January is always a busy month in the gaming world, as the world lets go its collective breath after the holiday season. It marks the end of that strange pause in new releases as those that don’t make the Black Friday cut off wait for the new year. Here, we take a look at the games that have been getting everyone’s attention over the first weeks of 2023.
No prizes for guessing what is up first. The massively hyped and anticipated new release from Square Enix was released on January 24 and has been roundly roasted in the player reviews, with “mostly negative” ratings on both PS5 and PC. These are not minor issues or glitches, either. Player complaints relate to quite fundamental aspects of the game such as the writing and the characterization of Frey, the game’s main protagonist. But scroll through the reviews, and it soon becomes clear that players are equally negative about almost every aspect of it. The PC game is currently ranking 3.7/10 compared to an impressively lousy 2.0/10 for PS5. The good news for Square Enix is it can surely only go one way from here.
There were plenty of questions as to how NetEnt’s acquisition by Evolution Gaming a couple of years ago might affect its prodigious and high quality output of new slot games. Now that the dust has had a chance to settle, we can safely say “not at all.” NetEnt’s latest title, SuperStars was released in the US in October and the rest of the world got it earlier this month. The Australian pokie sites were quick to give it a try and feedback has been almost entirely positive so far. Gamble Online have a list of sites you can check at https://www.gambleonlineaustralia.com/casino/games/pokies/ if you are eager to try it out for yourself.
One Piece Odyssey
This new addition to the One Piece manga franchise has garnered mostly positive reviews from fans of the series, while those who are new to it have been largely underwhelmed. As an adventure, it checks all the boxes and early progress is rapid if not particularly memorable. The main complaint from reviewers is that you have to progress quite a long way into the game before the story really gets going and draws you in. Still, if you are a fan of One Piece, this game is definitely for you and if you’re a newcomer stick with it, the rewards will come.
Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters
The latest tale from the Hyperdimension Neptuia franchise, this one is very easy on the eye, thanks to the extensive use of bright pastel shades throughout. You can switch between the three main protagonists in real time and get them working together to overcome enemies without too much complication. There is no great innovation evident in the gameplay and story, but fans of the franchise will find plenty to like. The reasonably straightforward gameplay makes this a good one for RPG novices, too.