The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is the biggest week of the year for video games: it's the place where wishes are granted and where agonising waits begin and end. Although Sony did not have their own show at this year's E3, there were still plenty of new Japanese game announcements and details to get excited about! Here's all of the ones we were treated to at E3 2019.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Platform(s): Switch | Release: March 20th, 2020
It took over 9 months from when it was first teased and then another 33 minutes of waiting through Nintendo's E3 Direct to finally get a full reveal of the new Animal Crossing game, the latest entry in one of Nintendo's most celebrated franchises. We were treated to snippets of new gameplay and the game's title, but we were also informed that the game's original release date of 2019 had been changed to March 20th, 2020. Reports say that the game was delayed to ensure the health of its developers, avoiding the damaging crunchtime that infects much of the industry.
You can watch more gameplay of Animal Crossing: New Horizons here!
Platform(s): Switch | Release: August 30th, 2019
Previously revealed at the end of Nintendo's February Direct, Astral Chain is the latest action game from PlatinumGames, the makers of Bayonetta. Nintendo released their own description of the game:
"In this new synergetic action game from Platinum Games, humanity’s last chance against an interdimensional invasion is a sentient weapon called the Legion. As a rookie officer in an elite police task force, players will work together with their Legion to solve cases and save humankind. Players can change Legions on the fly to vary their style and unleash stylish combos. As they save the world from extradimensional invaders called chimeras, they’ll also interact with citizens, question suspects and team up with members of their task force to solve cases."
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC | Release: September 26th, 2019
Code Vein is as an action-roleplaying game set in a post-apocalyptic and dystopian open world where vampire-like creatures roam. Although the game is heavily inspired by the Dark Souls franchise, the game is far more similar to FromSoftware's Bloodborne, though you can play this one on PC and Xbox One.
Collection of Mana
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Available Now
The Collection of Mana offers three games: Final Fantasy Adventure (Game Boy), Secret of Mana (Super Nintendo), and the 1995 original Trials of Mana (SNES). The different names are a bit of a mix due to messy localisation, but together they are known as the Seiken Densetsu series in Japan. Collections of classic games aren't anything new, but this one is special because the third game, Trials of Mana, never saw an official Western release until now.
Contra Anniversary Collection
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC | Release: Available Now
The run-and-gun Contra franchise dates back to 1987, when it first appeared as a coin-operated arcade game. Since then, Contra games have appeared on 26 different platforms, everything from the NES to current-gen consoles. Now, 10 of these games are available to purchase in a single bundle: Contra (Arcade), Super contra, Contra (NA release), Contra (JP release), Super C, Contra III: The Alien Wars, Operation C, Contra Hard Corps, Super Probotector Alien Revels, and Probotector.
Contra: Rogue Corps
Platform(s): Switch | Release: September 24th, 2019
Accompanying the announcement of the Contra Anniversary Collection, a brand new addition to the franchise was also announced. Although it bears the name "Contra", its gameplay style is very different – it is a 3D twin-stick shooter.
Daemon X Machina
Platform(s): Switch | Release: September 13th, 2019
Action mech game Daemon X Machina was first revealed during Nintendo's presentation at last year's E3, exhibiting vibrant colours, a heavy metal soundtrack, and lots of explosions. If you enjoyed the Armored Core series, keep an eye out for this game from the same producer.
Disgaea 4 Complete+
Platform(s): PS4, Switch | Release: Fall 2019
First, it was Disgaea 5 on the Switch in March 2017. Then, Disgaea 1 in October 2018. And now it's... Disgaea 4? Regardless of the order, the Disgaea franchise has had a steady stream of re-releases on the Switch and PlayStation 4, and the 4th installment in the main series will be joining them later this year.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC | Release: Early 2020
Dragon Ball Z is one of the most overmilked franchises when it comes to video games, but it still manages to pump out strong entries even now, including the likes of Dragon Ball FighterZ and Dragon Ball Xenoverse. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot promises a new way to experience the stories and characters most of us are all too familiar with: it promises more volume and content, such as scenes that have not been previously depicted before.
You can watch more gameplay and an interview with the creative team of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot here!
Dragon Quest Builders 2
Platform(s): PS4, Switch | Release: July 12th, 2019
Anyone who is a fan of Japanese games knows about the ever-growing Dragon Quest franchise. At first, Dragon Quest Builders was an oddity: an action RPG with Minecraft-like elements, but it became a massive hit with rave reviews. Now, the sequel is finally coming to the West and will be released in under a month's time.
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Autumn 2019
Even though the Dragon Quest franchise contains countless titles, including spin-off games and other media (including anime and manga), Dragon Quest XI is regarded as one of the best, and it's now coming to Switch two years after its initial release.
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC | Release: Unknown
Do you love Game of Thrones? Were you hardcore enough to play every Dark Souls game? Then this collaboration between George R.R. Martin and FromSoftware is the game for you. FromSoftware President Hidetaka Miyazaki has called it "our biggest title yet in terms of sheer volume" and "full of things that we weren't able to do in the Dark Souls series."
fault milestone one
Platform(s): PS4, PS Vita, Switch | Summer and Fall 2019
fault milestone one is a linear visual novel, focusing more on telling its story than being played. The game features strong female characters in a world where magic is used as a part of everyday life, but where certain places have less magic and are more advanced in science instead. It's regarded as a good visual novel for beginners. The original visual novel was released on PC in August 2013.
The Switch version is slated to release in Summer, and the PlayStation 4 and Vita versions are slated for Fall.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Platform(s): PS4 | Release: March 3rd, 2020
The initial unveiling of Final Fantasy VII's remake immediately became one of the biggest moments in E3's 24-year history. The sheer volume of the cheers reacting to the reveal just goes to show how much hype there is surrounding this remake of the treasured classic. At this year's E3, we were treated to an exciting half-cinematic half-gameplay trailer that showed off stunning views of Midgar and various combat scenarios. But of course, the biggest crowd reaction came from the first appearance of fan favourite Tifa, whose new character model is so realistic that you can see the individual pores on her skin.
You can watch more gameplay of Final Fantasy VII Remake here!
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
Platform(s): PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC | Release: 2019
The original Final Fantasy VIII turned 20 years old earlier this year and was the seventh-best-selling game on the original PlayStation console. Final Fantasy VIII is regarded as the most divisive entry in the series, as it took a very different approach to its RPG system in everything from its combat to its economy. Regardless, it managed to defy expectations, and its remaster is being welcomed with open arms by many of its fans.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Platform(s): PS4, PC | Release: July 2nd, 2019
The MMORPG version of Final Fantasy has been going strong since 2010 despite a notoriously messy launch, and Shadowbringers is its third expansion pack to date. The launch trailer above showcases elements of the new lore, while some of the new features were revealed during its presentation, which you can watch here.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Platform(s): PS4, Switch, iOS, Android | Release: Winter 2019
The first Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles game was originally released in 2003 for the Nintendo GameCube, and the franchise has since seen five other installments on a variety of Nintendo-exclusive consoles. The new game offers improved graphics, of course, but it also includes a brand new online multiplayer mode where players can team up with friends no matter where they're up to in the game.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Platform(s): Switch | Release: July 26th, 2019
The next entry in the Fire Emblem is just over a month away, and the latest trailer previews even more of the game's story and characters.
You can watch more gameplay of Fire Emblem: Three Houses here!
Platform(s): Unknown | Release: Unknown
There isn't much to go on here as no platforms, release date, or gameplay was shown or announced, but the cinematic reveal trailer was one of the most captivating of E3 2019. Tango Gameworks is well-known for their survival horror games like The Evil Within series, but creative director (and new internet sweetheart) Ikumi Nakamura stated that "it is not the survival horror game we are known for."
You can watch the full reveal of GhostWire: Tokyo here!
Heart of the Woods
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Q1 2020
Heart of the Woods is a fantasy yuri visual novel about paranormal investigation, ancient mysteries, and love between two girls that transcends life and death. Originally released on Steam earlier this year, Heart of the Woods received rave reviews and is making its way to the Nintendo Switch early next year.
Kingdom Hearts III: ReMind
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One | Release: Winter 2019
It was previously revealed that 2019's Kingdom Hearts III would receive paid DLC, but all packed together into the one package set for 2019, now officially called ReMind.
Luigi's Mansion 3
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Holiday 2019
It's been over six years since the release of Luigi's Mansion 2 (Dark Moon) on the Nintendo 3DS, and Luigi's Mansion 3 is now a part of Nintendo's main lineup for this year. The E3 trailer for the latest entry in the franchise highlights a number of new and returning gameplay features, including a new Poltergust, different themes across the mansion's floors, the slimy clone Gooigi, multiplayer mode, and more.
You can watch more gameplay of Luigi's Mansion 3 here!
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Platform(s): Switch | Release: November 2019
After skipping the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, the vast ensemble of colourful characters from the Mario and Sonic franchises are (unsurprisingly) returning for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games. Although the game was announced two months ago, the E3 trailer makes a point to show off all of the new events that will be making their debut in 2020: surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing, and karate.
You can watch more gameplay of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and an interview with the game's producer here!
Narcissu: Lumiere Eternelle Edition
Platform(s): PS4, Switch | Release: Winter 2019
Narcissu: Lumiere Eternelle Edition will be a collection of every game in the Narcissu franchise, a series that tells heartfelt stories about people with terminal illnesses. The original Narcissu visual novel was released in August 2005.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered
Platform(s): PS4, PC, Switch† | Release: September 20th, 2019
Ni no Kuni is a JRPG series developed by Level-5 and is well-known for its Ghibli-like art style and unique gameplay. Studio Ghibli actually animated several cutscenes for the franchise. The first game in the series was first released in 2011 for the PlayStation 3 but wasn't released outside Japan until 2013.
The franchise is inspiring an anime film that will open on August 23rd later this year.
†Switch release will be the original version, not the remaster.
No More Heroes III
Platform(s): Switch | Release: 2020
The first two No More Heroes games were both released on the Wii in 2007 and 2010 respectively; after skipping a console, the action-adventure hack and slash series is coming to Nintendo Switch next year. We didn't get to see any gameplay at the show, but we were briefly treated to Travis Touchdown and his snarky nerd attitude once more.
Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC | Release: August 22nd, 2019
Oninaki was originally announced during the same February Nintendo Direct as Astral Chain, which showed off a new action RPG from the makers of I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear, but with a look that was radically improved from those of these two games. The new E3 trailer shows off more of Oninaki's setting and gameplay, along with an August 22nd release date.
Panzer Dragoon: Remake
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Winter 2019
Sega's rail shooter Panzer Dragoon series began with Panzer Dragoon on the Sega Saturn in 1995 and seemingly ended with Panzer Dragoon Orta on the original Xbox in 2002, which had a solid score of 90 on Metacritic. Unless an actual Star Fox game is announced for the Switch, this will be the closest we get.
Phantasy Star Online 2
Platform(s): Xbox One, PC | Release: 2020
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a sci-fi, action-oriented MMORPG with a unique set of races and interchangeable classes. But wait, wasn't Phantasy Star Online 2 already released 7 years ago? That's correct, but it's now officially heading to the West as an Xbox One and PC exclusive. However, the game will not be released in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.
On a side note, there is an anime adaptation of the game titled Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation.
Pokémon Sword and Shield
Platform(s): Switch | Release: November 15th, 2019
Although the E3 presentation was not as exciting as last week's Nintendo Direct, we were treated to some full gameplay and minor details for Pokémon Sword and Shield, due out later this year. However, controversial comments from producer Junichi Masuda about game limitations, on top of existing frustrations with Game Freak in the Pokémon community, have sparked an online backlash.
Resident Evil 5 and 6
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Fall 2019
Following the release of six other Resident Evil ports on the Nintendo Switch, Resident Evil 5 and 6 will be making their way to the console later this year. A fun live-action trailer was also released in celebration of Resident Evil's presence on the Switch.
Romancing SaGa 3 & SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions
Platform(s): PS4, PS Vita†, Switch, Xbox One†, PC, iOS, Android | Release: Unknown
The SaGa franchise is another Japanese RPG franchise that is being brought back to life on modern consoles. Romancing SaGa 3 was originally released for the SNES in 1995 and SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions was released back in 2016 for most current-gen consoles, but neither game has seen a Western release until now.
†Only applies to Romancing SaGa 3.
Root Double: Before Crime * After Days
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Winter 2019
Root Double takes place in a future society where people with ESP have become commonplace. When an explosion occurs at a research lab, it's up to the player to escape with their friends or rescue those trapped inside in two different scenarios to choose from. The original visual was released in June 2012 but is now making its way to Switch later this year.
RPG Time: The Legend of Wright
Platform(s): Xbox One, PC, iOS, Android | Release: 2020
There are already a lot of RPGs in this roundup, but RPG Time: The Legend of Wright stands out for a very special reason: it's a papercraft game made by a small indie studio. If you go to the game's website here and scroll down, you can draw something that could be featured in the game!
Platform(s): PS4, PC | Release: November 19th, 2019
Shenmue III was famously crowdfunded with a target of $2 million and a final tally of $7 million raised across multiple platforms. The game has been delayed multiple times, but has seemingly settled on a final release date. Although the trailer states that it's still a work in progress, many have already expressed disappointment over the stiff graphics and clunky animation they saw.
Controversially, Shenmue III will be an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC despite confirming the provision of Steam keys to its backers earlier this year.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — DLC #2
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Summer 2019
Surprisingly, the grand entrance of Dragon Quest's "Hero" was Nintendo's first reveal for their E3 Direct presentation. Much to fans' delight, Hero is four characters in one, embodying the main characters of Dragon Quest III, IV, VIII, and XI.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — DLC #3
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Fall 2019
Just when fans thought they had been robbed of Banjo-Kazooie in Smash, Nintendo pulled their classic "oh, and one more thing" to release a hilarious rehash of their King K. Rool reveal trailer. Along with the unveiling of Hero, two of the most favorited picks for Smash fighters have been fulfilled... and there are still two more reveals to go for Ultimate.
Tales of Arise
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC | Release: 2020
Bandai Namco's Tales series is one of the most celebrated JRPG franchises, now spanning 18 games since its first entry back in 1995. The E3 trailer was the first reveal for the latest game, which showed off a distinct visual upgrade thanks to their usage of Unreal Engine 4. To quote the trailer directly, "the story begins with two people born on different worlds, each looking to change their fate and create a new future."
The Last Remnant Remastered
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Available Now
The Last Remnant was an action RPG originally released on Xbox 360 in 2008 and was the first Square Enix game to use the Unreal Engine. The original game was praised for its art direction and soundtrack but was received poorly in the West due to its graphical issues, which included low framerates and rendering glitches.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel
Platform(s): Switch | Release: Unknown
In what was arguably Nintendo's most bombshell reveal, it was announced that a sequel to the smash hit, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is in development. The short trailer teases a much darker tone, much like how Majora's Mask contrasted Ocarina of Time. Since the game will be using the same engine and likely most of the same assets, we might not have to wait long for this much-anticipated sequel.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Platform(s): Switch | Release: September 20th, 2019
The original Link's Awakening was the first of the franchise to be released on a handheld device way back in 1993 for the Game Boy, and a remake for the Switch was unveiled with an animated trailer and small preview of gameplay back in February. Nintendo's E3 presentation gave us a more detailed look and a September 20th release date.
You can watch more gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening here!
Trials of Mana
Platform(s): PS4, Switch, PC | Release: Early 2020
Unlike the Trials of Mana included in the previously mentioned Collection of Mana, this Trials of Mana game will be an HD remake of the original game that was released back in 1995 for the SNES. Showcasing beautiful 3D character and scene designs, the E3 trailer gives us a small preview of classic JRPG gameplay.
WORLD END ECONOMiCA
Platform(s): PS4, PS Vita, Switch | Release: Winter 2019
Written by the author of Spice and Wolf, the WORLD END ECONOMiCA adventure visual novel series follows a young boy accumulating capital to achieve his dreams, and is being rereleased five years after the series first debuted. The new version will include the full collection of all three WORLD END ECONOMiCA games.