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New Releases: Week of 1/4

/ Jan 3rd, 2016 No Comments


Good morning, Charlie Brown, it’s 2016! Another year has crowned and it is promising to be full of video games, which is good for everyone! The first week of 2016 is a light week, but will have some releases that might catch your fancy.

This week’s new releases are heavy on the PlayStation 2 revivals with the release of Amplitude, a reboot of the 2003 PS2 original, and Hardware: Rivals, a sequel to one of the first PS2 online games. Also, the long awaited release of Volume on PS Vita releases this week.

Amplitude – PS4, PS3 – January 5

The original Amplitude released on PlayStation 2 back in 2003, and was a sequel to Frequency. It was one of the first games Harmonix released before becoming the house of Rock Band and Dance Central. This latest Amplitude is a reboot of Harmonix’s cult-classic that came to life through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Like the original, players pilot a beatship going along a track with notes appearing representing musical instruments.



The game features a single-player campaign based around a sci-fi concept album with its narrative coming through visuals, music, and lyrics. It also features co-op and competitive local multiplayer and leaderboards. Amplitude will come with 30 songs from artists such as Freezepop, Jim Guthrie, Darren Korb, other artists, and Harmonix in-house producers. Unlike the original PS2 title, there is a bigger emphasis on original music.

Hardware: Rivals – PS4 – January 5

Another PS2 revival is Hardware: Rivals, a sequel to 2002’s Hardware: Online Arena for the PlayStation 2. Hardware: Rivals retains the vehicular arena found in the original PS2 game, but improved thanks to new technology. The game pits players against each other choosing from a number of heavy tank and fast attack vehicles. Upon launch the game will have a number of maps, game modes, challenges, and special events for players to hunt each other down in.

Hardware: Rivals

Hardware: Rivals.

Following the game’s October Beta, the developers added a new map: Outpost 92, and two new vehicles: the Sledgehammer and Nomad. These two new vehicles round the vehicle selection out to four with the Predator and Wraith. While there are only four vehicles, players can customize any of the four vehicles with a number of vanity options. More content will come including new maps, vehicles and game modes following its launch. PlayStation Plus users will be able to download Hardware: Rivals for free upon its January 5 release.

Volume – PS Vita – January 5

Volume is finally getting its PS Vita release after coming to PC and PS4 back last August. The Vita version took a bit longer to come out, but one benefit of a lengthy wait is it allowed the game to use all the feedback the game has received since August. Players will be treated to the main game and tons of user-generated levels when they take Volume on the go. For anyone who purchased Volume on PS4 will be able to download the PS Vita version for free on January 5 thanks to cross-buy. Naturally, anyone purchasing it for the first time will also get both PS4 and PS Vita version upon purchase.



From Volume’s original New Release blurb on August 18:

“Robert Locksley’s life is changed when discovers a mysterious device called “Volume”. It gives him the ability to perform heists employing stealth methods. By sneaking and avoiding detection, Locksley is able to pull off some elaborate jobs. His popularity and notoriety increases as he does more successful jobs. Success also gives him access to more gadgets to complete more intricate heists and re-distribute wealth.

Volume features a hundred levels to dig into requiring stealth action and use of Locksley’s impressive arsenal of gadgets. The game includes a robust set of content creation tools allowing players to create their own levels including spins on the core game levels. Volume’s campaign can be played using pre-made or user-generated levels and features the voice talent of Danny Wallace, Charlie McDonnell, and Andy Serkis.”

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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