Harvest Moon: One World Box Art

Harvest Moon: One World

Harvest Moon: One World is the latest installment in the long-running Harvest Moon franchise that brings new engine and graphics as well as a new way to explore the game’s world. Players will travel to five colorful locations – from deserts to snowy mountains – while taking their Expando-Farm with them. The overarching goal is to collect seeds for produce like cabbages and tomatoes, which were lost when the Harvest Goddess disappeared from the world. There also are five bachelors and five bachelorettes, each with their unique personality and backstory, that the player will be able to pursue.

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Bravely Default II Box Art
  • Genre
  • Platform
  • Release date
    Feb 26, 2021

Bravely Default II

Bravely Default II is a turn-based RPG from Japanese studio Claytechworks. While it inherits certain gameplay mechanics from the previous Bravely installments, such as the Brave and Default commands, the setting and the character cast are all new.

The game is set on the continent of Excillant, which is split into five kingdoms, and follows a young sailor Seth. After washing up on Excillant’s shores, he encounters a princess who fled her ruined kingdom, as well as two travelers determined to decipher a mysterious and magical book. The player can select from many different jobs and skills, and customize each party member to fit their strategy.

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Persona 5 Strikers Box Art

Persona 5 Strikers

Persona 5 Strikers continues the story of Joker and the Phantom Thieves but centers around a new incident, allowing new players to enjoy the game without having played Persona 5. During their summer vacation, a ruthless Kyoto detective recruits the Phantom Thieves to investigate a series of strange cases occurring across Japan. The gang will travel to 6 different cities, helping those in need and fighting the Shadows to uncover the source of the corruption.

The spin-off is co-developed by Atlus’ P-Studio and Omega Force, and combines the hack-and-slash battles of the Dynasty Warriors series with the tactical usage of Personas. The Western release includes English and Japanese voice acting and numerous subtitle options.

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Re:ZERO - The Prophecy of the Throne Box Art

Re:ZERO – The Prophecy of the Throne

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- The Prophecy of the Throne is a visual novel-slash-tactical RPG based on the popular anime and light novel series by Tappei Nagatsuki. While centering on the Royal Selection arc from the first season of the anime, the game features an original storyline that deviates from canon and has a mysterious sixth candidate join in the struggle for the throne. The story is overseen by Re:ZERO‘s author, and the new characters are designed by the original artist Shinichirou Otsuka.

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Atelier Ryza 2 Box Art

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

Atelier Ryza 2 picks up three years after the events in Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout and follows Ryza on a brand-new adventure. After leaving the Kurken Island for the royal capital of Ashra-am Baird, she reunites with her friends and explores ancient ruins while seeking to uncover the truth behind the mystery of the lost legends.

One of the new skills that Ryza can learn in the upcoming game is swimming. This opens up underwater areas for exploration, including a submerged dungeon, which has plenty of aquatic materials to collect. Charming new characters are also introduced, including the mysterious fairy Fi.

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Cyberpunk 2077 Box Art

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world action RPG from Polish developer CD Projekt RED renowned for The Witcher series. Loosely based on the tabletop RPG Cyberpunk 2020, the game is set in the Night City, a sprawling dystopian metropolis where megacorporations and cybernetically-enhanced gangs coexist in a precarious balance, and danger lurks around every corner.

Players assume the role of V, a mercenary outlaw on the hunt for a prototype cybernetic implant that is the key to immortality. V is fully customizable, from appearance to gender to backstory, and gains power through learning skills and acquiring cyberware as the player progresses through the game. The choices made throughout the story – including the sidequests – shape the world and affect the ultimate ending of Cyberpunk 2077.

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Godfall Box Art

Godfall

Godfall is a third-person “looter-slasher” action RPG developed by Counterplay Games and published by Gearbox. You play as the last Valorian knight, a mighty warrior able to control Valorplates: legendary armor sets that transform the wielder into an unstoppable master of melee combat. Your task is to climb the five elemental realms and challenge the mad god, Macros, who awaits at the top.

Godfall features an extensive loot system and Valorplate customization. You can play alone or join forces with up to two other players in a co-op at any point. To this end, the game requires an online internet connection at all times.

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Demon's Souls Box Art

Demon’s Souls

Bluepoint Games is remaking the original Demon’s Souls for PlayStation 5. The upcoming remake is exclusive to next-gen hardware and features much improved visuals, faster loading times, 3D audio, and haptic feedback via the new DualSense controller. It can be played in 4K Mode and High Frame Rate Mode.

In Demon’s Souls players venture to Boletaria, a land shrouded in mist and beset by ravenous demons, and hone their skill in the arts of sorcery and war to ultimately send The Old One back to its slumber.

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Yakuza: Like a Dragon Box Art

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the seventh installment in Sega’s Yakuza franchise set in modern-day Japan. The game introduces a new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, who after taking the fall for a crime he didn’t commit, serves his time in prison and gets out expecting to be welcomed as a hero. Instead, he is shot by his patriarch and left to die. Waking up in a dumpster in the port city of Yokohama, Ichi sets out to discover the truth behind the betrayal.

Like a Dragon retains the quirky energy and over-the-top minigames the series is known and loved for. However, it does bring a major change to combat: instead of real-time brawling, it uses a RPG style turn-based system. Ichiban fights alongside up to three recruitable party members, each with their own class and abilities.

The game comes in three different editions with some nifty pre-order bonuses attached. Let’s take a look at these in order.

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla Box Art

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Norse-themed Assassin’s Creed Valhalla brings raiding, settlement building, and more advanced RPG elements to the franchise. The game’s story centers around Eivor: a fierce viking raider and member of the Assassins, who alongside his or her clan sails from the harsh Norway in search of richer lands. Arriving on the shores of England, Eivor’s clan establishes a village that will prosper and grow as a consequence of the player’s efforts. From this settlement the Vikings can launch brutal raids against Saxon fortresses throughout the lands.

While Valhalla is a single player game, it does have some online components. For example, it is possible to create and share custom mercenaries – Jomsviking – that can then be recruited by the player’s friends and fight alongside them in their campaign.

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Destiny 2: Beyond Light Box Art

Destiny 2: Beyond Light

Destiny 2: Beyond Light is an upcoming expansion to the Destiny 2 universe. Guardians will brave Jupiter’s frozen moon of Europa and wield a new power of Stasis against the empire of Fallen. Rooted in Darkness, Stasis is based around manipulating time and opens up new subclasses and supers.

Before the release of Beyond Light, Bungie is launching a new Season of Arrivals that will span June 9 through September 21. It involves a Pyramid ship arriving above Jupiter’s moon Io and includes events and rewards to prepare for the upcoming war against the Darkness.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light is available in five editions: Standard, Standard + Season, Deluxe, Collector’s, and Stranger. Each of these comes with a bonus pre-order DLC pictured below.

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Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin Box Art

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

Developed by the two-man team of Edelweiss, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a cross-genre title that combines side-scrolling combat with a crafting and farming simulation. It follows a young harvest goddess Sakuna, who is banished from the celestial capital, where she lived in lazy luxury, to an untamed island teeming with demonic beasts. There, she finds her calling farming rice and bettering the lives of the mortals in the local mountain village. The game is inspired by Japanese mythology, albeit with some original twists, and features a charming cel-shaded art style.

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Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass Box Art
  • Genre
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  • Release date
    Oct 22, 2020

Pokémon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass

The Expansion Pass for Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield grants access to two upcoming expansions: The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. Both expansions come with a new area to explore, new Pokémon to catch, clothing, handy features, and more.

In The Isle of Armor players explore a beautiful island and become apprentices at a Fighting Dojo, where they are gifted a legendary Pokémon Kubfu. The expansion also adds Gigantamax forms for starters Rillaboom, Cinderace, and Inteleon.

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Wasteland 3 Box Art
  • Genre
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  • Release date
    Aug 28, 2020

Wasteland 3

Wasteland 3 from inXile Entertainment is a story-driven RPG with strategic turn-based combat that, like Wasteland 2, was crowdfunded, raising over $3 million. Compared to its predecessor, the upcoming game offers more fluid squad-based combat, player-controlled vehicles, and two player co-op.

Wasteland 3 takes place in post-apocalyptic wastes of frozen Colorado. Players once again step into the shoes of a Desert Ranger, who takes on a job for the self-proclaimed Patriarch of Colorado in order to secure aid for Arizona. The developer promises an engaging story rife with difficult moral choices.

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Fairy Tail Box Art

Fairy Tail

Developed by Gust and published by Koei Tecmo, Fairy Tail is a fantasy RPG based on a hit manga of the same name. Players build their dream party from a roster of 16 playable characters – including Natsu, Lucy, Jellal, Mirajane, and Laxus – and set off on an adventure that includes both fan-favorite moments from the story and game-original episodes.

Strengthening the bonds between party members not only unlocks more powerful attacks in battle, but also triggers original dialogue written specifically for the game. The development is supervised by the author of Fairy Tail Hiro Mashima himself.

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Paper Mario: The Origami King Box Art

Paper Mario: The Origami King

In a surprise announcement, Nintendo has revealed a new installment in the Paper Mario RPG-platforming series. Titled Paper Mario: The Origami King, it features a brand new story that involves Princess Peach being turned into an origami by King Olly, the ruler of the Origami Kingdom.

In contrast to the turn-based 2D combat of the previous Paper Mario titles, The Origami King features a new 360° ring-based battle system where Mario has to line up enemies to cause the most damage and chain attacks. Mastering the new system is said to require both puzzle-solving skills and a quick wit.

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Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town Box Art

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a 3D remake of the 2003 GameBoy Advance title Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. In addition to the overhauled visuals and modernized controls, it also brings new events and more romanceable characters.

The player steps into the shoes of a young city-slicker who returns to the farm of their late grandfather to find that it has fallen into disrepair. It is up to them to restore the farm, befriend the townsfolk, and perhaps even find love.

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Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris Box Art
  • Genre
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  • Release date
    Jul 10, 2020

Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris

Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris is a JRPG based on the popular light novel series that has also been adapted into an anime. It allows the player to take on the role of the protagonist Kirito as he ventures into the mysterious Underworld: the virtual world from SAO’s Alicization arc.

Besides solo play, Alicization Lycoris offers an online co-op mode for up to four players and their AI-controlled NPC partners. In this mode it is possible to freely customize the appearance of the player’s avatar.

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Trails of Cold Steel III (Switch) Box Art
  • Genre
  • Platform
  • Release date
    Jun 30, 2020

Trails of Cold Steel III (Switch)

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is a JRPG with turn-based battles developed by Nihon Falcom and published outside Japan by NIS America. It picks up over a year after the events of the previous game, and centers around the returning Rean Schwarzer. As an instructor at the newly opened Thors Branch Campus, he takes lead of Class VII and has to guide the new generation in the face of an uncertain future.

Like with the previous launches of Trails of Cold Steel III on PlayStation 4 and PC, the upcoming Nintendo Switch release in the West is accompanied by some modest pre-order bonuses and special editions detailed below.

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Maneater Box Art

Maneater

Humans kill over a hundred million sharks every year. In the same time span, sharks only kill five humans. Tripwire’s action RPG Maneater promises to even those odds.

Players take control of a baby bull shark and explore, eat, and fight their way through oceans, rivers, and swamps to become the ultimate murder machine. Take a bite out of too many humans, and bounty hunters are called in. Besides those, the shark also has to contend with apex predators and other dangers lurking in the water.

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