A new year, a new slate of games. The past few Januarys have usually had a decent game or two. A big contributor to that would be past successes of the Call of Duty series. Hard to get a dollar earned when Activision is breaking record books in gaming sales.

Silent Hill HD Collection (24th Delayed to March on Ps3 & 360)

Next in the Konami Remakes… series, Silent Hill gets a 720p remaster for the current gen of consoles. However, like Metal Gear Solid’s recent collection, it isn’t complete as only SH 2 & 3 are included. Trophies have been added, but one little nice tidbit is the updated voice acting. If anything, the purpose of this $49.99 bundle is to serve as an advertisement for the upcoming Book of Memories game for the PS Vita.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 (31st on PS3 & 360)

Final Fantasy XIII was by no means the most well received game in the acclaimed series. Complaints of linearity and the battle system were just a small bit of the items people disliked about the last game. So… why would they make a sequel to it? And also, where is Versus XIII with Mamoru Miyano-voiced main chara?

There will be some adjusted elements in XIII-2’s battle system. ATB and Paradigm Shifts still exist (I quite liked shifting), but enemies randomly initiate battle instead of seeing them on map; difficulty can be adjusted for battles; quick-time events will be in special battles, and there is a new system for capturing/taming monsters and making them fight alongside you. Live Trigger, a dialogue tree setting, sounds like a pretty lame excuse to appeal to western gamers that love any of the Bioware or other western RPGs as it has no overall effect on the story. There are multiple endings, which will be effected by what you do in the Historia Crux, a time-traveling feature to see how different plot-points unfold. DLC will also be a small part of XIII-2 with downloadable costumes

Upon taking all this information in, I’m unsure if this endeavor is worth it for Square Enix. Numbers in Japan at this early stage weren’t remotely close to the sales figures XIII had, but that’s too be expected. The complaints against the first game are already a slam on XIII-2, fair or not fair. I for one enjoyed XIII, and would recommend that if you also liked the first game, go get XIII-2 reserved for launch day purchase.

Soul Calibur V (31st on PS3 & 360)

Strengthening the soul of… Namco! Sophitia had a son, and his name is Patrolklos, and he is the main protagonist of SCV. But as with any fighting game that gets a new game, what are the big enhancements, how many characters will be in it, and has the girl’s chests gotten even bigger?

The battle system will see some changes in terms of guarding and charging attacks. The character creation will allow for more customization, even including a Tekken-based fighting styles The character list is supposed to reach 30 by the time all is said and done, and Ezio from Assassin’s Creed will be a playable character. And to answer that last question, it is a new game, a bigger number, and updated visuals. I’m sure they’ve gotten bigger by a couple pixels or so.