Keiji Inafune, the creator of Mega Man, is losing his touch. His new company, Comcept, released Mighty No. 9 this summer, which, despite its universally negative reception, was awarded Top Shelf Gaming’s Game of the Month for July. While we don’t like to reward games that disappoint us, we choose the Game of the Month largely based on the impact a game has in culture. For this reason, we’re giving the award to Inafune’s second release this year: Recore.
Recore is an action platformer where you play as Joule, a young marauder who revisits the place where she grew up to discover that it has become a destitute and oppressed wasteland. She is aided in combat and traversal by robotic animal companions who are powered by colored orbs known as cores. The game, like Mighty No. 9, had all the makings of a great game but ultimately fell short.
What is significant, and we admit that it’s a slow month for games, is that Recore is the first game in the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative. Xbox Play Anywhere grants you a PC copy of any first-party Xbox One game you purchase and vice versa. Additionally, your save files transfer between versions, so I could play Recore for an hour on Xbox then hop over on my desktop computer and continue my game from the same point.
This new initiative is one of the ways Microsoft is attempting to recover from an early loss in console sales and brand perception this console generation. Sony’s Playstation 4 has sold 43 million units to Xbox One’s 22 million. That’s twice as many units sold for PS4 although both consoles launched at the same time. The Xbox Play Anywhere initiative will be instrumental in closing this monstrous gap because Microsoft can now bring their biggest games to the PC market, a user group that Sony first-party studios are unable to penetrate.
So Recore is the first game that is compatible with Xbox Play Anywhere which makes it more historically important than culturally. The game itself likely won’t be remembered beyond the holiday season, but a win is a win.