Gaming Update: Of Squid Kids and Space Hauntings

Hot off the heels of the latest Nintendo Direct, I figure it an appropriate time to provide a rundown of some of the games on my radar this year. The games here are listed in what is more-or-less the chronological order of their release, with some variation, as we do not yet have accurate release dates for all of the games I will be talking about. The first two I am almost certain to purchase sooner rather than later are Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and Resident Evil: Revelations 2. The demo released a month or so ago for Code Name S.T.E.A.M. left me really impressed, and I’d love to give the full retail release a playthrough. Meanwhile, while I was skeptical of the sequel to Resident Evil: Revelations maybe not living up to its 3DS predecessor, the early gameplay segments I have seen of it have largely put my worries to rest. While I’m still disappointed that Capcom decided not to release Revelations 2 on the 3DS, I’ll still pick up a copy for my Xbox 360.

While I am pleased to see Nintendo has released the other N64 Zelda title on the 3DS in an updated form, it hasn’t been all that long since I last played Majora’s Mask, so I’ll likely wait a while before I make the journey back to Termina – in all likelihood, I’d be looking at getting Majora’s Mask 3D sometime later this Summer or Fall. The late Spring months into early Summer will likely be spent with Splatoon, which continues to impress me more and more with each chunk of gameplay footage that Nintendo reveals. I’m really digging the art style, as it falls somewhere in the territory of Jet Set Radio and No More Heroes, while the team-based gameplay looks like some sort of fever dream hybrid of DeBlob and Team Fortress 2. It’s a weird melting pot of ideas, to be sure, but one that looks like it could be a thoroughly satisfying online multiplayer frenzy.

While there is no definitive release date yet marked for Ghost Song: A Journey of Hope, it is a Metroidvania title that I’ve already put my money down for, and am very much looking forward to playing by year’s end. I’m pleased to see someone working to fill that niche genre, as their hasn’t been word on a new Metroid title since the Wii release of Other M. I’ll also probably pick up The Next Penelope: Race to Odysseyus, another indie game which, coincidentally, seeks to fill yet another niche genre that I am a big fan of, falling into the territory of F-Zero’s high-speed and intense racing design. While this latest Nintendo Direct only revealed so much about the long-awaited Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem project, I will admit that it looks absolutely gorgeous, and my feelings toward it are more positive than I initially expected due to the gameplay aligning more closely with the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games. The character designs are a bit of a mixed bag – I love Fire Emblem armor and beasts, but the real-world SMT characters bear overly-anime stylized designs that I’m not so keen on.

On the topic of games I have already started playing but have yet to complete, I’ve powered through the first fifteen hours or so of Persona 3 FES, which is currently on loan to me from a friend. I intend to pick up my own copy of it sometime later this year, but wanted to get an early start, as my feelings toward both Persona 4 and Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth were overwhelmingly positive. I’m also more than halfway through the Wii port of the Gamecube remake of the original Resident Evil, which I’ve been tackling in short bursts. I’d also like to see if I can’t complete my virtual console copy of Paper Mario, the Zone of the Enders HD Collection, and the 3DS eShop release of Moon Chronicles by year’s end. While I did sink about ten or eleven hours into Watch Dogs, it may be a while before I pick that back up, as the load times are downright atrocious, and some of the core gameplay elements less polished than I had hoped.

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