Hey guys! So, 2019 has been a bit of a mixed bag for gaming. While there have been some phenomenal highs in the form of DMC 5, Mario Maker 2 and the Resident Evil 2 remake to name but a few, certain high profile games have really failed to hit the mark, resulting in disappointing fan reception and poor sales. Despite this, the final few months of 2019 are shaping up to gift us with some truly memorable gaming experiences thanks to the outstanding releases coming our way in the next few months. With that being said, this week on the Otaku Rabbit Hole, let’s take a look at my top 5 hyped games for the remaining months of 2019. Let’s jump right into it!
5) Pokémon Sword and Shield
The fact that Pokémon is on this list will probably come as no surprise to anyone. As the first mainline Pokémon game to find its way to a home console, I’m so very excited for this to finally drop with all its new Pokémon, recently announced Galarian forms, awesome gyms and everything else that Sword and Shield have planned for us that we don’t even know about yet! HOWEVER, while I am so incredibly excited for this game, my unrivalled enthusiasm has dampened down a little since the game was first announced, and I’m a little more dubious than I first was.
As I’m sure many of you reading will already know, the newest generation of Pokémon has already been somewhat marred by the continuous onslaught of controversies that have hit the game since its first reveal. These have ranged from the somewhat trivial trees and textures issue to attack animations being sub-par and even an issue of racist fan art! To make matters worse, the controversial decision to remove the National Dex from the game, resulting in massive fan backlash, was handled incredibly poorly and has lead many to suggest that fans boycott the game all together! Despite all of this, though, I’m still beyond excited and will 100% be picking up Pokémon Shield on launch day, for no other reason than because it’s a new Pokémon game and my inner child is screeching with joy at the thought of getting a fresh and fluffy Wooloo and a punk-rock Zigzagoon for my Galar team. Here’s hoping it’s worth the wait and, most of all, I truly hope that the Galar Dex has my dear Lopunny and Cinccino included so I can travel alongside my precious mon once again!
4) Catherine: Full Body
For those in the know, Catherine was a true hidden masterpiece of the last generation. Finding its home on the PS3 and Xbox 360, this game was an experimental title from Persona producer Atlus, where they fused puzzle and horror elements with some player choice thrown in to make for a truly one-of-a-kind experience that, for those who played it, left a lasting impression. This was also the game where Atlus toyed with a new visual style, which, upon booting up the game, is the obvious birthplace of Persona 5‘s absolutely gorgeous art direction. It’s so good, in fact, that the original Catherine has hardly aged in almost 10 years – a highly impressive feat for any game!
Catherine: Full Body, then, is the remaster of the original game, only this time with even more content and yet another “Catherine” for players to choose from – the adorably cute, pink-haired Rin (Qatherine). Having already released in Japan way back in February for the PS4 and PS Vita, sadly, the west will not be getting the PS Vita version, but we still get to enjoy the unfortunate exploits of Vincent in all its PS4 glory as he faces his nightmares head on and has to make the unenviable choice between Katherine, Catherine and Qatherine. The game launches on September 3rd in the West, and I for one can’t wait!
3) Astral Chain
We’ve made it to the the middle of our list and how would any hype list be complete without the newest game from Bayonetta developers, Platinum Games – Astral Chain. This game looks absolutely phenomenal. The trailers have already showcased this game so well, with considerable background into the world and an incredibly unique battle style – leading to a sense of hype that’s building almost daily in the Twitter-sphere. From a visual perspective, this game is dripping with style with a distinct Sci-Fi aesthetic that sets the perfect backdrop for the game itself. Combining that with the incredible combat system that can be switched up on the fly with its five distinct battle styles, players have an almost infinite scope for experimentation as they take on the beasts that roam this game. The battle system showcased in the most recent trailer also suggests a high skill ceiling, allowing players to play around with the game and build combo’s that will mystify and amaze. Honestly, from what we’ve seen so far, this game looks jaw-dropping and I’m hopeful that it’ll give us that amazing next generation Hack and Slash experience for the Nintendo Switch that will finally scratch the insatiable itch left behind in Bayonetta‘s absence, while also giving players something brand new that they can fall in love with!
2) Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
As a massive JRPG fan, I do have one shameful secret. I have never played a mainline Dragon Quest game before. Now, before you grab the pitchforks and stoke the flames to cook me up extra crispy, I have at least played Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker on the DS and have been keeping my beady little eye focused on this game for the longest time.
Like most Dragon Quest games before, Dragon Quest XI threatened to pass me by. That was until I stumbled across the awesome video by YouTuber MrClemps (I’d recommend that everyone check him out, he’s got some pretty amazing videos, and is very active on Twitter) reviewing the game and giving his thoughts on it – a pretty fantastic video that actually made me lift my head and finally take notice of this game.
After checking out that video, something finally clicked. From the classic turn-based combat to the interesting characters and a story that peaked my interest, I hovered over to Amazon to pick up a copy for the Switch, but, to my dismay, there wasn’t one. However, this was soon remedied with the announcement of Dragon Quest XI S – the definitive version of the game, with even more content than before. Unsurprisingly, I pre-ordered the game (which I pretty much NEVER do) and have been waiting impatiently ever since. Honestly, the hype I have for this game is kinda crazy, but here’s hoping it lives up to my expectations!
1) Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness and the Secret Hideout
For anyone that’s been following this blog or my Twitter for a while, this number-one pick will come as no surprise. I am a HUGE fan of Gust’s Atelier franchise, published by Koei Tecmo – and Atelier Ryza is already shaping up to be an incredible new entry for the long-running series!
A vast improvement graphically from its predecessors, Atelier Ryza is an undeniably gorgeous game, with the memorable character designs melding beautifully with the soft and vibrant world showcased so far in trailers. The most recent trailers have given very little away story-wise but have given us some minor details regarding the new incarnation of the alchemy system, as well as some small insight into the battle and gathering mechanics this time around – and from what we’ve seen, it’s shaping up to provide fans with something truly spectacular!
Ryza herself has also drawn a fair amount of attention from within the Atelier community and beyond, thanks to her … excellent assets, and honestly, to that I say well done Koei Tecmo and Gust! Regardless of how it happens, if Atelier Ryza draws a larger audience to the Atelier franchise, then that’s only a good thing for the longevity of the series overall, injecting a new lease of life into it by expanding the fanbase and, hopefully, helping to secure the future of this beloved franchise with an even larger mainstream appeal for many years to come!
With that, we’ve reached the end of this week’s trip down the Otaku Rabbit Hole. What upcoming game releases are you excited for in the next few months? Please let me know because I’m always on the lookout for new games to get excited for. With that, thanks for joining me once again, and I hope you enjoyed. Until next time, keep it weeby everyone!