July's Games with Gold games have been revealed, and once again it's a bit of a mixed bag. A recent mash-up of brawler and endless runner and a forgettable movie tie in are balanced out by two all-time classics of the medium.
Next month — in the next couple of days, in fact — Xbox Live Gold members will be able to get their hands on one of the most beloved moody indie platformers of the generation, INSIDE, available for the entire month. Alongside Playdead's masterpiece, one of the most revered games of all time Castlevania: Symphony of the Night will be available from July 1st to July 15th. The latter originally came out on PlayStation 1997, and is half of the reason why the term "metroidvania" exists in gaming criticism. This is the Xbox 360 port of the original, and is naturally backward compatible with the Xbox One.
These two big hitters kick the other two offerings further into the shade than perhaps they should be. The middling 360 movie tie-in Meet the Robinsons is available from July 15th to the end of the month, while the relatively unknown multiplayer scrapper Big Crown: Showdown will be available from July 15th to August 15th.
Are July 2019's Games With Gold Worth Downloading?If you're already subscribed to Gold, it's probably worth downloading all four games, none of which have especially dire critical or community ratings. However the absolute musts are INSIDE and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The only similarities these games share are their impeccable and heavily influential level design, as their broad appeal to lots and lots of players. If you're really averse to retro gaming, INSIDE is your safest bet; it's modern game story-telling and puzzling at its best. But if you want to see a crucial and influential moment in game design history unfold in real time you should definitely give Castlevania.
Big Crown: Showdown only has 12 votes from the community, putting it at a modest 2.8/5. Suprisingly Metacritic has even less to say, with a scant handful of reviews available; most of those are middling. Apparently the core game is fun enough with friends, but some bugs and a lack of depth and complexity could make it difficult to tempt your friends to play more than once.
The entirely forgettable Disney animation Meet the Robinsons had an entirely forgettable tie-in game on the Xbox 360. Again our own community score the game right in the middle, though this time it's from over 1000 votes. Generally speaking the gaming press found it to be a solid if uninspiring experience, so if you're just here for some free achievements it's not going to be too terrible a journey.
Speaking of achievements...
How Easy are July 2019's Games With Gold? Can We Unlock All of The Achievements?There are no discontinued or unobtainable achievements in July 2019's Games With Gold. Hooray! Unfortunately, Big Crown: Showdown has a whole bunch of achievements that require multiplayer, including one for 4-player local play and another for a 4-player online match. Boo! It'd be a good idea to knock these out as soon as possible; Showdown clearly hasn't been a big hit, so who knows how long that online play is going to be available.
Probably the hardest game on this list is Castlevania, which it's worth noting is only going to net you 200 gamerscore for your trouble. However unlike many retro classics it does feature saving, which makes things considerably easier to manage even if you are not too great at 90s metroidvania style games. The final achievement below requires an additional full playthrough with an additional character, who has some tough limitations. Luckily the TA community have gathered all sorts of tips, which you can find via the below link.
Meet the Robinsons shouldn't be too tricky to finish off; just make sure to check out the Meet the Robinsons achievement list so you don't miss any of the missable collectables and puzzles that are tied to achievements. INSIDE is probably the easiest of the bunch, with just a handful of collectibles to grab along what amounts to a very linear ride. Our INSIDE achievement guide can get you to each of them, and because of level select mechanics none of the collectibles are actually missable.
What do you think of this month's selection? Let us know in the comments!
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