Home Gaming The best games of February 2023 (that aren’t Hogwarts Legacy) | Digital Trends

The best games of February 2023 (that aren’t Hogwarts Legacy) | Digital Trends

The best games of February 2023 (that aren’t Hogwarts Legacy) | Digital Trends

After a surprisingly sturdy January for online game releases, February 2023 was comparatively quieter, held up by simply a few large releases, remasters, and the launch of a brand new VR headset. There are nonetheless loads of video games price enjoying, however you in all probability obtained essentially the most out of February when you’re a Nintendo Switch proprietor.
We’ve combed by way of this month’s large releases to share our favorites, however let’s deal with the elephant within the room: Hogwarts Legacy was essentially the most notable launch of February, regardless of being mired in controversy. While Harry Potter followers are having fun with the title, Digital Trends was a bit much less enamored with it in our two-and-a-half star overview. Writer Giovanni Colantonio criticized the open-world sport’s uninspired use of magic and generic design, noting that nostalgia for the IP does loads of the heavy lifting.
As such, we’ve left it off this month’s listing for a easy cause: There had been simply higher video games launched in February. Our aim with this sequence of lists is all the time to compile the perfect gaming has to supply each month, not essentially essentially the most talked-about video games. From wonderful remasters to a surprisingly strong rhythm RPG, these had been no scarcity of titles that deserved a shout-out. These had been our six favourite video games launched in February (plus one nice piece of {hardware}).

Metroid Prime Remastered

GameCube basic Metroid Prime is already thought of among the finest video games of all time by many individuals. As such, it’s no shock {that a} Nintendo Switch remaster that provides twin analog helps and makes the sport look even higher is without doubt one of the finest releases of the month. Metroid Prime Remastered even obtained a shock launch throughout a Nintendo Direct, including much more pleasure to its launch forward of a bodily launch on February 22.
“While it might have been tempting to give the original a Dead Space-type remake treatment, the GameCube title didn’t need modifying,” Colantonio wrote concerning the sport. “Instead, the remaster does some quiet technical work to remind players why Samus’ first 3D outing is still an unparalleled adventure two decades later.”
This refurbished model of a GameCube sport has no obtrusive technical shortcomings. If you get pleasure from fantastically crafted sci-fi worlds and wonderful sport soundtracks, and wish to expertise one of many best-looking Switch video games, we suggest selecting this remaster up. Metroid Prime Remastered is out there now completely for Nintendo Switch.
Wild Hearts

Capcom’s Monster Hunter sequence has remained comparatively unchallenged till now, however EA and Koei Tecmo have lastly supplied it with a worthy opponent by releasing Wild Hearts. This monster-hunting sport takes issues in an thrilling path by letting gamers craft numerous instruments to assist them dynamically in the course of the hunt. It does all of this whereas nonetheless feeling very respectful towards nature in its gameplay and theming.
“Wild Hearts’ actual narrative is pretty by the numbers so far, [but] its gameplay captivatingly portrays the relationship between humanity, animals, and nature in clever ways that elevate it over your standard hunting game,” Tomas Franzese wrote about Wild Hearts. “By showing players that they don’t always need to be aggressive, painting Kemono as deadly to the environment if left unchecked, and letting players assess the mark they leave on the game’s world, Wild Hearts shows more respect for nature and hunting than any other monster-hunting game I’ve seen before.”
Wild Hearts is essentially the most difficult sport on this listing, because it rewards enjoying with others, being well-prepared for an extended hunt, and crafting the precise issues in the course of a battle. It onboards gamers higher than Monster Hunter, although, so it’s an incredible entry level to the style when you’ve all the time discovered these video games intimidating. Wild Hearts for obtainable now for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Previously unreleased within the West, Like a Dragon: Ishin! is a strong remaster of an older title within the sequence previously generally known as Yakuza. Set in Japan throughout a interval of nice political strife, Like a Dragon: Ishin retains the narrative strengths that this sequence is understood for. Gameplay feels a bit extra dated, however shall be acquainted to those that’ve performed the motion video games on this sequence.
“Even if this remaster of a spinoff set in 1800s Japan doesn’t do a lot to change itself from its initial release, for better and worse, Like a Dragon fans will still recognize all of the hallmarks of the series they know and love within Ishin, especially if they haven’t played it before,” Franzese wrote in a three-and-a-half star overview of the sport. “Its age has a way of showing through its remastered sheen, but the power of subquests like Ee Ja Nai Ka and the main narrative make this an adventure worth checking out now that it’s out in the West for the first time.”
It’s unlikely you’ve correctly skilled this sport earlier than until you recognize Japanese. As such, this remaster is price testing and serves as a reminder of what the sequence was like earlier than it obtained superpopular within the West. Like a Dragon: Ishin is out there now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Octopath Traveler II

If you’re a fan of extra conventional JRPGs, then Octopath Traveler II will test all the precise bins for you. This sequel to a 2018 Nintendo Switch sport doesn’t change a lot concerning the fundamental formulation, because it’s nonetheless centered across the tales of eight totally different playable characters with distinctive skills. Its turn-based battles nonetheless function break and increase programs that may have gamers’ balancing the dangers and rewards of every determination.
“Octopath Traveler II is a very beefy JRPG game that will easily last over 60 hours to even get to the end credits,” George Yang wrote in a four-star overview of Octopath Traveler II. “There are a ton of customization options for characters, and the battle system feels fun and enticing to play despite having some of the same issues that plagued the first one.”
This sport additionally sports activities Square Enix’s lovely HD-2D aesthetic that we’ll by no means get uninterested in seeing. You in all probability already know whether or not or not Octopath Traveler II is for you, and if it does entice you, then it’s best to have a very good time when you decide it up. Octopath Traveler II is out there now for PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe

Continuing the streak of nice remasters this month, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a beautiful double-dip right into a enjoyable and approachable Wii platformer. The base sport was already nice, however Dream Land Deluxe packs in a Merry Magoland mode with new minigames and an epilogue journey that includes the character Magalor that exams the waters with some new game-progression concepts.
“Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is even more charming now than it was over a decade ago thanks to an excellent visual makeover that makes classic platforming feel modern again,” Colantonio wrote in a four-star overview of the sport. “Though what’s especially impressive here is the package’s brand new features, which double the amount of content and give developer Hal Laboratories space to experiment with ideas that could radically reinvent Kirby’s next mainline adventure.”
This is one more sport that’s aged fairly gracefully, and as a kid-friendly title with multiplayer, it’s a worthwhile pickup for any households in search of one thing new to play collectively this month. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is out there now completely for Nintendo Switch.
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line

The Final Fantasy sequence could be intimidating. If you didn’t play each sport once they first launched, you’re taking a look at a thousand-hour backlog of RPGs at this level. That’s why Franzese loves Theatrhythm Final Bar Line. The supersized rhythm sport packs each Final Fantasy sport into one huge musical expertise. It options tons of of tracks from throughout the sequence, which gamers can faucet alongside to. It’s basically a playable soundtrack, although with a cute RPG hook that occurs alongside the music.
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line basically retells the story of each Final Fantasy sport by way of these components. While it doesn’t go into depth on any story, it goes by way of the main beats and introduces each notable character. More importantly, the music offers gamers a way of what every sport’s tone is. That makes it simple to listen to the evolution of a continually altering sequence from sport to sport. Franzese liked attending to expertise entries he’s missed for the primary time by tapping alongside to wonderful retro compositions and unlocking a set of artwork to go alongside that. If you need a better technique to compensate for the sequence, this may be the easiest way to do it.
Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is out there on PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch. ~ Giovanni Colantonio
PlayStation VR2

February 22 noticed the launch of a brand new digital actuality machine: PlayStation VR2. While that’s not a sport itself, it’s price together with on this listing as its a serious {hardware} launch. Connected to a PS5 by just one wire, the PSVR2 is without doubt one of the most spectacular gaming VR headsets available on the market, with 2000 x 2040 decision per eye, as much as a 120Hz refresh fee, eye monitoring, and a 110-degree area of view. While that is {hardware} and never a sport, it’s nonetheless one of the vital essential releases for the sport business this month.
“As a first dive into the tech or an upgrade to Sony’s first headset, PSVR2 is an impressive evolution of Sony’s gaming gadget,” Colantonio wrote in a three-and-a-half star overview of the headset, “Excellent specs set the stage for Sony to deliver high-end VR experiences that can diversify PlayStation’s already top-notch game library.”
There’s quite a bit to play on the machine when you’re selecting one up, together with Horizon Call of the Mountain, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge Enhanced Edition, Fantavision 202X, and Kayak VR: Mirage. If the VR house pursuits you, otherwise you’ve been ready for the precise time to do that nascent expertise out, it’s best to contemplate selecting up a PlayStation VR2.

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