In this day of pre-order bonuses and looking forward to games months before release, it’s relatively simple to set yourself up for practically the whole year, all at one time.
I was looking ahead into my gaming plans, and I thought, “I have so many games pre-ordered for the next year, that if I made a pact to buy zero games for the rest of the year, I would still have something new to play all the time.” Not to say that I over-committed myself – I won’t ever do that again! – but I have a pretty steady game stream incoming that’s in line with the amount of free time I have to actually play and finish them.
I just finished playing a few demos on the 3DS and I’m impressed with what I saw. The most recent pre-order that I had Amazon’d on release day was Ever Oasis, a game that I am roughly half-way through and have thoroughly enjoyed so far.
Prior to that, Cave Story+ on the Switch was delivered. Before that, Pokemon Pearl and the new DSi. Before that, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and repeat and repeat and repeat.
This ability to “schedule game deliveries” by buying pre-orders doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for spontaneous buys – but I’m ok with that. Digital games are not something that appeal to me, and although the Switch has been home to many new digital-only additions lately, it helps me manage what games I am playing to simply look at my calendar of pre-orders. Point being, I have so many games scheduled that I have reached the ceiling, and I’m totally ok with that! It’s practically like Christmas occurring multiple times per year anyway. Already I’ve forgotten about games I had pre-ordered, only to receive a mystery package at my front door and to experience utter bliss upon opening it.
For the sake of my own sanity and maybe, just maybe, a touch of personal and financial responsibility, I decided to look ahead a bit and take a gander when and for what item Amazon will bill me, before delivering it to my house on release day. Let us commence.
June saw the delivery of Ever Oasis, an extremely polished and overall well-received brand new IP from developer GREZZO, the developers of both modernized Legend of Zelda 3D remakes on the 3DS. As a huge fan of their work in that department, as well as the rap sheet of other members of the team (including Secret of Mana creator Koichi Ishii), it was a day-one buy for me, despite the lack of information about it. I had to have it, and it proved to be a great investment. A dozen or so hours have provided me with terrific gameplay and addicting task management and delegation. Very cool game, indeed.
Prior to Ever Oasis, as mentioned about, was Cave Story+ for the Switch, a deluxe edition of a game that has been around for ages and released under tons of platforms, yet one that has somehow evaded me. I’m enjoying this game quite a bit so far, although I’m not particularly fond of the slippery controls, especially when using the joystick. I much prefer the Pro Controller D-pad, which is not surprising at all to me, considering Blaster Master Zero suffered from the same slippery controls when played with the joystick. 2D platformers, especially those retro re-imaginings.
As of this writing, I just finished playing demos for both games that are coincidentally releasing on the same day of July 28th. I’m thankful it’s at the end of the month, as it gives me more time to finish up Ever Oasis before jumping into not one, but two games.
The demo of Hey! Pikmin was admittedly a little lacking in substance, but I’m willing to bet my hard-earned Hamiltons that the full game will explore a lot more than basic “tap-to-throw Pikmin” gameplay of which the demo was comprised. One thing that I thought was really neat about the game is how it uses the top screen to expand the world you are seeing on the bottom. Traditionally speaking, in most 3DS games, the top screen is your “main” screen, with the bottom merely acting as a reference screen with various information. Rarely are the two directly connected – I think this is a nice way to make up for the small screen size while keeping the levels feeling larger. It has tons of potential and I’m positive about it.
The other demo I wrapped up earlier was Miitopia! I have a confession: I flippin’ love Miis. Since the Wii times, everything about them just hits home for me. I love customizing things. I love goofy stuff. I love collecting things. Miis were a great concept, and I hope they continue to be prominent on the Switch.
I had a blast with Tomodachi Life, and I was very excited to see a tie-in. At a point in the game, when choosing Miis to become a part of your world, you can tap into your saved data for Tomodachi Life, allowing me to pull in my various friends and family members who I had assumed only lived on my Tomodachi cartridge. Very cool feature in what looks like a game with plenty of depth, even for a Nintendo RPG.
August will provide Switch owners who are Sonic fans with Sonic Mania, and strategy-RPG fans with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. Unfortunately I am not a fan of either, but considering I’ll have both Miitopia and Hey! Pikmin right at the tail-end of July, I’m not worried about filling in my free time here.
A lack of games for me in August is evened out come September, as it will be the release month for two of my most anticipated games of recent years.
Firstly, September 12th will bring me a gorgeous collector’s edition copy of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana on the Vita, and I cannot tell you just how excited I am for this one.
Playing Ys: Memories of Celceta on the Vita last year quickly shot the Ys series into my favorite of all time and the improvements made to the formula in Lacrimosa of Dana promises to be one of the most impressive and energetic action-RPGs of recent years. Can’t wait.
Merely three days later, Metroid: Samus Returns will be at my doorstep. Let me tell you – we were all shocked by the Metroid 4 “in progress” announcement at E3, but no one saw a second game coming. Especially not one that looks as terrific and, literally, game-changing. Nintendo finally giving what the fans what it wants with this series is a beautiful thing!
It’s also going to be tough figuring out which one to play at any given time. Just trying to decide now is giving me heartburn.
October will bring back to us our favorite plumber, Mario Mario himself! On October 27th, everyone pre-ordering on Amazon will be getting knocks on the door from their friendly Amazon delivery person and getting to experience, as it appears, the same 3D-platforming vibes that we got many moons ago on the Nintendo 64. And of course, I’m talking about Super Mario Odyssey! There’s been many hours of gameplay footage on this one, telling me that Nintendo is super confident about it. While I’ve tried to avoid most of it for fear of over-hyping myself into hypertension, it seems like they’ve done a terrific job recreating the feeling from the first 3D Mario installment. To make the claim that the game will feel like going back in time to the Nintendo 64 days, well… it’s a bold claim, I’ll just say that.
But I’m optimistic, and I haven’t particularly been a big fan of the “New” Super Mario Bros. games of recent. They have seemed very uninspired, and while 3D Land on the 3DS and 3D World on the WiiU were much better received, I think I speak for many of us older kids when I say, a return back to the original formula would be great. Hey, going back to an old formula worked for Breath of the Wild, right?
Currently I don’t have anything special planned in November as far as game deliveries go. However, Super Mario Odyssey will likely be occupying the gaming time this month, due to the game releasing merely four days before the month begins.
I am currently in the midst of a small break from turn-based RPGs, and for good reason. After 40+ hours in Exist Archive, I burned myself out a bit, and needed a more relaxing set of gameplay elements. Hence, switching over to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Cave Story+, and Ever Oasis. Miitopia is technically an RPG of course, but it won’t be anything like the complexity of this next gigantic game.
If “gigantic game” didn’t give it away, I’ll spoil the fun for you: I’m talking about Xenoblade 2, the followup to the Wii’s Xenoblade Chronicles, which I just finished a few months ago. I mean, I practically beat the first installment on the 3DS days before learning that another game in the series was releasing on the Switch about Christmas time. Heck, it felt like Christmas just hearing about it.
I enjoyed the first game so much that I sunk 80 hours of love into it, and that is about four times the amount I can usually spend on an RPG before experiencing fatigue. The giant world that felt like it was pulled straight out of an MMO, but one that still worked for short bursts of play time, it was just perfection for my lifestyle. The characters, the music, the worlds – all of which were pretty good when experienced on the 3DS (or Wii), will now be coming to a next-gen handheld console? Sweet jesus.
Look, as much as Zelda and Mario are system-sellers for me, given the time I learned about Xenoblade 2, those other games all took a backseat. This will be a huge game and I can’t wait for it. Just need to use my time wisely to regenerate my ability to play through an epic RPG!
And that’s a little lineup of what I have planned for my gaming time for the rest of the year! It’s oddly comforting knowing that everything is already ordered, and it’s just a matter of waiting for it to arrive.
One game I didn’t mention is Monster Hunter Stories. I did enjoy Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, so the worlds and the characters appeal to me, even though this is going to be much different flavor of gameplay. It’s going to be more of a turn-based RPG if my memory serves proper, but truth be told I don’t know if I’ll have enough time. It’s not a high-priority of mine, and so waiting for the second-hand market might be a better plan. Remember – part of knowing your time limits is respecting them!
Do you pre-order games months in advance? Or do you prefer to keep your options more open? Let me know about it in comments!