Games to Look Out For in January 2018

The new year often starts slow in gaming.

The holiday releases dry up shortly before Christmas, and major new releases don’t really start hitting shelves until halfway through the month. That’s not to say there isn’t anything good coming out, that’s certainly not the case.

If you’re looking for a new game to play while you hide inside from the cold and snow, check out some of these interesting titles being released in January.

Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition (January 16)

As the resident fighting game guy at Gamecrate, I have to recommend Street Fighter:  Arcade Edition. If you haven’t purchased Street Fighter V yet, you’ll get a ton of content at a massively reduced price. If you already own Street Fighter V then you will get this content for free! New moves, new V-Triggers, new stages, new costumes, and a thorough balance patch are just a few bonuses you’ll get in this new edition. You’ll even get the titular Arcade Mode. If you want to splurge a little more, drop some cash for Season 3 to get Sakura, Blanka, Cody, Sagat, Falke, and G, the latest lineup of DLC characters.

Street Fighter V was justifiably criticized for being light on content when it was first released, but this version makes a good case that now is the time to jump into Street Fighter V.

Full Metal Furies (January 17)

From the creators of Rogue Legacy, Full Metal Furies is being billed as the first “true cooperative” action RPG. Players will choose from one of four different classes and will have to work together and combine their abilities in order to make it through multiple dungeons. You can play on the couch with a friend, or online with up to four other players. If you really want to go it alone, however, you can control two characters by yourself as a tag team.

On top of all this there are elements of bullet hell, puzzle games, and even ARGs thrown into the mix.

Kirby Battle Royale (January 19)

A Kirby fighting game might seem like a weird decision, but keep in mind that the design team behind Kirby is responsible for Super Smash Bros. Kirby Battle Royale is essentially a top down brawler with a Kirby spin. It’s already out in Europe and Japan, to some mediocre reviews. However, it’s being sold here in America at a budget price, so it might be worth a second look. The single-player campaign likely isn’t worth it, but if you can meet up with other friends who have the game, the multiplayer is a decently fun time.

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory (January 19)

Some of you are no doubt surprised to a Digimon game on this list, but hear me out.

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory is already out in Japan and released to excellent reviews. Its plot is surprisingly dark, revolving around a protagonist whose identity has been stolen. After crimes are committed in his name, he has to join hackers in the criminal underground to find the real culprit and clear his name. Add to this an addictive monster collecting gameplay formula, and you have an RPG that sounds much more compelling than the name might lead you to believe.

The Inpatient (January 23)

One of the most anticipated VR games of the year is coming out in January, and it’s a PSVR exclusive.

The Inpatient is the latest from Supermassive games, the same guys behind Until Dawn. Cinematic horror is their expertise, and rest assured you’ll get even more of it in this first person horror title. The Inpatient takes place in the same universe as Until Dawn acting as a prequel, set 60 years prior. In our hands-on experience with The Inpatient, we praised the extraordinary visuals and atmosphere.

If you want to kick off this year scared and paranoid… you know, like every year… then The Inpatient is the game for you.

Lost Sphear (January 23)

Square-Enix seems to have made a pledge to continuously try to recapture the magic of Chrono Trigger until they eventually have a hit on their hands.

Their previous attempt, I Am Setsuna, came close but suffered from pacing issues, lackluster environments, and a plot that wasn’t nearly as deep as it wanted to be.

Their next attempt, Lost Sphear, seems to have learned from I Am Setsuna’s mistakes. This game will have us travel through a variety of interesting environments as we battle against the “white fog,” a mysterious substance that is causing the world to fade away. Fans of Chrono Trigger’s battle system will be happy to see it returning with one major change, characters can now move between their turns to set up AOE attacks. It’s already out in Japan, and it’s received decent scores… and hey! It’s also available for the Switch, if you need an RPG to hold you over until Project Octopath Traveler comes out.

Iconoclasts (January 23)

A 2D platformer over seven years in the making, Iconoclasts is a love letter to the 2D sprite-art fan in all of us. A mixture of Contra style run-and-gun gameplay, Metroidvania style exploration, RPG styled upgrades, and puzzle platforming, Iconoclasts is sure to please anyone who comes from the school of jumping and shooting. Its real draws are the massive boss fights and magnificent sprite art.

It’s one of the only major “retro” style games coming out this month, so if that’s your style, you’ll definitely want to take a look at Iconoclasts.

Dragon Ball FighterZ (January 26)

The hype for Dragon Ball FighterZ can barely be contained within the fighting game community. Three on three tag team fights, a huge roster of iconic Dragon Ball characters, a full story mode, in-depth tutorials, cinematic finishers, and more are just a few of the things that make Dragon Ball FighterZ a worthwhile purchase. This is a game that has been making splashes at every event it has shown up, and it has received near universal praise for every beta we got to play. Casual fan of DBZ and hardcore fighting game fans alike should keep their eye on this game. I suspect it’s going to be a serious contender for fighting game of the year.

Monster Hunter: World (January 26)

Traveling through beautiful landscapes, discovering gigantic beasts, and killing a whole lot of dinosaurs, that’s what being a Monster Hunter is all about, and this is shaping up to be the biggest Monster Hunter game to date.

It will feature numerous ecosystems, each with their own wildlife that interact with each other, even when you aren’t there. Players will get to take new weapon types for a spin, and can even make use of new movement options, such as the grappling hook. You can participate in hunts solo, or you can team up with friends online to hunt the old-fashioned way. Fans of the Monster Hunter series will probably consider this a must buy, but even if you have never checked it out before, this might be the perfect time to get into Capcom’s gear grinding, dino-killing, open world RPG series.

Railway Empire (January 26)

It’s not often that we see major simulation game releases these days, but Railway Empire is making its way not only to steam, but to consoles as well. You already know if you are the type of gamer who wants to become the biggest Railroad tycoon of the 1830s, and this game is made specifically for you.

40 different trains, 300 technologies, multiple scenarios, tourist attractions, and even industrial espionage! Man, the world of trains is way darker than we originally thought.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT (January 30)          

For the first time, Dissidia is coming off portables, out of arcades, and onto consoles. Featuring three on three fights, a roster of Final Fantasy’s most iconic characters, a unique battle system that combines RPG elements with twitch based fighting gameplay, and a storyline bursting at the seams with corny but adorable JRPG tropes, this game is a love letter to JRPG fans. Oh, and Noctis is in it, because Noctis seems to be everywhere these days. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is likely the most casual fighting game release of the year, making it a nice alternative to Dragon Ball Fighter Z if you’d prefer something you can just mash away at.

What games are you looking forward to this January? Let us know in the comments.