January 2019 games
Welcome to our feature for January 2019 games! We’ve put together the most notable titles for your Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and even 3DS choices! If you’re looking for a new game to play, you will certainly find what you’re looking for here.
Our list includes Platformer, JRPG, and survival horror titles, to include the highly-anticipated releases of Kingdom Hearts III and Resident Evil 2! Check out our list and let us know if your pick made the feature!
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Wii U, 2012)
Originally serving as a Wii U launch title, New Super Mario Bros. U was the fourth and last 2D Mario platformer released in the NSMB sub-series. While the game took many visual and audio cues from its predecessors, NSMBU set a new standard with its challenging level design.
What NSMBU Deluxe brings to the table includes a new character – Toadette. She transforms into Peachette using the Super Crown. As Peachette, she gains the ability to double jump and survive pitfalls!
All the content from the original Wii U release returns. This also includes New Super Luigi U, the expansion of the game, with a rebalanced difficulty level thanks to the use of Toadette and Nabbit. If you missed NSMBU on Wii U, get ready for one of the most challenging releases in the series!
You can read a full list of changes from the Wii U version here.
New Super Mario Bros. U is by far the best of its subseries. While some players felt disillusioned over the derivative, all-too-similar content of New Super Mario Bros. 2 for 3DS, NSMBU was a step in the right direction.
Its creative and challenging level designs will satisfy younger players and include some of the series’ best challenges for veteran Mario players. Fans looking for an even greater challenge will enjoy New Super Luigi U. Its emphasis on speedrunning stages adds a new layer of difficulty to the game.
Moreover, the game is an upgrade just for coming to the Nintendo Switch. In addition to all of the previously featured changes, not having to play with the Gamepad is a major plus compared to the original.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey (DS, 2009)
Originally released as the third Mario & Luigi RPG title, Bowser’s Inside Story allowed players to play as Bowser in addition to the Mario Bros. In this game, playing as Bowser meant going solo. He fights larger enemies and showing them all who’s boss while doing it.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story now remasters the game with the visual style originally featured in Dream Team. In addition, the game features the “Bowser Jr’s Journey” substory, the sequel to “Bowser’s Minions” from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for 3DS.
Bowser’s Inside Story was arguably the best game in the series. It struck the chords between fine writing, pacing, and difficulty. Some of the other titles in the series are notorious for less-than-desirable elements, such as poor pacing, fetch quests, forced tutorials, bosses with too much HP, or other bothersome gimmicks.
Also, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story was arguably one of the best JRPGs released for the Nintendo DS. Aside from Pokemon, one could compare it to the releases of Chrono Trigger, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Radiant Historia, and The World Ends With You.
In addition, the Bowser Jr. mode serves as a successor to Bowser’s Minions. Despite seeming like a boring side-mode upon a first impression, I honestly found it to be fairly fun and moderately strategic. What made the mode stand out was the writing and how it tied in so well to the main storyline. Learning about the life of Bowser’s Minions also added a nice touch.
The story of the Goomba in Bowser’s Minions tied into several major plot moments in the main game of Superstar Saga. If Bowser Jr’s Journey is anything like this, then it will likely fill in the gaps of the storyline of Bowser’s Inside Story as well.
You can read a full list of changes from the original DS title here.
Onimusha: Warlords (PS2, 2001)
The heavily-requested remaster of Onimusha finally comes to consoles next month. Developed by Capcom, this series was known for its hack-and-slash action in a setting similar to feudal Japan. Some of the series’ notable highlights -outside of the series – also includes Kaijin no Soki as a playable character in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom for the Wii.
As someone who’s never played the game, I can’t say much about it except that it looks badass. I love action games and I love tales of feudal Japan, one example being Nioh. I’m looking forward to trying out Onimusha for the first time.
Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition (Xbox 360, 2007)
Arguably the best Tales game in the series, Vesperia introduced the protagonist Yuri Lowell. In an era where goody two-shoes protagonists didn’t cross boundaries, Yuri wasn’t afraid to do just that. Voiced by Troy Baker, his carefree and crass personality resonated well within the Tales community and, thus, Yuri became one of the most popular characters in the series.
What makes this release special is the content originally featured in the Japanese PS3 version. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition will feature all of the lost parts that never came to the west, to include party members Patty and Flynn.
Tales of Vesperia will release on all systems next month. However, only the PS4 version runs in 60 FPS across the board. All other systems, and Switch when docked, will run in 1080p at 60 FPS for battles, with 30 FPS in fields. In addition, the Nintendo Switch version will run in 720p undocked.
Tales of Vesperia is one of the greatest games I’ve ever played. I enjoyed the story from start to finish and learning the tragic origins of characters, like Raven. Motoi Sakuraba’s classic Tales score shine as bright as ever in this title, playing some incredibly decisive battle themes, like “Fury Sparks,” and even some beautiful map themes, like “Thousand-Year Slumber of the Blastia.”
The game paced itself well and didn’t force too much backtracking, a fault that plagued the recent Tales of Berseria. Its creative dungeon design engaged players to solve puzzles using the Sorcerer’s Ring. Also, it was the first localized Tales game to feature voiced skits.
Among the badass vigilante Yuri, the sweet healer Estelle, the foul-mouthed, hot tempered Rita, and more, Tales of Vesperia features one of the brightest casts in the Tales series. Given its level of character depth and personality, this will be a great game for any JRPG fan. The strong, fast-paced battle system, bosses, writing, music, and 3D real-time battling all mesh together perfectly.
Also, note that this is Vesperia’s first release in the U.S. outside of the Xbox 360. As someone who bought an Xbox 360 specifically for Vesperia, I’m more than happy to see PlayStation and Nintendo fans try one of the best JRPGs ever released.
While I was a huge fan of Tales of Symphonia and Tales of the Abyss, Vesperia is where I truly felt the magic come together. It was worth more than the sum of its parts and Bandai Namco managed to make a game that likely exceeded even their own expectations.
Resident Evil 2 (Playstation, 1998)
Resident Evil defined survival horror in the mid-90s. Its sequel, Resident Evil 2 capitalized on it with its well-defined character models, sense of exploration, and fine-tuned controls. While the original Resident Evil was a humble beginning of sorts – starting with its not-so-good voice acting – Resident Evil 2 defined the series and felt like a quality improvement.
While many fans loved Resident Evil 4 as a fantastic game, they didn’t view it as a survival horror title. Before Resident Evil 3 and REmake (the Resident Evil 1 remake), Resident Evil 2 was the definition of survival horror.
Giant crocodiles were but one enemy that struck true fear in the player. Let’s not forget to address the hideous giant spiders that lurk in the sewers.
Resident Evil 2 (REmake 2) culminates everything featured above, meshes it with the Resident Evil 7 “horror engine,” gives it the Resident Evil 4 camera perspective, and sets you loose in the gates of hell itself – Raccoon City.
Resident Evil 2’s remake looks nothing short of beautiful. I have complete faith in Capcom to make this game the masterpiece it deserves to be.
I played and beat Resident Evil 2 for the first time only 2 years ago. Despite its age, I was surprised at how well the game held up. The controls felt smooth, the character models were detailed, and I enjoyed the challenge.
It never felt too frustrating, too cheap, or too poorly aged. The exploration, music, horror element, and storyline all came together nicely.
For fans who enjoy survival horror and loved Resident Evil 2 on PS1, I believe this game will be the one to look out for. For newer fans to the series, do not miss this game.
Kingdom Hearts III
The heralded return of one of gaming’s most beloved series, Kingdom Hearts III finally drops in January. This surreal release of a game many people thought might never happen, it boasts beautiful visual effects, a ton of requested Disney worlds.
In addition, it also features the conclusion to a long saga against the Heartless, the Nobodies, Organization XIII, and Master Xehanort himself.
Kingdom Hearts III features its beautiful blend of combat with some incredible new design choices. One trailer features Sora running up a mountain face, while another features him piloting a mech.
Enter the Toy Story world and Sora and friends become toys in the world. Each world showcases something special and every fan of Kingdom Hearts has their eyes on this game.
I love Kingdom Hearts. I started playing back in 2004. In fact, I’ve beaten every spin-off except for Re:Coded and even beat HD Remix (KH1). Despite this, I contend that the first two games truly were the best.
However, Kingdom Hearts III looks beautiful. One thing I noted was the Pirates of the Caribbean World. The art style meshes well compared to Port Royal in Kingdom Hearts II.
I’ve always been a fan of the aesthetics of Sora, Donald, and Goofy’s wear when they enter certain Disney realms. I can’t wait to play through the Monsters Inc world!
Two remasters, two remakes, and a new Kingdom Hearts title. January is stacked with defining games, including those which many fans missed out on the first time around. Whether it was due to poor hardware or a limited release, many players will get to enjoy these classics for the very first time.
While I cannot speak for Onimusha, as I have not yet played it, I cannot recommend the rest games enough. NSMBU was a definitive Mario platformer with a serious bite to it. Bowser’s Inside Story made me love Bowser as a character. Tales of Vesperia defined the Tales series and introduced one of the best protagonists in JRPGs. And Resident Evil 2 was one of the original PlayStation’s very best games.
Fans of these games will appreciate the changes, the quality-of-life improvements, and the visual upgrades they get. They’re the perfect excuse to play through them again. Also, Resident Evil 2 itself will be built from the ground up, defining its own legacy and worth the playthrough of any fan of the series.
Finally, everyone has their eyes on Kingdom Hearts III. How will the story conclude? How will it stacked up to the original titles on PS2? We’re all waiting to finally play Kingdom Hearts III ourselves.
Be on the lookout for these titles in January. Given everything listed above, you won’t be disappointed. There’s something for everyone. Just don’t go broke trying to afford them all at once!
Thanks for reading our feature on January 2019 games! What are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments below!
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