During the Nintendo Direct Presentation in January 2017, Project Octopath Traveler was revealed. It is being developed by the team at Square Enix that made Bravely Default, alongside Acquire. Project Octopath Traveler made an immediate impression with its sprite art and gorgeous backgrounds. A demo for the game came out in September, and it impressed many of us with its combat, graphics, and story. If that was only a taste of what is to come, and they take the feedback the players gave them seriously, we could be looking at one of the best RPGs of 2018.
Video game companies seem to be utilizing our nostalgia to their advantage as of late with their remakes of old games. But who's complaining, really? Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology is a remake of the widely praised Radiant Historia for the DS. Boasting an additional character, new character portraits, voice acting, and anime cutscenes done by A-1 Pictures, Perfect Chronology is the perfect opportunity to travel in time with Stocke as he desperately searches for the path to the perfect timeline. Or does such a thing even exist? You'll have to play to find out!
Release: 2018 • Platform: PS Vita, Mobile, Other Platforms TBA • Official Site
Romancing SaGa 2 was a surprise end-of-2017 treat, and apparently it did so well that a remaster of its previously unlocalized sequel is in the pipeline. One of Square's most beautiful 16-bit games, Romancing SaGa 3 boasts a wide and weird world ripe for exploration by eight different protagonists and two dozen more recruitable party members. You can befriend a lobster named Boston, for crying out loud. We have more than a feeling that this is one remaster you won't want to miss.
What initially captivated us about this game is the crossover between 2D platforming and farming simulation. In Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, you play as the titular harvest goddess whose primary goal is to provide for the humans inhabiting her island. You do this by fending off the demons lurking nearby and cultivating rice throughout the year. From what we've seen so far, the graphics are simply breathtaking and the gameplay looks addicting. Oh XSEED. Why must you make us wait?
Oh, and did we mention that Edelweiss are the developers behind Sakuna, known for the acclaimed high-speed mecha shooter Astebreed? It's a fascinatingly massive shift in genre, and we look forward to seeing how Sakuna comes together.
A surprise remake of a beloved SNES RPG will always be met with its share of concern and praise. So far, this take on Secret of Mana looks to use a graphic engine from the surprisingly good Adventures of Mana, without drastically changing the gameplay fans loved. While it's a bit of a shame it won't have online multiplayer, there's an old-school charm to, you know, sitting on a couch with friends too. So get some snacks and settle in.
SEGA started a fair few franchises on its ill-fated Dreamcast, but none are more renowned than Shenmue. At the time, these games were the most expensive video games ever produced, and they introduced the world to the quicktime event and the joys of awkward dubs. Fans have been dying for a sequel, and 2018 is the year it will hopefully be delivered. While the intial screens weren't too promising, there's no doubt that the prospect of spending time with Ryo Hazuki is exciting, 17 years after his last mainline appearance. It'll be fantastic to see just how Shenmue III fits in with today's crowd of walking simulators, visual novels, and narrative-led games.
Shiin ("Death Mark") is a horror adventure that oozes cool. Rumors abound that a cursed mark is spreading like a plague, and those who develop the mark are doomed to disappear without a trace. Walking home one night, you notice an unexpected bruise on your arm, and before you know it you've wandered into an unfamiliar spooky old mansion. To your horror, you realize you no longer remember who you are, but find yourself in alliance with Saya, a possessed doll who owns the mansion. When others bearing the mark arrive in search of help, Saya identifies supernatural happenings around the city and sends you and your new companions out in an effort to break the Curse of the Week. Experience Inc. haven't actually announced a Western release for Shiin yet, but they've hinted on Twitter that it's not out of the question. Brand this one for localization, please!
It is once again time to find yourself entrenched within the Antarctic wastes, raring to explore the oddity known as the Schwarzwelt: a black hole that has manifested upon Earth, eschewing the normal physical rules that govern reality. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux boasts a host of improvements, including new voice acting, script reworking, a new character, and over 300 demons to fuse and utilize in solving the mystery that awaits you in the Schwarzwelt. Let your investigative skill guide you when Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux drops later this year.
While unconfirmed for the West, SEGA has set a Japanese release date on the remaster of Shining Resonance, subtitled with the apt Re: frain. Featuring improved graphics and playability, as well as alternative playable characters and differing perspectives on the main plot, let's hope this refined gem lands Westward sometime soon. And if not? An import is only a few clicks away!
System Shock was originally released back in 1994, and there are ways in which it was far ahead of its time. It was a pioneer among games that allowed you to tackle situations as you saw fit rather than forcing you down a path where you "solved" all your problems via combat, and it featured a main enemy who didn't see killing you as the only way to achieve its goals. Not to mention the game's upgrade system, which sometimes gave you a beneficial effect but brought a debuff as part of the package, giving you the choice of whether the benefit was worth the pain. So sure, this game is 24 years old, but something tells us that when the remastered version hits our PCs later this year, it will still feel fresh.
Untitled From Software Project
Release: 2018? • Platform: TBD
We don't know much and have many theories (our best guess is a new dark horror game set in an Asian setting), but From Software has yet to let us down (hell, even Dark Souls III managed to surprise some of our jaded editors). Who knows if this thing will even release this year, but we'll be watching every new piece of information with a great deal of antici...pation!!!
We're sure everyone wants to wash the taste of Valkyria Revolution from their mouths, right? SEGA is working to give us the perfect palate cleanser in the form of Valkyria Chronicles 4, and this marks the series' debut on a Nintendo console! Details of a frozen tundra, new mechanics, and the return of that gorgeous art style are more than enough to get us on board, and from early screens and trailers, we've never been more excited to go to war again. The original trilogy paved the way for a new kind of strategy game, and the fourth installment looks to continue that trend. If you're still not excited, then there's a Good Dog called Ragnarok, and if SEGA puts him in harm's way, we will never forgive them.
Release: Spring 2018 • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC • Official Site
Vampyr puts the player in the middle of a tense moral dilemma as Jonathan Reid, a doctor turned beast of the night. Charged with a hippocratic oath to protect, and stained with an incessant desire to feed, Dr. Reid must traverse a hellish depiction of London amidst a savage hunt for all beings supernatural. Players will navigate the myriad relationships to be found across London, invoking either peace or mayhem depending on what they choose. DONTNOD Entertainment seems to be cooking up something special for an arrival later this year. Something players might be able to sink their teeth into altogether.
The time has finally come to witness the brewing finale of the flagship Telltale franchise, The Walking Dead. The threads of Clementine's story have run the gamut of nihilism, existential dread, sparse hope, and specks of joy. And now, with players resuming her adventure for one final stop, a conclusion will be chosen. We'd bet our left shoe that there might be zombies involved. Just maybe.
Chucklefish Studios is set to bring a rollicking good time to the arena of the tactical RPG with Wargroove, a fantasy-themed adventure seeping with what appears to be stylistic and mechanic inspiration from the Advance Wars series. Pixelated in both art and design, the title has been confirmed to sport twelve campaigns, online and local multiplayer, and a custom map creator. If you're feeling like a bit of strategy would do you good, Wargroove is a game certainly worth keeping a keen eye on!
Seemingly inspired by American roots music, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine feels like it would be perfect for those filled with wanderlust. As an unseen player, you travel through the contiguous United States. Throughout your rather poetic journey, you'll encounter others along the way who are itching to tell you their folktales. Your job isn't simply to listen to them but to pass them along to others you meet in your travels. With Sting as the narrator and a narrative that goes back to the United States' roots, we eagerly anticipate the train's arrival.
With the first season of Telltale's The Wolf Among Us showcasing a fairytale frenzy set in the world of acclaimed comic series Fable, the second season aims to continue the story of "Bigby" Wolf and Snow White, tangled in new conspiracies, conflict and drama within the Manhattan area, and the Fable community at large. Here's to another rip-roaring homage and spin on stories both present and of legends past.
Ten years after its original release on the Nintendo DS, The World Ends With You is set to come back in a stylish and slick way on the Nintendo Switch. Sporting a new epilogue, gameplay tweaks, and a timeless story of self-acceptance and overcoming the harshness of life, The World Ends With You -Final Remix- seeks to be accepted into your heart, much like Neku seeks to be accepted by those he learns to love.
What can be said about Yakuza 6: The Song of Life that isn't resplendent in its title? The final entry in reformed yakuza Kazuma Kiryu's tale, Kiryu must find absolution and a life outside of the blood and mayhem that surrounds him. Sporting a tale involving conspiracy, secrets, and threads that stretch throughout the lore of the series, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is set to create a beautiful crescendo and emotive climax for a series that allows you to become a karaoke professional in your downtime. Brings a tear to your eyes, don't it?
Release: 4/18 • Platform: PS4, PS Vita, Switch, Wii U, PC • Official Site
YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG seeks to bring the post-modern vibes of a surrealist '90s America into video game form, lacing neon visuals with a decidedly powerful theme of absolute change, at the height and turn of an old century into the new. AckkStudios brings turn-based battling with shades of Shadow Hearts, plights of video game journalists and talking cats, and a frontier just waiting to be explored by players when it lands.
Nihon Falcom and XSEED continue to be a dream team, localizing hit after hit to Western shores. Zwei: The Arges Adventure is one such prospective title, telling the story of two step siblings, Pokkle and Pipiro, as they journey upon the floating continent of Arges seeking to stop a malevolent force from destroying their sleepy way of life. Sporting 2D dungeon crawling, food-based leveling, and a pun-laden script, Zwei: The Arges Adventure seems to sport the hallmarks of a jaunty Falcom adventure, and with XSEED handling the localization, players could do worse than giving this one a look.