Tuesday, December 25, 2018

13 games I'm looking forward to playing in 2019

The 2018 version of this post I published earlier this year focused entirely on Switch games.

This year's version offers a bit more variety. Not only does it include a few 3DS titles, but it features some for Vita, too.

Are the games discussed below the only ones I'm looking forward to playing in 2019? Of course not. I can think of a few others--like Etrian Odyssey Nexus, the Switch port of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, and even The Princess Guide--just off the top of my head.

Plus, there are still a bunch of 2018 releases I'm excited about sinking my teeth into over the next 12 months, such as Katamari Damacy Encore and Yo-kai Watch Blasters.

Animal Crossing (Switch)--It's appropriate that this 2019 release should come first in this alphabetically ordered post. The reason: it's probably the one I'm most looking forward to experiencing next year. I've long harped about the fact that I prefer the original Animal Crossing above all of its successors, but that doesn't mean I abhor those follow-ups. On the contrary, I put a ton of time into City Folk and New Leaf. I expect to become just as obsessed with this upcoming sequel after a copy of it is finally in my hands.

Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: EVERY BUDDY! (Switch)--Something else I've trumpeted here and elsewhere for years: I adore the original version of this game. That would be Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, of course. In fact, I might go so far as to call it my favorite Wii game. As such, I'm absolutely champing at the bit to start my way through this enhanced remaster, which is hitting both digital and retail store shelves in Japan on March 20.

Destiny Connect (Switch)--When the folks at Nippon Ichi Software first pulled back the curtain on this PS4 and Switch RPG, I was of two minds about it. On the one hand, I loved that it harkened back to certain role-playing games from the late 1990s, like Sting's Evolution for the Sega Dreamcast. On the other hand, its art style looked like one that could be either delightful or dreadful in motion. Thankfully, the latest Destiny Connect trailer suggests the final product--due out (in Japan) on March 14--is more likely to fit the former, rather than the latter, description.

Dragon Quest Builders 2 (Switch)--Although I'm not even close to finishing the Switch port of the first Dragon Quest Builders, I devoted almost 20 hours to it in early 2018. And I previously put about 12 hours into the Vita iteration. You might think that would keep me from even thinking of wasting my money on this sequel (how could I when I've yet to complete the original?), but you'd be wrong. In fact, I can't wait to see how Dragon Quest Builders 2, erm, "builds" upon its predecessor. Here's hoping those improvements push me to play this one until I reach its end credits.

Dragon Quest XI S (Switch)--Full disclosure: I bought the Japanese 3DS version of Dragon Quest XI at launch. The cartridge has never left its beautifully covered case, however. So why am I picking up this long-in-the-works Switch port? Because I want to experience its sprawling adventure in English, for starters. Also, at this point, I'm far more likely to play a game on my Switch than I am to play one on my Japanese New 3DS.

The House in Fata Morgana (Vita)--I've heard nothing but praise in regard to this Novectacle-developed visual novel since an English PC version launched back in 2016. To be honest, that's about all I know about it--other than its supposedly intriguing tale spans a number of centuries, let alone decades or years. I'm always up for a good visual novel, though, so when Limited Run Games announced it was prepping a physical release of The House of Fata Morgana for Vita in early 2019, I decided I'd add it to my lengthy to-buy list. Seems like a worthy swan song for Sony's sadly ignored handheld, don't you think?

Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn (3DS)--Speaking of swan songs, it seems like this portable port of my absolute favorite Kirby game (yes, you read that correctly) may be just that for Nintendo's 3DS. Although I would've preferred to traipse through Extra Epic Yarn in the the run-up to the holiday--for whatever reason, I think of it as a Christmas-y game--I know without a doubt I'll play the hell out of it no matter when it's released in 2019. For more on why that is, read my post that compares the original Kirby's Epic Yarn with Donkey Kong Country Returns.

The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince (Switch)--You might assume I'd choose the Vita version of this puzzle-filled side-scroller over the Switch one. After all, I own similar Nippon Ichi titles like htoL#NiQ, A Rose in the Twilight, and Yomawari for Sony's put-out-to-pasture portable. To be honest, I'd probably make the opposite decision if NIS America sold boxed copies of the Vita release of The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince. Since that doesn't seem to be in the cards, I'll be getting the standard Switch iteration of the game.

Pokémon (Switch)--My most recent post lays out how Let's Go renewed my interest in the Pokémon series. I know that doesn't ensure I'll similarly love the next mainline game, due out sometime in 2019, but I'm planning to give it a shot anyway. I just hope I don't find its larger cast of characters and additional gameplay elements to be as overwhelming as I've found them in previous entries like Pokémon X.

Romancing SaGa 3 (Vita)--Here's another upcoming release that I probably should purchase for Switch rather than for Vita. But I've already got the Romancing SaGa 2 semi-remake that dropped in late 2017 taking up space on my precious Vita's home screen, so it seems only right that this similar reimagining of Romancing SaGa 3 would join it there. Assuming Square Enix bothers to publish a Vita version in English, of course. And if it doesn't? I may pick up both for Switch.

Umihara Kawase Fresh! (Switch)--Much like Destiny Connect, I've been on the fence about this title since it was revealed. In part that's because I thought early screenshots of it looked a bit too mobile-game-ish. It's also due to my rather ho-hum response to Sayonara Umihara Kawase. I'm still not sure I like the aesthetics of Umihara Kawase Fresh!, and I'm also not sure its gameplay will entice me the way earlier efforts--Umihara Kawase Shun being a notable example--have, but that won't keep me from adding it to my ever-growing pile of Switch games in 2019.

Work x Work (Switch)--If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me mention that I've owned a Japanese copy of this intriguing RPG since it came out in early October. Surprisingly (or not), I've yet to even pop its cart into my Switch. My goal is to do just that after the holidays, but don't let that fool you--it's extremely unlikely I'll play it long enough to finish it thanks to the language barrier. Which is why I'm desperately hoping someone announces a 2019 English release of Work x Work pronto.

Yo-kai Watch 3 (3DS)--To be totally honest, I'm not entirely sure why I pre-ordered this game as soon as I was allowed to do so. Although I had a great time with the first Yo-kai Watch, I completely passed on its sequel and spin-offs, I've been curious about Yo-kai Watch 3 since I learned it changes up the series' battles a good bit. Plus, it'll provide a nice excuse to put away my Switch and pull out my 3DS in early 2019.

Are you looking forward to playing any particular games in 2019? If so, let me know which ones in the comments section of this post.