Operation Backlog Completion 2018
Jan 012018
 

Happy New Year! Yesterday I looked back at the wonderful games I played in 2017, and now I’m ready to look ahead. These are the five games I’m most excited for in 2018.

Honorable Mention

Since I already played Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, I’m not counting them on this list, but I’m still excited that they’ll be available on the Switch this February!

(I’d love to count Bayonetta 3, but it might not be a 2018 release.)

I also considered including the unknown Ace Attorney game, but since we don’t even know what it is, I can’t really say that yet.

Now, let’s move on. Here are my top 5 anticipated games of 2018!

5. Vampyr

I had my eye on Vampyr, from Dontnod Entertainment, before I played anything else by them. Now that I’ve played Life Is Strange and enjoyed it a lot aside from the ending, I’m really looking forward to seeing how they handle a vampire story.

Vampyr follows a doctor who has become a vampire, and it deals with the conflict between his oath as a doctor and his thirst for human blood. It is an action RPG with multiple endings, and it sounds like your choices about whether or not to feed on people (and who) will play an important role. You’ll also encounter other types of vampires, as well as vampire slayers.

It sounds like a very cool game, and I can’t wait to see how these ideas are handled. Vampyr was originally announced for November 2017, but it was delayed to 2018.

4. Dragon Quest XI

I’ve been following Dragon Quest XI for a while, especially once it became clear that it would not follow the growing trend of big JRPG series to switch to action combat, but instead would feature turn-based combat across all of its versions. The localization announcement made me explode with happiness, and I included it on my list of upcoming turn-based RPGs to look forward to.

We don’t know when this year it will be out or even what systems it will be released for, but I’m looking forward to learning more about it.

3. The Wolf Among Us: Season 2

I enjoyed Telltale’s The Walking Dead, but I still haven’t played its sequels. On the other hand, when I finished The Wolf Among Us, I immediately wanted a sequel – not just because of the tease at the end, but also because I loved it so much.

Ever since then, every time Telltale announced a new game, I just had one question: “What about The Wolf Among Us 2?”

And earlier this year, it was finally announced!

We barely know anything about Season 2 except that it exists and is coming in 2018, but that’s enough for me. I’m looking forward to another dark, thrilling mystery to investigate!

2. Project Octopath Traveler

Project Ocotpath Traveler is another one of the turn-based RPGs I’m looking forward to, and while I still have some skepticism since we don’t know how it will handle the multiple characters, the demo convinced me that this could be an excellent JRPG.

Am I hoping you play as all eight protagonists separately and then they join together as a single party? Yes. Will I be disappointed if you just pick one to play as and the others are recruited without their stories being involved? Probably.

But since the demo already got me interested in its two playable characters and their stories, I’m hopeful that Project Octopath Traveler will turn out well.

And finally, there’s one game I’m looking forward to in 2018 more than any other announced so far…

You can probably guess what it is…

1. Kingdom Hearts III

I’m completely caught up on the Kingdom Hearts series now and eagerly awaiting Kingdom Hearts III. It finally received a release window for the first time and should be out this year. Let’s take another look at that exciting trailer.

I could go on and on about the things I hope to see in Kingdom Hearts III. (At the top of my list is a playable flashback featuring Young Eraqus and Young Xehanort. I don’t care which one is playable, as long as one of them is, please!) While it’s always a little worrying to approach the conclusion of an epic saga, I have faith it will be a satisfying one.

2018 is the year of Kingdom Hearts III, and I can’t wait to see more!

Conclusion

Vampyr, Dragon Quest XI, The Wolf Among Us: Season 2, Project Octopath Traveler, and Kingdom Hearts III are my most-anticipated games of 2018. Which games are you looking forward to this year?

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Dec 312017
 

Another year is coming to a close.

With 2017 almost over, I’d like to look back at my favorite games I played this year. As usual, these aren’t necessarily games that came out in 2017 (although they can be), as long as I completed them this year.

Games I haven’t finished yet don’t count for this year, so as much as I’m enjoying Xenoblade Chronicles 2 so far, it won’t appear on this list.

I played a lot of fantastic games this year, so it was pretty difficult to narrow it down to just 5. Before we get into the main list, there is one honorable mention…

Honorable Mention

You might be surprised that Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue only gets an honorable mention, since I was so excited for it and enjoyed every part, but I decided it was too mixed to be among the top five. Dream Drop Distance was great but suffered from pacing and presentation (review), χ Back Cover was quite entertaining but felt incomplete (review), and while 0.2 Birth By Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage was awesome (review), it got me excited for Kingdom Hearts III more than anything else.

Nevertheless, it was definitely an enjoyable collection and an important part of the story leading up to Kingdom Hearts III.

Now, let’s move on to the top 5 games I played in 2017!

5. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

I enjoyed Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, but it pales in comparison to Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (review).

It’s surprising, since 2D platformers aren’t nearly as high on my list as other genres, but this one’s humor, fun, and almost Zelda-like style of gameplay made me pick it over many other games I played this year.

I played Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse on the Wii U, but it’s available for many different systems, so you can pick the one you like the best.

4. Muv-Luv Alternative

After playing/reading Muv-Luv last year, I went into 2017 with Muv-Luv Alternative as one of my most-anticipated games, and I definitely enjoyed my time with it (review).

While I found the conclusion to be a bit abrupt, it’s hard to criticize a visual novel too much when your biggest complaint is that you want to see more of the story. It was an intense, wild ride, and it might have made this list for that moment and its aftermath alone.

I look forward to seeing more from the Muv-Luv universe, and I encourage you to read both Muv-Luv Extra/Unlimited and Alternative if you enjoy visual novels.

3. Finding Paradise

Finding Paradise was another one of my most-anticipated games of the year, since it is the sequel to one of the best games I’ve played, To the Moon.

I just finished Finding Paradise last night, so I haven’t reviewed it yet, and it was wonderful.

Was it as amazing as To the Moon? No, but it’s hard to top something that great. Finding Paradise was an enjoyable experience with some very thought-provoking ideas.

My full review should be ready early next week.

2. Super Mario Odyssey

I wanted the new 3D Mario game from the moment it was first teased, and Super Mario Odyssey was everything I wanted (review).

From its surprises and unexpectedly cool moments, to its wonderful homage to past Mario games, to the sheer fun and delight of playing a new exploration-driven Mario game, Super Mario Odyssey was incredible.

After going through the entire Wii U’s life without a Mario game like this (and even longer if you only count 64 and Sunshine), it was wonderful to get a new one and see that Nintendo hasn’t forgotten this style… or how to make it great. If you love 3D platformers like I do, Super Mario Odyssey is a must.

And that brings us to the final game on this list, my #1 favorite game I played in 2017…

1. Persona 5

Is anyone surprised?

Persona 5 wasn’t on my radar going into 2017, because I’d never played a Persona game before despite loving JRPGs. The glowing praise for this one got me to try it, and Persona 5 turned out to be an incredible turn-based RPG that kept me captivated for hours upon hours (review).

Between the addicting mix of dungeon exploration and daily life, the twists and turns of its long story, and the group of lovable characters I didn’t want to say goodbye to, Persona 5 and its Phantom Thieves certainly stole my heart.

It’s also just so good to see a high-profile JRPG released in modern times with turn-based combat and have it be one of the most well-received games in the genre. With more and more games switching to action combat, I hope this encourages a few more to stick to this style.

Of course, loving Persona 5 so much means I need to check out more Persona games now. I’m looking forward to that a lot, even if my backlog is not.

Conclusion

While I played a ton of great games in 2017, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, Muv-Luv Alternative, Finding Paradise, Super Mario Odyssey, and Persona 5 are at the top of my list, with an honorable mention for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue (such a wonderful title).

What games did you have the most fun with in 2017?

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Oct 112017
 

In 2014, we looked at 5 upcoming survival horror games. Of those, 3 have been released, 1 was cancelled, and 1 is in limbo.

Now, let’s take a look at five more upcoming horror games.

5. Hollow

Hollow is due out on November 16 for the Switch and PC, and it takes place on an abandoned mining ship where something has gone terribly wrong. Check out the haunting trailer!

4. Allison Road

I didn’t have a PS4 in time to play P.T., which disappointed me almost as much as the cancellation of Silent Hills. Allison Road is a game trying to be the spiritual successor to P.T., with supernatural horror set within the main character’s house.

It definitely sounds creepy, so I’m looking forward to learning more about it. Allison Road has no announced release window yet.

3.Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game

While not as strictly survival horror as the other games on this list, Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game looks intriguing. Planned for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2018, it’s a horror RPG inspired by the 1981 Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.

It looks wonderfully atmospheric, and what can I say? When you mention H.P. Lovecraft, you get my attention.

2. Resident Evil 2 Remake

When an HD remake of Resident Evil 2 was finally announced, I celebrated.

Actually, I panicked. Resident Evil 2 is a fantastic survival horror game! What if they turned the remake into action? My worries were calmed when they assured fans they were looking at the HD remaster of the first game’s remake as an example.

Resident Evil 7 has also gotten positive feedback, although I haven’t played it yet to judge it as a survival horror game.

If they make a Resident Evil 2 remake that holds true to the spirit of the original, it should be an excellent game indeed.

1. Moons of Madness

I first heard about Moons of Madness back in August, and I was immediately interested. A psychological horror game set on Mars and inspired by Lovecraft? I’m in!

It looks creepy, weird, and potentially fantastic, and it aims to have both hard science and a true Lovecraftian essence. It also promises plenty of puzzles, always welcome in survival horror. Moons of Madness is planned for 2018 on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and it’s the horror game I’m looking forward to the most right now.

Conclusion

Hollow, Allison Road, Call of Cthulhu, the Resident Evil 2 Remake, and Moons of Madness are five upcoming horror games to look forward to. What horror games are you most excited for?

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