Another year has come and gone, and we welcome 2019 with open arms! I’m hoping I’ll be able to stay on top of current games this year more than last year, and I have a lot of incentive to do just that. There’s a load of games set to come out in 2019 that look unreal and it’s hard to narrow it down to a list of just five, but I went and did it anyways. I just really hope they don’t turn out to suck. Here are my five most anticipated games of 2019.
5. Devil May Cry 5
I mentioned in my Biggest Missed Opportunities list (read here) that I love character-based action games. What I didn’t mention however, is that Devil May Cry for the PS2 was the game that started it all for me. I had the game gifted to me without my parent’s knowledge, and it turned out to be some of the most action-packed fun I’ve ever had at that time. I missed out on the controversial reboot, so I’ve been needing my Dante fix. With Capcom announcing Devil May Cry 5 at E3 2018, the Dante that we know and love is making a comeback! With combat reminiscent of Devil May Cry 4, multiple playable characters in Dante, Nero, and V, and unique weapons such as a motorbike and a hat, Devil May Cry 5 is shaping up to look more ridiculous and over the top than ever. Devil May Cry 5 is set to release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 8th, 2019.
4. Ori and the Will of the Wisps
I’m a fan of metroidvania titles, but initially I was somewhat put off by Moon Studios’ Ori and the Blind Forest. The art style, while absolutely beautiful, led me to believe that Ori was going to be some adventure/walking simulator-type game, which isn’t up my alley at all. I was eventually convinced to give it a shot, and I was so happy to be proven wrong. I was treated to an amazing game with tight controls, cool powers, and a memorable soundtrack. It also makes for an extremely entertaining speedrun, and I always enjoy tuning into an Ori stream every one in a while. With Ori and the Will of the Wisps being slated for a 2019 release, I’m so ready for more Ori. The movement and powers on display in the E3 2018 trailer appear to be a solid evolution of what Ori and the Blind Forest was, which is exactly what a sequel should be. Ori and the Will of the Wisps as of right now is set for an undetermined 2019 release as a Microsoft exclusive on Xbox One and PC.
3. Catherine: Full Body
I feel a little odd talking about this one, as some people close to me might judge me a little, but Atlus’ Catherine was one of the biggest surprises from last console generation for me. A unique blend of puzzle game and dating/life simulator, Catherine tackled some deep topics about relationships, commitment, adultery, order, and chaos. It also has some very mature subject matter because of all this. Our protagonist, Vincent Brooks, has just cheated on his long-time girlfriend Katherine McBride with enigmatic blonde bombshell Catherine, and he now finds himself subjected to a series of nightmares that he must survive in order to wake up alive the next morning. Your nights are spent climbing block puzzle towers, and your days are spent dealing with a strange love triangle and your relationship with your friends. Such a unique blend kept me hooked up until the very end, and with 8 different story endings, there’s a lot of replayability to be found. And now Atlus is releasing the game on PS4 and PS Vita as Catherine: Full Body, with a ton of new story content complete with a new girl added into the mix, named Rin. If done well, this will completely flip the story of Catherine on its head and turn it into a whole different experience, and I really want to experience this game again. Catherine: Full Body is set to release on February 14th, 2019 on PS4 and PS Vita.
2. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
The “Tales of” RPG franchise from Namco Bandai is one of my absolute favourites in all of gaming. It’s a series that I’ve enjoyed nearly every single entry from, and Tales of Vesperia is one of my favourites from that series. Originally released on the Xbox 360 in 2008, Vesperia was very well received, and is considered by some to have some of the best combat in the entire series. A year later, Vesperia was ported to the PS3 with exclusive story content and even two new playable party characters. Sounds great, right? Only issue was that it was only available in Japan. This version of Tales of Vesperia never made it to North America. Until now, that is. Announced at E3 2018, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is the localization of the PS3 version of Vesperia that Tales fans (myself included) have been waiting nearly 10 years for, with all of the new content being translated and fully voiced in English. The art style appears to have aged very well, and the combat looks just as good as ever. It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a Tales game, so I’m excited to jump back into Vesperia! Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition is set for a January 11th, 2019 release on all current generation consoles as well as PC.
1. Kingdom Hearts 3
This is a game that I was starting doubt would ever come out, until very recently. Before I talk about Kingdom Hearts 3 though, I need to talk about the struggle that Kingdom Hearts fans have lived through. Releasing in 2002, Kingdom Hearts was an action RPG featuring a very unique crossover of Disney and Final Fantasy properties. If you told me that I could play a game where I would square off against Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy 7 one minute, and Disney’s Hercules the next (in the same level no less), 10 year old me would have believed you because I was very dumb and naive. The experimental crossover spawned a sequel in Kingdom Hearts 2, and now Kingdom Hearts 3 is set to come out very soon. Easy, right? No, there’s so much more to Kingdom Hearts that it’s become one of the most confusing and convoluted video game franchises ever, with a multitude of spinoff titles that are still central to the plot of the entire series. That means that if you ignore the spinoffs, you’re missing out on a lot of important story information. Including the two current numbered titles, you have Kingdom Hearts 1, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts 2, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Kingdom Hearts: Coded, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep—A Fragmentary Passage, and some mobile games. Every new announcement of a Kingdom Hearts game had me excited that it was finally going to be Kingdom Hearts 3, but it was another important spinoff. I eventually came to love the awkward, convoluted nature of the Kingdom Hearts series, and I’m now super invested in the story and I can’t wait to see how it moves forward with Kingdom Hearts 3. Outside of the wacko story, Kingdom Hearts has always had fun, flashy combat, and this entry looks to dial that up to 11. If it wasn’t obvious already, Kingdom Hearts 3 is my most anticipated game of this year. Kingdom Hearts 3 is set to release on January 25th, 2019 on the Xbox One and PS4.