With Octopath Traveler I think Square Enix has a potential system-seller on their hands. It’s an old-school RPG coming out for the Nintendo Switch next year, but it uses the Unreal 4 engine to make everything fancier looking. It’s the most intriguing game coming out for the Switch in my opinion, because it demonstrates the hybrid console/handheld mentality that I hoped to see more of. The Switch is in a perfect position to deliver a tidal wave of SNES/PS1/DS reminiscent games that work on either the big screen or the little one, combining 3D graphics and pixels for a blast of nostalgia that doesn’t feel dated.
Thanks to the big promotional efforts of Nintendo there are now a ton of gameplay video about Mario Odyssey. For the most part fans of 3D platforming Mario titles are ecstatic about it. Nintendo is pushing the story that Mario Odyssey is a direct successor to the Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine titles, which translates into open world exploration, discovered challenges, and a sense of freedom. But there are troubling signs that this game will fail to capture what people have really wanted and end up in a designer’s no-man’s land.
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is not just one of my favorite game of 2016, but my favorite game of 2016, period. It’s already worthy of being called a classic in my mind, which is a very big statement. Because although I’m a fan of this gameplay style, all it would have only taken is a few little problems to turn all my enthusiasm sour and make me wax nostalgic about the games I loved instead. It takes a lot of perfectly tuned features for a real-time tactics game to even work, let alone shine, so my expectations weren’t high. Well, I’ll tell you why it won me over in spades.