Indecision and delays are the parents of failure.
Oh, so many Delays! Don't get me wrong, it's been an excellent year for gaming with such masterpieces of electronic joy like:
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (even if it's unfinished)
Pillars of Eternity
Ori and the Blind Forest
Kerbal Space Program
Batman: Arkham Knight (even if the PC version is AWOL)
Super Mario Maker
Forza Motorsport 6
and with Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront and many more to come it will certainly be a year to remember. But some part of me keeps thinking about all the DELAYS... I understand that it's for the best. I'd rather have a better game down the line than a lame game now but some of these absolutely NEEDED to release this year. Join me as I countdown the top games that should have released THIS YEAR.
The Legend of Zelda U
Absolutely the most important game the Wii U will likely ever have. Nintendo began the year with the promise that Zelda was coming this year - and it absolutely needed to. EVERY SINGLE TIME I ask someone why they haven't picked up this amazing little console with so many great exclusives, the answer I always get is "I will when Zelda comes out." After falling into last place, Nintendo HAD to get that game on store shelves or risk total irrelevance this generation. But Nintendo did what they always do. They chose quality over quantity - market share be damned. I respect the hell out of them for doing that but I know it will cost them DEARLY. But hey, when you own the handheld market with an iron fist I guess you can make that decision. Zelda will be bitterly missed this year.
This one HURTS!! It's been 7 years since Persona 4 charmed the pants off us RPG fans. There's been spin-offs and re-releases in the interim to keep us satisfied but the news of the delay this past weekend burns with such hot fury that I fear not even the cool radioactive waters of Fallout 4 can quench it. Why do you toy with our emotions like this, ATLUS?! You promised us it was coming this fall! Persona 5 better be the best RPG released next year or I'll be pissed.
Star Fox Zero
If 7 years is a long time to wait for Persona 5, then imagine the plight of long suffering Star Fox fans. It will have been 10 years since Star Fox Command by the time Star Fox Zero is out next year. A whole Decade! The neglect that Nintendo has shown this franchise is rivaled only by Kid Icarus and F-Zero. Even Metroid gets more love these days and there is still no news of a proper return of Samus. I've beaten every Star Fox game and I love them all. Even Assault. But this game was supposed to be one of the highlights of the Wii U this year. Platinum Games better make this worth it. Oh well, at least we still got Xenoblade X...
Final Fantasy XV
Speaking of decade long waits... Announced in 2006 and finally getting a release date next March. This one is practically the vice president of vaporware right behind Half Life 3. I would put Kingdom Hearts III on here too but at this point, most of the kids who played the originals have all grown up and don't care anymore. I'm old enough to remember a time when FF games were releasing every other year and were the best RPGs you could buy. The names Square and Enix used to mean something special. When was the last time you played a Final Fantasy game and it completely blew you away? FFX? FFIX? FF Tactics? It's been so long that I almost can't remember. What happened to this series?
Easily my Game of the Year 2012, XCOM: Enemy Unknown was a revelation and a masterclass of tactical gaming. Console gamers completely ignored it so they aren't getting the sequel. I still start up new playthroughs all the time and I needed this game to be in my hands this November. The delay has devastated me more than I expected. I sometimes stay up all night playing the original just to cope. Just promise me something, Firaxis. Promise me that XCOM 2 will be even better than XCOM EU. Do that and all is forgiven. I believe in you guys. Don't let me down.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
This was supposed to be Sony's big hitter this Christmas. Naughty Dog was supposed to remind us why we all bought PS4s. Why The Last of Us is one of the most highly acclaimed games of all time. Why we believe in the PlayStation brand. They were supposed to make us all gawk at those graphics and those ridiculous set pieces and wonder how they did it. Now we have to make do with a remastered Drake collection. I know the Xbots like to call it the "DelayStation 4" but it would help if you didn't make it so easy, Sony.
NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!
This wasn't supposed to happen! You were supposed to show Capcom how it was done! You were supposed to make an awesome Mega Man type game and release it in half the time Crapcom takes! We were supposed to get a demo as an apology but even that got delayed! Mighty No. 9 better be best damn Mega Man game ever made or there will be hell to pay!
Mirror's Edge: Catalyst
Released in 2008 to critical acclaim and much love from fans of Portal, this new IP was dripping with potential and originality. Why then did we have to wait 8 long years for a follow up? Even Portal got a sequel 4 years later... from Valve! Are those guys at EA sleeping on the job or something? At least the gorgeous Frostbite Engine will make it worth it.
----------------------------- ------------------------------- --------
I could probably talk about The Witness, Doom 4, Star Citizen or a bunch of other delays but these are the most painful to me. We should all remember that some of the best games of all time were delayed multiple times before release. Delays are not inherently a bad thing. But some delays sting so badly that it sours our taste of the final product.
The earliest one I can recall was Perfect Dark on the N64. It was announced shortly after GoldenEye 007 released to critical and commercial success in 1997 but was not released until May 2000 by which time many other FPS games had far outclassed it. Games like Turok 2, Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Tribes, Rainbow Six (and Rogue Spear), Medal of Honor, Unreal Tournament and Quake III Arena had redefined the FPS genre. Perfect Dark felt old and crusty by comparison. Sometimes the delays just AREN'T worth it.
It is my hope that these highly anticipated games don't fall prey to feature creep and indecision. There is a golden time for these games to release but unfortunately some of these games may already have passed it. If a game has to be delayed, there better be a very good reason for it. Here's a test: If the game is so good that we don't even remember the delay, it probably was the right call.
I guess we'll all find out next year...