The gaming industry is still coming out of hibernation. I guess you could say we are up, but we haven’t had our morning coffee yet. We are a few months away from some of the more major game releases this year, but we are ready to churn out new games nonetheless. Thus, February brings us a ton of new and relatively interesting titles, many being experimental or indie games, backed up by a few re-releases. Let’s take a look.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics (Feb 4 – PC, Mac, Switch, PS4, Xbox One)
Up first we have Netflix’s first foray into video game development and publishing. Tying into The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance which released last year, Age of Resistance Tactics puts all the characters from this classic Jim Henson property together in a turn based tactical RPG. Perhaps most striking is its use of FMV cutscenes, but not with human actors, with puppetry. It certainly gets across the feel of this dark fantasy tale in an unexpected but welcome way.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War (Feb 4 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Look, when you buy a game named Zombie Army 4: Dead War you know exactly what you are getting, and what you are getting is guns and zombies. That being said, the main reason to check out this release is its format, basically a co-op survival shooter similar to Left 4 Dead. It’s also fairly clear that it’s not taking itself too seriously. I mean it had an X-Ray Kill Cam for zombie Pete’s sake. So if you want to get together with your friends and have some fun shooting up the undead, this is the place to be this February.
Granblue Fantasy Versus (Feb 6 (Japan) – PS4)
As of now, Granblue Fantasy Versus is only slated for release in Japan. That being said, fighting gamers have never been shy about importing their games. This game ties together MOBA mechanics with traditional 2D fighting, in a system animated beautifully by the great Arc System Works. You may not have heard of Granblue but it’s a mobile game with major international appeal. With any hope, we will get a full translation of this title sometime later in 2020.
Stoneshard (Feb 6 – PC)
It looks like Rogue-lites are coming back in the indie sphere, except each new one has some kind of twist. Stoneshard’s twist is that its turn based, and by that we mean EVERYTHING is turn based. Moving, attacking, exploring, it’s all turn based and carried out on a grid. This means that time doesn’t move if you don’t move. Take as much time as you need to plan your next move
ScourgeBringer (Feb 9 Early Access – PC, Xbox One)
What do you get when you cross Dead Cells and Celeste? You get this new rogue-lite coming into Early Access on February 9. Make no mistake, this is not a game about coming to terms with your anxiety and depression, unless you do so with the sharp edge of a blade. This IS a game about fast paced combat and precision platforming, though, and that combination along with its smooth pixel art style is enough to make us want to check this one out.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses Cindered Shadows (Feb 12 – Switch)
The much awaited story content for Fire Emblem: Three Houses is final going to release. It will take you into Abyss, the secret civilization in the catacombs underneath Garreg Mach. There you will meet the Ashen Wolves, a secret fourth house of students warring against a hidden dark power. You’ll control all the house leaders in this DLC, along with units from all houses. You’ll also unlock several new classes to play around with, and if you fully clear this content, you will be able to bring the Ashen Wolves into other routes.
LUNA The Shadow Dust (Feb 13 – PC)
It’s been a while since we had a traditional point and click puzzler, and that’s exactly what LUNA is. You’ll wander the world, solving puzzles, and exploring your surroundings, but the real draw here is the animation which looks sort of like a classic French cartoon. Together with its fantasy inspired soundtrack with heavy flutes and chimes, this game has a sort of childlike whimsy to it which stands in an interesting contrast to its sometimes dark tones. This is a game that just feels like “art” even if its gameplay is very minimalistic.
Necronator: Dead Wrong (Feb 13 Early Access– PC)
Yet another interesting combination of genres from the indiesphere, Necronator: Dead Wrong is a combination deck builder/lane defense game with a bit of a humorous plot line. Armies will continuously head toward your base, and you need to use your own, which are summoned by your hand of cards, to push them back. Will you fight with zombies, skeletons, or sexy anime succubi. The choice is yours, so long as the cards come up in your favor.
Best Friend Forever (Feb 14 – PC, Switch)
On the subject of interesting combinations, Best Friend Forever is a combination pet care and dating simulator. You’ll adopt a furry four legged friend, feed them, train them, and pick up their poop. You’ll then use them to impress other four legged friends who come with their own attached two legged friends. It’s a weird combo, but hey, we have seen dating simulators succeed in making you date pigeons so why the heck not.
Dreams (Feb 14 – PS4)
Dreams is perhaps the biggest release of February. It’s not just a game, it’s a game creation platform. Remember Little Big Planet? Well the designers behind it, Media Molecule, decided that being able to make your own platforming levels was not good enough. Now you can make… anything! Fighting games, racing games, RPGs, you name it. The only limiter is your Dreams.
Then again, the only limiter of this game is the creativity of those playing it. On one hand, crowdsourced games like this are always a way to keep fresh content coming into your game for years. On the other hand, asking the audience to make games for you, for free, is a fairly large ask. Then again, if making games in this platform is as easy as the developers’ claim it is, we might genuinely see some new projects from budding developers first crop up in Dreams.
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition (Feb 14 – PC, PS4)
After a long time, Street Fighter V’s support is finally coming to an end. That means you can get the whole package without paying for each individual piece of DLC. Yes, Champion Edition, will give you all the characters, all the costumes, everything that the rest of the fighting game community has been purchasing piecemeal, all at once. If you still haven’t gotten into the latest installment of the most classic fighting game franchise of all time, now is the time to do it.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster (Feb 19 – PC)
A hybrid walking simulator/puzzle/horror/mystery game, The Suicide of Rachel Foster puts you in the shoes of a young woman investigating a mysterious death in an old hotel, with only a voice at the other end of a cell phone to guide her. This indie game seems to take a lot of cues from The Shining, which is a property that hasn’t really been touched in the videogame world. We’d love to see if this interesting combination of genres and story elements works out.
Persona 5 Scramble (Feb 20 – Switch, PS4)
Persona 5 was such a big hit, it was bound to spiral out into spin-off games. Persona 5 Scramble is a Dynasty Warriors style action game featuring the characters and locales of Persona 5. However, it also has its fair share of platforming and RPG elements too. It’s probably going to be a bit button mashy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Besides, this is as close as Switch owners will get to being able to play Persona 5 on their console.
Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late (cl-r) (Feb 20 – Switch, PS4)
Under Night In-Birth has seen a surge of popularity in the fighting game community after being featured at last year’s EVO. This latest version will feature a new character, a complete balance rework, new music, and of course, more story. You can purchase it either as a standalone game, or as an update for Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late (st) if you already own it.
Conan Chop Chop (Feb 25 – PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One)
Conan Chop Chop started as an April Fool’s joke. I mean, who would want to play a stick figure styled rogue-like hack and slash in the Conan universe right? Haha. HAHA. HAHAHAHHAHA everyone that’s who. So now this is real, and you bet we are going to try it out. It’s astounding how many April Fool’s pranks become real games these days.
Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection (Feb 25 – PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One)
Capcom won’t stop until every Mega Man franchise has its own Legacy Collection. The games in this collection came out on the Gameboy Advance and DS and were all quite good. The collection of course has all the bells and whistles Legacy Collections usually have, including art galleries, music players, improved visuals and filters, and a brand new Casual mode and save-=assist for people who just want to enjoy the story.
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows (Feb 28 – PC, PS4, Xbox One)
One Punch Man is a shonen anime and just about every shonen anime gets a fighting game adaptation at some point. But how do you make a fighting game with a protagonist that can kill anyone in one attack? Well, the entire fighting system around A Hero Nobody Knows is built around the main character Saitama and his overpowered nature. If you put him on your team, you basically have to play with one less character and stall until he gets there at which point, he basically wins the game for you. Of course, you can also play as “dream Saitama” in order to use his move-list, powered down for normal combat.
Those are our picks for the games to look out for this February. What releases are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.