That is the question that I intend to answer tonight. After all the shit I've talked about games this past year (with good reason because they've sucked), people might start to think I'm just a hater, and that I don't even like games anymore. So with that in mind, I'ma do something different this time. This time I'm gonna write about GOOD things for a change. Because believe it or not, it's not all just doom and crap in the videogame industry. Not yet anyway. Naw, there are still some good things left in this world. In fact, there are quite a few things to look forward to in 2016. So here, for your benefit, I'm gonna list some of the games coming out this year that I'm most excited about. Do note that any of these games could still very well suck. But these are the games with the highest probability of being good. I will also mention potential issues for each game that I can think of which could negatively impact their quality, if applicable. So without further ado, let's get this shit rollin' son!
Dark Souls III
The obvious. Can you believe we're already up to the 5th Souls game? That's crazy if you ask me. These guys know how to work. They've got this shit on lock. Not only do they pump one out almost every year, but they even like to release the same game twice again to make extra money off of the hardcore fans like me. Sure, From, I'll pay you twice for the same game. Iz all good. This is probably the game that I'm the least concerned about whether it'll be good or not. After all, this is already the 5th one and they have never made a bad Souls game so far. Those are some pretty good odds if you ask me. I'd bet on these guys any day. They seem to know what they're doing.
The return of the prince. We've waited almost a decade for this game to come out. I was actually young when Persona 4 came out. That's how fucked up this whole thing is. I am incredibly excited about this game, but at the same time there's a lot to be concerned about. The possibility of this game not being good is real. Unlike Dark Souls III, which is relatively simple and straightforward to make, Persona 5 is... very difficult. There are a lot of things that can go wrong. The fact that the game has been awaited for this long works against it, the hype is too strong. Furthermore, the fact that Persona 3 and 4 were so good is also a problem. It's going to be very difficult to live up to that, and a lot of what made those games so good is either difficult or impossible to recreate. For example, making compelling characters on the level of Persona 3 and 4 is not as simple or straightforward as making new levels or bosses in Dark Souls.
There are a lot of good things that I can see in Persona 5. Everything in this game looks beautiful. Fuckin' crazy sick style. Not just in the setting but in the character art as well. I think Shigenori Soejima has subtly gotten even better. His art looks better than it ever has, and Persona 5 might be the best looking game of the series, possibly? Possibly. That's not all; one of the most striking things about this game to me is how good the protagonist looks. This is definitely the coolest protagonist out of all the games, and that's saying something since the previous ones were pretty cool themselves. I mean look at this badass mother fucker. Look. At. Him. It's gonna be a joy playing as him, I can already tell. AND he's got black hair. The master race one true hair color. Everybody knows black is the best hair color. Anything else is for bitches. Especially brown. That's the most bottom tier hair color of basic bitches.
Now, there are also a lot of concerning factors in this game. Most pressing among them: where are the girls? The waifus are one of the most important parts of Persona, man. Where are they? Quit holdin' out on me bro! Based on historical data, we can assume that we'll have 3-4 girls in our party. But it's been a very long time, and they've still only revealed one girl in Persona 5, and she looks like a bitch. That's not good. No, the fucking cat doesn't count. That means that there are still 2-3 party members that they haven't revealed yet, and they would all have to be girls. But why has it been so long? That seems a little strange. Furthermore, even once they do, will they be able to live up to previous entries? I mean, let's not kid ourselves, there won't be another girl as good as Aigis. It's not going to happen. That's obvious. But even getting to the level of the ones in Persona 4, which, with the exception of Aigis, were actually better than the ones in Persona 3, seems like a tall order. It's just rough dude. The prospects don't look too good, lemme tell you.
Next, the change in singer may be cause for concern. I'm not saying it'll necessarily be bad, but it seems like a big gamble, and an unnecessary one at that. We know that Yumi Kawamura, Shihoko Hirata, Mayumi Fujita and Lotus Juice are still down to work and still as excellent as they've ever been. So why drop them like that? It's probably because they want a different sound and ambience, but even still that just seems like a bad idea. Why fix what ain't broke? The probability of something being good is much greater if you go with what you already know is good. Dem gambles, dogg. They killin' me here.
Aside from that, it's been many long years, and the scene has changed a lot since Persona 4 came out. Even back then, though it was starting to become popular, the series was much more niche than it is now. At this point it's gone full blast mainstream. And when something becomes mainstream that's never a good thing. Will they be able to keep their soul? That remains to be seen. In that regard, I guarantee you with 85% certainty that Persona 5 will feature adjustable difficulty to cater to the mainstream, and it will be a terrible thing. Mark my words. Granted, the Persona games have never been known for being particularly difficult, and their biggest strengths are in other areas, so this may or may not be as damaging as it normally is. We'll see. In any case, there's a lot to be excited about and a lot to be tentative about with this game. Based on my speculation I foresee it coming out sometime around september. Will it be as good as we are all hoping? It damn well better. I'm gonna be on fucking sudoku watch if this game sucks.
New Danganronpa V3: A New Semester of Everyone's Killing Life
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! Yes baby, gimme this shit. This game is gonna be so fuckin' sick you don't even know. It could be $500 and I would still buy it, that's how serious I am. Don't fuck with me. This is going to be the third main title in the series, and the hype couldn't be higher. Now, obviously, the main thing that's going to decide how good this game is, is the story. And that's not an easy thing to get right, so let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Ultra Despair Girls left us with a pretty good idea of who the antagonist in this game is likely to be, and this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, predictability is anathema in games like these that thrive on their gripping storyline and surprising plot twists. That's why it's not even a sure thing that who we think will be the antagonist will really be it. Not at all. On the other hand, there's also a lot of potential to be exploited in utilizing previously established characters in new ways. If the setup from Ultra Despair Girls is what they plan to go with, it could be good, but it will all depend on the execution.
Other than that there's nothing I'm particularly concerned about with this game. It seems like it'll be the same as the other 2 main games and the probability of it being good is very high. I would hope that it's not as bleak and soul crushing as the other games, but that's most likely too much to ask for. In which case, keeping the school mode/island mode of the previous games to wipe our tears with after finishing the story is a decision that could potentially make or break the game. I'm confident they will make the right choice.
Zero Time Dilemma
AKA Game of the Year 2016. That's fucking right. Calling it ahead of time. This game is truly something special. It almost didn't happen, which would've marked the greatest injustice of the generation. But miracles do happen sometimes, and so Lord Uchikoshi graces us one final time with his godly work. That's sad when I put it that way, but all good things must necessarily come to an end. It's probably best that it ends in this way rather than keeping the series going and running it into the ground. At the very least, even if this is the end of Zero Escape, I hope it's not the end for Kotaro Uchikoshi. I will be watching this man like a hawk. After what he has done, I'm a dedicated fan for life. Zero Escape has been a beautiful, shining light of hope in this dark, abysmal cesspool of iniquity that is the current videogame industry. If he ever decides to work on another game, I will be there. I promise you that. There is little else to say other than that I have the utmost confidence in Zero Time Dilemma. So I'm not going to waste time even entertaining the absolutely ludicrous idea that it could be bad.
Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness
I flipped a motherfucking table when this game was announced, I was so happy. Star Ocean is one of my favorite series of ALL TIME and it's about dang time that we had another one. I was starting to get worried that they had forgotten about this series since it's been so long and Tri-Ace hasn't done anything since Resonance of Fate other than shitty jap only games and helping out a little with shitty Final Fantasy XIII games that nobody wants to play. I love you so much Tri-Ace. Don't leave me.
I feel like Tri-Ace and Square Enix make a good developer/publisher team, because it allows Tri-Ace to make use of Square Enix's considerable artistic and financial resources. There are only two things that Square Enix is good for these days: 1) Making beautiful things and 2) Having money. Note that making good games is not one of those things, so it's important that they keep their hands off development as much as possible and let Tri-Ace do what they're good at.
Now, Star Ocean is very hit or miss when it comes to storyline and characters, but the series' gameplay is consistently excellent. That's where its strength lies. Even Star Ocean 4 was really good and fun once you get past its abysmally shitty protagonist and cast of characters. That's how strong the gameplay is. Of course, it also has a really awesome setting and music. My god, the music. Motoi Sakuraba is a god when he's working on this series. He sucks dick when he's working on Dark Souls, but he is a god when he's on Star Ocean. And he's coming back for SO5. I cannot wait to see (hear) what he has in store for this game.
The game looks astonishingly similar to the previous one. That's very promising. I like that a lot. It shows that they're not trying to reinvent the wheel. They're not trying any new fangled next gen bullshit. They're just making Star fucking Ocean. It doesn't even look like a PS4 game. Everything I see about this game looks unabashedly Star Ocean. Thumbs up.
There are only two possibly concerning things I've seen so far. Firstly, it seems that they've changed random encounters so that you transition seamlessly from field mode to battle mode when you get near enemies. I don't like that at all. It reminds me of Final Fantasy XII. I like the traditional way where touching an enemy sends you to a separate instance for the battle, and even preferably over that, there should be no visible enemies to touch on the field. Random encounters should happen out of nowhere and take you to a separate instance like it used to be in the JRPGs of the 90s. That's the way it should be. The way god intended. This new way looks like it could be bad. It introduces a whole slew of possible issues. For example: how is the battle music going to start and end if there isn't a very clear cut between field and battle modes? Is there going to be no battle music like FFXII (if I remember correctly, and I could very well be wrong because I wiped that trash from my memory as best I could)? If so, that would be incredibly tragic. Or is it going to be like Fallout 4, where the battle music starts playing when enemies notice your presence, and stops a few seconds after enemies are all dead or you've put a good amount of distance between them and yourself? And sometimes annoyingly keeps playing at inappropriate times when there are simply enemies nearby that you can't kill but you're not actually fighting? Because that would be bad too. Another potential issue is that, if battles are going to start and end seamlessly, what will happen to victory fanfare/poses/results screens with dramatic sweeping camera angles and close ups? Are they going away? That's no fun. After a battle are characters just going to unceremoniously put their weapons away, say a quick line and continue on their way? Maybe with a quick, unassuming results pop up in the corner of the screen somewhere? That better not be the case. I will fucking cut somebody. I want the WHOLE shebang. Another possible issue is that, if battles don't take you to a separate instance, that would mean that there is no dedicated arena to fight in. You would have to fight in the actual area where you encounter every enemy, which would bring all kinds of problems like uneven terrain, obstacles, cramped spaces, etc. You could possibly even cheese enemies by getting them stuck on terrain like you can do in so many other games that make this mistake. This could all be bad for the game.
The second possibly concerning thing I could see in SO5 was that it looked like you could have a party of up to 8 fucking people in battle? That just seems excessive. The sweet spot for a party is 4 people. 3 and 5 is also acceptable. More than that just seems like a bad idea. It could be overwhelming and problematic to have that many characters doing shit all over the place. You know what they say. Four's company, eight's a crowd. In any case, despite these two bad things about the game I'm still happy and excited about it, and I hope it turns out well. Please, Tri-Ace. I believe in you.
Etrian Odyssey V
Yeaaaaaaah boi. Let's fucking go. This is actually the 9th game in the series, making this one of the most prolific game franchises in recent history. I don't even think it's necessarily that popular, which makes it even more amazing that these games keep getting made and especially get localized. I mean, it's probably because the games have such low production values that they can get away with it, but if you ask me that just makes it more impressive that they can do so much with so little. They know how to spend their resources intelligently. They've got nice character art. They've got amazing music by the master himself Yuzo Koshiro. And that's it. After that it's just concentrate on the gameplay and don't waste money on much more bells and whistles. I know a few asshole devs who could learn a thing or two from these guys. Actually, now that they've started getting a little more successful they've been putting a little voice acting and cutscenes into the mix. Baby steps I guess?
This game is gonna be tite, but it is not without factors of concern. The most pressing one is the game's difficulty. The series has moved towards adjustable difficulty as it goes on in order to broaden its appeal to filthy casuals. This has hurt the legitimacy of the games' difficulty and I would say that's it's almost 100% guaranteed that Etrian V will continue this trend. That's pretty much the one big issue. Other than that I'm curious to see how the Untold games will influence this one's design. Will they go back to a more classic Etrian style like we had in IV, or will they go an Untold story type of style? Or maybe some sort of combination? The only reason why this is an issue is because I feel that a combination is the best route to go, but I'm not confident that they know the best way to combine the two styles. I know what the best way is, but I'm not working on the game, obviously. If they had me as advisor I guarantee that this game would be amazing and the best Etrian of all time, but since they don't, well, we have no guarantees and we'll just have to wait and see how it turns out.
Ace Attorney 6
I'm still a big fan of this series, but whether this game will be good or not is perhaps a little more up in the air than other games on this list. While they are always at least decent, I feel like Ace Attorney is only truly great when Shu Takumi is really on point. This of course presents a couple of problems.
Firstly, I feel like his best recent work was not in Ace Attorney but in Ghost Trick, which is a completely different original IP. Now, why is it that Ghost Trick was better than the most recent Ace Attorney games? This leads me to believe that perhaps Ace Attorney might be overstaying its welcome in its current form, and the series might be in need of a reboot, ala Apollo Justice. Of course, Crapcom will never allow this. They need Phoenix Wright in the game to sell more to idiots. Because Crapcom only cares about money and not artistic integrity, obviously. You can tell that Shu Takumi is trying to keep his integrity and his soul by trying to reboot the franchise with stuff like Apollo Justice and Naruhodo Ryunosuke no Boken and trying new things with Ghost Trick. But Crapcom always pulls back towards Phoenix Wright.
Secondly, Shu Takumi isn't even working on this game. It's being directed by Takeshi Yamazaki alone. Oh, what, I should've started with that? Well tough. But in any case, even though I'm sure this game will be at least decent, I think making it really great will be a difficult challenge because it's constrained by Phoenix Wright, whose story has already been told, and at this point he's just being shoe-horned into new adventures that will most likely not be able to have the same sort of personal impact on him that his original trilogy did. It's hard to work on those sorts of conditions, and I'm not surprised that Takumi opted out. I'm not saying it's impossible but it's definitely going to be tough. I'm not sure Yamazaki has it in him. The most likely outcome is that he will simply settle for a decent game that doesn't blow any minds.
Shin Megami Tensei IV Final
Although Shin Megami Tensei IV is not my favorite, this game still has a high probability of being good. First of all we have to remember that Shin Megami Tensei III would not have been anywhere as good without Nocturne. Second of all, it appears that they've abolished the awful law/neutral/chaos alignment system from SMTIV. This is extremely promising. While I don't think that alignment system is necessarily a bad concept, it's quite clear that they're too stupid to pull it off correctly, so removing it is absolutely the best decision. Other than that the game just looks fuckin' sick as hell. Though the protagonist may not look as good as the one in little sister Persona 5, the setting looks top notch. The overall concept and storyline is pure SMT and has extremely high potential.
The only issue is whether that potential is realized. It'll heavily depend on how they execute the storyline and how good they make the routes/endings. Most of all they need to avoid weak/unsatisfying routes and endings like what we got in Strange Journey. That will be key. SMTIV did an okay job in this respect so I'm cautiously optimistic here. Other than that, hopefully they can make the game more difficult. SMTIV moved to an adjustable difficulty format and it hurt the game a lot. If they can abolish that terrible feature it will stand in time as a prodigious decision. However, I have no faith that they are smart enough to do this. So I will have to concede that the game will most likely not be as good on this point.
And there you have it, people. These are the best games coming out in 2016, at least that we know of at the moment. Hopefully I didn't forget any. I doubt it. If you don't see a possibly good game here it's most likely that they didn't make the cut because they weren't exciting enough, such as Leifthrasir. Also note the games that are emphatically not on this list: Final Fantasy XV, Fire Emblem Fates, Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem. Even though I will likely play all of these, the probability of them sucking cock is too high for them to be on this prestigious list. I only put the best of the best here, get it? I'm running tight quality control around here. No need to thank me. I already know what a great service I'm doing for the people by putting this information out there.