Consoles, PCs, handhelds, Facebook, smartphones -- the world of gaming is becoming increasingly confusing and fragmented, but don't worry, we're here to simplify things for you. Each week I'll rattle off five games I think you might want to check out this week. Keep in mind, these articles aren't meant to be comprehensive lists of everything coming out that week so much as a nice rounded tasting menu. So, let's get to it...
This Week's Monster Killing Game
Toukiden: The Age of Demons (PS Vita, Feb. 11th)
Toukiden: The Age of Demons is the latest Monster Hunter-esque "kill beasties and craft cool equipment" game out of Japan. This one sets itself apart somewhat by replacing the dino-beasts of Monster Hunter with creatures from Japanese mythology. All in all, the game looks fairly ambitious and polished for a handheld game, and might be worth a look if you're getting impatient waiting for a western Monster Hunter 4 release.
This Week's Remake
Far Cry Classic (Xbox 360 & PS3, Feb. 11th)
Far Cry Classic, a new HD remake of the classic tropical shooter that kicked off the Far Cry franchise arrives on XBLA and Playstation Network tomorrow. Now, on the same day Far Cry Compilation is hitting retail, but that collection will not include Far Cry Classic. If you want to play the original Far Cry, you need to download it separately, unless you live in Europe where Far Cry Compilation is called Far Cry: The Wild Expedition and contains all the Far Cry games, including the original. Whew, follow all that? So yeah, as usual Ubisoft is undermining their own games with weird business decisions, but I'm sure Far Cry Classic will still be fun.
This Week's Indie Game
NaissanceE (PC, Feb. 13th)
NaissanceE is an action-adventure in which you explore a large, ominous, "ancient structure". While not an outright horror game, the stylized black-and-white dream world of NaissanceE is certainly ominous as hell, and there seems to be some interesting light and shadow gameplay mechanics going on. Here's its Steam page.
This Week's DLC
The Last of Us: Left Behind (PS3, Feb. 14th)
The first (and last) major chunk of The Last of Us story DLC arrives this week. Left Behind is a prequel to the main game, and features a story about Ellie and her friend Riley going on a fun trip to the mall where nothing horrible, depressing or heartbreaking will happen, we're sure! All the same, maybe keep some Kleenex close by while playing.
Pick of the Week
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360 & PS3, Feb. 11th)
Well, it took three tries, but by all accounts Square-Enix has finally made a good Final Fantasy XIII game! Lightning Returns has received praise for it's fun, dynamic battle system and more open world, and on top of that, you get to dress Lightning up in some of the most ridiculous Final Fantasy costumes ever designed (which is saying something). Between Lightning Returns and last week's Bravely Default, it seems like Square-Enix may finally be getting their feet back on solid ground.
A new, good Final Fantasy and The Last of Us DLC? Not bad for February. Any games you're itching to get your hands on that I failed to mention? Hit the comments and let the world know.