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Preview of March PS4 releases

Welcome to the monthly preview of some great releases coming up in March on the PS4! I’ve chosen several games that are getting released throughout the month and I, for one, am looking forward to playing all of them.

I’ll start with a throwback to the nineties, it is ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove.

Developer: HumaNature Studios

Publisher: HumaNature Studios

Release date: 01/03/19

PlayStation page: https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP1828-CUSA13963_00-TJANDEPREORDEREU

The original ToeJam and Earl was first released back in 1991 on the Sega Genesis and I remember it for its quirky style and bright colours. It was a action/dungeon crawl type game based on two alien rappers who crash-landed on Earth and they have to collect pieces of their wrecked spacecraft in order to escape the planet. Back in the Groove pretty much follows suit in that aspect of gameplay.

The original Sega Genesis version back in 1991

The game will also play from the same fixed viewpoint as the original did and will feature the same basic gameplay of searching and exploring a succession of floating levels. Despite the 1993 sequel, ToeJam and Earl in panic on Funkatron being vastly different, this game does borrow some minor elements from it which include the ‘Jam Out’ rhythm based mini-game.

Back in the Groove plays exactly like the 1991 original

It seems that despite there being two releases since the 1991 version, this is the sequel that the fans have been waiting for. From the shots and trailers I’ve seen, it seems to draw direct inspiration from the original and does stay in touch with its unique style, funky art and fresh beats!

ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove looks a lot more vibrant but is still sticking to its roots

I am looking forward to playing this weird and wonderful series again.

Dead or Alive 6

Developer: Team Ninja

Publisher: Koei Tecmo

Release date: 01/03/19

PlayStation page: https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP4108-CUSA12116_00-BDLSTDPRE0000000

The Dead or Alive series which started in 1996 gets its sixth release and is a direct sequel to number five.

Dead or Alive is a fighting game that, I believe, has consistently got better and six certainly continues the trend from the looks of it. With the addition of brand new stages and characters, there is also new features which include slow-motion moments and visible damage on the fighters during the course of the fight.

Ouch! That’s gotta hurt!

The sweat effects from Dead or Alive 5 are also back but are more pronounced and this game marks the first time for the series to have a costume customisation mode.

The new costume customisation mode which helps you choose your fighting outfit as well as acquiring new costumes

Another new feature is interesting as it is a change to their usual formula and it is the break gauge. This gauge will build up with each attack, eventually leading to devastating moves known as either a break blow or a break hold, both of which possess special attributes you’ll need to use strategically to emerge victorious.

Another interesting feature is that you can be thrust into the crowd now, changing the established ‘ring-out’ feature. When this happens an enemy will be staggered, causing them to lose balance and become vulnerable to attacks for a few valuable seconds. 

Hurry, strike now whilst he’s unbalanced!

I cannot wait to get my hands on this latest release from the established series.

Left Alive

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix

Release date: 05/03/19

PlayStation page: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/left-alive-ps4/

The thing that gets me excited about this survival action shooter is the team behind the game that certainly bodes well for the title. The team comprises of various well known developers beginning with Toshifumi Nabeshima, the man behind the Armored Core series who is serving as Left Alive’s director. Joining him is Yoji Shinkawa who has been art director of the majority of the Metal Gear Solid series and last but not least is Shinji Hashimoto who has been heavily involved in the Final Fantasy series and the Kingdom Hearts franchise to name a couple. He serves as Left Alive’s producer and with this heavyweight development team behind Left Alive, I honestly can’t wait for this to drop.

Left Alive is set in war-torn Novo Slava in 2127

The game tells a story of human survival through three protagonists as they pick their way through war-torn Novo Slava, now under full enemy occupation. There is a massive gulf between man and machine and it is truly experienced as you try to fight off powerful and towering mechs.

The intimidating and massive mechs

However, it is not all running in gung-ho and shooting lots of bullets at anything that moves, it is more stealth and wit that is needed to truly out-fox the enemy. A truly nice Metal Gear Solid touch.

Be very careful and learn the patterns of the opposing troops before making your move

With ammo not always in abundant supply, you must create and craft weapons from the materials you collect. From a simple Molotov cocktail to tripwire bombs to a radar grenade which pings enemies locations once it has gone off, it is a stealthy and patient drive to victory and liberation.

Another game I look forward to in eager anticipation.

Devil May Cry 5

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Release date: 08/03/19

PlayStation page: https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP0102-CUSA08161_00-DMC5BUNDLE000005

Devil May Cry is back and boy, is it back with a bang! This is the first true sequel in which has been over ten years since we last seen Dante and Nero but they are finally back for a high octane demonic-slashing adventure along with their new mysterious friend, V.

Red Grave City is the once peaceful location that is now home to a demon tree that is wreaking havoc in taking over the city. The three heroes will not stand for it.

Nero with his new Devil Breaker robotic arm

The style and the over the top action hasn’t changed much thanks to Hideaki Itsuno and his team back behind the helm. To be honest, from the looks of it, it has got even better, it looks glorious. It runs on the RE engine, the same powering framework for Resident Evil 7 and the Resident Evil 2 remake so Devil May Cry has never looked so good. It still has the ranking system as you battle through horde after horde of demons collecting your combos and there is such a sense of achievement when you get a great rank!

Dante is back and is bad-ass as ever

Devil May Cry has always been known for its array of crazy weapons and it doesn’t disappoint here. Dante has his iconic sword, Rebellion as well as his trusty handguns, Ebony and Ivory but the interesting weapon is his motorcycle named Cavaliere which doubles up as a weapon too. It is seriously bad-ass! Add Nero’s changeable Devil Breaker arm to the mix and it really does up the bad-ass and crazy!

Wow, that is a big demon!

The successful series has really been upped with this latest addition. It looks beautiful and is sure to be a great, hack and slash adventure. I genuinely cannot wait.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Developer: Massive Entertainment

Publisher: Ubisoft

Release date: 12/03/19

PlayStation page: https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/games/tom-clancys-the-division-2-ps4/

This is the follow up to the highly acclaimed first Division released back in 2016 and from the looks of it, they have done a fantastic job and really upped the ante.

The Division looks glorious as you wander the dangerous environment

You are an agent of The Division and it is up to you and your team to fight the pandemic that ravaged Manhattan seven months before and now threatens to crumple the Capital. As you explore the open world, you will delve through beautiful but flooded urban areas to historic landmarks. You must be patient and careful though because danger lurks everywhere.

A very recognisable landmark that is deathly quiet and deserted

Nowhere is safe as you try to liberate and protect what’s left of society from the numerous enemy factions that are vying for control and resources. They are desperate and there is plenty of conflict between them, The Division and the remaining civilians.

A shootout with some of the villainous marauders

Talking if civilians, as you traverse around Washington D.C. you do have the opportunity to help them by keeping them safe or escaping and it is a good idea to provide aid because they will help you in return by providing supplies or assisting in any way they can. You are going to need all the help you can get.

If The Division is anywhere near as good as its predecessor and with its glorious and realistic environment added in then it is going to be a sure fire winner.

The Sinking City

Developer: Frogwares

Publisher: Bigben Interactive

Release date: 21/03/19

PlayStation page: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/the-sinking-city-ps4/

Now, I must say that this game intrigues me. It really intrigues me. The whole eeriness, supernatural and dark element to it has me hooked already. Inspired by legendary horror author H.P. Lovecraft, The Sinking City is set in 1920’s New England and the player is an investigator trying to uncover the mysterious truth behind the problematic flooding and why it makes the citizens succumb to madness.

You will travel on foot or by boat as you try to unravel the mystery of the supernatural forces

You will gather your clues and make your own conclusions about what is happening. Each case can be solved in a variety of ways and it can be different outcomes depending on your actions. You can use stealth, brute force or perhaps persuasion but whatever happens, you have to live by your decisions.

What on earth is that?

As you delve deeper and deeper, you will uncover more strange truths, strange creatures and a strange hostile city that wants you to either be dead or to give in to the madness. You must keep your wits and fight your way to solve the mysteries. This is another title I cannot wait to get into.

That’s it for this month, thank you for reading. The month of March is sure to be a stellar month for gaming and I look forward to speaking to you soon about the upcoming April releases.

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