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New Releases: Week of 4/10

/ Apr 10th, 2016 No Comments

Ratchet & Clank

It seems like yesterday we were yawning at terrible lame April’s Fool jokes by video game companies. Now look at us, we’re in the second week of April and itching for some more new releases. Luckily April is continuing to offer some choice new games to keep us away from the sun and flower blooming.

This week’s new releases include the masochism simulator Dark Souls III, the totally meta Ratchet & Clank, the branchy Stories: Path of Destinies, and the too hot for the US Bravely Second: End Layer.

Dark Souls III – PS4, Xbox One, PC – April 12

It is time to die again… This time the price of death comes with the prevention of the apocalypse. In Dark Souls III you are the Ashen One, an undead warrior, tasked with the world’s salvation from the coming ruin resulting from the ongoing conflict between Light and Dark. You’ll explore the Kingdom of Lothric as you try to track down the Lords of Cinder. The only way to prevent the cataclysmic event is with their destruction, and it is up to you to destroy them.

Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III.

Dark Souls III features the same grueling and punishing gameplay fans of the series have come to expect and love, but does have some cool new tweaks and improvements. The latest in the Souls series is designed with an eye toward being faster with players able to backstep and swing heavy weapons quicker. Enemies now will switch up combat patterns during battle adding more variety to combat. The game also has focus on making combat more fluid and dynamic. Weapons now have special abilities, which varies between weapons and give weapons a unique moveset for a limited time. These “Weapon Arts” also deal extra damage and consume magic points to use.

This is also the best looking game in the Dark Souls series with dynamic lighting, particle effects, and a focus on creating an apocalyptic atmosphere. The world is now interconnected allowing players to seamlessly explore a map designed to kill them.

Ratchet & Clank – PS4 – April 12

Ratchet & Clank is a game based on a film based on a game and serves a companion piece to the Ratchet & Clank film premiering on April 29. It also is the ultimate origin story for two of PlayStation’s greatest heroes. The game based on the film (and the original PS2 game) is a more action heavy oriented presentation of Ratchet and Clank’s battle against Chairman Drek. What makes the story unique in this new reimagined origin story is Captain Qwark narrates the entire scenario from a prison cell complete with megalomania driven commentary on the plucky lombax and robot’s journey.

It has been over a decade since Ratchet & Clank first appeared on the PlayStation 2 since then it spawned multiple sequels and spin-offs. Now it is time for the series to grace Sony’s latest console. Ratchet & Clank is a re-imagining of the very first PS2 adventure. It isn’t simply up-resing the original game, but borrows elements from both the first game and the upcoming movie to create a fresh experience for long-time and new fans alike.

Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet & Clank.

As a re-imagined version of the first game, Ratchet & Clank features modern controls, new planets, gameplay, boss fights, and an updated arsenal. Since guns are the main attraction for a Ratchet & Clank game, fans will find weapons that weren’t in the original game. The result is an arsenal mixed of new weapons like the Pixelizer and fan-favorites from the Ratchet & Clank Future series like the Groovitron or Mr. Zurkon. Even if you feel like you’ve gotten all you can from the series, this latest game has a few surprises in store for you.

Stories: The Path of Destinies – PS4, PC – April 12

Choices define us, and they shape our journey both in the short term, but also in the long term. Reynardo the Fox finds this fact out the hard way. While he finds himself clever, the truth is he isn’t nearly as clever as he suspects. It seems Reynardo has gotten sucked in the rebellion against the mad Emperor, and now he has some tough choices to make. Does he rescue his oldest friend? Wield a gem cursed by a dead god? Or resurrect a weapon lost at the beginning of time? These choices he makes may end poorly, but he has to make them if he wants to win his war. Oh and he is also in love with the Emperor’s adopted daughter, so that won’t end poorly.

Stories: Path of Destinies

Stories: Path of Destinies.

Reynardo is no slouch when it comes to combat. He is a Master of Sword Fu allowing him to use fast-paced sword play with a number of customizable moves. Players can add different dash and grab techniques to Reynardo’s Sword Fu or event powerful time abilities. Throughout the game, Reynardo will get some powerful sword upgrades. While combat is fast-paced, the decisions Reynardo must make throughout the game come even faster. Depending on the choices you make, the story will play out differently resulting in any number of stories, but each with a path to victory for those paying close attention.

Bravely Second: End Layer – 3DS – April 15

Set two and a half years after Bravely Default, Bravely Second: End Layer brings new faces and familiar favorites into a new adventure. Agnès Oblige has started leading both the Crystal Orthodoxy and the Duchy of Eternia into an age of peace. Sadly that is put to a halt when the evil Kaiser Oblivion abducts her. Not willing to let her kidnapping stand, Yew Geneolgia, Agnès’ bodyguard vows to rescue her from the Kaiser’s Skyhold. Along the way, Yew meets up with Magnolia Arch, a mysterious girl from the moon. He’ll also need to team up with other new characters and returning heroes like Edea Lee and Tiz Arrior to help rescue Agnès.

Fans of Bravely Default will feel right at home when digging into Bravely Second: End Layer. Bravely Second features plenty of new and returning jobs for a whopping 30 classes to choose from. Now players can mix and match skills with even more customization. Player can save different sets of jobs, commands, abilities, and equipment to better switch between set-ups in battle.

Bravely Second

Bravely Second: End Layer.

The unique brave/default combat system returns in all its glory with some cool tweaks. Now when players complete a battle in one turn they have the option to continue fighting enemies for bonus experience and job points. As long as they continue to defeat the next pair of enemies in one turn, players can continue facing more enemies for additional bonus points. The drawback is brave and default debt carries over each battle.

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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