By Josh Speer / January 20th, 2017
It’s interesting being one of the last remaining oprainfall writers who is still a pretty big fan of Nintendo. I’m kind of the niche within the niche gaming site (or the niche squared if you will). Though I can hardly forgive their every screwup, I tend to give them some leeway so long as they keep on giving me great new games to play. But this is the first year that I felt the well was a bit dry in terms of upcoming games. I usually can rattle off a dozen or so upcoming games just by looking at what’s coming out for 3DS and Wii U, but since both of those seem destined to be fossils once the Switch comes into dominance, there is an understandable lack of upcoming games to peruse. That said, I was still able to find a few games that I’m interested in, 6 primary ones (with a couple twists) and a couple honorable mentions.
Game #1 – Monster Tale Ultimate
Nothing says niche like yearning for the best version of a game that very few people played the first time around. That game was Monster Tale, released for the Nintendo DS (not 3DS) back in 2011. The game was only on my radar because the folks who developed it, DreamRift, were also responsible for the fantastic Henry Hatsworth, one of my all time favorite DS games. I was also invested because, while Henry Hatsworth was an adventure/puzzle game hybrid, this one had monster raising elements mixed with Metroidvania. While Monster Tale was hardly perfect and definitely too short, I still enjoyed my time with it. I was excited when I heard they were working on Monster Tale Ultimate digitally for the 3DS. Unfortunately, that was supposed to release a while ago, and no news has been forthcoming of late. I can only hope that DreamRift is still working hard on this little upgrade and that it might even come out in 2017. Until then, I recommend folks unfamiliar with the original hunt it down to try a unique and charming game experience.
Game #2 – Runbow Pocket
This next game I know for sure is coming out, it’s just a matter of waiting a bit. I have a bit of an interesting relationship with Runbow. I first played the demo on the Wii U, and though it was fun, I was worried it was too easy for me since I eat platformers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then, at the most recent PAX West, I got the chance to play the portable version of Runbow, called Runbow Pocket, and absolutely fell in love with it. Turns out, the Wii U demo was perhaps playing it safe, but once I tried it out a second time, I knew Runbow Pocket was made for folks like me. Besides potentially being one of the last great games on the 3DS, it happens to be loaded with all the DLC from the original game, which is sure to keep me busy for a good long while. Best of all, the Deluxe edition will be in physical form, which is great for a compulsive collector like me. I am definitely happy that I will be able to make up for lost time with Runbow Pocket in 2017.
Game #3 – Spheroids
I suspect this next game will be a relative unknown for many, and I admit it only came on my radar very recently. And when I say recently, I mean “last week” recently. See, I found out about Spheroids because Eclipse Games notified me about it, and since they developed the fun Tachyon Project, I figured I’d investigate. It turns out, this one is a puzzle platformer which strongly reminds me of games such as Mutant Mudds. While the game has just released on Wii U, it is also going to be available for PS4, Vita and XBox One. You’ll find out much more about it once our review of it goes live. I myself look forward to experiencing the game first hand, once I decide which console to buy it for…
Game #4 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
I couldn’t get away with a 2017 anticipated list without any Switch games. Even though I’m far from the biggest Zelda fan on the site, I still enjoy the occasional foray into Hyrule. Considering the first Zelda game of any console usually represents a fantastic use of the system hardware as well, color me excited. I may not be entirely sold on the open world mechanics in my Zelda (I was not a huge fan of Link Between Worlds), but I am invested enough that I’ll probably buy Breath of the Wild as one of my first Switch purchases (assuming it isn’t inexplicably delayed for another year or two in typical Zelda fashion). Here’s hoping this latest Zelda outing is more fun and intuitive than the last one.
Now, for the next two games, I’m getting a bit creative. See, while it’s all good and well to list games that are likely coming out, as a longtime Nintendo fan I felt obligated to mention two that SHOULD be coming out. So let’s move on to the last 2 Most Anticipated games on my list.
Game #5 – Metroid Dread
I think I can speak for all fellow Metroid fans when I say “give us a damned classic Metroid game already!” Sure, the Prime series did a surprisingly good job transitioning the game to 3D, but that doesn’t mean we only want 3D Metroid games. Especially when they are garbage like Federation Force! You would have thought that Other M would have ensured Nintendo transitioning back to 2D, but alas, that has not been the case. What’s especially frustrating is there are many indie developers who are doing a better job of making 2D Metroid style games right now than Nintendo themselves. It’s not even as if it would be a particularly expensive or challenging endeavor. But more than anything, the next 2D Metroid I want, no, I demand to play is Metroid Dread. This title was bandied about after the release of Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission, and I was intrigued by it. Now I feel that the least we are owed as fans is seeing Metroid Dread finally become a reality. After all, we need something to wash the taste of Other M and Federation Force out, and what better than a return to form? Samus Aran is a fantastic hero set in a compelling universe, and I’d love to see her story continue sometime soon. Here’s hoping Nintendo can be convinced.
Game #6 – The World Ends With You 2
I know this might fall on deaf ears, especially in an environment where so many of my fellow gamers are extolling the virtues of FFXV, but for me, the best games that Square Enix puts out are the ones that take a chance. The games that aren’t the cookie cutter RPG tailored to appeal to “Western” markets. The games that mix things up and truly leave an impact on gamers for years to come. The game that instantly comes to mind as I write this is The World Ends With You. I clearly remember reading about the game before it came out, and instantly believing there was no way in hell it would make it here. I was shocked when Square brought it over, and even more shocked by how good it was. This was not a game that held your hand. It immersed you fully in the game world, where you either sank or swam through the deep currents. The World Ends With You also introduced one of the most complicated and utterly satisfying battle systems of all time, and it’s one of the few games I felt compelled to 100% finish. Frankly, it’s a travesty that Square Enix hasn’t made a sequel to TWEWY yet (no, Solo Remix doesn’t count). The vibrant world of TWEWY needs fleshing out, and the end of both versions of the game even hinted at the possibility of more to come, but it’s been long enough. The original game came out in 2007, Solo Remix came out 3+ years ago. It’s past time for a real sequel to this amazing game.
Now for some Honorable Mentions. These are games that I’m interested in, but for various reasons didn’t rank them high enough to mention in my main list.
First up is Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. I recently got into the series and quickly found myself captivated by the dark, moody and brilliantly plotted murder mysteries. Though I am very interested in the latest outing, it’s always tricky since each time the games feature a new cast (that’s what happens when Monokuma murders everyone else). I sincerely hope that Danganronpa V3 is as good as the first two, but my uncertainty is why it made Honorable Mention instead of the full list.
Last but certainly not least is Sundered. Developed by Thunder Lotus Games and slated to release in 2017 for PC and PS4, this mix of Metroidvania and Cthulhu certainly sparked my interest. If the end result is as morbidly beautiful as the trailers and plays as well as it looks, it will quickly move from Honorable Mention to Most Anticipated. Here’s hoping that Sundered lives up to my high expectations!
So that’s it for my 2017 Most Anticipated List! Despite the general lack of games coming out for my systems, I managed to find a handful of winners. Here’s hoping this new year is a great one for video games! And many thanks to Brandon Rose for the fantastic featured image!
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