60 Most Anticipated Games of 2019: Part Three
January 28, 2019

Today we bring you the final batch of titles for our Most Anticipated Games of 2019. This time around you'll find pocket-sized monsters in three distinct varieties, the unofficial answer to our pleas to bring Advance Wars back, and many more promising titles from indie studios and big companies alike.


Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
Platform: PS4
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox

More and more information is trickling in about the newest chapter in Falcom's venerable franchise. Fans looking forward to an older Adol Christin's adventures in a prison city and the surrounding area can expect party battles with frantic, aggressive action sequences and gameplay. A guild management system will also be included in Ys IX: Monstrum Nox and, once again, exploration promises to be key. The action RPG series seems poised to return in a very big way with its ninth entry.

Write-up by Audra Bowling


Ooblets
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Ooblets

If you had to return to your hometown to inherit the family farm, what would you do? If your first thought was to grow a garden of plant-based buddies to enter into dance battles, I've got good news: Ooblets is exactly that, with an adorably wholesome "Weird Twitter" sense of humor. Combining surreal comedy, Pokémon, and Harvest Moon, Ooblets is an RPG for all ages to enjoy.

Write-up by Robert Fenner


13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
Platform: PS4
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

"Hello, thank you for calling Vanillaware."

"Yeah hi, look, seriously, what is up with 13 Sentinels? You announced it in 2015, brought a cardboard mecha to E3 in 2017, and now it's sort of on hold? The idea of a side-scrolling action RPG akin to Odin Sphere in an urban setting with giant robots and Vanillaware's signature 2D art expertise is impossible to resist. Please don't let this game fade into the ether and let us experience it one day!"

"This is a recording."

The above was written literally days before 13 Sentinels resurfaced, so clearly someone at Atlus is keeping tabs on our brains.

Write-up by Mike Salbato


Afterparty
Platform: PC
Afterparty

How hard can you party? What if the very salvation of your soul depended on it? This new dynamic narrative game from Oxenfree creators Night School Studios will seek to crank up the irreverence as Milo and Lola are greeted by the welcoming party of Sheol. Distraught over the realization that they're dead (and there is a God), they go out to drown their sorrows in the pubs of Hell. There they learn about a legal loophole as big as the exhaust port on the Death Star: if they can outdrink Satan himself, they'll be set free.

Write-up by Pete Leavitt


Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World
Platform: PS4, Switch, PC • Release: March 26th
Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World

With so many Atelier games to draw from, it's about time that Gust made a crossover game for the series. Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists celebrates 20 years of Atelier by bringing in characters from across the series into one game. Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists contains the usual Atelier gameplay features like exploration, combat, and research, but also ventures into some town building. For longtime Atelier fans, this is one to keep an eye on in March.

Write-up by Nathan Lee


In the Valley of Gods
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
In the Valley of Gods

Following up on Campo Santo's indie-adventure hit Firewatch, In the Valley of Gods looks to continue their strong focus on character, narrative, dialogue, and world-building. Set in 1920s Egypt, this first-person adventure game has you taking on the role of a disgraced explorer and filmmaker on the hunt for the archaeological discovery of a lifetime. While Campo Santo is looking to release In the Valley of Gods in 2019, rumor has it that date could slip into 2020 if more time is needed to give the game the polish it deserves.

Write-up by Jonathan Logan


Digimon Survive
Platform: PS4, Switch
Digimon Survive

Digimon has seen its fair share of RPGs over the years, but a Strategy RPG with an emphasis on survival is certainly unique for the series. Digimon Survive promises a choice-heavy narrative where characters may live or die depending on player actions and a more mature feel overall, so this Bandai Namco title may grab the attention of older Digimon fans and newcomers alike.

Write-up by Audra Bowling


Wargroove
Platform: Switch, PS4, XB1, PC • Release: February 1st
Wargroove

While Intelligent Systems has been giving us the Fire Emblem love lately, they've long neglected their other turn-based strategy franchise, the Advance Wars series. Thankfully, Chucklefish Games is here to pick up the slack with their new strategy game Wargroove. Pulling from a fantasy aesthetic rather than modern warfare, Wargroove has a cartoony pixel-art style similar to what we remember from Advance Wars, while updating the gameplay with modern features like online multiplayer and cooperative play. Featuring multiple commanders, four factions, and twelve different campaigns, Wargroove looks poised to bring the silly fun back to turn-based strategy!

Write-up by Jonathan Logan


Indivisible
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Indivisible

Indivisible is just about to enter Alpha phase, and we couldn't be more excited for this game. Using Metroidvania-style dungeons and a Valkyrie Profile-inspired combat system, the team behind Skullgirls look to have created a beautiful looking game with a huge cast of characters from all walks of life, and inspired by multiple cultures and mythologies across our own world. No two companions look or feel alike, and the game's striking hand-drawn visuals are sure to attract attention. Indivisible is a game worthy of your attention, and if the quality of Skullgirls is anything to go by, this looks like it's going to be another winner for Lab Zero Games when it finally releases.

Write-up by Alana Hagues


Over the Alps
Platform: PC, iOS
Over the Alps

Coming to us from Stave Studios (ex-Failbetter devs), Over the Alps is a postcard-exploring spy thriller illustrated in a striking minimalist style. The protagonist finds a box of correspondence in his attic that his grandfather sent home during WW2 — his grandfather being an undercover antifascist agent on a clandestine mission from Italy to Germany via the Swiss Alps. Players determine the spy's path by what letters they choose to read. However, one must be careful to keep a low profile: the Nazi spyhunter is constantly at your heels. Fans of cult darling 80 Days will no doubt be enticed by this one.

Write-up by Robert Fenner


Edge of Eternity
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Edge of Eternity

Edge of Eternity has looked really promising ever since it was first announced. This indie JRPG entered early access late last year, and the developers at Midgar Studio will be continuously updating the project and releasing new content. It's an impressive effort, and hopefully the whole thing pays off with a tremendous homage to the RPGs of yore.

Write-up by Peter Triezenberg


Shin Sakura Taisen
Platform: TBA
Shin Sakura Taisen

Sakura Taisen was a beloved series of games from SEGA in the late 90s and early 2000s, which featured a unique blend of strategy RPG, dating elements, and why not, steam- and spirit-powered giant robot suits. A series almost entirely exclusive to Japan, none of the games saw a Western release until 2005's Sakura Taisen V, which NIS America brought to our shores in 2010. That fifth game ended up being the last in the series (aside from spinoffs), so it was quite a surprise in 2018 that SEGA announced Shin Sakura Taisen as a continuation of the main series. Set for release in 2019, we still know next to nothing about the new title, or even what it looks like. But as a revival we never expected to see, we're looking forward to it taking form.

Write-up by Mike Salbato


Granblue Fantasy: Relink
Platform: PS4
Granblue Fantasy: Relink

The original Granblue Fantasy is an incredibly popular free-to-play mobile game in Japan, with over 23 million downloads as of this writing. While the mobile game has never been officially released in the US, the action RPG follow up will be coming West. The game will take place in the same universe as the original in a different location, but with returning characters. Granblue Fantasy: Relink will feature character designs by Hideo Minaba, the artist behind Final Fantasy IX and XII, music by the venerable Nobuo Uematsu, and combat from PlatinumGames. So it's clear the game has the pedigree for success. Plus, the initial gameplay footage looks awesome.

Write-up by Zach Wilkerson


Knights and Bikes
Platform: PS4, PC
Knights and Bikes

Developer Foam Sword describes Knights and Bikes as a game "about little girls kicking up hell on a small british island in the 1980s." The only thing more endearing than its premise is the adorable hand-painted art style. At a glance, it would be easy to see Knights and Bikes as 2019's Night in the Woods, but the gameplay should set it apart. In Knights and Bikes, Nessa and Demelza explore an island on their bikes, discover treasure, and rescue islanders along the way. These islanders grant new abilities, which open up more of the island for the girls to discover. The game features both local and online co-op, so we can't wait to grab a friend and explore the island for ourselves.

Write-up by Mike Salbato


LUNA - The Shadow Dust
Platform: PC, iOS, Android
LUNA - The Shadow Dust

An enchanting adventure game that happens to be completely hand drawn and animated, LUNA follows a young boy, joined by his feline/canine/chiropteran best friend, on an ascent through a mysterious tower that contains gateways to other worlds. Completely eschewing dialogue to tell the game's story through its visuals, artist Beidi Guo has poured countless hours into making every bit of LUNA as expressive as possible, and it really shows. We can't wait to see LUNA on PC and mobile platforms this year.

Write-up by Robert Fenner


The Occupation
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One • Release: March 5th
The Occupation

Games that play out in real-time are often hit or miss, as it can be challenging for developers to anticipate everything that a player might want to try. But it looks like White Paper Games may have hit the sweet spot with their first-person adventure/stealth game The Occupation. Set in the UK in 1987, you take on the role of an investigative journalist researching "The Union Act," a controversial law curtailing civil liberties that was put into place after a terrorist attack that killed 23 people. The entire game plays out in real time over the course of four hours, during which you can directly impact unfolding events through your in-game actions. Think Hitman, but with less murder and emetic rat poison.

Write-up by Jonathan Logan


The Princess Guide
Platform: PS4, Switch • Release: March 26th
The Princess Guide

Four princesses rule four different kingdoms, each with their own unique, bombastic personality. Sounds like a Nippon Ichi game! But what makes The Princess Guide so intriguing is that you can choose between the four princesses, and each one has a different story to tell. Battles look like a blend between tactical and action RPGs, where party tactics are mixed with fast-paced combat. Count us interested, and be sure to check back here when the game launches at the end of March.

Write-up by Alana Hagues


Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition
Platform: PS4, Switch
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is one of the greatest experiments in multiplayer RPG history. Just how much money were we willing to spend, and how much hardware could we collect in one place, to play this game with three other friends? To be fair, finding friends with a Game Boy Advance was not usually difficult, and the notion of each person having their own personal menu and screen was an amazing novelty. A solid game with utterly fantastic music by Kumi Tanioka and others, some of us have thought it would be an ideal title to re-release in HD with both local and online multiplayer components, and that's exactly what we're getting this year. Soon we will be able to gather around our Switches on some cool, moonless starry night and revisit one of the best reasons to have been a GameCube owner.

Write-up by Mike Salbato


Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Platform: Switch
Fire Emblem: Three Houses

After four (six if you count the Fates trilogy separately) games on handhelds in a row, the Fire Emblem series returns to a home console. The only trailer we have of Three Houses so far showcases soldiers following your units into battle, unit formations, bosses, and being able to freely explore your castle. Many are eager to see the direction Fire Emblem: Three Houses takes, and how the story and gameplay will evolve in this move back to a console.

Write-up by Nathan Lee


Pokémon Generation 8
Platform: Switch
Pokémon Generation 8

The main Pokémon games will finally enter the HD era this year! With that brings a wealth of possibilities for the series that wasn't possible before on handhelds: battles running smoothly, more emphasis on character reactions, expansive environments, and more. There's also the possibility of having grander adventures with more processing power to work with. The games can be bigger, longer, with more things to do. Simply put, the possibilities are near endless, and we can't wait to see what Game Freak will do with the Switch.

Write-up by Nathan Lee



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