We’re all eager to put 2020 behind us. Fortunately for us, 2021 is going to be an extremely exciting year for video games. Microsoft and Sony are eager to show us what our expensive new consoles are capable of. I assume Nintendo will also be present, though we probably won’t know what they’re going to do this year until roughly three weeks before they do it. (The day after I wrote that sentence Nintendo teased new Super Mario 3D World info followed by a February release date the next day, I feel extremely validated.) There are going to be a ton of new games this year, but I’d like to talk to you about three in particular that excite me most.
I know what you’re thinking, “We don’t know when Final Fantasy XVI is releasing!” Well, let’s just let me pretend for a moment that we know Final Fantasy XVI is coming this year. As a long-time Final Fantasy fan, everything I’ve seen about this game has me beyond excited. It’s a Final Fantasy with a more “traditional” fantasy setting, more akin to classic Final Fantasy games. The story looks like it’ll have a different tone than your typical Final Fantasy fare, like Final Fantasy XII levels of inter-kingdom politics. To top it off, the combat looks like a ton of fun! But perhaps what excites me most is the involvement of Producer Naoki Yoshida. Mr. Yoshida is the man behind Final Fantasy XIV, a game that shows he has more than enough love and respect for the franchise to see it done right. I just hope they learned some lessons from Final Fantasy XV, and release XVI as a fully-finished product with no vital story DLC.
Persona 5 is one of my absolute favorite games of the last generation, and it was one of if not the most popular JRPG of its time. But did you know Persona is a spin-off series? It’s true! Shin Megami Tensei is the OG when it comes to teens forming pacts with demons to eventually kill some manner of god. Shin Megami Tensei V likely won’t be a completely alien experience for Persona fans, but players should go in expecting a steeper difficulty curve at the very least. I wish I could say more, but Atlus is keeping their cards close to their chest. It has been a long time since Shin Megami Tensei was on a home console, and I’m excited to see what the team has learned over the years.
This is by far the game I’m most excited about in 2021. I’ve been a fan of Ratchet & Clank since the very beginning on PS 2, I’ve played every single title (usually more than once). Unfortunately, last gen was not kind to Ratchet. One Ratchet & Clank game was released, and it was a “reboot” tied to a mediocre movie that replaced beloved characters with empty shells. But now the clouds have parted, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has appeared and promised to return us to the story and universe we had before.
What’s that? The movie wasn’t that bad? I’m just a crusty old man barking in the dark? Well that’s fine, there’s plenty more to be excited about! This is the first Ratchet & Clank game for the PS5, and it’s going to take full advantage of the new hardware. Based on what we’ve been shown, the game’s story is going to focus on rifts opening as the barriers between dimensions weaken. Rifts can move Ratchet around the same area, or take him to different planets, all without substantial load times. The guns are going to make use of the DualSense’s haptics and adaptable triggers, and….and….I think I need to change my pants.