I’m a bit of a negative Nancy. I think that’s a given by this point. But let’s get some positivity out here! Yay, feel good discussions on video game topics! This is the first in a series of kind of positive opinion piece I’ll try to do regularly throughout 2016, just to balance my seemingly negative mood. It will likely become a column of regret and hypocrisy though, with me, dizzily wallowing in the mud pools of hype only to reach that point and realise that it’s not mud I have between my toes and a little in my mouth.
So to kick off this tour of positivity, let’s talk about 2016’s release schedule! While we would almost always take a delay as a negative, let’s turn that frown upside! Face-off! We have a great first half of 2016 to look forward to. And if you agree with gaming genius and all-round ace bloke, Miyamoto-san, then these games that have had more time for polish are likely going to be much better products than they would’ve been if they released late 2015.
With a first half consisting of Uncharted, Star Fox, Quantum Break and Hitman, we can thank the need for extra time on these over extravagant games requiring significantly more people working on them than any other point in gaming history. So bless these massively overproduced pieces of media for their ability to give jobs that will likely be lost when the game doesn’t sell 6 million units in 2 weeks. But at least it’s a growing and prosperous field with a lot of opportunities for artistic types so that’s radatouille.
With Nintendo having announced that a new piece of hardware was underway and the slow decline in the quality of games for Wii U and 3DS over 2015, their NX console will likely be making an appearance before the end of 2016. As Zelda Wii U was delayed to better realise some of the ideas that Nintendo is bringing to the game, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to suppose that it could be launch on both Wii U and NX, ala Twilight Princess on Gamecube and Wii. Regardless, since its announcement I’ve been waiting in great anticipation for the game. What would be nice though is more than 10 seconds of footage of it this year though.
A huge number of classic game series will be celebrating anniversaries too! Metroid and Zelda will have their 30th and Sonic with his 25th. The beloved Pokemon franchise is hitting 20 years old, with Pokemon Go and Pokken Tournament already announced for release and a promise of more to come. Heck, wouldn’t it be awful swell if Nintendo and Game Freak could organise a Pokemon game to launch alongside NX? That’s 13 million units sold overnight!
And with Uncharted 4 getting another delay to ensure that it’s not a bad game forever, it is now releasing a few weeks after what will undoubtly be a strong contestant for Family GOTY; Ratchet and Clank. Releasing early April, a few weeks before the movie starts showing in US cinemas, Ratchet and Clank will bring one of PlayStation’s most beloved franchises into next gen. Having played Ratchet and Clank: The Movie: The Game at EB Expo this year, I can tell you now that it was the best game on the floor. Heck, it was the only game I went back and played multiple times. It brings the smoother play of the Future series with the exciting weapon upgrading system which has been slowly getting more sophisticated over the years. With Insomniac’s A-Team helping to finish the project after the ho-hum reception of Sunset Overdrive, levels from the first game have been completely retooled on top of all the new mechanics. Ratchet and Clank PS4 may have a similar story to the first game, but it undoubtedly will be extremely different to the original game.
2016 is looking to be a big year for video games and every publisher is set to deliver some fantastic games! Except maybe Warner Bros. Because they went at 2015 pretty hard. Good for them.
So other than Ratchet and Clank, because that’s a given, what games are you stoked to be playing in 2016?