Most Anticipated Games of 2015 - 2014's Leftovers

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Before I get on with my Most Anticipated Games of 2015 (expanded to a list of 35 this year because A) there are too many great games to talk about and B) fuck it), I’ve got to mention the fantastic games of 2015 that I thought we would have been playing by now. There’s a million valid reasons for a game to miss a release window, so I’m not here to yell at developers to get their games done because I’m an impatient child who wants to play with their new toy already. No, I’m here to shout “Hey developers! I get it! You had to delay your game and I understand. Don’t think what you’re doing isn’t still rad af! I’m still excited for your games and respect the hell out of what you’re doing!”

So here’s a quick recap of the fifteen games I wrote about in this feature last year (and, in one case, for the past three years) that I’m still anticipating the hell out of.

So grab a nice hot drink, watch some trailers, and see just what the rest of 2015 has in store for us!

Apotheon

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I’m not really one for playing games before they’re released fully, as I’ll get to later on in this post, but I can’t help but feel I squandered my opportunity when I got an early copy of Apotheon and didn’t get around to playing it. School, life, and computer problems just got in the way of enjoying that “beta”. Still, Apotheon looks like a fascinating take on 2D action combat. I can’t wait until I have the time to play it and support a Canadian indie developer making interesting and unique games.

Broken Age: Act 2

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I cannot stand episodic delivery systems. I would rather wait for an entire season of a television show to hit store shelves than watch it weekly and I’m so happy that The Hobbit is finally done so I can see that supposed trainwreck all at once instead of spoon fed over a three year period.

That all being said, I could only make it about 6 months after the first episode of Broken Age was released until I caved. I knew I shouldn’t have. I knew it… but I just couldn’t help myself. The thought of a brand new adventure game from Tim Schafer, even if it was only half of one, existing in the wild was just too tempting. And it was fantastic, but now I’m just another schmuck that hit that end point, that diabolical cliffhanger, that is forced to twiddle their thumbs until the finale is released.

Cosmic Star Heroine

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Cosmic Star Heroine wears its inspirations on its sleeves.
Cosmic Star Heroine wears its inspirations on its sleeves.

When I first played Cthulhu Saves the World on Xbox Live Indie Games and saw the progression the small team at Zeboyd Games had made in such short time, I knew that someday, given enough time, they could make a JRPG that rivaled that of the 16-bit classics. They have such a firm grasp on what made those games tick, what made them so special, and what needed refinement, as well as how the old formulas could be just shaken up and twisted around.

It took a few games, but that day is quickly approaching. From what I’ve seen of Cosmic Star Heroine… well, if it doesn’t end up being better than Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star IV, Final Fantasy VI, or Earthbound, it’s looking to be the closest Zeboyd has come yet. And I’m sure the game they make afterwards will be even better.

Also oh my god dat battle music.

Final Fantasy XV

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It’s been a year, we’ve had a few more trailers, we’ve had a few more announced characters and details leaked, and I feel like I know even less about what the hell Final Fantasy XV is now than I ever have. It’s a road trip story? That’s kind of cool. Yet, you jump out of your convertible and fight monsters on the side of the road? Do you just drive around in a car for 10 hours and hear banter from your party members and just fight these monsters if you’re bored? I’d be kind of into that, but what happened to the Uncharted-esque Action RPG you were showing off last year? I am so confused about the design of this game. It’s either going to be a gigantic mess or the weirdest revival of the Final Fantasy series possible.

Either way it’s going to get weird and interesting, so count me in. If it crashes and burns, we’ve always got that Bravely Default sequel on the 2016 horizon to give us that old school Final Fantasy gameplay.

Galak-Z: The Dimensional

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This game really fell off the face of the Earth, eh? I think I heard about it a bit at E3 and Gamescom… just a little more of the same praise and excitement, but that’s about it. I guess that’s kind of 17-Bit’s style. Skulls of the Shogun disappeared and reappeared continuously over its development, each time reemerging more polished and better designed. So the radio silence on Galak-Z doesn’t really have me too worried. I trust 17-Bit and know that game isn’t going to ship until it’s absolutely polished and airtight, even if it takes until 2016 and beyond.

The Iconoclasts

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I feel bad for implying that The Iconoclasts was delayed or missed its intended launch. My expectation of it releasing in 2014 was just blind speculation on my part. Konjak is going to release this game when it’s damn well ready and I either underestimated how much work was left to do in the game or overestimated just how big of a game Konjak is cooking up. Either way progress is being made, albeit quietly (we only really see bits and pieces of it pop up on the internet every few months). So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Second Chapter

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I NEED IT
I NEED IT

I could sit here and cry and moan about how much I want to play this game and how long it’s taking, but I think these two things are more important:

1) The English translation of the first Trails in the Sky launched on PC this year and it is excellent. Please support the continued localization of these games by picking it up. Unfortunately you missed your chance to grab it for half off during the Holiday Steam Sale, but $20 is still a fantastic price for not only a lengthy JRPG, but the best damn JRPG on the PC platform.

2) Odds are that Andrew Dice, founder of the company (Capre Fulgur) who is localizing Trails in the Sky - Second Chapter in conjunction with XSEED, had a worse 2014 than you did. Please offer your kind words and support for him in any way you can.

Massive Chalice

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:D
:D

I love Early Access as a developer. It provides useful feedback on design elements early in development, outsources bug testing to passionate players, provides early indications of how successful your game will be, and gives you a reassuring boost from your audience that, yes, you’re on the right track and, yes, people are loving your game.

As part of the game playing public though, Early Access runs into the same struggle between impatience and quality of experience that the episodic delivery method does. I’m not the type of person to play through XCOM: Enemy Unknown, for example, dozens of times. So I might as well wait until all of the systems, mechanics, and polish are in or else my one playthrough won’t be with the game at its full potential.

None of this is a complaint about Massive Chalice mind you. I’ve heard some amazing things about the game so far and I think it will be right up my alley once it launches properly, but it’s just not for me yet.

But, damn, do I respect how they’ve handled Early Access so far.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

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Hopefully...
Hopefully...

The next Monster Hunter will be the one I get into. The next Monster Hunter will be the one I get into. The next Monster Hunter will be the one I get into.

I’ve been saying this to myself since Freedom Unite came out. I’ve sunk 10+ hours into each version of the game that has come out since and I’ve enjoyed my time with them, but the hooks have never firmly set in. I know each game I could happily spend another hundred or two more hours with, but just haven’t.

But I know this next Monster Hunter will be the one. I just know it.

Probably.

Maybe.

Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines

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Beyond that initial announcement, I don’t think we’ve heard a single word out of Sony about Oreshika. We’ve never seen an English trailer, preview build, or even a screenshot. The game has been out in Japan for a while now and it wasn’t even shown at the Playstation Experience event last month. Considering the Vita’s lackluster sales, I’m beginning to have my doubts that Sony still intends to bring it over at all. Which would be a shame. Oreshika didn’t receive the best reception in Japan, but the ideas behind the game were looking so interesting to dive into and pick apart.

Owlboy

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Much like The Iconoclasts, Owlboy was never scheduled to come out in 2014 and, much like The Iconoclasts, I included it on the list last year because I, basically, just really, really wanted it to come out.

The difference between the two is that, while The Iconoclasts was just a pure guess, Owlboy was showed off to the public at PAX Prime 2013. It felt smooth, fun, and nearly complete when I got the chance to play it. Chatting with the project lead, I could tell how much enthusiasm there was for the project. I just know this game is going to be something special and I can’t wait until the day that D-Pad Studios deems it ready to be released.

Road Not Taken

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Okay, some could cry foul on me including Road Not Taken on this list as the game did come out on PC and PS4 last year, but the Vita version is still nowhere to be seen. It’s the perfect fit for the handheld! So much so that I’m still happy to wait for the Vita version, even if it takes several more months.

I just wish I didn’t have to wait at all.

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

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It was a little crazy to expect Half-Genie Hero to make it out by the end of 2014, but that’s what they estimated on their Kickstarter so I went with it. I’m still making my way through the 3DS game (which is excellent), so I’m not really in a rush for Wayforward to come out with another Shantae quite so soon anyway. Hell, I’m fine if it gets pushed into 2016 even! I’d rather see it polished to hell and back on all of those systems than juggle two similar games at the same time. Plus, it will give an excellent first impression of the series for new players!

Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem

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We still know absolutely nothing about this game and I’m still unreasonably excited for it.

Not much else to say…

Xenoblade Chronicles X

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Well, at least this game is going to be beautiful.
Well, at least this game is going to be beautiful.

I’m still not sure if this will be any good, but Xenoblade Chronicles X is certainly an ambitious follow up to the Wii original. The more I see of it, the more I’m impressed at the scale of the world and the sprinkling of little quality of life changes they’ve made to the gameplay. Don’t know how keen I am with the main character being a blank slate made in a character creator. It’s always been a hit or miss for me whether it draws me into the world more or if it exposes the strings behind the system, but I guess we’ll just have to see how Monolith handles it. Hey, at least you can be a female now?

We’ve only seen Xenoblade Chronicles X in Japanese so far, so who knows if this will actually see a North American release in 2015. Here’s hoping they keep the assortment of European accents that the original had!

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