New releases for January 2023

A typical January sees a dozen indie releases and a new major release or two at the month’s end, with Capcom being quite fond of capitalising on the January lull.

This year, the first week of January is a tad slow – with just a dozen or so Switch eShop releases on the agenda, including Journey To The Blue Mountain, Neon Souls, and AlphaLink. It’s then business as usual, including an appearance from Capcom.

The first big-name release of 2023 is Bandai Namco’s anime tie-in RPG One Piece Odyssey launching on January 12th. Released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the series, the story sees the Straw Hats become washed up and separated on a tropical island.

On the same day we can also expect the eerie point ‘n click style horror adventure Children of Silentown, NeoGeo brawler revival Breakers Collection – the demo of which showed much promise – and the 16-bit style side-scrolling action platformer Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider.

The second week of January also gives us Aurora’s Journey and the Pitiful Lackey, 2.5D run and gun platformer set in 1927. Tally ho! The Xbox and Switch additionally receive wave defense roguelike Space Raiders in Space, which we assume has nothing to do with the 10p snack range.

Then there’s RE:CALL, an intriguing pixel art adventure based around manipulating the memories of the main character, which somehow impact the present day.

Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable are also due mid-January, arriving on Xbox Game Pass at launch. Persona 4 Golden is often referred to as the greatest PS Vita game released.

Fans of the Port Royale games will no doubt have Tortuga – A Pirate’s Tale on their radar, with this looking like a continuation of that series. Gold and glory await.

For those looking for something different, there’s A Space For The Unbound – a pixel art adventure set in 90s rural Indonesia, involving school students with newfound supernatural powers.

Capcom’s back on January 20th with Monster Hunter Rise – due on Game Pass. Originally a Switch exclusive, it shouldn’t look too out of place on Xbox One and PS4 – it’s often said that Rise pushes the Switch hard. A resolution jump should help matters further.  

The end of the month is then rammed with bigger releases, starting off with a remake of Risen – the cult 2008 European RPG – action JRPG Neptunia: Sisters vs. Sisters, sandbox business sim Startup Company: Console Edition, an expanded version of Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection, and the hand-drawn adventure ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree.

Vertical shooter Raiden IV x Mikado Remix also leaves Switch, heading to consoles new. It’s due both digitally and at retail.

This brings us to a triple whammy of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake, Square-Enix’s anticipated PS5 exclusive Forspoken, and EA’s remake of Dead Space – which should give The Callisto Protocol a run for its money.

The Xbox gains a couple of exclusives too, in the form of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, and the ink-based strategy game Inkulinati.

Switch owners can also expect Terror of Hemasaurus – the foul-mouthed city destroyer that we rather enjoyed – a surprise release of the chaotic party game Rubber Bandits, Colossal Cave Reimagined by Roberta Williams – a revival of the ‘80s original – the twisted shoot’em up NeverAwake, and Intelligent Systems’ hotly anticipated army commanding RPG Fire Emblem Engage.