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Aside from DmC's stellar reboot and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, it's fair to say January's new releases were mostlyforgettable. Thankfully, February's schedule looks ready to make up for 2013's weaker intro with the arrival of highly anticipated titles like Dead Space 3, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and Aliens: Colonial Marines. This month also sees an influx of Japanese imports like Fire Emblem: Awakening for the 3DS, Generation of Chaos: Pandora's Reflection, and Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires. Throw in some new content for Halo 4, and a shiny new Rayman title for the Wii U, and there should be more than enough motivation to spend those gift cards that have been burning a hole in your pockets.
Take a look at what's expected to arrive in shelves this February, and keep an eye on our ever-growing reviews listings for our opinions on 2013's new arrivals...
Snail Games US is about to introduce North American MMOers to one of China's most popular online games. Set during the tumultuous Ming Dynasty, this free-to-play MMORPG will see players choosing between eight different martial arts factions, developing their character's various skills and talents, and testing their proficiency in battle in PvE and PvP arenas. Age of Wulin employs a skill-based system wherein players will not be forced to choose a specific class, but instead craft their characters by the learning new abilities and talents. “Must-have” MMO features like crafting, dungeon raiding, housing, and mounts will also round out the experience. And there's the intriguing addition that characters will remain in the world as NPCs even when their human companions have logged off.
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
EU: April 2013
The time has come for North American Fire Emblem devotees to plunge into the 13th chapter of Intelligent Systems' tactical role-playing series. Originally released in Japan last April, this 3DS entry finds Ylisse's Prince Chrom and his rebellious team squaring off against the kingdom of Plegia and its dragon-loving populace. Toss in an undead infestation and a dose of royal family drama, and this handheld entry has the markings of a high stakes Fire Emblem epic. Awakening will ship with 43 playable characters, with more to be delivered via DLC side quests using the 3DS's SpotPass feature.
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
EU: February 8
Intergalactic engineer Isaac Clarke returns to slice up more Necromorphs and solve the mystery of the alien Markers. Set two months after Isaac's nightmarish visit to the Sprawl in Dead Space 2, this chapter transports the industrious Isaac and Sprawl survivor Ellie Langford to the ice planet of Tau Volantis. Upon arrival, Isaac and Ellie are separated in a crash landing, tossing Isaac into a new journey to save the girl and investigate the source of the Necromorph scourge.
Dead Space 3 will include drop-in/drop-out co-op, pairing Isaac with an EarthGov Sergeant named John Carver. It will also feature a fresh Weapons Bench upgrading system, new Necromorph enemies, and new cover and action mechanics. See why we're anxious to climb into Isaac's suit in Dead Space 3 – 9 reasons we're excited for more dismemberment.
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U (Feb 7)
EU: February 1
How much rage can your Xbox 360/PS3/Wii U withstand? You'll soon find out as Tecmo Koei ports this second video game adaptation of the Fist of the North Star manga series stateside. The beat 'em up will recreate pivotal scenes from the series, and each episode will star popular Fist of the North Stars faces including Falco, Shachi, Shew, and Juza. Over 20 characters total will be be playable, and the new Dream Mode is set to cast them in original storylines based the Fist of the North Star mythology. Future DLC will include new plot threads and stages, again inspired by the manga.
Platform: PS3 / PS Vita
EU: March 27
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time sees gaming's infamous raccoon slink out of his semi-retirement to recover his family's Thievius Raccoonus book after its pages are scattered across time. Sly will be joined by his regular crew--Bently, Murray, and Carmelita--who will each be playable at different moments throughout the adventure. The time-hopping platformer boasts larger worlds than previous titles, and will also grant Sly the ability to assume new skills by pilfering costumes like the Arabian pirate uniform that lets him manipulate time.
Purchasing Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time for the PS3 also nets buyers a free copy for the PS Vita version. When combined, Vita owners will be able to use the handheld as a pair of x-ray specs in the PS3 version, giving them a heads up on secret masks and hidden treasures.
Platform: Xbox 360
From the Zombie Studios team who brought you Blacklight: Retribution comes this cel-shaded multiplayer fragfest. Special Forces: Team X boasts over a hundred customizable map combinations through the use of its dynamic title map system. Throughout each level, players will split into teams and rip apart their opponents in a number of game types including deathmatch, capture the flag, and capture point. Beyond the deep arena customization options, Special Forces: Team X will bestow operatives the means to tweak their appearance, weaponry, and play style. The game is rated M for Mature, so if you're in the market for blood and carnage, Special Forces: Team X looks likely to have the stuff.