This October is a busy time for gaming, where the faucet are turned to gushing, and we all become awash with an abundance of titles to play. It’s so busy, I’ve had to rewrite this list several times to find some kind of balance. Usually, November is a busy month too, but this year it’s like companies squeezed everything into October and then got the hell out of there – probably to make room for the inevitable long legs Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 will have when they hit retail.

As a result, there’s numerous games that got cut, from The Jackbox Party Pack 5, to Starlink: Battle for Atlas, to even SoulCalibur VI. Those (and more) are bound to be games also worthy of your time, but space is tight and decisions had to be made. At the very least, I got a calendar for upcoming 3DS games out recently, and that helped clear some space. Check this link out for more information about what’s coming up for Nintendo’s older handheld.

Anyway, November looks like an easier month to figure out. It’s pretty tame, compared to this. See you then!

A good old buddy returns again.

Mega Man 11 (PC/PS4/Switch/XB1)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 10/2/18

What is it?
Mega Man 11 is just that – the eleventh entry in the historic franchise, and the first being made since series creator Keiji Inafune left Capcom. This title brings back some modern features that were explored in Mega Man 8 (such as voice acting and 2.5D graphics) before the series went retro with the ninth and tenth entries. It’s been eight years since the last entry and there have been series bundles released across several current platforms since then. If there was ever an audience more primed for a new Mega Man game, it’d be now.

Why is it important?
The Mega Man franchise has had a rocky road since the release of Mega Man 10 in 2010. Several games have been announced and cancelled, and a lot of hurt feelings have permeated the fanbase. The most notorious example was Mega Man Legends 3, a 3DS sequel to the Playstation 1-era spinoff series, which had a lot of praise due to the transparency of its development process and a high level of fan involvement. It’s understandable if Capcom wants to play it safe and release with Mega Man 11 to begin winning that fanbase back before they go any further. However, they should also know it’ll likely be a long time before everything is smoothed over.

“Let’s talk about an assassination assignment…”

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (PC/PS4/XB1)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Release Date: 10/5/18 (10/2/18 for early birds)

What is it?
It’s another Assassin’s Creed, following the reinvention of the series with last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins. I’m tempted to say that’s it, but the important thing to note is that if you prefer the Assassin’s Creed of old, this is a different breed than what you’re used to. If you like action RPG-oriented titles, you might still like it. Also, if you’re in Japan, check out the version of the game streaming on Nintendo Switch the same day – that should be an interesting way to play for sure.

Why is it important?

Delivering Assassin’s Creed titles every year was a model that worked for Ubisoft for a while, until titles like Unity simply had too many bugs to ignore. They took a year off and rebooted the franchise following Syndicate, but I suppose they’re willing to see if such a quick turn around will work again. I’ll be rooting for their success, but it’s important to remember that not every franchise has to have an entry every single year. Players just get burnt out that way.

Something about this reminds me of Uncharted.

Super Mario Party (Switch)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nd Cube
Release Date: 10/5/18

What is it?
The first Mario Party title to hit the Switch, the minigame mayhem looks more fun than ever thanks to a clever use of the system’s capabilities. Using two Switches set side by side looks like really cool tech and I want other games to utilize it. If you don’t know what Mario Party is, no single trailer or explanation can describe it for you. Just check out the series if you can and, uh, report back. You can find my email at the bottom of the page and, um, tell me what you think. Just don’t blame me for anything.

Why is it important?
While the series has been a mainstay since the Nintendo 64, it really hasn’t been in its prime since the Gamecube days. With only two Wii titles, one on the Wii U, and a handful of 3DS titles, the series has really spread out. QA sister series, Wii Party, has even shown up for the fun, too. If this new entry brings the series back into focus for Switch, that’s the best thing fans could ask for. It’ll still probably sell millions of copies either way, though.

And this one reminds me of Lost in Shadow for some reason…

The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories (PC/PS4/Switch/XB1)
Publisher: Arc System Works
Developer: White Owls
Release Date: 10/11/18

What is it?
From Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro, the man behind Deadly Premonition, comes a new 2D platformer. It’s the first game from his new studio White Owls and seems much different than what we’ve come to expect from his work. But, it’s still a Swery game, so it’s bound to have a weird charm all its own. Interestingly, the title is being published in the states by Arc System Works. Their North American branch was only established last year, so it’s nice to see them up and running to deliver titles like The Missing so promptly.

Why is it important?
Following Deadly Premonition, the handheld Lord of Arcana series, and the episodic D4 on Xbox One, Swery took some time off from game development due to health issues. The Missing and The Good Life, Swery’s first foray into Kickstarting a game, are the first titles to herald his return with a new team. It’ll be interesting to see how the intervening years have changed him, if at all.

And this one – hey! It looks like Call of Duty. Go figure.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PC/PS4/XB1)
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
Release Date: 10/12/18

What is it?
This is the point where I just want to say it’s Call of Duty. It’s Black Ops 4 (or IIII). It’s developed by series mainstay Treyarch – and then move on. But it is worth mentioning, I suppose, the new battle royale mode called Blackout. Yes, Call of Duty is going to compete with Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlergrounds. If any game can show us whether there’s room for more than two popular battle royale games, this mode will likely be it.

Why is it important?
Call of Duty is still one of the biggest franchises in gaming after eleven straight years close to the top. Treyarch really came into their own with the Black Ops games, and having them spearhead a brand new mode like this seems risky and interesting. They’re also behind the perennial Zombies mode, so if anyone can make a new mode work, it’s probably them. However, it does make me wonder if primary developer Infinity Ward will try to do something on their own to match Treyarch’s work, or if they’ll coast with Blackout Season 2 when the next Call of Duty inevitably comes out next year.

There’s no mistaking the look of this game. Even in HD.

The World Ends With You: Final Remix (Switch)
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix/Jupiter
Release Date: 10/12/18

What is it?
An expanded HD port of Square Enix’s original DS RPG classic, Final Remix ditches the dual screen combat and promises new added content. If it sells well, this will hopefully points to some kind of continuation for the franchise. Will Sora show up? Will there be any crossover with Kingdom Hearts? TWEWY’s protagonist Neku appeared in Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance on 3DS back in the day, so anything feels possible, especially with Kingdom Hearts III releasing just months from now.

Why is it important?
This is another chance for an extremely underrated title to get its shot at success. The Switch seems to be a good home for just about any sort of game, which should this should be good tidings for this port. I mean, honestly, it’s just the best and may even get a sequel if this sells well, so please buy it. I’m not employed by Square Enix or anything, I’m just a huge fan. At least consider picking it up – please?

A sight many won’t ever forget.

Dark Souls: Remastered (Switch)
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer FromSoftware/Virtuos
Release Date: 10/19/18

What is it?
The long awaited appearance of a Souls game on a Nintendo console and the first time the series has gone portable, Dark Souls Remastered on Switch should be an interesting way for me to spend three months throwing myself against the wall until I succeed. Like many titles, it’s gotten the Switch Delay – releasing now in October instead of May, like the other versions of this remaster. So, hopefully any critical bugs have been ironed out and the wait is worth it.

Why is it important?
Souls games on the go sounds like an interesting proposition, and Switch software has sold through the roof already. The console has only been on the market for a year and a half, but the Switch is very quickly becoming the go-to spot for pretty much any franchise not nailed down by Sony or Microsoft, and this is one of the best examples of that I’ve seen yet. Dark Souls on Wii U is something I don’t think anyone seriously thought could happen, so it’s nice to see the Switch change that way of thinking. Let’s see it continue.

Games focused on metal music need to be more of a thing.

Gal Metal: World Tour Edition (Switch)
Publisher: Marvelous USA Inc./XSeed Games
Developer: DMM Games
Release Date: 10/23/18

What is it?
I know, I know. How can I call this list fair and balanced when almost half of it is so Switch focused? Did I really exclude Forza Horizon 4 for Gal Metal? Listen, though – this is a game that has shades of Elite Beat Agents, but it’s an all-girl band performing metal songs to help people and save the world and stuff. XSeed Games is doing us all an extreme favor by publishing this game in the West, so let’s try to thank them for the effort.

Why is it important?
With Taiko no Tatsujin coming back to the West in November, we’re poised for a movement to take back the rhythm genre from Rock Band and Guitar Hero. A title like Gal Metal can help remind people that you don’t need big plastic peripherals to have fun with these kinds of games. You just need an open mind, an appreciation for the awesome, and the willingness to just go all in and never look back. Not to mention – it’s a lot cheaper when you don’t have to buy all those extra accessories, too.

Once again, coming to a Wii near you – this October.

Just Dance 2019 (PS4/Switch/360/Wii/Wii U/XB1)
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Paris
Release Date: 10/23/18

What is it?
Just Dance has carved out a space in the rhythm game genre all its own. It’s a casual game, sure, but that’s not a bad thing. Success is important in the industry, and Just Dance is so successful, it’s able to appear on the Wii, the Wii U, and the Xbox 360 to this day. Just think about that! You can buy a brand new Wii game in 2018! And there’s still a Wii U version you can buy too, even though you can play both of them on the same console!

Why is it important?
This is a game releasing simultaneously on three generations of Nintendo hardware – for the second time, after last year’s Just Dance 2018. I don’t think this gets talked about enough. Not even Madden has accompished this. I want to talk to the team working on the Wii version – what’s it like making a game on a non-HD console in 2018? Then you have a team that’s also working on the Xbox 360 version, using thirteen-year-old hardware! For comparison’s sake, this would be like if we’d gotten an official new Nintendo 64 game in 2009, the same year the first iteration of Just Dance launched. This is truly something unprecedented in the console gaming space. I just love this industry so much.

Nobody does it quite like Rockstar.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4/XB1)
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Release Date: 10/26/18

What is it?
Finally, the big daddy. The only game on this list that could be more important than Call of Duty. Red Dead Redemption 2 is technically the third game in the series, but no one remembers Red Dead Revolver anymore. That’s okay though, because that game was a PS2/Xbox third person shooter that barely kept it together at its poorly sewn seams. Following the series reinvention with Redemption eight years ago, the series has rivaled Grand Theft Auto for Rockstar’s most beloved franchise. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be better than that Redemption, it’ll still likely be praised by many and sell millions of copies. That’s a guarantee if I’ve ever seen one, pardner.

Why is it important?
Even before its release, it’s a given that this is a game of the year contender for many. It’s likely to rival God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man, and the rest of the gaming industry pretty much knows it. Why do you think most major games are trying to get out the door before it launches? Rockstar’s last game, 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V, was the fourth best selling game just this August, according to NPD sales data, and one of the best-selling and most profitable titles ever made. Even if Red Dead Redemption 2 even does a quarter of that, it’ll still blow everything else away. I’d probably want to get out of the blast radius, too.

 

That’s it for this month! See you next month when we go over November’s list. If there’s something you want me to add, feel free to email me at dcichocki@tiltingwindmillstudios.com or message me on Twitter to let me know!