Retronaissance’s Most Anticipated Games of 2017

SNES Master KI

Well, 2016 is almost over, and while there were some great games released, I mainly just want this year to end and to focus on the future (or gaming’s future, anyway).  Thankfully, 2017 in gaming fills me with a sense of true optimism (as opposed to forced hope) that I haven’t had in a long time, lots of series that haven’t had an entry (or a satisfying entry) in years are returning and while Nintendo has a lot less representation on this list than my ones from previous years, things should Switch on that front very early in the year.  So, let’s hurry up and get our focus to the new year.  I’ve decided to handle games from previous lists that got hit by delays with a rule that games can only appear on my lists twice, so Zelda won’t be showing up this time.  Let’s get this started!

Honorable Mentions:

  • Sonic Mania: Sonic is going all out to make up for missing his 25th anniversary. Sonic Mania looks like what we wanted from Sonic 4 Episode 1 (and what everyone ignored when we got most of it in Sonic 4 Episode 2): classic Sonic gameplay with old and new world themes.  This game should arrive early in 2017, and I’ll definitely be picking it up.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode 1: While not confirmed for 2017, it seems pretty like that we’ll get the first part of this remake in the 20th anniversary year for Final Fantasy VII – although it could always pull a Sonic. Some story hiccups aside, I liked Final Fantasy XV, so a game that plays like it with an established story seems like it should be great.
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Collection: Now this is going above and beyond. I didn’t know what “fully remastered” meant for a PS1 game, but it apparently meant upgrading the graphics by at least two generations, and removing the poorly aged parts of the original Crash game, with the promise of more new additions to be revealed.  A new Crash game definitely would have made the main list, but the effort this collection is showing definitely earns it an honorable mention.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: After topping both the 2015 and 2016 lists, I couldn’t justify putting this on the main list yet again. While not everything revealed about the game has been positive for me (breakable weapons just shouldn’t exist), I have faith in Nintendo and there is a LOT left to be revealed.  Like Super Mario Switch, we should be out of the dark on this one in a few weeks, let’s hope it’s worth the wait.

10:  Marvel vs Capcom Infinite

Publisher/Developer: Capcom
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Late 2017

Announced less than a month before the new year, MvCI showed up just in time to make this list.  The Marvel vs series isn’t my favorite Capcom fighter, but I still enjoyed some of the past games and they put in some pretty heavy pandering towards me in the reveal trailer.  Yes, after many sleepless nights, I can rest easy knowing that Ryu will make the cut.  In seriousness, after Mega Man inexplicably didn’t show up in MVC3 in any form, my favorite incarnation of the blue bomber being a major part of the reveal trailer did its part to hype me enough to give this game a very appropriate slot at number ten, or X.  My second most missed character was Venom, so let’s just hope that we (SUBTLE PUN!) get him in as well.

9:  Gravity Rush 2

Publisher/Developer:Sony Interactive Entertainment, SIE Japan Studio, Project Siren
Platform:PlayStation 4
Release Date: January 18, 2017

Although it was announced a while ago, this game also just made it onto my list for a different reason.  I played the original (PS4 remaster, whatever) Gravity Rush for the first time in late November, and I enjoyed it enough for the sequel to make it onto this list.  Super power based sandbox games are something I’m always up for, and Gravity Rush delivered. With a movement system similar to the hidden gem Rodea: The Sky Soldier (Wii version only, I am not responsible for anyone who plays the other versions) and enough content to fill the void Infamous: Second Son left in my heart, I have high hopes for Gravity Rush 2, especially with the extended scale that being designed for PS4 allows.  That thing where Sony said it was coming to Vita then retracted it a few hours later is still really messed up, though.

8:  Red Dead Redemption 2

Publisher/Developer: Rockstar Games
Platform:PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date:2017

There was a time when I thought I didn’t like open-world sandbox games that weren’t heavily infused with another genre, and it was mainly because the series everyone told me was the pinnacle of the genre (Grand Theft Auto) was, in my humble but objective opinion, actually terrible.  The first Red Dead Redemption proved to me that Rockstar could make a huge scale sandbox game that worked, and even GTA finally gave me something I liked – GTAV’s quality of life improvement were more than a decade late, but at least they were there – so I’m pretty optimistic about Red Dead Redemption 2.  There’s not a whole lot to say about the game itself at this point, but um… those empty areas in the trailer had an impressive polygon count, presumably?  Still, if Rockstar can keep improving on their signature genre, RDR2 should be a great game.

7: Runner 3

Publisher/Developer: Choice Provisions
Platform: TBA
Release Date: 2017

I thought Runner 2 existing was a miracle: the only Bit.Trip game I really liked getting an expanded sequel devoted entirely to it.  Runner 2 was great, but everyone seemed to forget about it pretty quickly and Runner 3 seemed like an impossibility.  Despite this, Runner 3 exists and it’s actually quite emotional for me.  2013 was ironically both my favorite year ever for games actually released in it, and a terrible year for the future.  So many games I loved that were released during it felt like last chances, the last spark of an era that was ending and being replaced by something bleaker.  Runner 2 was definitely one of those games, and it getting a sequel is a huge deal for me.  Yes, I know I keep going off on tangents, but I don’t have much choice with a lot of these games (wait until you see number one…), it’s not like we have a lot of information for me to discuss.  But if it’s a series or developer that I trust, it doesn’t dull my hype level.  Commander Video is still out there, still running, and that’s a very encouraging sign for me.

6:  Shadow Warrior 2

Publisher/Developer: Devolver Digital, Flying Wild Hog
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One (already available on PC)
Release Date: Q1 2017

Yes, I know this has already been released, but I’m not going to play it on my internet box/typewriter.  In 2017 it’s coming to consoles, and I’ll get to play Shadow Warrior 2 on my terms.  See, I can’t stand playing games on PC because back in 1992 I had this Tandy 1000 and Flintstones game… wait, we know enough about this game for me to actually talk about it!  Shadow Warrior’s 2013 revival was a breath of fresh air for the FPS genre, with more enemy variety than “human with a different real life gun.”  The bar has been raised in that area with the fantastic Doom 2016, but I’m hearing good things about Shadow Warrior 2 and the sub-genre it belongs to is still pretty starved.  The emphasis on melee combat gives it its own flavor and with some sequel polish Shadow Warrior 2 has a lot of potential.  2017 is too early for Doom’s influence on the genre to really be known, but Shadow Warrior 2 will carry the torch no matter what happens in the future.

5: Yooka-Laylee

Publisher/Developer: Team17, Playtonic Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: April 11. 2017

Another game in a genre we desperately need more of: 3D platformers benefited a lot less from the genre’s revival in the latter part of the seventh generation than 2D ones did, but the genre was still pointed in the right direction and everything I’ve seen of Yooka-Laylee indicates that it is as well.  While collection-based platformers aren’t my first choice, I’ve seen plenty of actual platforming in the footage I’ve watched of YL, and it looks like it is evolving the sub-genre very well.  I’ve been intentionally not watching every bit of footage for this game, since we’re so near release date, so I can’t go into super detailed thoughts on this game.  I also try not to get too attached to games originally announced as digital-only crowdfunded projects, but even with a Switch in platforms that has upset some people, Yooka-Laylee seems set to deliver everything it promised.

4:  Sonic 2017

Publisher/Developer: Sega, Sonic Team
Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: 2017

Yeah, we know almost nothing about this game, but this list is about hope damn it, and after a rough past few years for Sonic, right when he seemed to have finally recovered, Sonic 2017 appears to be exactly what we needed.  Sonic and classic Sonic in… well, it’s some kind of apocalypse apparently, but that’s not the part that matters.  A platformer using the dual hedgehog format from the most popular Sonic game since 1994 is just what we need to fix Sonic’s image after the series as a whole got blamed for an alternate universe spin-off game that wasn’t made by Sega and practically killed its developer before it was released.  Sonic may have missed his 25th anniversary (although I really can’t blame him for wanting to skip this year), but his 26th Year Anniversary Spectacular is looking very promising, and adding a much-needed full retail platformer to 2017’s arsenal.

3:  Agents of Mayhem

Publisher/Developer: Deep Silver, Volition
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 2017

I mentioned earlier that I used to have an aversion to pure sandbox games.  The game that showed me what the genre can do when there aren’t easy to fix problems bugging you constantly was Saints Row 2.  Ever since then, Saints Row has been my favorite sandbox series, whether it’s “GTA: Good Version” or basically a superhero game.  Volition seems to have decided there was no way to follow up the story of Saints Row IV directly, so instead their next game will be set in the Saints Row expanded universe – trivia bit: the Red Faction series is also in the same universe.  Playing as your choice of three peacekeeping super soldiers in a futuristic, open city while battling flamboyant super villains sounds like it could easily be one of the many possible premises for Saints Row V, and I am 100% fine with that.  New name or not, I’m anticipating a great entry in one of my favorite new IPs of the last… wow, it’s been more than a decade since the first Saints Row.  One of the best of the past 11 years, definitely.

2:  Nier Automata

Publisher/Developer: Square Enix, Platinum Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: March 7, 2017

Even more so than Runner 3, THIS is a miracle.  The original Nier was released at the height of the “Ew, JRPGs have cooties!” mindset in video game reviewers, and the scores were not good.  Despite this, the great combat for an action RPG, huge gameplay variety, and intriguing story made Nier a cult classic that became more and more prominent as word of mouth spread that it was actually a hidden gem.  So, when it actually got a sequel, that alone would have been a great surprise for me.  But the real shock was that they’re bringing in freaking Platinum to do the combat.  The combat in the original Nier was some of the best action RPG combat I’ve seen, and now we get one my favorite developers, and the best developer of action games period, to give us what could easily be the best action RPG combat ever by a wide margin.  I’ve been avoiding information on this game, it’s still an RPG and spoilers would be very bad, after all.  But all I really need to know is that it’s a sequel to Nier and Platinum is co-developing it.  I never would have imagined that was possible, but it happened, and I’m pretty damn excited about it.

1:  Super Mario Switch

Publisher/Developer: Nintendo?
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 2017?

Yes, I know we’ve only seen six seconds of it.  Yes, I know Nintendo told a blatantly transparent lie about it not being a real game (It was a new setting, we saw real time gameplay, Mario had some of his more complex moves shown and even tweaked slightly, and we could see things and details that had no focus or purpose in a tech demo).  I don’t care, we have a new Mario platformer announced, we saw footage of it, and there is absolutely no question that this is my most anticipated game of 2017.  I’ve let a lot of emotion show on this list, and Super Mario Switch is the pinnacle of that.  I was traumatized by the Mario drought of 1997-2005, where we only got one Mario platformer for that entire time span, and the years without a new Mario platformer were eating away at me.  As mentioned earlier, 2013 was the last year where the games released really satisfied me, and it was the last time we had a Mario platformer.  Super Mario Switch may just be six seconds of footage, but in a literal sense it means a new Mario platformer is coming, and in a symbolic sense it embodies all the optimism I have for gaming in 2017.  We’re most likely less than three weeks away from knowing more about this game, maybe less than two by the time you read this, but just knowing there’s a Mario game that’s most likely in the launch window of the Switch is enough for me.  Mario is back, and that’s what I’m anticipating the most in gaming’s 2017.


NekogamerX

Honorable Mentions

  • Disgaea 2 PC (PC): I have been a fan of this series since the first game and I was shocked when I heard the first game was hitting Steam. Disgaea PC was a great port and now that Disgaea 2 PC is coming, which also have extra content from its PSP re-release. I just hope they do a great job with this one like they did with that last one. Keep them coming, NIS America.
  • Super Mario Switch (Switch): Not much can be said about this game because we know nothing about it, but I like most Mario games so I think I’ll like this one as well. I’m sure we’ll see more of it in 2017.

10. A Rose in the Twilight

Publisher/Developer: Nippon Ichi Software, Inc/NIS America, Inc
Platform: PC, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: 2017

I heard this game is an adventure, strategy and puzzle-platform game. Whatever it is, it looks really fun. I’m going to get it on Steam when it comes out. It’s funny that it’s also coming to Vita, I didn’t think games were coming out for that thing anymore.

9. Cuphead

Publisher/Developer: Studio MDHR
Platform: PC, Xbox One
Release Date: 2017

I love run-and-gun platformers and cartoons from the 1930s. So, when I saw this, I fell in love and can’t wait for the release of the game, though we haven’t heard much info on it lately, but I hope we hear something in 2017.

8. Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Future Tone

Publisher/Developer: Sega, Dwango Music Entertainment
Platform:  Arcade, PlayStation 4
Release Date: Early 2017

I love the Project DIVA games, even though I haven’t played all of them. I’m sure I’ll pick this one up but there are two versions of the game. Makes me wonder which version to pick up, or if I should just pick up one first and the other on a later date or something like that. This game looks good for what it is: pretty much another rhythm game. There are not many of those around these days so I’m glad we’re getting this game here.

7. Freedom Planet 2

Publisher/Developer: GalaxyTrail
Platform: PC
Release Date: 2017?

Not much is known about this game yet, other than that it’s happening. I hope we hear more about it in 2017 but I’m sure it will be as fun as the first game was.

6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Publisher/Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Wii U
Release Date: 2017

I don’t have much to say about this game. I’ve been a fan of Zelda since the NES days and love every one of them that have come out. This one is no different. The game looks great. One thing that bummed me out was that rumor that it’s not hitting the Wii U, and I don’t know if I’m picking up the Nintendo Switch day one.  If I do, this game will be the one I pick up with it. Otherwise, I’ll just get it on Wii U.

5. Persona 5

Publisher/Developer: Atlus USA
Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Release Date: 2017

This game has been in development since either 2008 or ’09. Pretty much, we have all been waiting a long time for this game to come out and hopefully 2017 is the year. If not, one of my friends may lose his mind, along with a lot of other fans, so I hope this doesn’t get delayed again but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

4. Sonic Mania

Publisher/Developer: Sega, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Spring 2017

From what I’ve seen, this game looks really good. I hope it brings back the classic side-scrolling platforming I loved from the Genesis and Sega CD days.

3. Night in the Woods

Publisher/Developer:  Infinite Fall/Finji
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4
Release Date: February 2017

I wanted to Kickstart this game when I first heard about it on October 22, 2013, but I didn’t have the money at the time. It made its goals, though 3 years is a long wait. I’m still hyped for it and other than buying the game, I hope to pick up the soundtrack – the music in this game is great.

2. Tekken 7

Publisher/Developer: Bandai Namco
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Early 2017

I’ve been hyped for this game for a long time now. Ever since they announced the new character Lucky Chloe. I haven’t been into this series since Tekken 5, but it’s about time to get back into it. Yes, Harada joked about taking Lucky Chloe out of the US version. It was funny but I’m glad it wasn’t true.

1. Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite

Publisher/Developer: Capcom
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Late 2017

I feel this game has promise to be good. Capcom says they want to do a big roster and with Mega Man X already in, I’m pretty much on the hype train. I don’t mind if there are no X-Men characters – really, I’m mostly into the Capcom side of things anyway. I’m just waiting on Felicia and Cammy, if I get them, I’m pretty much good.


Hobbes Voltaire

[Editor’s Note: Joining us this year is a friend of SNES Master KI’s: Hobbes Voltaire. His list offers a unique perspective and I personally believe that when it comes to these anticipated games lists – the more, the merrier.]

10. Nintendo’s next mobile phenomenon

Publisher/Developer: Nintendo, DeNA
Platform: iOS/Android
Release Date: 2017?

For a brief period of time Pokemon Go fundamentally changed the way our society functioned, and it was magical. People who hadn’t played a Pokemon game in years were out catching em all. People were friendlier to strangers. We were all in this together. To top it all off, I was really getting into a mobile game. Miitomo and Super Mario Run were both successes in their own right, even if they didn’t dominate the cultural zeitgeist. I’m curious to see the impending Animal Crossing mobile title, but no matter what comes first I’m sure I’ll have a memorable time no matter what.

9. Cyberpunk 2077

Publisher/Developer: CD Projekt RED
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One
Release Date: 2017?

Out of all the games from this console generation I have yet to play, The Witcher 3 is among those most highly recommended to me. I’m curious to see what a cyberpunk game by CD Projekt RED (based on the “Cyberpunk” tabletop RPG franchise) could be like.

8. Torment: Tides of Numenera

Publisher/Developer: Techland Publishing, inXile Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One
Release Date: February 28, 2017

I’ve been following both this spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment and it’s tabletop RPG counterpart since their initial campaigns on Kickstarter. I love the premise of the setting, and while I’m not the biggest fan of open-world games, I’m excited to give this one a shot. Especially if they can translate the mechanics of the Numenera tabletop RPG well to this.

7. Sonic Mania

Publisher/Developer: Sega, Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One
Release Date: Spring 2017

REEEEEEEMIX! While we still know very little about “Sonic 2017”, I got to play Sonic Mania at PAX West 2016. I’m hardly the biggest Sonic aficionado, but the levels felt familiar, but fresh.

6. Nier: Automata

Publisher/Developer: Square Enix, Platinum Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: March 7, 2017

This game will probably kick my ass, and I’ll still love it. This sequel which nobody saw coming is perhaps the true sign that JRPGs are coming to reclaim their throne, even more so than Final Fantasy XV’s success and acclaim was.

5. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Publisher/Developer: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release Date: Unknown

While there’s still a part of me that feels like this is the video game equivalent of colorizing old movies, the fact that the creative staff has said they’re taking this is a somewhat different direction has me curious. and willing to give it a chance.

4. Yooka-Laylee

Publisher/Developer: Team17, Playtonic Games
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: April 11. 2017

I was never a naysayer of this game, but from what I’ve seen so far it looks better than I initially expected.

3. Mother 3 (English Translation)

Publisher/Developer: Nintendo, Brownie Brown, HAL Laboratory
Platform: Nintendo Switch?
Release Date: Unconfirmed

Okay, I know I risk being “that guy” with this entry. I was big into the push for Mother 3 to get released in North America on the GBA. 2 or 3 years ago I would have said it was next to impossible for this to happen, and that those holding out hope still are being overly optimistic. However, after the release of EarthBound Beginnings on Wii U Virtual Console, I am once more a believer that Mother 3 will be released in the west.

2. “Super Mario Switch”

Publisher/Developer: Nintendo?
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 2017?

Does a new Mario platformer really need a sentence justifying it?

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Publisher/Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Wii U
Release Date: 2017

I know this is a pretty safe choice, but it’s a game that has captured my imagination since it’s initial reveal. I’m not the biggest fan of WRPG style games or open world games, which may come across as odd considering my pics for numbers 8 and 9, but I feel like this game is likely to make me more open-minded.


Professor Icepick

2016 sure did happen this year. I think the weirdest part about this past year is that so many games we were expecting to see in 2017 managed to get pushed back even further, like Bloodstained and the System Shock remake. Then again, if anything, I guess I should applaud the efficiency of telling me that games I was expecting next year still need more time in the oven, which is better than expecting it – only to have it delayed at the last minute. Here are ten games I hope will stay on schedule and come out next year, but first I’ve got a few honorable mentions: many of which I was expecting to come out this year. Honestly, I’m just glad I didn’t have to put Shantae: ½ Genie Hero on here again.

Honorable Mentions

  • Cuphead (PC/XBO): I was really hoping this game was going to come out this year, but at least in this case, I can understand the delays. In addition to the impressive hand-drawn 2D graphics, the game is also adding various action stages that suit its run-and-gun nature. Hopefully, Cuphead actually sees release in 2017, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole (PC/PS4/XBO): The worst part about this is that Fractured But Whole was supposed to be released this month before being pushed back to next year. The gameplay is going in a new direction with a brand-new battle system, ditching the Paper Mario-style system from Stick of Truth. Hopefully, the delay will lead to more polish and a better overall game.
  • Yooka-Laylee (PC/PS4/XBO/NS): I actually got to play the ToyBox demo for this game, and it was pretty awesome. I was hoping to see this one come out this year, but at least we have a final release date – April 11th – and the Wii U version is being abandoned in favor of a new version for the upcoming Nintendo Switch.
  • “Super Mario Switch” (NS): Speaking of the Nintendo Switch, I was kind of interested in that 3D Mario platformer demo we saw in the initial Switch reveal trailer. KI has convinced me that it’s more than just a tech demo, so hopefully this will be, bare minimum, a launch window release for the Switch. Unfortunately, I just don’t have enough information to put this game on my top 10.
  • Nidhogg 2 (PC/PS4): I loved the original Nidhogg: it essentially turned the fencing combat system from the original Prince of Persia into a truly insane fighting game. While many people have criticized the new artstyle in Nidhogg 2, I like it – it reminds me of those ugly Western console games from the SNES and Genesis era, much like how the original game resembled pre-NES platforms. The addition of new weapons is also really interesting.

10. Crash Bandicoot: N.Sane Trilogy

Publisher/Developer: Activision, Vicarious Visions
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release Date: 2017

Truth be told, when this game was first announced, I wasn’t really expecting much. Something along the lines of that PaRappa the Rapper remaster they announced at PSX: the same old games with some filters, maybe trophy support. This was one of those cases where I was more than happy to be wrong. Everything has been remodeled from scratch, the new designs resemble the classic ones – I’ve hated most post-Warped Crash designs – they even neglected to do the whole “reimagining” thing most remakes of this magnitude trot out: everything’s a nice and clean revamp of the original material from the PS1 classics. This game has impressed me so much, I’m considering a purchase – and up to this point, I’ve been keeping my PS4 strictly for KOF14.

9. A Hat in Time

Publisher/Developer: Gears for Breakfast
Platform: PC
Release Date: 2017

This is probably the one game where I’ve shown reasonable restraint, given its long development cycle. I’ve only listed it once before: as an honorable mention…back in 2014. Since then, while the game’s remained on my radar, I decided to keep it off my lists due to the lack of any tangible release window appearing since the Kickstarter finished. However, the development team at Gears for Breakfast finally confirmed earlier this year that the game will be releasing in 2017 and given their constant updates (being a backer has its perks) and the progression I’ve seen of the game in this past several years, I’m inclined to believe them.

8. Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove

Publisher/Developer: Adult Swim Games, Humanature Studios
Platform: PC, TBA
Release Date: 2017

Another of my Kickstarter darlings of yore, Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove was a rarity: an actual, properly-licensed revival trying their hand at Kickstarter. They succeeded, but clearly didn’t meet their original release goal of November 2015, though they did intend to release the game this year. However, they didn’t reach that goal – but it was for the best reasons possible: they gained a publisher in Adult Swim Games, who also are funding some console ports (platforms unknown). Given how complete the game looks, I’m almost certain they’ll hit that target.

7. “Project Sonic 2017”

Publisher/Developer: Sega, Sonic Team
Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: 2017

You’d expect this game to be higher on my list, but as with “Super Mario Switch”, there just isn’t enough information to get me as hyped as some of the other games on this list. All I really have to go on at this point is that the game is being handled by the Sonic Team division responsible for Sonic Colors and Generations, Classic Sonic’s returning in at least some capacity and it appears to take place in the most dystopian setting this side of Sonic SatAM. Nice flash, no substance: I’ll save my enthusiasm for the first gameplay trailer.

6. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

Publisher/Developer: FDG Entertainment, Game Atelier
Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: TBA 2017

This one was honestly a toss-up: a rough choice between the “original” Monster Boy and the upcoming remake of its clear inspiration, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. While I’d say Dragon’s Trap has the graphical and polish edge over the admittedly “cheaper” looking Monster Boy, Monster Boy seems way more likely to be dropping this year, while it looks like DotEmu is shooting for a later release for their Wonder Boy remake. Still, both games look good and the gameplay is solid, if only a bit primitive. I cannot wait to see how both games turn out.

5. Injustice 2

Publisher/Developer: WB Games, Netherrealm Studios
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: 2017

I’ll be honest: even if I did really like both recent Mortal Kombat revivals, I’d have to say that Injustice: Gods Among Us may have been the best fighting game Netherrealm Studios has ever done. Maybe it’s because it was the first great DC fighting game ever made, maybe it’s because I prefer holding back to block over pushing a button in 2D fighters, maybe it’s because it was a video game where I could play as Solomon Grundy. Whatever the reason, it’s some good stuff. Sure, we haven’t heard any news on the game since August, but a representative from Netherrealm said that they have some big reveals planned for 2017. I’m hoping for a PC version myself, handled by the fine folks at QLOC.

4. Tokyo Xanadu

Publisher/Developer: Aksys Games, Nihon Falcom
Platform: PC, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: First Half 2017

Last year, I put Ys VIII on my list – even though I clearly realized that it was only being released in Japan at that time. Fortunately, this time around, I’ve got an English release to talk about. Better still, it’s coming to PC. Tokyo Xanadu has been described as “a bad Persona knockoff that somehow got popular” by a friend of mine. I personally prefer to think of it as a modern Ys game taking place in a contemporary Japanese high school. More importantly, I like to think of it as the newest Falcom game that has a PC version.

3. Sonic Mania

Publisher/Developer: Sega, Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Spring 2017

You’d probably think that this game is higher than its modern counterpart because I’m blinded by nostalgia. Truth be told, that’s a good guess. To be honest, it’s more because Sonic Mania has actual gameplay footage – I know exactly what I’m getting into here and I like it. The fact that it’s an original Sonic project being handled by Christian Whitehead and the people who tried to bring us Sonic 2 HD. It’s even got music by Tee Lopes! It’s basically the ultimate fan-game: hopefully other companies will take note.

2. Tekken 7

Publisher/Developer: Bandai Namco
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Early 2017

There was a time where I wouldn’t have considered this possible – Tekken on PC. Sure, it’s not Tag Tournament 2 – but depending on your point of view: this is either the next best thing or even better. I’m still on the fence where I lie, but still having Tekken on PC is going to rule. Considering the fact that Bandai Namco even teased the inclusion of Steam Workshop support in an online survey, I’m honestly even more excited: the 3D fighting game that prides itself on character customization going the extra mile with fan-generated content? Sign me up. Even the inclusion of the most boring Street Fighter character in its entire history can’t bring me down – I finally get to play as Kazumi Mishima (or “Mama Kazuya”, as I prefer to call her). The recent announcement that both Kuma and Panda are returning is another hype-builder. I’m wondering if we have any more surprises left in store before the game finally releases on home platforms sometime next year.

1. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Publisher/Developer: Capcom
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: Late 2017

My reactions to Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite are the textbook definition of a 180° turn. Before the game was even announced, I mused on a podcast that I thought it was going to happen, but wasn’t sure that it should. I was worried about a lame Capcom roster, the backlash from a Marvel roster without the X-Men and Doctor Doom so many fans associate with the series and the outright laziness we’ve seen during the development cycle of Capcom’s current crown jewel, Street Fighter V. The announcement of MvC: Infinite at the PlayStation Experience this year led me through a literal roller-coaster of emotions – granted, I’m not sure how much of it was genuine and how much of it was due to the stomach flu I contracted the same day. At first, my excitement steadily grew, peaking when I saw a pair of familiar blue boots. Then my heart sank into my feet when I realized what had happened: it was MegaMan X – the Windows Vista of MegaMen. Captain Marvel’s inclusion softened the blow, but to say that I was not happy to see X, would’ve been the understatement of the decade.

Fortunately, as time went on (and I recovered from my illness), I began to look on the positives that came with Infinite. The “touch of death” 3-on-3 gameplay style from the most recent games had been eschewed in favor of the classic 2v2 gameplay, with the traditional assists replaced with tag combos not unlike those found in Street Fighter x Tekken. Likewise, the Infinity Stones are making a comeback from Marvel Super Heroes (not SFxT, like so many misinformed neophytes on the internet are claiming) – granting fighters unique abilities like increased strength or speed upon activation. Likewise, the early reveal of Morrigan gives me hope that my early predictions of a roster consisting of nothing but characters from Street Fighter, Resident Evil and Devil May Cry (plus MegaMan X) may have been unfounded. Likewise, rumors are currently circulating that the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic 4 characters have been secured for the game (albeit as post-launch DLC) and the development team for MvCI consists of several heavy-hitters from Capcom’s arcade glory days. The developers even announced that they will be taking their time when it comes to developing the game, promising a substantial game at launch. My only concern is that the game itself may not launch in 2017 – but all things considered, as it’s currently set for “late 2017”, I’m confident that it deserves the top spot on my list.

Those are my picks for 2017. Hopefully, most of these games release next year, but at this point, I’m so jaded I’d be happy if we managed to get half of them.

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One thought on “Retronaissance’s Most Anticipated Games of 2017

  1. Pingback: 2017: Reclaim Your Happy Ending | Retronaissance: The Blog!

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