Welcome back to USG, and a very happy Twenty-Twenty to you and yours. There's a lot of good gaming stuff to look forward to this year, and even more stuff to speculate over. Will we see The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 this year? Will we catch a whiff of the ever-elusive Metroid Prime 4? Only the Fates know.
I can confidently say it's going to be a great year for RPGs. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are poised to go out with a big kaboom, while the Nintendo Switch will continue to give us the low-key but personable adventures that remind us why we fell in love with the genre in the first place. Whether you're looking forward to big budget adventures or smaller indie fare, you won't be hurting for cool stuff to play all year long. Let's review what we know is coming, and what might squirm out of the shadows to surprise us with a back attack. It's all good stuff, but there's a lot on the way. Prepare to stress out a little.
January's already looking a lot less bleak and cold thanks to the impending release of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore for the Switch. RPG fans have been port-begging for Tokyo Mirage Sessions for a long time, since the original 2015 Wii U release was overlooked big-time. We live in a society that's head over heels for Fire Emblem and Persona games; in retrospect, we should go back in time and hit ourselves for initially passing on a game that combines both those things.
Make sure you catch up on your backlog by spring, because March and April are going to be extremely busy. Final Fantasy 7 Remake hits PlayStation 4 on March 3, followed closely by Persona 5 Royal, also for PlayStation 4, on March 31. The hype surrounding Final Fantasy 7 Remake is boiling hot thanks to news about an impending demo, and some data-mining that turned up a slew of spoilers. They're around, if you want to find them. Persona 5 Royal's upgrade isn't Final Fantasy 7 Remake levels of thorough, but there's still a lot of new stuff to look forward to. May you always find an empty seat on the subway so you can read your adventure serials.
April brings us Cyberpunk 2077, a real biggie. CD Projekt Red's previous RPG, The Witcher 3, might've left the biggest impression on the genre since Skyrim. It kind of feels like we still don't know a whole lot about Cyberpunk, but that's all the better to surprise you, my dear. You can grab it for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on April 16. On April 24, we get Trials of Mana for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. Mana is a much lower-key release than Cyberpunk, obviously—it's a 3D remake of a game that was only officially localized just last year—but the contrast between high-profile releases and smaller games that cater to passionate fans is why RPGs are so much fun these days. If you want to shoot and hack your way through a neon-drenched city, CD Projekt Red is ready to take you there. If that's not your style, Square Enix is waiting just around the corner with a high fantasy adventure centered around an evil empire and a really big tree.
Maybe in 2020, Maybe Not?
After the spring rush, the rest of the year's looking like a bit of a free-for-all. A lot of RPGs are confirmed for release but have yet to receive a solid release date. We'll just have to hold hands and hope they're not all coming in one week of May. I need an open schedule for when Bravely Default 2 comes to the Switch; I don't need it nudging into Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition's territory. Eastward looks so darn good, and I'm going to be so darn mad when it inevitably pops out during a busy period. I also swore I'll finally play Disco Elysium when it's ported to consoles. You know what happens to people who say they're going to play a game, then break that promise? Terrible things. Awful things. That's why nobody dares to build up a backlog.
Now that I'm stressing myself out, I may as well consider RPGs that aren't confirmed for this year but stand a good chance of coming out. Falcom hasn't announced a Western release date for Ys 9: Monstrum Nox on the PlayStation 4, but I doubt it's far off; Japan got the game last fall. Ys 8 is excellent, and I have no intention of missing out on Adol's next series of misfortunes. What about Witchbrook? Have you forgotten about it? Because I sure haven't. I also have a feeling Shin Megami Tensei 5 will pop up by the end of the year, and there's a decent-to-good chance Atlus will grace us with whatever it has planned next for Etrian Odyssey.
All this and I still have to nurse my newborn Final Fantasy 14 habit.
Did this article make you sweat a little? I'm sorry. It's a problem having so many great RPGs on the horizon—but at the same time, it's the opposite of a problem. No matter when these games finally meander down the pipeline, rest assured we'll be here to talk about them. That means it's time for you to start listening to the Axe of the Blood God podcast if you're not doing it already. Hut, hut, hut.
We look forward to slaying dragons and dismantling fascist corporations and governments with you in the new year.