If the calendar year was a week, January would be that awful Monday morning time bracket! You’re tired, you’ve forgotten how to work properly and it feels like EONS
before you get to do something fun again.
Three games over thirty one days don’t seem like a lot. Primarily because it aint! But not unlike scouring your Inbox for something remotely amusing or Wikipedia-ing the origins of assorted office stationary, the following should keep you entertained until a better offer rears its handsome face.Title: Ni No Kuni
Developer: Level 5 Studio Ghibli
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Released: January 25th
From the official website...
“After losing his mother in a tragic accident, a young boy named Oliver sheds tears of grief onto one of his stuffed toys. Suddenly, its curse lifted, it springs to life, and reveals itself to be none other than Drippy, a fairy from another world. Drippy explains that if they can defeat Shadar, the Dark Djinn – an evil being who threatens his world – they may be able to bring his mother back.”
are no strangers to the Batshit Insane, helming crazy classics such as Spirited Away
and Princess Mononoke
. Thus, the idea of tear induced fairy magic is comparatively easy to get on board with. Couple this with Level 5
, the veteran puzzle studio behind the rightly lauded Professor Layton
series and you have a DS RPG as vibrant as it is preposterous.
So that’s pretty damn vibrant!Title: Anarchy Reigns
Developer: Platinum Games
Released: January 11th
Admittedly, our resident Games Reviewer Extraordinaire Peter
has no love for Anarchy Reigns
. Though it scored well at other publications, it can’t match the lofty company standards of the bar-raising Bayonetta
and bar-vanquishing Vanquish
One can chainsaw through such problems to appreciate the primal appeal of an online multiplayer Hack’N’Slash: One which is part spiritual successor to Platinum’s
underplayed 2009 Wii hit MadWorld
and part gratuitous excuse to pull off the following kinds of mayhem...Anarchy Reigns
has the dripping giblets and sprayed viscera of cult success splattered all over it. The Platinum
loyalists and online community should happily lap up a fresh multiplayer while smooth mechanics and a bargain-bin price should see the rest of us eventually follow suit.Anarchy Reigns
may be but a blip on the soliton radar next to February’s REVENGEANCE
, but one shouldn’t turn the nose up at any Platinum title. Lest they lop it clean off...Title: DMC
Developer: Ninja Theory
Released: January 15th
On multiple occasions, I’ve made my reservations plain
. Now it’s time for the benefit of The Doubt.
Though barely a generation old, Ninja Theory is no mean fledgling developer: In 2007 they smashed the Hack’N’Slash mould with Heavenly Sword
, one of the first games to showcase the PS3’s power while implementing layered mechanics focusing as much on measured counter-attacking as style-juggling. They followed this up in 2010 with the universally respected Enslaved
. Not without its problems, Odyssey to the West still boasted plotting and performance capture to rival Naughty Dog
. And yet while the likes of Epic Mickey
gets a sequel, the heart-wrenching conclusion to Monkey and Trip’s journey is left to hang.
Games Industry, sometimes you’re a shit!
Revamping Devil May Cry
imposes certain restrictions absent in their previous intellectual properties. There’s a certain style and tone required of Ninja Theory
, one I feel limits the series. However tasty visuals, fluid combos and a unique aesthetic should distract most from this error. Meanwhile, Ninja Theory
have weaved their usual narrative voodoo, rejuvenating the snooze-fest DMC
lore with a tiered, anti-establishment message, rebellious protagonists and dimension hopping locales.
Plus, if that’s not your bag, it’s a safe bet there’s some swearing and nudity in there somewhere.
Fun for the whole