2020 will bring us a new generation of consoles with the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, but that’s happening towards the end of the year which gives us plenty of time to enjoy other games throughout the year. From the Final Fantasy VII Remake (due out on April 10th, 2020) to lesser known games that may not be on your radar, I look forward to sharing 5 games that I’m looking forward to playing this year.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
April 10th, Playstation 4
Are you ready to visit Midgar once again? I was ecstatic when I found out they were remaking Final Fantasy VII. A re-imagining of this classic Role-Playing game is something that’s been rumored for years, so knowing that we’re just a little ways off from its release seems to good to be true. Square-Enix revealed they would be developing this in an episodic format, meaning it will take us many years before we can complete this journey in high-definition. Understandably, many people are skeptical as to how this will work but based on the gameplay we’ve managed to see I think we should give Square the benefit of the doubt.
In order to ease some of our concerns, the company revealed this wouldn’t just be a fresh coat of paint for a classic game, they will instead focus on expanding the story, giving lesser featured characters a chance to shine. Adding to the changes are a different combat mechanic which transitions away from the traditional turn-based system. Personally, I’m in the mindset where I welcome this change as I don’t want the same experience I had as a child. The new system will focused on increasing the pace of the action, although they’ve revealed to have an alternate option that will be familiar to long-time fans.
A new combat system alongside new story options means I can relive what I valued so much as a child, while also experiencing new things that I may love. I plan on streaming multiple sessions of the Final Fantasy VII Remake upon its release, so if you’d like to join me in some live sessions you can subscribe to my Youtube streaming channel or follow me on Mixer so we can talk about this game.
Streets of Rage 4
Estimated 2020 release. Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC
Did you think there would ever be a new Streets of Rage game? I know I didn’t. I think it’s impossible to talk about the beat ’em up genre without bringing up this iconic series. The first game made its debut in 1991, but it didn’t have quite the cultural impact as the sequel did just one year later. From the satisfying gameplay to a killer soundtrack, these are the type of games that you must-play with friends.
Streets of Rage 4 seems to be a perfect storm that could lead to a new game that not only pays tribute to the 90’s classics on the SEGA Genesis / Mega Drive, it could be a great game with or without its nostalgic roots. The original composer signed-up for this project which means we can expect to jam out to its soundtrack on Spotify (hopefully) as I have no doubt it will live up to expectations. We’ve seen that familiar characters such as Axel and Blaze will make their triumphant return and will be joined by new faces such as Floyr Iaria, who was recently introduced and reminds me of Jax from the Mortal Kombat games.
The development team has revealed tweaks to the gameplay that could increase repeatability such as a combo system where you can send your enemies flying to the air and juggle them back-and-forth between your teammates. This seems similar to what we see in fighting games such as Marvel vs Capcom, so I’m curious to see how this will increase our enjoyment of the new game. Two other confirmed features are 4 player local co-op and 2 player online-play. Understandably, there are gamers that have been disappointed at only two people being able to team-up online, but this could be a way to prevent serious latency or lag that could ruin our experience. This game has been confirmed to be made available through Xbox Game Pass after it’s been released, so there’s a good chance that will be the version I play.
Estimated 2020 release. Xbox One and PC
What happened in this apartment? I don’t know but we’ll have 12 minutes to find out. The Final Fantasy VII Remake and Streets of Rage 4 are games that don’t need an introduction and even the most casual games will recognize their names, but it’s important to recognize there are other titles like 12 Minutes that should be on our radar. Its initial trailer revealed we’ll play as a husband inside this apartment and we’ll be replaying one scenario multiple times to understand the events that transpired.
12 Minutes doesn’t seem to follow a traditional game format that’s why I want to play it. I have a good idea of what I can expect from the Final Fantasy VII Remake, but this? I have no clue, but I am intrigued. This would be a great game to talk about with friends as we find out what happened and the possible differences in our playthroughs. It may not be for everybody, but those that love narrative-based games should add this one to their wishlist.
The main feature that caught my eye is the top-down camera perspective we’ve seen in videos and screenshots. I’m unsure if this will be the only way to experience the story, but I like the concept that you can see the entire room which may make it easier to find clues that could solve whichever event took place.
Estimated 2020 release. Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, PC
I was big into playing games like Diablo II during the mid 2000’s, as I enjoyed Hack ‘n Slash and Action RPG games that could be played either solo or with friends. Minecraft Dungeons is focusing on delivering a streamlined approach to this type of game. Whereas Diablo-like games traditionally have classes tied to specific weapons or spells, Dungeons will allow you to pick-up weapons and equipment without this limitation. This is smart as it can appeal to both passionate Minecraft fans and others that don’t usually care about this pop-culture phenomenon but are looking for a fun cooperative experience with friends.
Minecraft Dungeons will allow us to play with up to three (3) friends, and will be included on Xbox Game Pass upon its launch, which means you could play it immediately with friends that are subscribed to the service.
I fell off from Minecraft years ago, but I think there’s potential to a game that takes that art style and takes it to a different genre. Minecraft: Story Mode showed fans what it’s like to focus on the narrative parts of this world, now Dungeons can show us an option that’s lighter on story but deeper in action.
Estimated 2020 release. Nintendo Switch and PC
I would have loved to be present at the pitch meeting for this game. A video game where you date your weapons in order to upgrade them seems like an April Fool’s joke, but it’s very real and was successfully funded through Kickstarter.
I had a chance to play an early version of this game at PAX two (2) years ago and reaffirmed my interest for the final version. Boyfriend Dungeon combines two game genres that shouldn’t work together, but do: Hack ‘n Slack and Dating Sims. You’ll explore and battle your way through dungeons, but will also spend time getting to know your weapons and hopefully getting lucky with them. I write this only partially joking as I don’t know how far these dates can go. The real question is: Do I want to know? I think I’ll wait for the full game to get my answer.
Video games are meant to be fun, and I think regardless of how a date turns out we’ll share many laughs at the outrageous scenarios we’ll encounter with our weapons. That being said, I hope the game’s dialogue options are witty and funny as I assume we may spend more time engaging in conversations rather than battling enemies. Boyfriend Dungeon has the potential to remind us that it’s okay to think outside the box and that blending genres can bring us new experiences we never thought would be possible.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that I was able to shed a light on some games that may not have been on your radar. Hungry for more games to play this year? I produced a video where I talk about these 5 games, in addition to 5 games from 2019 and back that I’m looking forward to playing this year. Consider subscribing to the Youtube channel as I publish a new video every Sunday.