It’s the end of the world as we know it.
Hey, Poor Players. Spring is almost here, and that means the glacial release flow of the post-holiday season is starting to thaw, bringing tons of new games to the starving masses. With March just days away and some of the year’s most anticipated releases just around the corner, here are five games we can’t wait to get our hands on in March 2020 that aren’t Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Because let’s face it, I know you’re going to be playing it. I know that I’m going to be playing it. EVERYONE is going to be playing it. Hell, I probably won’t see my wife for months after the game drops on March 20. And for that reason, we’re not going to talk about that criminally-addicting timesink from here on out. The game will release, jobs and children will go unattended, marriages and livelihoods will vanish into the ether, and civilized society will grind to a halt as the world retreats to the saccharine utopia that exists in their Switches.
Without further ado, here are five games we can’t wait to play in March 2020 that aren’t Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Half-Life: Alyx (VR)
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 16 years since we first met Alyx Vance in Half-Life 2. When the game first released, I was still living at home and had just started dating the woman who’d become my wife. Now, a marriage, mortgage, and a child who’s nearly a teenager later, we’re finally seeing the crafty member of the human resistance get her own game in the VR-exclusive Half-Life: Alyx on March 23 (yet there’s still no sign of Half-Life 3 – what gives!?).
Developed and published by series creator-turned-digital-distribution-giant Valve themselves, Half-Life: Alyx is a Source Engine-powered, virtual reality first-person shooter that takes place before Gordon Freeman’s appearance in City 17 in Half-Life 2. Using her wits along with a special pair of Gravity Gloves that function like the Gravity Gun in Half-life 2, Alyx must battle the fearsome combine forces occupying earth, solve puzzles, and explore the dangerous occupied city.
Being a VR game, it’s only natural that Half-Life: Alyx aims to up the immersion to levels never before seen in the franchise’s history. Using your pair of floating hands, you’ll be able to rummage through desks and cabinets for weapons, ammo, and supplies littered about each area, and even rip a Headcrab off of your face before it couples with your supple gray matter – yuck!
Needless to say, we can’t wait to make this return trip to City 17 with Half-Life: Alyx when it releases on March 23 for Oculus and Vive devices.
Granblue Fantasy Versus (PS4)
We at Hey Poor Player are big fans of Yokohama-based studio Arc System Works’ over-the-top, anime fighting game franchises. That said, we’re more than a little excited to get our grubby fight sticks on Granblue Fantasy Versus when it brings its hard-hitting melees to the PlayStation 4 next month.
Granblue Fantasy Versus is a 2.5D brawler featuring 11 gorgeously rendered playable characters lifted from Cygames’ hugely popular mobile and browser-based role-playing game. As such, the game features not only the high-energy head-to-head battles you’d expect from an Arc System Works-developed title but also an RPG Mode. Here, you’ll be able to venture out into the world of Granblue Fantasy to soak up the story, power up your character and their weapons, and duke it out against waves of enemies either alone or with a friend in local or online co-operative multiplayer. All told, it’s a pretty ambitious package that looks to appeal to both RPG and fighting game fans in equal measure. Hopefully, the full release can live up to fans’ expectations because on paper, it’s brimming with potential.
Those hoping to dominate the online leaderboards in Ranked Mode or conquer the game’s story won’t have to wait much longer. Granblue Fantasy Versus slugs its way to the PlayStation 4 on March 3.
Langrisser 1 & 2 (Switch, PS4, PC)
When you think back to the origins of the SRPG genre, chances are you probably envision classics like Climax and Camelot Software Planning’s Shining Force series or Final Fantasy Tactics. However, Japanese developer Masaya was cranking out grid-based goodness on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and PC Engine as far back as 1991 – nearly a full year before Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention made its Japanese debut!
Developed by Chara-ani and published by NIS America, Langrisser 1 & 2 bundles the pioneering tactical RPGs, Langrisser (known as Warsong in North America), and its formerly Japanese-exclusive sequel in one package. As you’d expect, the game features several tweaks to bring it to the modern era, complete with remastered visuals and audio. However, if you’re a purist who wants to keep it retro, then you’re in luck. Much like Lizardcube’s recent remake of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, players can switch between the modern and original pixelated graphics and chiptune arrangements of both original Langrisser games with the simple push of a button. Pretty cool, right?
Hey Poor Player’s own Benny Carrillo recently visited NIS America’s offices to take a deep dive into the game’s opening chapters. Here’s his full Langrisser 1 & 2 preview.
Langrisser 1 & 2 will release on the PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC on March 10. Which version will you be playing? Sound off in the comments section.
DOOM Eternal (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly four years since we last blasted our way through the forces of hell in DOOM (2016). Now, developers id Software and Bethesda Game Studios Austin are poised to plop players knee-deep in the dead once again with a truly ambitious sequel.
Set to be released on March 20 (alongside a certain animal-filled social simulation for the Switch that shall not be named), DOOM Eternal looks bigger and better than ever before. This time around, the DOOM Slayer is forced to take the fight to the forces of hell after they invade the Earth. To do so, he’s now got a number of handy new tools at his disposal including a space station, which serves as a hub world and training ground where you can test your brutal new weaponry such as a shotgun equipped with a grappling hook and The Crucible, a sword which can slice and dice even the nastiest of hellspawn like an infernal Ginsu knife.
Of course, new weapons are only exciting if you have fresh new creatures to gib. Thankfully, DOOM Eternal introduces a handful of new demonic adversaries to rip and tear into, including the return of DOOM II classics like the Arachnotron and Pain Elementals, to new horrors such as the Gorgon-esque Whiplash (the series’ first female demon), and ax-wielding badass, the Marauder. Check out this video for a comprehensive look at Doom Eternal’s new and returning demons.
Persona 5 Royal
Set to release at the tail end of March, Persona 5 Royal looks to be the definitive version of Atlus’ beloved JRPG (and our Game of the Year for 2017) Persona 5.
Persona 5 Royal features an absolute wealth of fresh content to keep veteran Phantom Thieves engaged. For starters, the addition of a grappling hook grants players a new means of traversal as they explore the tucked-away areas of the game’s dungeon-like Palaces, and there’s an entire additional semester of school to flesh out the game’s narrative. That’s not all, though. The game also introduces Kasumi, an intriguing new addition to the Phantom Thieves’ roster with her own story arc to experience, as well as the new location, Kichijoji, an entirely new region of Tokyo to explore where you can shop, play darts, and meet and befriend even more colorful NPCs.
While Persona 5 Royal isn’t Atlus’ first foray into injecting fresh content into a Persona game — just look at Persona 3 FES, Persona 3 Portable, and Persona 4: Golden — this certainly looks like the most extensive overhaul of a game in the franchise to date. With that in mind, we can’t wait for the Phantom Thieves to steal our hearts all over again when this regal remaster makes its way to the PlayStation 4 on March 31.
So, those are our most anticipated games of March 2020 that don’t feature an incorrigible, pickaxe-toting mole named Mr. Resetti or billions of bugs to collect. What games are you diving into next month? Did we leave out anything in particular that you’ve been looking forward to playing? As always, we at Hey Poor Player love to hear what you think. Be sure to let us know in the comments below.