Digital | ON: GAMES

An onslaught of new arrivals

by Brian Ashcraft

‘Metal Gear’ is a survivor

When Hideo Kojima , the creator of the original “Metal Gear,” left Konami, it seemed like the action-adventure series was over. Yet here it is again — this time in the form of “Metal Gear Survive,” which introduces zombie attacks to gameplay.

“Metal Gear Survive” is unlike previous “Metal Gear” games, which focused on stealth. Instead, this game is more about securing and protecting a base from relentless zombie hordes by laying traps and positioning weapons. It features weapons-crafting and inventory management (as well as character customization), so there is still plenty to keep players busy. It can be played solo with three AI team players, but “Survive” really comes to life as a multiplayer game. The playable demo showcased at last year’s Tokyo Game Show was well-received and fun, and the finished game has proved to be just as well made.

Konami is taking a chance on the different direction for this entry. As the first “Metal Gear” game since Kojima’s departure, it may not be what people expect. Comparisons with mainline “Metal Gear” games are inevitable, but since it’s a spin-off, that may not be entirely fair. Just released this month, “Metal Gear Survive” is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC for ¥5,378. It’s up to gamers now to see whether they think the series can survive without its maker.

www.konami.com/mg/survive

‘Bayonetta’ is switching sides

Before the upcoming “Bayonetta 3” launches as a Switch exclusive, the first two “Bayonetta” games — which were originally released for other consoles — are being re-released for Switch. Nintendo is making sure that those new to the game can play all versions, but no doubt the tactic will also appeal to hard-core fans who want to re-experience 1 and 2 on the Switch.

Created by Osaka-based Platinum Games, the “Bayonetta” series follows the adventures of a witch who wields both magic and guns, and wears high-heeled pistols on her feet. The games are among some of today’s most original and interesting action games. The first “Bayonetta” was released in 2009 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. “Bayonetta 2,” however, was released as a Wii U exclusive in 2014, with the first game also ported to the Wii U that year. Now the series has become a Nintendo exclusive.

Though “Bayonetta 3” was announced as being in development for Switch last year, Nintendo hasn’t set a release date. But it is offering a joint 1 and 2 special edition that could help fans pass the time: The “Bayonetta Non-Stop Climax Edition” (¥10,778), features both games for Switch, plus stickers, a special case and collectible cards.

bit.ly/bayonettaswitch

A ‘Final Fantasy’ worth the wait

| © SQUARE ENIX

The best time to buy games may not always be when they are first released. Having a little patience has its benefits.

For those willing to wait — or those who missed the hype the first time around and want to catch up — the release of “complete” editions of games, containing extra features and added content, are a great buy.

Take “Final Fantasy XV.” The game came out in 2016, but the upcoming “Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition” comes with a new dungeon, new enemies and new items, and introduces a first-person point-of-view mode. Players will find they can also control the in-game royal yacht for the first time.

In addition, this special edition is packed with previously released downloadable content and add-on episodes that were considered “extras” before. That’s a lot of bang for the buck. Priced at ¥8,424 and on sale from March 6, “Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition” is well worth the wait.

www.jp.square-enix.com/ff15/royal