Looking Forward to the Games of 2018

pile of video games

Every year, there is a slew of new games that come out of every size and genre.  While I don’t often buy new games fresh off of the shelf, I try to reserve a bit of my entertainment stash to stoke my gaming fires with some current releases.  Given, I’ve run into a few flops in my anticipatory planning for years past, but I’m usually pleased with what I’ve plotted to add to my ever-growing video game library.

It’s no surprise that I’m looking forward to this month’s release of Secret of Mana, as I’ve discussed recently.  There are plenty of other titles that are calling to me across all platforms, but picking through those, I’ve come across a few that I’m especially excited for in a number of ways.

Feel free to kick back, check out some trailers, and check out some of my most promising titles to come into my gaming cases that are releasing this year!

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Seiken Densetsu and the Potential Move West

Secret of Mana Remake Official

There’s been some buzz lately regarding the remake of Secret of Mana coming to the Playstation 4, Playstation Vita and Steam.  Hitting shelves on February 15th- which I feel like will be the longest two and a half weeks of my life- the game is the second in the Seiken Densetsu series to receive the HD remake treatment.  The first, Adventures of Mana, was an update of the originator of the series which was released in the US as Final Fantasy Adventure.  Adventures was well-received for the most part, so it’s no surprise to see Secret of Mana given the same treatment considering that it has already seen some re-releases on mobile devices and the Wii Virtual Console.

Fans of the Seiken Densetsu series have had a few questions regarding how the property is being handled, however, both of which have been alluded to in articles popping up over the past day or two.

The first- and frankly most egregious- is why the Switch has been overlooked for the HD remake of Secret of Mana.  Seeing as how the game has been a Nintendo mainstay in a number of fashions, most recently on the Super Nintendo Mini that released last year, it was a strange choice not to choose the Switch as a launch platform for the game.

The second issue has to do with the Seiken Densetsu Collection that released in Japan back in June of 2017.  I watched a trailer with dubious optimism as it played through previews of Final Fantasy AdventureSecret of Mana, and the as-of-yet released in the United States title, Seiken Densetsu 3.  While a fan translation has been available for some time for the third entry of the series, there has been no motion to localize the game for audiences in our hemisphere.  Given the popularity of the original two entries, it left fans scratching their heads as to why Square Enix wouldn’t work toward releasing the trilogy here, as well.

Addressing both of these issues, the company has now said that they have heard the voices of their fans and that they are considering both options, though nothing is being planned at the moment.  Given the recent practices of Square, I’d place a fairly large wager that the remake of Secret of Mana will make its way to the Switch.  It would be tough to justify not doing so, especially given the number of ports the system is already receiving.

I’m a little less hopeful for the Seiken Densetsu Collection unfortunately.  I’m not sure Square Enix is interested in making an entire translation for the third entry of the series and with Secret of Mana releasing shortly, they may already be satisfied with whatever the result is of this endeavor.  There may be a possibility of another remake, though that’s complete speculation on my part.

If you’d like to read the original article I’ve referenced, it’s short but it’s right here at RPGSite.com.

If you’d like a look at Secret of Mana before it’s HD release on February 15th, I’ve also reviewed it here.

Do you have any thoughts or predictions regarding the upcoming release or any future the Mana series may have in the future?  Let me know in the comments!

You’ve Never Seen Nothing Like It – Super Nintendo – Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen – 1993

Ogre Battle - The March of the Black Queen007

Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen
Super Nintendo
Enix America
Genre: Real Time Strategy RPG
1993

Let’s face facts: if you were an RPG fan, the Super Nintendo was the place to be in the early nineties.  Nearly every role-playing game that I can think of that I have fond memories of came from 1993 and the years surrounding it.  While Squaresoft was pumping out games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI at the time, there were other companies staking land in other corners of the RPG marketplace, including their soon to be partners, Enix.

Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen is a game that falls into the ‘classic’ stable of games from the Super Nintendo era, as well.  While the gameplay itself might make some people shake their heads, most gamers who grew up with the system know of Ogre Battle, even if by extension of some of the later entries in the series.  I’ve found, though, that when asking people about this game, if they have played it, the opinions vary consistently.

With that said, here’s my take on the first entry to the series.

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Walking Well-Trodden Ground -Super Nintendo – Soul Blazer – 1992

Soul Blazer000

SOUL BLAZER
Super Nintendo
Enix
1992
Genre: Action RPG

In 1992, before the years of SquareEnix, we all pretty much know what Squaresoft was doing with its time. Between Final Fantasy games, Chrono Trigger, and all of the other titles they managed to squeeze out, they pretty much dominated the RPG gaming sphere. Enix, however, did not slouch in those times, either, but you may be hard pressed to remember some of their properties from the time, as games like Actraiser and Paladin’s Quest were readily accessible on gaming shelves, but neither of them really reached the heights or longevity of Dragon Quest/Warrior.

When they teamed up to develop a series of games for Super Nintendo with developer Quintet, however, they managed to strike some now-nostalgic gold with the two that made it stateside, Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia. Growing up, I had played Illusion of Gaia and really enjoyed it, but Soul Blazer didn’t cross my radar until years later, what with me not realizing it was the predecessor to Gaia. According to sources, it also appears to be related to Actraiser, which isn’t too hard to connect the dots with.

So why did it fall into the obscurity that the other games around it seem to at least have a step up on?

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A Solid B- in Theology – Super Nintendo – Actraiser – 1991

Actraiser
1991
Enix
Genre: Platformer/Simulation

Ah, Enix.  Before they merged with the super power that was Squaresoft, they had a large library of games that they released.  Most people know these games, but unless you were a super fan of the company, you might not have realized you were playing their games.  One popular game that seemed to drop off of the Earth’s face once the Super Nintendo was obsolete was a now classic called Actraiser.  The game tried a lot of new ideas to the North American gaming market.  How many of them succeeded, though, and how many hold up now?

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