2014 was an outstanding year for video games. Many much-anticipated titles such as Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were released this past year to much acclaim. We don’t have to leave the fun in 2014, though; this year has many new releases to look forward to. These are the top 10 video games set for release in 2015 that you should be keeping an eye on.
Mario Party 10 for Wii U
The Mario Party series is an old favourite among many people who play video games, and all the classic gameplay features return in this tenth installment with a new twist. A new mode of play called Bowser Party is introduced in this game, allowing one player to take control of Bowser for the first time in the Mario Party series. Bowser chases down the other players in a one-on-four fight. But don’t worry if you prefer regular old party mode; that’s still an option, and Bowser doesn’t have to be there for every round you play. But if you love breathing fire and smashing your opponents, it might be a good idea to pick up a copy of this game once it’s released on March 20th, 2015.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse for Wii U
Here’s everyone’s favourite pink orb in a style you haven’t seen him in before! Much like the introduction of Yarn Kirby in Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse introduces a Kirby with claymation-style graphics. This game is a spiritual successor to the Nintendo DS game Kirby: Canvas curse and features similar gameplay to that title. Players can draw on the gamepad to guide Kirby, stuck in the form of a ball, along platforms of their own making. Throughout the game, Kirby can transform into several different vehicles, such as a submarine and a rocket, to advance to areas he may not have been able to reach otherwise. The fun of previous Kirby games along with the new graphical style come together to make Kirby and the Rainbow Curse a promising game. If you’re a fan of unique graphics or fun, lighthearted gameplay, I would suggest picking up a copy of this game once it is released in North America on February 20th, 2015.
Mario Maker for Wii U
Fans of Mario will have a new opportunity early this year: with the release of Mario Maker, players will be able to design and play their own Super Mario levels for the first time. A variety of graphical styles are offered to players, from classic Super Mario Bros. pixel graphics to the updated and modern graphics of New Super Mario Bros. U. This innovative game brings a flare of creativity to the classic Mario genre, and allows you to play through your own levels, too. Mario Maker will be released in early 2015, so be sure to pick up a copy when it becomes available.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth for PlayStation Vita
The Digimon anime is a fond memory of many people’s childhoods, but what about the Digimon games? These tend to be swept under the rug but, when it comes down to it, they can provide a new insight into the Digimon franchise. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth looks to continue this trend. This is a role-playing game stars a teenage protagonist set to investigate rumours of hackers invading the cyberspace. However, a glitch in their data leads them to gain special powers, and they set off to solve the case. Several old favourite Digimon appear in this game such as Agumon, Gatomon, and Terriermon, and there is a wide cast of characters to assist the player on their quest. Although it may not be a traditional Digimon game, this game should be greatly enjoyable to fans of the RPG genre. The North American release date is as of yet unannounced, but you can look forward to the Japanese release of this game on March 12th, 2015.
Yoshi’s Wooly World for Wii U
It’s a general consensus that Yoshi is perfect and adorable, and this new game seems ready to confirm that. Yoshi’s Woolly World is a new game in the Yoshi series, featuring Yoshi in a yarn style similar to that of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Gameplay is similar to that of previous Yoshi games such as Yoshi’s Island. For the first time in a Yoshi game, however, Yoshi’s Woolly World will feature cooperative two-player gameplay, with each player controlling their own Yoshi. Yoshi must make his way through the yarn world, unraveling enemies and bosses on his way towards some currently unknown goal. This game is set for release sometime early in 2015, and is a great choice for anyone who loves cooperative gameplay and cute characters.
Persona 5 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
Next in the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series is Persona 5, and this should be one to look forward to. This game will centre on the main characters’ quests to attain freedom in their own ways. If the previous Persona games are anything to go off of, this game should feature a diverse cast of interesting characters and interactive gameplay. Although few specifics are currently known about this game, it is almost sure to be a hit when it is released sometime this year.
Splatoon for Wii U
Leave it to Nintendo to teach an old dog new tricks. In this case, that analogical dog is the shooter genre, an old style of game run so far into the ground it would be hard to dig it back up again. However, with the release of Splatoon, Nintendo seems intent on doing just that. In this game, one or more players control creatures called inklings, carrying guns essential to the shooter genre. You won’t find bullets in these guns, though; keeping with Nintendo’s family-friendly standpoint, these are water pistols full of paint. The goal of Splatoon is to cover as much of a city as possible in your colour of ink, using a variety of tools such as paint rollers in addition to your standard pistol. It won’t be that easy, though. There’s an opposing team with a different colour of ink there to paint the town their own shade of red and drive you back any way they can. This game offers multiplayer gameplay, and looks as if it will be a great choice for parties. In any case, if you’d like to see a new shade given to a tired genre, get ready for the release of this game sometime in May of 2015.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D for Nintendo 3DS
Strap on those nostalgia goggles for this remake of an old favourite. Since the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Zelda fans have been clamouring for a remake of Majora’s Mask, the second N64 game in the Zelda series. This year, their dream will be coming true; Tatl, Tael, the Skull Kid, and other favourite characters will be returning this year with new graphics and controls. The plot follows that of the original Majora’s Mask, but with modified boss battles and other changes to keep even veteran Zelda players on the edge of their seats. It’s still up to Link to stop the moon from falling on the land of Termina, just on a slightly smaller screen this time. For a hint of the good ol’ days of N64, wait for this game’s release on February 13th, 2015.
Fire Emblem (2015) for Nintendo 3DS
Excitement has already begun gathering after the recent announcement of this title in 2015’s first Nintendo Direct. This game will be the 14th title in the Fire Emblem series, and the previous installment, Fire Emblem: Awakening has left expectations high for this new game. Not much is yet known about this new title, but it has been revealed that the team will be similar to that which worked on Awakening, and the choices the player makes will play a larger role in the game’s progression than ever before. Some changes in core gameplay will be made from that in Awakening, but you can be sure that it will be just as exciting as earlier titles in the series. Those characters which have been revealed have been beautifully designed, as is expected of the Fire Emblem series, and already look promising in terms of characterization. The release date of this game is currently unknown, but waiting for that announcement adds yet another level of anticipation of waiting for this great game.
The Legend of Zelda (2015) for Wii U
And here’s the big one. Legend of Zelda is undeniably one of Nintendo’s most popular and highly acclaimed franchises, and this game should be, literally, a game-changer. This Zelda game will feature an open world map with stunning 3D graphics unlike any Zelda game that has come before it. There will be much more freedom for the player in this game than in previous titles of the Zelda series. Little is known so far, but what we do know about this game is that it will once again star the dashing hero Link, who will travel the world on his horse, Epona. It is likely to be an exciting and action-packed game full of unique enemies to fell with your blade and puzzles and dungeons to decrypt. If you only plan to buy one game this year, make it this one, for the quality seems to be keeping with those of earlier Zelda games, and looks to perhaps even exceed that. To be frank, when this game is released sometime this year, do not miss it.