Xbox Live Gold subscribers teetering on the edge of their seats in anticipation of October's Xbox Games With Gold may finally loosen their glutes; Microsoft has now revealed all, with the likes of Friday the 13th and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge due in the coming weeks.
Before either of those, however, is Tembo the Badass Elephant for Xbox One, available as part of Games With Gold from 1st-31st October. Eurogamer was initially impressed with this chirpy little platformer - the work of Pokemon developer Game Freak - when it reviewed it back in 2015. However, an excess of familiarity and repetition ultimately brought it down.
"Tembo is at his best in the first few hours, when that eye-catching cartoon style is still fresh and you're free to wallow in his more destructive tendencies," wrote Dan Whitehead, "It would be inaccurate to say the game gets worse the further you get, but it does start to lose its lustre."
Also joining Games with Gold on 1st October (although only available until the 15th) is the Xbox 360 video game tie-in of Disney's superhero dog movie, Bolt. Eurogamer didn't review it, and I haven't played it, so about all I can tell you is that it's a third-person action-adventure in which platforming and fisticuffs occur. Or whatever the dog equivalent is.
Moving on! October 16th sees the arrival of the month's bigger hitters. First up, and sticking around until 15th November, is Xbox One asymmetrical pursuit horror Friday the 13th, in which one player dons the mask and murderous tendencies of Jason while everyone else attempts to survive his wrath as Crystal Camp counsellors. This one's proven to be quite popular since launch, although Eurogamer contributor Rick Lane wasn't particularly enamoured back in 2017, due to all sorts of teething troubles.
"But when it did work," he wrote in his review, "it worked superbly, a thrilling game of cat and mouse where being the mouse is fraught with tension and being the cat is fucking awesome."
Last up then is Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge for Xbox 360. Razor's Edge offered a signifiant overhaul of the original, widely derided Ninja Gaiden 3 - a game that many felt went too far in streamlining the series' much-loved hack-and-slash action. Developer Team Ninja took the opportunity to reinstate numerous features from earlier, better-received Ninja Gaiden games for Razor's Edge, imbuing it with enriched combat, weapon and character upgrades, online co-op, and, of course, the return of the series' gory dismemberments.
Reviews were more positive second time around, if still not exactly stellar, with Eurogamer's Martin Robinson writing that, "there's still a sense of design by committee. It's a more clued-up committee that's in charge for Razor's Edge...but for a series that once felt like a singular, twisted and brilliant vision it's still a depressing turn."
Ninja Gaiden 3 will be available as part of Xbox Games With Gold until 31st October.