By Jenae R / June 23rd, 2021
Here we are, the end of June as I’m typing this, halfway through 2021. I mostly spent the first half of the year enjoying games that had already released in the last couple years. I finished up Judgment, completely played through Yakuza: Like a Dragon and I even bought myself a copy of Paper Mario: The Origami King which I’m currently working my way through. After all the reviews I took on last year, I’ve taken it easy this year as far as gaming is concerned, been jumping between a lot of random games. When it comes to new releases, I’ve gotten my hands on Atelier Ryza 2, STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town which I reviewed and Bravely Default II. I’m not done with BD2 just yet but I have spent over 70 hours on it and I’m also still working on Ryza 2 which I’ve been playing in smaller increments at a time. Overall, I’ve had quite a bit of fun gaming this year and there are only a ton more games coming out in the second half of the year. These are the top five games I’m most looking forward to, which launch anywhere from July to December 2021. As usual, this list is in no particular order.
Recently I’ve had that farming sim itch. Not long ago, I picked Stardew Valley back up to start a brand new path on Switch. Due to that, along with spending a significant amount of time on Pioneers of Olive Town, I’ve had my eyes on the various indie farming sim games out there, wondering what the next top quality one will be and hoping there’s something out there worth spending money on. Kitaria Fables is looking like it might be that next great title, mostly because I love the art style/graphical quality of the game. Stardew Valley is great in its own right, it perfected the farming sim formula in my personal opinion. But, I’ve been hoping there would come a fantastic farming game with a higher quality, even more charming look to it. Not only does Kitaria Fables have a higher quality, cutesy charm to its appearance, but it also has adorable anthropomorphic cat characters and various other animals. If it turns out the game was made well and functions as great as it looks, then it will surely be a wonderful farming sim.
As I said above, I finished up Judgment and both started and finished Yakuza: Like a Dragon earlier this year, which left me quite sad that I had no more brand new Yakuza games to play. Having finished Yakuza 0 and decided to invest in the rest of the series a little over a year and a half ago, I spent many months enjoying Yakuza games, knowing I had a new game to play each time I finished one. That sadly came to an abrupt end early this year. Thus, I was extremely excited to find out that Lost Judgment, the upcoming sequel to Judgment, would be releasing on both last and current-gen consoles. I am a little worried that perhaps it won’t play as well on my slim PS4 as the original did. Still, it looks like a fantastic sequel and I can’t wait to try it. Based on the small teaser we got during the announcement event, I’m looking forward to both the addition of skateboarding as a full side feature (not merely a short occurrence in the story) and the new dancing rhythm game. Seeing as Judgment didn’t get the karaoke minigame that’s present in the mainline Yakuza games, I thought it needed some sort of rhythm game added in and it appears it’s getting one. Knowing that Lost Judgment is probably the final Yakuza franchise game I’ll get the chance to play for a long while, I plan to enjoy it as much as possible.
Shin Megami Tensei V
Shin Megami Tensei V is a game I’ve been waiting years for, since they first announced it during that initial Nintendo Switch preview stream showing off the game system and all the games that would be coming out for it. My first mainline Shin Megami Tensei game was SMT IV and I absolutely loved it. Therefore, when SMT V was briefly teased alongside the Switch, I knew I had to get one eventually for that game alone. Since then, I’ve found plenty of other games to love on Switch. Nonetheless, Shin Megami Tensei V looks pretty awesome and I’m happy it finally has a firm release date and will be coming out very soon.
This is one of the more unique games on my list of most anticipated. It’s an otome visual novel that I know very little about. Honestly, I’ve been somewhat avoiding otome visual novels these days because they’re a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine and I know how fully absorbed into them I can get. However, the Switch has been relatively well supplied with them and this is one of the latest ones that has appealed to me. I’m not so much interested in the guys this time around, as I am the story. The protagonist being a girl who sees one of the characters die and goes into the past for a short time as someone else, was intriguing to me. Plus, PQube has stated that the game will contain 80 hours of content. That’s double the size of Piofiore: Fated Memories, the last otome I picked up. Ultimately, I’ve ended up eyeing BUSTAFELLOWS for months now tempted to pre-order and I finally pulled the trigger a couple weeks ago.
Mario Party Superstars
This was one of Nintendo’s surprise announcements during their E3 2021 Direct. The reason this game has landed itself on my most anticipated list is because it’s the Mario Party we’ve all been wanting. Most Mario Party fans are very aware the series’ quality took a dive on Wii. First the boards shrank and the goals somewhat changed, and then they made you play more as a team instead of against each other. Suffice to say, Mario Party 8 is the last Mario Party game I picked up. Granted, before that I had only played Mario Party 2 and Mario Party 7. But both games were wonderful, ideal entries. I’m so excited for Mario Party Superstars. It has old content I got to experience and loved, and old content I didn’t experience but that I know comes from some of the best Mario Party games. Not to mention, it’s all remade and looks so shiny and new, plus the fact that old remade content means we get to go back to using buttons, no more mandatory motion controls. The only disappointing thing about this release, is that we have to wait four agonizing months to play.
The latter half of 2021 is looking like a jam-packed year to the unfortunate dismay of many peoples’ wallets. And if the variety of my list above is anything to go by, there is likely something for everyone coming soon. I didn’t even include any of the vague 2022 release games I’m looking forward to. What about you guys? Feel free to let me know down below what games you all are most looking forward to in the latter half of 2021.
AtlusBUSTAFELLOWSeXtendKitaria FablesLost JudgmentMario Party SuperstarsNDcubeNintendoPQubeRyu ga GotokuSegaShin Megami Tensei VTwin Hearts