It’s early February, everyone is getting more comfortable in the year setting their foot further into whatever goals they wish to achieve and video games are getting more and more exciting to behold. Everyone and their moms have been praising how amazing of a year in gaming 2017 was, and that set a high standard for the coming years. There’s some exciting stuff that’s been in development, it’s always a thing in the industry and this year isn’t no different.
We all have our video games that we personally “hope” and anticipate to release in the year and while there’s been a couple that I’ve been anticipating that released like, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Monster Hunter World, I really wanted to think harder and share my thoughts on what games “I’m” the most excited for. I’ll only be including games that’s been confirmed to release this year too, even if it might seem unlikely. So, let’s dive into this!
10. Red Dead Redemption 2
It’s been years since the release of the original Red Dead Redemption, which was my personal favorite Open-World game and has never been topped since. Maybe it’s the Wild West setting and story, the gameplay that made the game so addicting to me, the world map being so large and interesting, it was hard for me not to enjoy the game throughout. I never completed the game 100% like I wanted, but there being a sequel in the works that could deliver an even larger world, new gameplay mechanics, enjoyable Western plot with top notch acting, and characters that are somewhat interesting, rivaling the first game’s quality. I think we’re in for another Rockstar Games hit.
9. Mega Man 11
It’s great to see the Blue Bomber make another revival, but this time with a step in the right and refreshing direction. No longer will Mega Man be tied to that NES nostalgia trip, now we’re hitting the next generation of Mega Man in a 3D cel-shaded art style and a fresh new redesign for Mega Man and co. All Mega Man fans should be excited, because Capcom is finally making that next step to please the starving fans once again, with a new found passion. Here’s hoping it doesn’t become another Blue Bomb…
Spider-Man getting a new game from Insomniac Games? Who’d imagine that? Spider-Man is my personal favorite comic book hero and despite playing a couple of the Spider-Man games like, Ultimate Spider-Man(GBA), Web of Shadows and Shattered Dimensions, I don’t really have the most fondest memories of playing these games, despite enjoying WoS a lot. That experience I had with the Spider-Man games never stuck with me, I guess from the ones I played they just didn’t do much for me. With the upcoming game, it’s going to be big budget, cinematic and open-world as expected. Plus, the Arkham Asylum style of gameplay is welcome, considering how well done it was in those games, the only thing that worries me about this new game is the QTEs getting in the way of the overall gameplay. Otherwise, I have high hopes for this title and hope it delivers really well.
7. Soul Calibur VI
I’ve never been a fan of the Soul Calibur series, but I’ve always appreciated it. I did play some SC, SCII, bought SCIII, played a lot of that and rented SCV, and enjoyed it for what it was, but that SC competitive scene? I’ve never dipped my toes into and with SCVI I think I’ll be interested. I never really spent time trying to git gud at the SC games and the time is finally coming, the game is looking very solid.
Taking some cues from Tekken 7 and bringing back the more fast-paced gameplay from the original two SC games, that the hardcore fans are ecstatic about. Fingers crossed for Tira and Setsuka’s return, I loved those characters a lot in SCIII, although Xianghua and Sophitia look like characters I can see myself learning, along with Kilik, Nightmare, Mitsurugi and Zasalamel, from the currently revealed roster. Looking forward to another amazing fighting game title from Bandai Namco!
6. Dragon Quest XI
Being someone who’s never touched the Dragon Quest games from the looks of it, this one is shaping up to be my very first entry. This game will take a more open-world approach to the formula, but still retain the same turn-based combat, so that’s pretty awesome. I’m just in for that Akira Toriyama art style, a simple, enjoyable plot, a compelling cast of characters. Good ol’ JRPG charm and adventure, I don’t know if I’ll be picking up both the 3DS and PS4 versions, but I think I just might hehe, I love me some Chrono Trigger so I gotta see what the fuss is all about you know?
5. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Oh yeah Street Fighter! I’ve been a fan of the series, since early on in my childhood and with this game’s announcement trailer along side the rumors before it, it got me so pumped for this release! It will contain literally every iteration of the franchise that came to the arcades and that’s definitely a steal from the price it’s asking for. Gallery modes and all the extra goodies you would expect, it also includes netplay for Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. Unfortunately, Street Fighter Alpha 2 won’t have netplay, but there’s always FightCade.
The collection sounds super promising for all SF fans, including me, just have good netcode please! I also wish, the best console versions of some of these were ported instead, but it’s fine sticking to the arcade versions, it’s a bummer that Alpha 3 Max with all of those extra modes and characters like Eagle, Yun, Maki and Ingrid probably won’t make the collection. I’m not sure if they’re going to use the vanilla version of SFA3 only, but it would be strange considering there’s other arcade releases of SFA3, I hope they at least add the latest version or give us the option to choose. Oh well, it’s going to be pretty awesome though, just don’t fuck up the netcode, the game won’t be worth it, if that’s the case. It’ll just be amazing being able to play Third Strike and Alpha 3 on my PS4 and all the other current gen platforms, in the best way you could possibly play all of these SF games, hopefully…
4. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of my all-time favorite video games and Bloodstained is its spiritual successor, an Kickstarter game headed by Koji Igarashi who’ s mainly responsible for the Metroidvania style Castlevania games. Considering most of those were pretty top-notch, I have high hopes that Iga is capable of delivering a quality product, along with his team. I know there’s people out there who are cynical about it and are predicting that it’ll be another failure like Yooka-Laylee and the infamous Mighty No. 9, but personally I think this will be one of the few successful Kickstarter titles backed by a creative mind, progressing forward from a previous establishment. I’m just that confident in Iga and it looks like development is going smoothly, nothing has given it a bad name so far.
Otherwise, having a new heroine is exciting, Miriam as a character design is very appealing, the bosses, Michiru Yamane’s(as well as Jake Kaufman and whoever else) music and environments are giving that Gothic-Horror vibe that I fucking adore. As much as I would prefer this game to use pixel art or hand-drawn animation, the game still has a cel-shaded visual style that sticks out in a good way. I’m pretty excited for Bloodstained, I have been since its announcement and I’m crossing my fingers that the development for this one wasn’t all for naught, I’m still confident in its success though.
3. Fighting EX Layer
Ooooooh hell yeah! Do you know how fucking long I’ve been waiting for these characters to return?! The first game I ever got my hands on and vividly remember playing was the underrated Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha, it was the video game that pretty much shaped my taste in many things, video games, music, etc and it was just an overall enjoyable fighting game that I could put tons of hrs into without getting enough of it. It made me the fighting game fan that I am today and you know for sure that it had some original characters that I wanted to come back in new Capcom games or Arika at least coming back with a new title with them in it. Years ago, there was the Fighting Sample that Arika created for the 3DS that included a couple of the SFEX originals like, Hokuto, Shadowgeist, Kairi, Blair and whoever, but it never became an actual thing until 2017’s April Fool’s joke from Arika…
Kairi, Hokuto and Garuda in the Unreal Engine 4?! It was a hype reveal, but was it going to be real? Thank the Gods, it’s actually going to be a real fucking game and I’m so looking forward to kicking ass with my favorites such as Skullomania, Doctrine Dark, Cracker Jack, Area, Pullum and Garuda! From the Open Beta it was quite promising, the mechanics are pretty cool as well, despite being a little broken, they do add another “layer” to the matches. The game could possibly flop, but the game actually being a fairly polished and captivating fighter is enough to get my thirst quenched, it’s a passion project that I can see having a lot of effort and love put into it, the success is in your hands Arika!
(Some gameplay I captured, to catch your interest)
2. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
I think we all saw a new title in the No More Heroes series coming eventually and with the release of the Nintendo Switch, that lingering thought and speculation has become a reality. Despite not being the third installment in the series, this spin-off game definitely catches my interest, with Travis Touchdown making a return along with a relative to one of Travis’ previous assassinated, introduced in this game, Badman. From the gameplay revealed just recently, it looks to take different gameplay perspectives compared to the previous titles and it still looks super fun and similar to the others as well. Though I hope the gameplay isn’t stripped down too much, I doubt that’ll be the case really and it’ll still be a pretty fun game. Co-op play has been revealed too, which is pretty fucking awesome.
It’s been confirmed that each assassination will take place in the world of Indie games and that concept alone brings even more hype for me, considering the unpredictability of it. Existing Indie titles won’t be explored anymore, like Hotline Miami or Shovel Knight and they will instead be used as cameos for Travis’ T-Shirt designs apparently, but I’m very curious how the original indie titles will be incorporated into the game, the portrayal of Travis himself and all of the new unique characters I’m sure Suda and his team will bring to the table(They certainly take unique forms, *wink* *wink*). I’ve been waiting for a new NMH(Hell, replaying the NMH games currently) title for years and seeing the series not dead, warms my heart and gets me ecstatic, I just need a Nintendo Switch and I’m good to go!
Before I go into my number one, I want to give a couple of titles honorable mentions:
Hideo Kojima’s new baby, as a big fan of the guy myself my eyes have been dead set on this one and with the recent trailer, my interest has only risen. Kojima himself has revealed that this game will release before 2019 and a couple of days ago it was also revealed that the production of the game has been a fast process, I don’t know how to feel about this, but hopefully that’s more so a good thing than a bad thing, and it’s probably a good thing it’s fucking Kojima.
If the release date was actually confirmed I would have had it in my top 5 though, maybe number 3 or something haha. Otherwise, I’m definitely fucking excited for this one if it’s actually releasing this year. It looks wildly weird and intriguing, as expected from the man himself.
Super Smash Bros. for Switch
Now for my most anticipated game of the year.
1. Kingdom Hearts III
Here’s the big boy, Tetsuya Nomura’s magnum opus(well, what we all hope) Kingdom Hearts III! KHIII is probably one of the most anticipated video game sequels of all-time if you look back, along with Sonic Adventure 3(RIP?), Half-Life 3(RIP), Shenmue 3, Mega Man Legends 3(RIP?), the list goes on, but yeah out of all of those KHIII is actually the massive one. KHIII is that one that, we’ve been teased about, since the release of KHII along with all of the spin-off titles. Everyone’s been waiting eagerly for this release and it looks like we’ll be finally seeing that become a reality this year. Reuniting with the gang in the new Kingdom Shader, powered by Unreal Engine 4, pretty much the best you will ever see these characters so far in the series. Exploring the Disney worlds that we know and love, this time having new ones from Toy Story, Tangled, Big Hero 6 and the recently revealed Monsters, Inc, Toy Story being the one that pretty much drove me to tears when it was revealed.
Since, it’s been confirmed that the team that worked on the original KH games and the Osaka team that worked on Birth by Sleep and Dream Drop Distance have combined their efforts to develop KHIII, this will be KH in its truest form and despite the trailers being before that merge I think, it’s truly showing in the trailers that’s been revealed, the game is looking just fantastic! Seeing the story of Sora and his friendship with Donald and Goofy finally come to a close will be a captivating one for sure, and will probably be one we cherish every second of. It’ll be quite the experience to behold the finale of the Dark Seeker Saga, we’re all ready for the final confrontation of Sora and Xehanort, and I hope that it’ll be the conclusion that etches a deep impact into our hearts. An impact that reminds us in the midst of our constantly aging selves that, our child-like wonder and grasping for the things that we grew up with, shouldn’t ever die, “Don’t Think Twice” about that. 😉