There’s no doubting Capcom could’ve pulled out all the stops to launch Resident Evil 2 on the day of its 20th anniversary (21st January), but for whatever reason, they’ve settled on this Friday.
It’s probably for the best – a Monday launch would’ve caught many off-guard.
The Resident Evil 2 one-shot demo was downloaded over 2 million times, and feedback was mostly overwhelmingly positive. The disturbingly realistic damage animations were a highlight, and fans also approved of the subtle nods to the cancelled Resident Evil 2 prototype. In short: it doesn’t look like Capcom has put a foot wrong with this full-on remake. [Update: Reviews are now live]
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey on 3DS is another of this week’s highlights, also being a remake of sorts. We’ve rounded up scores below.
Then exclusively on the download services, we can expect the short but sweet PSVR puzzle adventure A Fisherman’s Tale, twee rhythm action affair Wandersong, Life is Strange 2‘s second episode, and The Hong Kong Massacre – a glorious combination of Stranglehold and Hotline Miami. Woo!
New release showcase:
Resident Evil 2 – PS4/XO
10/10 – God is a Geek: “It constantly throws new things at you during the 12-15 hours of that first full playthrough. It feels like a whole new game that anyone can enjoy, as long as they don’t mind changing their underwear after each gameplay session. This is not just Resident Evil for a new generation. This is Resident Evil at its absolute best”
9/10 – Destructoid: “My complaints about the Resident Evil 2 remaster are minimal. An argument could be made that Capcom could have done more, but the spirit of the original has been preserved and in many cases, enhanced. I hope every legacy game in the series gets this loving treatment, as I’ll probably be playing them for the rest of my life”
8.8 – IGN: “Now THIS is how you remake a classic. Resident Evil 2 expertly reanimates the horrifying atmosphere and moments of extreme tension that made the original so revered”
8/10 – Push Square: “Resident Evil 2 might be one of the most accomplished remakes of the generation. A number of mechanics have been updated and introduced in order to bring the game into the modern era, but this is still very much the classic experience you remember – inventory management, limited ammunition, and all. Capcom has lovingly recreated every historic location and moment you remember from 1998, and you owe it to yourself to witness that spectacle first-hand”
Recommended – Eurogamer: “Capcom finds the perfect middle ground between old and new in this sterling remake”
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey – 3DS
9/10 – Nintendo Life: “If you’ve ever been a fan of the Mario & Luigi series (or are looking for a reason to dust off the old 3DS), do yourself a favour and pick this game up. Although Bowser Jr.’s Journey is just an ‘okay’ addition, the inventive battles, great writing and creative gameplay of the main game make this one an easy recommendation”
8.5 – GameInformer: “As a remake, it doesn’t drastically change the experience or improve on it in a big way, but that’s a testament to the original’s quality more than it is a knock against this version”
3.5/5 – Hardcore Gamer: “Bowser Jr’s Journey is easy to overlook and it’s a shame it wasn’t a more thought-out experience that could have been enjoyable given a good shake up instead of just being a glorified mobile title. There’s a lot of things done right here, but also some missed opportunities that could have been better executed overall”
A Fisherman’s Tale – PSVR
7/10 – The Metro: “A fascinating premise that is used not only to create a set of mind-bending puzzles but to ruminate on the nature of reality. It’s just a shame about the controls and the short running time”
7/10 – Push Square: “A Fisherman’s Tale is a typical puzzle-solving first-person VR experience that stands a cut above with a good-quality gimmick that doesn’t overstay its welcome. It barely stays long enough to finish saying hello, but it has the wit, charm, and novelty to make it worth the single sitting it’s asking for”
3/5 – VR Focus: “A Fisherman’s Tale is in many respects the VR title VRFocus hoped it would be, inventive use of the technology that oozes heart and soul, making you care about the character and his astonishing little world. The puzzles help to carry the story along yet don’t offer anywhere near the complexity of titles like Transpose. The main downside, it leaves you wanting more when there’s no more to be had”
The Hong Kong Massacre – PS4
8.5 – PSU: “The Hong Kong Massacre is a game that will leave you with vivid memories. The awesome stunts you pulled off, the impossible feats you were able to achieve, and the crazy killing sprees will all stick in your mind. It is a game that perfectly executes on a vision and offers some of the most gratifying few hours you can find in gaming today”
8.5 – SquareXO: “First and foremost Hong Kong Massacre is brilliant, it makes you feel like a bad-ass and it’s great fun. As long as you don’t mind dying and restarting often you will love it. It takes quite a bit of skill to complete each level with all the extra challenges and I like that, it takes a bit to get used to the dive mechanics but when you do it’s so addictive”
7.6 – Gert Lush Gaming: “The Hong Kong Massacre places you at the center of a hard-boiled revenge story, filled with brutal, cinematic shootouts and vivid underworld locations”
Wandersong – PS4
9.5 – PlayStation Lifestyle: “Wandersong is one of the most pleasant and refreshing games out there. Even when the going gets tough, the goodwill garnered here will help you push through and enjoy another day”
6/10 – Push Square: “Although the gameplay feels a little on the shallow side, Wandersong is a disarmingly joyful game. Singing your way through this cutesy adventure may not offer much of a challenge, but mixed in with a varied cast of characters and a sweet story, it’s definitely a hard game to hate”