Friday, January 31, 2014

Whatcha Buyin'? February 2014 - Games to Look Out For

Are you a North American who has no idea what's coming out soon? Maybe you do, and you just don't know which game(s) to pick. We at SuperPhillip Central have got you covered for releases for February 2014. There are quite a number of them that are more than worthy of your time, and we have briefly described each of them for your convenience. After you've perused our picks for the most interesting games of the month, let us know what you plan on buying, if anything. Hence our new title for this series of articles, "Whatcha Buyin'?", obviously inspired by only the greatest character in Resident Evil history. Plus, it was getting hard to alliterate on each and every month's name!

Bravely Default (3DS)
Release Date: 2/7

Many who have already been able to try out this first game on our list have called it a Final Fantasy that isn't named Final Fantasy. Everything from the art direction to the job system is very reminiscent of old school Final Fantasy games, particularly Final Fantasy V. The title, Bravely Default, refers to how combat works. With Default you can store battle points and then with Brave you can unleash multiple attacks in a single turn with a single character. The release in North America is but a week away, and Bravely Default seems like another game for 3DS owners that will be hard to break away from.

The LEGO Movie Videogame (Multi)
Release Date: 2/7

While we weren't too keen on LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, we will allow TT Games, the developer, one mulligan. The LEGO Movie Videogame is releasing alongside the film, incorporating characters and settings from it. We're hoping the level of polish is far higher than what was seen in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and more like what was seen in LEGO City Undercover. Regardless, The LEGO Movie Videogame should make a lot of younger players happy, and perhaps even some kids at heart.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, 360)
Release Date: 2/11

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the third game involving the characters of Final Fantasy XIII, and it features a totally revamped combat system, going for more of an action-centric feel. Completed quests, whether story-related or not, boost Lightning's attributes, with greater quests boosting her abilities more. Unlike the cramped confines and linear corridors of the original Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning Returns possesses a fully traverse-able world to explore. Just don't explore too long, as there is a ticking clock counting down for the world's destruction...

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace (PS3, Vita)
Release Date: 2/18

Japan surely cannot get enough battling with giant creatures a la Monster Hunter, and neither can we! The original Ragnarok Odyssey released on the PlayStation Vita in late 2012. This upgraded version of the game, Ragnarok Odyssey Ace adds many improvements to the original such as new dungeons, enemies, and abilities, as well as it contains all of the DLC from the Vita game. This time around both PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 owners will have a chance to try out this new version, greatly expanding the potential user base of the game.

Rayman Legends (PS4, X1)
Release Date: 2/18

We remember a time when Rayman Legends was supposed to be a Wii U exclusive. For better or worse, the game was delayed by Ubisoft for porting to other platforms and released in the busy gaming month of September. Sales were less than spectacular, even with being released on so many platforms, so it's no wonder why Ubisoft is porting Rayman Legends to every platform it can. The latest systems that will receive this excellent platformer are the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Here's hoping that owners of these two new systems will give Rayman Legends a chance if they haven't already.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
Release Date: 2/21

We can't really blame Retro Studios for choosing to make a new Donkey Kong Country game as opposed to another Metroid game. After all, Donkey Kong Country Returns greatly outsold each Metroid title the studio had previously created. Regardless, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is another 2D platformer on the platformer-heavy Wii U. Offering four Kongs working together to retake DK Island, Tropical Freeze already looks like it's going to be a phenomenal platformer with stellar level design. Plus, how can you say no to a soundtrack from the great Dave Wise?

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (PS3, 360, PC)
Release Date: 2/25

Can you believe this is the 42nd entry in the Castlevania series? We can't believe it either because it's actually the 35th. Still impressive, though. MercurySteam works its wonders on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, a game that is much more open than its 2010 predecessor. The story follows Gabriel Belmont, aka Dracula, as he is warned that Satan is set to return. Thus, he must gain new power while watching out for the Belmont clan who want him dead. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is set to be the final Castlevania-related project MercurySteam is working on, so let's hope they end their time with the series on a high note. We'll find out when the game comes out near the end of February on the 25th.

Thief (PS4, X1, PS3, 360, PC)
Release Date: 2/25

If you've been missing the Thief series, well then we have good news for you. The reboot of the acclaimed stealth series is coming out February 25. We're noticing that this date is quite busy game release-wise! Anyway, the fourth installment of the series, simply titled Thief, has players assuming the role of Garret, a man who wishes to steal from the rich and will do so through any means necessary. Featuring smart AI, one that knows the lay of the land well enough to find Garret in well known hiding spots, Thief is going to a dream of a stealth game for fans of the genre.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (X1, 360)
Release Date: 2/25

The upcoming Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is a multiplayer-only title developed by PopCap Games. Up to 24 players can duke it out, taking on one another or playing cooperatively. Both plants as well as zombies can be controlled. While we're bummed that you always have to have another player to enjoy the game, Garden Warfare looks to be a fun time for all ages. The game releases February 25 on Xbox One and Xbox 360 with PC and PlayStation 3 versions releasing sometime later.

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (PS3)
Release Date: 2/25

Tales of Symphonia originally released on the GameCube as an exclusive for the system, at least in the West. In Japan, the game later released on the PlayStation 2. We welcome the chance to replay the game through Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, an HD collection of both the original Symphonia (though this collection uses the PS2 version) and the Wii exclusive, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. With additions like new costumes and the upgraded visuals, we're ready to sink our collective teeth back into the world of Tales of Symphonia.

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Release Date: 2/28

The final entry starring Professor Layton himself, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is the second iteration of the series on the Nintendo 3DS. The sixth installment features the same and welcomed formula of past games, a story told through chapters with progress coming from solving brain-bending puzzles. Hint coins, found by tapping around game backgrounds, allow players to get clues on the solution to puzzles, but even then, you better have your thinking cap on if the previous games' puzzles are anything to go by. Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is the final big release of the month of February, releasing 2/28.

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