Yeah, it's never a good feeling from a fan's standpoint when a game you have been waiting for has been delayed - even worse when it's an entry to a long-running series that's been talked about for a decade.
After Square Enix announced they would be moved the release date of Final Fantasy XV to November 29 for quality control purposes, we here at RPG Site took a good look at the upcoming release schedule and saw several worthy titles for our readers to check out in the meantime. Here is a small list of the important games coming down the pipeline, along with the others confirmed for a September release.
And yes, we are fully aware that Persona 5 will be released in Japan on September 15. We're only counting localized titles in this list.
Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS)
What Is It: A remake of DQ7 with fully polygonal characters (compared to the 2D sprites of the previous release). Among the many redesigned features, a few of them include the removal of random encounters in favor of enemies visible on the map; party members that change their appearance based on the class they are; and the addition of Steetpass functionality where players can unlock new dungeons and story events.
Why You Should Play It: The original Dragon Quest VII for the PlayStation 1 boasted over 100 hours of regular gameplay in the main story alone. And that's not even counting the side quests! The 3DS remake takes things one step further by adding dozens of hours of additional content.
That is a hell of a lot for an RPG fan to lose themselves in. And you wonder why people were begging for this game to be localized? If you're going to spend your hard-earned money on something to pass the two months of delay for Final Fantasy XV, this may just fill the entire gap.
XCOM 2 (PS4/XBO)
What Is It: No one was sure XCOM 2 would ever find its way to consoles after the developers insisted on a PC-exclusive release after Enemy Within flopped on consoles. Thankfully, Firaxis (and The Workshop) must have been overwhelmed by fan feedback and will be bringing the critically-acclaimed entry to PlayStation and Xbox One at the end of September.
Why You Should Play It: We already mentioned how amazing the game is in our original review and it how it has a lot of appeal for any RPG fan. The game nails a lot of its strategy elements perfectly. Sure, there were some technical issues upon its release (which a few still persist). However, with its arrival on consoles, a lot of the problems brought up from attempting to test different hardware configurations are absent.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice (3DS)
What Is It: The latest entry in the long-running Phoenix Wright series. Known as Ace Attorney 6 in Japan, the title was quickly announced for a Western release, much to the delight of fans who felt burnt from The Great Ace Attorney's no-show. This time around, players will have two main characters to take control of.
In the Eastern kingdom of Khura'in, Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey have discovered the traditional court system has been removed in favor of the use of mediums who use souls for insight into determining guilt. In Los Angeles, Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes have stayed in Los Angeles to take on cases at the Wright Anything Agency only to get caught up in a crisis.
Why You Should Play It: I like to think anyone who has played the original trilogy understands how amazing these games can be. Not only can they deliver an emotional punch, but the courtroom theatrics can be very entertaining. Having to contemplate every piece of evidence at your disposal and relying on tells from both the prosecutor and the witness.
I have heard nothing but great things from those that have played Spirit of Justice in Japan or imported their copy. While it would be best if you play the previous entries or at least watch a Let's Play to become familiar, people should still be fine to hop in here and find out what the fuss is about. This is easily one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year. Feel free to read our impressions from TGS 2015 in the meantime.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse (3DS)
What Is It: Not an enhanced re-release, but rather a whole new entry acting as a follow-up to SMT IV. Set in the year 203X, the world is in shambles after a war broke out between the gods only 25 years prior. While Tokyo is surviving, civilization is on the brink of collapse, fighting and killing each other over supplies.
The developers have reflected upon all of the fan feedback they received from the previous release and got to work adjusting almost every single game mechanic they felt had flaws in order to make the best RPG they felt they could possibly make. Changes include the ability for the protagonist Nanashi to choose which partner he brings into battle with both having demons at their disposal; the Smirk function has been vastly improved to be far more effective in battle when using certain elements; and the user interface has seen a complete overhaul.
Why You Should Play It: Thankfully, the developers have made it abundantly clear Apocalypse will be welcoming to newcomers. While it can be important to get a good feel for the world players will be jumping into, this entry features mostly new characters with plenty of flavor text to fill the unfamiliar can tap into. Of course, if you do want to try out SMT IV, it shouldn't be too difficult considering the game is normally $20 and is constantly on sale thanks to Atlus and their perpetual digital sales.
Just like Spirit of Justice, I have heard great things from those that played the Japanese release of SMT IV Apocalypse (known as SMT IV Final there). And with plenty of DLC that will mark the return of the protagonists from the original SMT IV, Nocturne, and to act as partners in battle, any SMT fan should be picking this one up. Especially if it helps fill the 6-month void until Persona 5.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II (PS3/Vita)
What Is It: The sequel to arguably one of the best RPGs of 2015. After leaving things off on one hell of a cliffhanger, the story picks up immediately after the ending in this direct sequel. The gameplay environment has expanded significantly to include more areas of the Erebonian Empire along with more methods of travel. I won't say a lot more as we would be going into spoiler territory, but the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed RPG is promising to be even bigger and better.
Why You Should Play It: Alright, you clearly need to have played the first entry before even stepping foot into what is apparently a great follow-up to an already-amazing game. Oh, you haven't heard of it? Check out our review to find out why you need to. I fell in love with the world Nihon Falcom created. After each story mission, I felt compelled to revisit all of my classmates and faculty to check up on them before heading back out. Hey, I needed to know how my favorite lass Becky was up to. Before I knew it, I had spent nearly 100 hours before seeing the ending credits. This coming from someone who has been more into shorter adventures lately.
Trails of Cold Steel II did great in Japan and is said to deliver an experience just as strong as the first entry. Nihon Falcom has been on a roll lately, and with the third Trails of Cold Steel around the corner, this would be a really good time to get into this series.
Other releases scheduled for September
Earthlock: Festival of Magic
BioShock: The Collection
MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death
Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics
Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness
2064: Read Only Memories
Avadon 3: The Warborn
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors
Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak: Special Gigs
Yokai Watch 2
Seinarukana: The Spirit of Eternity Sword 2
Path Of Exile: Atlas of Worlds
And the list of games you could be looking into doesn't end there. Dragon Quest Builders (which I had a lot of fun with at E3) arrives the first week of October. We can also look forward to World of Final Fantasy, Exist Archive, Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, and Pokemon Sun & Moon before the release of Final Fantasy XV. Take this moment of sadness and turn it into something productive!
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