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From spin-offs to a fun punch-’em’up, there’s something for everyone, writes Aiman Maulana

1. YAKUZA 5

A REMASTERING of Sega’s popular franchise, Yakuza 5 is an action-adventure game set in a fictional Japan.

Kazuma Kiryu, once known as the Dragon of Dojima, has been enjoying a quiet life as a taxi driver in Hakata after cutting ties with his past.

However, he’s forced to return to the underworld due to the war between the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance.

The game takes place in five Japanese cities: Tokyo, Osaka, Hakata, Nagoya and Sapporo.

Coinciding with the number of cities is the number of protagonists — Kazuma Kiryu, Haruka Sawamura, Taiga Saejima, Tatsuo Shinada and Shun Akiyama.

Each character will play a role in how the war will unfold and it’s not going to be easy

Fun fact:

Yakuza 5 is a reboot for the series but not in the way you think. The game has double the development time from other entries and has the best-written script and scenarios. It uses a new graphics engine, allowing the developers to give it a breath of fresh air.

Yakuza 5 is available on PlayStation 4.



2. Granblue Fantasy Versus

A SPINOFF of the Granblue Fantasy RPG, Granblue Fantasy Versus is a fighting game developed by Arc System Works.

The goal of the game is to unleash a combination attack to empty the opponent’s life bar enough to win.

To help newcomers, each character can perform Skybound Arts, a skill that corresponds to the character’s ability in the main game.

It can be activated with a button press, but there is a cool-down time after each use.

This game will feature a Story Mode, which differs from the main game modes as it acts as a side-scrolling beat-’em-up game instead.

There will be 11 playable characters, with five additional DLC characters coming later.

Fun fact:

Granblue Fantasy was initially released as a browser game for mobile devices in 2014.

The game will celebrate its sixth anniversary soon and Granblue Fantasy Versus is a good way to mark the occasion.

It has partnered with Arc System Works, a developer that’s familiar with fighting games, being the creators of Guilty Gear, a staple in the fighting game community.

GranBlue Fantasy Versus is available on PlayStation 4.



3. Persona 5 Scramble

YET another spinoff, Persona 5 Scramble is a hack-and-slash action game by Omega Force and P-Studio. It is the Dynasty Warriors adaptation of the Persona 5 RPG.

The game takes place six months after the events of Persona 5, where Joker and the rest of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts are taking a vacation in Japan.

They hear rumours of people being attacked by Shadows, leaving them unconscious in the real world as they wake up in a mysterious version of Tokyo filled with supernatural enemies.

Due to the similarities between the rumours and their own experiences, the Phantom Thieves of Hearts team investigates the matter.

Fun fact:

Persona 5 Scramble started development around the time of Persona 5’s release with the initial Persona Warriors.

The gameplay symbolises the collaboration between Omega Force and P-Studio, as it combines the free-flow action combat seen in Dynasty Warriors with some tactical turn-based combat aspects from Persona 5.

Persona 5 Scramble is available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.



4. Dota Underlords

ONE of the most unique games to be created, Dota Underlords is an auto battler game by Valve based on the popular Dota franchise.

It’s a chess-inspired competitive strategy game, where players place characters known as “heroes” on an 8x8 grid-shaped battlefield.

After a preparation phase, a team’s heroes then fights the opposing team without further input from the player.

A match features up to eight players online who take turns playing against each other in a one-on-one format, with the winner being the final player standing after eliminating all of opposing heroes.

Players can earn gold, experience and items that can be used strengthen the heroes.

You can play with other people online or alone in practice mode and fight against bots.

Fun fact:

Dota Underlords is based on the popular Dota 2 community-created game mode, Dota Auto Chess.

The game is available as a free-to-play Early Access title on Steam in June last year.

The official release this month sees some updates. Dota Underlords is exclusively for PC.



5. One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows

BASED on the popular Japanese anime/manga series of the same name, One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is a fighting game by Spike Chunsoft and Bandai Namco.

The game takes place in a 3D arena using a 3-on-3 format, with each player choosing three characters for his team. For the most part, it’s a standard fighting game with one major exception: the game has a unique “Hero Arrival” function for the protagonist Saitama.

Due to him being able to defeat anyone with a single hit, he will always be late for a fight.

This forces the team that chooses him to survive as a two-man team until his arrival.

Certain attacks can increase and decrease his arrival time. If he doesn’t arrive by the time the time his two teammates are subdued, it’s considered a defeat.

If he does arrive in time, it’s inevitably a win as he’s practically invincible.

Fun fact:

One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows has a bigger focus on fun rather than competitive spirit, unlike other fighting games.

Saitama can never be defeated by any character aside from himself. When pitting two Saitamas against each other, neither will flinch when taking a hit. When one loses, he runs off to go do something else instead of falling in defeat.

One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC soon.

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