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This is a good year for gaming

This is an excellent year for video games. Some of you are planning to replay your favourite 2023 releases, while you wait for the likes of ‘Hollow Knight: Silksong,’ ‘Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree,’ and ‘Black Myth: Wukong’ to come out in a few months.

However, there have been plenty of noteworthy releases. ‘Bulletstorm’ is a bombastic first-person shooter from 2011 that rewarded players for performing creative kills. It was also a commercial failure, which is why fans might be surprised to learn that ‘Bulletstorm VR’ came to PC and PS5 on January 18.

Speaking of old games, ‘The Last of Us Part II’ got a remaster on January 19. The story is set five years after the first game. Ellie and Joel are trying to pursue a normal existence in a world ravaged by the undead when a tragedy rocks their peaceful community, sending Ellie on a blood-soaked quest for revenge.

The PS4 version is already one of the best-looking games in existence. The PS5 upgrade adds a new survival mode, playable characters, lost levels, and new costumes. Players who own the original game can buy the remaster for $10. Everyone else must part with $50.

While ‘Mortal Kombat 1’ dominated the gaming landscape in 2023, 2024 belongs to Tekken 8. The Bandai Namco game will pit Kazuya Mishima and Jin Kazama against each other one final time. Tekken 8 debuted on January 26 with frenetic action, vivid environments, detailed models, and a single-player mode designed to ease newcomers into the intense gameplay.

‘Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown’ (released January 18) is not the Prince of Persia of your youth. When rumours of a new installment in the franchise first surfaced, fans expected a sequel to ‘Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands’ from 2010.

‘The Lost Crown’ has a familiar aesthetic. Players will appreciate the time-based abilities, puzzles, and dizzying sword-based fights. However, unlike its predecessors, ‘The Lost Crown,’ which you can play on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC, is a side-scrolling platformer.

The protagonist is Sargon, a new character on a mission to save a kidnapped prince. Any trepidation gamers had about the side-scrolling aspect went out the window when they saw the trailer, which looks incredible.

The ‘Yakuza’ games remind me of ‘One Piece’ (the anime). They seem too wacky and outrageous to attract interest among mainstream audiences. And yet, they keep skyrocketing in popularity each year.

Unlike ‘Like A Dragon: Ishin’ and ‘Like A Dragon: Gaiden,’ ‘Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth’ is not a random spinoff. The game is a direct sequel to ‘Yakuza: Like A Dragon’ from 2020. Ichiban Kasuga returns to Hawaii and joins forces with Kazuma Kiryu, the series lead, to fight organized crime.

Naturally, ‘Infinite Wealth’ is replete with all the eccentric side missions the Yakuza franchise is known for, including an Animal-Crossing-inspired mode. ‘Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth’ debuted on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on January 26.

If games are your thing, you have heard of ‘Palworld.’ Or, at the very least, you have seen that one image from the trailer in which a Pikachu-look alike pulls out a Gatling gun and opens fire.

The comparisons to Pokemon are inescapable. Players are expected to capture, breed, train, and send mysterious creatures called Pals into battle against each other. The trailer paints the picture of a charming, light-hearted gaming experience. ‘Palworld’ came to Xbox and PC on January 19.

If none of these titles scratch your itch, ‘BlazBlue: Entropy’ debuted on January 31. Some of you played the early access version on August 31, 2023.

And then there’s the ‘Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy,’ which came to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and the Nintendo Switch on January 25. The comedic legal visual novels use gorgeous HD graphics to chronicle Apollo Justice’s journey as a lawyer in the Dark Age of the Law.

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