Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Tuesday 10s - Most Anticipated Games from E3 2021

E3 2021 has come and gone. Can you believe it's already been two weeks since the final showcase? While this past E3 was much more understated for obvious reasons that have impacted the industry and the world at large over the past year and some change, there were some incredibly interesting video games revealed and showcased during and around E3 season. This edition of The Tuesday 10s deals with the most anticipated games from E3 2021 (and one shown around E3), as selected by SPC.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel 

Let's face facts here--we would have seen unabashed hysterics and hijinks from a certain sector of the gaming audience had we not seen any footage from the upcoming sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Thankfully, we did get to finally see a new trailer, including some gameplay of this much anticipated follow-up to what many consider to be one of Nintendo's most magnificent games. Showing off footage beyond Hyrule and into the clouds and skies above, as well as a new device attached to Link's arm, the trailer was but a tease for much more in the future. For now, all we have is a nebulous planned launch year of 2022, but given the history of the Zelda franchise, the sequel slipping into 2023 is very much a possibility (although a very unwelcomed one!).

Elden Ring

FromSoftware's next project was announced years ago, and then there was an immense amount of radio silence from the studio. That was until the Summer Games Fest courtesy of and hosted by Geoff Keighley, where Elden Ring came back and it came back in a big way with an impressive trailer showcasing an open-world formula, horses, and lots of foreboding sights and sounds. You could have probably guessed that the latter vibe would be in the trailer for obvious reasons. Regardless, there will be a slight wait for Elden Ring, as the game has a late January launch planned of January 21st, 2022.

Forza Horizon 5

Enter the open-world beauty of one of the most impressive games graphically to be showcased at E3 this year, and it revved up and roared into E3 2021 courtesy of Microsoft and Playground Games. Forza Horizon 5 takes the open-world, open-ended racing series to Mexico, where the weather is so dynamic and the map so large that one section of the map could be covered in rain while another bathes in sunlight--all done in real-time to stellar effect. With eleven biomes around the Mexico map, each with different weather variants and ways that vehicles interact with them, the level of detail is going to be absolutely amazing if everything plays out correctly. As for playing, if Playground Games keeps the level of gameplay quality of past Forza games, those in the Xbox ecosystem are going to have one remarkable racer to enjoy when the game speeds onto shelves and digitally on November 9th.

Psychonauts 2

Double Fine brought some doubly fine footage featured in Xbox's video showcase at E3 2021 for Psychonauts 2. The original Psychonauts is a sensational 3D platformer, and the sequel seems to dial up the lovable insanity to ridiculous levels. The trailer showed many incredible, interesting, exciting platforming segments, ideas, humorous moments (and sometimes just attempts at humor, to be honest), and sequences. I was in awe by what I saw, and it made me without question look forward to Psychonauts 2's August 25th release date.

Metroid Dread

Heavily rumored to be making an appearance at E3 this year, a new 2D Metroid was officially announced and revealed to be incredibly far along if not in the final stages. After all, its release date of October 8th isn't that far at all! The big surprise, however, was not just the name of the game, Metroid Dread, but that it looked sensational. Metroid Dread features similar gameplay to the Nintendo 3DS's stellar Samus Returns, including the return of its free-directional aiming, as opposed to being stuck shooting in specific angles like previous Metroid games. Similar to Metroid Fusion, a new entity is on the hunt for Samus and pursues her throughout the game, the cold, robotic EMMI. Getting caught by EMMI without any defenses is an automatic "game over", increasing the tension of this already suspenseful platformer. Now, the wait is on for the next and final chapter in the saga of the Metroids and the Federation when Metroid Dread launches October 8th.

Shin Megami Tensei V

It was a long wait for Samus to return, and while not as long of a wait, it seemed quite lengthy for new news of Shin Megami Tensei V to roll out. We didn't just get new information from Nintendo and Atlus this past E3, either--no, we got a blowout of coverage, including a release date. The latter was leaked ahead of the show, but it was welcomed all the same! Shin Megami Tensei V is poised to pack a wallop for RPG enthusiasts with its deep story, involved plot, interesting characters, and compelling environments to explore and battles to wage. November 11th is when the fifth chapter of Shin Megami Tensei will launch, currently as an exclusive on the Nintendo Switch.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

Showcased in both Capcom and Nintendo's video showcases, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is the next installment in Capcom's turn-based RPG adventure. Offering myriad Monsties to collect, raise, and do battle against, as well as the promise of a captivating story to keep players invested until the credits roll, Monster Hunter Stories 2 looks to pick up where the excellence of the original Monster Hunter Stories on the 3DS left off, at least gameplay-wise. Presentation-wise, Wings of Ruin looks the part of an insanely impressive game graphically. Nintendo Switch owners can currently download a demo of the game with progress able to be transported over to the full version of the game when it launches in a couple of weeks.

Mario Party Superstars

We're going to party like it's 1999... and 2000... and 2001, at least with the boards included in our next game on this list. Mario Party Superstars brings with it five boards taken from the original Nintendo 64 Mario Party trilogy and throws in party favors like 100 mini-games from all 10 main Mario Party games, full button controls, and online play complete with suspended play between friends in online matches. This is going to be one party that won't stop until the crack of dawn, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Mario Party Superstars starts its Switch wingding on October 29th.

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

A franchise revival that was a bit unexpected but most welcome during E3 was that of Advance Wars. Debuting on the Game Boy Advance--at least in the West--the series saw four entries, a pair on the GBA and a pair on the DS. The former duo of games is the one being remade--and by WayForward of all developers! Including both campaigns in both Advance Wars games, as well as hopefully the War Room and the ability to create and share maps with the world at large, the war of small stakes will occur once again on December 3rd.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania

Long rumored, but finally announced at this year's E3--more specifically at Nintendo's E3 Direct--a full revisit and revision of Super Monkey Ball's 1, 2, and Deluxe is coming to Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox platforms this October with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania. I couldn't be more thrilled and ready to load up on potassium and tilt each obstacle-laden level around to roll each monkey in hopes of reaching the goal. With more than 200 levels in store, the original developer in tow, and a content-rich game for just $40, you can bet your Dole bananas that I am in like Aiai in a ball.

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