E3 Wish List

We're finally at the finish line.  The pre-show press conferences start tomorrow with Electronic Arts' showcase, and from there we get at least a show a day all the way into Tuesday, with more in-depth looks at revealed titles carrying us all the way into Thursday.   If you missed it, I've already done looks at EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Sony, and Nintendo.  The only thing left is my insane wish list.   Ready to gaze into the depths of a hopeless gamer's dreams?

1.) A Western AAA Fantasy RPG: If you can't tell, I'm pretty big on high fantasy settings.  But that article only told half the story--I love everything about high fantasy, right down to all the cliches people are always so eager to subvert in one fashion or another.  I love the mystical forests, the high-minded elves, and swords with ridiculous names and legends behind them.

With that being said, we haven't had a proper fantasy RPG since The Witcher 3 in 2015, and that was more medieval fantasy than the high fantasy-type I'm talking about here.  Last time we saw that was 2014's Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Dragon Age 4 is certainly in development, but it's so early days with that project I'd say we won't see it until 2019 at the earliest, and with a date like that there's definitely no chance it appears at E3.  And setting all that aside, isn't it sad that this generation has surrendered fantasy RPGs to just two franchises?  One of which having just issued its final game for the forseeable future?  C'mon.  We can do better than that.

But will we?  Honestly, I doubt it for this year.  AAA RPGs cost a lot of money to develop and so there's only a handful of developers that can even afford an undertaking this massive.  We'd know about it long before it got announced purely because you can't hide the job postings you'd have to put out to ramp up for the project.   I can't imagine what company could surprise us with a game of this nature in time for this E3.

2.) Another Transformers game: One of the things I've loved about the HD era is that there have been at least as many good Transformers games on these consoles as there have been bad ones.  The Transformers: Cybertron series was a duology that made up some of my favorite games from the PS360 era, while Transformers: Devastation was a surprisingly good beat 'em up that was actually ballsy enough to be a straight-up 80's version of the G1 Transformers.

Well it's been two years since then, and Devastation both sold decently and was received fairly well, so I'm hoping Hasbro got together with Activision and there's another title on its way. Admittedly, we're still a long way from what I really want: an open-world Transformers game set on Cybertron, either during the war or in the days leading up to it, exploring the Fall of the First Five Cities.

Now while my wish is likely never happening as long as the franchise is in the grip of Activision the King of the Cash Grabs, a Transformers game isn't an impossibility at all.  We didn't even know Devastation existed until a week or so before E3.

3.) A non-Batman DC Game:  I'm in the weeds a little bit with this one so follow me.  Batman has four games across the PS3/PS4 that explored who he was, his rogues, and his abilities.   I want to see something like that for another DC hero, and if I'm being honest I don't care who, particularly since it's going to be a Justice Leaguer because they've got to push the films. 

Superman.  Wonder Woman.  Flash.  Green Lantern.  Aquaman.  Any of those characters have worlds that would make fantastic games if the developer was allowed the time to build it up properly, and obviously all of them are franchise potential. 

Unfortunately from what we know there's no studio at Warner Bros. working on anything like this.  There were rumors of a Son of Batman title but those same rumors say it got rebooted.   Rocksteady has something non-Batman in the works but who's to say it's DC and not some entirely new IP?  Plus I'd bet on them being quiet for one more year before premiering whatever their new game is.   Chances on this request being met is probably about ten percent.

4.)  A release date for Spider-Man:  Spider-Man for PS4 was easily the highlight of last year's show for me, and I look forward to the game returning this year and hopefully getting a release date.  It was smart of them to show off all those titles last year without a release date, because with the way everything's been getting pushed back, I'm not sure why anyone gives a release date that's more than 8 months away anymore.

What I'm mostly sure of is that we do see Spider-Man here, but as for a date?  That's a little more iffy.  I feel like this title is either a first quarter release like Horizon and InFamous, or hitting in the fall of 2018 while God of War takes the Q1 spot that Sony's so used to putting games out in now.  Hopefully its the former, as I could care less about God of War 4 but I need this game in my veins like yesterday.

5.) An Obsidian AAA RPG:  This one's kinda weird, because I've never actually played an Obsidian title before.  I know they develop typically great titles that feature excellent writing, but I try very hard not to go back to old systems so as not to build up massive backlogs, and this gen they haven't really had the chance to develop a major console title.   There was that deal with Microsoft but since that fell through they've mostly been relying on Kickstarter and until very recently, Armored Warfare but that's fallen through as well.  And since Obsidian is actually a rather large-sized developer to not be attached to a publisher (around 200 people currently), there is reason to assume they've got to be working on something.

If it sounds crazy that I'm excited about a potential game from a developer whose games I've never experienced, just know I've actually done this three times this generation so far: with Sucker Punch's InFamous: Second Son, BioWare's Dragon Age: Inquisition, and CDProjectRED's The Witcher 3.  All three times I'd never played any of their prior games but either the look of their newest title or the reputation of the developer led to me being quite satisfied with their latest project, and I've got confidence the same thing will happen here.  That is, unless it's another Fallout or Fallout-like project... 

6.) Dragon's Dogma 2:  I thought the original Dragon's Dogma was needlessly desaturated with respect to its art design, but the game itself is regarded as something of an action RPG masterpiece for its incredibly deep combat and levels of customization for your main character.  Unfortunately, it sold far short of Capcom's planned ten million copies, because Capcom is a company that believes an untested new IP can outsell some of their most beloved series ever.   Also referred to in the common vernacular, as "idiots".

Still, between the release of Dragon's Dogma Online, Capcom being "extremely pleased" with the game's PC sales, and now re-releasing the title for current-gen consoles, it feels like Capcom has gone past "considering" a sequel and has made some headway into developing one. And wouldn't it be just perfect synergy if they announced this remaster just weeks before announcing the sequel at E3?

7.) Xenoblade 2:  One of the biggest surprises during the January Nintendo Switch reveal, Xenoblade 2's existence isn't the issue here so much as developer Monolith Software's ability to actually hit the lofty goal of releasing this game this year.  The internet odds currently place the game releasing in Japan in 2017 if Monolith is just that damn good, while the Western release date is sometime in 2018, and that's where I stand currently as well.  Still, there's that tiny glimmer of hope I'm holding onto that this title makes it in during the tail end of the year for Nintendo's December release.

8.) Fire Emblem Switch: Teased during February's Fire Emblem Direct, Fire Emblem Switch is a game confirmed to exist but we have absolutely zero information on it.  And if I'm being utterly realistic, I expect Nintendo to keep it that way until at least some time during the fall.  But then again, there's also a tiny chance that we see this game in tandem alongside Fire Emblem Warriors.  Nothing major--just possibly a name and a short clip of what the game's world will look like would be enough for me.   I just want to see what Fire Emblem can look like when it isn't forced onto a system with specs like the Nintendo 3DS.

9.) Tales of PS4/Switch: From the moment Bandai-Namco confirmed that there would be a Tales of game coming to the Switch, fans have speculated whether it would be a new title or not.  Most of us have assumed that if it were simply a Berseria port, BN could've just announced it then and there as it wouldn't exactly catch anyone off-guard. 

Still, I'm not so sure that this necessarily means we're getting a brand-new Tales just yet.  For one thing, Berseria just barely released a year ago so if this game exists it can't be that far into development.   For another, the next Tales was promised to be the first Tales game that wouldn't support the PS3.  Now even though the Switch isn't near the power level of the PS4, it's still leagues above the PS3 and so that's going to require more work to develop.  

As excited as I am, I have this feeling like Code Vein is going to be the major J-RPG we get from Bandai-Namco next year, while Tales of is pushed into 2019.   At best, I feel like this year we get a port of an older Tales--not a remake, unless BN takes advantage of it being Tales of Destiny's 20th anniversary to remake it a second time.  Admittedly, I wouldn't be against that at all as Destiny was one of my first PS1 titles and the first game I ever beat so the nostalgia there is strong. 

Either way, we'll know just a little before E3, as the Tales of Festival is coming up fairly soon on June 2nd through June 4th.  If we're going to see it, it would make an appearance there first unless Nintendo specifically talked them out of it for a bigger reveal at their Direct a week later.

10.) Pokemon Stars: Pokemon Stars is said to be a Switch-only, third version to the recently released Pokemon Sun & Moon for the 3DS.  With two separate sources confirming this game's existence, the only reason I'm not treating the game as a foregone conclusion is that there really should have been a Direct on it by now.   But then again, with Nintendo far more confident about their sales outlook it seems like they're much more interested in holding us to their own pace and making us look at games that are coming soon rather than months or years down the road.   So perhaps their E3 Direct is where they'll reveal it for the first time?

I will say that up until a few weeks ago I would've placed the possibility of its existence at about 45-50 percent, but now that Mario Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a thing I'm leaning more towards  sixty-five percent.  Nintendo has a very leaky ship right now and with so many people leaking information about the same thing, it feels like very unlikely they're all wrong about a thing that's really a no-brainer in the first place.  If it is real, I'm guessing an October or November release with Mario Odyssey filling whichever month this doesn't.

Things I Won't See, But Would Like To:

(These are things that are either confirmed not to be there, or are such long shots I've got zero faith in them.)

1.) The Avengers Project: Square-Enix talking about this game at all was freaking weird, since I bet the ink was barely dry on their contracts.   At this point I just assume S-E just announces projects as soon as they're greenlit just so no one can "leak" them.   At any rate, a universe around the Avengers is a dream project for me, but as much as I'm looking forward to this, when a company says "We'll talk about this more next year" they 99.9 percent of the time mean it.   Looking for this at E3 is just saying "I want to be disappointed."

2.) Lost Star: A random rumor that surfaced about three months ago from little-known site GBAtemp, Lost Star basically sounded like what would happen if Capcom did their own version of Mass Effect, or more accurately, Farscape.   Featuring multiple planets and alien species as you "explored the edges of colonized space", this is basically a dream game for a person as in love with space opera-ish games as I am. 

Unfortunately, the fact that literally nobody tried to corroborate this rumor and the fact that we never got any follow-ups to this title's existence makes me believe that if this game was a thing?  Its either so far in the future that we're not seeing it here, or they stopped it during pre-production.  But if it made an appearance at E3...I'd probably just say whoever got it "won" no matter how crappy the rest of their show was. 

3.) Starfield: The supposed open-world space game by Bethesda Softworks. I put this in my Bethesda predictions but honestly the more I think on it the more I realize unless this game is coming out this year, Bethesda probably doesn't want to talk about it.   And since Fallout 4 just finished all of..a year and a half ago, unless this thing was in heavy development back then, there's little to no chance this title comes out this year.   The only chance this game has is if it's coming out before next E3, at which point they might just let it slide since their conference is the best place to show it off.

4.) Cyberpunk 2077:  If this game feels delayed to you, you should probably know that the only reason CDPR even released that first "trailer" was for recruiting purposes.  If everyone wasn't so nosy we probably officially would've never known about it.   Since then, they've actually been quiet about it from a marketing standpoint and thus the "official" reveal has yet to really happen.  What I do know is, CDPR promised 2016 to be the year of The Witcher: Blood and Wine, while 2017 is supposedly all about Gwent.   So that would put Cyberpunk 2077 into 2018 at the earliest, and if the game has the standard 18 month hype cycle, that's actually about right for it.   I don't think CDPR will even mention this game at E3 this year unless someone asks them first.

5.) Final Fantasy XVI: There were rumors a couple weeks back about some job openings for Square-Enix where the people hired would be working on a numbered game in a "super popular" series for S-E.  Since Square's got only two of those, everyone just assumed it was Final Fantasy XVI because they forgot Final Fantasy VII-Remake was a thing.  Still, if Final Fantasy XVI is a thing, I could totally see them showing it off here at E3.  Like I said about the Avengers project, S-E loves talking about a project pretty much as soon as they can slap a trailer together.   So even though it'd probably cause blood to shoot out a few fans ears, I'd place the chances of seeing this game (if it exists) if not at E3 then sometime during the year...at about 40 percent.

And there we have it.  My personal wish list of games, roughly three of which I actually have any confidence in seeing at E3 or otherwise this year.   I'd do a whole spiel about "woe is me" but even I've been swamped in titles this year, so its hard to complain when I haven't even worked my way through the titles that came out during Q1.  

Is there a game you're hoping to see at the conference?  Let me know about it in the comments.


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