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New Releases: Week of 1-22-17

/ Jan 22nd, 2017 No Comments

Yakuza 0 review

January keeps rolling on with another week of solid new releases. If you’re an Xbox One owner, you’ll be a bit left out, but PlayStation 4 owners are in for a big treat. This week sees some new entries in some popular Japanese series coming out.

This week’s new releases include Yakuza 0, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Tales of Berseria, and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue.

Yakuza 0 – PS4 – January 24

Yakuza 0 serves as prequel to the Yakuza series. It tells the origins stories of series main protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and series antagonist Goro Majima. Each man’s story sees them trying to escape an impossible situation: Kiryu trying to prove his innocence after being framed for murder and Majima trying to escape a benevolent prison.

Both stories takes place in the late 1980s during Japan’s economic boom. Kiryu’s story takes places in Kamurocho dealing heavily with soaring real estate prices. Majima’s story takes place in Sotenbori where the night life prospers and the cabaret club is king.

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0.

While a prequel, Yakuza 0 enjoys all the advancements the series has made over the years with engaging combat and a multitude of side quests, activities, and mini games. To help deepen the various combat styles Majima and Kiryu can utilize is an intuitive yet complex upgrade system. The narrative is compelling to be sure, but each characters’ main side activity has its own involved narrative to enjoy.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard – PS4, Xbox One, PC – January 24

It has been three years since Ethan Winters’ wife, Mia disappeared. Until one day he received a mysterious email claiming to be from her. The email simply read, “Come get me” along with a Louisiana address. Desperate to find his wife, Ethan ends up traveling to a decrepit mansion in the bayou. Almost immediately upon investigating the mansion, he is knocked out cold and now must deal with the gruesome Baker family.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

Resident Evil 7 marks a fresh start for the series that defined survival horror on the PlayStation decades ago. Like Resident Evil 4 it shakes up the gameplay by both getting back to the series roots and innovating. The latest game shifts the gameplay to the first-person perspective to further immerse players in the experience. While weapons will be available, the game won’t be a “gun fest” like the last two entries.

That’s because Ethan Winters is just a civilian, a normal dude without any particular combat expertise. This new type of protagonist will help add tension to the gameplay and reassert the resource management and puzzle solving the series was known for early on.

The PlayStation 4 version will be entirely playable in PlayStation VR from start to finish, but won’t differ from the standard version.

Tales of Berseria – PS4, PC – January 24

Prior to the events of Tales of Berseria, Velvet was imprisoned on an island following a terrible incident that happened in her home village. Velvet was transformed into a Daemon during the event replacing the once gentle soul. After three years of imprisonment, Velvet escapes from her jail to seek vengeance against her brother-in-law. To help her in her quest, Velvet joins a crew of pirates to sail across the vast kingdom of Midgand.

Tales of Berseria

Tales of Berseria.

Berseria marks a first for the Tales of series with its first solo female heroine. It shares a world with Tales of Zesteria, but takes place in its past. The game features a new battle system evolved from the Linear Motion Battle System allowing players to map artes to control pad buttons for better chained combo attacks. Tales of Berseria features a cast of six playable characters, each with unique skills that can be further enhanced by performing Soul Breach combo attacks with other party members.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – PS4 – January 24

While Kingdom Hearts III is still a ways away according to Testuya Nomura, Kingdom Hearts receives its final compilation to tide fans over. The Final Chapter Prologue includes Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD, Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A fragmentary passage –, and Kingdom Hearts χ [chi] Back Cover.

Not only is Dream Drop Distances getting an HD remaster, it is basically a full remake. Since the game originally released on the 3DS, many features needed to be re-worked for a traditional control scheme. Minigames were reworked into a card-based system, touchscreen commands were given a more traditional control scheme, and enemies were made less aggressive easing the difficulty.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

Unlike prior HD collections, Final Chapter Prologue includes plenty of new content for fans. Kingdom Hearts χ [chi] Back Cover is an hour-long cinematic experience that tells the story of the Foretellers and delves into the series’ history.

Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A fragmentary passage – is a new, short playable episode that takes place after Birth by Sleep starring Aqua. The episode ties into Kingdom Hearts III and uses the same engine of Kingdom Hears III. Aqua’s “double flight” ability returns to give the game a unique combat experience.


Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
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