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[Games Around the Corner] Week 12, 2021 – Rise Up, Monster Hunters

This week, Switch players get to have some monster hunting fun with Monster Hunter Rise. Aside from that, there’s an action platformer with Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima involved as well as a new co-op game from A Way Out's developer.

Balan Wonderworld

An action platformer that features the involvement of Sonic the Hedgehog’s Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima, Balan Wonderland follows Leo and Emma, who are led into a bizarre land called Wonderland by the mysterious Balan. As the game’s website explains, “Here memories and vistas from the real world mix with the things that people hold dear. Twelve different tales await our stars in Wonderworld, each with their own unique quirks. They will explore all corners of these labyrinthine stages, using all the tricks and gimmicks hidden along the way, to get to the heart of each touching story.”

Leo and Emma won’t simply explore a single location but will instead visit 12 worlds (hence the “twelve different tales”), each born from a troubled individual. In these worlds players will have to deal with Negati, which are manifestations of an individual’s “worries and weaknesses”, as well as bosses that have to be defeated to save the individuals. Players will be able to make use of abilities like walking in the air and freezing time, with these abilities stemming from over 80 types of costumes.

Balan Wonderland is set to be released on March 26 on Steam, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch.

Monster Hunter Rise

The Switch may have missed out on Monster Hunter World, but it’ll be the first platform to receive the next game in the series, Monster Hunter Rise (a PC version is coming in 2022).

This new Monster Hunter game will see players battling to protect Kamura Village from the Rampage, an event that sees the village assaulted by hordes of monsters. Features include buddies called Palamutes that can be ridden, Wirebugs for new movement options like wiredashing and wall-running, and endemic life that grants hunters buffs. There will also be Strongholds, in which players will battle multiple monsters with the help of hunting installations like ballistae and cannons and a Counter Signal that boosts the hunters’ attacks.

Players can expect to visit locations like the Lava Caverns, Sandy Plains, and Frost Islands, while the monsters will include the likes of Magnamolo and Nargacuga. There will also be Apex monsters like the Apex Arzuros, which the website describes as being “eternally possessed by wrath and terror” and “much more powerful” than the regular Arzuros. The game will be out on March 26.

It Takes Two

Made by the developer of A Way Out, It Takes Two is a new co-op game that strictly requires two players to play together. The story follows couple Cody and May, who are turned into dolls and have to make their way through a fantastical world while trying to fix their fractured relationship, with the game being described as having “genre-bending challenges” with each level featuring "unique and connected character abilities".

With It Takes Two having a less grounded premise than A Way Out, the game will feature more out-of-this-world scenarios. “Help each other across an abundance of unexpected obstacles and laugh-out-loud moments,” reads the Steam page. “Kick gangster squirrels’ furry tails, pilot a pair of underpants, DJ a buzzing night club, and bobsleigh through a magical snow globe. Embrace a heartfelt and hilarious story where narrative and gameplay weave into a uniquely metaphorical experience.”

There will be both couch co-op and online co-op with split-screen, and players can allow a friend to join in the adventure for free via Friend Pass. It Takes Two will be released on March 26 on Steam, Origin, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.


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