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Five Game Announcements I Hope To See In 2018

by Jelani James

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The year of 2017 was huge for the gaming industry, providing fans of all sorts with new titles and consoles to occupy themselves with. However, as 2018 begins, the question that many are starting to wonder is whether it will match the year that came before it.

Certainly, this year has a bunch of blockbusters that will turn heads once they arrive, but part of what made 2017 so great wasn’t just the games that were released, but also the games that were announced. As such, while I’m definitely looking forward to many of the games slated for this year, what I’m really looking forward to are announcements which will help me determine whether the future is one worth looking forward to.

Here are five potential announcements I hope to see in 2018:

Dungeon Travelers 2-2

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Dungeon Travelers 2 is one of those games that many will likely never play due it being labeled by mainstream audiences as a “porn-lite dungeon crawler” on a niche handheld. This, obviously, is an unfortunate (and ill-informed) outlook because anyone with a love of dungeon crawlers who owns a PlayStation Vita can tell you that this is a solid dungeon RPG handled by two firms (Aquaplus and Sting Entertainment) who still remain somewhat obscure in the West.

Between its cohesive story, varied cast, beautiful artwork, solid gameplay and robust post-game, many immediately fell in love with Dungeon Travelers 2 and were excited when a sequel, Dungeon Travelers 2-2, was announced some time later. That sequel eventually released in Japan in 2017 and fans believe it surpasses the original. Unfortunately, despite such praise, Atlus has yet to announce any plans of a localization. However, there’s still hope: there was about a year between the time the Japanese and the Western versions of the original released, so its possible Atlus intends to mirror that with the sequel.

I’m not even asking for the game to come out this year, but Atlus at least confirming a localization for 2019 would definitely put my mind at ease.

Coven and Labyrinth of Refrain

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Keeping up with the theme of dungeon RPGs, Coven and Labyrnth of Refrain is another title in an oft overlooked genre. Developed by Nippon Ichi Software (NIS), the game takes the classic dungeon crawler theme and creates a unique experience by adding in the same level of creativity that resulted in the inception of franchises such as Disgaea and Yomawari. In this instance, Coven and Labyrinth of Refrain uses the same inspiration as The Witch and the Hundred Knight where the player controls an entity who is owned by a powerful witch.

In recent years, NIS has been good about localizing its products for western audiences, but it appears Coven and Labyrinth of Refrain doesn’t adhere to that trend. Despite it coming out on the PS Vita in 2016, NISA (NIS’ American branch) has yet to confirm a Western release for the game. Such instances are common, of course, but what makes this instance troubling is that the game received a PlayStation 4 port in September and was recently confirmed to be getting a sequel in the future. What’s more, it actually looked like we would be getting an announcement for the game in November, but it turned out to be for The Longest 5 Minutes instead.

The end of 2017 was a busy time for NISA, but now that things look considerably calmer, I can only hope that it turns its attention towards Coven and Labyrinth of Refrain.

Tales Series

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Unless things go horribly wrong, between titles such as Dragon Ball FighterZ, Digimon Cyber Sleuth: Hacker’s Memory, Soulcalibur VI and Code Vein, Bandai Namco looks like it will have a fantastic 2018. At this point, the only thing that would make its year better would be if it announces a new entry for the Tales series.

What was once a lesser-known JPRG series has evolved into a powerhouse and it further cemented that fact with the simultaneous PS4 and PC release of Tales of Berseria in the West early last year. But while the West is still generally catching on to the Tales fever, Japan is starting to cool down (Berseria released in 2016 over there) and has nothing but a mobile spin-off, Tales of the Rays, to keep them satiated.

Fortunately, 2018 looks to be the year that things pick up again, as Bandai Namco has a Tales of Festival set for June 16-17 where it is likely to unveil the next mainline entry in the series. Fingers crossed.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (or whatever edition)

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Yes, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is only a few months old, but it’s in desperate need of help (something that has become a common trend among Capcom fighters since 2012). When we reviewed the game back in September, it received four out of five stars thanks to its solid gameplay which managed to break the mold of the Vs. series but still retain the fast-paced feel that fans have come to expect from the franchise over the years.

However, the honeymoon period is over and things aren’t looking good for Capcom’s latest crossover. The visuals are still lackluster, key characters are still missing from the roster and judging from the Battle of the Stones tournament, it appears that even the development team is unsure of what to do next. All of these factors together have led fans to question the future of the game and some are even declaring that it’s dead — a far cry from the time MvC2 and early/mid MvC3 headlined EVO.

A new edition of MvC:I coming so soon after release will no doubt irritate fans (just like what happened with MvC3 in 2011), but I want to see this game succeed and its ability to do so is hampered by issues that a simple patch is unable to fix.

Anything Yakuza Related

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Despite being around in the West since 2006, Yakuza has only started to gain a serious foothold here with last year’s release of Yakuza 0. Since then, Sega has continued to strike while the iron is hot, releasing Yakuza Kiwami several months later and scheduling a Yakuza 6 release for later this year.

Overall, the series is at a strong spot and the only thing I could ask more of it is that it literally gives me more. Once Yakuza 6 arrives, there are more titles to look forward to such as Yakuza Kiwami 2Shin Ryu Ga GotokuRyu ga Gotoku Online and Hokuto no Gotoku. The only issue is that none of them have been confirmed for a Western release and only one of them, Kiwami 2, has been released in Japan thus far, meaning the wait for the other three will be that much longer.

Here’s to hoping 2018 will fix that.

And there you have it, the five announcements I’m hoping to see in 2018. Of course, there are other titles that could have made the list, such as Devil May Cry 5 or Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but I wanted to focus on less popular games that have the potential for an announcement this year.

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