Each year after E3, my interest in video games is rekindled. I go from “boy, there are barely any games coming out that I care about!” to “gee, how will I find time to play all these games” in the blink of an eye. You’d think I would learn to understand this cycle by now. Nope.
Now that I’m a grown-ass man with a stable income, I like to look ahead to the next six months and figure out what I’m going to be spending money on. Inevitably, the list fills up with a couple dozen titles, ranging anywhere from sure buys to unlikely rentals. This pseudo calendar also ends up being a great way to pace myself for what’s ahead. If two huge games are coming out in back-to-back weeks, I know that my backlog better be empty beforehand, because my spare time isn’t what it used to be.
Without further ado, here is what’s on my radar for the remainder of 2015:
July 14: Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
This just arrived on my doorstep this afternoon, and I haven’t had the chance to crack it open yet. Two huge selling points here: shiny next-gen graphics on the PS4, and the processing power to avoid load times between holes. That might sound boring on the surface, but removing 15-30 seconds between holes will literally cut the time it takes to play a round in half.
Aug. 25: Steins;Gate
This is technically just a port of a release America has already received on PC, but on two systems (PS3/Vita) that are much more accessible for recording purposes. This will absolutely be a Let’s Play at some point, probably after Persona 4 is done. We love the anime, so finally getting the chance to play the visual novel is exciting.
Sept. 11: Super Mario Maker
I’m not sure if this is a rental, a purchase or nothing at all. Shaun seems less interested in this than I am — some of the punishing levels got my attention at E3. Like LittleBigPlanet and Mod Nation Racers, this game’s success will be dependent on how creative its users can become. I’d like to think the chances are pretty high.
Sept. 15: Mighty No. 9
The spiritual successor to Mega Man finally fulfills its Kickstarter promise in September. This is probably a rental of some sorts for me, because while I always enjoyed that series, the replay value was never particularly high (especially once I started to have more gaming options than just an NES).
Sept. 29: NBA 2K16 / Persona 4 Dancing All Night
I’ve purchased the new NBA game from 2K every year since 2008 or so, and this year will be no different. I’m sure the usual small upgrades to career mode and gameplay will be there. Now, the Persona 4 dancing game? That’s a weird one, but it still intrigues me. I’ve enjoyed playing other rhythm games in the past (lord only knows how many hours I poured into Stepmania) — and this one has a familiar cast of characters to boot. Probably a buy.
Q3: Yugioh Legacy of the Duelist / Zelda Tri Force Heroes
Neither of these games has a release date yet, though I’m sure we’ll get more info in the next few weeks. Yugioh games have been a bit of a dumpster fire since the Tag Force series trickled into oblivion a few years ago, so I’m approaching this with caution — but a game with 6,000+ cards and every protagonist sounds interesting. Tri Force Heroes will be a must-buy for someone who liked Link Between Worlds and Four Swords Adventures. More Zelda co-op? Automatic yes. Just tell me when.
Oct. 6: Rock Band 4
I’ve missed Rock Band. A lot. We’ll be getting this both for recording purposes (with picture in picture??) and just to satisfy my need to play plastic instruments. I have one of those pro drum kits sitting in a closet just waiting to be used. The dilemma? Most of my DLC purchases are on someone else’s profile, and the aformentioned drums are for Xbox systems I don’t own. Gonna have to do some soul searching before early October.
Oct. 20: Tales of Zestiria
Oh, Tales games. Nothing quite captures my heart like you do. Zestiria had its share of hiccups for fans, like the deceptive introduction of a female main character who abandons the party mere hours into the game, but I’m still 100% on board. The seamless overworld-to-battle system sounds like a lot of fun. As an added bonus, the graphics seem to be a bit better on PS4, so I can give that system some JRPG lovin’.
Oct. 27: Halo 5 / WWE 2K16
Two huge maybes. I still haven’t gotten around to playing Halo 4, even though I’ve enjoyed the rest of the series (EXCEPT YOU, ODST). Obviously that’ll have to change if I intend to play 5 — and I’ll have to play it on Shaun’s system. As for WWE 2K16, I’d love a next-gen wrestling game; I haven’t purchased anything in the series since 2012. Last year’s offering was widely panned for its lack of match options and creative suite shortcomings. But most of 2K’s offerings have taken a substantial leap in quality in the second year, so I’m optimistic.
Nov. 10: Fallout 4
Right up there with Zestiria and Persona 5 as 100% must-buys that I’ll get on release day without hesitation. The idea of dozens of hours of open-world exploring and slow-motion gun kills has me salivating already. Though my personal life is uncluttered, I’m a total video game hoarder, and will be picking up every single goddamn thing I find in the wasteland.
Q4: Star Fox Zero/Mario Tennis Ultra Smash
Two more maybes. I’ve been clamoring for a new Star Fox game like 64 for forever, yet its showing at E3 left me feeling…underwhelmed. Mario Tennis looked like a lot of fun, but the price point will be a big determining factor here. Also, I don’t own a Wii U. Potential problem.
2015?: Persona 5
It’s still a little unbelievable to me that this game is scheduled for a 2015 release in both Japan and North America. After there were no new trailers or news at E3, I thought for sure a delay announcement was coming soon after. Instead, a couple weeks later we got a happening new look at a game I will happily pour 80+ hours into. Will it make it by the end of the year? I sure hope so.