ever even seen the damn things. And yet, I would recommend this wholeheartedly. It still controls well, it looks superb for a 360 game, and just has a bit of special magic about it. I can’t quite pin it down, but you really get that old child-like excitement about picking it up and trying to test yourself in a simple stealth scenario. The direction Ubisoft is going — with the big open-world RPGs, free-to-play battle royales, and live-service titles — might mean we never see another Splinter Cell game quite like this one if it ever brings the mainline franchise back. That amazing sensation of nailing a headshot with your teammate, or knowing you just used a periscope under a door at just the right time, doesn't get lessened in my short time with Blacklist. Apparently, the single-player is very adeptly handled and I am always hearing good things about the asynchronous multiplayer. So, on sale for the price of a sub fully stacked with all the spices and salad you can dream of, I think Blacklist is well worth the price of admission.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell® Blacklist™

Unleash the power or the most lethal agent to ever exist. You are Sam Fisher, and you've been given the ultimate freedom to protect innocents against a series of global terror attacks known as Blacklist - the freedom to use limitless force, to break every law, and to become the globe's deadliest operative. If you succeed, the President of the United States will deny you exist. If you fail, millions will die.

TA feels like a weird place to be singing the praises of Crypt of the NecroDancer, since the completion is basically impossible. Not because the achievements are broken or anything like that, mind — they’re just absurdly difficult, to the point that there are only a handful of people in the world good enough at this fine game to nail the trickiest ones. So long as you’re not bothered about missing out on the completion, or maybe fancy rocking this on a different tag (or perhaps you even think you’ve got what it takes to go for world first, almost five years after launch), this rhythm roguelike is absolutely awesome. It’s basically a turn-based dungeon crawler, except each turn happens to the beat of the superb soundtrack… well, soundtracks, as there are multiple to choose from, but the default Danny B one is an all-timer, especially when you get near a shop and Freddie Merchantry starts singing along. Having the extra pressure of needing to move, dig, or attack on each beat gives the game a wonderful sense of intensity, and the game even does some neat things with its beat-matching action — one boss, for instance, chucks in a one-beat break while his conga line poses, and any input on that missing beat sends him into a rage. With loads of characters and modes to work through and a completion that will take years of practice to even attempt, Crypt of the NecroDancer is a ridiculous deal at this price, and the Amplified DLC (which features one of Danny B’s best tracks in new boss theme, Vamplified) adds even more and comes highly recommended, too.
Crypt of the NecroDancer

Crypt of the NecroDancer is an award winning hardcore roguelike rhythm game. Move to the music and deliver beatdowns to the beat! Groove to the epic Danny Baranowsky soundtrack, or choose from five additional remixed soundtracks, including the new remixed chiptune soundtrack by Chipzel!

What do you think of these three choices, or have you found another twinkling masterpiece buried in the depths of the sale? Let us know in the comments!