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March 2015 - The Biggest Month Yet for RPGs

Christopher Coke Posted:
Columns The RPG Files 0

Final Fantasy Type-0. Bloodborne. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. Pillars of Eternity. Over a short two weeks, we RPG fans are treated to an onslaught of quality games unlike any other month in recent memory. It’s a month to be excited for and you’d better believe we are! With each game bearing their own unique appeal, March looks to be a month to please everybody. Here’s why.

Raise your hand if you found 2014 to be a disappointing year for video games. While MMORPGs seemed to do OK – business as usual, at least – the rest of the gaming world suffered repeated disappointments and triple-A flops. We don’t need to rehash a whole years’ worth of broken games again, but it’s worth remembering the quality drought we just walked out of when we look at this month of incredible games.

March 2015 is the RPG players’ dream! There’s something for everyone, and if you happen to be interested in each of the games coming out, you have hundreds of hours of gameplay to look forward to. More than that, each of these games looks excellent in its own way. Let’s look at the games.

Final Fantasy Type-0 (March 17th)

Originally released exclusively in Japan, Final Fantasy Type-0 quickly became a hit, even standing alongside full console releases. Since then, fans have clamored for the game to be localized in the West, even spending years translating a version for homebrewing English speakers. The reviews are in (including ours): Type-0 is the darker, grittier Final Fantasy we’ve been waiting for. After the disappointments of XIII’s 1-3, Type-0 is a breath of fresh air: the combat is frantic and addictively fun; the settings are wide and varied; and the lore, while impenetrable to newcomers, is rich for the franchise faithful. We gave it an 8 out of 10. As a bonus, Day One editions and digital downloads get exclusive access to the FFXV demo, Episode Duscae.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (March 24th)

When I first heard of Borderlands, I was incredulous. A shooter channeling Diablo seemed ridiculous. But now, years on, Borderlands has become one of my favorite action-RPGs. You can call it RPG light if you want, but the Handsome Collection has all of the level grinding, loot hunting, character building action a genre-blender could ask for. It’s also two games, (Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel) with all of the DLC, and the addition of local splitscreen co-op. If Destiny succeeded in anything, it was making me desperate for Borderlands on my Playstation 4. Of course, if you’ve already played either game, or just game on PC, this one isn’t for you. But as RPG fans alike, let’s rejoice at one more quality title coming to next-generation consoles.

Bloodborne (March 24th)

Bloodborne may well be the first PlayStation 4 exclusive worth owning (Editor's Note: come on, Chris - Infamous!). A spiritual successor to 2011’s Demon Souls, Bloodborne takes the Souls series’ ideals to the haunted Victorian. Bloodborne adds transformable weapons, as well as limited use firearms to the mix, plus sped up combat to make things feel less sluggish. Early reports clock the game at roughly 45 hours a playthrough on standard difficulty. The biggest disappointment is that Bloodborne will never make its way to PC.

Pillars of Eternity (March 26th)

The CRPG is back, and we have Pillars of Eternity to thank for it. With the launch of its Kickstarter more than two years ago, Obsidian Entertainment reminded gamers of how much they loved the isometric RPGs of yore. Since those early days, we’ve seen other great games like Divinity: Original Sin and Wasteland 2 release to wide acclaim. Taking its cues from Infinity Engine classics like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, Pillars of Eternity aims to deliver an RPG with all the depth of those classic while still delivering on the quality of life advancements gamers have come to expect. Did we mention that it has freeform character development, logical looting, and more companions than you can shake a stick at? That too. Be sure to read our exclusive class previews while you wait for next week.

Quick Hits:

Pillars of Eternity has gone gold. Some may wonder what that means in the Age of the Day One Patch, but in this case it does mean that the opportunity to pre-order the game has officially passed. Stay tuned for our review next Thursday!

Shroud of the Avatar passed the six-million dollar mark this week, officially tripling the amount of its initial Kickstarter campaign. The update comes by way of this week’s newsletter which also includes some interesting insight into Player Owned Towns (PoTs) feature, which has proven to be quite a draw in RPGs of late. Also, they’ve got to know how many weed jokes are coming with that acronym, right?

Summoning Ramuh never looked so good.

Final Fantasy 15 just rocked my world with its summons. It took me back to the first CGI summons that blew my mind in Final Fantasy VIII. If you can watch the above and not be a little excited, you’re officially need to turn in your gamer tag.

Browser and mobile RPG, Kingsroad, is deep in its Tower of Sorcery tournament this week. The event is a first of its kind for this impressive little diamond in the rough. Players up to the challenge can journey to the Mad Wizard’s tower and face 13 unique challenges for the chance at the new War Banner item. Are you up to the challenge?

Dying Light developer, Techland, is casting its eyes to the future. The company released a video detailing the latest additions to the game – most notably, Hard Mode – and teased some of their plans for the future with their promise to actively support the game with “new maps, modes, skills, quests, weapons, and much more.” In the video, we can see a new bow and arrow weapon, as well as a dune buggy vehicle which hints at new zones to use it in. Exciting stuff!

That’s all for this week. Let us know what you think in the comments below!


Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight