Hey everybody! It’s that time again. Ramblings time. And this week I’m going to give a little preview of what 2017 has in store for video games. Now of course, any game I talk about could be delayed out of the current release window, or indeed out of 2017 entirely. So this isn’t a sure deal by any means. With that said, let’s get on with it.
The biggest thing coming in 2017 is the Nintendo Switch. This is Nintendo’s next big thing, and to me it seems like a glorified tablet. And that’s probably all it is, in all honesty. It has a dock where it sits to recharge and connect to your television, but all the guts are in the portable unit that’s about the size of a typical iPad or Android tablet. It may be a little thicker than the typical tablet, but you sort of get the idea, I hope. I haven’t read anything on the battery life or anything of that sort. Nintendo is going to have a broadcast in the next week or two to give further details on the Switch. But there’s a report/rumor that the power of the hardware drops by as much as 40% when it’s removed from the dock, which I assume is to save on the battery, but which can also end up impacting what games can be brought to the system.
Nintendo’s Switch system could be a major gamble for the company. Then again, people said the same thing about the Wii, and that was a major hit. The Wii U, not so much. Nintendo is once again trying to innovate rather than keep up with Microsoft and Sony. Heck, the Switch goes back to cartridges, which is no doubt to save on battery life once again. We all found out with Sony’s PSP that a disc drive in a portable game system destroys battery life, which is why Sony went to cartridges for the Vita. No word on what sort of media the cartridges use, but I’m guessing some sort of flash-based media, as that can store about as much as a Blu-Ray, and in some cases more. Flash media still costs more than discs, however, so there’s that to factor in. Switch games can’t cost more than PS4 or XB1 games, though, or else that could kill the system. We also don’t know the cost of the console, itself.
Do I want a Switch? Maybe. It depends on the price, and what games Nintendo makes for it. While Nintendo is pushing their third-party support this time around, I don’t see much hope for anything substantial to come from that. What I want to see is the new Mario game, whether or not the Mario Kart and Splatoon games shown in the teaser are new or remakes, and if there will be a new Smash Bros. I think Masahiro Sakurai said he doesn’t want to make any more Super Smash Bros. games, but that hopefully shouldn’t stop Nintendo from finding someone else to head the project. It’s one of their big sellers, after all. Nintendo would be foolish to not make a new Smash Bros. for the Switch.
Enough about the Switch for now. This wasn’t supposed to be a Nintendo Switch column. Let’s get to some games!
Double Dragon returns this year with Double Dragon IV at the end of January. I remember playing the NES games when I was a kid. DD4 has retro graphics with HD polish, and new moves and stuff to take advantage of the modern controllers. It looks like it will be pretty good, but it all depends on how it plays, right?
Halo Wars 2 comes out in February. I’m not a big fan of Halo, and RTS games are a genre my mind cannot handle. Plus, I don’t have an XBox One or a modern PC, so I can’t play it regardless. But I know some people out there will play and enjoy it. So here’s one for you all. This game will hopefully be out soon for you guys.
March should hopefully see the release of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands, a game that was teased at E3 2015. There hasn’t been a whole lot said about this game, and a beta is coming up soonish. I hope I get in. I really want to check out this game. It’s an open-world game where you can take on missions in any way you so desire. There’s some degree of squad tactics, as well, which I hope works well as a single-player. If not, then I’m screwed. I don’t want to take it online, despite the fact that the beta will no doubt be all about the online. Whatever. I just hope the game is good.
For you Kingdom Hearts fans, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix and Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix are both slated for late-March. I tried the first KH game, and I couldn’t get passed the prologue. I just got lost. And I just wasn’t having fun. So it’s not the series for me, I guess. But hey, it’s hugely popular, so if you like it, I hope you enjoy the HD remixes.
Slated for April are Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition and Yooka-Laylee. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is a remaster of Bulletstorm from the PS3/X360 generation, but with the added bonus of being able to play as Duke Nukem for some reason. I don’t get it, but whatever. Yooka-Laylee was a Kickstarter project developed by some people who worked on the original Banjo-Kazooie games, and as such follows the tradition of horrible musical instrument puns in the titles. I hate what Banjo-Kazooie and its ilk did to platformers, so I don’t think I’ll be playing Yooka-Laylee. But enough people backed it on Kickstarter to make it happen. I hope you like it.
Now for games with no scheduled release date, but are still said to come out this year.
Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy is an HD remake of the first three Crash Bandicoot games on the PS1. In terms of graphics, it looks amazing. I just hope they nail the feel of the gameplay.
Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite is a highly anticipated fighting game pitting Marvel Comics characters versus Capcom characters. I’m not big into the series, nor fighting games in general, but this is apparently a huge series in fighting game circles. I hope it is everything you guys wish it is.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is supposed to be out in the first half of 2017. No firm release details have been announced, though. But so far it looks amazing. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Also supposed to come out this year is Metal Gear Survive. Oh boy. It’s Left 4 Dead meets Metal Gear. Four-player co-op and zombie-like enemies. What’s more Metal Gear than that? I swear, since they booted Kojima out the door, they must really want to ruin the Metal Gear name. Either that, or they genuinely think this is the next evolution of the series, in which case I think someone at Konami has lost their minds. Please get them help before they notice Suikoden or Castlevania over in the corner and think that they need to reimagine those.
Parappa The Rapper Remastered is coming out in time for the 20th anniversary of the PS1 classic. I tried the demo they released last month, and it was pretty darn good. The FMV animated cutscenes look kind of grainy and untouched, but the rest of the graphics look so good in HD. I wasn’t big into Parappa, but if it gets a retail release, I can give it a rental.
Two Sonic games are scheduled for 2017. Sonic Mania, and the untitled “Project Sonic 2017.” Sonic Mania is geared toward old-school Sonic fans, with classic sprite graphics and old-school gameplay. Project Sonic 2017 appears to be a follow-up to Sonic Generations, and features Classic and Modern Sonic as they try to do stuff. Not much is really known about the Project Sonic game. I look forward to Sonic Mania. Not so sure about the other one, though.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole continues to have the best name in all of gaming. That is all.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes out this year for Wii U and Switch. It appears to be more open-world, with crafting, weapon degradation, and stuff like that. Apparently the Master Sword can be seen in one of the trailers, but I have to assume that doesn’t come into play until much later in the game. Because that weapon cannot break, or at least it shouldn’t. There’s only one of it, and it is no doubt the only weapon that can defeat the main enemy. So they can’t have it break, can they?
Finally, Star Wars Battlefront 2. It technically doesn’t have an official title yet, but odds are they’ll just slap a 2 on it. I hope that DICE and EA learn from the flaws of the first game and produce a much better Star Wars shooter this time around. I really want it to be good. I really do.
Anyway, that will wrap it up for me this week. As always, you can find me on Twitter at @geekdombrandon. See you next time.