Storm Dragon Rambles: Video Game Hopes and Dreams for 2018

…Instead of writing my followup to my The Last Great Era of Video Games post, I decided to be hopeful and positive for a change. So uh. Here’s this. Some of this list is predictions, but it’s also a lot of what’s probably wishing thinking and I don’t feel the need to try to separate the two.

Anyhow.

I don’t really care much about Microsoft’s offerings. I like my Xbox 360, it’s fun and playing the only version of Tales of Vesperia to be officially localized is nice and all (even if I want the superior PS3 version so bad), but thus far nothing about the Xbox One has given me the sense of “Gotta play it!” except for maybe the cancelled Scalebound. So I guess from them, I’d just like to see something I find interesting enough to want the console for. I do not expect this, however.

From Sony, what I really want is a remaster/remake of the Insomniac Spyro the Dragon trilogy. Admittedly, I’m actually a Skylanders fan (although I will gladly rip the franchise apart for Activision’s shady as usual practices), so I’m not exactly constantly sitting at my computer crying that Activision ruined my childhood (although I understand; Activision ruins everything they touch). That said, I really do want to see Spyro as his own thing again, and with the Crash Bandicoot remaster having done pretty well, Spyro just seems logical to me.

Stepping into pipe dreams, I’d like to see the other Spyro the Dragon games re-released on places like the PSN store and whatever Nintendo’s Virtual Console for the Switch will be. I really want to see The Legend of Spyro series re-released most of all. Is it a cliched mess that was trashed by a sudden developer change for the final entry that resulted in massive tonal inconsistency? Yes. But I love the series regardless and credit a lot of my writing style to it (without the bad parts, I hope). In a dream world, I’d love to see them remade to reach the potential they were never allowed… But they weren’t ever popular enough for that, so it’s incredibly unlikely.

(Although I sometimes wonder if we might some day see an alpha or beta of The Legend of Spyro: The Darkest Hour leaked. I’d love to see more of the game that eventually got crushed into becoming Dawn of the Dragon)

In general, what I want from Sony is more of what the PS2 gave me. The PS3, much as I love the console, consistently failed to give me enough of that, and while I want a PS4 eventually… I’m sorry y’all, but The Last of Us is not my jam. I like my colourful platformers and JRPGs, not gritty realism. At least the Digimon games are being localized? That + a Spyro remaster would convince me to grab a PS4.

I also want the PlayStation Vita to stop dying and being dead, but we can’t always get what we want.

From a PC standpoint… Well, I will be watching E3 in the hopes that Firaxis might tease XCOM 3. I do not expect this to actually happen. XCOM 3 isn’t happening anytime soon, yet I’ll be hoping for it all the same.

I’m also curious if my favorite indie developer, Kerberos Productions, will have anything to announce this year, but with the Kickstarter for their board game up and running, I’m not sure that’s a realistic hope. Or maybe that’s just my wallet hoping for recovery time? Although, if I remember right, they are working on another game for The Pit (forget if it was a sequel or not), but I don’t really follow their podcast due to having difficulty focusing on podcasts, so I don’t know.

And then there’s Nintendo, who, in hindsight, I could’ve just written a whole post about. I’ve never stopped believing in Nintendo, even during the Wii U years which saw good games but little reward. The Switch’s success last year was a joy to watch and I’m hoping that momentum continues. I also would very much like to get a hold of a Switch, but, you know… Money.

So! What do I want and expect to see?

Well, since we had that Mini Direct in January, I’m thinking we might get a proper Direct this month, showing off more footage of already announced games (like the new Yoshi) and announcing some more that’ll be out this year. I don’t really expect 2018 to come to close to 2017, because let’s be honest… Proper Legend of Zelda and Mario in one year, as well as games like Splatoon 2 and, even if my opinion of it isn’t too high, Xenoblade Chronicles 2? 2017 can’t be replicated in 2018.

But I still think 2018 will be a good year! Even with all the ports. So. Moving on…

Since Nintendo recently announced their upcoming paid online service, I feel it’s in their best interest to have a shiny new game ready for it to convince people to pay up (because I doubt people are chomping at the bit to pay for Splatoon 2’s online play, which has been free IIRC). Whatever it is, I imagine it’d be announced either in this hypothetical Direct or even at E3.

I won’t pretend to know what it is, but an enhanced port of Smash Bros. for Wii U comes to mind. Add a few more stages and characters, bundle up all the DLC, and I think we’re in business. That’s probably wishful thinking, though. Far more inclined to believe they’d work on a proper sequel and release it later down the road than make a port to release this year. So other than that bit of speculation, I’ve no idea what this could be.

Continuing with the hypothetical February Direct, I feel it’s likely that Pokemon Gen VIII will be announced here, and if not, then in a Pokemon-focused Direct. I’m aware several people feel that Pokemon Gen VIII is coming 2019, but I will die on the hill that insists it’s coming this holiday season. Every November a Pokemon game* has nearly derailed NaNoWriMo for me and I don’t expect to have any salvation from that.

*To be fair one of them was a Mystery Dungeon spinoff.

I suppose one could make the case that Pokemon Gen VIII would be announced at E3, but I don’t think so. We might get footage of it there + a special trailer, but I really feel like it’ll be announced earlier than that if it’s going to be a 2018 release. It’d be a great boost for the Switch, especially if this year’s trend of lower key releases and ports continues.

Really, though, I’m just impatient and want to see the new Pokemon.

While we’re getting a lot of ports this year already it seems, I really want a port of Xenoblade Chronicles X. It deserves more love. But if not this year, maybe later? I don’t know, I just… want it to exist.

While I think expecting them to release this year is wishful thinking, I do think we’ll be getting proper teasers for Metroid Prime 4 and the Switch iteration of Fire Emblem. We know nothing about them except that they exist, and I feel it’s in Nintendo’s best interest to toss the fandoms a bone even if the games aren’t releasing this year. Of course, if the games somehow have actually been in development long enough to be released this year, I’ll… have to go out and buy a Switch immediately.

And in general, I want to see the death of microtransactions and lootboxes. I do not have much hope, but I can dream, right?

I think that’s enough rambling for now.

 

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