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The "Dead Space" remake is out, and the critics are raving about it. It's being hailed as a superb successor to the series and well worth playing for both newcomers to the franchise and veterans of the original. In addition to the improved graphics, gameplay, and other updates, the remake also offers something brand new to entice gamers to return to the Ishimura.
There's been no shortage of first-person shooters this millennium, but back in the 90s, these games were rare. FPS games had to adapt to become more relevant, which is exactly what Rare accomplished with "GoldenEye 007." In the nearly 30 years since it came out for the Nintendo 64, the shooter genre exploded, and "GoldenEye 007" is often credited as one of the most impactful games of all time because of its influence on the genre. The high demand for "GoldenEye" remasters hasn't slowed over the years, and now it's available via Nintendo Switch Online and Xbox Games Pass — but perceptive fans noticed something was amiss with this most recent re-release.
At one point in time, CD Projekt RED's "Cyberpunk 2077" was widely anticipated in all corners of the industry. And when it finally released in December 2020, that anticipation was reflected in the numbers, selling over 13 million digital sales in its first weeks of availability (via Bloomberg). Unfortunately, within a month, the game's player count — which at one point peaked at over 1 million concurrent players — completely tanked. And it's no secret as to why.
"Hi-Fi Rush" is 2023's unexpected hit. On January 25, Tango Gameworks announced and released the title on the same day for PC and Xbox. And the gameplay is just as surprising as the release. This rhythm-based fighter combines the combat and style system of "Devil May Cry" with the rhythm timing of "Guitar Hero." The result is a truly unique game that has won critics and gamers over (per Metacritic) — partly because the game allows players to pet the cat. And with a price tag of $30, it has proven to be enticing for gamers when $70 titles are becoming the norm.
Steam allowing small developers to publish games on the platform has made for some incredible indie successes. Games made by small teams such as Iron Gate PB's "Valheim" have done exceptionally well on the platform, reaching thousands more players than they would have on their own, thanks to Steam distribution. But letting just anyone publish on Steam is a double-edged sword, as Steam is home to plenty of wacky and gimmicky games. For example, one horror game on Steam dares players not to return it.
It's true — the new "Dead Space" remake has a secret alternate ending, and it's no small feat to unlock it. The remake may be mostly faithful to the gameplay design and narrative beats of the 2008 horror classic, but it still finds some ways to update the original experience and bring it more in line with subsequent entries in the series. Whereas the first game only had one ending, its remake actually boasts two possible outcomes for Isaac Clarke's journey: the classic ending and a new alternate ending.
Help isn't free. Ideally, you'd get a valuable reward out of it. "One Piece Odyssey" puts the player through enough battles that using auto battle and speed up have become the norm. That said, the game offers side quests that can help the Straw Hats trudge through the 30-hour RPG with currency and accessory rewards. The More Important Than Berries quest gives the player a Noble's Ring that raises the character's DEF by 180 points, a relatively generous boost at that early point in the game. However, it's more difficult to complete than players expected.
"Bully," Rockstar's action-adventure game that brought chaos to the schoolyard, has had fans guessing about a sequel for years. There were never any announcements or plans made public from Rockstar, but fans hoped it was on the way. Then, in 2019, there was a leak about the development of "Bully 2" being canceled. Now, more information about what "Bully 2" looked like before Rockstar pulled the plug has been shared.
Another day, another "Fortnite" crossover appears. This time around, it's Isaac Clarke of "Dead Space" fame. With the release of the "Dead Space" remake right around the corner, it makes sense that Isaac would appear to hype audiences for his return. As is often the case with "Fortnite" skins, this...
"Disney Lorcana" is a new trading card game from Ravensburger. Ravensburger previously dabbled with the Disney IP with the biggest commercially made puzzle on the market, "Memorable Disney Moments." But now, creating a tabletop card game may be its biggest challenge. "Lorcana" immerses players in the world of Disney by featuring some of the most famous Disney characters, from Moana to The Little Mermaid.
During their January Developer Direct, Xbox and Bethesda released additional information on five games slated for release in 2023. One of which was not only revealed for the first time during the showcase, but it released the very same day straight to Xbox Game Pass: "Hi-Fi Rush." Created by Tango Gameworks, the studio responsible for "The Evil Within" series and "Ghostwire Tokyo," "Hi-Fi Rush" seems to be the studio's black sheep project as there's not an ounce of horror anywhere in the title. There is, however, an adorable, robotic cat named 808.
"World of Warcraft: Dragonflight," the longstanding MMO's ninth expansion, had a lot to live up to following the divisive previous expansion "Shadowlands." So far, fans seem to think things are looking good in large part because of the expansion's many major changes to things "World of Warcraft" players have become used to in the last few years. Mission tables, borrowed power systems (like AP and anima), and that constant sense of grinding to keep up at max level have all been removed or eased, and that's not to mention UI, profession, and talent changes, as well as the new Evoker class and revolutionary Dragonriding system.
The space horror phenomenon "Dead Space" set a new standard for genre when it hit shelves back in 2008 with its creepy atmosphere and intriguing story. But what set "Dead Space" apart from other horror games is that it wasn't afraid to get gory, like really gory. Players could rip off creatures' limbs, bash their bodies to a bloody pulp, and even burn them alive. And for fans of the grotesque visuals of "Dead Space," they didn't have to wait long for sequels. Eventually, however, some of the "Dead Space" team would move on to create "Callisto Protocol," a spiritual successor to the "Dead Space" series — although it didn't blow critics away quite like "Dead Space" did.
One of the Xbox Game Pass games that will blow you away in 2023, "Persona 4 Golden," has plenty to do in the nearly 70 hours it takes to beat. When not going to school, befriending and romancing people, or spending time with their uncle and cousin, players will likely be fighting off shadows. Some of these shadows take the form of other characters, and that's the case with Shadow Yosuke.
There's no shortage of Nintendo Switch ports that fans want to see happen, but one that likely wasn't predicted by many is 2019's "Remnant: From the Ashes." Created by the studio Gunfire Games, "Remnant: From the Ashes" is a third-person shooting, cooperative Soulslike that features swarms of enemies, enormous bosses, and plenty of unique weapons and abilities. The game has garnered a bit of a cult following over the last few years, and it saw enough success across PC, Xbox and PlayStation consoles to warrant a sequel, which was announced during the 2022 Game Awards via a flashy announcement trailer.
As the most surprising part of Xbox and Bethesda's January Developer Direct, "Hi-Fi Rush" was not only revealed but released the very same day for Xbox and PC. This first surprise hit of 2023 is a rhythm, character action game that naturally features plenty of rhythm-focused minigames, but they don't need to get in the way of one enjoying the title. In fact, one of the several different accessibility options within "Hi-Fi Rush" is specifically for making those possibly pesky rhythm segments much easier.
The new 16-bit style 2-D RPG "Chained Echoes" allows players to be a number of different playable characters as they adventure across a brand new fantasy world "with swords, magic and... mechs." Some of them are secret characters that can only be unlocked by doing certain optional quests (per Nerd Stash). One of these secret characters is a bearded man named Tomke, who can be unlocked at the beginning of act 2 once players have completed the sidequest "The Food, the Chap, and the Hungry." Many players will find that Tomke is definitely worth unlocking, as he has some very unique abilities.
The newest release in the "Fire Emblem" series, "Fire Emblem Engage" quickly caught the attention of fans. Not only is it the follow-up to the huge success of "Fire Emblem Three Houses" without being connected to it, but it also features a protagonist with an eye-catching blue and red hair-do as well as the return of fan-favorite characters through a new mechanic.
In the age of open-world titans and real-time action combat — where even JRPG classics like "Final Fantasy" are more focused on fast paced action — "Chained Echoes" is a hidden gem almost tailor-made for avid fans of the classic JRPG. Judging from the rave reviews on its Steam page, it seems to get the nostalgic formula just right with gorgeous neo-retro pixel art, an engrossing story, a streamlined combat system, and of course, a slightly peculiar progression system that makes character-building all the more compelling.
Way back in 2020, Ubisoft revealed via one of its Ubisoft Forward broadcasts that a remake for the 2003 title "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" was in the works. Originally, the title was aiming to be released on January 21 of 2021. It never me this release date, of course, and it suffered delays that confirmed what fans had suspected: it wouldn't release until 2022.