Following holiday 2012, I think it’s safe to say that we all could use a little break from spending money, and luckily January is just the ticket. December provided some refuge, but with one HD collection release, two newly localized games that have been out in Japan and one digital download that’s been available on other platforms for some time, the list of January 2013 video game releases will be all about getting caught up on games already released.
Even the biggest release of the month is for those looking for a fresh take on a familiar experience, as Capcom looks at rebooting one of its iconic franchises. If you don’t find anything here, don’t worry, because you’ll probably find something to like in February or March. Check out the best January 2013 video game releases and see if there’s anything for you.
Retro City Rampage | Vblank Entertainment | January 2
What started as an 8-bit love letter to one of the developer’s favorite games, Grand Theft Auto III, quickly turned into a pop-culture-reference-filled homage to nostalgic gaming in general. Retro City Rampage has been available on Windows and PlayStation Network since October, but now Xbox 360 owners will finally have the opportunity to take in this parody experience in all its glory.
From Back to the Future to The Dark Knight, and from Super Mario Bros. to The Legend of Zelda, there are so many references to iconic moments in movies and games that players unfamiliar with the industries may find the humor a bit lost on them, but those who keep up with “nerd culture” and know the essential games and movies will find tons to appreciate with Retro City Rampage.
Anarchy Reigns | Platinum Games | January 8
As an over-the-top class-based online action beat em-up, Anarchy Reigns absolutely has a well-defined audience waiting for it on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game, which released in Japan last summer, will finally be receiving localization in the United States this month, and if its Japanese release is any indication, it has serious potential in the U.S. market.
The game serves as a sequel to the under appreciated 2010 Wii title, MadWorld, and will feature many of the same characters and game modes. Taking the experience online, players will find Tag Team, Battle Royale, Death Match, Capture the Flag and Survival modes waiting for them to explore. If Anarchy Reigns can find the community that it’s looking for in its U.S. release, it could prove to be a very addicting multiplayer experience when it releases this month.
DmC: Devil May Cry | Ninja Theory | January 15
The Devil May Cry series started out as a critical darling and a fan favorite when it released its first entry on the PlayStation 2 in 2001, but Devil May Cry 2 was viewed as a major disappointment, and while Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening and Devil May Cry 4 were enjoyed more by critics, many felt as though the series had lost its luster.
Now, with Ninja Theory, the studio behind Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and Heavenly Sword, at the helm, Capcom is rebooting the franchise and starting the story over in a parallel universe to that of the main Devil May Cry series. In this universe, Dante has the ability to utilize Angel Mode and Devil Mode, which grant him special demon-slaying powers. With a fresh developer and a fresh storyline, DmC: Devil May Cry could prove to be the new angle that the franchise needs to feel revolutionary once again.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch | Level 5 | January 22
As far as western localizations go, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch could be as anticipated as RPGs get. DS owners will be left in the cold, however, as the title, which was originally released in Japan in 2010 on DS, and in 2011 on PlayStation 3, will only be making its way to U.S. PlayStation 3s due to translation issues.
The game comes with a magic book that is required for the title’s unique gameplay. With the game’s exciting sensory exploration, as well as its innovative gameplay, Ni no Kuni is worth a look for those who are searching for something a bit different. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch might just be that nostalgic RPG experience you’ve been looking for, and if you’ve been tracking its localization progress, the wait is finally about to pay off.
Hitman Trilogy HD | IO Interactive | January 29
Hitman: Absolution garnered some fairly positive press for the series and reminded fans why Agent 47 is such a highly regarded killing machine, so why wouldn’t Square Enix and IO Interactive want to take advantage of this attention and re-release the classic Hitman Trilogy as an HD collection? Well that’s just what those companies are doing, as a collection of three of Agent 47’s most classic adventures is being released as a single bundle.
Hitman Trilogy HD will overlook the first game in the series, Hitman: Codename 47, in favor of the more recently released Hitman: Blood Money due to Codename 47 being a PC exclusive, and the fact that Blood Money is a fan favorite from the beginning of this generation/end of last generation. With that in mind, Hitman Trilogy HD will feature Hitman: Contracts, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, and Hitman: Blood Money; the three most lauded titles in the franchise. Hitman Trilogy HD will be the perfect entry point for anyone hoping to catch up with one of the deadliest series in the gaming industry.