2015 is going to be a semi busy year for me in gaming. This is my must play list, not everything is confirmed for this year but most of it is and the other bit I have a good feeling about. I listed where I plan on playing them also for reference, although many of these titles will show up on multiple platforms.
Mighty No 9 (Wii U): What happens when Megaman’s creator gets to make a Megaman game that is part not Megaman and also part Megaman? We’re about to find out this year. This kickstarted project has the makings to be the best platformer of the year and for retro gameplay fans will be a must play.
Final Fantasy XV (Xbox One): This one is a big question mark for this year and admittedly is looking more like a 2016 release but we can dream right. A game who’s premise looks like 4 dudes going on a road trip though a monster and esper filled world. The combat looks like its going to be a fast and furious (by RPG standards). I feel like a lot is riding on this series for Square Enix, one of the last great bastions of AAA game development coming out of Japan besides Nintendo. A hit I think would go a long way with reestablishing the genre and prominence of JPRGs or maybe its the greatest swan song of all time, either way I can’t wait to play it.
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U): This is the other 500 giga ton kaiju in the room in the JPRG world. If you played the predecessor on Wii you experienced one the most ambitious titles of last generation. Xenoblade features gameplay that borrows from the modern MMO genre that has sprung up the past decade but placed in a meticulously crafted world defined by its sheer scope and variety and populated by ginormous creatures. This game will be huge, probably demanding 100s of hours to fully experience it all. Oh and did I mention this time around there are drivable mechs?
Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One): I played the Tomb Raider reboot over Christmas break and I had fun with it. Honestly though I prefer the Tomb Raider of old from a gameplay standpoint but signs point to this sequel having more puzzle solving and less emphasis on murdering 100s of a people. Either way the game will be featuring snow levels and nothing gets me pumped more than playing a snow level in the middle of winter. The gun play WAS very good in the Tomb Raider reboot so if they build on that for the combat sections and then build up the platforming and puzzle solving to be more gamey and less press forward to win, I think SquareEnix will have a winner on their hands.
ScaleBound (Xbox One): Platinum games are always on my must play list, but this one could be something very special. There’s not a lot of info out there yet but the premise of this game seems to be something about classic platinum action gameplay mixed with giant dragons. Thats really enough for me to get excited, but add in the fact that its an exclusive and Microsoft will probably be moneyhatting the hell out of this thing to get the action crowd back to Xbox and I think it really could be an all time great. Really this game is still a real mystery though so hopefully all will be revealed at E3.
Smite(Xbox One): Yea its been out a couple years now on PC. But I’m still new to MOBAs and this is a big one for consoles. This will be interesting to see how it does, will the gameplay translate? How about the business model? I do think its a cool idea for a MOBA, warring Gods, you can really go anywhere with that you want, just ask WarGods.
Majora’s Mask (3DS): Pretty sure this is the only console Zelda I ever skipped. I didn’t have an expansion pack and it just kinda passed me by, but as everyone knows the game has gained a cult following over time and lots of people swear its one of the best in the series. I have my doubts but I am super stoked to try it out. The OOT remake was pretty clutch, I thought Nintendo went above and beyond what hey had to do with it so if the same treatment is there for Majora’s Mask, it should be pretty good. I plan on picking this one up shortly.
Zelda U (Wii U): While we’re on the topic of Zelda we can’t neglect Zelda for Wii U. Due out late this year, we’ve already seen a few glimpses of the open world design in action at the Video Game Awards. Skyward Sword got a lot of flack for its linear gameplay, I honestly didn’t mind it and understood the “over world is a dungeon” feel they were going for. This game looks to fly in the face of that design though and pretty much do a 180. This looks to be the Hyrule Field to end all Hyrule Fields. Sadly with the Wii U not doing great sales wise it will be hard to get this game into the hands of the masses but if there was ever a Zelda to appeal to the modern gamer I think this one might be it with its Skyrim approach in 2015.
Overwatch (PC): Blizzard releases its first new IP in about 20 years and its some kind of a PIXAR looking super hero FPS joint, sure why not? Blizzard has always changed with the times and usually been a step ahead of their competition. They are masters of polishing a genre and making it accessible will they do the same for the already accessible shooter genre? I feel like the FPS is on the way out (thank god). Overwatch at first glance reminds everyone of Team Fortress 2 but look a little deeper and you’ll see that Blizzard IT factor that will have fun character design, lovely balance, and meticulously designed maps to play on. It’s probably the Blizzard fan boy in me but I’m stoked for Overwatch for no apparent reason other than its a Blizzard game with all those traits, we’ll see if that is enough later this Fall.