Xbox Game Pass January 2023: Monster Hunter Rise, Persona 4 Golden, Persona 3 Portable


Xbox Game Pass’ January additions have been announced, and the list looks rather odd. Microsoft has only confirmed three new titles coming to its gaming subscription service this month, while booting off six existing entries from its catalogue. Starting January 19, the critically-acclaimed Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden will finally be available on Xbox consoles. Both are ports, in a sense, coming from Sony’s PlayStation handhelds — PSP and PS Vita — and are slated for launch on modern platforms such as PC, PS4, PS5, and the Nintendo Switch on the same day. Of course, PC Game Pass members can access them at no additional cost. Additionally, January 20 brings Monster Hunter Rise, Capcom’s latest addition to its fantasy RPG franchise, where you hunt down creatures hailing from Japanese folklore.

Developer Atlus confirmed the Persona games’ arrival on modern platforms, back in October. With Persona 4 Golden (P4G) available on the Steam marketplace since 2020, and Persona 5 Royal launching in October last year, it only made sense for publisher SEGA to help complete the set with Persona 3 Portable. Despite bearing the no. 3, the newer P4G is easily the more accessible gateway into the JRPG (Japanese role-playing game) franchise, introducing quests and plot elements that function freely — letting the main character plan out their days on a weather calendar, and explore life as they see fit. When not fighting procedurally-generated Shadows in the bizarre TV world/ dungeon, players can join school clubs, attend classes, strengthen bonds with other characters, and work part-time jobs to earn money to farm resources like medkits and revival beads.

Persona 3 Portable’s premise is a bit similar to Persona 4 Golden, in the sense that you carry a transfer student’s life through school, all the while moonlighting as a hero, to uncover the tragic truth of the Dark Hour. Dialogues will be presented in a visual novel format, while the combat retains the turn-based DNA. Persona 3 Portable also marked the first and only time one could play as a female protagonist. This, alongside P4G, will be available day one on Game Pass — same as Persona 5 Royal. You can also pre-install them and be ready to play on launch day.

Monster Hunter Rise has suffered a limited release, first launching on the Switch in 2021, then on Windows PC, the following year. January 20 would be the first time it gets ported to more powerful consoles, such as the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X. The game will be available for free on the last two systems, provided you have a Game Pass subscription.

As with previous Monster Hunter titles, Rise tasks you with slaying or capturing fearsome creatures using an assortment of weapons and tools — which upon completion grants resources that can be crafted into special armour sets and armaments. This forms the franchise’s signature gameplay loop, adding maps that focus on vertical movement. There’s also a multiplayer feature, which shouldn’t pose a problem for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers since it comes packaged with Xbox Live Gold. It’s available at Rs. 50 initially, after which it costs Rs. 499 per month.

Additionally, Microsoft has confirmed that six titles will be leaving the service soon. On January 16, you can say goodbye to We Happy Few, The Anacrusis, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Nobody Saves the World, [Pupperazzi(, and Windjammers 2.

And as usual, before they disappear from the service, you can choose to purchase them at a 20 percent discount.

Catch the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360, at our CES 2023 hub.



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