The games of January 2013

January 22

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Platform: PS3
January 25

Set your PS3 to “Aww, shucks” for the arrival of this extra cutesy RPG from the developers at Level-5 and the animation team at Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Ponyo). Ni no Kuni tells the colourful adventure of a young boy named Oliver who weaves between parallel worlds to become a master magician, save his mother, thwart the evil White Witch, and make a handful of adorable friends along the way. Complimenting Studio Ghibli's trademark animation will be a soundtrack composed by Ghibli film alumni Joe Hisaishi. See why some of our crew is already gushing about Ni no Kuni's western arrival in the TGS video demo (opens in new tab).

Painkiller: Hell & Damnation

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Eve, Daniel, and the armies of hell return in The Farm 51's remake of People Can Fly's 2004 shooter, Painkiller. As in the original, Painkiller Hell & Damnation follows Daniel's unscheduled trip through purgatory and his epic plight to kill Lucifer's generals, save humanity, and make it to heaven for a reunion with his dearly departed wife. This updated version includes refreshed visuals, the original Battle out of Hell expansion, new multiplayer modes, a new weapon called the SSG (Soul Sucking Gun), and a co-op option for the single player story. Painkiller: Hell & Damnation was originally released for PC this Halloween, but held back for consoles until January 2013.

The Sims 3 70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff

Platform: PC

The Sims are set to enjoy a little disco, big hair, and grunge in this upcoming add-on for The Sims 3. This will mark the eight 'stuff' pack for the hugely popular sim-life title. It will include new outfits, hairstyles, and home decor items inspired by what it calls “The Groovy 70s”, “The Awesome 80s”, and “The Grunge 90s”. Highlights include “far out” disco balls, “radical” arcade games, and “whatever man, I just don't care” flannel. We'll let you figure out when and where they belong.

January 23

ShootMania Storm

Platform: PC

ShootMania Storm is the latest member to join Nadeo's “ManiaPlanet” family of online games. Like its TrackMania brethren, it offers a deeply customizable multiplayer experience, this time in the form of an arena shooter. In it, players are split between the red team and blue team and tasked with annihilating their opposition with either a standard beam gun or any one of the special weapons scattered throughout the map. The game will also ship with the ability to create your own game types and maps using ShootMania's creation tools. In an interview with PC Gamer, Nadeo's International Project Manager described ShootMania's focus on pure, e-sports competition, saying, “You’ll come with a gun in your hand and you’ll start shooting. It’s got a fun spirit. You’re not pretending that you’re a sniper from the US army. You’re there to enjoy your game.”

Read our impressions of the latest build in our ShootMania Storm preview (opens in new tab)

January 29

Airline Tycoon: Aviator Edition

Platform: PC

Experience the excitement, intrigue, and panic-inducing stress of managing a virtual airport in this Airline Tycoon 2 compilation pack from Kalypso Media. The Aviator Edition combines the popular airport simulation sequel with its Up in the Air, Honey Airlines, and Falcon Lines add-ons. From building fleets to planning routes, to balancing books and developing an interactive 3D airport; Airline Tycoon: Aviator Edition offers deeply customizable sim that is sure to appeal to armchair bosses and micro-managers alike.

Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold

Platform: PC

Fester Mudd describes itself as a tribute to the golden era of adventure gaming, and from what we see of its trailer on Steam Greenlight profile (opens in new tab), it's definitely invoking a “Leisure Quest Monkey Mansion” vibe by way of its pixelated graphics and text based commands. It also has former Sierra-Online and Sega veteran Josh Mandel backing it up, which gives it some help from the creative mind behind many of the classic point-and-click games of yesteryear. Plotwise, Fester Mudd finds the titular character fighting for peace, honor, and cheesy one-liners in the wild west. It will be released in three parts, and you can vote for it now through Steam's Greenlight promotion.

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.