Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology (Feb. 13)
Radiant Historia was originally released in the west back in 2011, and Atlus is bringing it back to the 3DS this year with an enhanced remake. Set in a world called Vainqueur, Radiant Historia follows the story of Stocke, who finds himself with the power to alter timelines. It’s then up to him to use this power to try to prevent the destruction of the continent caused by two warring nations.
Perfect Chronology is the title of the 3DS remake, and it’ll bring about several quality of life improvements and updates to this RPG. There will be updates to the UI and combat system to make it appeal to a more modern audience. A new scenario has also been written for the game, so it’s still worth a look even if you’ve played the original.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 (Mar. 21)
After being burned by the disappointing Valkyria Revolutions, fans of this classic RPG series finally have a new game to look forward to. Valkyria Chronicles 4 was a bit of a surprise announcement last year, and it’s going back to the strategy gameplay we all know and love.
Valkyria Chronicles 4’s story will take place alongside the events of the first game, except we’ll be introduced to a new squad this time around. The story takes place on the continent of Europa, and players will be tasked with trying to put an end to the war once and for all.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Mar. 23)
The first Ni no Kuni game was a bit of a sleeper hit back when it released on the PS3 in 2010. We certainly didn’t think this gem of an RPG would get a follow-up, so its announcement was a surprise as well. After a bit of a delay, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will finally be released in March.
The game follows the story of a new protagonist named Evan, who’s been dethroned from his seat in the kingdom. He then sets out on a journey to try to reclaim his rightful place. While Studio Ghibli might not have anything to do with the game this time around, Revenant Kingdom’s art style is still gorgeous and evokes all those Ghibli vibes.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux (May 15)
Everyone knows Atlus for the Persona games, but it’s nice to see the developer give some love to their criminally underrated Shin Megami Tensei series. Strange Journey was released in the west back in 2010, and it follows the story of a task force investigating some strange (heh) happenings in Antarctica.
Strange Journey Redux is a re-release of this turn-based RPG, and it’ll be coming to the 3DS this May. Just as you’d expect from an SMT game, players will get to recruit demons, fuse them to create even more powerful demons, and negotiate with them when the opportunity presents itself. Redux will feature voice acting, new character illustrations, a new story route, along with a new ending. If you’re interested in seeing the roots of the Persona series, keep this RPG on your radar.
Dark Souls Remastered (May 25)
Dark Souls II got a beefy re-release on current gen consoles, so why not bring the original Dark Souls back as well? Out of all the Soulsborne games, Dark Souls is widely regarded as the best of the lot because of its insanely good level design. Starting off at Firelink Shrine and heading into the Undead Burg (which might be the best level From Software has ever created), you can catch glimpses of a certain large tree that rests its roots in Blighttown. Everything in Lordran is interconnected, from the Catacombs to Darkroot Garden. It’s absolutely amazing, and the world design of Dark Souls has never been replicated to the same degree of success in the sequels. Though Yharnam from Bloodborne could probably stand next to the Undead Burg.
Bandai Namco promises to update Dark Souls Remastered with better frame rate and resolution, though it doesn’t look like there will be any substantial changes made to the combat system, which is a shame. But at least it means newcomers will get to enjoy Dark Souls in its purest form.
Code Vein (TBD)
Code Vein is an action RPG being developed and published by Bandai Namco. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic world, the humans have resorted to consuming flesh to stay alive and be powerful enough to face off against the monsters that have taken over Earth.
The game features a rather pretty cel-shaded anime aesthetic, and it takes a lot of cues from the Souls titles on the gameplay front. It feels more like Bloodborne than Dark Souls because of the speed of the action, and it has other Souls-like elements such as bonfire-like checkpoints, losing your experience when you die twice, and a stamina-based combat system. There are other elements that help to mix up the formula as well, but if you’re looking for a challenging action RPG, this is a good one to look out for.
Dragon Quest XI (TBD)
Dragon Quest is one of Square Enix’s biggest RPG series, but it’s never really had much of an impact in the west. Hopefully, all of that will change with the release of Dragon Quest XI this year. There’s no release date (or even confirmed platforms just yet), but it’s exciting to see the series take another crack at winning the hearts of the western audience.
What’s interesting about Dragon Quest XI is the change in graphical styles between consoles. For instance, the 3DS version has a different graphical style to the PS4 version. The lower screen features 2D sprites, while the upper screen features 3D graphics. We still don’t know what the game will look like on Switch, but hopefully, we’ll get more news on this RPG soon.
Kingdom Hearts III (TBD)
Square Enix has promised that we’ll see Kingdom Hearts III in 2018, but we’re not convinced. Still, if they do make good on their promise, this could very well be the most hotly anticipated game of the year.
It’s been a decade since Kingdom Hearts II, and in all that time, we’ve witnessed the adventures of Aqua, Terra, and Ventus, and we’ve learned a lot more about Ansem and the Realm of Darkness. We know Sora and Riku are ready to gather the warriors of light to fight back against the darkness, and what he must do to rescue his friends. The stage is set for the final showdown against Ansem in Kingdom Hearts III, and we can’t wait to see all the other Disney worlds Sora will visit on his journey. Hello, Toy Story world.
Project Octopath Traveler (TBD)
Project Octopath Traveler is a pretty sweet-looking JRPG being developed by Square Enix. It invokes memories of the JRPGs of yore, back when we had charming 2D sprites instead of 3D models, and turn-based combat instead of real-time action. The game features eight different characters, all with their own unique stories and paths, and we get to play through all of them.
The gameplay also features elements we saw from the combat in Bravely Default, where a character can ‘store’ turns to unleash powerful attacks. The English voice acting can feel a little overacted, at least from what we saw in the demo, but the stories themselves are engaging. The art style looks timeless, and we can’t wait to see what the final release brings.
Fire Emblem (TBD)
The Fire Emblem series is hot right now, and Nintendo knows it. That’s exactly why they’ve promised a new mainline Fire Emblem game for the Switch in 2018. We don’t know any details about the game just yet, but we’re expecting to hear more about it in the coming months, or maybe during E3.
From what we’ve seen of the 3DS entries thus far, it should be a pretty safe bet to say that the new Fire Emblem game will likely feature support conversations and character marriages. The tactical combat system will make a return as well, along with the weapon triangle. Except this time, the game will look better than ever because of the added power of the Switch.