Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Long Wait is Over! - June 2016

It's hard to believe that June is already almost here. The year is flying by once again, and summer is just around the corner... But do you know what hasn't flown by? The wait for the games coming out next month, that's what! One thing that makes next month so special for a lot of gamers is the fact that their many years worth of waiting will finally be coming to an end. There are a lot of game series finally making their return, and there's a handful of brand new titles many of us have been eger to get our hands on as well. So, instead of dragging this out any longer than it needs to be, let's get started and take a look at some of the games I (as well as others here at NGR) personally have been waiting for.

Mighty No. 9 -

Ok, so this one is a bit odd for me, and I'm sure for many of you as well. Mighty No. 9, as you may know, is Inafune's new game that sort of mirrors the Mega Man series. This game was a big hit on Kickstarter, and it looked like it had a promising future. It was the classic Mega Man like gameplay many of us have come to know and love, and we were told that it would be the start of a full on brand new series. So, how did that change over time? Well, it really hasn't, but the way many of us view this game has. The game was met with constant delays, Inafune and his team continued to work on other projects rather than fixing the game and its issues caused by them using a cheaper outdated engine (despite receiving millions from fans), and the constant begging for money started rubbing people the wrong way. Not to mention some of the "shady" ways Inafune originally went about obtaining the funding -- for example, when the game was first announced and it was said that the first 8 Mighty Robots were the "bad guys," and we were told that if a specific funding goal was reached two extra stages would be added. What was so wrong about this you may ask? Well after reaching the goal we learned that only 6 of the 8 robots were "planned" for the game, and that the goal allowed them to add the final two. It was a miss leading way to reach the next goal, and fans took notice.

Even so, many people have spent a lot of time (and money) waiting for this game to finally be released, and next month it will all finally pay off. It is finished, Inafune has said he is sorry (multiple times) for all of the delays, and we will actually get to play it. Although you may not agree with everything Inafune has done, the game is still sure to be a solid platformer perfect for all of the Mega Man fans who have been waiting for a new game in the series. Sure, it's not the same, but it is pretty close.

Mirror's Edge: Catalyst -

Mirror's Edge was a unique action platforming game. It was free running based game where you would jump from roof top to roof top, using whatever ledge, pole, wall, (etc), you could get your hands on to progress. The game featured a lot of fancy ways to traverse this world, and it all took place from a first person point of view. While the game wasn't huge, it featured enough verity in levels to keep things interesting, and there were extra challenge modes that gave you a reason to replay. Still, many who played the game wanted more, and thus the wait for a sequel began. It has been a long time since then, and now that wait is finally coming to an end. Mirror's Edge Catalyst will be releasing in early June (along with MN9), and this time fans will be able to experience the gameplay that they love in a massive open world city. Although some things have been changed from the first (for example, you can no longer use guns), it will still be the Mirrors Edge fans know and love at it's heart.

No Man's Sky -

[UPDATE: Sorry but this game has been pushed back to a later date. It will no longer release in June.]

No Man's Sky is one of the largest open world games out there -- or rather, it IS the largest. Featuring a randomly generated world that's the size of a universe, No Man's Sky is a game where you get your own ship, set out into the stars, and live your own virtual space opera life. You're free to do what you want, when you want, and how you want. You can land on planets, gather resources, build and upgrade your ship and equipment, study animal life, blow massive holes into the ground to explore underground caverns, get into fights with aliens, become an outlaw, attack space stations, deliver cargo to space stations, and so on. The game is massive, and there's way too much to even cover here. Featuring over 18,400,000,000,000,000,000 planets (not kidding) in a shared seemless open world, this is a game where less than 99% of it will be explored within our life times.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions # FE -

Say what you will, but many have been waiting for this. When a SMT x Fire Emblem crossover title was announced years ago at E3, many were excited. Here was a game that was going to take characters from both series, mix the gameplay, and give fans of both series an awesome JRPG to play on the Wii U. Yeah, that didn't happen! Instead, the game was announced to be something called "Tokyo Mirage Sessions # FE" (in English), and it was nothing like anyone could have imagined. Instead of being a crossover, the game is basically a Persona like spin off series where high school students and singing idols fuse with "Mirages" from another dimension to battle evil Mirages. Sure, these Mirages are based off of characters from the series (for example, Chrom from Fire Emblem Awakening fuses with the lead main character), but they aren't the characters in the form we expected. As for the game itself, it does play a lot like your standard Persona game -- minus the time features. The game is split between the real world and dungeons, the characters summon Mirages to fight the bad Mirages (similar to Personas and Shadows), and the battle system is turn based with bonuses for hitting an enemy's weakness -- which uses the Fire Emblem weapon triangle. Basically, the game is a solid JRPG for those who can get past the idol and high school themes, but it isn't what fans expected from a crossover series... Doesn't change the fact that we waited years for it though. (If you're a fan of JRPGs, or Persona, at least give it a chance.)

Star Ocean 5 -

Star Ocean is a series that will always be special to me personally, and now the next entry is finally here. Originally released on the SNES, Star Ocean was a unique fantasy sci-fi JRPG that featured a real time combat system, branching story paths, and multiple endings. Over the years the series has undergone multiple changes in its jump from platform to platform, but it always stayed the same at it's core. As for Star Ocean 5, this is the first title to be released for the PS4, and it also marks the start of the series' new future. Rather than trying something completely new, SO5 is a game that the developers themselves have stated is sort of a test. It's purpose was to build off of what fans already know and love, before jumping into something that's different. It is the start of something new, but also a send off for the old. Featuring a real time combat system, multiple controllable characters, different endings, and the return of the classic styled Private Action sub events, SO5 tries to capture everything that was once great and special about the series, and once again reintroduces it to the world. While it may not have the largest game world, nor be the longest JRPG in recent years, it is still something worth checking out.

Zero Escape Volume 3: Zero Time Delima -

It is finally here. Zero Escape Volume 3 -- the game many have been waiting for since the release of Volume 2: Virtue's Last Reward. As the third (and possibly final) entry in the Zero Escape series, a series that began with 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors back on the DS, there is a lot riding on this. Known for it's outstanding writing and story telling, ZTD is expected to continue this trend and finally offer the well deserved conclusion that Virtue's Last Reward did not deliver. Rather than giving us a complete ending, VLR left players with one of the most shocking plot twists you'll see in any form of media, and then booted them back to the game's main menu confused and asking for more. Although ZTD does in fact take place before VLR, it will answer all of our questions, and bring a close to the cliffhanger. As for the game itself, just like the previous two it is a visual novel that features "escape room" puzzles where you must explore an area and find a way out. With everyone's life hanging in the balance, this game is said to be much darker than the previous, and it will often force you to question your own morals on what is right and wrong.

Besides these games, there are also quite a few others coming out in June along side them. While we didn't have to wait for them anywhere near as long, there are fans that are looking forward to them. These games include titles such as Atelier Sophie, the remake of the first God Eater, Guilty Gear Xrd, Umbrella Corps, and even the new Kirby.

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