‘Metroid Prime: Federation Force’
It’s been five years since the last installment in the Metroid franchise, and this August, fans will be treated with…something that really don’t look anything like a Metroid game. Federation Force spawned a whole lot of controversy when it was revealed at E3 2015, with fans upset that, much like Metroid Prime Hunters, the game seemed to be abandoning much of what they loved about the franchise, i.e. the exploration and isolation. This one looks more like a silly action-shooter game without much of the horror and grittiness of the originals. Really, this is more of a spinoff than a proper installment. You don’t play as Samus this time, but rather as a general soldier fro the Galactic Federation. The game is heavily focused on the multiplayer mode, specifically on cooperatively traversing through levels. It could still be fun when looked at as a separate game and not a proper Metroid sequel, though, so we’ll have to see if Nintendo is able to overcome the incredibly negative buzz when the game launches this August.
‘Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice’
The latest in the Phoenix Wright series was already released in Japan, where it sold quite well and received a mostly positive reception among critics and fans. Famitsu gave it a score of 34 out of 40, though they noted that some of the plot points may be a bit too bizarre for some players. Indeed, the game takes more of a supernatural turn this time around; a new gameplay mechanic called Divination Seance has players experiencing the final moments of a victim’s life in order to determine what happened to them. Weirdly, Spirit of Justice will be receiving no physical release whatsoever. It will only be available for purchase on the Nintendo eShop beginning in September.
‘Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice’
Fire & Ice is the latest in the Sonic Boom spinoff series that was preceded by Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal. This game is a traditional side-scroller in which Doctor Eggman unleashes an army of robots who are fast enough that they can actually outrun sonic. As suggested by the title, fire and ice become a major part of the gameplay, as Sonic can use these two elements to manipulate the environment around him, melting ice and extinguishing fire. Reviews for the previous two Sonic Boom games were quite poor, and the fan community seems pretty opposed to this installment, wanting Sega to just get back to the normal Sonic series. At the very least, let’s hope this version is not full of quite as many glitches as the previous one. Fire & Ice will be released on September 27.
‘Dragon Quest XI’
The next installment in the Dragon Quest series is being released both on Playstation 4 and on 3DS, and as you can imagine, it seems that both versions will be quite different. One interesting aspect of the handheld release is that on the 3DS, the player’s top screen shows a modern 3D art style, while the bottom shows a classic 2D version of the same scene. So many 3DS games barely make use of the fact that there are two screens available, so this alone is intriguing. Unfortunately, both art styles won’t be on display for the entire game, but after the opening sequences, players can still toggle between them whenever they wish. The game does not yet have an official release date, but hopefully Square Enix is able to get it finished in time for the end of 2016.
‘Monster Hunter Generations’
Monster Hunter Generations features the same old Monster Hunter gameplay fans know and love, although there are some cool new additions this time. One is Prowler mode, during which players can take control of a Felyne. These sentient cats aren’t as strong as the Hunters, but they move faster and have no stamina limit. There are also new Hunting Arts moves, which must be charged up throughout a match and then used to deal damage or heal oneself. Plus, the game includes a new system by which all weapons have several different attack styles. Generations was released in Japan back in November, where it sold incredibly well, and it will finally be made available to American audiences on July 15th.