You call it being greedy, I call it “bending this Sothis-forsaken industry to my will”.
Now that we’ve gone over the predictions from last year and found them wanting for a multitude of reasons, it’s time to look ahead to 2021. As promised, I’m not going to try and predict anything. Instead, I’ve prepared a list of things that, should most of them go down, would elevate this above 1995 (the year of Earthbound and Chrono Trigger) as the greatest year of my video game life. If karma exists, this stuff happening will be the proof.
My list of… let’s call them “requests”... are divided into three categories: Nintendo, third parties, and some personal goals. Also, I’ve intentionally left out the most obvious demand (port Persona 5 Royal to Switch you cowards) because I’m pretty sure Sony’s lawyers would have Sega’s nuts in a vise.
From Nintendo, I want…
...Masahiro Sakurai to take a year’s sabbatical effective as soon as possible and a refund for the rest of Fighter’s Pass 2.
To borrow a quote from Matt Zawodniak on our site chat, “Everyone needs one monumentally petty and foolish hill to die on” when it comes to Smash. Matt’s is “Goku is more likely than Sora”, and mine is “Fighter’s Pass 2 was a mistake if only because it meant two more years of Smash DLC discourse”. I got sick of it around the time “hoes were having the mad” after Byleth’s inclusion, and the addition of Alex in October made it about thirty times more toxic. Sakurai has also basically worked non-stop since about, oh, 2012 or so on this bloody game across three platforms? Take a year off, sir. Rest your wrists. And give us all a prorated refund for the Fighter’s Pass. Plus, it frees up some Bandai Namco staff for…
...the Fire Emblem series to get a Pokken.
Pokken is the Tekken fighting game engine applied to the Pokemon series. I didn’t include Fire Emblem spinoffs when I asked what was next for the series last month because it was already the longest video I ever produced by a mile, but let’s lean into the “Smash is a Fire Emblem fighting game” memes and actually have the Soul Calibur team make a Fire Emblem fighting game. The DLC for Soul Calibur 6 is about to wrap up, so maybe there’s a chance here?
...a Metroid Prime Trilogy release on Switch for the series’s 35th anniversary.
I speak of course, of Metroid Prime Hunters, Pinball, and Federation Force in glorious high definition in that traditional August slot. It’d be the best celebration, and it’s already more than what they did for the 25th anniversary. Though part of that was due to them having to try and memory hole Other M. (Didn’t work. We all remember The Baby.)
...a major capper to the 25th anniversary of Pokemon.
Between New Snap, Unite, and MAYBE Detective Pikachu Switch (and Morgana’s Pokemon Sleep) there’s already quite a bit of Poke-chatter for the 25th. But I can’t help but think it needs a closer in the holiday slot. I’m hoping they don’t short-circuit the generation early, so yes, Sinnoh Confirmed. Ideally, it’s the Pokemon Platinum version of Sinnoh confirmed as well, because if you’re going to remake something for Switch it might as well be the greatest single Pokemon game ever.
...Mario to take a year off.
I mentioned in the predictions that Mario has released a game in North America every year since 1987, and that streak is going to continue thanks to the rescue of Super Mario 3D World in February (coincidentally right after the theme park opens in Osaka). However, after that, the implication is that on March 31, Mario seemingly dies (with the Sephiroth trailer not helping here) and takes FE: Shadow Dragon with him. Let’s run with that, and give Mario at least twelve months off. Ideally, it’d be two years (to cover the entire calendar 2022), but that’s beyond the scope of my request.
...Breath of the Wild 2 to show a cutscene with a decapitated Korok.
That’ll teach him to spread those bloody seeds everywhere. What I really want to hear from Breath of the Wild 2 will never happen (more of an Age of Calamity structure), so you can at least give me that much - right?
...to finally be able to unhook my Wii U from the main TV.
There’s two things that can make this a possibility: either Xenoblade Chronicles X gets rescued from it, or the Nintendo Switch Online system catalogue gets at least two systems added. (GBA and N64). I suspect we’ll get halfway there at best, and I’ll be able to continue to use the GamePad as a remote for another twelve months.
From third parties, I want...
...Square Enix to not f**k up NEO: The World Ends With You.
This is number one with a bullet, and early returns are promising. The original game’s battle system really doesn’t work on anything without two screens, and the current system appears to be the best adaptation of team combat to a single screen yet. Of course, I thought that about Final Remix three years ago and look where that got it. But the soundtrack editor from the original is also coming back, so at the very least I can hope for a bangin’ soundtrack.
...Aksys to take extra time in editing their otome localizations.
Given that they’re doing four games in that line for 2021 compared to 2020’s six, I hope this means they’ll have more time to run the fine-toothed comb through the text and smooth out a lot of the rough edges. I want to be able to s**t-post with screencaps from these games, not prep giant folders for the purposes of creating accurate counts in reviews. (Or I could just chalk it up to Idea Factory, but I hope at least one division there knows what they’re doing.)
...NIS America to work out deals with XSEED and Spike Chunsoft.
Spike Chunsoft is, of course, for Danganronpa: though they did create their own localized version for Steam and mobile, I prefer the NISA-written one from the Vita. Memes and all. XSEED is going the other way: I’m hoping for some sort of agreement that will allow the first two Trails of Cold Steel games (and perhaps the Trails in the Sky trilogy?) to come to Switch.
...Atlus to continue spreading the Persona love with a definitive Persona 3 on Switch.
In this case, “definitive” means “Persona 3 FES, but with Portable’s female main character and character control in battle”. I fully accept that this will require recasting most of the voice actors, either because it’d be out of the price range or just the fact that they’re abusive pricks IRL (Junpei Iori) but now that 4 Golden is free at last it’s time for the first part of the unofficial trilogy to stop being split.
...E3 2021 to be stillborn and the ESA to give up the ghost.
Given that we used the “Doubt” meme to describe PAX East going ahead as scheduled when they moved ten days before the traditional window for the once-secure trade show, there’s no doubt that circumstances are going to force the cancellation of the ‘21 event as well. And after the utter mess that was 2019, I’m hopeful that a second cancellation is enough for this industry to realize that maybe going to southern California in early June is just shy of torture. The New Game Plus Expo is all we need.
…”This Game Has Level Design” to become a common refrain and not an IGN joke.
The easiest way to turn me off a game is to make it so that the world is randomly generated each time, so hopefully third parties of all stripes decide to get back into actually designing levels this year. A hand crafted, artisanal level beats an algorithm every day of the week and twice on Sunday, and Hades is the apex of the procedural generation genre.
...a licensed hockey sim to come to Switch.
It’s sure as hell not going to come from EA, who don’t even bother with putting the NHL games on PC, let alone Switch. But as a Canadian, I feel it is my patriotic duty to demand that someone obtain the NHL license - the last renewal didn’t mention anything about exclusivity - and let me bring Lord Stanley back home on the go. (If I wasn’t out of room here, I’d ask for another sim of sports entertainment with Canadian champions: let’s have the All Elite Wrestling game on Switch too.)
From me, I want...
...more time to play all of the Switch RPGs coming this year.
Persona 5 Strikers, the third Bravely game, Monster Hunter Rise, Trails of Cold Steel IV when I’m still trying to get through III, Ys IX, SMT Nocturne Remastered, Neo TWEWY, and SMT V. That was 4/5 of my Hype Meter selections*, and about the only way I’m going to have time to finish even half of those is if I go on extended medical leave at work again (or win the lottery). And that doesn’t even account for the new announcements this year, nor that I *still* want to play Dragon Quest XI which is itself a 100 hour game. My DMs are open on Twitter if you want to sponsor me!
...to master a new weapon in Monster Hunter Rise.
I’ve been a Switch Axe main since I got into 3 Ultimate on Wii U and 3DS, and after eight years I think it’s time for a change - or at least a side piece. In the interest of having a blunt weapon, I’m going to be trying the Hammer in the demo and hopefully I’ll be able to adapt.
...to be able to complete a digital wishlist.
This is probably the easiest one to actually happen, provided Atlus does the right thing and removes the computer-killing DRM from Persona 4 Golden on Steam because the minute it’s gone, I’ll buy it. My Switch wishlist ebbs and flows and I don’t think it will ever truly get down to 0, while my old PlayStation wishlist may not be able to be completed because of the death of the PlayStation webstore. The 3DS is in the single digits, while the Wii U has a lot of VC / Wii stuff so it would take a loan or generous tax return to complete it all.
...to reach 100 game reviews on NWR by the end of 2021.
According to Opencritic, I was at a very nice number before the Space Invaders collection review, so I would need to complete 30 reviews by the end of 2021. However, they don’t seem to count a further 16 games, so the actual number is 87 as of January 1. I’m currently down for 17 games, so I have to hope the bosses are feeling generous and do a lot of playing this year. (Or hope for many shadowdrops in the genres that fall under my wheelhouse.)
...to reach the highest level in the Fire Emblem Heroes Aether Raids mode.
The highest tier is 28 as of press time, and I start each week at tier 21. Starting in January, there’s an update that unlocks the “Vault of Heaven” which will top out at 38. It basically requires perfect play in the offense mode and designing a team for defense that routinely gets two KOs even in losing efforts. Right now it’s a minor inconvenience that I often skip playing for days at a time, but at some point in 2021 I do want to see how far I can go when I give a damn.
...to finally beat Penance - on a livestream.
Speaking of things that require a lot of luck, there’s the challenge I mentioned on one of my last podcasts for NWR: beating the superboss of Final Fantasy X. I first found out about it in 2004, so this will be year 17 of the quest which really only began when I got the X/X-2 Collection on Vita. It’s going to need a lot of grinding, but if I ever get in position to do it - a Saturday night might be all right for a fight.
...to find an excuse to set up an eShop account for Asian English localizations.
I don’t know if it’s going to be the Trails “Crossbell” duology (Zero no Kiseki and Ao no Kiseki), finally trying the Super Robot Wars games, or something I haven’t even considered. And it’d involve creating a new email, too. But the idea of getting stuff that’s still in English, but has no hope of localization, has always intrigued me. Maybe 2021 should be the year I finally take a swing at it. Any suggestions for stuff to look for? Drop them in the Talkback.
* For the record, the other two games I submitted were Skatebird and Monster Hunter Stories 2.