2015 Most Wanted (Post-E3 Edition)

(5) Super Mario Maker (WiiU): the first “endless” Mario platform game, and thankfully it’s not an “endless runner” game – although you probably will be able to create your own “endless runner game” in this game. Indeed, Super Mario Maker, is the big N’s answer to the success of Microsoft’s Minecraft and Sony’s Little Big Planet series. You’ll be able to create your own Mario themed levels and share them with the entire world – or at least share them with those 10 million people in the world that own a WiiU. Not much of a creator yourself, and not in the mood to play random people’s crappy levels? There are also about 100 official levels created by Nintendo, making it one of the most content rich 2D Mario games to date, included in the package. Best thing about Super Mario Maker? It’s releasing the day after tomorrow!

European release date: September 11th

Super Mario Maker

(4) Persona 5 (PS3/PS4): what was one of the most niche Japanese RPG series has now become… Well, the Persona series, is still quite niche to be honest, but it has been attracting a wider audience these last few years with the releases of Persona 3 Portable on PlayStation Portable and Persona 4 Golden on PlayStation Go.. I mean.. VITA. Like its predecessors, Persona 5  will be part dating sim (okay, it’s not exactlya dating sim, but “social link game” doesn’t sound right either), part turn-based RPG. More precisely, you’ll once again play as a Japanese high school student that goes to school, makes friends, lives a normal life on regular days, but whom is also able to link with weird looking creatures (called persona) for battles in some sort of altered dimension. Still wondering why the series is somewhat niche? If you do, Persona 5, will be right up your alley!

European release date: 2015

Persona 5

(3) Rise of the Tomb Raider (X360/XONE): 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot was a big success, both critically (what cannot be said about the novelized sequel) and financially (although publisher Square-Enix wasn’t that happy with the initial sales). It was an epic action adventure game staring Lara Croft (whom, of course, needs no introduction) with high production values and a more than decent story – from the hand of Rhianna Pratchett. Rise of the Tomb Raider promises to be more of the same… More of the same, but covered in snow, that is. And, honestly, who wouldn’t want to see that? Winter is coming… a bit early this year, since the game is said to release in November already.

European release date: November 13th
Rise of the Tomb Raider

(2) Fallout 4 (PC/PS4/XONE): Fallout 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s an isometric action RPG. Fallout 3 was quite a different game (a first person shooter/RPG), but was still one of the best games on the previous generation of consoles. Fallout 4 look a lot like Fallout 3 (it’s also a first person shooter/RPG), which is not a bad thing necessarily – otherwise it wouldn’t be ranked number 2 on this list. You’ll once again play as a person (you’ll get to choose between a man and a woman, like you could in Fallout 2!) that spent the most of their life sheltered in a vault because of the fallout (hence the title, duh) created by the nuclear war that destroyed the world, but whom now needs to leave said vault for some or other reason. After having explored the wastelands of Washington and New Vegas, this time we’ll get to explore the wastes of Boston. I’ll send you a postcard to tell you about my trip!

European release date: November 10th

Fallout 4

(1) Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU): Xenoblade Chronicles X is the only game to survive the previous Most Wanted list (two games on the previous list were moved to 2016, two others have already been released) and, yes, it’s still the game releasing this year which I’m looking forward to the most. Here’s what I wrote previously:

First there was Final Fantasy VII for the original Playstation. Then there was Fallout 3 for the Playstation 3. On the third day God gave us Xenoblade Chronicles for the Nintendo Wii, and he saw that it was good. More than good actually. It was amazing. The first Xenoblade Chronicles is not only regarded to be one of the best Japanese roleplaying games of the previous generation of consoles. It is also my favorite game of all time. Expectations for its HD follow-up are… high, to say the least. The new game will boast an even larger over world with even bigger monsters to fight, will give us the chance to cross said world in mech-suits, and generally promises to be the biggest sci-fi opera/fantasy RPG to date. Plus, the trailer that revealed that Monolith Soft’s mysterious game (X) was actually Xenoblade Chronicles X, alsorevealed the Nopon race to be in this game as well. Meaning we’ll probably get to be called the ‘heropon’ once more. Cannot wait to spend a 100+ hours on this game!

What I wrote then (mostly) still holds up today. Expectations may be a bit less high, because of some mixed reactions about the online features in the game coming from Japan (where the game has already been released), but they’re still high. Still cannot wait to spend 100+ hours on this game!

European release date: December 4th

Xenoblade Chronicles X

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The future of Nintendo: what’s to come after Spring 2016 (8)

In this series of articles I look at what Nintendo will most likely deliver after Spring 2016. Of course I do not have a crystal ball, so what I will be presenting here are just some educated guesses about what Nintendo’s (affiliated) studios are most likely to be working on right now.

Next up: the last of Nintendo’s other known partners (Koei Tecmo, Level 5, Noise, Sega, Sora Ltd., skip, Square Enix, Vanpool)


KOEI TECMO

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Koei Tecmo Samurai Warriors: Chronicles 3 June 2015 Fatal Frame series

(Samurai) Warriors series

Ninja Gaiden series

Dead or Alive series

Fist of the North Star series

Rygar series

Hyrule Warriors

Pokémon Conquest

Metroid: Other M

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3

What are they working on?

Koei Tecmo and Nintendo have had a very good working relationship ever since Nintendo became co-owner of the Fatal Frame series (Project Zero series in Europe). While Koei Tecmo owns the franchise, Nintendo co-owns the rights to every installment in the series that appeared and will appear after Project Zero 3. The fifth game in the series (Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water) will release in the Fall. A new Fatal Frame game will undoubtedly be developed, but will not be coming to current gen Nintendo consoles.

Koei Tecmo’s Omega Force (in charge of the Warriors series) developed a cross over between the Warriors series and The Legend of Zelda series, named: Hyrule Warriors. They are currently porting an updated version of the game to Nintendo 3DS, which will be called Hyrule Warrios Legends. Because of the first game’s success, and Omega Force’s track record of developing sequels for and developing updated versions of their successful Warriors games, it won’t take long before we see Hyrule Warriors 2. The game may even still come to WiiU, though with Legend releasing next year on 3DS, it all depends on whether WiiU is still relevant in 2017.

Nintendo also helped Team Ninja in bringing Ninja Gaiden to Nintendo WiiU. Since that game didn’t do as well as hoped for, we may not be seeing the series anytime soon on a Nintendo platform again – although there have been rumors of a Ninja Gaiden 3DS game being in the works for years.

Other notable games Koei Tecmo developed for Nintendo are Pokémon Conquest (a spin-off of the Nobunaga’s Ambition series) and Metroid: Other M (together with SPD 1). While chances of Koei Tecmo’s Team Ninja working on another Metroid game are almost inexistent, it isn’t impossible that a new Pokémon Conquest game is in the works for Nintendo 3DS.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water will release on WiiU this Fall. We may still get another Koei Tecmo game on WiiU in 2016, most likely that would be a game in the Warriors series.

LEVEL-5

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Level 5 Inazuma Eleven GO 2: Chrono Stone March 2015 Professor Layton series

Yo-kai Watch series

Dragon Quest series

Little Battlers eXperience series

Inazuma Eleven series

Guild series

Fantasy Life

Little Battlers eXperience

Inazuma Eleven Wildfire

What are they working on?

Although Level-5 started out as a company with a very tight relationship with Sony and the PlayStation brand, they have been diversifying their output and have been releasing different titles for Nintendo systems ever since the success of the Professor Layton series on Nintendo DS. What more: Nowadays Level-5 is mostly known for its fantastically successful series on the Nintendo 3DS, including Inazuma Eleven and Yo-kai Watch, though some of their focus has shifted away to smartphones.

Though none of the series Level-5 works on are owned by Nintendo, Nintendo does publish most of their in the West. The latest game they published (in Europe only) was Inazuma Eleven GO 2: Chrono Stone. The series remains popular in Europe, so it is likely that Inazuma Eleven GO 3 (which is already released in Japan) will release next year in Europe. First we’ll be getting Little Battlers eXperience in September though.

Nintendo (1-UP Studio) also assisted Level-5 in the development of Fantasy Life. Fantasy Life 2 has been announced, but it will be released on smartphones, and from the looks of it, we should not want it to come to Nintendo platforms.

Level-5’s biggest franchises are without a doubt Yo-kai Watch and Professor Layton. The first Yo-kai Watch game will release in Europe in 2016, while Japan will still get Yo-kai Watch Busters and Yo-kai Watch 3 this year. If the first game in the series becomes a success in the West we may still get Yo-Kai Watch 2, Yo-kai Watch 3 and Yo-kai Watch Busters as well. Layton 7 will also release in Japan this Summer. It may come West, but not necessarily. Just Dance x Yo-kai Watch is in the works for WiiU, but chances that we will be seeing it in the West are slim. Maybe Ubisoft and Level-5 are keeping an eye on how well Persona 4: Dancing All Night will be received in the West, and may release it over here if that game turns our to be succesful? Wishful thinking.

Level-5 is also rumored to be working on Dragon Quest XI. Most likely this game is in development for PlayStation 4, but who knows, maybe it will come to Nintendo WiiU as well (UPDATE: the game has been confirmed for PS4 and is also coming to Nintendo 3DS. Square Enix is looking at bringing it to Nintendo NX as well).

What does this mean for WiiU?

Unless Dragon Quest XI also comes to WiiU, or Just Dance x Yo-kai Watch comes to the West, we won’t see Level-5 release a game for WiiU.

NOISE

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Noise Go Go Cosmo Cops!

Gyrozetter: Wings of the Albatross (JP)

August 2009 Custom Robo series (?) New Custom Robo

Go Go Cosmo Cops

What are they working on?

It is not known what Noise is currently working on. They are a small team of developers (21 people) who are focused on creating Nintendo handheld and smartphone games. Their last game to be released outside of Japan was Go Go Cosmo Cops! for Nintendo DS in 2009. It was published by Bandai Namco. They also developed a Gyrozetter game for Square Enix. This game was published exclusively in Japan in 2013. It was not a commercial success and will not be released in the West.

They developed five games in the Custom Robo series for Nintendo. A new Custom Robo game may be in the works, although the franchise hasn’t proven to be too popular. It would most probably be made for a Nintendo handheld console. Maybe Nintendo is keeping an eye on how Level-5’s Little Battlers eXperience will do in the West, before making a decision in the respect?

What does this mean for WiiU?

Noise will not release a game for Nintendo WiiU.

SEGA

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Sega 3D Streets of Rage 2 May 2015 Sonic series

Sega All-Stars series

Sega 3D Classics series

Hatsune Miku series

Yakuza series

F-Zero GX

The Cave

Hatsune Miku – Project Mirai DX

3d streets of rage 2

What are they working on?

After they stepped out of the console business, one time rival SEGA seems to have found a new home for its famous Blue Hedgehog on Nintendo consoles. Although not all Sonic games are exclusive to Nintendo platforms, he has had quite a few outings on Nintendo’s current generation of consoles to say the least. Indeed, at one point Nintendo even made a contract with Sega stating that no less than three or four Sonic games would come exclusively to Nintendo WiiU. With Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games arriving Spring/Summer 2016 (a sports game which does not only have Sonic characters in its roster, but also famous characters from the Mushroom Kingdom) that contract will have been fulfilled. It will most likely be the fifth and final game staring Sonic (made by Sega) on Nintendo WiiU: the other four games are: Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing transformed (the only non-exclusive game), Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter, Sonic Lost World and Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.

A version of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games will also be released on Nintendo 3DS around Spring/Summer 2016. Before that, however, we will still see at least two other Sega retail titles coming to the platform: Hatsune Miku – Project Mirai DX in September and Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice in December.

Sega also releases some of their classics remastered in 3D for Nintendo 3DS in the e-shop on a regular basis. It is not known which game will be next in the series (recently we have seen the release of 3D Thunder Blade, 3D Out Run and 3D Streets of Rage 2), but it may actually still arrive before Hatsune Miku – Project Mirai DX releases.

While HD remakes of Yakuza 1 and 2 for Nintendo WiiU have been released in Japan, it is unlikely that they will be released in the West. Also, though it was rumored to be in the works, chances of another Yakuza game on WiiU are slim.

May we still see another F-Zero game developed by Sega? The studio that developed F-Zero GX under the auspices of Sega, Amusement Vision, has been defunct since 2004, so it is not very likely that the franchise would still be handled by Sega. And although Sega has its own successful race series, most of the games in these series have been developed by independent developers (e.g. Sumo Digital).

What does this mean for WiiU?

While we will still see plenty of Sega’s games on Nintendo 3DS, their retail support for WiiU will probably end after the release of Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. A port of the Game Freak developed digital only title Tembo the Badass Elephant may still stomp its way over to WiiU.

SORA LTD.

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Sora Ltd. Super Smash Bros for WiiU November 2014 Super Smash Bros series

Kid Icarus: Uprising

Meteos

(?) Super Smash Bros

 Super Smash Bros WiiU

What are they working on?

Sora Ltd. Is the independent company founded by Smash Bros and Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai. The company has close working relationships with Nintendo and Bandai Namco, with which they produced the latest titles in the Super Smash Bros series (for 3DS/for WiiU).

Sora Ltd. is currently working on DLC for both Smash Bros titles. Its future after the release of these DLC packs is uncertain. They may start working on the new Smash Bros, but Sakurai has indicated that he may want to work on smaller titles, if he doesn’t outright retire… or become Nintendo’s new CEO (unlikely, but still…)/

What does this mean for WiiU?

Sora Ltd. will keep supporting Super Smash Bros for WiiU with more upcoming DLC. After they have finished working on DLC, they will not release any more content for Nintendo WiiU.

SKIP LTD.

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
skip Ltd. Chibi-Robo! Let’s Go, Photo! July 2014 Chibi-Robo! Series

Art style series

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash

Chibi-Robo Let's Go, Photo

What are they working on?

skip Ltd. is mostly known for its work on the Chibi-Robo! series. The newest game in the series will release this October for Nintendo 3DS. Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash is, however, quite different from its predecessors. It is a 2.5D platform game. It is unlikely we will see another game from them on the current generation of Nintendo consoles.

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

It is unlikely that we will see Chibi-Robo make an appearance on Nintendo WiiU. But who knows? Maybe we’ll see the little robot do his little thing on WiiU in 2016. Don’t get your hopes up, though.

SQUARE ENIX

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Square Enix Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call September 2014 Bravely Default series

Final Fantasy (Crystal Chronicles) series

Dragon Quest (Monsters) series

Kingdom Hearts series

Theatrhythm series

Mario Sports Mix

Mario Slam Basketball

Boom Street

Super Mario RPG

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Heroes of Ruin

Bravely Second End Layer

Theathrythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call

What are they working on?

While Square Enix and Nintendo cooperated very actively during the previous generation of consoles (for Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii), with Square Enix developing several titles for the big N (Mario sports games and Boom/Fortune Street) and Nintendo publishing in the West and cooperating in the development of several Square Enix titles (mostly Dragon Quest games), the cooperation between the two Japanese giants does not seem to be as active as it used to be – though with the rumors of Dragon Quest X and XI being considered for NIntendo NX this may change once again in the future.

For one, none of Square Enix’ legacy titles have made it to Nintendo’s Virtual Consoles in Europe and the U.S. (they are available in Japan though) and secondly, apart from publishing the first Bravely Default game, Nintendo hasn’t published another Square Enix title in the West so far. The second game in the series, Bravely Second End Layer, will be published by Square Enix itself and will release on Nintendo 3DS in 2016. Although it has been (somewhat) confirmed that the Dragon Quest VII and Dragon Quest VIII will be published in the West, it is not sure whether it will be Nintendo or Square Enix themselves doing the publishing.

While many Square Enix titles are coming to the current generation of home consoles, none of these titles have been confirmed to be coming to WiiU. The only current generation game that has been announced to also be coming at least one Nintendo platform, is Dragon Quest XI, but it has been confirmed for 3DS, not WiiU. The previous Dragon Quest title (Dragon Quest X) was released on Nintendo WiiU in Japan, but it is unlikely that that game will ever be released in the West on WiiU; because it is a MMORPG and because Square Enix somewhat confirming that the game may be coming to Nintendo NX in the future.

One final straw, Tantalus Media, who ported Deus Ex Revolution to Nintendo WiiU have said to be porting another big name game to Nintendo WiiU. They have also stated that this is not a mature game. So, looking at the companies they have been working with and looking at the non-mature games (that will be releasing) on PS4 and XOne, chances are that they are porting another Square Enix game to WiiU. What game may that be? Because a noticeable portion of the active Kingdom Hearts fan base owns Nintendo consoles, could it be that Kingdom Hearts III will also come to Nintendo WiiU? Wishful thinking, I know. But then again, the Kingdom Hearts series is all about wishing and dreaming.

On the other hand, because we haven’t heard from Tantalus in a while now, and because NX may be coming sooner than thought and Kingdom Hearts III later than hoped, chances are that they are no longer porting this (or any other Square Enix) title to WiiU, but to NX. Or is it that Tantalus is working together with another top Notch developer, and is bringing Minecraft to Nintendo WiiU?

 

What does this mean for WiiU?

Square Enix hasn’t been very actively producing content for Nintendo systems this generation. It may be that we will not see another of their titles on Nintendo WiiU.

VANPOOL

Developer Latest game Release date Other games and projects Next game
Vanpool Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger April 2013 Dillon’s Roling Western series

Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland

Wii Play Motion

Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

(?) New Dillon’s Rolling Western

DillonsRollingWestern2

What are they working on?

With their last game released beginning of 2013, Vanpool should be almost ready to announce what they have been working on the last two years. Will we see a new Dillon’s Rolling Western? On Nintendo WiiU? On Nintendo 3DS?

They have also worked on Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland, and another Tingle game that was only released in Japan. A new Tingle game does not seem very likely at the moment, with all of the other The Legend of Zelda spin-offs releasing in the near future (or having been released recently).

Vanpool has also developed some mini-games for other games on Nintendo systems.

What does this mean for WiiU?

Unless the game Vanpool has been working on these last two years turns out to be a new Dillon’s Rolling Western for Nintendo WiiU, we will not see  any of their games on Nintendo’s current gen. home console.