On Episode 71, we talked about the reveal of the at-the-time NGP. This month, the gaming world will finally be able to get their hands on the PS Vita.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (7th on 360, PS3 & PC)

It’s somewhat hard to get a true gauge of what the game will be like. The demo that was released earlier this month has been a subject of a lot of discussion recently as it was apparently buggy, in addition to online pass and Day 1 DLC from 38 studios. Studio head Curt Schilling (former MLB pitcher) has come out and tried to clear things up best he can.

My experience with the PS3 demo? In terms of the technical aspects of the game, framerate fluctuated and texture pop-ins were frequent. In terms of gameplay, it’s an adventure-RPG type game where you can adventure and choose classes and loot stuff. If all goes well after the publicity of the past couple weeks, Amalur should be a good RPG game with Todd McFarlane contributing to the artwork of the game, and there are ties to Mass Effect 3 content (both games published by EA). Nothing particularly stands out to me or separates itself from other adventure/RPG games.

*Demo now available*

The Darkness II (7th on 360, PS3 & PC)

I had the first game, but never felt interested enough in the game to progress forward. I play the demo for 2, and I’ll be damned if I don’t think this can be a quality FPS game. You possess the Darkness, which are two snake-like creatures over your shoulders. You control them with your trigger buttons while the bumpers control guns and aiming down sights or dual-wielding. Being able to grab car doors makes for a great defense and eating dead enemies’ hearts restores health and I liked the bit of dual wielding I could do. Just remember to shoot the lights out so your Darkness powers are in effect.

The first game had a realistic look, but in 2 they go for cel-shading. Looks fine, shouldn’t be any real issue with graphics and such. This demo is really fun and you’re character will feel pretty BAMF with what basically is 4 weapon buttons. Give it a play.

Jak & Daxter HD Collection (7th on PS3)

Had Naughty Dog taken a similar development cycle to Insomniac, perhaps the years Uncharted did not come out would be filled with more adventuring from Jak & Daxter. At the time, I preferred this series over Ratchet and Clank. The series saw some changes over the years, from making Jak II open-world and adding vehicles to making Jak go from silent leader to talker by the series end. The only additions to this collection are the standard 720p, trophies and also 3D support. With these crazy re-releases, you have to pick and choose which of the ones you really want/need. Since I no longer have any of the Jak games, I’ll be planning to get this one.

Resident Evil Revelations (7th on 3DS)

Initially, the game was going to sell for $49.99, $10 above the standard 3DS game, and I wasn’t so sure on getting it at that price. As recently as last week, they officially lowered the MSRP to $39.99.

There is a demo available from the DS store, which I hope to see a lot more of on the DS Store. I was initially nervous about controls because of how RE plays on consoles and the potential need for the Circle Pad Pro attachment, but it plays well with just a single analog stick. Hold L to strafe Jill or R to aim her gun (I much preferred first person over third); movement is fine unless you don’t dig the tank controls. Graphics in 3D look great and I preferred leaving them on instead of off, and the bit of voice acting I’ve heard is solid. It does give off the vibe of being a full-fledged RE game, so if you’ve got a 3DS, Revelations is a must.

*Demo now available*

Twisted Metal (14th on PS3)

2010, E3. Twisted Metal was a big deal, but delays and such have left single guys something to do on Valentine’s Day, unless they’ve gotten the first Blu-ray for Madoka Magica in the mail…

*Demo now available*

PS Vita (15th/22nd)

First edition owners enjoy it on the 15th while the rest wait for the 22nd. I won’t say too much here as I’ll save my thoughts for a future podcast episode when I get to play it.

I recently got to play with the PS Vita a little bit at a Best Buy store, and it’s surprising just how big the system is. The 5-inch OLED screen looks amazing as I played some of the Little Deviants AR game. I couldn’t get used to the rear touchpad, but the hardware looks really nice, is light, and I loved messing with the dual analog sticks. With a fine launch lineup, I’m pretty excited about getting the Vita.

An interesting note that’s recently come out is that games released on the Vita will be $5 cheaper digitally versus boxed copies. Details are yet to be made clear, but it could be all the more reason to spring for the bigger memory card options for Vita.

Asura’s Wrath (21st on 360 & PS3)

Each chapter of the game plays out like an anime episode? Wow, that’s pretty sweet!

Capcom teams up with CyberConnect 2 (who has done an awesome job with the Naruto series) in this battle of Asura versus Gods in order to save his daughter. The game looks to be mostly QTE sequences and the demo showcases two chapters: Ch. 5 being a shoot ’em up similar to Panzer Dragoon and Ch. 11 was a fight sequence between Asura and someone that looks like a master or something. I wouldn’t bank too much on a sensational story, but the set pieces and the idea of a bunch of epic battles sounds really awesome.

*Demo now available*

MGS: Snake Eater 3DS (21st on 3DS)

One of the early tech demos for the 3DS was surprisingly this game, which maybe surprisingly is getting a full game on 3DS. I think of MGS as my favorite game franchise, but I’ve just never taken well to portable versions of the series, even Peace Walker which I was liking for a few minutes back when it came out.

SSX (28th on 360 & PS3)

Boy has it been a long time since I’ve seen SSX. The last version of SSX I played was 3 which came out in 2003 (the year I graduated high school), and since then the series has been kind of quiet. All I can really comment on the old series is that it was very fun and a very arcadey snowboarding game with over-the-top tricks and plenty of hot beats. I hope a demo comes out for this because, while my memories of SSX are fond, it’s just been so long since I played.

Also in February:

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 (28th on DS)