Friday, January 30, 2015

The Games of February 2014.

Whelp, so much for January.

February offers a slew of could-be-great games that we're not quite sure about, epitomized in Ready at Dawn's absolutely gorgeous romp through alternate history 1880s.  It also, of course, contains the Steam early access release of my single most-anticipated game of the year - but let's begin with something that fits our theme.  That is, could be awesome, but we can't say for certain.

February 3rd
Apotheon, a 2D brawler.
Hype-O-Meter: Worth checkin' out.

Remember a game called Nexuiz?  Think back.  You kinda' remember hearing the word, don't you?  It was an indie first-person shooter which got picked up by THQ and remastered for a triple-A audience a few  years back.

That indie team was Alientrap Games.  After Nexuiz, they changed gears to the very well-received Capsized on Steam, a fast-paced physics-based action-platformer.  With Apotheon, Alientrap is making a pure 2D platforming brawler with a very unique art style - again, a gear-switch for the company - which is free on February's PS+ lineup.

Definitely worth checkin' out.

A gothic Roguelike strategy RPG.
February 3rd - Steam early access - Hype-O-Meter: Shattered beyond repair.

Readers of this blog are aware that I am flipping out over Darkest Dungeon lately, to the point that I suspect I don't need to tell you what it is (click the link above if you don't know what it is).  I've been following the game since before its Kickstarter happened and for Christmas, the greatest gift of all was the news that it will eventually land on PS4 and Vita - the Vita being my preferred platform for all things - but its final release is probably coming in mid-to-late 2015.

And that's a long damned time.  Fortunately, the game was born as a PC title first, and to offer its backers a nosh of their promised prize before the final release, the game will come to Steam early access on February 3rd. (Here's its Steam page.)

I've not been a PC gamer in many, many, many moons - but I'll come back to KBAM for Darkest Dungeon.

Oh yes.  Can't wait.

February 10th
Evolve, a four-on-one team shooter. 
PS4, One, PC
Hype-O-Meter: Myeh.

Turtle Rock is staffed by members of the team who put the legendary Left 4 Dead together.  In Evolve, it's four player-controlled hunters taking on one player-controlled boss monster, which can level up by consuming other creatures.  Might be awesome!

February 17th.  Or 24th.  Not sure.
Resident Evil Revelations 2, a classic survival horror.
PS4, PS3, One, 360, PC
Hype-O-Meter:  Wouldn't it be nice to play a good Resident Evil again?

Less a reboot for the series than a return to form, Revelations 2 harkens back to the good ol' days of Resident Evil, when you were trapped in a creepy environment with too-few bullets and some very dangerous, slow-moving enemies.  Built as an episodic release (no idea why), only the first episode comes out this month.  The next will follow in a week, and so on, until all four episodes are released along with a retail version on March 18th.

Naturally, what I'm really looking forward to is a Vita version, which will either come out in concert with the retail versions in March, or some time later.

I just hope it's good.  A triple-A survival/horror/action title on my Vita?  Awesome.

A story-driven third-person shooter/action game.
February 20th - PS4 - Hype-O-Meter: Diceroll!

Could be Yahtzee, could be a snake eyes - we won't know until the 20th and we actually lay hands on Ready at Dawn's leap to consoles.  If ideally realized, The Order could be the new yardstick for cinematic presentation in gaming, and a hell of a lot of fun to boot.  If not, it could be Beyond: Two Souls: With Guns and Werewolves in Steampunk Victorian London.

...which, honestly, already sounds a lot better than Beyond: Two Souls.

February 20th
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, a 2D platformer from Nintendo.
Wii U
Hype-O-Meter:  Ohoh.  I think not.

The Rainbow Curse is the Wii U sequel to 2005 DS title Kirby: Canvas Curse, which saw the player guiding an endlessly-rolling pink sphere through its worlds on rainbow strings drawn with the handheld's stylus.  Similarly, Rainbow Curse permits the player to draw a rainbow-string path for Kirby with the Wii U's touchpad.

There are some who are hyped for this, no doubt, but I'm not among them.

Febuary 24th
htoL#NiQ: The Firefly Diary, a 2D puzzle platformer from Nippon Ichi.
Hype-O-Meter: Mayyybe.

Without a shred of irony, I'll admit I'm mildly interested in The Firefly Diary, in which a bright firefly and a dark firefly guide a mysterious, helpless and totally adorable little girl with horns up through the underworld.  This is, I'll grant, entirely based on how cute the little horned girl is.

She's supercute.

February 24th
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart, a tactical JRPG.
Hype-O-Meter:  I've never played one of those Neptunia games, and I doubt I'll start now...

...but I must admit I'm pleased to see more strategy games on Vita.  A spinoff of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series in which video game platforms are anthropomorphized as pretty girls, Goddess Black Heart follows Noire - the personification of the PlayStation 3 - as she attempts to rescue the world of Game Shijōkai (literally "game market") from sinister forces.

This is a real thing.

* * *

And that's February!  Darkest Dungeon!  Woooo! it bad of me that I paid off my preorder on The Order yesterday for like eighty bucks and could really take that game or leave it, but I'm dying to play a game that's not finished, that'll cost me twenty? 

We live in strange times. 

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