Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Tuesday 10s - My Most Anticipated Games for the Rest of 2024

The Tuesday 10s return this week on SuperPhillip Central. For those uninitiated, The Tuesday 10s--when they happen, at least--occur on Tuesdays and are basically unordered top ten lists. They can be about games themselves, or even game concepts like levels and characters, for instance.

Today, and with this morning's Nintendo Direct behind us, I feel we have a good idea on what to expect for the rest of 2024. That's not considering any surprises or future announcements in the second half of the year, of course. That said, these ten games are the ones that I'm most excited to play for the remaining months of 2024!

After you've peeked at my picks (and hopefully read the rationale behind each of them, too), please feel free to comment below on which games you're most hyped for to round out the year!

Astro Bot (PS5)

What salvaged an otherwise ho-hum (for me, at least) State of Play late last month was the conclusion of the presentation, featuring a trailer starring a lovely little robot that could named Astro Bot. The game of the same name is a major outing for the character, originally seen in different forms in The Playroom VR demo, then the PlayStation VR exclusive Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, which this new PS5 adventure seems to riff off of a teeny bit here and there. 

The PS5 pack-in game Astro's Playroom heralded in a glorious showcase of the DualSense controller, and in general was just a fantastic game to introduce players to their new PlayStation 5 systems. No doubt from the announcement trailer that developer Team Asobi has thrown myriad ideas at the wall, and in my eye, all of them seem to be sticking wonderfully. Here's hoping this ode to PlayStation's history and moreover massively captivating and charming-looking 3D platforming sticks the landing as well when it arrives on PS5 on September 6th.

Dragon Ball: Sparking! Zero (PS5, XBX, PC)

I can't think of a better tribute in game form to the late, great Akira Toriyama than seeing his Dragon Ball creations and characters comes to life in one of the ultimate 3D fighting game packages. That seems to be what we're going to get with Dragon Ball: Sparking! Zero, pitting a multitude of characters from Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and Dragon Ball Super against one another as a roster that calls back to Budokai Tenkaichi 3's. If you're unaware, that game featured a massive amount of characters to play as, and Sparking! Zero seems to bring with it even more high octane action, eye-melting visuals (in the GOOD way), and multiple story campaigns starring different characters, with Goku's containing the most battles, as expected. Couple this with the ability to create and share your own custom story missions, cutscenes, and battles, and you have one seriously super Dragon Ball game for fans!

Dragon Quest III: HD-2D Remake (NSW, PS5, XBX, PC)

Speaking of Akira Toriyama's works, let's rock a different kind of dragon with the illustrious Dragon Quest series, which Toriyama's art lives on through. During this morning's Nintendo Direct, Nintendo not only revealed more footage from this gorgeous HD-2D remake of Dragon Quest III and--finally--a release date (November 14th, 2024), but also the announcement of the other games in the Erdrick trilogy being remade as well with Dragon Quest I and II in store for next year. It's been almost three years since Dragon Quest III's HD-2D remake was originally announced, and seeing it with a firm release date almost feels like a fever dream, like managing to slay four Metal Slimes in the same battle without any of them fleeing. Like such a battle, the experience of playing--or for some, RE-playing Dragon Quest III will be an absolutely rewarding one. I'm certainly looking forward to it.

Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time (NSW)

There is no shortage of fascinating RPGs arriving on consoles and PC this year. While this next game had no presence during today's Nintendo Direct, Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time still is planned to release on October 10th. I absolutely adored the original Fantasy Life on the Nintendo 3DS. Its job-based gameplay where players worked to increase their skills, opted to tackle monsters and other foes in the game's fields and dungeons via action-RPG goodness, and found a nice life for themselves, made for an incredibly addicting game. With new town elements and online play in this new sequel, I'm quite eager to get my hands on Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time, and have this be the game which steals all of my time when it launches as a current Nintendo Switch exclusive.

Indiana Jones and the Great Circle (XBX, PC)

With a less-than-stellar aura surrounding the Xbox brand in recent months--the most important being the closing of some incredible studios and letting go of some tremendous talent--and a seemingly aimless direction for the brand in general, it was important for Microsoft's Xbox to pull off at the very least a competent showing two weeks ago. I'd say, fortunately, the showcase was a success. The reveals were exciting and top-notch, but the game that will most likely release by year's end that most excited me from Xbox's show features one of my favorite fictional characters in film: Indiana Jones. 

Using Harrison Ford's likeness and Troy Baker's serviceable impression of Indy, Indiana Jones and the Great Circle is a first-person action/adventure game that sees our artifact-finding, temple-exploring, globe-trotting adventurer doing all those things complete with the look and feel of actually playing a film in the series. The humor is so on-point, and one of the best features--at least presentation-wise--that I've seen so far. While there's no firm release date and just a vague 2024, here's hoping Machine Games can deliver a game worthy of the Indiana Jones name--unlike perhaps for some, the last two films in the franchise...

The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom (NSW)

One of the empty spaces in the Nintendo Switch catalog, at least for me, was that of a wholly new top-down 2D Zelda adventure. Little did I know that with today's Nintendo Direct that not only would we get a wholly new top-down game in the franchise, but it'd literally be a ZELDA adventure! For the first time (no, I don't count the Phillips CD-I games, sorry), Zelda is the primary protagonist in a game for the series her name is attached to. 

The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom could have easily been Zelda with bow instead of a sword, and that might have made folks appeased. However, Nintendo, in traditional Nintendo fashion, went above and beyond. Zelda gains a rod that she can use to capture objects like tables, beds, boulders, and even foes to ensnare to do her bidding in what is shaping up to be a truly clever and creative adventure. From the trailer shown, we saw that Zelda can conjure blocks of water to reach higher, other inaccessible areas; she can build stepping stones with beds; and even launch boulders at baddies to truly rock on. We won't have to wait long for Zelda's first foray into adventure when The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom releases on Nintendo Switch on September 26th, 2024.

Mario & Luigi: Brothership (NSW)

Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door have seen recent releases. Now, the trifecta of Mario RPGs is complete on the Nintendo Switch with the announcement of a brand-new Mario & Luigi game! Mario & Luigi: Brothership is an isle-hopping (or is it "isle-launching"?) adventure starring the Brothers Mario with a whole cavalcade of new characters to meet, enemies to defeat, and places to visit and explore. Bros. Attacks return, as does the ability to use Mario and Luigi's unique teamwork abilities to solve puzzles in the overworld areas of the game. It's such a sight for sore eyes to see the return of Mario & Luigi, and such a delightful looking entry as well, both visually and gameplay-wise. We won't have to wait too terribly long for Mario and Green Mario to once again team up together as Mario & Luigi: Brothership sails onto the Switch on November 7th, 2024.

Sonic X Shadow Generations (NSW, PS5, XBX, PC)

While Mario will have lots of fun this year (with more to come on this list), Sonic isn't resting on his laurels. And I must admit, I did NOT expect this much effort to be put into a remaster of Sonic Generations, a game that was already a phenomenal one to begin with. This being the year of Shadow and all, SEGA and Sonic Team have opted to insert Shadow into game into his own adventure, essentially splitting the game into two parts, collectively titled Sonic X Shadow Generations. 

The incredibly well done Sonic Generations half is included, of course--this time adding the Sonic Mania's Drop Dash into the spin of things--while Shadow Generations not only gives the fourth-damn-Chaos-Emerald-seeking hedgehog a suite of remixed stages from his now-storied history in the Sonic franchise and several boss encounters (these first two things currently have an indeterminable amount, but they're immensely polished all the same), but also a Sonic Frontiers-style hub world that connects all of the content together. I'm eager to explore both pieces of this hedgehog game package when Sonic X Shadow Generations boosts onto all current platforms on October 22nd, 2024.

Super Mario Party Jamboree (NSW)

It's been a little bit since Mario last held any kind of new party with his pals (and enemies alike) on the Nintendo Switch. Well, the wait for a new party is over! Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom crew's latest soiree, Super Mario Party Jamboree, is billed as Nintendo as their biggest one yet. With a respectable seven boards (five all-new and two returning from Mario Party 1 and 2 respectively), over 100 mini-games, over 20 playable characters, multiple planned modes, and the ability to play online against up to 20 opponents in Battle Royale-style Mario Party madness, Super Mario Party Jamboree is shaping up to a bash you won't want to miss. RSVP if you'd like to be prepared to par-tay when Super Mario Party Jamboree launches on Nintendo Switch on October 17th, 2024.

Visions of Mana (PS5, XBX, PC)

Harkening back to the age of old-school RPGs while giving off a gorgeous and modern visual presentation package, Visions of Mana is, of course, the latest entry in the long-running Mana franchise. Chosen by the Faerie to revitalize the Mana Tree, a great expedition and grand journey awaits our colorful cast of heroes. The idea of facing off against foes both small and large (especially those Eidolons) sounds incredibly enticing and exciting to me. I absolutely loved the Trials of Mana remake four years ago, so to say that I'm eager to engage with more of the Mana series would be an understatement. Bring it on, Square Enix. I'm ready for some comfort food gaming when Visions of Mana starts its adventure on August 29th, 2024.