If you’re a Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita owner, you’re in luck, because some of the most interesting games launching this week are only available on handheld systems. But console gamers need not despair, because they’ll have a few epic adventures of their own to complete. Read on to find out which games are launching on all systems the week of April 5.
1. Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Releases April 7 on PS4 and Xbox One
In the unlikely event that you’ve already blazed through Bloodborne or just aren’t interested in its dreary Victorian setting, its spiritual predecessor is about to be re-released on new-generation consoles. As with most remastered editions, this Dark Souls II package contains all of the downloadable content that ever came out for the original game, along with upgraded graphics. But be warned: This game is full of hyper-challenging combat, with save points few and far between. Are you persistent enough to see this journey through to the end?
2. Aaru’s Awakening
Releases April 7 for PS4 and PS3
If you like tough-as-nails platformers, Aaru’s Awakening is the game for you this week. You play as a half-bird half-bear creature who runs, jumps, and dashes through environments rife with peril. What sets it apart from others like it is a teleportation ability that allows you to toss a ball of light and zip to wherever it ends up. But don’t expect a cakewalk: You’ll likely die over a thousand times throughout the adventure. So there’s that.
Releases April 7 for PS4
This game has been out for years on other platforms, but it’s just now heading to PS4. In Bastion, you play as a kid who hacks and blasts his way through a monster-infested world. It’s an action role-playing game, so you can expect to do lots of weapon swapping and character customizing, all so you can dispatch more enemies more efficiently. With its killer soundtrack, gravelly voiced narrator, and vivid, colorful world, Bastion makes a great addition to any console’s digital store.
4. Etrian Mystery Dungeon
Releases April 7 for Nintendo 3DS
Etrian Mystery Dungeon takes two distinct types of role-playing games and mashes them together, hopefully to create something that’s greater than the sum of its parts. The focus here is on exploration and party management. You’ll hand-pick a party of explorers of varying classes and send them into dungeons to slay enemies and grab sweet, sweet loot. There’s not much of a story to follow, but Etrian Mystery Dungeon promises to deliver an addictive RPG progression system. For a certain type of gamer, that’s paradise.
5. Stealth Inc. 2
Releases April 7 on PS4, PS3, and PS Vita
Releases April 10 on Xbox One
Sneaking through shadowy environments patrolled by eagle-eyed enemies never seems to lose its appeal to gamers. Stealth Inc. 2 puts you in the shoes of an adorable clone who has to escape from a series of tightly-designed test chambers that are rigged to end your life the moment you’re detected. So you’ll have to stick to the shadows, avoiding attack dogs, patrol robots, and spotlights as you hack into terminals to open the exit. Fans of stealth games will want to check this one out.
6. Tower of Guns
Releases April 7 on PS4 and PS3
Releases April 10 on Xbox One
Tower of Guns is an interesting mix between a first-person shooter and a roguelike (a randomized game that starts you back at square one each time you die). Your backstory varies with each run, but your goal is always to make it to the top of a tower and dispatch the final boss without dying along the way. Bullets fly in every direction, so it’s all you can do to stay alive to make it to the next room. Try this game for a tense challenge.
Releases April 7 on PS Vita
MonsterBag is a puzzle platformer with a terrific graphical style. You play as a monster who has to sneak through the world while avoiding the attention of the people who populate it. Different people are on the lookout for different things, so you’ll have to change up your behavior to progress. It looks quirky and interesting, and it’s free to PS Plus members during the month of April.
8. Pokémon Rumble World
Releases April 8 for Nintendo 3DS
Just announced during last week’s Nintendo Direct presentation, Pokémon Rumble World is Nintendo’s second free-to-play game based on everyone’s favorite collectible monsters (the first was Pokémon Shuffle). The idea here is to travel the world in a hot air balloon to complete your collection of over 700 Pokémon that span just about every Pokémon game ever made. Just try not to go broke on the game’s micro-transactions.
9. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
Releases April 10 for New Nintendo 3DS XL
The original U.S. version of Xenoblade Chronicles landed on the Wii in 2012. It was a fantastic open-world Japanese RPG that critics adored but many gamers missed, thanks to its limited release. That could be about to change, with the game’s port to the Nintendo 3DS. The only problem? You won’t be able to play it on a regular 3DS. Instead, you’ll need to buy the more powerful New Nintendo 3DS XL. That’s a bummer, but it might be a good excuse to upgrade your hardware.
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