Playstation Experience is always a great way to wrap up the year. In a year of disappointing titles and serviceable sequels (no, not you Dishonored 2, you’re cool), we find ourselves anxious to see what 2017 might bring. Playstation Experience provided a lot of great previews of the titles to look forward to next year. Here are some of the ones we are most excited about.
Ni No Kuni 2
It’s an understatement to say Ni No Kuni 2 looks amazing. It looks absolutely otherworldly. I was a big fan of the original title and spent dozens of hours exploring that world. Ni No Kuni was a beautifully realized Pokemon
ripoff homage that set you loose in a world straight out of Hayao Miyazaki’s imagination. The characters were cute and fun, the story was interesting and emotionally vibrant, but the real strength of the game was its striking beauty. The cities and characters looked amazing and the orchestral score was perfect. My experience playing the game took me back to playing Final Fantasy 2 on my SNES as a kid and being overwhelmed by the amazing graphics and sound. I don’t usually play RPGs but – based on this preview – I’ll be buying Ni No Kuni 2 on day one.
Full Throttle Remastered
Another guaranteed day one purchase for me is Full Throttle Remastered. The game is one of our favorites, perhaps the best title by the talented Tim Schafer. The post-apocalyptic adventure tells an interesting story about a motorcycle gang getting caught up in a corporate takeover and being framed for murder. Your Negan-resembling, masculine-as-hell hero has to solve the murder and restore the heiress to a motorcycle empire to her rightful place. There’s some great combat, fun puzzles (the demolition derby is memorable), and the game even has some early voice work by the great Mark Hamill (before his voice-acting became synonymous with The Joker). Full Throttle became kind of hard to find and didn’t modernize the way other titles did, so this will be our first chance to revisit the game in years. While we can’t wait, we’re already thinking about what could be next. Sam and Max Hit the Road? Loom? Zak McKracken? Dare we hope for……Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis? Whatever it turns out to be, we’re already looking forward to finding out.
Horizon Zero Dawn
I have no idea if Horizon Zero Dawn will be able to deliver on its promises, but I sure hope that it does. The game promises an amazing world filled with robotic creatures of a variety of shapes and sizes. Your Lara Croft-like hero seems to hunt these beasts with a bow and arrow (always one of our favorite weapons in games) through some beautiful worlds that are nicely realized. There’s a lot I don’t know about the game in terms of plot, length, and actual gameplay, but the trailers so far have me anxious to learn all I can. The game looks amazing: the gameplay looks fun and the graphics are jaw-dropping. We’re always cautious about titles that seem to promise the moon, but who knows, maybe this will be one of the times our faith is rewarded.
PaRappa the Rappa, Patapon and LocoRoco
I was very excited to see these titles getting remastered and released on the PS4I had just dusted off my PS2 earlier in the week to play PaRappa again; that game truly holds up and that music will reside in your brain until the day you die. The difficulty curve is pretty steep but the game is very fun to play. I firmly believe that absolutely everyone should play through the first level of PaRappa the Rappa, that song will change your life. Patapon and LocoRoco are cute titles I’ve wanted to play but I haven’t had the opportunity. All three look like extremely cute games that should be welcome reliefs from the AAA shoot-em-ups and hack-n-slash titles we typically play. I hope PS4 considers releasing some other PSP titles on its newest console down the road.
Okay, I’m still pessimistic about Death Stranding ever actually coming to consoles, but after its appearance at Playstation Experience, I’m a lot more excited about it. The teaser was weird on its own, but the bizarre experience of playing it alongside the original trailer makes it look like this game is getting lot of thought. Yes, I still have my doubts that we’ll ever see it, but seeing Mads Mikkelsen in the preview makes me a lot more excited for this title. Yes, the abandoned Silent Hill project also had famous actors in the preview and even had one hell of a playable trailer, so I’m still not fully convinced we will ever actually see this game. Heck, if they produce a demo as cool as PT, I’ll be happy enough. So, yes, I still doubt Death Stranding will ever come to consoles, but this is one time I’d love to be wrong.
The Last of Us 2
Okay, we’re actually a little ambivalent about The Last of Us 2. The first game was a perfect experience. It told an excellent story with engaging, fun gameplay. The emotional arch of the story – namely watching Joel develop feelings for Ellie that lead to one of the most heart-rendingly perfect endings in games – is told so well that revisiting that game seems like a real risk. Sometimes experiences are so perfect that you tempt disappointment to return to them again. Still, we are anxious to return to this post-apocalyptic world filled with great characters and terrifying monsters. With only a cinematic demo shown so far, we won’t be seeing this title on shelves anytime soon, I’m sure, but I’m also sure we will be playing it as soon it is finally released. The list of great games that have truly great sequels is pretty short (again, Dishonored 2, we aren’t talking about you), but we’re hoping to be pleasantly surprised.