The beginning of the year is more often than not fairly slow for gaming with a few releases but usually nothing too big. This year some of the biggest games in recent years are finally releasing so it’s promising to be a month that’ll eat up your time and your wallet if you’ll let it. Let’s have a look at what to expect for gaming in January 2019.
1. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey | January 11th
Developer: AlphaDream Publisher: Nintendo Platform: 3DS
The first big game to release this month is a remaster of the beloved Super Mario RPG Bowser’s Inside Story, where Mario and Luigi are swallowed by Bowser and forced to navigate your way around Bowser’s innards. This leads to some fun scenarios where you have fun controlling Bowser, along with the same Mario RPG quirkiness fans know and love. The remake also comes with a new node called Bowser Jr.’s Journey — a completely different type of game where you get to control hordes of enemies in fast-paced battles.
2. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe | January 11
Developer: Nintendo EPD Publisher: Nintendo Platform: Switch
Releasing on the same day as the previous Mario game on this list, New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe is a port of the Wii U game New Super Mario Bros U and its DLC, New Super Luigi U. It’s almost the same, except that Yellow Toad has been renamed Toad, and Blue Toad has been replaced with Toadette. Toadette’s new exclusive power-up the Super Crown, which turns her into Peachette, was the subject of a meme when it was announced a few months ago, but whether or not that meme will resurface when the game is out remains a surprise.
Another game that was remastered for this month is the first entry in the Onimusha franchise, Onimusha: Warlords. It was originally released in Japan 18 years ago for PS2, then on the original Xbox a year later. The action-adventure game has you play as the samurai Samanosuke and the ninja Kaede as you try to save Princess Yuki from dark forces that are sweeping the land. It has a fixed camera like Capcom’s own Resident Evil games, and Samanosuke has upgradable weapons, too. Who knows; if this remaster is successful enough, we might be seeing more remasters of the Onimusha franchise.
Ace Combat 7 is aiming to be the fiercest air combat experience ever created, letting gamers pilot some of the most advanced warplanes (with exclusive VR missions if you’re playing on PS VR, to boot). The game length goes anywhere between 10 hours for a flawless speedy run-through, or almost 50 hours if you want to find everything and complete every aircraft. The game boasts highly detailed cityscapes, photorealistic visuals and intense dogfighting action in an immersive storyline. There’s never been a better time to be an Ace Combat fan.
5. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes | January 18th
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture Publishers: MARVELOUS!, Nintendo Platform(s): Switch
The newest game by Suda51 features the beloved antihero Travis Touchdown facing off against Badman, the father of the previous antagonist Bad Girl. In their fight, they get sucked into the cancelled console Death Drive MK-II where you fight Badman and others through six different games. It gives the game its own touch by having you face different rules and vibes in the same game, going through different styles of games. If the previous games are any measure, this one will be insane fun, too.
After RE VII released and surprised everyone with its return to form for the Resident Evil franchise, fans were itching for the long-awaited remake of Resident Evil 2. They had faith that Capcom wouldn’t mess things up. It seems like Capcom has taken that reception to heart and is (figuratively) bringing out the big guns for Resident Evil 2. The game is staying true to the franchise’s survival horror roots, while using the technological prowess of the newest generation of consoles to give you every tiniest horrifying detail on the zombies plaguing Raccoon City.
It’s been fourteen years, six new games, and four remasters since Kingdom Hearts 2 came out, but we’re finally here. Kingdom Hearts 3 is just around the corner, and the hype is unbearable. It releases four days earlier in Japan than the rest of the world, and it’s going to be the end of the first story arc. Apparently, it won’t be the end of the franchise though, so expect some form of after credits scene hinting towards what the plot of the next game will be. Here’s to the next fourteen years until we can play a new numbered entry.