on January 10, 2017 by Cuppa
2016 was certainly an eventful year. With much-loved celebrities dropping like flies, the UK embracing a ‘Brexit means Brexit’ slogan and America hiring an orange man-child as their next president, it would be easy to write the year off as one massive, utterly regrettable, New Year’s hangover. Gamers do have a silver lining however, as 2016 brought us a lot of inspiring new games. Fair enough, No Man’s Sky was a bit of a flop, but thankfully games like Overwatch, The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy XV, Pokémon Go, Pokémon Sun and Moon, XCOM 2, Dark Souls III and Root Letter came charging in like silver knights on white steeds.
Indeed, the games planned for 2017 have a hard act to follow! There are definitely some gems coming up this year however, and what better way to start off the New Year than by getting hyped over some big new titles and looking sheepishly over at our bank accounts? Here are ten games I am particularly eager about this year. From role-playing games to visual novels, there’s something for everyone on this list! Read on to find out why I’m so excited, and why I believe you should be excited too!
The distant future…
Invaders from another world attack without warning, unleashing a new type of threat: weapons known as “machine lifeforms.” In the face of this insurmountable threat, mankind is driven from Earth and takes refuge on the Moon.
The Council of Humanity organizes a resistance of android soldiers in an effort to take back their planet. To break the deadlock, the Resistance deploys a new unit of android infantry: YoRHa .
In the forsaken wasteland below, the war between the machines and the androids rages on. A war that is soon to unveil the long-forgotten truth of this world…
I’ll be honest, Nier: Automata is one of those rare games that was able to draw me in on cover art alone. A composed heroine dressed in black, two giant swords mounted behind her and a boy being held in her arms like a princess? Easily one of the most badass designs I’ve seen in a long time. Sign me up! I immediately checked out the demo, of which you can download from the PlayStation Store, and found myself falling in love with the epic boss battles, open-world environment and fluid, combo-based gameplay. If, like me, you have little knowledge of previous Nier titles, you will be happy to learn that Nier: Automata shares no direct narrative with them and so can be enjoyed as a standalone title. Published by Square Enix and developed by PlatinumGames, Nier: Automata will be arriving on PlayStation 4 on March 10th, 2017 for Europe, and March 7th, 2017 for North America!
Digimon World: Next Order
YOUR FATED RETURN TO THE DIGITAL WORLD!
The Digimon World series returns with Digimon World: Next Order! An all-new adventure & story awaits!
The Digital World is in despair and on the verge of collapsing… they need your help! Explore and traverse this exciting universe to solve a digi-mystery infecting some of the Digimon. Recruit faithful Digimon companions and meet friends along the way to battle by your side through this epic journey.
The Digital World is waiting for you…
For the first time ever in the series, explore the Digital World with not one, but TWO Digimon partners!
Choose between a male or female protagonist
Recruit and Battle over 215 Digimon!
Remember that amazing game you played in 1999? You would hatch a creature from an egg, feed it, train it up, take it to the bathroom and then turn it into a champion and play mini games? No, not Tamagotchi… No, not Monster Rancher either… I’m talking about Digimon World! Granted there was a bit of a theme back in the day, but it would be fair to say that Digimon and Pokémon were the two monster-raising games that truly shone above the rest, and that to this day still hold a special place in consumers’ hearts. Digimon World: Next Order is the long awaited sequel to Digimon World. After the success of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, I personally cannot wait to re-enter the digital world with two new digimon partners! This open-world role-playing game is developed by B.B. Studio and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It makes use of an AI battle system and will be landing on PlayStation 4 on January 27th, 2017 for EU and January 31st, 2017 for NA.
THE BEST FIGHTS ARE PERSONAL
Raise your fists and get ready for the ultimate battle on the next generation of home consoles. Powered by the Unreal Engine 4, the storied fighting franchise returns for another round in Tekken 7. With the faithful 3D battle system and gameplay intact, Tekken 7 takes the franchise to the next level with photo-realistic graphics and new and innovative features and fighting mechanics. Tekken 7 resurrects the attitude, competiveness and showmanship rooted in its arcade DNA to provide the ultimate fighting game experience.
If you happened to have read my Top 5 Japanese Games (from the 90s) article last year, you’ll know that Tekken and I have a bit of a history. Ever since I was a little girl, Nina Williams has been something of an idol to me. She certainly made those forced taekwondo lessons, of which my uncle taught at the local leisure centre, a lot more worthwhile! I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Nina in a wedding dress, but with all those guns strapped to her thigh, I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Whatever the plot developments in Tekken 7, it seems they are likely to be pretty ground-breaking! This fighting game, as always, has me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. The fact that Tekken 7 has new fighters, new battle mechanics, moves, and is being powered by the Unreal Engine 4 doesn’t hurt either! No concrete release date has yet been stated, but it is expected to arrive early this year. Tekken 7 will also be available across various platforms, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via Steam.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Re-join your favourite marsupial Crash Bandicoot as he spins his way onto PlayStation 4 along with his three most memorable adventures, recreated in stunningly high-detailed graphics.
Including Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the N. Sane Trilogy has been lovingly built from the ground-up using the latest technology, brand-new audio recordings from the original cast and freshly-made assets to deliver the series’ classic gameplay to a whole new generation.
Face off once again with the evil Dr Neo Cortex in the first adventure and foil his nefarious plans to build an army of genetically-engineered minions, ice-skate and jet pack your way through bigger, free-roaming levels in the sequel before bouncing your way through time and space in the series world-hopping finale, Warped.
Are you ready to put more umph in your wump?
Crash Bandicoot holds a special place in my heart. Sure, some people may regard him as a ‘rubbish Mario’, but to me, Crash is my gateway to gaming! He introduced me to my PlayStation at the tender age of eight, as did other wonderful characters like Spyro and Gex. I still remember playing as Coco Bandicoot and riding that poor tiger cub repeatedly to its death as I tried to dodge obstacles and jump over traps. I also remember irritating my brother in two player mode as I tried to stop metal balls from bouncing into my goal with a bumper car. Stop yelling at me, Jake! Those bots are purposely targeting me, I swear! I was a master at Pogo Padlock though. Thank god for Pogo Padlock. This Crash Bandicoot remaster is a PlayStation 4 exclusive and is expected to be released sometime this year!
From the team behind The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D comes a daring new adventure that expands on everything RPG fans love about the genre. As a chosen Seedling, your mission is to build a prosperous oasis by working with your partner, lsuna. Meet and ally with members of other tribes to complete your mission, while battling against the Chaos threatening peace in the desert. Battle enemies in real-time combat as you switch between three party members and explore a savage desert. Forage for materials in caves and puzzle-filled dungeons to earn dewadems, which are used to grow new shops and even grow gear!
How can you not fall in love with those adorable, chibi faces? Ever Oasis’ graphics attracted me to the game immediately, but what kept me hooked was the promise of adventure. Exploring dungeons, completing missions, recruiting villagers and forging weapons are the cornerstones of any good RPG, and Ever Oasis shows them off well. Combine that with real-time combat and a beautiful, Egyptian-themed aesthetic (my inner Yu-Gi-Oh! fangirl is tingling), and you have one masterfully appealing game. Developed by GREZZO Co. Ltd, Ever Oasis is set to be released sometime this year for the Nintendo 3DS.
Dragon Ball Fusions
Dragon Ball Fusions is the latest Dragon Ball experience for Nintendo 3DS! It’s an RPG action game that combines fighting, customization, and collection elements to bring Dragon Ball to the next level. In this new world, players will discover powerful items, find warriors who can become their allies, and build teams to bring into battle to see who the best fighters are. The battle system combines strategy and real time action to make this a fun and unique Dragon Ball experience for fans.
Hot on the heels of Dragon Ball Xenoverse’s success, Dragon Ball Fusions comes blasting in with two child protagonists and a tournament full of Dragon Ball’s greatest fighters! Dragon Ball Fusions is unique in that it doesn’t follow the series’ timeline. Instead it creates its own scenarios while displaying an utterly adorable, chibi-Saiyan redesign. The focus on fusion abilities (of which two characters combine their powers to become a single, more powerful fighter) is distinctive to this game alone and provides some very interesting possibilities. Ever wondered what Nappa and Raditz would look like after performing a Fusion Dance? Well, now you can find out! Japan and North America have been lucky enough to already experience the game late last year, but Australian and European fans will have to wait until February 17th, 2017 to play it on their Nintendo 3DS’!
Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns
Trio of Towns is a fresh new entry in the ‘Bokujo Monogatari‘ series, a long-standing and top-selling farming/life-simulation franchise. After creating a customized character, players can live out a new life by cultivating their favourite fruits and vegetables while expanding and filling their farm with their choice of animals. For the first time in the series, players can explore three different towns, each with their own regional crops, animals, and flavours, in search of new ways to grow their farms and friendships. Players can also connect to one another, locally or via internet, to chat and trade useful items.
I do enjoy living in the countryside. I’m surrounded by farmland, cows, chickens, horses and sheep. It certainly gets me motivated to do all sorts of farm-related work! Well, all sorts of things that don’t go beyond leaving the house and doing manual labour, of course. If, like me, you like the idea of being a farmer but not the idea of getting stuck in mud and animal waste, you’ll absolutely love Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns! Story of Seasons allows you to raise animals, plough land, sell crops, create arts and crafts and entre competitions. It also allows you to fall in love with the cute farmer’s daughter/son and build a family! Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns really is your own personal slice of countryside heaven! Nintendo fans will also be amused to hear that you can dress your character as either Mario or Princess Peach with exclusive costumes! As a long-time fan of the Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons games, I honestly can’t wait to receive the next instalment of this beloved series. The lucky people in North America will have the game on their 3DS’ early this year. No set release date has been announced for Europe. Let’s keep our fingers crossed we won’t have to wait too long!
Bad Apple Wars
Bad Apple Wars follows the story of a young girl who gets herself into a terrible accident on the way to her first day of school. Upon waking from her accident, she finds herself standing before NEVAEH Academy, a school for those whose souls were left behind after death. From there she must make a decision: Join the Delinquents or the Disciplinary Committee. Each group believes that upon graduation, you will be able to resume your old life. Both groups have a different means to that end, however, with the Delinquents believing that ‘death’ is another word for ‘graduation’. They purposely break the school rules in order to be expelled, a feat that can only be achieved by eating the ‘forbidden apple’, which is considered the ultimate school crime. The Disciplinary Committee subdue and punish delinquents. They believe that graduation can only be achieved through good behaviour and wear strange masks to hide their faces. With such radically different views, it is perhaps no wonder why the two groups are constantly at war.
Bad Apple Wars is a visual novel and otome game, meaning progress through the game is made by selecting text-based choices and romancing one of several eligible bachelors. Otome is one of my favourite genres of games, so I honestly couldn’t be happier at Bad Apple Wars’ English localisation! A large number of otome games will be coming out in 2017, with two more (Collar x Malice and Period Cube) coming from Aksys Games alone. I do plan on compiling a list of all these games, so make sure to keep an eye out for it on the Rice Digital website! Bad Apple Wars is set to release sometime this year for the PlayStation Vita.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Forget everything you know about The Legend of Zelda games. Step into a world of discovery, exploration and adventure in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a boundary-breaking new game in the acclaimed series. Travel across fields, through forests and to mountain peaks as you discover what has become of the ruined kingdom of Hyrule in this stunning open-air adventure.
Link is back in a brand new, open-world adventure called The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The first original Zelda game to be developed with HD resolution, Breath of the Wild comes with an unusual graphic setting that features a cool colour palette and a type of cel shading that has me craving to watch a Studio Ghibli film. The purpose of the game is to explore the open-world environment around you and defeat the Calamity Ganon, a being who threatens to destroy the world. The player is given total freedom in what they can do in the world, being able to discover and complete more than a hundred puzzling shrines in whatever order they wish. Crafting items and equipment will also be vital to your adventure, especially when fighting against tricky enemies of various shapes and sizes! The game will be amiibo compatible and will allow you to have Wolf Link appear in game! Breath of the Wild will release sometime this year and will be available for both the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo Switch.
Persona 5 is a game about the internal and external conflicts of a group of troubled high school students – the protagonist and a collection of compatriots he meets in the game’s story – who live dual lives as Phantom Thieves.
They have the typically ordinary day-to-day of a Tokyo high schooler – attending class, after school activities and part-time jobs. But they also undertake fantastical adventures by using otherworldly powers to enter the hearts of people. Their power comes from the Persona, the Jungian concept of the “self”.
The game’s heroes realize that society forces people to wear masks to protect their inner vulnerabilities, and by literally ripping off their protective masks and confronting their inner selves do the heroes awaken their inner power, and use it to strive to help those in need.
Ultimately, the group of Phantom Thieves seeks to change their day-to-day world to match their perception and see through the masks modern-day society wears.
As I’m currently playing through Persona 3 Portable, I’ll admit I’m very late to the Persona 5 hype. That being said, even I can admire how impressive this next instalment to the Persona series is. As shown in previous Persona games, battles are turn-based and relationships are used to create strong bonds, but what new features will Persona 5 introduce? Well, characters will no longer be restricted by one weapon-type, as they will now be able to equip both melee and range weapons! Battle tactics and character customisation just got a lot more interesting, eh? The game’s Social Link feature will also be replaced by ‘Confidant Relationships’, wherein the protagonist will have to gain the trust of the people around him in order to make use of their special skills and powers. With the game going through lots of little upgrades (including a graphic style that warmly reminds me of Atlus’ Catherine), there’re plenty of reasons to look forward to Persona 5! The game will be available worldwide on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 come April 4th, 2017!
That’s it! Ten games I can’t wait to play this year. Bad Apple Wars and Nier: Automata may have been on my hype list, but were they on yours? What games are you looking forward to playing in 2017? Gravity Rush 2? Atelier Shallie Plus?
…Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash?
Let me know in the comments below!