NGT is BACK in 2020 with our second installment of our new monthly version of NGT! March has arrived and the mega-train of game releases is finally here after a slow start to the year and a deluge of delayed games. Xbox is gaining some big releases such as Bleeding Edge, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, or Bless Unleashed. Sony fans can look forward to a sequel to the much beloved Nioh. Nintendo Switch fans are edge of their seats for Animal Crossing New Horizons. Check out the biggest games releasing this month with trailers and insights below!
"New Game Tuesday" showcases some major game releases on the first Tuesday of the month! Scroll down to see if any of the major releases appeal to you!
1. Bless Unleashed
Release Date: 3/12 (early for pre-order/founder editions)
Platforms: Xbox One
Developer: Round 8 Studio, NEOWIZ, R8S ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED, Neowiz
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Game Infinite was able to participate in early access to Bless Unleashed on Xbox One and while I enjoyed the experience to a degree I had to draw parallels to Black Desert's Xbox release. MMO's are always a genre of game I find off-putting because the nature of the massive online environments always make them feel and look like a generation ago in gaming. The combat, camera angles, graphics, are all always uglier than something you would get in say Assassin's Creed or the Witcher 3. Offline RPG's can make something like an MMO look bad in comparison. For me, the trade-off of being able to play with other people is imbalanced trade off when everything else is impacted. Black Desert felt bland and boring, and Bless Unleashed felt similar. Like many free to play MMO's, it looks and feels like you are playing an offline RPG from 2005. As someone easily spoiled by pretty graphics I didn't find anything about Bless Unleashed to be worth paying for or investing much time. I do give them some credit in that they have at least publicly announced that Bless Unleashed will be Free to Play and will have OPTIONAL premium editions, clearly labeled as Founder's Edition, the industry code term often used to refer to paid versions of an impending free to play full launch. I wrote an entire article how Black Desert had deceptive monetization and pre-orders that I considered bordering on a scam.
We know that Bless Unleashed will be a free game on Xbox which could lend itself much success as F2P on console is always very well received. Time will tell how well this MMO succeeds on Xbox.
2. Bleeding Edge
Release Date: 2/27
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Game Infinite was also able to participate in an early Bleeding Edge beta, and I have to say that despite it wanting to be the next Borderlands or Overwatch I am still skeptical at this point. While the characters are visually impressive I found the gameplay imbalanced to a point where it started to lose its fun factor. Having melee and ranged characters is a difficult thing to balance as it is (we learned that from Indiana Jones) but when it doesn't feel right, it make games not fun. Sometimes characters would be killed because of lengthy animations against faster more nimble characters, amplified by a lackluster aiming system. This is also a game where team-play is very important. No one character is powerful enough to move the needle on anything. This made the beta where no one knew what they were doing or how to work together all the more frustrating as everyone ran off and did their own thing. It was like month one of Overwatch. They need to buff the single character and downplay team work until people learn the game. While balancing is something often imperfect on online multiplayer games at launch, this felt too unbaked for being a month-is away. I didn't have time for a review of the beta but I did think it needed a few months in the oven before release. One saving grace is that this game will be a day one Game Pass title, so while it may launch imperfect it won't feel so bad without paying up front. If you are a fan of hero-based shooters or third person shooters than I still recommend trying it through Game Pass. Despite its balance issues and unpolished combat, I found the characters and the maps to be entertaining.
3. ori and the will of the wisps
Release Date: 3/11
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Developer: Moon Studios
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
One of my much anticipated indie*-ish games of the year is the sequel the artful and critically acclaimed Ori series, Ori and the Will of the Wisps. If you are unfamiliar with the franchise, don't let its indie-style deceive you, this is one of Microsoft's first and biggest new games of the year. This game has been long awaited and could be a major win for Xbox. Ori is coming to Xbox and PC on 3/11; however, if Microsoft's growing friendship with Nintendo and the fact that the first Ori also released on Switch, I suspect a Switch version to be inevitable.
4. animal crossing: new horizons
Release Date: 3/20
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Arguably one of Nintendo's biggest releases of the year is the much anticipated Animal Crossing New Horizons. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, while it may appear to be a kid focused game as is much of Nintendo's brand, that hasn't stopped this series for being a widely popular series among adults. I'll admit the only exposure I have had to Animal Crossing is playing (and destroying I might add) the Villager in Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
5. Nioh 2
Release Date: 3/13
Developer: Team Ninja
I never played the first Nioh; however, I know that many fans of the first game are incredibly excited for its sequel. The game is a soulsbourne style fantasy action adventure game set in a feudal Japan style setting and is coming this month on 3/13.
6. doom eternal
Release Date: 3/20* Later on some platforms
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia, Nintendo Switch
Developer: iD Software
After receiving a major delay having supposed to have been released during Holiday 2019, Doom Eternal is finally upon us. The sequel to 2016's DOOM has been much anticipated by fans. During its initial E3 reveal, I was very vocal about my concerns, or at the very least, my warning to any gaming entity to avoid the "Wii U curse". Choosing to go with out sequential naming in a sequel of anything can potentially have disastrous consequences. It didn't help that Bethesda revealed Doom Eternal meer minutes away from a DLC for Prey that also had an arbitrary subtitle. It is possible for wider more casual audiences to not be away of "Doom 2". Another worry I had for Doom Eternal is that wider more casual audiences may not know that Doom Eternal is being developed by iD Software and only published by Bethesda. One of many purposes of a publisher is to be a brand recognizable entity that a smaller developer can benefit from for marketing purposes. Many many more gamers know the name Bethesda than know the name iD Software. The problem is now that Bethesda has done so much to destroy their once great reputation. 10 years ago Bethesda's brand was loved, classics like Skyrim uplifted them to greatness. In 2020, Fallout 76, one of the biggest failures of the past decade, has caused Bethesda to become synonymous with disaster, greed, and poor quality. Frankly, having Bethesda stamped on to the cover of this game is doing iD Software no favors. Bethesda in 2020 makes EA look gamer friendly.
Some wins however is the fact that it is confirmed that Doom Eternal will be completely free of loot boxes and micro-transactions. The extra half year to bake in the over surely should also have treated us to a well-polished and complete game.
7. my hero one's justice 2
Release Date: 3/13
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Developer: BYKING Studios
Publisher: Bandai Namco
I never played the first My Hero's Justice; however, I have become a fan of the anime. My Hero Academia is a must watch for anyone in the anime/cosplay communities and has a huge following. It is filled with a wide cast of amazing characters. I may or may not have a Bakugo statue sitting on my desk right now! My only surprise is that considering how huge the franchise is, especially in the west it is unusual that the version is not available in English dub. Smaller anime based game I would understand, but MHA is hugely popular here, and the effort for an English dub would have been a smart decision.
8. Half-life Alyx
Release Date: 3/23
Platforms: PC (VR)
I don't know how to discuss Half-life Alyx without letting my sarcasm in a little. I usually try to keep an open mind, but I can't on this one. Gamers have been asking Valve to make Half-life 3 for so long that it has been turned into an internet joke. "Half-life 3 confirmed" is an internet meme, used to mock and describe the impossibility of it ever occurring. Half-life 3 has become the joke of the internet and Valve is content to not make games. I recently had a conversation with a peer, where I positioned that possibly controversial thought that greedy video game companies are somehow the lesser of two evils over apathetic video game companies. Many news outlets, gamer groups, Youtuber's are critical of the likes of Activision, EA, and Bethesda for the (admittedly) greedy and anti-consumer actions that they have made. However, I argue that while these companies have done stupid things, they have at least help publish games. They are at least churning out games we enjoy. I enjoy Call of Duty. I enjoy Apex Legends. I enjoyed Doom. I enjoyed Jedi Fallen Order.
What has Valve done? If EA and Activision is the archetypical slick salesman in a suit, then Valve I picture as this sloth like character content on a job they did 20 years ago. They are content with the money printing monopoly that is Steam, so much so that they seem to have any desire to make games any more.
When people ask for a sequel and you hand them a VR spin off instead, it just comes off to me a slap in the face. I am not the only who had a Diablo Immortal reaction to this game. "Don't you all have phones?" Well yes, but most people don't have VR. Instead of Portal 3, instead of a REAL Half-life 3, Valve again went the easy route with a VR game no asked for. I think they are so out of touch with gamers that they don't realize what they are doing or just don't care. They just don't even seem to care. Even when Epic games challenged Steam head on with the Epic Games store they didn't seem to care. I just want Valve to come off like they give a damn about the gaming industry.
If you are one of 2 people excited for Alyx then I am excited for you to have fun, but frankly I'm tired of Valve making a bland game once in a while just so they can still be called a game developer.
As always, stay tuned here on Game Infinite News for the latest gaming news! Check back next month for New Game Tuesday!