This month is packed full of exciting games, some that have already passed by and others that are yet to come. Fans have seen numerous offerings, from major titles like Dying Light 2: Stay Human and Lost Ark to lesser-known gems like OlliOlli World.
The following list highlights fresh and interesting specimens that haven't seen mainstream spotlight so far and will be released in the latter half of February 2022. These include brand new experiences and not ports or re-releases. So something like 2014's indie sidescroller Never Alone, which is getting a Nintendo Switch version soon, was not considered for this piece.
Buckle up for a slew of AA and indie game releases
Developed by Lancase, this upcoming JRPG from former Shin Megami Tensei developers is surprisingly being slept on by gamers. Monark tells the story of students belonging to Shin Mikado Academy, plagued by an odd phenomenon called the Mist.
This event is turning people insane, so the blank protagonist must team up with other school members to fight against demonic entities called Monark that are behind this mess.
Players will explore the real-world school to aid others and delve into a dimension called the Otherworld for combat. The gameplay is a strategic, turn-based affair similar to the studio's PS Vita outing called Lost Dimensions. The protagonist can also summon demonic allies, each with their stats, for help in battle.
Monark will release PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch on February 22.
2) Sol Cresta
The renowned Platinum Games making a shoot-em-up. It's an odd idea, but it seems fitting for the action-games developer. Sol Cresta is a successor to two other games in the series, Terra Cesta and Moon Cresta. Both came out in the 1980s for arcade systems.
It even looks like the part with its 2D spritework and screen-filling effects. The game's unique mechanic is the ability to "dock" the three different ships at the player's disposal for various attacks. Different configurations result in different firing patterns, going from standard projectile fire to a massive beam. Players will need to figure out which formation is most useful during each scenario for quickly mowing down oncoming hordes of enemies.
Return to the glorious shmup days when Sol Cresta launches on PC, PS4 and Switch on February 22.
3) Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream
The 24-year-old Atelier series has always been considered a cult classic in the JRPG scene. After the first Atelier Sophie, the upcoming entry casts the player as the titular alchemist Sophie.
She finds herself in the dream world of Erde Weige, more specifically, the town of Roytale. However, her friend Plachta has been missing since, so Sophie sets out on an adventure to find her.
The series has always centered around exploration, turn-based combat and alchemy/crafting. Atlier Sophie 2 is no different. Sophie will hunt around the environment for various ingredients, engage in puzzles for crafting and combat foes in traditional JRPG fashion with other characters. A new mechanic in place allows changing weather to open up new paths.
The game was published by Koei Tecmo and launched for PC, PS4 and Switch on February 25.
4) Martha Is Dead
Yes, it's yet another one of those psychological horror walking simulators. What's interesting about Martha Is Dead is its setting. Taking place in 1944's Italy during World War II, the game puts players in the shoes of Giulia. Her twin sister Martha is, well, dead thanks to mysterious circumstances.
Giulia must piece together what happened to her in this thrilling tale that supposedly takes real-life inspiration for its superstitious nature and the recreation of the authentic Italian countryside. However, the game has seen controversy for one aspect - gore. So much so that it has been censored on PlayStation.
Martha Is Dead from developer LKA is out for PC, PS4, PS5, XB1 and XSX|S on February 25.
5) Dusk Diver 2
The original Dusk Diver launched in 2019 to pretty much no fanfare and saw average reviews. Despite its low budget, it oozed a lot of style and personality. It spawned a sequel with the returning protagonist Yang Yumo.
Chaos Beasts have taken over the city, so she must take them down to protect everyone. Engage in fast-paced hack & slash maneuvers to defeat enemies from another dimension. The developers at Wanin Games boast improved combat and a larger city to explore.
Dusk Diver 2 launches on February 25 for PC, PS4 and Switch.
Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.