By Tyler Lubben / December 22nd, 2014
oprainfall is proud to present our annual lists of Most Anticipated Games. Unlike previous years, we will be spreading out our lists over multiple days this year as we move closer to 2015. To begin, we have Assistant Review Manager Tyler Lubben.
As one year comes to a close, it’s time once again to look forward to the upcoming games that we want to play most in the next. It seems as though 2015 is going to be a very Japan-centric year for me. From adventure games to RPGs – both turned-based and otherwise – to just straight action games, all the games I want most are coming from across the Pacific. Not that that’s anything new; being a Nintendo fanboy at heart, I’m no stranger to the works of Japanese developers, but when even all my third-party needs are coming from them, then it’s something worth mentioning.
With that, let’s take a look at the games with which I’m looking forward to wiling away my 2015.
Honorable Mention – Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5 – PlayStation 3
For another year, Persona 5 is my honorable mention. However, while this is one of the games I’m most excited about, we just don’t know enough about it for me to warrant it getting an official spot on the list. Honestly, I fully expect this will be the last PS3 game I ever buy. Now over a year into the PS4’s life cycle, it’s getting harder to find cause to go back and buy a last-gen game if you don’t have to. However, Persona 5 is a game I would even keep my PS2 hooked up for if that was the case.
There’s very little information about the game at this point, but I have incredibly high hopes after my fantastic experiences with Persona 3 and Persona 4. So long as the new entry continues the tradition of memorable characters, great voice acting and interesting battle and social mechanics, I see no reason to believe that Persona 5 won’t be as much of an instant classic as its predecessors.
5 – Final Fantasy XV – PlayStation 4
I am way more excited for Final Fantasy XV than I think I have any right being. If I’m being completely honest, I haven’t truly enjoyed any of the mainline titles in the series since Final Fantasy VI. Yes, the games since then have had their moments, but, if someone asked me to list off my favorites, any past VI would be at the lower end of the spectrum. However, ever since finding that “Final Fantasy Versus XIII” was, in fact, the next mainline title in the franchise, I’ve been nothing but impressed by what I’ve seen. From the original announcement during E3 2013 to the more recent showing at Tokyo Game Show 2014, the game looks simply fantastic. Perhaps taking cues from fans annoyed at the restrictive gameplay of FFXIII, XV’s scope seems to be massive by comparison. Plus, with a more active battle system that seems reminiscent of Xenoblade Chronicles, there’s a lot of promise for a memorable experience. I may end up being disappointed yet again, but, for now, I’m definitely ready to give the franchise another shot.
4 – The Legend of Zelda U – Wii U
I think it’s safe to say that, at this point, I’m just going to blindly buy any Legend of Zelda game that Nintendo puts out. It’s just one of those series that I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’m going to enjoy any new game that it spawns. After seeing the reveal trailer for (what I’m calling at this point) Zelda U, I was immediately taken with it. With the promise of an open world and the potential freedom to explore dungeons in any order not unlike the original Legend of Zelda, as well as playing as a character who may or may not even be Link, there’s a lot to look forward to. Plus, with the sudden news from Eiji Aonuma himself that the game (as well as Majora’s Mask 3D) will indeed be hitting store shelves next year, it looks like 2015 is going to be very Zelda-heavy.
3 – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – PlayStation 4
What can I say? I’m a sucker for the Metal Gear series. While some may have whined about the short length of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, it only served to whet my appetite for the next stage of the story. Big Boss has always been one of the most intriguing characters in the Metal Gear universe, and, after seeing how messed up he got at the end of the previous game, I’m looking forward to discovering what finally pushes him over the edge to becoming the villain he was in the original Metal Gear games. I’m also excited to really put the new, more realistic combat and stealth mechanics through their paces, especially since I’m not too wild about the new direction that the Splinter Cell series seems to be going. I’m hoping MGSV will be able to fill that void now. Plus, with the prolific Troy Baker lending his voice talents to my favorite character in the series, Revolver Ocelot, I have a lot of cause for excitement.
2 – Yakuza 5 – PlayStation 3
An extremely recent addition to the list, I was ecstatic to discover that SEGA had suddenly flipped on their decision not to localize Yakuza 5. I’m still fairly new to the franchise, having only played through Yakuza 4, but I instantly fell in love with the game’s intriguing story, memorable characters and crazy, over-the-top combat. Yakuza 5 looks to be an enormous game, with five different locales – all based on real Japanese cities – for players to spend exploring, playing minigames and beating the tar out of street punks. The game also has five playable protagonists – three returning and two new – all with different fighting styles to keep the game fresh and exciting. One of them, Haruka Sawamura, who has been a central character in the series since the beginning, also brings a variety of rhythm-based minigames to the game in her quest to become an idol. With all this, plus the promise of another high-stakes story of warring Yakuza clans – and all with a brand-new graphics engine – I’m simply beside myself with excitement.
1 – Bloodborne – PlayStation 4
I don’t know what it is about From Software’s games, but I just can’t seem to get enough of them. I’ve actually never finished any of their games – from 3D Dot Game Heroes to Dark Souls 2 – though that’s more a question of time than patience. But, boy, do you need patience! From Soft’s games are brutal in their difficulty, but highly rewarding for those who stick with them. I’m hoping that their newest title will continue that formula. Bloodborne features faster gameplay than the Souls games, and encourages more aggressive play styles – allowing players the opportunity to regain lost health by quickly retaliating after taking damage – but recklessness is still punished severely. Players will have to be at the absolute top of their game if they want to come out victorious here – something that a lot of games these days seem to shy away from. And I’m glad I won’t have to wait long. With the March 24 release date, it won’t be long at all before I’m punching pillows, throwing controllers and replacing TVs with controller damage once again. I simply can’t wait!
Double Secret #1 – The Last Guardian – PlayStation 3
Shut up. This is the year. I can feel it!
BloodborneFinal Fantasy XVMetal Gear Solid VMost Anticipated Games of 2015Persona 5The Last GuardianYakuza 5zelda u