2016 is a promising year for gamers, especially with the upcoming games in 2016 of both new and long awaited titles that will take advantage of the current generation of gaming. Although the PSita will not have any more AAA games produced for it, there are still plenty of games to look forward to in the future for the underrated handheld.
This list includes upcoming PS Vita games that are currently set to be released in North America (and some in Europe) in 2016. There may be delays in the developmental process, so nothing is set in stone. This list is sure to grow, especially in terms of localization, but for now, here are the 13 upcoming PS Vita Games of 2016:
1. Atelier Escha and Logy Plus: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
Release Date: January 19, 2016
The Atelier series are definitely interesting takes on the JRPG genre, combining turn based combat with the concept of alchemy, something that isn’t explored enough in video games. Escha and Logy is one of the more popular titles of GUST’s Atelier series, spawning an anime series as well as this enhanced port of the original Ps3 title. The story follows the two alchemists as they work together in their town to recover old practices of alchemy, while dealing with the repercussions of the event known as “The Dusk.” The Vita port of this game comes with new scenarios, characters, and enemies, making it an improved version of the original game. The limited edition on NISA’s website comes with all kinds of amazing goodies, such as an artbook, soundtrack, and poster, making it a must order for any old fans of the game, or those who wish to try it out.
2. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
Release Date: February 2, 2o16
Gathering quite a bit of hype since its initial Japanese announcement, Cyber Sleuth is sure to be one of the most anticipated games in the coming year. Following the story of two hackers, players are immersed in a digital world. After receiving a message from someone online, the hackers are transported into the world, being able to navigate the digi-world and obtain Digimon. Players can go between the real and virtual worlds, making it a unique JRPG. Cyber Sleuth looks amazing, from the visuals to the gameplay. Even fans who never were into Digimon (like myself) have something to be excited about, and this may be the very thing that will make me watch the series. It is going to be released for PS4 and Vita, the Vita version being a great alternative for those who want to bring the monster collecting RPG with them or for those who do not have a PS4. It is rumored to be Playstation TV compatible, which is another option to play Vita games without buying the Vita system.
3. Muv Luv
Release Date: October 2016
Visual novels definitely have more of a presence than they ever had in the States, especially on the PS Vita. Muv Luv is just one of many examples of a visual novel that have been able to come to the West due to a Kickstarter campaign, and is set to release sometime in 2016. Muv Luv is one of the most popular visual novels from Japan, following the protagonist who must choose between the affections of a mysterious girl and his childhood friend. Deeper into the story, mechs, other dangers, and an alternate universe truly make Muv Luv stand out from the average romantic comedy story. This game was able to get a PS Vita release of the first two games thanks to a very successful campaign, and is a great option for fans of Japanese games, novels, and dating sims.
4. Aegis of Earth: Protonovus
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Defense games are few and far between, and Aegis of Earth looks promising for fans of the genre. Advertised as an action strategy game, this title requires players to defend their city with an emphasis on using new technology as well as weapons and tactics. Although there is not much information released about this title yet, it looks like a great localization by Aksys so far.
5. Trillion: God of Destruction
Release Date: Spring 2016
Compile Heart, a game company known for the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, has a new RPG that was released in Japan this past summer and is being localized for this spring. Compile games are known for their parody style and 4th wall breaking humor, and Trillion:God of Destruction appears to follow a similar formula. Exclusive to the Vita, Trillion features a boss that literally has a trillion hit points. The goal is to defeat him using any strategy you choose, gaining experience points and leveling up along the way. It’s also hinted to have a dating system with “6 deadly sins to love.”
6. Stranger of Sword City
Release Date: March 22, 2016
First person dungeon crawling RPGs used to be the norm years ago until different types in this genre emerged, appealing to many new fans. That being said, it’s rarer to find first person RPGs, many of them being exclusive Japanese releases. For fans of the genre looking for a more hardcore title, Stranger of Sword City appears to be an excellent fit. After crashing a plane on a mysterious land, players must survive the many challenges that come their way, emphasizing choice. Featuring perma-death, a risk system, and competitive online leaderboards, Stranger of Sword City would definitely be considered hardcore. Although the game is not for everyone, the story looks really awesome and has absolutely gorgeous artwork. There is a limited edition on NISA’s website available for preorder today.
7. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
Release Date: April 12, 2016
The PS2 era had some of the best and most underrated games of all time, especially when it comes to JRPGs. Odin Sphere is both of these, being one of the best, a fantastic 2D side-scroller RPG. Atlus has been on the radar more than ever with localizing games, and Odin Sphere is no exception. Rooted in Norse mythology, the game follows five protagonists connected to the nations of Erion, each having their own unique path and story. The HD remake also has a revised combat system that is similar to Vanillaware’s other title, Dragon’s Crown. There are also new stages and enemies, adding more to the core game. For collectors of rare goodies, Atlus’s special edition is their biggest one to date, and is very tempting to preorder.
8. Mighty No. 9
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Also known as the spiritual successor to the Megaman series, Mighty No. 9 is a platformer that won the hearts of fans during its Kickstarter a few years back. The story follows Beck, an android, who discovers a bigger threat when robots across the area are effected by a computer virus. Along with his partner, Call, Beck must save the world. Although the website lists the target audience as ages 6-10, people of all ages are highly anticipating this game, especially fans of Megaman. This game will be released on multiple platforms this winter, however, the Vita version is a great on-the-go option that will have sharp graphics.
9. World of Final Fantasy
Release Date: TBA 2016
With the long awaited titles coming out and taking longer than expected in the development process, several game developers have turned to releasing spin-off games to keep their fans occupied. This is proven to not be a bad thing, especially when the spin-offs bring something new to the table. World of Final Fantasy may be meant for this purpose, or also a way to get younger or more casual gamers into the series. In this title, the gameplay is more simplified, featuring chibi characters and a story following two siblings. Locations and characters in World of Final Fantasy also feature past games in the series. Is this title the next Persona Q, a spin-off of a popular series with multiple characters?
10. Zero Time Dilemma
Release Date: TBA 2016
The Zero Escape series, a puzzle filled visual novel, is one of the lesser known games for handhelds, and it really shouldn’t be. Starting out with 999 on the DS, the series managed to tell a captivating “every choice matters” story with quite a few plot twists and mind bending puzzles that proved to be a challenge to the player. The narrative is well written with complicated characters, as well as the choice of life and death. The sequel, Virtue’s Last Reward, was a cult hit and ever since its release, fans longed for a third game. Finally, after years with going back and forth whether or not development will take place, Spike Chunsoft confirmed that Zero Escape 3, titled Zero Time Dilemma, will release in North America and Europe in 2016. Not much is known at this time. However, it will feature themes of morality and philosophy.
11. Ray Gigant
Release Date: TBA Spring 2016
Otherworldly creatures attacking major cities seems to be an overused trope, but Ray Gigant’s world seems to offer a unique twist on the typical action plot. Players take control of three characters who want to save the world in different ways, each having their own story arc. Although this is a RPG, it is not the typical turn based combat, having three way battles and a rhythm action system.
More to Come
The titles chosen for this list only reflect the games that are currently announced. The Vita is a unique system, and since it does not have the support or marketing it deserves, many games will not be announced until sometimes a month before release. Many localization companies are upping the amount of games they bring to the West per year, and there is going to be more news at a later date. Visual novels are on the rise, as well as JRPGs and fighting games. Indie games also should not be forgotten, as well as digital only titles! Be on the lookout for more news and game announcements. 2016 looks like a great year already.