For this week of Tanuki Talk, Ashley Harrison and I decided to stop and take in the upcoming gaming line-up of 2018 – because, well, it’s looking awesome. We’ve recently had release date confirmations for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and more, so the rest of the year is taking shape; with E3 round the corner, the ram-up of the hype train is beginning, too…
William Robinson: Right Ash, as it’s a bit of a quiet period in games right now, it’s an ideal time to look forward! We’ve recently started seeing the rest of 2018 take shape in terms of major game releases; Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy and Spider-Man on PS4 all release within 3 weeks of September, and Red Dead Redemption 2 awaits later in the year. How are you feeling about the rest of the year in general?
Ashley Harrison: I’m hyped as hell for the rest of the year. As you’ve pointed out, there’s 3 huge games releasing in just September alone, and that’s just one platform. There’s tons of stuff from Nintendo and Microsoft releasing too, and E3 is just around the corner.
WR: Do you think we’re going to see a congested Autumn due to Red Dead? Even Call of Duty has moved out of the way to early October, which says a lot.
AH: I’m really not sure we will see a “congested Autumn” as you put it, because let’s face it, not everyone will be buying every single game.
WR: Well, we might when the E3 announcements blow all our minds, but more on that in a bit. There’s already been so many big reveals, and ones especially catering to our tastes; I’m still processing the Spyro Reignited Trilogy being real, and, personally, I have new Tomb Raider and Captain Toad entries coming to satisfy me. Which games are you most anticipated for, and why?
AH: For me, my top 3 upcoming games for this year are (in no particular order) Spyro Reignited Trilogy, The World Ends With You: Final Remix, and an Indie game I’ve followed since before it was even announced in the form of YIIK: A Postmodern RPG.
WR: I know why I should be excited for the first one, as it’s my childhood coming back via a 3D platformer, but I know little about the others. Explain to me why they’re good, so that I can spend more money on games?
AH: Oh man, giving me the hard tasks huh? Well, The World Ends With You is a fantastic story driven RPG based around the concept of a 3 week “Reapers Game” or you die. It has one of my favourite combat systems in gaming history, and I love the almost comic book art style to it. It’s one of those games that I ask people to just trust me and buy. YIIK is just a batsh*t insane RPG where nothing makes any sense but yet somehow does at the same time. I’ve seen it grow from literally a broken mess of a game (including me finding ways to break it in the most ridiculous ways due to being a beta tester) to what it is now in its final form.
WR: Yeah, I’ve regularly heard you talking about it on Twitter. What’s the main info on it? We got a date for it?
Ashley Harrison: It has one of my favourite combat systems in gaming history, and I love the almost comic book art style to it.
AH: We have a date of either next month, or July, due to reasons beyond the developer’s control. I think that’s all I’m allowed to say on that topic haha. Releasing on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Vita, PC, and (I believe) Linux, so there’s literally no excuse to not play it!
WR: No excuse indeed. I may have to give it a go based on your ridiculous hype… Also, I missed The World Ends With You on DS, so I am very much looking forward to catching up on what seems to be a cult hit.
AH: A lot of people missed The World Ends With You the first time around, which is why I’m hoping that it sells well on Switch, and not because it might give us the possibility of a sequel. It’s one of those games that you want to do well because you want as many people as possible to experience it because it’s genuinely just that good, you get me?
WR: I certainly do get that, because we now know Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is coming to Switch in July. An amazing, adorable puzzle adventure game focused around the plucky Captain Toad, this one was trapped on the Wii U, and I’m so glad more people will get to play it. Hopefully that will lead to him popping up in Super Smash Bros. too… Oh, yeah, Super Smash Bros. got announced in that amazing recent Nintendo Direct, but y’know, that’s small news compared to Captain Toad right?
AH: Of course, Captain Toad is miles ahead of Super Smash Bros. It’s definitely a game I’ll be picking up. Not at launch, but definitely down the road.
WR: It’s launching in a busy period – July 13th is the same day that Project Octopath Traveler comes out, and it’s also only 3 days after the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy comes to Switch and Xbox One.
AH: Oh damn, Octopath Traveller is releasing that soon, too? There’s another game I’m hyped for this year, considering how much I loved the Bravely Default games on 3DS.
WR: Yeah, couldn’t they have spaced those out a week? Give them both a chance to shine, Nintendo. On the topic of Nintendo, though: we know a lot about what they’re releasing the next few months, but after E3? Not much concrete info, and that’s exciting. Which aces do you think they have up their sleeves for the event in June?
AH: Obviously not, which is a shame. I feel one or the other is going to end up as yet another hidden gem of the Switch, rather than getting the recognition that they’ll likely deserve. I think Animal Crossing this year is pretty much a definite, so that. And hopefully a new Mario Strikers game, I’ve wanted another for AGES.
WR: Animal Crossing is going to do gangbusters on Switch. It fits the system so well, hits so many audiences, and will be played on train rides for years. I reckon we’ll see the first glimpses of Pokémon, too (the real question is if we see a 2018 date), and maybe a teaser for Metroid Prime 4. I see that as an Uncharted 4-style ending stinger, with Samus just running down a hallway with one line of dialogue, or something like that.
AH: New Leaf dominated my 3DS play time journal and it wasn’t even close, so I’ve no doubt I’ll lose my life to another Animal Crossing game yet again. And I’m 100% down with that. Yeah, I think at this point I’d be more surprised if we didn’t see Pokemon than if we did. Given the rumours of that being a complete redesign of the series ala Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, I’m interested to see how it looks.
WR: Sorry to break your heart, but that’s not happening. It’s likely going to be Pokémon as we know it, but optimised for Switch and with a nice presentation upgrade, which I am all in for [for a deep dive into the subject of what Pokémon on Switch could be, you can read this feature]. What about Sony and Microsoft though? In terms of first-party, Sony has God of War reviewing amazingly well right now (it comes out in less than a week!), and then Detroit: Become Human as an exclusive as well as Spider-Man. Xbox has Sea of Thieves right now, and then State of Decay 2 and maybe Crackdown 3 (though that might never release at this rate). Thoughts on those two?
William Robinson: It’s likely going to be Pokémon as we know it, but optimised for Switch…
AH: I think they’ll be the guys that rely on E3 reveals to set out their plan for the rest of the year. One I’m sure we can both agree on is more The Last of Us Part II info.
WR: Yeah, though I’m not sure I’ll be happy about that, as we’ve discussed before. It’s happening, either way… So, which of the big three console makers has you most interested this year? I’ve gotta say it’s still Nintendo for me.
AH: If I had to pick one, I think Nintendo might just pluck it too, based solely on The World Ends With You: Final Remix being a 2018 release.
WR: I’m gonna go into a (slightly) organised mode here and run through each month and see which games we’re most hot on (the list is via GameInformer). For April, I am intrigued by Labo, but not on board yet. Anything stand out to you?
AH: I hate to be “that guy”, but nothing truly stands out for me this month. Only thing that slightly peaks my interest is South Park, but I’d get that on PS4 so I can have both games rather than just the second.
WR: That’s fair, April is fairly quiet by gaming standards. Then we get to May, and oh my word the Switch ports come out in force. Donkey Kong, Hyrule Warriors, Little Nightmares, Dark Souls… The latter two do pique my interest, I gotta say.
AH: Hyrule Warriors, Little Nightmares, Runner 3, Detroit: Become Human, and SEGA Mega Drive Classics pique my interest there. Jesus, no way I’m gonna be able to afford that.
WR: Don’t even think about the money right now, it’ll only hurt more. I do like the rhythm platforming of the Runner series, so I agree there, and Detroit is more of something I will wait and judge the reviews on. We start seeing the E3 effect in June, with less big releases due to the attention new reveals are getting. Nethertheless, there is Mario Tennis Aces, but that isn’t really my jam.
AH: Yeah, I’ll definitely be waiting for reviews on Detroit, but I’m still keeping my eyes on it. June has Vampyr and Far Cry 3 Classic Edition for me. Though since I got the Gold Edition of Far Cry 5, I get 3 at the end of May.
WR: Oh yeah, Vampyr! That’s from the Life is Strange developers DONTNOD, so I gotta give that a chance. OK, no gloating on Far Cry Ash. July we have already covered – Captain Toad and Project Octopath Traveler there. That month seems like a prime space for a game such as the upcoming Switch Yoshi title.
AH: Yeah. Yoshi at the end of the month alongside WarioWare?
WR: Or maybe just give us a Switch WarioWare? WarioWare Switched is a great name in my books (you can have that one Nintendo).
AH: Maybe in August, with a surprise E3 reveal? There’s nothing in August, so it’d be an even better time.
Ashley Harrison: September is absolutely stacked, it’s actually crazy.
WR: September is the biggie. Spider-Man, Tomb Raider, Spyro, one week after the other. It’s going to be great.
AH: Don’t forget about Dragon Quest XI. September is absolutely stacked, it’s actually crazy.
WR: I hope Spider-Man delivers, as I’m not convinced on that one yet. It seems to take a lot from the Batman: Arkham games and contain a great deal of quicktime events – hopefully it can create an identity for itself.
AH: I’m just not a huge superhero guy, be it comics, films, or games to be honest with you, so it’s not a game I’m going to get.
WR: More time to play Spyro, at least! To finish off, we have October, which is just Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII and Red Dead Redemption 2 right now. It likely won’t look much different later in the year; no game wants to launch anywhere close to Red Dead. That is, if they would like to see some sort of financial return on their game… I haven’t actually played the first one, so hopefully they make an easy way to play it on PS4 )or Switch… ) between now and then.
AH: Even if they don’t, do yourself a favour and pick it up on PS3 or 360. It’s a genuinely incredible game.
WR: I might just have to. To conclude, you sticking to that three of Spyro, The World Ends With You and YIIK as your top three? For me, I’d say Captain Toad, Spyro, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider (like you, in no particular order).
AH: Indeed I am. I think the only game that could change those is if The Last of Us Part II gets a 2018 release date at E3, which I feel there’s a greater chance of me becoming a pro footballer than there is of that happening.
WR: Yeah, that’s not happening. We’ll have to come back after E3 and see if anything has managed to join our lists. 2017 was an incredible year, but I think the latter half of 2018 is going to be pretty special too.
AH: The last third of 2018 seems like it has the potential to be the greatest time in gaming for a long, long time.
WR: That’s as good a note to end on as any! See you next week…
AH: Yep, in a bit!
Those are the games and potential announcements Ashley Harrison and I are looking forward to in 2018, but which are you most excited about? Red Dead Redemption 2? Super Smash Bros. on Switch? You can let us know in the comments! Also, you can go here for more Tanuki Talk!