Most Anticipated Games of 2019 (Plus, an Update)

Well. This blog has not been touched since Gaming Month 2.0. So what the heck have I been up to? You may or may not be wondering. Let me start with the update first.

Life has its special way of interfering, even if what happens is actually a good thing. With that in mind, let me get the biggest development out of the way: I’m now a homeowner. I went from renting an apartment to owning a condo, and while I love the new sense of freedom, with that change comes a lot of other responsibilities they don’t really mention when you become a homeowner. I now have to be aware of what happens to my property and whatnot.

But what about the games? is another thing you’re probably wondering…or not. I mostly write these posts to myself, I’m no mind reader so I can’t tell what my audience is thinking either. What I can say for sure is unfortunately the drive to play has slowed to a crawl. Not that I’m not playing anything; I’ve been working away at Kingdom Hearts 3, and I basically blasted my way through a bunch of little titles from this past week.

What I’ve really been up to the most though is watching livestreams. Since last year around the point when I finished Gaming Month 2.0, I made the re-discovery that a friend of mine livestreamed daily on Azure Dreams, which was a title I found to be a challenging but entertaining dungeon crawler, was part of my friend’s ‘Year of the Backlog’ in 2018 so I started tuning in. 1 year later, I’m following a lot more people and exposing myself to several games, old and new. It’s not the same as playing by any means, but with work amping up in terms of busyness and life draining me overall, watching livestreams beats having to buy games you’re only half-invested in playing. It’s also nice to converse with others online and bond over what’s playing in the background (it depends on who you follow though, for sure, and you still need to play it safe).

Anyway, that’s the update. Now for the games.

Most anticipated games are (in no particular order):

Rune Factory 5. It’s about 1 month until E3 this year, but the announcement for a fifth Rune Factory game was made in the previous year. Those who are slightly familiar with my past blog posts already know I’m a huge fan, so no doubt this is my most anticipated…for next year. Yeah, so unfortunately it doesn’t look like the kind of game that will be released this year, but it’s Rune Factory. I can’t not put it on the list. The one thing I am dreading is that so far there’s only been a release date for the Nintendo Switch, a console I neither own nor have any interest in owning…not even for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which looked okay and from hearsay the gameplay is great, but the story and characters leave something to be desired and there’s no connection to the previous Xeno series (so say its developers). If Rune Factory 5 forces me to get the Switch, then I’m not going to be happy…but we all do that for games we love, even if our wallets are screaming the whole while.

Final Fantasy VII: Remake. Yes, that’s actually the full title of the game. Why they didn’t call it 2.0, or just call it the PS4 edition, or what, I don’t know. None of us really know what the game could be like past the first 10 minutes. At the end of the trailer there’s a message: Stay tuned in June. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe it’s because E3? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been anticipating this remake for a while, but knowing now how Square has been treating its games and even its audience, I can’t help wondering if it’s even worth buying. Maybe borrowing or playing at a friend’s house, sure. Or even watching the live stream. But buying anything from Square hasn’t resulted in a good game of late. We’ll see. That’s going to be a sentence I say a lot in this post.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Normally I don’t get excited about Castlevania spinoffs, but the way the developers have handled the negative feedback, turned it against itself, and then made improvements one would expect from a remaster post-game release, may have actually cinched my desire to purchase and play this one. The lighting improvements made to the graphics have enhanced the dark, gothic, and ominous scenery and enemies in the game footage, and it’s obvious that the game was made as a love letter to former Castlevanias (in particular, Symphony of the Night). The passion is there, it feels present in the way the game is framed in trailers, and for that reason alone I want to play it.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps. Again, another title that may actually come out in 2020 instead of 2019, but E3 may prove me wrong. We’ll see. I enjoyed the first Ori game, Ori and the Blind Forest, which was in fact my first review for Clip Through (in case you’re wondering, it’s getting a redux next month which is why no new developments have taken place there either). I even wrote a piece about the trailer released in 2017 about its sequel, because of all of the trailers we’d seen that year, that one got a LOT of great anticipation. It looks as gorgeous and full of emotion as the first, with new settings and characters to consider as well. Whether or not I’ll be able to play it, though, is another story. At this point there’s no PS4 release date, only Xbox One and Windows 10 – neither of which I own either. I may not ever be able to play this one, but again, we’ll see.

Short list, I know. A few of the games I wrote about regarding my most anticipated from 2018 have yet to come out either. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to feel motivated to play anything still.

So, there you have it. Have you been feeling burnt out about gaming? Have you been hanging out on Twitch lately like I have? Let me know. Maybe we can bond over how draining life can be…but also stay excited about what’s to come.

Best Games from Gaming Month 2.0

It’s time to stop talking about the worst and look at the best. Gaming Month 2.0 had some great titles and surprises that I wasn’t 100% expecting. It goes to show that new games are made every day, but there are some classics that stand to the test of time and are more than worthy of playing and replaying. These favourites from Gaming Month 2.0 were fun, addicting, and worthy of a full playthrough.

Again, this list is done in no particular order or rank. Continue reading

Worst Games from Gaming Month 2.0

I’ve had time to ponder about which games from Gaming Month 2.0 I didn’t like versus what I considered to be good. While doing so, I discovered that my worst picks from the month had something in common: they were all indie games, which at this point are officially a dime a dozen. In contrast, the best games I remember playing were all console-based and much older in their date, but were still very playable and even fun. Continue reading

Gaming Month 2.0: Dust: An Elysian Tail

Dust: An Elysian Tale title

Dust: An Elysian Tale | Humble Heart LLC | Microsoft Studios

Welcome to the final day of Gaming Month 2.0! Today’s selection is Dust: An Elysian Tail, a fun action RPG created by one-man team Dean Dodrill, the developer, animator, and sole employee at Humble Heart LLC. Dust: An Elysian Tail was published by Microsoft Studios in May 2013 for Steam. Continue reading

Gaming Month 2.0: Vanguard Bandits

Vanguard bandits title

Vanguard Bandits | Human Entertainment | Working Designs

Today’s video game for Gaming Month 2.0 is another RPG where I heard music from the soundtrack before actually playing it. That game is Vanguard Bandits, a tactical RPG developed by Human Entertainment and published by Working Designs originally for the Sony Playstation in 1998 in Japan before debuting in North America in 2000. Since then, Vanguard Bandits has been re-released to the Playstation Network and it can be played on the Playstation Vita (which was my console of choice for tonight). Continue reading

Gaming Month 2.0: Where the Sun Always Shines

Where the sun always shines title

Where the Sun Always Shines | ebi-hime

Time to explore another visual novel for Gaming Month 2.0. Today’s story is Where the Sun Always Shines, a bittersweet but refreshing change of pace from your typical visual novel. Where the Sun Always Shines is written by ebi-hime and it was released for in March 2017. Continue reading

Gaming Month 2.0: Escape the Game: Intro

Escape the Game: Intro title

Escape the Game: Intro | Insanity Games

Well, today’s selection for Gaming Month 2.0 is disappointing, but not for the reasons you may think. Escape the Game: Intro is the first of a gradually developing episodic video game series created by Insanity Games. The intro was released for Steam in October 2016. There is currently a sequel available as well, but today I’m only going to focus on the intro. Continue reading

Gaming Month 2.0: Fire Emblem Awakening

Fire Emblem Awakening box art

Fire Emblem Awakening | Intelligent Systems | Nintendo SPD

Consider today’s selection for Gaming Month 2.0 another never-played-before-until-now title. Fire Emblem Awakening is the eleventh entry in the popular tactical RPG series Fire Emblem, developed by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo SPD. It was released by Nintendo for the 3DS in April 2012 in Japan, and was then released in North America in February 2013. Continue reading

Gaming Month 2.0: Skyne

Skyne title

Skyne | Bradley

Sometimes, the random video games I add to my collection on are hidden gems…this is not one of those. Skyne, while an okay effort, was not the most enjoyable experience, but that’s to be expected given that it was originally created as a school project. Skyne was developed by a group of students in the Game Design and Animation program at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and was released for in April 2017. Continue reading

Gaming Month 2.0: Grim Fandango Remastered

Grim Fandango title

Grim Fandango Remastered | LucasArts | Double Fine Productions

Here’s another odd but intriguing video game for Gaming Month 2.0 made by Tim Schafer, the very same director and developer who helped make Psychonauts a reality. Grim Fandango Remastered is an adventure video game developed by Lucas Arts and directed by Tim Schafer. It was originally released for the Playstation 2 in October 1998. Its remaster, which is the one I’m reviewing today, was developed by Double Fine Productions (Schafer’s current studio) and released for Steam and the Playstation 4 in January 2015. Continue reading