■ Sal’s Choices
Note: Two of my three choices were Final Fantasy XV and Persona 5, but given they’re high and shiny right there in the top two, I’m going to pick something else to highlight instead.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (PS4, PS Vita)
I’ve always been a big fan of Digimon. When I was a kid, Digimon always held the higher hand over Pokemon. I liked the latter, of course, but it didn’t resonate the same way Digimon did with me. To now be able to play a Digimon RPG of this quality on my PlayStation 4 is a dream come true. Given that the game has launched since we started our anticipated games poll, I’ve been playing it and am about 23 hours in, just over halfway through. And I’ve been obsessed with scanning (and eventually obtaining) and digivolving Digimon, and forming my team of favorite Digimon. Right now, I’m traveling with MetalGreymon, WarGrowlmon, Paildramon, MetalGarurumon, Flamedramon, and Rapidmon, and am slowly working my way to my first Mega-level, and eventually Omnimon. The dungeons are a bit bland at times, but the atmosphere, story and characters, and monster-raising elements make up for it. I highly recommend it for any Digimon or monster-raising fan.
Gravity Rush 2 (PS4)
I never played Gravity Rush for PS Vita. But I bought Gravity Rush Remastered for PlayStation 4 the day it launched and was blown away at the fact that this was a PS Vita game. The open world is pretty darn big, and the atmosphere and soundtrack are amazing. And Kat is such a great character! (Was it just me, or did anyone else picture her having the same English voice as Komaru Naegi from Danganronpa?) That being said, there were flaws, like combat becoming tiresome and a lack of varied challenge missions, but Gravity Rush 2 looks to fix that. The game promises three different combat styles, an “abundance of missions to keep Kat busy,” more varyied enemies, a bigger open-world, more physics effects, and an expanded story, and I’m excited to see how far the Gravity Rush team can go when it has the opporutunity to focus on more powerful hardware.
■ Zero’s Choices
Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna (PS4, PSV)
One of the first Japanese RPGs I ever got to play from start to finish was this little game called Chrono Trigger. Have you heard of it? Chrono Trigger is an all-time classic for a reason. It was the first game that really blew me away. Young me had never experienced a game quite as amazing as Chrono Trigger. To be honest, it made me a Square fan for life. Ikenie to Yuki no Setsuna is described as a “pure fantasy, true RPG” by the company. One of the points of emphasis about this game is that it offers the feel of classic RPGs from the 90s, like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest. The comparisons to Chrono Trigger are easy to see from the footage, and it feels like a spiritual successor of sorts. I grew up on classic RPGs in the 90s, this game is practically calling my name. I’m very excited to play it when it comes out later this year.
This samurai-focused action RPG was originally announced back in 2004! (And you thought you were waiting a long time for Final Fantasy XV.) It was originally supposed to launch in 2006 for PlayStation 3. Fast forward to 2009, most people had completely forgot about the title, while others including myself considered it vaporware. In an interview, Koei surprised many by saying the game was still in development, and apologized for the lack of updates. In 2010, after Koei merged with Tecmo, they announced Team Ninja would take over and finish the development of Nioh. The delays continued, and in 2012 it was announced that Nioh had finally completed its alpha stage of development. Still, most were skeptical this game would ever see the light of day, but in 2014 Koei Tecmo surprisingly filled a new U.S. trademark for the game. Nioh was officially re-revealed for PlayStation 4 at Sony’s pre-Tokyo Game Show 2015 press conference. I was really surprised when I saw the reveal trailer. My initial reaction was, “oh man, this is like a spiritual successor to Onimusha!” I love the Onimusha series. The buzz has been so good, even Capcom seems to have taken notice. They recently said they might revive the Onimusha series. I’d think the reaction to Nioh played a role in that decision. I think if you check out the released footage of the game, you will agree that it looks great. I’ll finish with a quote from Team Ninja’s Yosuke Hayashi: “At Team Ninja, we want you to experience the feel of action in our games. Nioh is set during the samurai era and we want you to feel what it’s like to be a samurai.”