So between the joy and chaos of the holiday combined with a fun little bout of illness I’ve been a bit lax on updates for some time now. Hopefully I can get back into the rhythm of things going forward but with five kids, who knows?
With 2015 coming to an end in a week it’s time to start looking forward to 2016 and the games being released. Of course these are all simply announced dates that could be moved about at the whim of the developer so take 2016 with a grain of salt. Here are a few of the games I’m looking forward to, in no particular order, in the upcoming year.
XCOM 2: This is the first game that pops into my head when I think about game releases next year. The previous games, including the more recent reboot and expansion are excellent representatives in the genre. There are a distinct lack of tactical RPGs on the PC so while I can’t say that I was initially excited about the fact that this game assumes that you lost the previous campaign I am more than willing to cut it some slack. What I’ve seen of this game thus far gives me hope as well. A mobile base that can potentially be attacked and a more proactive approach to mission choice will give the game a more active feel. This will be a nice change from the sit back and wait approach of the previous game.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth also is a February release and oddly enough I find myself looking forward to it. This probably has a lot to do with nostalgia as I used to watch the original Digimon show when I was a kid. I generally found it to be a more complete show than the Pokémon series, which was also big at the time and continues to be so. The developers were smart to set the starting partners to be the Digimon from that initial show as I’m sure that will bring in a lot of folks like me who wear the rose tinted glasses with pride. The fact that it’s a game I can play with my kids is also a bonus.
February seems to be a popular month with developers as another game I’m looking forward to releases then. That would be the new Fire Emblem Fates set of games. I do think it’s odd that they’re going the Pokémon route with the release of two similar games that tie into a third as it feels like a bit like they’re taking advantage of the consumer but I won’t deny that I’ll probably end up with both of the physical games being released (Birthright and Conquest) which would give me access to the third, downloadable title. I do hope that they retain the casual mode as I’ve never been that into permadeath, especially when they tend to write enjoyable characters.
In April we are to see the release of the next full Ratchet & Clank, called unsurprisingly, Ratchet & Clank. As there have been many games in this series it’s interesting that they’re taking the self-titled approach. I’m really hoping that this game returns to the form of the PS3 versions that were released as they were generally funny games and excellent platformers. I’ve gone back to play through them several times and they are one of the first sets of games I’ve ever introduced my children to. They’re very colorful, kid-friendly, but still a joy to watch and play. After the last game or two from this series I’m really hoping for a return to form instead of more ho-hum.
In August we’re supposed to see the release of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The previous game, Human Revolution, is among my favorites even though the ending seemed phoned in. As long as the developers keep in mind that players don’t want to be forced into playing any specific way this should be an excellent game. The style, story, and gameplay were all spot on and I’m looking forward to more of the same. I do tend to worry when they announce the game this far out though and I suspect that there will be at least one delay before we see release.
Bravely Second: End Layer is coming to the West sometime next year. The first game in the series is excellent and a return to what the Final Fantasy style games were meant to be. This is a continuation of that game so I’m looking forward to seeing the story further develop and the outcome of the first game.
Crackdown 3 is one of those games that I desperately hope is good. I really enjoyed the original Crackdown and have had the itch to go back and play it several times in recent months. The fact that I had sold off my 360 some years ago prevents that but hopefully the powers that be will add it to the list of backward compatible games for the Xbox One. I don’t know a lot about this game at this point. It’s more about the promise, and trying to forget that while I didn’t play it, Crackdown 2 wasn’t received all that well.
There are quite a few other games that I’m looking forward to in the next year but lack the ability to expand on them. Those would include:
- Street Fighter V
- Mighty No. 9
- Star Fox Zero
- Uncharted 4: Thief’s End
- Dragon Quest VII and VIII on the 3DS
- Endless Space 2
- Final Fantasy XV
- The God Eater games
- Gravity Rush 2
- Mass Effect: Andromeda
- Megadimension Neptunia VII
- Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir
- Persona 5
- Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem
- Star Ocean V
- Torment: Tides of Numenera
- World of Final Fantasy
Obviously, 2016 is looking to be another good year for gaming.