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Even in the first five we have a great selection of titles that will find big fans amongst RPGamers. Two releases from the past return to give a new generation of players the chance to see what made them loved, and there's good excitement to see how Larian Studios can build on Divinity: Original Sin. The Atelier series keeps going strong, and we look forward to seeing what Nihon Falcom manages to do with a modern real-world setting.


Yakuza Kiwami

#20
Yakuza Kiwami (PS4) - Official Site
Pub: Sega | Dev: Sega | Release: Q3.2017 (NA/EU)

Sega has given me the greatest holiday gift a girl could ask for: an announcement for more Yakuza localizations. Following the coattails of Yakuza Zero comes Yauza Kiwami, a remake of the first game that promises more bells, whistles, and a better localization to boot. I couldn't be more excited with this particular announcement, along with Yakuza 6, and I am looking forward to reliving Kazuma Kiryu's story from the beginning. I am also looking forward to playing the game in its new skin, complete with revamped graphics, faster combat, and new voice work. All I can say is bless you, Sega, bless you. - Sam Wachter


Divinity: Original Sin II

#19
Divinity: Original Sin II (PC) - Official Site
Pub: Larian Studios | Dev: Larian Studios | Release: 2017 (NA/EU)

The Divinity series is as varied in styles between its numerous entries as it is in quality. But Divinity: Original Sin is the series' high point and Larian Studios seems to understand that to some extent as it is making the sequel iterative rather than performing another genre switch. With my ten or so hours with the game in Early Access, the same driving gameplay is present and even more open, though with some tightening of mechanics performed to the original's. But the promise of four player co-op, a wider choice of character creation, and a noted effort to improve on the first game's forgettable story may lead to one of the best all-around experiences next year. - Zack Webster


Ys Origin

#18
Ys Origin (PS4/Vita)
Pub: DotEmu | Dev: Nihon Falcom | Release: 02.21.2017 (NA/EU)

I rarely play PC games, but back in 2012 XSEED Games localized Ys Origin and it was a PC-only release. I was on a bit of an Ys kick, so I hooked up my laptop to the TV, plugged in my Xbox 360 controller, and blazed through it. It quickly became one of my favorite Ys games, as it had all the platforming sections of the fan-favorite Ys: Oath in Felghana, only better and featuring multiple playable characters. Yunica played like the typical Ys protagonist, but Hugo was a big change with a heavier focus on using magic. Each character had his or her own storyline, which added more replayability. With DotEmu's announcement that Ys Origin would be coming to Vita and PS4, I couldn't help but be excited to be able to play this one again and finish all the storylines. Being portable makes this even more exciting, so for those who passed on the PC version, I highly recommend checking this out when it hits consoles in February. - Michael A. Cunningham


Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey

#17
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey (PC/PS4/Vita) - Official Site
Pub: Koei Tecmo | Dev: Gust | Release: 03.07.2017 (NA), 03.10.2017 (EU)

Atelier Sophie was a mixed bag for me, but it showed promise in shaking up the Atelier series formula. For what it's worth, it looks like Atelier Firis will be continuing the series trend of adorable heroines and a fun ensemble cast of characters. It'll be the first Atelier game to be launching on PC, hopefully allowing this wonderful series to grow with a new audience. Offering branching plotlines, player choice is going to be a large part of Firis' journey, and I look forward to undertaking it in March. - Sam Wachter


Tokyo Xanadu

#16
Tokyo Xanadu (PC/Vita) - Official Site
Pub: Aksys Games | Dev: Nihon Falcom | Release: 2017 (NA)

Nihon Falcom is primarily, and deservedly, known for two things: Ys and The Legend of Heroes. However, it's good to see the company trying something a bit different in Tokyo Xanadu. Admittedly, there's clearly a lot of inspiration from Trails of Cold Steel in Tokyo Xanadu, but considering how great the former is, it's hardly a bad thing. Easily amongst the developers that I have the most confidence in, Falcom has brought us many fantastic tales and backed them up with some great gameplay, particularly when it comes to action RPGs. It is Falcom, so Aksys Games has plenty of work ahead localising the masses of text the developer regularly provides, but I greatly look forward to the result. The Vita has been home to many excellent RPGs and I'm eagerly awaiting being able to add this to my collection. - Alex Fuller



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