4. Persona 5
Look, there are many, many, MANY games that could’ve been on this list, and were this written by someone other than me, you might see them here. Heck, you’ll probably hear about them on an upcoming Vidjagame Apocalypse! However, as much as I want Mirror’s Edge or Uncharted 4, (and because The Last Guardian and Zelda Wii U have a 6% chance of actually being released this year), Persona 5 is my most anticipated game of 2016. Atlus and the Persona team seem poised to redefine RPGs all over again in this intriguing new entry for the no-longer-niche series.
Despite its very Japanese roots, Persona has always succeeded in inviting players to meet characters who are intriguingly flawed and human. A small side character is often given more nuance and background than most game leads, and this tale of high schools thieves battling against society looks to continue that. Plus, after avoiding the PS3 in favor of PS2 for the better part of a decade, Persona is coming to both PS4 and PS3, giving the series the tech upgrade it was needing. Exploring a dingier-than-usual Tokyo one school day at a time sounds like a massive adventure that I hope never ends.
3.Daredevil and Luke Cage On Netflix
In 2015, Daredevil proved that Netflix could do more than just make a good superhero show; it could make comic book characters into compelling leads in a drama. Then Jessica Jones even found a way to outdo that one with one of the most mature stories the Marvel Cinematic Universe had ever seen. Now Netflix and Marvel are poised to keep that momentum going, by continuing Matt Murdock’s adventure AND giving Luke Cage his own series.
Now that Daredevil has arrived in all his costumed glory, his new season adds two heavyweights to follow-up his battles with The Kingpin. Matt’s lost love Elektra will arrive, but we’ll also get The Punisher, meaning we’ll get a heavy dose of ideological battles along with brutal fight scenes. Meanwhile, Luke Cage and unbreakable abs will transition from Jessica Jones’ stellar show to his own series. But just what will this Hero For Hire be up to, and will Misty Knight hold her own alongside him? And what about Iron Fist? We look forward to discovering the answers via hours of binge viewing.
2. MST3K Returns
After years and years and years of doing things that were a lot like Mystery Science Theater 3000, creator Joel Hodgson returned to MST3K last year with a Kickstarter I definitely underestimated. I wondered if they’d even pass $2 million, and by the end it got over $6 million, making it the crowdfunding site’s most successful non-game project ever. Now, with 14 episodes planned for this 11th season, the question is just how well they’ll deliver.
The new cast is lead by Jonah Ray, with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt as the mad scientists, and new voices for Crow and Tom Servo, making it more like MST3K: The Next Generation. Some folks might be disappointed by that, but with everyone else on different projects, a reboot is the only realistic option. How can you not be excited by the promise of big name guest stars and writers riffing on an all new batch of b-movies? I can’t wait to see what the lo-fi series can do in the HD era, and I’m glad this future is not too distant.
1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
J.J. Abrams and company have just revitalized Star Wars, effectively wiping away any past mistakes and making the world seem new and exciting again. Now, with the world ready to believe in The Force again, director Gareth Edwards has to make the first ever live-action Star Wars theatrical film that isn’t part of a trilogy. AND it’s a prequel. That level of anticipation creates a lot of pressure, huh?
I tried to keep my expectations for Force Awakens as low as possible, but now that Disney has earned trust in being able to make a good Star Wars film, Rogue One has to prove it isn’t a fluke. We’ll be getting yearly Star Wars films for the foreseeable future, including “Star Wars Stories” like this one. Rogue One looks like it will follow the rebels who stole the plans for the Death Star, putting it in the fertile ground between Episodes III and IV. That storytelling potential is almost as exciting as an incredible cast that includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, and Alan Tudyk. That’s quite a great group to start with, and while I never expected to say this again, a new Star Wars film is my most anticipated thing in the new year.
But what’s your most anticipated thing of 2016? Tell us all about it in the comments, Hype Bros!