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With 2015 on the books, it’s time to start looking ahead at the exciting video games that will be kicking off a new year. The month of January is traditionally a quiet period for gaming, but with big name franchises like Resident Evil, Mario & Luigi, Life is Strange, Final Fantasy, and LEGO all getting new releases, there’s something for everybody coming out soon. Let’s take a look at these games in more detail!

[Note: The below release dates are subject to change at the sole discretion of the game publisher at any time]

Resident Evil Origins Collection

Release Date: Jan 19, 2016

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One

ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

Survival horror fans rejoice. The game that spawned two decades of bone-chilling terror, Resident Evil, is back in a special 2-in-1 disc compilation. Featuring HD remasters of Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0, the Resident Evil Origins Collection will take you back in time to relive the terrifying events preceding, and during the infamous mansion incident. Both games have received the full remastering treatment, featuring new high-resolution textures, 16:9 widescreen support (or play using the original 4:3 screen ratio), modernized controls (classic controls also available), and support for 5.1ch audio output. Resident Evil 0 will also include an all-new “Wesker Mode,” accessible after you beat the game, which will let you play again using Wesker in his powerful Resident Evil 5 incarnation. I had a chance to play RE0 at Tokyo Game Show this past September and thought the updated graphics and widescreen presentation looked spectacular, amplifying the tension considerably. Really can’t wait to play more!

 

Life is Strange Limited Edition

Release Date: Jan 19, 2016

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One

ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

The critically-acclaimed downloadable episodic graphic adventure Life is Strange is coming to Best Buy this month with a special Limited Edition version containing all five episodes on disc. This Limited Edition version features a 32-page artbook that includes unreleased concept art, the entire Life is Strange soundtrack, plus the original score by Jonathan Morali and director’s commentary. It follows the story of Max Caulfield, a photography senior who discovers her ability to travel through time and uses this new found talent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of her fellow classmate Rachel Amber. If you haven’t played Life is Strange, or have been waiting to play, this is the definitive version—with no waiting to play between episodes.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

Release Date: January 22, 2016

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Two of Nintendo’s great roleplaying game series, Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario are being mashed together in a unique new crossover video game for Nintendo 3DS. In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, the paper-thin denizens of Paper Mario are suddenly scattered all over the Mushroom Kingdom, creating lots of hilarity and mischief. You’ll get to see paper versions of your favourite Super Mario characters meet and interact with their regular-sized counterparts, so image two Bowsers out to capture two princesses with two Marios to the rescue. In the overworld you’ll need to solve many puzzles using special character abilities (such as Paper Mario using his thin size to squeeze through walls), and combine your powers in battle to perform stunning Trio Attacks. For a change of pace, you can also challenge giant bosses in rhythm-based micro-games on an equally giant Papercraft.

LEGO Marvel Avengers

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS

ESRB Rating: Rating Pending

TT Games is back with their second Marvel universe adaptation, this time shifting the focus from the wider Marvel Universe to the adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. LEGO Marvel Avengers is the first video game featuring characters and storylines from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including Marvel’s The Avengers, and the blockbuster sequel, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. You’ll have a chance to play as powerful Avengers, such as the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, and explore a full-size recreation of New York City. You’ll also travel to many other recognizable locations from Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Asgard, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Base Exterior, and Washington, D.C. I can’t wait to relive key moments from the Avengers films, all with a splash of LEGO humour!

Final Fantasy Explorers

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS

ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)

Final Fantasy Explorers for Nintendo 3DS is as an all-new 4-player co-operative adventure featuring over 20 jobs to explore and master. Play as classic character classes from the Final Fantasy franchise, including Knight, Dragoon, Monk, or Black Mage, or train for a highly specialized class like Time Mage, Dark Knight, and more. You can partner up with up to three other players either locally or over the internet via Nintendo 3DS wireless communication. Not only can you do battle with 12 of the most powerful eidolons in the Final Fantasy universe, such as Ifrit and Bahamut, but you’ll also be able transform into legendary characters like Cloud, Squall, and Lightning via the Trance feature. As a special bonus for the North American release of the game, you’ll gain access to the Blue Mage and Samurai jobs, both of which were previously only available as DLC in Japan!

Are there any games releasing this month you’re thinking of getting? Let me know in the comments section below!


Paul Hunter

By Paul Hunter, Editor Gaming


I work out of Toronto, Ontario as the Editor of Gaming here on the Plug-in Blog and as Editor-in-Chief of NextGen Player.  I am thankful for having a loving and patient wife who doesn’t mind my 40 hour a week obsession with gaming. You can follow me on Twitter @NextGenPlayer and on my exclusive Vine gaming channel. Come join the conversation!