Shadow’s Six: Most Anticipated of 2018

The end of a year is a time to reminisce on the good that happened in the year that is leaving, but also a time for building up excitement about what is to come. I’ve already talked 2017, unveiling my Game of the Year list just a short while ago, so I wanted to take some time as the year ends to talk about what I am excited for in the year to come. With how packed 2017 was, what could 2018 possibly have left for us?

6) Final Fantasy Dissidia NT

Expected Release: January 30

I was one of those strange people who owned a PSP. It was a wonderful little handheld device and there were a few specific games for it that blew me away. Specifically… I loved Dissidia. It was a strange fighting game, one that tried its best to recreate the insanity of the fight scenes in Advent Children, and give you control of the characters. To a large degree, it succeeded. And it was a lot of fun. It was glorious being able to take control of Terra, Zidane, Sephiroth and so many other iconic characters and engage in 1 on 1 battles against the best and worst Final Fantasy had to offer. The only downside was that you had to do it on such a tiny screen…

So you can imagine my excitement when Square announced they were revisiting Dissidia for the PS4. I do have some trepidations about them making it a squad-based fighter, and I am concerned that solo play may prove less than satisfying in a game designed for teams, but I have high hopes that it’ll be as fun as the original was, if not better. And with it coming so early in the year, my hype level is high!

5) Spiderman

Expected Release: Unknown

I’m not a huge comic book superhero guy, I’ve just never been hugely invested in that particular fandom. But there are a few that have always really interested me, most notably, for the moment at least, Spiderman. I’ve played a few passable Spiderman games, but never one that truly captured the essence of what the cartoons I’d watched had shown Spiderman as being.

The upcoming Spiderman game in development for the PS4 looks different. It looks like they understand that one of the largest aspects of the appeal Spiderman has is the way webslinging is always shown to us. Spiderman games of the past have always either ignored that element or simply been unable, for whatever reason, to do it properly. The stars may have finally aligned and granted the franchise to a developer with the ability to execute it, the technology to make it work, and the passion to do it right. Here’s hoping. The ball’s in your court, Insomniac.

4) Lost Sphear

Expected Release: January 23

I Am Setsuna charmed me. It was a flawed game, at its core, but it was still a beautiful, charming experience… hearkening back to an older time, an era when RPGs had a certain style, and were staples of gaming culture. With its touching story and haunting piano soundtrack, I fell in love, despite its flaws. The small team responsible for I Am Setsuna is releasing a spiritual successor early in the year, and I have very high hopes for it.

Utilizing the same mentality, the dev team is trying to release another nostalgic gem. Although surprisingly little official information is available, even this close to its release, what we have seen evokes the same emotions in me that I had when I first saw Setsuna. So bring on the nostalgia.

3) Darksiders 3

Expected Release: Unknown

THQ’s dissolution was a tragic time for gamers, as the studio owned a great many storied franchises… but no facet of those events hit me as hard as the realization that we may never see a Darksiders 3. Darksiders 2 is the game I’ve played in the past decade to try to use the classic Zelda formula, in my eyes. As a result, I was eagerly awaiting the next entry – intended to star Fury as its lead it place of Death. I had thought such dreams were dead… until I saw the unveil of Darksiders 3.

The early footage I saw looked kind of awkward, but I belive this is simply a result of it being precisely that: early footage. The team working on it is largely comprised of veterans of the studio responsible for the first two games, and thus I have high hopes that the game will turn out to be the equal of its predecessor.

2) Remakes, Remasters, and Other Blasts from the Past

Various Release Dates

I know, I know. It’s a bit of a cop out to bundle all of these together… but when I was looking over the list of what is to come this year, so many titles that I am interested in are either revivals of series long thought dead or re-imagined versions of games that came out long ago.

Whether we’re talking well-known titles like the Final Fantasy 7 remake, Capcom’s Megaman 11, the kickstarted Shenmue 3, the ‘Spiritual Successor’ to Symphony of the Night, or more niche ones like the PS4 remaster of Trails of Cold Steel, the remaster of Secret of Mana, or the recently discussed Catherine Full Body, 2018 is looking to be a big year for revisiting past hits and reinvigorating long-faded memories. And, although this may be controversial, I am glad to see it. These titles have so much potential that, collectively, they are my second most anticipated ‘game’ of 2018… and I may even do a second Shadow’s Six post focused entirely on them, since there are far more than 6 slated for upcoming release within the next year or so.

1) Trails of Cold Steel 3

Expected Release: Unknown

Although it has not been officially announced yet, Trails of Cold Steel 3 recently came out in Japan on the Playstation 4, and I see it as being highly unlikely that we won’t get an English version down the line… but right now, there are many questions. Who will do the localization? When will it happen? How much carry-over will we have from previous games? And will we be able to continue our romantic relationship with Emma?

While the answers to the above questions likely won’t change the game’s quality… they are still answers I eagerly await. And, since ToCS 1 and 2 both got GotY for their respective years, it should be no surprise that even the hope of the third entry would be at the top of my hype list. I just hope that we see confirmation of western localization sooner rather than later… and that Falcom has the good sense to let XSeed handle it, given the localization issues present in Ys VIII.