The year is slowly picking up speed. Pickings are slim for the new gen consoles, only the Lego Movie Videogame, the Thief reboot and a port of the excellent Rayman Legends are available. Elsewhere there’s a lot to look forward to. Lightning returns in Lightning Returns to finish the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. It’s been a rocky road for the series, XIII-2 corrected a lot of what was wrong with XIII and now Lightning Returns takes the series in a different direction; continuing the rather twisty, turny story and changing the gameplay for something a little more action RPG. The basics are still very much FFXIII – there’s shades of FFX-2 in there too, for better or worse. Lightning is a compelling character though and it’ll be interesting to see what fate awaits her at the end of this trilogy.
Toukiden: Age of Demons comes to Vita this month. The Vita has had a few Monster Hunter style games, most haven’t quite measured up to the PSP behemoth of yesteryears, but Toukiden has that potential. Coming from Omega Force (they who make Dynasty Warriors endlessly) Toukiden offers a more Japanese flavour to the genre. The feel of the combat is good, with each weapon offering a very different style of play. Thankfully the combat doesn’t feel like Monster Hunter clone, even if the general game structure is very reminiscent. Toukiden has a little more story and character than Monster Hunter, but only time will tell if the kill and craft mechanics make it a worthy adversary. In the light of Monster Hunter only being on 3DS for the time being, its certainly nice to see a similar game with equivalent class on the Vita.
Shadowrun Returns gets its first official campaign DLC. I picked up Shadowrun in the christmas steam sale and loved it. It feels like a faster paced X-COM, but with a more RPG feel. The expansion adds a new campaign set in a new location (The Free City of Berlin) it also adds new characters, items, weapons and most importantly the option to save anywhere. It should be noted that the save anywhere is not exclusive to the expansion and will be added to the base game as a patch. The save system was one of the main negative points of the original, and allowing users to save anywhere is a welcome change. Last of Us also gets some story DLC; of course its a console game, so its not a whole campaign. Left Behind tells the story of Ellie and her friend Riley, well before Joel comes into the story.
A few remastered releases this month too. Tales of Symphonia Chronicles comes across from the 6th gen onto PS3 – adding the Wii game Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World with it. The first Fable gets a makeover in Fable Anniversary (I’m guessing that’s MS’s way of saying remake – as with Halo Anniversary), updating the original Xbox and PC classic to the Fable 2/3 engine. It looks a heck of a lot better – it’s just a shame they didn’t see fit to release it on PC along with Fable 2. And Resident Evil 4 gets rereleased for the thousandth time. Making up for what must have been one of the worst PC ports EVER! Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD actually adds improved textures while upping the resolution and framerate, making this the definitive version of the classic.
Mercury Steam’s Castlevania trilogy comes to an end with Lords of Shadow 2. The epic reboot of the Castlevania series concludes in a more open game than the previous 2, starring none other than Dracula himself. Lords of Shadow was a great action game, with a well presented, if poorly told, story. Here’s hoping the trilogy goes out with a bang and not a whimper. This time round the game releases simultaneously on PC, PS3 and X360.
Also there’s Thief. There aren’t many hopes pinned to this one. The reboot that no one asked for. It’s easy to be cynical about this one, but as someone that prefers DmC to Devil May Cry 1, 2 and 4, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Oh, and if you like building and management sims like Settlers on the PC, don’t forget to check out Banished. It’s a one man effort game and it looks absolutely stunning – especially the level of polish on show.
Next month should see some pretty heavy titles hitting on 7th and 8th gen machines. With Infamous Second Son and Titanfall landing in March, there’s reason enough to overlook
- Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst (PC,PS3, X360)
- Talismans Prologue (PC)
- Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief (PS3/X360)
- Fable Anniversary (X360)
- Far Cry Classic (PSN/XBLA)
- Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, X360)
- The Last of Us: Left Behind (PSN)
- The LEGO movie videogame (PS4, XBONE, Vita,3DS,WiiU)
- Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (Vita)
- Toukiden: The Age of Demons (Vita)
- Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks! (3DS)
- Far Cry The Wild Expedition (PC, PS3,X360)
- Banished (PC)
- Rambo: The Video Game (PC,PS3, X360)
- Ys: Memories of Celceta (Vita)
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (WiiU)
- Shadowrun: Dragonfall (PC)
- Castelvania: Lords of Shadow 2 (PS3, X360)
- Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (PS3)
- Thief (PC,PS4, XBONE, PS3, X360)
- Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z (PS3, X360)
- Rayman Legends (PS4, XBONE)
- Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD (PC)
- Senran Kagura Burst (3DS)