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Games to Get Excited About: March 2018

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The end of first quarter of 2018 is packed full of game releases, including two games specifically for PlayStation VR.  We have Final Fantasy XV finally coming to the PC, an HD re-release of the Devil May Cry series as well as continuations of series like Far Cry, Valkyria Chronicles, and Attack on Titan.  Honestly, though, this month there’s not one game I’m personally interested in, but I know there’s one that many people are looking forward to.

Far Cry 5 is the latest installment in a popular adventure shooter series coming near the end of the month.  Set in the fictional county of Hope, Montana, the game will follow a religious cult and the sheriff deputy (the player) sent to stop them.  The development of the game has taken longer than expected, releasing this year rather than back in 2017.  The player will be able to recruit allies from the local townspeople in the game as well as taming animals to assist with the mission.

Why People are Excited

Far Cry is a very popular series and this game has had a lot of talk around it already due to heightened political discourse.  Setting the game closer to home for a lot of people, instead of some exotic far-away land, has caused speculation about whether the game has some hidden meaning or not.  There was even a petition to change the game’s protagonists from American Christian fundamentalists to a group of Muslims.  Most gamers that I know took the petition as satire, which it very likely was, but it certainly stoked the flames of discussion.

For the important part, the game itself, it looks like Ubisoft plans to deliver a thought-provoking story with a couple of new game mechanics.  The writers want to explore the theme of separatism and what drives citizens to become so disenfranchised that they turn away from their own government.  What causes people who live in such a free and open society to turn against it so dramatically?  Dan Hay said the story looks at the consequences of belief and ideology taken to their extreme.  In the current climate of extremes from all sides, it’s a bold story to present, and hopefully one that they deliver well.

Right from the start, a new feature in this release is to introduce a character generator.  Rather than play a pre-defined character made by the developers, the player will be able to make their own.  They’re also bringing back an element from previous games which allows you to lean around corners again.  We’ll also see a wider selection of close-quarters weapons as the game focuses a little more on melee combat.  In this installment, the player will navigate the open world by way of outposts, working their way through the story by liberating them from cultists.  The writing and outpost element is meant to create a world where no two players should experience the game the same way, as each outpost can be found and overcome from different angles and at different times.

Other Notable Releases for March

Final Fantasy XV – The latest installment of Final Fantasy that released in November for other systems will be coming to PC on March 6th.

Devil May Cry HD Collection – An HD remake of this series will hit PC, PS4 and XBO on the 13th of March.

Kirby Star Allies – This side-down platformer is coming on March 16th to continue the Kirby series on the Nintendo Switch.

Attack on Titan 2 – The sequel to the game based on the popular manga and anime is coming to all major systems on the 20th.

Sea of Thieves – A new title from Rare to XBO and PC on the 20th as well. Cross platform play is promised in this cooperative naval combat game with a pirate theme.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 – The fourth installment of this strategy game is hitting the PS4 on March 21st and will introduce a new class and cast of characters.

Agony – A new title hitting PC, PS4, and XBO on the 30th will put players in hell as a tormented soul trying to survive and escape.

This Month in Gaming History

This Month in Gaming History

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Ah, March. Spring is hopefully on the way. I always loved March when I was a child because we used to get small gifts for St. Patrick’s Day from my grandfather. Well, he told us the gifts were from creatures from Irish folklore, but that is a story for a different post. It does  make me think of some games that probably would have been pretty cool gifts.

Without further ado, here are some games that were released in March:

Star Traders

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Let’s start off with a board game that was released in March of 1987 called Star Traders. It was for ages twelve and up. Two to four players recommended. This game sounds like it was really for science fiction fans. The board was decorated with 36 planets that you would have to use “jump lines” to get to. Players collected cargo and delivered on contracts to gain both money and prestige in the game. So you wanted to visit as many planets as possible to the actual payoff for contracts.

Nintendo 64

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Bonus content for this month’s article is that the Nintendo 64 was released in March back in 1997 for Europe and Australia, months after it had been released in Japan and the US! This console is featured heavily in the memories of my childhood. The project for N64 was finalized in 1995 but the release date was pushed back to 1996.

Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko

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In 1999, Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko was released for PlayStation. This was the third and final installment of the brand. In the game, Gex is watching television when he is contacted by Agent Xtra telling him that she has been kidnapped in order to get to him. He then gets help from his friends, uses different vehicles and costumes to defeat his nemesis.

Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening

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Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening was released by Capcon in 2005 for PlayStation. This game was actually a prequel, story-wise, to Devil May Cry and focuses largely on the relationship between Dante and his brother. The game was criticized for its difficulty level. It was also lauded for returning to the challenging game play of the first game in the series. It also added new fighting styles and there was a manga sold in Japan that had characters from the game.

Rift

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Rift was released in 2011. It was a free-to-play, multiplayer game. There were two competing factions, each having different races and classes in the game. I’ve seen a lot of complaints about this game, mostly just that it didn’t live up to the hype that players had been expecting.