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My Top 10 Prospects of 2016

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We are just coming down from a phenomenal year of games in 2015. We had great sequels in games like Metal Gear Solid 5, N++, Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Arkham Knight, Just Cause 3, and others. We had amazing new entries into the gaming world like Splatoon, Bloodborne, Super Mario Maker, and Rocket League. We finally got the 3D remake of Majora’s Mask. And indie games in 2015 were just as strong as ever with entries like Ori and the Blind Forest, Life is Strange, Everyone’s Gone to the Rapture, and numerous others.

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To me, 2015 is going to be a hard year to follow up in gaming, but watch out. We’ve already got a great list of games to be excited about in the coming year! Here’s my Top 10 prospects for 2016, heavily influenced by my own personal excitement and preference, of course.

10) Firewatch

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Coming in at 10 is Firewatch. The concept is extremely interesting and unique, and although it is still a bit mysterious, the game looks beautiful and the story seems like it can go in a very interesting direction. I’m really looking forward to the relationship with Delilah via the Walkie-Talkie.

I’m also looking forward to how the developers are planning on working off of the actual Yellowstone wildfires from 1988 and allowing us to play a volunteer firefighter in Shoshone National Forest, the first federally protected National Forest, in 1989. I wonder what connections might play out, and I can’t wait to explore the forest.

9) Star Fox Zero

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For way too long, Nintendo has withheld a new Star Fox and Metroid game from us. It was getting to the point where many people were just getting fed up with the Big N and were assuming that these two flagship franchises were being abandoned.

Out of nowhere, Star Fox Zero was so casually announced like it was no big deal while Nintendo was showing off the Wii U at e3 a couple years ago. Everyone was shocked, and Miyamoto assured that it would be similar to the likes of Star Fox 64, which got a lot of people excited.

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Fast forward to today, and we’ve seen a decent amount of footage from different presentations and game shows. Star Fox Zero is really shaping up to be the Star Fox game that gamers have been begging for for years. Nintendo’s got my attention, and I will gleefully jump back into an Arwing once again.

8) Mighty No. 9

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Mighty No. 9. This game. Since Inafune announced this obvious Mega Man clone in their Kickstarter campaign over 2 years ago, I was jumping for joy. Back when CAPCOM released Mega Man 9 and 10, I was itching for more challenging side-scrolling shooter games. Right off the bat, this game was full of promise, from acclaimed director to original music compositions from Manami Matsumae of Mega Man fame to beautiful animations and interesting new gimmicks.

However, this game has unfortunately been one delay after the next, and Inafune even campaigned another fundraiser to add more money to the already near $4 million budget. It was beginning to get some bad press, but the videos and content continue to deliver and the game is definitely shaping up to be a very interesting addition to the 2016 lineup, that’s for sure. And believe me, I’m pumped to play this.

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7) Street Fighter V

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I know I shouldn’t be this excited about a series that is infamous for re-re-re-re-releasing the same game over and over again, but Street Fighter is my favorite fighting game series. SFIV was so crisp and tons of fun that it’s hard for me to believe that CAPCOM is going to drop the ball with Street Fighter V. This is the fifth entry in the series, and I think we might get spoiled in the extra content within the game to celebrate number 5.

Sure, we will get Super Street Fighter V, Super Street Fighter V: Turbo Edition, Super Street Fighter V: Turbo Championship Edition, Ultra Street Fighter V, etc in the coming years, but for now, I haven’t been so excited about a fighting game since... well... all of the Street Fighter IVs.

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6) Horizon Zero Dawn

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When Sony announced this at e3 this past year, I was glued to the screen. Something about the combination of robots and dinosaurs got my G1 Transformers blood pumping. The environments look insanely cool, and it’s great to introduce a new heroine to the game world.

My only fear is that Horizon might get a delay to 2017, but if it must, that is completely fine. If it does happen to release in 2016 and it’s even half as good as the gameplay video from e3 looked, I couldn’t be more excited!

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5) Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

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Ever since the world was introduced to Faith in the original Mirror’s Edge, I have been hoping, praying, and begging for another main entry into the series. The smooth action, the beautiful graphics, and the amazing environment created one of the most awesome original experiences in the past 10 years.

Nothing more can be said. I cannot be more excited to play this. It’s amazing that I even have 4 more games to talk about that I’m even more excited about!

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4) Hyper Light Drifter

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Much along the same lines as Mighty No. 9, Hyper Light Drifter has just been in the making for years. The pushbacks and delays have left some people skeptical, but all of that skepticism gets wiped away when you just stare at the perfect pixel art and amazing action gameplay. It looks like the unmarried offspring of NES Zelda and Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP, and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

This was in my most anticipated games of 2015, so this is just getting bumped to my 2016 list. I have not lost any interest, but I am getting impatient! I want to play this game SO BAD! Those Steam demos didn’t help quench my thirst. I need more, Heart Machine!

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3) Uncharted 4

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Do I even need to share why I’m excited about this? Uncharted has been one of the best series in gaming history, as Uncharted 1-3 all grew better and better each time. The characters, the action, the story, the drama, the suspense, the comedy, the... everything! Naughty Dog can’t pay me to be more excited to play Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. This is absolutely in my top 3 games for 2016. No questions asked.

2) No Man’s Sky

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This game. Each new interview or gameplay video just drops my jaw again. No Man’s Sky has the ability to be the biggest game in gaming history, and it looks absolutely beautiful to boot. Nothing gets me more excited than a grand sci-fi epic, and one of the things that is exciting me most about No Man’s Sky is Hello Games consistency in keeping the details on the down low.

We are aware that the universe is humungous. We are aware that you can travel instantaneously from one planet to the next. We are aware that wildlife evolves and grows and constantly changes on EVERY. SINGLE. PLANET. These points should sell the game alone, but the mystery of what is at the center of the universe has me grinning from one ear to the next. I cannot be more excited to play No Man’s Sky. It might be the game that causes my wife to leave me.

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1) The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

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The Legend of Zelda. My childhood in a nutshell. Nintendo could simply say, “Zelda + your money = Hoorah!”, and I was still cry tears of joy. This is precisely the game I bought a Wii U for. When Nintendo announced this title, the first thing I thought in my head was, “I need to take that whole week off. If not, I might lose my job. My wife might walk away. My kids might hate me due to neglect.” Yes. My addiction to Zelda is that bad.

The graphics for this game look amazing, and Nintendo has really been nailing the cell shade for the HD era. It looks like we are truly playing an interactive animation, and the recent gameplay videos only prove just how beautiful this game really is. Nintendo doesn’t have a whole lot on their plate in 2016, but as long as The Legend of Zelda (Wii U) actually releases, Nintendo will probably still champion my 2016 year.

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So that’s it! How did I do? Anything you agree or disagree with? What games are you most excited about in 2016? I feel like we’re being spoiled with such an onslaught of phenomenal games as of late. Let the New Year spoil us again!

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EDIT (Jan 4, 2016): Since it was announced that Scalebound has been delayed to 2017, I have removed it from my list (At the #5 spot) and replaced it with Firewatch (At the #10 spot, and all other games have moved up).

EDIT (May 4, 2016): Ugh. My number 1 has officially been delayed to 2017 too. I’m not even going to both correcting my list. Zelda stays at number 1, whether Nintendo likes it or not! GIVE ME MY ZELDA, NINTENDO!!

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Lord Disco is a video game addict and has been playing since the ripe young age of 5-years-old. He is married to an awesome wife, has two fantastic kids (Named Logan Tiberius and JoJo), and currently lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. Not necessarily a writer by trade, but he enjoys sharing his opinions with the world, whether they like it or not. Check him out on Twitter @TheLordDisco.

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