Wow, it’s been a hell of a week for games! A Nintendo Direct and a State of Play on the same day and Tokyo Game Show to follow. RPGs have been announced left, right, and centre in the past few days. We’ve been busy over on the news team this week, that’s for sure.
When it comes to the Nintendo Direct, I think the highlights were the name reveal of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the announcement of Octopath Traveler II, and Fire Emblem Engage‘s reveal.
If you remember, I made a few predictions a couple of weeks back and a new Fire Emblem was actually one of them. Ayy, at least I got something right! Unfortunately, there’s still no sign of Wind Waker HD or Twilight Princess HD releasing on Switch. We are, however, getting Tunic on the console so that gives me my Zelda fix for the time being.
TGS was also full of RPGs. I think it’s pretty safe to say that, among the RPGFan staff, the highlight was Konami’s announcement of the Suikoden I & II HD Remaster. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes‘ appearance also had a lot of us smiling.
All in all, I think this week just reaffirmed that it’s a great time to be a fan of RPGs. I think you could even say we’re in another golden age.
Coincidentally, it’s another jam-packed week when it comes to RPG releases, so let’s get right to it!
Return to Monkey Island – September 19th (Switch, Windows)
The Monkey Island franchise is renowned for being one of the very best when it comes to the point-and-click graphic adventure genre. Fans have patiently waited over a decade for a new title in the series, and this week their patience will be rewarded when Return to Monkey Island hits Switch and PC via Steam.
Return to Monkey Island is set following the events of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, which means players can expect to see a cast full of familiar faces. The title will stick to what the franchise has excelled at in the past, so expect “clever puzzles, bizarre situations, and devastating ripostes” as you experience one of Ron Gilbert’s masterful creations once again.
I’ve never played any of the Monkey Island games, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of respect for both the titles and their creators. I think it’s great to see such a beloved franchise return, and I’m glad the team has found a way to stick to its roots while also bringing it into the modern era. I know the internet has seen its fair share of discourse when it comes to Return to Monkey Island‘s art style, but I personally think that it perfectly fits that storybook aesthetic many of us associate with the graphic adventure genre.
Oh, and don’t forget to pre-order it to secure your free horse armour!
There Is No Light – September 19th (Windows)
There Is No Light is a stunning pixel-art Souls-like isometric action RPG developed by Zelart.
As you experience the title’s 30-hour story and explore its grim underground world, you can expect to take on hordes of enemies and exhilarating boss fights. Zelart has said that the game is home to over 70 different types of enemies, and this variety isn’t just there for looks either as the developer claims that players will need to adjust their strategy and switch between all four of the game’s main weapons to survive the action RPG’s horrors.
There is No Light is looking to offer an experience that goes beyond combat, and throughout the title’s “thrilling and emotional” nonlinear narrative you’ll have to make countless choices that will impact the world itself.
I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I have never played any of the Souls games (pretty shameful of me, I know) so it makes it a little hard for me to comment on whether this is the type of game fans of the series are looking for. Regardless of my lack of knowledge, I still think it looks pretty great especially from an aesthetical standpoint.
Oh, and as a side note, I’m getting closer and closer to dipping my toes into the subgenre myself; I’m currently eyeing up that Demon’s Souls remake!
Amnesia: Memories and Amnesia: Later x Crowd – September 20th (Switch)
Both Amnesia: Memories and Amnesia: Later x Crowd are making their way to the Switch this week! Amnesia: Memories is a port; the title was originally released on the PS Vita back in 2013, but Amnesia: Later x Crowd is entirely new to the West.
This whole release then gets even more convoluted when you realize that Amnesia: Later x Crowd is actually a compilation of two games: Amnesia: Later and Amnesia: Crowd.
Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you a little bit about all three otome visual novels. The first title’s premise, Amnesia: Memories, is that your life depends on “hiding your recent loss of memory while you navigate complex relationships with five men” to rewrite a lasting love story.
Amnesia: Later x Crowd acts as a follow-up and allows players to deepen their relationship with the Memories protagonist and supporting cast through a series of story scenarios and mini-games.
Soulstice – September 20th (PS5, XSX, Windows)
Soulstice is Reply Game Studios’ take on the Souls-like genre. The developers have said they’ve pulled inspiration from Japanese action games and merged these ideas with a European aesthetic in hopes of delivering something unique within the genre.
The title is set in a dark fantasy world and tells the story of two sisters, Briar and Lute, who have been reborn as chimeras. Briar gains superhuman strength while Lute transforms into “a shade with mystical powers” because she sacrifices her soul to meld with her sister.
To experience the two sisters’ coming-of-age story, players must “master a diverse combat system, and inhabit the dual forces” of the two sisters as they take on vicious enemies, and spectacular boss fights.
I do like a good pun, and the fact that Reply Game Studios decided to name the game Soulstice, assumedly a play on solstice, definitely makes me smile. However, I’ll admit I’m slightly upset they didn’t decide to release the game on December 21st, the date of the winter solstice.
The Outbound Ghost – September 21st (Windows)
Well, the RPGFan staff know I’m excited about this one!
Throughout the game, you’ll meet a lovable cast of spooks, all of whom share one thing in common: regrets that trap them in the town of Outbound. It’s up to you as a player to help them right their wrongs so they can retire to the afterlife.
To do this, you must battle the past of these ghosts. As you progress through the game, you’ll “unlock figments of your past personality, such as Regret, Comradery, and Jealousy, and use them as party members in turn-based battles.”
Rather like Paper Mario, The Outbound Ghost also features a badge system. As you win combat encounters, you’ll be rewarded with materials that can be used to craft badges that can then be equipped to your party members, earning them new abilities.
I was actually lucky enough to get to interview the lead developer of the title, Conrad Grindheim, for RPGFan! If you’re interested in The Outbound Ghost and would like to learn a little more about the title and its development, I’d be humbled if you gave my interview a read.
Beacon Pines – September 22nd (Switch, Windows)
Beacon Pines is a “cute and creepy” graphic adventure game with a unique twist. The game is set within a book, and you’ll play as both the reader of the book and the title’s main character, Luke.
The town of Beacon Pines is home to an old warehouse. Something peculiar seems to be happing within it, yet no one in the town other than Luke and his friends seems to have taken any notice of it. Of course, curiosity gets the better of them and they decide to investigate it for themselves.
The game features a really cool mechanic that involves charms that allow Luke to perform different actions such as chilling, hiding, or pondering at certain turning points of the story. These charms are unlocked throughout, and players can then go back and use them at key moments to alter the game’s path and unravel Beacon Pines‘ secrets.
The DioField Chronicle – September 22nd (PS5, XSX, PS4, XB1, Switch, Windows)
The year of tactics continues with Square Enix’s latest strategy RPG, The DioField Chronicle! Don’t get me wrong; I’m not complaining. I’ve recently gotten into strategy games myself and this recent resurgence of the genre has been great.
The DioField Chronicle is a real-time, turn-based strategy RPG similar to the like of XCOM, which is actually something we rarely see when it comes to titles developed by Japanese studios. It features stunning diorama-style battlefields that give the game a rather unique aesthetic.
The title tells the story of Blue Fox, a band of elite mercenaries who find themselves in the middle of a gritty war. Players will take on the role of the group’s leader and must take into account their troop’s strengths and weaknesses to gain an advantage over the enemy and create battle-winning strategies.
Remember, if you’d like to give the game a go before its launch, a free demo of The DioField Chronicle is available across a variety of platforms. Your save progress will even carry over to the full release, so, assuming you have the time, there’s no reason not to give it a shot!
No Place For Bravery – September 22nd (Switch, Windows)
No Place For Bravery is a 2D top-down action RPG developed by Glitch Factory. I’ve seen this title pop up here and there, and I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I haven’t given it more of my attention before sitting down to write this week’s list. It looks awesome!
The title tells the darkly haunting tale of Thawn, an old warrior worn down by decades of vim and violence. During a cruel war, Thawn’s daughter, Leaf, was kidnapped, leading him to believe her to be lost for good. However, after Thawn witnesses the reappearance of the person who abducted his daughter, he decides it’s once again time to take up arms and set the world right.
It isn’t just No Place For Bravery‘s story that seems to be brutal though, as the game features “Sekiro-esque 2D combat.” Players will be expected to take on “fast-paced battles filled with dodges, parries, and counterattacks. Making mistakes will be punishing and you’ll experience a lingering sense of fragility while facing the dangers of Dewr.”
The more I’ve read about this game today, the more interested I’ve become. That’s one of the best parts about writing this column every week; I get to learn about loads of exciting games! I’ll admit that it probably isn’t great for my bank balance though.
Piofiore: Episodio 1926 – September 22nd (Switch)
The second otome visual novel release on this week’s list is Piofiore: Episodio 1926! The game is a sequel to Piofiore: Fated Memories, and it will have players once again return to the mafia-run streets of Burlone, Italy.
Players will be able to experience the continuation of each character’s story from Fated Memories in five new episodes enshrouded in a thrilling tale of mystery and murder.
Piofiore: Episodio 1926 tells story of Liliana Adornato, a church orphan who’s intertwined with the fate of the port city of Burlone itself. As a new threat betters the city, “the leaders of the Falzone, Visconti, and Lao-Shu families must come together in a temporary truce to retrieve a stolen relic and restore the balance of power.”
If you plan on playing Piofiore: Episodio 1926, it’s highly recommended that you play Fated Memories first seeing as the new game is a direct sequel. However, before you do that, make sure to read RPGFan’s review of Piofiore: Fated Memories written by Niki Fakhoori.
Potion Permit – September 22nd (PS5, XSX, PS4, XB1, Switch, Windows, macOS)
Last up on this week’s list is Potion Permit! This life-sim adventure RPG puts you in the shoes of Moonbury’s newest chemists. You’ve been sent to the quiet town by The Medical Association to cure the mayor’s daughter of a seemingly incurable illness and convince the residents of Moonbury of the wonders of modern alchemy.
You can expect all the usual life sim activities from the title such as befriending residents, gathering items and ingredients, ridding the world of monsters, and upgrading your new home. However, as an alchemist, you’ll have another duty alongside these familiar tasks! Potion Permit asks players to take care of the residents of Moonbury who will ask for your aid when sick. It’s up to you to diagnose their symptoms and decide on a cure. From there, you’ll need to use your cauldron to brew up medicine and vitamins to rid the residents of their illnesses.
In the past few years, we’ve seen quite an increase in life sim games. It’s definitely a genre that is gaining more and more followers, so the market for these games is absolutely there. Here’s hoping that Potion Permit can make its mark on the genre. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be the next Stardew Valley!
Also Coming This Week
Jack Move – September 20th (PS4, XB1, Switch)
Jack Move is a gritty cyberpunk turn-based JRPG. The title features stunning pixel art and tells the story of Noa, “a vigilante hacker who is thrust into a world of murder, kidnapping, and dark research after her father goes missing.”
We covered this one a few weeks back when it was released on PC via Steam, and this version of Jack Move hits Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox on Tuesday.
Excited for the title’s console release? Then make sure to check out RPGFan’s review of Jack Move written by Neal Chandran.
A big week of RPG announcements followed by a big week of RPG releases. Nothing beats that! Lots of variety too, with the return of the classic Monkey Island franchise, Indie titles like The Outbound Ghost, and even a nice strategy RPG in the form of the The DioField Chronicle.
Hopefully, there’s something for everyone.
Well, that’s all the RPGs coming this week. As always, thank you for supporting RPGFan, and have a great week!