Eric’s Most Anticipated Games of 2014

Friday, December 13th, 2013

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It’s that time of year again. It’s time to pretend the insane backlog of games we built up over the past year doesn’t exist and look ahead to the games we’re planning on getting next year. As such, I’ve decided to join in the annual tradition of writing up a piece on my most anticipated games of. Since they threatened told me I could only pick five, I’m not imposing any restrictions on my list. Narrowing it down to five was hard enough. I’m sure there will be a few games that overlap with other lists, but I hope to at least provide some unique perspectives.

First however, let’s check out some games that just missed making the list.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Final Fantasy Agito I can already see the comments calling me crazy, so let me explain. First of all, the game does look amazing. On top of that, the producers want the game localized and they admit that localizing this game wouldn’t make sense without a localization of the game it is a spiritual sequel to—a game people have been wanting for a couple years. Yes folks, this is a stealth pick for Final Fantasy Type-0. Unfortunately, Type-0 is probably too old to be localized in its current form as a PSP game, however a port or remake is not out of the question—especially if Agito sells well in Japan.
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero — It’s been a Shantae kind of year. The original Gameboy Color game got a release on the Virtual Console and Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is due out soon. After watching a very interesting (and very successful) Kickstarter campaign for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, it’s hard not to look forward to the game’s release.
  • Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars — I always like when companies take a chance on localizing a game from a series that’s never had a Western release before. It’ll be interesting to see how this one turns out.
  • Dragon Quest VII — *Smacks Square Enix* Just announce this one already, will you?

And now, on to the actual list, in no particular order.

 

Most Anticipated Games of 2014

TALES OF SYMPHONIA CHRONICLES

Tales of Symphonia is widely considered to be one of the best games in the Tales series. However, since I have never owned a Gamecube, I’ve never had a chance to play it. I know I could pick up a copy now and play it on my Wii, but the game is not only hard-to-find, it’s also rather pricey.

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles is an HD remake of both Tales of Symphonia and its sequel, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. The collector’s edition is chock full of goodies such as a soundtrack and artbook, so obviously that’s the version I’ve got pre-ordered.

Admittedly, I’ve only played a couple of other Tales games, so I really look forward to adding these two to that list.

 

Most Anticipated Games of 2014

PIER SOLAR HD

Pier Solar is a 16-bit homebrew RPG initially released for the Sega Genesis back in 2010. It featured a completely original story, soundtrack and art style. Last year, the developers launched a Kickstarter campaign to remake the game in HD and release it for modern platforms such as PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PC. Interestingly, they are also making a Dreamcast version, perhaps giving me a reason to finally pick up that console.

Pier Solar HD has the honor of being the first Kickstarter project I ever backed, so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this all turned out when it gets released in March.

 

Most Anticipated Games of 2014

X

I’m sure Monolith Soft’s upcoming game is going to be on many of my fellow oprainfall staff members’ lists.  However, the decision to add this to mine was a difficult one.

The trailer shows off some impressive graphics in a variety of settings. There are giant mechas involved (after all, there are always giant robots), and there will be some multiplayer features. However, that is pretty much all we know about the game. Since E3, we’ve heard next to nothing about it. We have no idea what it’s like. We don’t know any of the characters. We don’t even know the game’s proper title—it’s only ever been referred to as X. With so much uncertainty, it’s tough to say that it’s one of the “most anticipated” games of the year.

But let’s face it, the awesomeness of Xenoblade Chronicles is why we’re all here in the first place. Anyone who enjoyed that is surely looking forward to seeing what Monolith Soft will do for a follow-up, and I am no exception.

 

Most Anticipated Games of 2014

BRAVELY DEFAULT: FLYING FAIRY

Bravely Default is a new RPG from Square Enix. It’s considered by its developers to be a spiritual sequel to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. It has some features in common with Final Fantasy games, such as elemental crystals, a familiar job class system and character designs from Akihiko Yoshida, who also worked on The 4 Heroes of Light as well as the Ivalice-based Final Fantasies.

There is an updated version called Bravely Default: For the Sequel, which made several improvements to the original. This new version is the one being released in the West, which gives us a chance to check out all these improvements first-hand. With all the praise it’s received in Japan (and Europe), I’m really looking forward to experiencing this game for myself. And from the trailers released so far, there is a lot to look forward to: beautiful visuals, fantastic music and classic turn-based battles. What more could you want from a JRPG?

 

Most Anticipated Games of 2014

KARMAFLOW

Karmaflow is a game that’s flown under just about everybody’s radar. I didn’t even discover it until the last days of its unsuccessful Indiegogo campaign. Despite earning only 60% of their goal, the development team has carried on.

Karmaflow is a puzzle-platformer inspired by games like The Legend of Zelda and Journey. So what makes Karmaflow so special? The concept: a rock opera video game. Rather than the story being told through text dialog or voice acting, it will be sung to you by the various characters. The game will feature musicians and singers from melodic metal bands such as Dragonforce, Epica and Amaranthe. The Metropole Orchestra is also involved, ensuring a soundtrack of epic proportions.

A combination of niche video games and niche music has the potential to be the greatest thing ever. Though honestly, being a huge fan of melodic metal—and the rock opera storytelling format in general—this is something I’d be looking forward to even if there wasn’t a game involved.

It is due in late 2014, so if there are any delays, look for it on next year’s list as well.

So, there you have it: my most anticipated games of 2014. This year has been such a great year for games, starting early with the release of Ni no Kuni and the announcement of Pandora’s Tower, and continuing through to the recently released The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Many games weren’t announced until after the new year, so I’m sure as 2014 goes on and more games are announced for release, this list will become obsolete.

Let me know what you think of my list, and feel free to post your own in the comments.

About Eric Chetkauskas

Eric has been playing video games for longer than he can remember. His interests skew toward retro games with an emphasis on Japanese RPGs like Chrono Trigger and the Dragon Quest series.