Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy
The first big JRPG in 2021 is Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy. As implied by the title, Atelier Ryza 2 is a direct sequel to the surprise hit from 2018 and the 21st entry in the Atelier franchise. The series has been going on for quite some time, but Ryza reinvigorated the franchise with some overhauls to the combat and alchemy systems. The sequel has more of the same, with some new features that raise the series’ quality of life.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox
The latest Ys game promises more of the same slashing gameplay that the series is known for. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox continues to follow Adol as he obtains new supernatural abilities. Players will meet new characters and party members with similar abilities as they explore a new region filled with mysteries.
Bravely Default II
Bravely Default is the closest thing to classic Final Fantasy games that we are going to get. Fortunately, that’s not a bad thing because the series has been great so far. Bravely Default II is the third game in the franchise but features a cast and a story that’s unrelated to the other two games. Those who are looking for a retro experience with a modern spin will want to check out Bravely Default II, which will likely be accessible to series vets and newcomers.
Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139…
The title might be appalling but just think of Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139… as the remake of Nier Replicant. Nier Replicant was never released in the West, which means this is going to be a completely new Nier experience for most of us. The game acts as a prequel to Nier: Automata and follows a man as he travels to find a way to cure his dying sister.
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster
Well, we might never get Persona 5 on Switch, but at least the Nintendo console is getting one of the most beloved SMT games in the franchise. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster will hold fans over while they wait for Shin Megami Tensei V. The remaster comes with a few new features, including a new difficulty to accommodate for players who aren’t as hardcore.
Neo: The World Ends with You
The World Ends With You is one of the most beloved DS games that just never got a sequel. That’s finally changing this year with Neo: The World Ends With You. This new entry gives players a brand new story with an entirely new cast. What’s even more interesting is the change in combat, making this entry a 3D action game. This sequel retains the original’s art style and presentation. If the trailer is any indication, Neo will also have a sweet OST.
SaGa Frontier Remastered
Square Enix’s latest remaster is for SaGa Frontier, a game that came out in 1997. This remaster includes the eight original protagonists, plus Fuse as a new playable character. Fans of Octopath Traveler will be familiar with the way that SaGa Frontier handles its storytelling. Players will choose a character and go through their journey, offering the player many stories, settings, and moments.
Tales of Arise
We were supposed to be playing Tales of Arise in 2020, but the game was unfortunately delayed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 epidemic. It’s easy to hope that Tales of Arise will be worth the wait, as appears to be a major leap visually for the franchise. Tales of Arise will retain most of the series’ signature battle system while also bringing in some new systems (Though most of these are unknown). Regardless, the Tales series has been fantastic over the decades, and there is no reason to expect this game to be any different.
The last two Digimon games were fantastic, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea for the franchise to try something new. Digimon Survive was set to come out in 2020, but it was delayed due to the Covid-19 epidemic. With it being nearly guaranteed to come in 2021, players will be able to look forward to seeing their favorite Digimon in a tactics strategy game. There will also be branching story paths, graphic novel sections, and even dramatic life or death decisions. The game looks promising, and it will be interesting to see how Digimon Survive approaches the genre.
Rune Factory 5
Spring 2021 (Japan) Worldwide 2021
The Rune Factory series is known for its unique take on farming simulation games. It’s always been known as Harvest Moon meets JRPG, combining life management and dungeon crawling. While a remastered port of Rune Factory 4 came out last year, the series hasn’t seen a new entry in almost eight years. With a visual overhaul and tons of new eccentric characters meet, now is a great time to try out the series.