January is a month for new year’s resolutions* and here’s the first installment in ours: our picks of the week.
Cameron Clark – Gravity Rush 2, released January 18
A title that runs the risk of disappearing under the radar, the excellent Gravity Rush 2 launches this week. Building upon the successes of the original Vita title, the sequel improves on the game’s unique gravity based combat and striking cell shaded artwork to create a title that feels like a natural successor to the original. Whilst it may struggle to find broader appeal among the more dynamic PS4 audience, those who enjoyed the original title will find a lot to love in Kat and Raven’s exploits, and those approaching the series for the first time would be foolish to dismiss it as ‘just another quirky Japanese title’.
Joshua Hatcher – Dragon Quest VII: Journey of the Cursed King, released January 10
Release calendars of recent years have been all too dominated by remakes and Nintendo are one of the worst offenders when it comes to relying on their greatest hits to shift consoles. Dragon Quest VII: Journey of the Cursed King finding its way to Nintendo handhelds is nothing short of exciting, despite the strangeness of a game that sold millions in its Playstation 2 format migrating to a smaller console. With a highly textured world reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto and voice acting which is as strange as it is endearing, Dragon Quest VII is enrapturing for its sturdy gameplay: not streets ahead, but refreshing and addictive. There’s no doubt that Journey of the Cursed King is a classic JRPG with bags of character that lends itself perfectly to portability.
Matilda Smith – Scalebound cancelled
Pumped up for a new third-person action RPG in a fantasy setting? Excited about a new IP developed by Platinum Games, the people who brought us the brilliant Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising: Revengence? Thrilled with the idea of adventuring an assortment of melee and ranged weapons while fighting beside a dragon? An actual dragon! Well too bad, because it has been officially cancelled. Having originally been announced three years ago at Microsoft’s E3 press conference 2014, many gamers were eagerly anticipating Scalebound’s 2017 release. Microsoft have failed to give a clear reason for this cancellation, writing in a statement that they would be focusing instead on the rest of their 2017 line-up: “Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves and other great experiences “. Rumours had surfaced reporting that Scalebound had been trapped in the dreaded Development Hell and perhaps the Platinum and Microsoft dream team had run its course, but it’s all just speculation at this point. One thing we do know it that it has left the Xbox One’s line-up for this year feeling very empty, and may have handed the PlayStation 4 a 2017 lead.
*We promise we’ll try our best to keep it.