Phew. Month one of 2020 is almost over, and despite news of delays for some major 2020 releases, there are several interesting games on offer this week. Convenient, because it's about time for me to pick something new to play. Whee! Whether you need a traditional JRPG to tide you over until the Trials of Mana remake or you're looking for a cafe to chill in until Cyberpunk, we have you covered. Let's get right to it:
On January 28th, PC users will be able to play all five chapters of Kentucky Route Zero, and console users will be able to join in the fun with the TV Edition. This game looks to have a unique premise — it's a magical realism-inspired travel story about caverns below Kentucky. Annapurna is handling the console publication, so this is one to look toward for those out there who appreciate games like Sayonara Wild Hearts and Outer Wilds. (I know I do!) Also check our reviews for information on the existing chapters.
Pillars of Eternity is a Kickstarter paragon series and regarded as a truly good recent CRPG, which is not the easiest thing to come by. This week, the second installment is finally getting some representation on consoles, with an Ultimate Edition that includes all the DLC packs! We have some comprehensive coverage here, in case you're curious about the base game...or the Beast of Winter DLC...or the following Seeker, Slayer Survivor and Forgotten Sanctum DLC packs. Here it all is in one convenient location!
What could be better than sipping java in a fantastical night cafe? Well, maybe being a barista for said fantastical patrons and make latte art, perhaps. Or doing so in a game with a title that calls a certain old SNL sketch series to mind? There are a few titles in the works that involve the barista life, but we've had our eyes on this one for a while. After a long wait, it's finally slated to release on Wednesday. How sweet it is!
In an interesting twist on the conventional "hero saves world" plot, Skellboy stars an ancient hero who has been unfortunately resurrected by an evil wizard. The art style is vibrant and adorable...even if you're thinking about how our protagonist can replace/swap body parts to make himself stronger. Still, even in this state, there's quite the impressive world to explore, and you can start the adventure Thursday, January 30th on Switch. A PC release is soon to follow, so keep an eye on the Steam page too.
Calling all Idea Factory/Compile Hearts fans: The North America release date for Arc of Alchemist hits this Thursday for PS4 and Switch! This is an all too relatable tale about an earnest young person wishing to restore their desolate and barren land to the lush place it once was. With alchemy. It aims for a pretty grand story and boasts some similarly grand seamless environments, so check it out. We previewed it at E3 last year and may have described it as "Mad Max with alchemist anime girls," so there's also that.
This game looks like historical Phoenix Wright with birds, Hatoful Boyfriend meets Victorian sensibilities meets courtroom drama. The Switch seems like it would be an ideal platform for a game like this, and on the 30th, we get just that as a Definitive Edition. And any game that utilizes caricaturist J.J. Grandville and romantic composer Camille Saint Saëns is fine by me. Plus, you can follow along and decide which characters qualify as birbs according to this Audubon guide.
Want some card games in your visual novel? Ash of Gods: Redemption is here to help! Reportedly, the story is driven by moral choices and the idea of "less evil." There may be choices between instant gratification to help your current playthrough and delayed gratification that will make things easier in later roguelike episodes. If you like games based on books, this might be an excellent choice for exploring those complex gray areas. This title had a long and tumultuous development cycle when it originally released for PC, and console gamers can finally enjoy it on the 31st.
And that's all for this time around! Please enjoy! We'll see you next week, and please keep an eye on RPGFan for continued RPG-related updates, as well as the usual reviews and some truly interesting features. Seriously, go check them out!