Digital | ON: GAMES

Knockout games with a twist

by Brian Ashcraft

Landing that fatal blow

One-Punch Man of the web-comic-turned-manga-and-anime isn’t about your typical hero. So it’s no wonder that One-Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows isn’t your typical fighting game. Saitama, better known as One-Punch Man, is able to destroy enemies with one fatal blow. But this is a three-on-three fighting game, with teams of different fighters duking it out, making it tougher to get a single-punch win.

One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows balances Saitama’s power in an interesting way. For three-on-three fighting games, players usually rotate through their characters as they suffer hits and health damage during the fight. If players pick One-Punch Man as one of their three fighters, though, he will always be the third fighter in the rotation. When the bout starts, Saitama is seen in a small window running late, trying to get to the fight as soon as he can (a clever detail, because the manga and anime character is known to always be late). While players wait for him to show up, they have to use their other two fighters, which puts them at a disadvantage against any opponent who hasn’t selected One Punch Man and has full use of three fighters.

But if players survive until Saitama shows up, it’s a game changer. Once he arrives, he can end any fight in a single punch. The only way for players to counter this, is to land blows before Saitama manages to get that punch out, or to also select One-Punch Man at the beginning of the fight and hit first.

Priced at ¥8,360 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is a fascinating spin on the fighting game genre that stays true to its source material.

bit.ly/onepunch-jp (Japanese), bit.ly/onepunch-en (English)

The new samurai way

© BANDAI NAMCO GAMES
© BANDAI NAMCO GAMES

The first Nioh game was years in the making. It was originally based on an unfilmed Akira Kurosawa script inspired by the Edo Period (1603-1868) English-born samurai William Adams. Development began in 2004, but it wasn’t released until 2017. The game, which took players to a dark supernatural samurai world, filled with demons and yōkai (monsters and spirits), was well-received. Kurosawa’s film may never be made, but developer Team Ninja is already back with another Nioh, scheduled to be released on March 12, priced at ¥8,580 for PS4.

Nioh 2 is connected to the first game, but since it’s a prequel, players can dive right in and still follow the plot. This time around, instead of being cast as William, players create their own half-supernatural characters with yōkai abilities to battle monsters. Other new features include being able to harness abilities to turn into a yōkai demon and a revamped combat system.

Considering how long it took developers to get the first Nioh game out, it’s wonderful to see such a quick turnaround and such a focused-looking sequel.

bit.ly/nioh-jp (Japanese), bit.ly/nioh-en (English)

It’s a great mystery

© NINTENDO
© NINTENDO

The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games have always been one of video gaming’s most interesting spinoffs. The Mystery Dungeon series originally debuted in 1993 with a character from Dragon Quest IV. Developer Chunsoft (now Spike Chunsoft) then created a different set of Mystery Dungeon games, including a series with the Chocobo creature from Final Fantasy and one with Pokemon, letting players explore maze-like dungeons and fight turn-based battles.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX (to be released March 6 for ¥6,578) is a Switch remake of the 2005 games Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, and Red Rescue Team. In Rescue Team DX, players are humans who have been turned into pokemon. At the start, they take a quiz, answering questions, like whether or not they vacation alone, to see which character suits their personalities best. Players can select the suggested character or pick from 16 pre-set playable options. Then they go exploring, recruiting new pokemon buddies and battling others along the way. Unlike the mainline Pokemon games, which center around the trainers, the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games focus on the monsters, allowing them to talk, go on quests and rescue other fainted pokemon.

This Switch version features lovely storybook art style as well as a new Auto Mode that allows for quicker dungeon exploring. Another welcome addition is the ability to have up to eight pokemon in your party of explorers as opposed to four in the original games.

bit.ly/pmmystery-jp (Japanese), bit.ly/pmmystery-en (English)

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