Well would you look at the date, 2016 is almost over! That means that 2017 is just around the corner and to celebrate the closing of a great year for gaming, I want to look forward to what I think will be an even better year, if not at least on a similar level. A few months ago I did a list that was all about the games that I was looking forward too... well in general. This is strictly for 2017 and as a result is obviously subject to change.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

The Mass Effect franchise is one of my favorites of the last generation and it’s one that I play through at least once a year. Andromeda is like a soft reboot. Same universe, different galaxy, and it isn’t beholden to the events of the third game in the Shepard trilogy. The story has me intrigued, the gameplay not so much, but that is likely to change when they actually show more of it. Regardless, story is what is important to me and that is enough to get me to buy the game when it releases hopefully in March. Bioware and EA are currently being coy about the release date, likely to avoid changing it if the game gets delayed for quality improvement.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve only ever played The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, both on GameCube and on Wii U. I never got Skyward Sword, never played Ocarina of Time or Wind Waker because I didn’t have an N64 and never had the spare cash for the 3DS versions. Breath of the Wild, however, I fully intend to get. I’m as hyped for this game as I can be because everything about it excites me. I’m still not sure what system I’ll be getting for though. I have a Wii U, so that should be the obvious choice, but I always like playing the definitive version of a game, the best version, and by all accounts that appears to be the Nintendo Switch version which has a more stable framerate, improved texture quality, and better draw distance. So really I need to get a Nintendo Switch, which is probably going to cost me around $250, plus another $60 for the game, and I’m not sure if I’ll have that at launch. And of course there are the rumors of a delay, but as Laura Kate Dale tells it, from what she’s heard the delay is likely only for Europe, so while I feel bad for Europeans who might not get the game until June/July, I’m crossing my fingers that it hits US shores in March(This is where European readers counter cross their fingers that the US and Japanese versions are delayed to match.).

Yakuza Kiwami

I’m sure Yakuza Zero is a great game, and I’ll definitely be getting it, but I’m more excited for the remake of the original Yakuza game than I am for the prequel. I never got a chance to play the original of the second game in the series. I started from the third game and worked up, using the story recaps to get the gist of the first two games. Now I get to experience the original story for myself with the latest graphics and refined gameplay to boot.

Persona 5

Persona 4 came out eight years ago so its about damn time that we got the fifth game. Originally it was slated for Fall 2015, yeah, that didn’t happen, they said they needed more time to make the game what it truly could be. The good news is that it released in September of this year... in Japan. The US release was pushed back to February 2017, it sucks, but hey what’s a few months? Well, then it got delayed again to April 2017. I can understand their reasons, wanting to add more voiceover and improve the overall localization, but these delays are killing me. The Persona games are some of my favorite games, they make turn-based combat fast and fun rather than slow and boring, and that’s on top of absolutely fantastic stories and characters. And from what I’ve heard, Persona 5 is just as good if not better than the games that came before it. So it needs to hurry up and come out in the US already, I don’t have the time to learn Japanese.

Crash Bandicoot: N-Sane Trilogy

Crash Bandicoot, like Spyro the Dragon, Metal Gear Solid, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Mario, was a big part of my early childhood. I never got to play the full games, just a demo of the third game that I played repeatedly because it was so much fun. And then I bought them during a sale on PS3 this past year... and never touched them. Not sure why, just that I never did. But now I have more reason not too. The remakes have me excited because its the real Crash Bandicoot for a new generation, and while I may not be part of that generation, I’m gonna take advantage of it all the same. Now they just need to remake Spyro the Dragon without that Skylanders crap and MediEvil.

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

Personally, I prefer the Japanese title “Everyone’s New Semester of Killing,” but apparently they didn’t feel the same way. I’m still really excited for this game though because the first two were wild rides that I honestly need to go through a second time despite the fact that I know all the twists. Mysteries kind of lose their shine after you’ve gone through them once because the suspense and, well, mystery are gone after that. But Danganronpa’s story is just so good that it doesn’t even matter and I imagine it’ll be the same for the third game which is the start of a new saga in the Danganronpa universe. I just wish they had gone with 3D models instead of the cardboard cutouts again. I mean come on, the games are on PS4 now, not just Vita. Step up your production values.

Halo Wars 2

I don’t typically get excited for a strategy game. I play them in my spare time and with friends because it gives us something to do, but I’m not all that good at them. Halo Wars was the first RTS that I played non-stop, not just because it was fun and I was actually decent at it, but because it had a great story. The sequel which releases in February looks like it will continue that trend of great gameplay and great story because the new villain, Atriox, looks like the best this franchise has seen in a long time.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

This one is an expansion, not a full-fledged game, but it might as well be. The previous expansion, Heavensward, was just as good as, if not better than, the base game A Realm Reborn. I have no doubt in my mind that Stormblood, which has an even bigger budget, will continue to improve on and surpass what came before it in every way. This is why I keep my subscription going even when I take long breaks from the game. The promise of more great story is well worth the price of $15 a month.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Its been six and a half years since Red Dead Redemption hit store shelves in May 2010. It made a far bigger impact on the industry than its predecessor, Red Dead Revolver, did back in 2004. I can’t deny that fact no matter how much I love Revolver and wish it would get a sequel of some kind. Redemption was the foundation for the series going forward and Red Dead Redemption 2 aims to take it even farther. I’m hoping it gets a PC release sooner rather than later, but Rockstar has made no indication that it will happen. So at the very least I hope the story has nothing to do with John Marston or Dutch’s gang. Their story has been told, its time for a new cast of characters with a new story, and I have no doubt that this game will be great. I just hope it doesn’t get delayed past its Fall 2017 release window.

Valkyria Revolution

Valkyria Chronicles is probably one of my favorite games of all time, and while it saddens me that I may never get to play the second and third games, the latest entry, Azure Revolution(Shortened to Revolution in the west for some reason.), has my interest. It isn’t the same as Chronicles, which is the point of the new subtitle, so with that understanding I’m more accepting of what Azure Revolution is and I have high hopes for the story. Whenever the Japanese do war stories, I always find them to be far more interesting than the usual “’Murica F*** Yeah!” attitude that western war stories have.

Vampyr

I have been searching for a true vampire game for quite some time. Most games make them out to be animals or creatures with no sense, some make them insane lunatics, edgelords, or just straight up weird. Vampyr takes what I believe is the proper approach to vampires. Denizens of the night, human, and they’re presented with moral dilemmas. Vampires must consume human blood to survive, to grow stronger, but is it so easy to take the life of another? And what if you’re a doctor by trade? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Games That I Hope Release in 2017

Final Fantasy VII Remake Part I

The first installment of the Final Fantasy VII Remake has no concrete release date yet or even a release window, however, Square has been making subtle hints towards the games release date. They have big plans for the series 30th anniversary, and the date when they’ll announce those plans just so happens to be the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VII’s Japanese release. Couple this with the supposed leak of Square’s plans for the next year and a half, and it looks likely that the first part of what is likely to be a trilogy will release by the end of 2017. I’m hoping that all of this is correct.

Halo for Xbox Scorpio

As we all should know by now, Microsoft is releasing a brand new system in Autumn 2017. Currently known as Project Scorpio, Microsoft is shooting for 6 teraflops of compute performance, a whopping 1.8 teraflops more than the PS4 Pro(4.2), 4.2 teraflops more than the standard PS4(1.8), and 4.7 teraflops more than the Xbox One(1.3). I don’t really know what those numbers mean, and people who told that they don’t mean a whole lot while others have said they do(Plus, despite the PS4 Pro boasting more teraflops than the standard model, its power isn’t that much greater.). What I do know is that it at least means the system has power and Microsoft has boasted that it’s the most powerful console ever built. But like any console, it’ll need more than power to sell itself, and what better way than to have a Halo game ready to go for launch. The series is no stranger to smaller scale spin-offs. Halo 3: ODST comes to mind and a game of similar size to that would make a great technical showcase for the system. Plus, after the campaign flop that was Halo 5, fans could use some reassurance that 343 Industries knows how to tell a great Halo story before Halo 6 hits store shelves in 2018(Plus they could bundle a Beta with it. Win-win situation IMO.).