I am an unabashed Falcom superfan. I've been unknowingly playing the company's games since my childhood, but my serious love affair with the Ys series began in late 2010, when XSEED brought us Ys Seven and Ys: The Oath in Felghana. From the moment Ys: Memories of Celceta was announced, I've been salivating over every morsel of information related to it, going so far as to review the game's soundtrack
earlier this year. Impressions of the Japanese version indicate that the series' signature combination of lightning-fast action and rocking music are a perfect fit for the Vita. I can't wait to see what new (old?) adventures are in store for Adol the Red. It's too bad that Dogi
won't be along for the ride.
While Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel both had flaws, I still found them enjoyable. Sure, XIII's design may have been stifling, and XIII-2's story bordered on nonsensical, but I genuinely enjoyed the experience of playing each one. I'm hoping that Lightning Returns can rein in the narrative and provide a satisfying conclusion to the titular heroine's protracted saga. At the very least, it's almost guaranteed that the game will have a stellar soundtrack, with the likes of Masashi Hamauzu, Mitsuto Suzuki, and Naoshi Mizuta on composing duty.
Like many of my fellow RPGFan staffers, I'm bonkers for Shin Megami Tensei. It's hard to believe that Nocturne was released nearly ten years ago in North America, and I can still vividly remember how awestruck I was by the game's uniquely foreboding atmosphere. Many other games in the series have been released stateside in the interim, but this long-awaited return to Shin Megami Tensei's dark roots holds great promise. I've already decided to leave my comfort zone and take the Chaos route this time around — my favorite renegade Liz Maas would be proud.
If you asked me what the best action RPG of this past generation (or, heck, any generation) was, I'd tell you Dark Souls without a second thought. Despite being in new creative hands, Dark Souls II looks to expand on what was great in its predecessor while offering a few new wrinkles of its own. There's been some fear that the game will be "dumbed down" to appeal to a broader audience, but nothing I've seen so far makes me think that will be the case. I look forward to checking it out at E3 and seeing for myself just what we're dealing with.
Daedalic's The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav was one of my biggest surprises last year, and one of the finest adventure games released in years. Filled with gorgeous art, great music, and great adventure gameplay, I was totally taken in by the story of a luckless birdcatcher called Geron and his spritely sidekick Nuri. The follow-up, Memoria, looks just as pretty and sounds like it will continue Geron and Nuri's story along with all-new characters and locations. I'm totally stoked to see more of this game.
I'm a pretty firm proponent of the notion that the Shin Megami Tensei series provides the absolute best in turn-based combat, intelligent storylines, and show-stopping creative direction. The newest game in the series sure seems like its well on its way to continuing that trend, and while some of the spin-off titles (Persona 4, Digital Devil Saga) have been more beloved in my heart, this is one RPG I can't wait to see more of. And seriously, have you heard that boss music? Glorious!
Final Fantasy Versus XIII or a localized Type-0 in any form other than iOS.
I haven't been this excited for a JRPG in years. I can't wait to assemble an army of demons from the world's many mythologies and pantheons and use them to defeat even greater devils (and perhaps gods). The setting looks fantastic and original, the exploration seems fun, and the press-turn battle system is one of the greatest turn-based systems ever to exist. I'm trying to remain relatively virginal until the game's release, but if it's available to play at E3, I won't be able to help myself.
From what little I've seen of Dark Souls II, it's another delightful adventure into video game hell, and that's just what I want. In the pocket of hell I'll share with other relatively anonymous players, I will brave the darkness, collect my enemies' souls, and die, perish, expire, and give up my ghost until I pull out my hair and pepper the carpet with the broken remains of controllers. I will endure, however, and the rewards will be grand.
I rarely feel this giddy about a video game. Turning Geralt's world into an open one filled with all the Slavic monsters, scheming kings, and gorgeous sights I can handle is enough to make me faint with excitement. Spending tens and tens of hours with the charming Geralt and trying futilely to stay out of politics while tracking, hunting, and slaying powerful monsters is all a Witcher fan can ask for. If CD Projekt RED delivers on all the potential (and when have they failed us before?), this could be the first game I actually call off work for. And that includes RPGFan. Sorry, John.
MMORPGs are still bringing in big dollars for companies that keep their budgets under control and find an under-served niche, and from what I've seen so far of the bright and whimsical WildStar, NCSoft might have something on their hands here. Of course, I said that last year about Age of Wushu, and I'm not sure how well that has performed in the US since its release.
Neal and I got a very, very brief look
at early work on Mistborn: Birthright last E3. What we saw looked for my money to be very conscious of the awesome magic system in the books and doing its best to exploit it through interesting gameplay. Although not on the official list of what Little Orbit will be showing at this year's E3 (Young Justice: Legacy
will likely be pushed more heavily given its pending release), we'll do our best to bring you some inside info on this intriguing title that, at least as far as our understanding last year, will be featuring dialogue written entirely
by Brandon Sanderson, author of the original books.
A turn based RPG by Daedalic set in the universe of the Dark Eye where you play the role of a convicted murderer? Yes please.
I don't think SEGA is even going to have PSO2 on hand, but I want it badly enough that I'm listing it anyway. I was a huge fan of the Dreamcast original, and the first proper sequel looks excellent. I love not only my sci-fi aesthetics, but I look forward to bashing rappies in HD. (My other choice for #3 was Bravely Default, which, as a 2014 release, is even less likely to be at the show.)
A Link to the Past is the favorite Zelda title of many a gamer, so the mere idea of a modern version set in the same world and classic top-down perspective is a dream come true. It looks to combine the best parts of glorious SNES nostalgia with a game that's not a simple remake or updated port. Color me excited.
I should admit a couple things: I liked Final Fantasy XIII... but not until I got to the point where there was more to do than run in a straight line. Final Fantasy XIII-2, I unabashedly adore, so much so that it was the first game in which I earned a platinum trophy. It needed more Lightning though, so I'm quite excited to see her final story. Looking at gameplay videos, I have no idea how much of an RPG this game will even be, but we'll see.
Pain reminds us we're alive. In this case, the Souls franchise reminds us we're gamers. Too long have we muddled through the past four generations of gaming, simply stumbling from point A to point B. Dark Souls II will continue to fill a niche, though large, part of the market uncontested until another developer realizes how fruitful pissing people off with their product can be. Most of all, I'm just glad loud, whiny "games were harder back in my day!" 20- and 30-somethings are quelled.
Like many of you, I was shocked at the quality of FFXIV's first iteration. Leaving an imprint on gaming history, Square Enix gave this game a major overhaul, and I'm excited to see the improvements (they have to be improvements, right?). Do I like MMORPGs? No. Do I even want to play it? Nope. Does the pre-adolescent in me want to see its favorite publisher reborn? You bet.
To those who know my reviews and taste in games, this should come as no surprise. I'm all about gaming in general, but the indie scene is critical to the longevity and pulse of our hobby. IndieCade has boasted quite an interesting selection of games to be seen at this year's E3, but the RPGs seem to be left wanting. Here's hoping our starving artists and designers can further stave off stagnation.
I've never truly gotten into the Tales series. From an outsider's POV, the series has always looked like a blast when it comes to gameplay, but full of anime tropes, which I don't stomach very well. Tales of Xillia just might be my first series purchase this summer, as that gameplay seems well intact, while the tropes, at least so far, seem toned down. And let's not ignore the lovely scenery, either.
These two remain my favourite "entry" in the Final Fantasy series behind only VI. X boasted a memorable story and characters (not to mention Seymour's spectacular hair), as well as gorgeous graphics in the PS2 era, already making it a perfect candidate for an HD update. Underneath all the cheese, its often underrated sequel had a battle system that kept me coming back and equally wonderful graphics. So while others will berate Square Enix for so-called cash grabs, I will gladly buy this once again for my PS3.
Of all the games and series for which I love to proclaim my adoration, there are few that have earned it the way Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has. While Shin Megami Tensei IV's storytelling may turn out to be less minimalistic than its predecessor, the return of the press-turn system combined with a traditional Japanese setting with a twist and an already promising soundtrack all make for a game that tops my list of reasons for acquiring a 3DS.
Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. To see my two favourite JRPG series come together in one title is something I never imagined happening, but I'll take it in any way I can get. Even if it means buying a Wii U.
OK, I'll admit, I'm just about as interested in The Witcher 3, but to hear that former producer Tomasz Gop is working on a new title with CI Games got my ears to perk up. It seems as if Poland has shifted to become a hotspot for RPG developers, with The Witcher, Two Worlds, and now Lords of the Fallen all coming from the central European country. Gop has a proven track record with the first two Witcher titles, and while there aren't a whole lot of details yet on Lords of the Fallen, there are enough to make me want to see it.
This one's a no brainer. A brand new Shin Megami Tensei game with a hybrid futuristic/medieval environment? Count me in. With the release of every new SMT game, I get just a little bit giddy, because I know different systems will be there for me to conquer. It doesn't matter if I spend all of my time with Jack Frost, a return to Press Turn combat is brilliant, considering how well the system worked in Digital Devil Saga and Nocturne. This one might already be out in Japan, but it needs to be in my hands sooner rather than later.
I sunk about five hours into the import version of Xillia, so I know exactly what to expect out of the gate. But to be fair, it's a Tales game — I don't have to have played any to know what to expect. Fast-paced battles, anime tropes, and skits aplenty await in Tales of Xillia, and it will be nice to play it in, you know, a language that I understand fluently. Alongside the Tales of Symphonia HD collection, this could make a very fine year for RPG fans.
While I personally found Dragon Age's first sequel to be an interesting tale chock full of political intrigue and compelling characters, it can't be denied that Dragon Age 2 received a lukewarm reception at best. However, it set the stage for a more interesting plot in the next entry to the story of Thedas. With the Darkspawn defeated and a civil war brewing, there's a lot to look forward to, narrative-wise, in Dragon Age 3. The only thing that matches this desire for narrative grandeur is the hope that BioWare and EA have learned from Dragon Age 2's development and deliver a much improved experience for its sequel.
One only has to read my review
of Tales of Xillia to know what I think of the latest entry in Namco's long running and much beloved RPG series, and the fact that I've played it to completion already makes me no less excited about its stateside release. The fact that Namco has promised fans a "Tales filled year" is just icing on the cake.
Is anyone really surprised? Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Persona 4 are among my favorite games of all time, not just for the interesting and unique takes on religion and classic mythology, but also the incredible artstyle and atmosphere each game delivers. A long overdue continuation in the mainline SMT series is something fans of the series have been desiring for some time now, and while some bemoan Atlus' transformation into "The SMT Company," I couldn't be happier.
And that's it! There's going to be no shortage of RPGs and graphic adventures at E3 – over 50 at least – and we'll be playing as many as possible and telling you all about it. Stay tuned!
Back to Feature Intro