The Most Anticipated RPGs of 2018
It appears as if the JRPG is back on the rise.
With titles such as Persona 5 topping the charts on Best RPG of 2017 lists and a ton of huge JRPGs coming out in 2018, it looks like the land of the rising sun is trying to take back the Role-playing Game throne. Even highly anticipated American RPGs have more in common with JRPGs of the past than ARPGS of the present.
Here’s a taste of some of the most highly anticipated RPG releases of 2018.
Kingdom Hearts III
I’m cheating a bit for this first entry because Kingdom Hearts III isn’t really an RPG, it’s more of an action game. However, the Kingdom Hearts fandom has been waiting for over ten years now, and it’s about damn time that Square-Enix finally lets KH3 see the light of day. Will we finally get to see the conclusion to Sora’s fight against Organization III? Only if Square-Enix actually sticks to their 2018 release date.
Kingdom Hearts III will be released for both the Xbox One and PS4.
We already suspect that this new title from the makers of I Am Setsuna is going to be good, because it was already released in Japan to a largely positive reception. It’s yet another game based around the classic Chrono Trigger active time battle system, dual techs and all, except this time you can actually choose the positioning of your characters on the field, making it more likely that your techniques will hit. Combine this battle system with a devastating narrative about a young boy’s entire world disappearing, as well as the same stellar music team that worked on I Am Setsuna, and you have a recipe for classic RPG success.
Lost Sphear will release internationally on January 23, 2018 for the Switch, PS4, and PC.
This indie game is a fusion of Earthbound, Undertale, and Warioware of all things. It’s another heart wrenching indie-tale where choice and morality matter, and you’ll have to play multiple times to see all the content. The battle system is a unique take on turn based combat where you have to figure out how to defeat your enemy in the span of a few seconds (thus the Warioware influence). The game world extends far beyond the boundaries of your display, into a deep and enthralling ARG that reveals even deeper details about the narrative.
Heartbound will release in 2018 for the PC, though it doesn’t have a definitive release date yet.
Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass
When people describe upcoming RPGS as Earthbound-likes, they usually mean that it’s a quirky sixteen bit RPG with menu based combat. Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass takes those similarities one step further. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking the great Shigesato Itoi himself made this game since it looks almost identical to his art style and has a very similar tone. On top of the amazing aesthetic, there’s also a class based level-up system that is similar to Bravely Default. As for the story itself? Well we have only been able to play the demo so far but, trust us; this one is going to get dark.
Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass will release for the PC in 2018 though it does not have a definitive release date yet.
Indivisible is a new 2D side-scrolling RPG from Lab-Zero, the guys who made Skullgirls. This formula has been done before, in Tri-Ace’s Valkyrie Profile on which this game is largely based. Map exploration will be Metroidvania style, as the protagonist Ajna gathers new tools and power-ups to traverse new areas. Battle will be based around fighting game mechanics, asking you to time your attacks to build up combos and penetrate enemy defenses. The story will be based on various mythologies from Filipino culture, a source that hasn’t been tapped much in the video game world. All of this is tied together with Alex Ahad’s signature cartoony art-style and a score from Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta.
Indivisible will release for the PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac, and Linux in 2018, though a definitive release date has not yet been announced.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Ni No Kuni combined the amazing art styles of Studio Ghibli with the incredible game design of Bandai Namco to create a brilliant living fairy tale. Now its sequel, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is ready to do the same in a new generation. The monster raising element of the first game is gone, replaced by a battle system that used “Higgledies,” tiny elemental spirits that are controlled somewhat like Pikmin. The story takes place chronologically after Ni No Kuni.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will release on March 23, 2018 for the PC and PS4.
Project Octopath Traveler
One of our most anticipated Switch games of 2018, Project Octopath Traveler feels like it came right out of the 16-bit era. It has an incredible turn based combat system reminiscent of Bravely Default, a dark and intriguing narrative, and eight different protagonists to control, each showing the events of the plot from a different point of view. This is the game you will want to play if you were a fan of older titles such as Final Fantasy 6. Swords, sorcery, dragons, and dark emperors, Project Octopath Traveler is a blast from the past.
Project Octopath Traveler will release in 2018 for the Nintendo Switch but a definitive release date has not yet been announced.
Dragon Quest XI
Speaking of traditional RPGs, Dragon Quest XI, makes no effort to break from Dragon Quest tradition. In fact, it celebrates its extensive legacy in some interesting ways. For example, you can play the game in a low-res 16-bit version, or you can also play with glorious HD anime graphics on systems like the PS4. If you own the 3DS version, you can swap between polygonal graphics and sprite based graphics whenever you want. This is all tied together with the franchise’s staple turn based combat and art from anime great Akira Toriyama.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age will release on the Nintendo 3DS, PS4, and Switch in 2018.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
Radiant Historia was one of the best time-travel based RPGs ever made, rivaling even Chrono Trigger. It tasks you with traveling up and down multiple timelines which branch off again and again as a result of your actions. You will eventually hit roadblocks on one path and have to travel down another to gain an item, resource, or party member that will let you continue forward. This remade version will include new content, new upgrades to the battle system, and even new timelines to visit. Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology will release on the Nintendo 3DS on February 13, 2018, providing you with the perfect opportunity to play this underrated game.
Secret of Mana
We close our list of most anticipated RPGs of 2018 with yet another look to the past. Secret of Mana is arguably one of the best RPGs of the 16-bit era, so when Square announced it was going to be remade in full 3D, children of the SNES age the world over were excited. The attention to detail in this remake is astounding. The environments of the game appear to be painstakingly remade 1-1 from the original sixteen bit maps. In fact the original maps are actually used in game as the mini map, so you can see exactly how the two compare. The game will have expanded offline multiplayer, new story content, and even the ability to dress up your party members in costumes.
The Secret of Mana remake will release on February 15, 2018 for the PS4, Vita, PC,
What do you think? What are your most anticipated RPGS of 2018? Let us know in the comments.