Five Niche Games From TGS 2017 To Watch
I've spent the last few days trying to soak in as much as I can about TGS 2017. While games like Monster Hunter: World and The Evil Within 2 drew big lines, I wanted to focus on some smaller titles that you might not know about. Here are five niche games that I found interesting from the show.
Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings (PS4, Switch, PC)
The latest entry in the Atelier series, which concludes the Mysterious arc, was just confirmed for North America. While at the show, I chatted with the developers to learn more about it. This entry goes back to two main protagonists: twins Lydie and Suelle. Lydie is the older twin, who likes to go at her own pace and think things through. Suelle is the opposite; she's more tomboyish, sporting guns and full of energy. The main focus is on daily life, but Lydie and Suelle can jump into paintings for more fantastical locales. Both the weather system and day and night cycles return, but the paintings also house their own interesting environments. For instance, a painting with an ice background is full of frost and snow to travel through. Because Lydie and Suelle are twins, expect battles to feature combination attacks and skills. Basically, one character takes an attack role, while the other is support. You can even do alchemy right in battle this time around. This game is in celebration of the Atelier's 20th anniversary, and the developers are hoping it satisfies current fans and brings new ones into the fun world of alchemy. Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings launches in early 2018.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III (PS4)
I've thoroughly enjoyed Trails of Cold Steel's arc so far, so I'm hoping Xseed localizes the final entry in it. This is the first time the series is on PS4, and I had the opportunity to play it at TGS. It plays how you'd expect: turn-based combat with your four-member party. Landing a crit, stunning an enemy, and unleashing combo attacks are still satisfying. "Some time has passed since we've last seen main character Rean; he's now an instructor, and new characters will accompany him on his journey. That doesn't mean we won't see old favorites – the game contains characters from both the Liberl and Crossbell story arcs. I'm interested to see what the new cast offers and where the story goes, as well as bumping into familiar faces from the other games.
Fortune Street: Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary (PS4, Vita)
Do you remember Fortune Street? It never really took off in North America, but we did see one on the Wii, featuring Mario and Dragon Quest characters. The chances of this one coming over are bleak, but it has an awesome cast, with characters from Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. You have FF favorites like Yuna, Kefka, and even Noctis alongside popular Dragon Quest characters like Jessica, Carver, and Angelo. For those not in the know, the game plays a lot like Monopoly, where you roll the dice and go around a board to buy properties and stocks. Your goal is to earn money and upgrade properties so you can put your opponents in the red. The game has a lot of fun chance elements, such as letting you land anywhere to shuffling around everyone on the board. It also has fun minigames, like partaking in turn-based retro battles where your dice roll determines your HP and attack. I had a blast in my hands-on time, and if we don't get it in North America, I'm really considering importing it.
The 25th Ward: The Silver Case (PS4, PC)
Suda and his team at Grasshopper recently remade The Silver Case, and now they're giving its follow-up the same treatment. The game was just recently announced for North America, coming in 2018. In the 25th Ward, which takes place five years after the events of The Silver Case, a woman's murder sets off a chain of strange events. The tale will bridge across multiple protagonists, including The Silver Case's Tokio Morishima. The 25th Ward originally came out over a decade ago on mobile, so the team is taking care to update it for a modern audience with new visuals, sounds, and controls. Suda is also writing some new content for the game, which he seems very energized about. I'm excited to see what bizarre things he cooks up.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (PS4, Vita)
The newest title from Vanillaware just keeps sounding more and more interesting. After a catastrophe, you're thrust into a world of despair and demise. Not much has been revealed about 13 Sentinels, but instead of having a fantastical setting like most of Vanillaware's games, the world is more modern and grounded in reality – except for the fact that everyone can pilot mechs.The game follows 13 different protagonists (men and women) who can pilot these mechs and help the world avoid a grim fate. I like the darker tone and can't wait to hear more about the game. Vanillaware titles always have an outstanding style, so I'm sure it won't disappoint on the visual front.