2019 is going to be an amazing year for video games. Psychonauts 2 is FINALLY being released, Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds is a new RPG that spits in the face of Bethesda, and Anthem will finally be revealed as the nuclear bomb everyone expects or a terribly wrapped package of chocolate delights. But, unlike most years where the games progressively get better, 2019 is starting off hot with January seeing the releases of two of the most anticipated titles of the current gen, Resident Evil 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3. If for whatever reason you’re not convinced about returning to Racoon City or mingling with Disney icons as spikey haired emos, then you need to change your mind as Resident Evil 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3 are both must-buy games.
Resident Evil 2 (January 25, 2019)
Capcom has said that Resident Evil 2 is so much more than a remake, and the evidence they’ve provided certainly points to their exclamation being true rather than a lie to sell more copies. However, even if Resident Evil 2 was just a shallow and extremely well done nosejob, we would all buy it anyways.
Regardless if you think Resident Evil 1 is the best or if you’re an oaf who prefers Resident Evil 3, pretty much everyone agrees that Resident Evil 2 is one of the franchise’s best instalments. The removal of the fixed angles for the now popular over-the-shoulder camera is disappointing as it eliminates the original’s claustrophobic horror, but apart from that the remake promises to be better in every way. Leon actually looks and sounds like a young man rather than a spaced out ginger, the combat appears to be smoother rather than clunky and stiff, and Capcom has said that the story is improved and the environments are better laid out.
Although it’s concerning that there could be microtransactions included according to the ESRB rating, the Resident Evil 2 remake seems to be an embodiment of how the video game industry has significantly improved rather than gotten worse. Regardless if you’ve survived Resident Evil 2 before or not, returning to Racoon City as sexy protagonists Leon and Claire is an unavoidable nightmare everyone must experience.
Kingdom Hearts 3 (January 29, 2019)
© Disney/Square Enix
Even if you’ve never played any of the Kingdom Hearts games, the conclusion to Sora’s convoluted saga is a must buy. Whether you’re a novice or a series veteran, very few people will actually know exactly who is who, what’s happening, and whose heart is connected to what. Yet, none of this matters as the major reason everyone loves Kingdom Hearts is because it allows you to see melodramatic, spikey haired emos from Final Fantasy mingle with bubbly Disney characters. Instead of being a refined masterpiece that embodies great and mature storytelling, Kingdom Hearts is pure fanservice that lets you explore almost all your favourite Disney movies while kicking ass.
However, beneath the sugar-coated surface of Mickey Mouse, Pirates Of The Caribbean, and all the Disney Princesses society likes to complain about, Kingdom Hearts is a very good series. Yes, the writing’s convoluted, and the performances are occasionally hammy and cringey, but all the original characters are likeable, the combat is so much more than a hack-and-slash clone, and the music is always superb.
If you’ve never played Kingdom Hearts, don’t let the criticisms about its story being complicated and impossible to follow sway you from experiencing what all the fuss is about. And if you have played the original Kingdom Hearts games, then you don’t need telling that this is a dream none of us thought would ever come true.
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