Every fall, video game publishers conspire to take all of the money from our wallets. This is a known commodity, but I still fall for it every year.
How else to explain the sudden transition from “barely anything is coming out for all these systems” to “oh my god what the hell where did all these games come from”? The timing is such that retailers get their hands on huge titles for the big holiday shopping season, but still. It seems like it sneaks up on us each September.
Here’s a sampling of just some of the games I’m excited about in the next three months or so:
- Hyrule Warriors drops later this week, and while I won’t be purchasing the game, we’ll at least be renting it to get 8-10 hours out of it. I’ve played other games in the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors series, so I know that the repetitive gameplay only has so much shelf life to it. Still, the Zelda tie-in piques my interest and the basic combo system is very fun the first few times you use an A-A-A-A-A-A-B combo.
- I’ll be able to play Persona 4 Arena Ultimax when Jason picks it up on Sept. 26. I’m not great at the anime-style fighting games like Persona and Guilty Gear and BlazBlue and Melty Blood, but I’ve always found them entertaining. The added bonus with Ultimax is that it continues the narrative of Persona 3 and 4 in a surprisingly deep story mode. More time with the P3 and P4 characters? Sold!
- Super Smash Bros. hits stores Oct. 3 for the 3DS and “holiday 2014,” whatever that means. (It’s a better window than “winter 2014,” which doesn’t make any goddamn sense. You mean sometime between December 22nd and December 31st? Because that’s what that means, publishers.) The game features its most expansive cast yet and got rid of tripping, so I’m on board. I might even be getting both versions because I’m some kind of crazy person.
- NBA 2K15 comes out Oct. 7, and it’ll be a day one purchase for me despite some of the issues the game had in its first next-gen iteration. We’ve seen several details about an extremely intricate season mode (missing completely from 2K14), and we already know that the game is gorgeous and plays like a dream. If we can finally use created players in seasons again, we’ll be playing this pretty heavily and probably uploading more videos to YouTube as well.
- On Oct. 28, WWE 2K15 makes its next-gen debut after being acquired by 2K studios. Just like its NBA series, the wrestling game looks fantastic — a promo picture with John Cena and Randy Orton seemed like it was ripped straight from an episode of RAW. Wrestling games have had their share of issues since the glory days of titles like No Mercy and Day of Reckoning, but they’re still fun. Hell, even some of the weird physics glitches are hilarious, despite breaking your immersion.
- Near Thanksgiving, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire brings us the long-awaited R/S/E remakes, with new Megas (meh) and a return to the 3-D wonderland of X/Y (yay!). Because I’m not one of the people who expects the Pokemon series to be something it’s not, I’m quite content to journey back to Hoenn and ruin Team Aqua and Magma’s day again. It’ll also give me the chance to salvage my Pokemon off of X/Y and start that game over someday.
- Finally, Kingdom Hearts II.5 Remix (because 2.5 would be too weird, right?) is set for Dec. 2, and we’ll be picking it up so that Shaun can play it as a follow-up to our highly acclaimed playthrough of 1.5 Remix. Even though these are retreads, they at least have some new content in II like extra boss fights, and it might be nice to play through Birth By Sleep on the big screen. Correction: It might be nice to play through Aqua’s story on the big screen, and never bother with Ven and Terra. But you get the idea.
That list doesn’t include some heavy hitters that came out earlier this week, like FIFA 15, Disney Infinity 2.0 and Arcana Heart 3, or the earlier releases in September. It excludes some games I might be picking up (or playing someone else’s copy) like Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Bayonetta 2, Tales of Hearts R, Little Big Planet 3, Persona Q, and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. And it also leaves out major franchises that I simply don’t care about — but others certainly do — like Halo, Dragon Age, Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, GTA, Call of Duty, Sonic…
I mean, my goodness. Look at that list.
I’ll survive this gamesocalypse because I got a promotion recently and will be able to afford the games I really want (although who knows when I’ll play them). But it feels like this year’s onslaught of titles might be the most extensive ever, and that’s without some major players like Mario and Link and Nathan Drake present in their own games.
At the very least, this much is true: it’s a good problem to have. Better too many games than none at all, right?