Video game releases to look out for in January 2020
Happy New Year everyone! January is always kind of a slow month in video game releases. The whole industry is still on vacation for the first two weeks, but things start to pick up steam in the second half of the month.
This year our situation is a bit more complicated. New hardware is slated to come out at the end of the year. That means that the Xbox One and PS4 releases are going to start winding down. This also means you’ll see a lot more Switch and PC releases on these lists in the coming year.
As a result, there were slim pickings for our January 2020 list. There are a few major titles of course, but we had to look to indie games, DLC chapters, and imports to fill this list out. Still, there are more than enough titles for you to spend your leftover holiday cash on.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon – January 16 (PS4)
We are starting with a game that is only coming out in Japan, but that still might be worth importing for the hardcore fans out there. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a mashup of the standard Yakuza open world formula with a turn based RPG. Yeah, it sounds a little crazy, but it’s certainly unique enough to work. When was the last time you heard of a traditional RPG based in a modern day organized crime setting. Of course, you probably won’t be spending a lot of time doing crimes. You’ll be spending most of your time going to karaoke, or bowling, or collecting idol dolls, if past Yakuza titles are any indication.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot – January 17 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Dragon Ball FighterZ used Arc System Works’ amazing graphics engine to create a fighting game that looked more like the Dragon Ball franchise than ever before. Now Bandai Namco is taking that same technology and creating an adventure game that will let you re-live all the greatest moments of DBZ. Make no mistake, this isn’t your standard dream fighter. This is just a way to experience all the wonder of DBZ again in video game format, and that’s all that DBZ fans really need.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore – January 17 (Switch)
The fate of all good Wii U games is to get remade for the Switch. Tokyo Mirage Sessions was an incredible if not weird RPG that mashed up Persona and Fire Emblem. Simply introducing it to a new audience would be reason enough to tell you to watch out for this remake, but this is an Atlus remake. Atlus doesn’t just update their textures and throw out a new game. They tack on tons of new content, adding new characters, new locations, new enemies, new skills, and sometimes changing the very story. There’s no doubt that this will be the definitive version of this overlooked RPG.
Frostpunk: The Last Autumn – January 21 (PC)
Frostpunk was one of our favorite strategy games when it first came out. Its combination of city sim and low temperature survival was like nothing we had seen from the genre. Now The Last Autumn is turning that formula on its head again, allowing you to control society before the deep freeze. You’ll have access to new technologies, new buildings, and new laws, but you also will have to manage a people who have not yet gotten used to the harsh environment of the final winter. Will you be able to bring your people together in order to build a generator that can ensure humanity’s survival?
Dualshock 4 Back Button Attachment – January 23 (PS4)
Yep. One year before the release of the PS5, the PS4 is getting a major addition to its controller. This attachment adds two buttons to the back of your controller that will mimic any of the other buttons. It’s perfect for anyone who wants less finger travel time when gaming competitively, but more importantly it will help open up gaming to differently abled audiences who might struggle with the face buttons on the base Dualshock 4.
Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind – January 23 (PS4, Xbox One release in February)
If you felt the ending of KH3 was a little bland, well don’t worry. This new DLC is going to expand the whole thing into a major production that feels like a whole new video game. You’ll get more info on where Sora went at the end of the game. You’ll be able to play as different characters including Kairi, Aqua, Roxas, Axel, Riku, and more. You’ll be able to interact with Final Fantasy characters that were mysteriously absent from the main KH3 production. You’ll even get a number of new options that will let you customize the difficulty of any KH3 run. All of this for the low price of… $30!? Welp, with this much content, I suppose Square Enix thinks it’s worth it. I know I’m already committed to riding this wacky Disney train to the end.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition – January 23 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android)
If you wanted to play the original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles you needed a Gamecube, the game, a link cable, a Gameboy Advance, and three other friends with link cables and Gameboy Advances. So as you might expect, very few people got to play this in the way it was intended, as a multiplayer dungeon crawler. Well now it’s coming to just about every platform, including mobile platforms! Get your friends together and survive the mist for the first time
The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners – January 23 (PC: HTC Vive, Valve Index, Oculus Rift)
What do you get when you combine the gun wrenching plots of Telltale’s Walking Dead series, crafting elements from survival games, and VR first person action? You get The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners. The real question is, will this actually be able to produce the deep emotional heartache that we expect from a Walking Dead game, or will this just be a generic zombie shooter with a Walking Dead coat of paint?
Journey to the Savage Planet – January 28 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Journey to the Savage Planet is a really interesting experiment of a game. You are transported to a bright and colorful alien world and you have one task: survive. The thing is, you have absolutely no idea what anything does. Go ahead, harvest a plant. Will its fruits be powerful healing items, or will they explode on contact. Nearly every puzzle in this game can be solved non-violently, but you’ll probably give into violence just out of curiosity. What happens if you throw this weird puffy thing down that glowing hole? What if you poke that strange alien with the zappy stick? Tie this up together with an offbeat sense of humor and you have one heck of an interesting sci-fi survival game.
Arc of Alchemist – January 30 (PS4, Switch)
Arc of Alchemist is another Idea Factory! and Compile Heart release, and if you’ve played any of these RPGs you know what to expect: a bunch of cute anime girls doing cute things with some RPG mechanics layered over it all. In this case, those mechanics are elemental alchemy, base building, open terrain manipulation, and real time battle mechanics.
Previous releases like Dragon Star Varnir and Death’s End Re: Quest made up for their sometimes cringe worthy moe bait with really interesting systems and unique methods of storytelling. Arc of Alchemist, however, seems to have been received a little less warmly by the RPG fanbase, so buyer beware. Still, if you are a dedicated IF/CH fan, then you might as well give it a look.
Coffee Talk – January 30 (PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
Now this is an indie game that we have had our eye on. It’s the year 2020 in Seattle, but not the Seattle you know. This is the year 2020 in a fantasy world, a modern day locale with elves, orcs, dwarves, maybe a cat person or a drow or two. But despite all the magic and mystery, the modern day is still filled with modern day problems. People are struggling to meet rent, feel discontent in their jobs, have relationship problems, and much more. It’s up to you, as the local barista, to serve them a nice hot cup of coffee, listen to their problems, and maybe make a difference in their life, all to a soothing lo-fi hip hop beats soundtrack that will be sure to warm you up as much as any latte.
Skellboy – January 30 (PC, Mac, Linux, Switch)
Finally we have Skellboy, a cute action RPG featuring a reanimated skeleton. When you are called upon to save the world from an evil necromancer, what are you to do… ADAPT! Switch out your body parts and turn yourself into a perfect monstrosity to become the hero of the Cuboid Kingdom! Remember, one man’s severed arm is another man’s treasure!
What January releases are you excited for? Let us know in the comments.