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The games of February 2013

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February 19

Crysis 3

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
EU: February 22

Cool down your consoles and max our your rigs--Crytek is back with the third installment of its “so pretty it hurts our hard drives” first person shooter franchise. Crysis 3 is set 24 years after events of Crysis 2 and finds Laurence “Prophet” Barnes returning to a war-torn New York City to infiltrate its city-wide Liberty Dome and topple CELL's plans for world domination. On top of fighting CELL corporate operatives, Prophet will run up against the remaining Ceph alien forces. The campaign takes place within the Liberty Dome, which is divided into seven unique districts. Luckily, the Prophet is well equipped for the job thanks to his standard nanosuit and an arsenal of human and alien weapons. The action will also carry over online in Hunter Mode, wherein players will either assume the role of hunters or CELL troopers in a “survival of the fittest” test of skill. Watch us brave the wilds of New York City in .

Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection

Platform: PSP
EU: February 20

Sting Entertainment's tactical RPG series has been going strong since 2005, and now the sixth installment is mounting up to storm western shores. Initially released last June in Japan, Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection tells the story of Claude and his sickly sister Yuri and their journey to save the dark world known as Hades. Battles consist of active-time action, wherein players oversee a small band of characters and direct their movements using on-screen cues and timed button attacks. Gamers will also have the power to summon monsters to help even the odds. Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection was also developed by Idea Factory, so fans of Spectra Force and Amnesia may also want to take note of this translated release.

Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi

Platform: PSP

Idea Factory's 19th century hack-and-slash series returns to the PSP in this continuation of the Hakuoki story. Set in Kyoto, Japan, the game will take warriors through two different storylines; One based on the events in the 2012 manga Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom; and the other being an original story called Shinsengumi which takes place in an alternate reality. Series regulars like Salto and Hijakata will be among the playable characters, and each will possess their own special attacks and the ability to enter a rampaging “Fury Mode” once they've taken an adequate beating.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360
EU: February 22

The Metal Gear franchise returns to the spotlight with this action-oriented spin-off starring Raiden, the cyborg ninja of Metal Gear Solid 2 fame (or infamy, depending on who you ask). Picking up four years after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot, Revengeance finds Raiden enlisting with Maverick Security to up take arms (and heads, and legs, and torsos) against Desperado Enterprises, a private military company bent on overthrowing the government of Abkhazia, Russia. Emphasizing up-close combat over stealth, players will have the ability to slice up the environment and enemies using Raiden's high-frequency blade. The handy “Blade Mode” can also be activated to slow time and dismember opponents with precision. Players' performances will be graded after every mission, and points will be allotted to purchase cyber suit upgrades, weapon enhancements, and other abilities.

Metal Gear purists can rest assured that Revengeance will retain some stealth elements; however, those itching for a genuine Solid Snake experience may have to save their camo for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. See why we're hopeful for Raiden's Metal Gear appearance in 13 awesome things we saw and did in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

February 25

Halo 4: Majestic Map Pack

Platform: Xbox 360

Halo 4 Spartans are getting even more online goodies this month. The Majestic Map Pack is the second map pack DLC release for the popular shooter. Little is known of the update, except that an earlier Halo bulletin named the three maps as Monolith, Skyline, and Landfall. In describing the latter, 343 Industries wrote: “Landfall’s emphasis is on infantry battles against a glittering ocean on a distant world, while Monolith exposes you to the naked vacuum of space--and the firepower of opposing teams, and Skyline’s distinctly industrial feel provides new challenges in somewhat familiar, but occasionally confined spaces.” Get the jump on your competition with our Halo 4 multiplayer guide.

February 26

Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires

Platform: PS3
EU: February 22

Loved Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends, but wish there was more political intrigue and strategic warfare? Tecmo Koei has the cure for your specific blues in this Empires adaptation of Dynasty Warriors 7, releasing exclusively for the PS3. Developed by Omega Force, Empires melds the essential series' format with a focus on defining each player's “lifestyle”. Depending on their actions in battle, players will be labelled as either Brave, Resourceful, Benevolent, Affluent, Orderly, or Villainous according to the new “Fame” mechanic. Each designation brings different benefits and drawbacks to the overall game.

Empires will introduce a new character, Xu Shu, and include 66 playable Dynasty Warriors. How players choose to lead these warriors and (hopefully) bring peace to the Three Kingdoms will be open to their own playing styles.

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25 comments

  • TheDudeFromNowhere - February 4, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    Ahhh, so many games, so little time and money. FE:Awakening, DS3, Sly 4, MGR. I need to Plat Ni No Kuni before I can get a new game. Time to download that MGR demo and see what all the hate/love? is about.
  • 7-D - February 1, 2013 10:32 p.m.

    MGR day one.... and damn the Wii-U is going to finally make me envious with Rayman coming out. Origins still gets rinsed every now and then even though it's platted.
  • Fuzunga - February 1, 2013 7:39 p.m.

    This month and next month are a total overload of games. I'll be getting Metal Gear Rising and Rayman, myself.
  • Corsair89 - February 1, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    Fire Emblem, Sly 4, and MGR for me. Maybe Aliens and Etrian Odyssey if they're good.
  • shawksta - February 1, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    Some great games this month. Metal Gear Rising, Fire Emblem, Sly 4(ALREADY!? DAMN) Dead Space 3. Other than those, Im definitely getting Brain Age Concentration training. Brain age was a rather bizarre yet brilliant either way game, Iwata's Head was basically teaching you but also in a scheduled manner that ups your brain in a good way. I Lol'd at the reference in Kid Icarus Uprising. Anyhoo, the advertising trailer for this game shows exactly the problem almost everybody experiences and as i have a procrastination problem, im gonna need it.
  • Tjwoods18 - February 1, 2013 3 p.m.

    Alien Colonial Marines better be worth it, god knows we have been dragged on for that title long enough.
  • winner2 - February 1, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    Sly and colonial marines for me.
  • MetroidPrimeRib - February 1, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    Shaping up to be a good month with FE: Awakening, Colonial Marines, Etrian Oddysey IV. Maybe Fist of the North Star Musou won't be so average this time around, still hoping Dead Space 3 won't be shit but I think it can't be saved. Crysis 3 looks like the most generic game ever made.
  • BladedFalcon - February 1, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    I would have expected you to mention MGR: revengeance as well. Or are you having one of your sudden knee jerk backlash reactions again?
  • Tjwoods18 - February 1, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    I played the demo and I just couldn't feel the Metal Gear love like in the past titles. Maybe it is just the absence of stealth, or something greater, but I overall prefer "Tactical Espionage Action" over "Lightning Bolt Action" any day.
  • BladedFalcon - February 1, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    It's not meant to mimic the feel of the metal gear gameplay. That's why it's called a spin-off. It's fine if you prefer stealth genre over action though, that's Dependant on each person's taste. For those of us who love us a good action game though, this one so far seems to be delivering on all fronts, at least for me.
  • slimjim441 - February 1, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    I really want to love MGR:R, but after playing the demo, I'm not sure I can. The story seems Metal Gear enough, I've accepted it's not a totally Kojima Metal Gear game, but the demo played like total shit. Blade Mode was cool, although a bit tricky to get the hang of it, but everything else seemed like it was pulled straight from the programming of some shitty PS2 hack n' slash. I hope they were still tweaking some of the controls between now and when the demo came out with the ZoE collection, otherwise, I can't do it. I guess we'll find out in a couple weeks.
  • BladedFalcon - February 1, 2013 6:01 p.m.

    I respect your opinion, though I obviously disagree. At least when i played, everything responded as it should, the combat was fast and precise, and yes, there is a learning curve here because unlike other action games, there's no guard or dodge button, but instead, parrying, which you perform by pressing the attack button and the direction the attack is coming from. it sounds difficult but at least in the demo, the timing was pretty forgiving, and i really took a licking to outright negating attacks with precision instead of just rolling out of the way. So, to be honest, i feel more like you either simply didn't quite understood how to play it, or action games like DmC and bayoneta just isn't the kind of game you like, which I am inferring might be the case considering how you refered to them as hack n' slash, which is kind of an unwarranted derogatory term.
  • slimjim441 - February 2, 2013 1:20 a.m.

    I'll admit, a sizable portion of my wariness belongs to my general distaste for hack n' slash. I hate God of War (more than just because it's hack n' slash), Bayonetta was a complete snores-ville, Devil May Cry just pisses me off, but at the same time I LOVE Lords of Shadow and the newest Splatterhouse. My love for those games isn't because of their technological prowess and perfect gameplay over the aforementioned series and titles as much as it is simply because I grew up on Splatterhouse and Castlevania, so they just clicked. Similarly, I also grew up with Metal Gear; I mean, MGS4 is easily in my top 5 games ever, but MGR:R... I still don't know. It didn't klick like it should have. And honestly, as the term 'hack n' slash' does sound rather derogatory, I thought it was the only term used to describe that type of gameplay. Seems harsh, I know, but I never thought it really deserved a better term. It is what it is.
  • BladedFalcon - February 2, 2013 7:07 a.m.

    Aaaahhh, that explains a lot. This pretty much shows to me that the problem then, is that you simply don't like or get the genre, which is totally acceptable. But it also shows that if you don't like it, it isn't that the game is shitty so much as it simply isn't your cup of tea. And, the reason i feel that the only two games you have liked so far, LoS and Splatterhouse, is not only because of nostalgia for the franchise, but because both of those games are among the least complex and demanding in the genre. (And I say this as a huge LoS fan, I love the game, but while the combat works well, it doesn't even come close to touching the complexity and nuance of bayonetta and the DMC series.) And there lies the rub; I think the reason you didn't like the MGR:R demo, is mainly because that games falls into the more complex camp. The blade mode, sliding attacks, the parry system and the combo system which judges how well you're able to cause the most carnage without getting hit yourself are all tools that require practice and attention to master them, and if you don't have that patience for the genre, you probably won't find it here. So again, it's fine if you don't like MGR, or other action games in general, not everything can be for everyone. That being said, calling those games shitty when clearly it's you that doesn't like the genre in general, can make you come across as ignorant a bit. And I honestly don't mean that as an insult, because, I am also always in danger of jamming my foot on my mouth when it comes to genres I don't like, such as racing games, sports or MMOs. To me, all of those games are "shitty" but not because they are bad, but because their genre doesn't appeal to me at all. If I actually call them shitty to others though, it's more showing my intolerance and lack of knowledge for the genre.
  • slimjim441 - February 2, 2013 10:38 p.m.

    So it all boils down to poor choice of words on my part, again. It's true; I'm just not big on the whole hack n' slash genre. I'm still bummed that I wasn't immediately captivated by MGR:R though. I have no reason to like DmC or Bayonetta. There's no nostalgia like with Splatterhouse and Castlevania. I don't think it's the higher difficulty curve that turned me off during the demo. I do admit it was notably more challenging to get the hang of than Los or Splatterhouse (although I have gotten the platinum on both), but after a while, I got used to how the combat and mechanics worked, and the whole thing still seemed 'off.' Still, I REALLY want to like the game, but there'll be no way to tell until I play the finished product in its fullest. At this point, I probably won't be picking up my pre-order on day 1, and I've already downgraded from the collector's edition. On a separate note, BladedFalcon, I've realized we don't always see eye to eye on things, you and I. In fact, we're almost always disagreeing on something, but I enjoy these chats. Probably because you're one of the only people I've had an online discussion with without it constantly resulting in caps lock and exchanging witty insults like calling each other 'faggots.' I doff my hat to you, sir.
  • BladedFalcon - February 2, 2013 11:35 p.m.

    Heh, honestly, i noticed we actually tend to like very similar series and genres, but tend to disagree on a few silly details, like, proper distinction of genres, and my failure to identify ME3 cosplay correctly XD And likewise, I like that even when we disagree, you don't immediately go for the personal attack or irrational fallacies. If it hasn't been evident already, i actually enjoy arguing and discussing stuff with people, as long as they are intelligent and somewhat civil about it XD And well, I just provided my point of view on why you might not have liked the demo based on the info and experiences you have with the genre. And if the difficulty curve isn't what's bothering you, not sure if I can relate then, because I played that demo 5 times, and each time I enjoyed it more and more. Maybe it's a matter of getting more used to what the game offers? I mean, the demo gives you a very superficial taste on things that I want to think will become more prominent on the full game, such as encouraging you to slice certain sections or body parts from enemies to acquire energy or items, (Something I really like, because it basically deters you from just mindlessly slashing an enemy at random.) or using the loose stealth system less as true stealth and more as a tactical way of choosing where and how to start your battles. As for the combat system itself, maybe the lack of enemy variety shown in the demo could have been a problem? I mean, you only fought what I am sure is the main cannon fodder, and a couple of gekkos, the enemies shown in the trailer promise to have way more variety to them. but if the main combat system bothered you in general... then i don't know what to tell you, I personally loved it, I thought it was fast, responsive, and original by way of having a entirely different, cool way to negate attacks. That all could be just me though XD
  • slimjim441 - February 3, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    I don't know what it was myself, to be honest. Like I said, it just didn't click like I felt it was going to. I'm just not sure what to think about it yet.
  • Tjwoods18 - February 1, 2013 6:07 p.m.

    I don't think you understand my point though. Kojima has spoiled the world with "Tactical Stealth Espionage" for so long, that anything deviating from that aspect will fail in comparison. MGR:R may to those hack n slash enthusiast, but it will not prove worthy to Metal gears core audience.
  • BladedFalcon - February 1, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    *shrugs* It all depends on how open you are to different experiences. From the get go, you know what kind of game this was gonna be, take it or leave it. With the exception of Peace Walkers, I've played pretty much all of the MGS games that matter, and I consider myself a big fan of the series. But I also love action games and this game is trying something genuinely new, so I have no problem with giving it a chance whatsoever.

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