My last write up focused on Square Enix due to their prolific release schedule and they provided more then enough upcoming releases for a post alone. Today though I’ll be looking at the other major releases from Japan. From Nihon Falcom to Atlus and everything in between this is your place to see what is coming down the pipes from these venerated developers. Unfortunately unlike the Square Enix article there is a good chance we here in North America may not get these games until 2017 so I’ll be adding a probably of 2016 release as well for North America. However lets once again look into our crystal ball and gaze upon the future and see what the new year holds in store!
PS: This post got so huge I split it up into two separate postings.
Tales of Berseria (PS3/PS4):
Well the Call of Duty of JRPG’s just keeps chugging along. With this years Tales of... title Berseria finding its way to the PS3/PS4 sometime in 2016 for North America. It’s a little unfortunate the series has not moved firmly over to the PS4 to make use of the extra power, however its unlikely it’ll make any major difference as the anime art style the series is known for is not very taxing graphically on even the PS3.
While little is known at the moment, it has been confirmed Berseria will be a distant prequel to last years Tales of Zesteria - although Namco has been very clear this will be a tangential relationship and not a major one. Likely aware of long times fans less then fond relationship with Zesteria. As one of those fans I say that is a good thing as while Zesteria had a lot of promise it squandered it by the end. Here is hoping Berseria and its interesting looking protagonist will do us proud, also Dragons give us more Dragons.
Release Date: 2016 (Japan)
Chance of 2016 Western Release: 65%, Namco has said they want quick localization for Tales of titles I hope this one is too.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (PS4/PS Vita):
WarGreymon, Seraphimon, MetalGarurumon, LadyDevimon, Omnimon... oh sorry I was just listing my favorite Digimon. I think if you can list your favorite Digimon too this game is totally for you with hundreds of Digimon able to be recruited its the video game my internal 12 year will love. Ah who am I kidding its a game I’ll love even at the high end of my 20's.
Honestly Digimon has always been better then Pokemon, however North American fans never got much love following the PS2 era, until now that is with this surprise localization from Namco. In many ways Cyber Sleuth seems to be them testing the water for further localization’s a tactic they used with Tales of Graces F and Abyss 3D when determining if it was viable to bring over Tales of Xillia and the rest of the franchise. I say if you love Digimon and have always been jealous that Japan got good Digimon games then its a fans duty to check this one out.
Release Date: 2 February 2016 (North America/Europe)
Chance of 2016 Western Release: 100% its in 10 days people!
Dark Souls III (PS4/Xbox One):
Prepare to Die! Honestly this franchise is now so baked into the DNA of its player base writing about it feels kind of pointless. You’re either going to play this and love it despite its flaws (yup talking about you Dark Souls II) or you’re not even going to think about playing it and wonder about the sanity of people who do. That is the kind of game the Souls franchise has become.
Interestingly though Dark Souls III looks to be a return to form for the franchise as Hidetaka Miyazaki Director of Demon Souls and Dark Souls returns to the franchise following his departure to work on Bloodborne. However it feels that Bloodborne’s influence will be felt within Dark Souls III as many have commented that the action looks faster and less methodical then the previous Souls formula. Regardless I expect people will line up to die, over... and... over again. Praise the Sun!
Release Date: 12 April 2016 (North America)
Chance of 2016 NA Release: 100% you can take this one to the bank!
The Last Guardian (PS4):
It’s REAL! It’s happening. Honestly what to write about this one its a game that is real and its coming out. Oh sure its been in development hell for a longer period that Barack Obama has been president, sure Sony has seemed to forgot about it periodically from time to time. However this time is different its real and its happening, we’ve even seen gameplay. How good will it be? Who knows, but the pedigree of the game alone makes this one to watch for in 2016.
Release Date: 2016 (North America/Japan)
Chance of a 2016 Western Release: 50%, we’re dealing with The Last Guardian here, honestly I have no idea what to expect.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U):
I wanted to include at least a few Wii U on this list somewhere; sadly with 2016 seemingly being the year of the NX there was slim pickings. However if your a fan of Zelda games I expect Twilight Princess HD will be right up your ally. With the qualified success of The Wind Waker HD Nintendo is remaking a Zelda game AGAIN (it’s their fourth in as many years). I think this was a good candidate for the HD treatment as a glorified Gamecube game (seriously it had a Gamecube release...) its artistic beauty was always marred by the systems technical limitations. The Wii U may not see a proper Zelda game yet but perhaps fans of the series and Nintendo will find some solace in this release.
Release Date: 4 March 2016 (North America)
Chance of 2016 NA Release: 100% Again bank on it.
The Legend of Zelda (2016) (Wii U?)
This is easily the most mysterious title on this list right now. Announced an eternity ago and having gone through several yearly release dates Nintendo has said 2016 is it. I for one am skeptical as we’ve seen very little of this and honestly Twilight Princess HD seems to be a way of buying some good will from fans who really want this game.
As somebody who isn’t a big Nintendo home console fan (there are others on TAY way more knowledgeable on the topic) I haven’t absorbed too much information like I have the other games on this list. So honestly I don’t know too much about the state of this game or fans thoughts on the mater. In this case I humbly ask the audience what do you think the chance of Zelda 19 actually happening this year and does it really come to the Wii U?
Release Date: 2016?
Fire Emblem Fates (3DS):
With Awakening, Fire Emblem made a statement and came back in a big way saving itself from oblivion. This is great for both long time fans and new fans of the series as it’s looking like Fates will be doing the same thing. With three versions each bursting with content this looks to be the largest Fire Emblem experience Nintendo has ever created. Now while I understand peoples annoyance at how expensive this could be I expect it to be worth the extra cost as Fire Emblems are games that are meant to be replayed multiple times and having lots of content is always a good thing for replay ability.
I’ve personally been avoiding spoilers about the titles as I want to go in fresh, so I really don’t know too much about it other then its a Fire Emblem game. That being said I’m excited and I’ve already pre-ordered the Special Edition something I almost never do. With a review score of 36/40 for the Japanese version from Famitsu this game should be something to remember.
Release Date: 19 February 2016 (North America/Europe)
Chance of 2016 NA Release: 100%
Genei Ibun Roku ♯FE/Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem (Wii U):
Who says the Wii U is dead? Me? Okay ya... but it’s still twitching a little bit and with last years great Xenoblade Chronicles X it may even be taking some tepid breaths. While major releases are few and far between on the Wii U very few consoles can say they are home to a crossover of this size, which in and of itself is an impressive feat. This is great for Nintendo as with so many question marks still hanging over Zelda 2016 we are looking at what could be the Wii U’s last major title.
As new images and trailers come out relatively often Atlus and Nintendo seem to be gearing up for a big release in North America, especially following the successful launch in Japan. I don’t know about you but this game looks AMAZING and may even be a reason to buy a Nintendo home console (Xenoblade helps too). Some complain it has too much Persona in it but I think that’s a good thing especially as the hardcore SMT fans have IV: Final to satiate our lust for demonic goodness. If this is the Wii U’s last big hurrah it could be a great way to go out at the very least.
Release Date: 2016 (North America)
Chance of 2016 North America Release: 100% no way Nintendo doesn’t launch this in 2016.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final (3DS):
This was a surprise from Atlus a little while ago as nobody was really expecting a follow up to 2013's Shin Megami Tensei IV a very solid entry into the storied franchise. Little is known about the game other then the fact its working on the same engine and set in the same Japan as IV proper, while seemingly sharing characters as well. However it fits into the mythology though one can likely expect a long and interesting adventure pitting the forces of Chaos vs Order - or one where you forge your own path and subjugate Heaven and Hell to your own will! It’s a Shin Megami Tensei game really what else is there to say, if you have a 3DS buy this!
Also if you want to find out more about the series but don’t know where to begin check out my own Shin Megami Tensei Beginners Guide.
Release Date: 10 February 2016 (Japan) 2016 North America
Chance of 2016 NA Release: 90% Atlus has 10 months to bring this over seems to be a decent sized window.
Persona 5 (PS3/PS4):
Yes and now we get to the big one Persona 5 from Atlus. Persona over the years despite very limited releases has become one of the biggest names in Japanese gaming here in North America and Persona 5 was even set to blow away audiences in November 2015. Sadly this did not come to pass and was pushed back into 2016. Due to the fact Christmas 2015 was an insane time for gaming this was probably a good move too with games like Fallout 4 blowing away sales records.
Interestingly in recent weeks information has come out other Japanese companies are watching what Atlus does with this title. One such company Square Enix is even reportedly nervous of launching its own massive title Final Fantasy XV around the time of Persona 5. If true this would represent a seismic shift in the JRPG market and show Persona to be bigger then anyone expected.
Regardless though once it launches I expect an interesting and stylish game. Something Atlus and the series itself is known for. It sucks we had to wait a little longer for this game however once it launches it should be something amazing. Regardless its a great time to be a fan of Shin Megami Tensei.
Release Date: 2016
Chance of a 2016 NA Release: 100% no way we wait until 2017.