So, like, I don't play videogames any more, I just grow a backlog of Switch games to not play. Well, there was that time recently when Dandy Dungeon came out and I did nothing but play that for like a week, even though I'd already beat it on mobile... Such a good game though. Seriously. My favourite game on Switch. Well, if you don't count Ōkami, which is my favourite game on every console.
But holy moly, Wednesday saw what were, for me the two biggest game announcements of the console generation so far. And I wanna talk about videogames again. So here's a list of my most anticipated upcoming Switch games. Mind, I still need to play some of the games I already own, like Astral Chain, which looks pretty great. But instead, I'm gonna write about games I don't have!
10. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Complete Edition (October 15)
Of all the big "AAA" games I've missed out on on the big boy consoles this gen, Witcher 3 seems to be one of the most universally acclaimed, and like one I should probably try, not that I have time for that shit. Anyway, it seemed the most well-rounded choice to round out this top ten.
9. Night in the Woods (Q4), 8. Ikaruga (TBA)
These two games are already out on eShop, and have been for ages, but now that they're getting physical releases, I want them. Night in the Woods looks pretty darn charming, and even though I'm not great at shmups, I've heard enough good things about Ikaruga – being one of the ultimate classics of the genre, that I have to try it. Also, look at that box art!
7. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (March 20), 6. Pokémon Sword (November 15)
These are the two first-party games I'm most looking forward to. Two reliable series I love, and always enjoy returning to, once per hardware generation. Both new instalments look great from what I've seen so far. But having skipped "Let's Go", Pokémon might be the one I'm looking forward to the most.
5. Return of the Obra Dinn (Q4), 4. Sayonara Wild Hearts (TBA)
With indie games being more and more of what I play, it's rare to find ones that really catch my eye amongst all the sidescroller, metroidvanias, and 2D adventure games. Return of the Obra Dinn and Sayonara Wild Hearts are by far two of the most striking indie games I've seen in years, and I'm genuinely really excited and intrigued to get my hands on them and find out what they're all about – they look fantastic.
3. No More Heroes III (2020)
Travis Strikes Again was not a great game, in many ways, and yet it exuded such a sense of unrestricted creative freedom, it was such an unrestrained shart of Goichi Suda's various inspirations, that I consider it one of the must-play games for the system, at least for myself – it's a hard one to recommend to your average Switch player. But as a fan of Suda, its low-budget kinda-janky spin-off status was made up for by the fact Suda didn't have any 3rd-party publisher breathing down his neck, and could basically be as uncompromisingly, alienatingly weird as he wanted. With a main-line sequel coming up, again written and directed by Suda himself, I'm optimistic that that same creative spirit will carry over to a bigger-budgeted, more mechanically-satisfying game, with more cut-scenes and voice-acting, and we'll finally have a No More Heroes follow-up that lives up to the original – still one of my favourite games.
2. Deadly Premonition 2 (2020)
Deadly Premonition is another favourite game of mine from last generation, and the fact a sequel was announced is pretty insane news. After playing The Missing – a gem of a game and one of my top 10 Switch titles – and with everything I've heard about D4 (probably the game this gen I most want to play that I don't have the system for), I have complete confidence that the first Deadly Premonition was not a fluke, and Swery has it in him to deliver another sincere and memorable experience, of the type only Swery can... Francis York Morgan is back... It's so great. I'm so happy this is on Switch, too.
1. Moon (TBA)
The absolute bombshell announcement from last week's Nintendo Direct however, which had me totally gobsmacked and reeling from excitement, was not Deadly Premonition 2, as mind-boggling as that was, but rather a low-key reveal from the Japanese broadcast only, that Moon: Remix RPG Adventure would be getting a Switch port from Onion Games, later confirmed on their Twitter to be getting a worldwide English-language release not long after the Japanese version next month. Now, I've blogged about Moon and Love-de-Lic before, but suffice it to say, of all the never-translated Japanese games in history, Moon is the one, for years, that I've most wanted to play. This is one better than Mother 3 getting an official release, and seemed dramatically less likely, given its obscurity. Often considered by those who've played it as one of the greatest games of all time, and helmed by my now-favourite game developer Yoshiro Kimura, who made Chulip and Little King's Story (one of my favourite games ever), along with Chibi-Robo and Captain Rainbow creator Kenichi Nishi, Moon, from what I know, is a clever subversion of conventional RPG gameplay mechanics that's right down my alley (an influence on games like Undertale), and which seems to be filled with all the charm and humour and creative character designs for which I'm in love with Kimura's work. In recent years, Kimura's gone on to form Onion Games, an indie studio putting out mind-blowingly good, creative, small games, including the aforementioned Dandy Dungeon – my favourite game on Switch – at a time when Western indie games are flooding the market, yet there are very few true Japanese indies that I know of... Anyway, Kimura is awesome, Onion Games is amazing, but it never occured to me that Kimura might be able to release old previously-unlocalized Love-de-Lic games through Onion Games – that's really incredible news.
Okay, that's enough videogames... My three most anticipated upcoming movies!
3. Family Romance, LLC
Werner Herzog is one of my two favourite filmmakers ever, I've seen like, all his movies, and I just feel like, I'm so in tune with what he's trying to show in his films, that it's impossible he'll disappoint me. Even his last fiction film, which is totally bizarre and alienating and was panned by most critics and audiences, Salt and Fire, I kind of loved. So any new Herzog film, especially a fiction feature film, is big news for me, but worlds are colliding with my love of Herzog and my love of Japanese cinema, as he's making a Japanese-language film for the first time, and I totally can't wait for it. I doubt it'll be as good as the time my love of Herzog collided with my love of Nicolas Cage, and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans came out, but I still have high hopes for this outing!
2. Prisoners of the Ghostland
So my other favourite director ever is the Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono, and worlds are colliding again, because he's making his first English-language film, starring my favourite actor... Nicolas Cage! This news is almost a year old, but I still can't get over it, nor can I get over this quote from Cage, who said of the script "I’m thrilled about it! It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It might be the wildest movie I’ve ever made, and that’s saying something. It’s way out there." That is saying something. Cage, who just made the near-masterpiece Mandy, the best film of last year, is a massively underrated actor, who's at his best in his "crazier" roles. And Sion Sono, director of Love Exposure (maybe the best movie ever), whose bread and butter is meaningfully crazy cinema... yeah, this is a good pairing.
As excited as I am for a new Herzog or Sono film, based on recent output, the filmmaker who is most at the top of his game who I have the highest expectations for a new film from, is Korean director Joon-ho Bong. His recent English-language endeavors, Okja and Snowpiercer are two of the most creative, intelligent, and darkly hilarious blockbusters you can watch, they're easily two of my favourite films of the decade. But a couple of the films he made in Korea before that, Mother, and his masterpiece Memories of Murder starring Kang-ho Song, are even better. So a new Korean film reuniting Joon-ho Bong with Kang-ho Song, I have huge expectations for. Then Parasite ended up winning (unanimously) the Palme d'Or, a first for a Korean filmmaker – and it's weird to see a director I personally love so much getting such attention. At the very least, should be the most palatable Cannes pick in a couple decades!
I'm also big into collecting movies on blu-ray, so here are my three most anticipated upcoming blu-ray releases!
The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (TBA)
Third Window Films in the UK is one of my favourite blu-ray labels; it's really just one guy who runs the whole company, and he's dedicated to bringing modern Japanese cinema to home video, stuff that doesn't get a theatrical release and which nobody else would put out. He's put out a lot of Sion Sono's films, for example. Well, I'm really looking forward to a couple of Third Window's upcoming releases, including Shinya Tsukamoto's wonderful new samurai film Killing (which will be released in a double feature with his horror film Haze), but most of all I'm excited for The Legend of the Stardust Brothers, an 80s musical oddity never before seen in the West, which looks absolutely insane, and could be a major cult discovery.
Three Films With Sammo Hung (September 23)
Another (much bigger) boutique UK label, Eureka, has been doing a phenomenal job lately with some of its Hong Kong releases, including many Jackie Chan films. But Jackie Chan's "brother" Sammo Hung, deserves equal attention; The Magnificent Butcher might just be the best martial arts film I've seen, and likely the funniest. I can't wait to get this set and check out some of the other included films. Check out their earlier (region-free) release of Drunken Master, and if you like that, I highly recommend The Magnificent Butcher.
Polyester (September 17)
I've been really getting into John Waters' films the last couple years. Criterion's started releasing them recently too, in beautiful blu-ray editions loaded with extras - including a great edition of Female Trouble, which I've watched honestly too many times now. But my favourite of his films is Polyester, just one of the funniest and most refreshingly energetic comedies I've seen in a long time. However, the major gimmick of the film, the "Odorama" scratch-and-sniff card, which allows you to smell along with the movie was a whole dimension of the film I missed out on the first time I watched it, and I can't wait to get the full experience, with the card included in the new blu-ray edition. It's gonna be great. That cover art is so perfect, too...
What are your most anticipated blu-rays, my dear readers?!?!