Two weeks after the release of Spider-Man and I still don’t think we’ve had anything come out to really challenge that game in terms of player engagement. Personally I’m very excited for the two new JRPGs coming this week, but I’m also playing ANOTHER JRPG and am waiting to find time to play yet ANOTHER JRPG that just came out a couple weeks ago. That also doesn’t count the 3 JRPGs I need to finish on my 3DS, the other four JRPGs on my PS4, and the JRPG I bought last year for Switch that I still need to finish, oh, I also just got two old JRPGs for my PS2, and I have a couple of JRPGs on the PS3 and 360, oh and…where are you going?
Life Is Strange 2 (PC/PS4/XBone) – Releases Sep. 27th
Now that TellTale has closed up shop, the team behind the Life Is Strange series may be our only hope for high quality narrative adventure games. As I mentioned a few weeks ago when Captain Spirit came out, I have zero experience with this series. I have always viewed it in the same light as Undertale, a game for kids who sit around on Tumblr and do “Instagram cosplay”. I viewed the fandom the same way a person might view the Rick & Morty fandom, obnoxious with an air of superiority that they were the only ones REALLY got it and everyone else was a poser, or whatever. However, after my time in Captain Spirit I found myself really intrigued by this world and who the people were, and after watching the trailer I can certainly say that my interest is piqued. As I’m not really a fan of the episodic release format (only Episode 1 is available, with the rest coming in the next few months) I’ll probably hold off on playing it until the whole thing is out, but I’m sure many are excited to jump back into this world. Maybe you’ll let me too, if I’m cool enough.
Metal Max Xeno (PS4)
A JRPG tank game with giant robots, I mean, do you need any more information than that? According to some of the comments on YouTube (where only the finest of the internet goes to comment) the fact that this is being localized by NIS is a travesty beyond anything that has ever happened in the history of video games, and maybe the world. Proceed with caution, lest you become complicit in something so heinous.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker (PC)
Hey, remember the ‘90s? Well they’re back baby, and they’re bringing isometric RPGs with them. Sure, we’ve had Torchlight and Pillars of Eternity and Diablo III and Warhammer 40k: Inquisitor – Martyr and Torchlight 2, but we didn’t have one based on the Pathfinder RPG. Like D&D’s beloved Baldur’s Gate before them, the Pathfinder universe is finally getting its own isometric RPG called Kingmaker. Do all the stuff you love in isometric RPGs like smashing barrels, smashing bad guys, shooting barrels with fireballs, shooting bad guys with fireballs, collecting loot, and talking to people. What’s the over/under on this coming to Switch?
Valkyria Chronicles 4 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One)
After last year’s detour, Valkyria Revolution, we are finally getting a new entry in the Chronicles series. According to Wikipedia the series takes place in an alternate universe version of Earth that seems to be much more technologically advanced than were at the time, as you play as a group of soldiers in World War 2. It’s a bit bonkers, but it’s a JRPG, what do you expect? This game looks to employ some kind of tactical map fighting system mixed with turn based combat, not exactly like Fire Emblem, but that’s pretty much my only frame of reference. This is, like, the third 80+ hour game to come out in the last month. What the hell are these video game companies trying to do, ruin my social life?
Jagged Alliance: Rage (PC) – Releases Sep. 27th, Nov. 6th on PS4 and XBone
Hey, remember the ‘90s, again? Back in 1995 a fun little tactical war game called Jagged Alliance came out for PC. I was too busy playing Warcraft II, but I’m sure someone was playing this. Enough people, in fact, that they made ten more of these things! Now they’re getting ready to turn it up to 11 with Rage, a game set 20 years after the original title (it’s been 23 years, but that’s okay), to fulfill all of your “X-Com in the jungle” needs. Do you like tactical, turn based war games? Are you not a fan of JRPGs? Then maybe get Jagged Alliance: Rage instead of Valkyria Chronicles 4.
FIFA 19 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One) – Releases Sep. 28th
I wonder what they’re going to do with these sports games when the same year they’ve already released a game in comes back around. Like, will FIFA 2119 still be called FIFA 19? #foodforthought
Ports and Re-releases:
Dragon Ball FighterZ (Switch) – Releases Sep. 28th. The first, and probably best, fighting game of 2018 is now finally releasing on the Switch. Expect some graphical downgrades compared to the PS4 and XBone versions, but that’s like saying “Hey, look at the difference in quality between this blu-ray of Aliens and this 4K blu-ray of Aliens”. Yeah, the 4K will look better, but the non-4k blu-ray will still look fantastic.
Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition (PS4/Xbox One) – Don’t own a PC or Switch and you still want to play the most talked about game of 2018? Now’s your chance, as the phenomenal Hollow Knight finally comes to PS4 and Xbox One with all of the previously released DLC intact.
South Park: Stick of Truth (Switch) – While The Fractured But Whole improved on the game play, I still enjoy this game way, way more. Not only is it funnier, but the game is better paced and just seems to have a more pleasant gameplay experience overall. If you haven’t played this yet then I’d highly recommend it.
Let It Die (PC) – Releases Sep. 26th. This free-to-play game from Suda51’s Grasshopper Manufacture studio has been going strong on the PS4 since December, 2016. Now PC players can experience the magic of running up a tower, getting killed, running up a tower, getting killed, etc., etc.
The Crew 2: Gator Rush (PC/PS4/XBone) – Releases Sep. 26th. This free update to Ubisoft’s open world racing game arrives on the 26th and will feature hovercrafts (the kind that go on water, particularly swamps, hence the “Gator” reference), a new difficulty setting that will make things even tougher, and a new rarity level for your parts, because we all know about the slick rare car parts market that every town in America has. Do you have just a regular, vanilla muffler in your Jeep Grand Cherokee? Fucking loser.
Jake Hunter Detective Story: Ghost of the Dusk (3DS) – Releases Sep. 28th. Released last year in Japan, this narrative puzzle adventure game is now coming stateside. I had never heard of this series until just a few months ago, but it has been around since 1987! The game is so popular in Japan that it has spawned 8 novels, 4 soundtrack releases, and had the NES games released on the Virtual Console (in Japan). This seems to be a game for fans of Phoenix Wright, Déjà Vu, and probably those Agatha Christie games they made for PC.
The Conjuring House (PC) – According to the very spooky warning “The following game includes depictions of the occult and may trigger feelings of helplessness, acute anxiety, and desperation. Playing alone is not advised”. I guess that’s pretty much all you need to know.
Little Bug (PC) – In this indie platforming game, you play as a young girl named Nyah who suddenly finds herself in another world inhabited by spirits. She must make her way through a myriad of different landscapes in her quest to find…something?
Punchline (PS4/PS Vita) – This visual novel was released in Japan two years ago and is now on its way to America, and guess what, it’s coming out on the Vita! All 15 of you will finally have another game to add to your collection.
Path to Mnemosyne (PC) – Releases Sep. 26th. This is quite a surreal looking game. You play as a young girl who appears to be trapped in her own mind…maybe? The game has a black & white hand drawn graphical style, kind of in that Adventure Time/Steven Universe look that is so hot right now. I am really drawn to the look of this game, it’s so fluid. You just seem to run endlessly down horrifying corridors that aren’t really gross or violent, they’re mostly just disturbing.
Insomnia: The Ark (PC) – Releases Sep. 27th. An indie sci-fi RPG that takes place in some far off hellscape of a future where mankind lives on a giant, dilapidated space station.
Wandersong (PC/Switch) – Releases Sep. 27th. A musical adventure game in which you play as a bard who is trying to save the world through song. Probably a prequel to Insomnia: The Ark.
Catastronauts (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases Sep. 28th. This Overcooked clone takes place on a spaceship in which you and your friends must work together to survive being attacked by enemy ships. Not only does it seem to borrow heavily from Overcooked, but it even has a bit of an FTL vibe to it. The game is pretty egregious in its copying, as the art style appears to be directly lifted from Overcooked. Unless this indie studio hired the same artist, it’s so blatant that I’d call it stealing.
Dakar 18 (PC/PS4/Xbox One) – Releases Sep. 28th. This racing game sounds quite ambitions; trek across multiple South American countries in a multitude of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, and Side by Sides (called SxS, who knew?). This isn’t being released by a major studio, so I can’t really speak to the quality, but it could be a lot of fun. Maybe just get The Crew 2 instead.