The Fall Video Game Lookahead, 2017 Edition

Each year, the summer comes and goes and we hurtle head-first into fall. Usually that means a full slate of upcoming games that I’m extremely interested in picking up. That’s not the case this year, and I think it’s strange. There are a handful of titles I might pick up, but the fall slate is a morass of remakes and re-releases on different systems. If anything, the spring was much more exciting for me.

Let’s dive in…

MUST-BUYS

None. Zero. There’s nothing that’s been announced through the end of the year that I see on the horizon and go “Yep, gonna get that day one for sure.” Super Mario Odyssey (Oct. 27) would be on this list if I had a Switch, but I don’t. That means I’ll be playing it whenever Shaun is done with it. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is coming out in October…in Japan. That makes it a summer 2018 title, probably.

MAYBES

The sports games are heavy in this section. NBA 2K18 has gotten great reviews so far and I’ve bought every title since 2008. But it’s in the maybe list because it crawled up its own ass in microtransactions. We’ve been creeping in that direction for multiple iterations, but now, the grind for VC feels extremely cheap. (That’s assuming you don’t want to pay $150 for a special edition of the game where you get enough coin to move your MyCareer player to an 85 overall right off the bat.) Some fixes are already on the way, like severely reducing the price of cosmetic effects like haircuts and shoes, but I’ll wait for some of the bugs to patch.

FIFA 18 and WWE 2K18 are also on this list. I haven’t bought a WWE game since 2012, even though the next-gen games have been tempting with their graphical upgrades. Match types and gameplay have been lacking since the No Mercy days. If this year’s offering cleans up some past mistakes, I might finally jump back in. Meanwhile, I got FIFA 16 and would relish the chance for a deeper career mode, although that’s a game I’ll be waiting for a price drop (at least to $39.99) to pick up.

The one remake I might pick up is LA Noire Remastered. The original game holds up surprisingly well, even if the gameplay feels a bit bad at times. The facial scanning technology still looks phenomenal on the 360, so the chance to replay it with shinier graphics might be worth the investment.

NOT REALLY

There are several titles that I wish I were more excited about. That could be my fault. But things like South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Fire Emblem Warriors, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, Xenoblade Chronicles 2…they’re just not doing much for me.

Then there are some remakes that I refuse to buy again on principle. Skyrim on the Switch is a cool concept for an addictive portable game, but I’ve already bought it and played through it twice. No thanks. Okami HD will probably be gorgeous, but I don’t need it. Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon feels like an ultra cash grab. But they’re all offerings I might consider if they’re on sale for like 20 bucks or something.

2018

There are some titles that excite me in the early part of 2018, like a new Dissidia and Yakuza 6. Dragon Ball FighterZ looks like a hectic, fun fighting game. We might get Dragon Quest XI in the States. Freedom Planet 2 is a sleeper pick. Kirby Star Allies will be more four-player fun like Return to Dreamland. The aforementioned Cold Steel III should boost my PS4 in the spring or summer. Red Dead Redemption II could be awesome. And who knows what else will be announced between now and then.

But nothing sticks out like Kingdom Hearts III. If that series finally gets its conclusion in 2018 as promised, it’ll blow everything else out of the water. If it doesn’t, then we can add another year to the tally (12 years since KHII and counting!) and I can start thinking of the best way to strangle Nomura.

~~~~~

Last year I thought perhaps I was slowing down on my video game time. I’m no spring chicken, you know. But it turns out my appetite is there as long as there are games that interest me. I can’t throw a lot of shade at 2017 when the first half gave me a really good Tales game, a phenomenal Persona game, a genre-bending Zelda game and an exceptionally mediocre Mass Effect game, among other titles. But we’ll see how 2018 unfolds.

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