After the year-opening void, games are starting to release again. Titles such as Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection and Bravely Default 2 have come out to greet gamers as they draw closer to spring 2021. March is a big time of the year for gaming, with the PS5 and Xbox Series X releases of Marvel’s Avengers on March 18 and the March 30 release of Evil Genius 2: World Domination coming up. However, between those two lies March 26, a big one in terms of releases.
March 26 is the release date of four noteworthy games, only one of them being a re-release. The games in question are Balan Wonderworld, It Takes Two, Monster Hunter Rise, and the PS5 and Xbox Series X release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. All four games are huge releases for their respective publishers and will hopefully kick off the start of 2021’s big releases strongly. They’re all notable for different reasons, so it pays to understand each one, especially if someone plans on buying more than one and wants to know which is more for them.
It’s been a while since the gaming industry heard anything from Sonic the Hedgehog co-creators Yuji Naka and Naoto Oshima. Naka’s last game was Rodea the Sky Soldier in 2015, a title that intrigued some and left others wanting. However, just last summer, a new project headed by the duo was announced under Square Enix’s banner. Developed by Balan Company and Arzest, Balan Wonderworld is a whimsical 3D platformer reminiscent of Oshima’s old creation NiGHTS. Players take control of a pair of child protagonists, Leo and Emma, and use different magical costumes to solve platforming puzzles and restore balance and happiness.
A Way Out and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons developer Josef Fares' new game is It Takes Two. Fares has stated that It Takes Two features "uniquely varied gameplay," as well as the studio's signature emotional storytelling, to create something both gripping and exciting to play. His language when discussing the game is often energetic and enigmatic, such as his claim that It Takes Two is a "crazy rollercoaster ride" where the rollercoaster comes off the rails and explodes at the end, sending players flying even further.
The game itself is definitely making an effort to match those claims, as it has defied typical genre conventions in its showings beyond simply “co-op." Players take control of two dolls magically brought to life. These two are either magical mirrors of or the actual transformed bodies of the strained, arguing couple Cody and May. In their quest to learn how to work together, and perhaps even reignite their love, the two engage with a wide variety of gameplay mechanics. The game might not be coming to Switch, but with everything from third-person shooting, to platforming, to chances to roleplay each doll’s emotional state awaits players, and everyone is excited to find out more.
Coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch, Rise is the latest in Capcom’s wildly successful Monster Hunter franchise. Hot off the heels of Monster Hunter World, which in a few short months became Capcom’s best-selling game ever, Rise has some big shoes to fill. Fortunately, Capcom made the smart decision to build off of what already worked in World. Monster Hunter Rise adds full vertical movement via wallrunning and grappling to its multiple wide-open maps. It also adds a new support buddy, the Palamute, plenty of new monsters, a new monster-riding system that lets players control monsters, and an engine switch that makes this all possible.
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