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. Not a chance.
We actually broke this down a bit on an episode of the podcast, so you can get the entire crew’s thoughts on the upcoming fall release schedule there. But I wanted to go into more detail on a few titles myself.
So without further ado:
Aug. 23: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a game that I enjoyed at the time, but think I loved. As more time passed, though, and the sequel started to be visible on the horizon, I realized that I actually liked it quite a bit and was anticipating more time with Adam Jensen, whether he asked for it or not. Astute readers and time wizards will note that this is already out; I haven’t played it yet only because I’d rather rent than buy, as I’ll only go through it once. Besides, my schedule is about to fill up…
Sept. 6: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
…because three very important titles drop this week, starting with the sequel to my favorite game that released in 2015 (but I didn’t play it until January). The Legend of Heroes is one of the most criminally underappreciated RPG series, and while I think the story and characters are stronger in the Trails in the Sky trilogy, Cold Steel is a much more modern gaming experience. That means graphics and mechanics and voice acting that you’d expect from a game in 2016. But I’ll only have a couple days with this, because…
Sept. 8: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice
…Mr. Wright’s agency will need my help, and everyone on the podcast will be jumping into Spirit of Justice as soon as it drops. Three years after Dual Destinies, we finally get the chance to put on our attorney’s badge and point fingers in accusatory fashion. We’ll be doing a full review of this on the show, probably around the end of the month, so expect a ton more about this then.
Sept. 9: NBA 2K17 (sorta)
Technically this is really a Sept. 16 release date for preorders, which technically is a Sept. 20 release date for everyone. But this Friday, a new feature called The Prelude drops, which lets you get a head start on your created player’s career by playing through the college portion in advance. You can see why this week is a dumpster fire now. By the way, I’ve now been into the franchise every single season since 2K9. I don’t know if that’s impressive or sad.
Oct. 11: Rise of the Tomb Raider
Anybody with an Xbox One or a PC thinks this is silly, but for a PS4 owner like me, this is my first chance to play through 2013’s highly acclaimed reboot. Rise appeals to one of my favorite gameplay methods: sneaking around like a badass and shooting people with a bow and arrow. I’m looking forward to spending more time with Ms. Croft despite this “exclusive window” bullshit that Square Enix pulled.
Oct. 28: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Remastered Edition
I shouldn’t get this. I really shouldn’t. But I can’t shake the feeling that it’s going to end up happening. Despite its bugs, I loved Skyrim and poured a ton of time into it. I could definitely see myself going through it again, even if I just ignored the lackluster main story and wandered around from Riften to Solitude. So what’s the issue? Well, I also already own the game for PC and modded the hell out of it to be pretty and customized. I don’t even know why I would get this, considering there’s no new content. And yet…
Nov. 18: Pokemon Sun and Moon
There was never any doubt here. Unlike my cohosts, who oscillated between “not getting this, we want more from the series” to “j/k, probably still getting this,” I’ve been on board from the start. Even if the eight-gym, evil-team experience is a bit stale by now, I still enjoy taking fledgling 10-year-olds on a journey of friendship and discovery. Some of the Alola forms are a breath of fresh air for Pokemon that have been an afterthought for years. And if you haven’t seen Pulverizing Pancake, you really should.
Those are the titles that I’m playing for sure. Beyond that, it gets a bit messy:
- Batman: The Telltale Series is something I’m interested in, but I’m not about the episodic life (or Telltale’s frequent bugs in early releases). I’ll take a look once it’s all released, which won’t be in 2016.
- Final Fantasy XV is a tough one. We’ve been playing XIV and it has reminded me how much I like the series, but I didn’t love XII and I hated XIII. Now XV has been pushed back yet again to November. We’ll see, I guess.
- Dishonored 2 would require me to play Dishonored first. I’d like to at some point, but the fall is a busy time.
- Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (seriously, fuck that title) would require me to support the ongoing joke that is Kingdom Hearts 3’s release date. But I don’t have much of a leg to stand on, having bought 1.5 and 2.5 — and I never played Dream Drop Distance. Probably getting it and hating myself for it.
- Steins;Gate 0 is tempting, but not happening. Even though the anime is my favorite of all-time, if I had played the visual novel first, I wouldn’t have liked it nearly as much. While I’d like to continue the adventures of Okabe and company, the best choice is to wait until the anime for 0 is released. Now, can I hold off until it’s dubbed? That’s a question for another time.
Next year is a mess. There are some huge delayed titles that will be 100% guaranteed purchases, like Persona 5 and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. New Mass Effect and Tales and Dragon Quest games will come out. Kingdom Hearts 3 is still listed, although I can’t imagine that actually existing before 2043. And that’s just what’s announced as of right now — who knows what we’ll see at next year’s E3, or when more is announced about the NX.
I’m not playing as many video games as I used to, but my experience has shifted to a more top-heavy one: I play fewer titles, but care tremendously about the ones I do. It’s exciting to know that will continue into next year and beyond.