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Friday, February 27, 2015

The games of March; Gear up for the Japanese game invasion

Another month, another pile of games to add to the pile of stuff we'll probably never get around to finishing. March 2015's release schedule is especially strong, especially for fans of Japanese games.

This month we kick things off with Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters, a mix of visual novel and JRPG, and then move on to another Atelier game (ohboyohboyohboyohboy - ed), and the latest game from the makers of Fire Emblem. Then there's the sequel to The Guided Fate Paradox, a dark Final Fantasy game, the spiritual successor to the Souls games, Bladestorm, a new Harvest Moon and Mario Party game and...

Yep, take a deep breath everyone. We're in for a big month. Be sure to let us know what's on your "to do" list in the comments below!

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters – PS3, Vita – Release Date 10/3/2015

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters is a strategy adventure visual novel with RPG mechanics, and even has a card battle mini game (say that ten times fast). You will join in a group of teenage ghost hunters who exorcise evil spirits. With comic and anime visuals and real world backgrounds this game looks as beautiful as it sounds like fun. In battle Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters behaves like a turn-based RPG battle, and as we saw with Tears to Tiara 2 a visual novel can mix well with JRPG elements, so we are greatly looking forward to this.

Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea – PS3 – Release Date 10/3/2015

The final game in the Atelier Dusk trilogy, Shallie brings a couple of new ideas to the gameplay, most notably a free camera where all previous games had made use of static viewpoints. But really we're all interested in the game because we want more of that classic ingredient hunting and mixing gameplay, and a story that will be no doubt bright and charming.

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. – 3DS – Release Date 13/3/2015

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a turn-based strategy game that takes place in a steampunk fantasy London. Henry Fleming is part of an elite unit called S.T.E.A.M., which stands for Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace. This organisation is founded by Abraham Lincoln to defend Earth from an alien invasion. The art style is influenced by comics from the silver age and the alien designs are influenced by the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. Fire Emblem Amiibo can be used to add that character to the game, but if they die in a battle you will lose them until the next battle where you must rescan your Amiibo.

Battlefield Hardline – PS3, PS4, 360, XB1, PC – Release Date 17/3/2015

Instead of focusing on war, the new Battlefield game will be about police. The single-player campaign will be about Nick Mendoza, who just became a detective and his partner detective Khai Minh Dao and their fight on the war on drugs. The single-player campaign will play out in episodic crime dramas where the choices a player makes can change the outcomes. Of course, it wouldn't be a Battlefield game without mutiplayer and there will be a bunch of new modes to play. One mode that has us excited is Heist, where the criminals must break into a vault and then bring the cash to an extraction point while the police try to stop them. Another is Blood Money where both factions must get money from a crate in the center of the map and move it back to their armored truck. The players can also steal money from their opponent's trucks, and the first team to $5 million wins. There's more than those two too, showing that this might just be the deepest Battlefield game yet.

Resident Evil Revelations 2 – PS3, PS4, 360, XB1, PC – Release Date 17/3/2015

Set between the events of Resident Evil 5 and 6. Claire Redfield now works for an anti-bioterrorism organization called Terra Save. Claire is attending a welcome party for Moira Burton when when unknown armed forces storm the party. Claire and Moira are knocked unconscious and when they awake, they find themselves in an abandoned detention facility. The two must work together to uncover who took them and why. Will the two make it out alive? Also playable is Barry Burton, who travels to the remote prison island in search of his missing daughter, who just happens to be Moira. While searching for his daughter, Barry meets Natalia Korda, a little girl with strange powers. Will Barry find Moira and make it off the island?

The Awakened Fate Ultimatum – PS3 – Release Date 17/3/2015

The Guided Fate Paradox was easily the best roguelike we have played in years, so when Nippon Ichi announced a sequel we were naturally very excited indeed. Now it's almost upon us. We can only hope that this game offers the same depth of narrative and intense, intelligent gameplay that the last achieved. We wouldn't bet against it.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – PS4, XB1 – Release Date 17/3/2015

Final Fantasy Type-0 was originally a PSP game that was only released in Japan, but now players worldwide can experience this dark, mature story in updated HD visuals. Players will take control of Class Zero, a group of fourteen students from a military academy. The fourteen students are swept into the conflict when their country is attacked by a neighboring Empire, which is a typically epic plot by for the Final Fantasy franchise. It's also the first game in the series to land a "Mature" rating.

Bladestorm: Nightmare – PS4, XB1 – Release Date 17/3/2015

A sequel that many of us thought would never happen, Bladestorm: Nightmare is a semi-sequel to a very obscure title that was released early in the last generation of consoles. In addition to being a "HD" remake of the historical action/ strategy hybrid title, Bladestorm: Nightmare also has a fantasy version where you'll be fighting goblins and dragons and things.

Read more: Why Bladestorm could be the biggest game of the year for Koei Tecmo.

Fossil Fighters Frontier – 3DS – Release Date 20/3/2015

The third game in the Fossil Fighters series. For those that have never played a Fossil Fighters game before, think of it like Pokemon, mixed with Spectrobes, but with dinosaurs. Players will have to find and excavate fossils and then turn them into real-life dinosaurs known as Vivosaurs. You'll be cleaning fossils using tools like hammers and drills on the 3DS's touch screen, and the better you clean and more undamaged the fossil, the more effective when it comes time to battle. For the first time in the series, players will also be able to drive vehicles around exotic locations to excavate fossils.

Mario Party 10 – Wii U – Release Date 20/3/2015

Mario Party 10 has some cool new features add that make it sound like it could be the best Mario Party in a long time. One player will be able to play as Bowser using the Wii U GamePad and wreak havoc on the other players. The other new feature is the Amiibo party mode where up to four Amiibo can be used on special game boards designed for that character with special rules. This game is also getting its very own Amiibo set featuring all-new Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, and Toad miniatures.

Bloodborne – PS4 – Release Date 24/3/2015

The spiritual sequel to the Souls games, Bloodborne is a dark, brooding, violent game set in a twisted Victorian-style nightmare. Promising to be more high energy and high-action than the Souls games, we're also promised that it will be as challenging and unforgiving as ever, testing each player's skills and fortitude.

Related reading: Hands on from Tokyo Game Show.

Story of Seasons – 3DS – Release Date 31/3/2015

Story of Seasons is the next Harvest Moon game, but under a new title. When the player's character is bored with life, they receive a flier saying there is a need for farmers in Oak Tree Town and so he or she decides to give farming a go. For the first time players will be selling their produce to other countries via a Trade Station and sometimes the player will have to travel to these other countries to make deliveries. The player can also set up a wildlife safari and place exotic animals in it for the other villagers can tour.

Toukiden: Kiwami – PS4, Vita – Release Date 31/3/2015

Toukiden is one of the better clones of Monster Hunter out there, so a PlayStation 4 semi-sequel of that game is well worth getting excited about. Giant demons will fill the screen, and players will be weaving, ducking and diving in every which direction in glorious HD. There will be some additions to this new release (so Vita owners might want to pick it up too), but it is worth keeping in mind that there is some content cross over.

Other releases

ScreamRide – 360, XB1 – Release Date 3/3/2015
Sniper Elite Zombie Army Trilogy – PS4, XB1, PC – 6/2/2015
DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition – PS4, XB1 – Release Date 10/3/2015
Assassin's Creed Rogue – PC – Release Date 10/3/2015
Sniper Elite III Ultimate Edition – PS3, PS4, 360, XB1 – Release Date 10/3/2015
Cabela's Africa Adventures – PS4, XB1 – Release Date 17/3/2015
Grand Theft Auto V – PC – Release Date 24/3/2015
LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin – 3DS – Release Date 24/3/2015
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – PS4, XB1 – Release Date 24/3/2015
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round – PC – Release Date 30/3/2015
MLB 15 The Show – PS3, PS4, Vita – Release Date 31/3/2015

- Jim S. 
The games of March; Gear up for the Japanese game invasion
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