I'd love to get my hands on Legend of Grimrock II and Might and Magic X: Legacy, but reality dawned on the moment I finished watching their previews online that my crappy laptop has no chance in hell of running them well. Grimrock was my first exposure to the world of first-person classical RPGs/dungeon crawlers and it chimed with the explorer-cartographer side of me that loved putting together my own maps, finding my own bearings and familiarising myself with this strange albeit enclosed and labyrinthine environment.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall. This one's essentially an expansion to Returns rather than a full-fledged sequel. And that's fine enough with me. If anyone is looking for a decent strategy RPG set in a technologically advanced dystopian future where magic also comes into the equation, here's one. There's plenty to like with the original release, despite its disappointments and odd feature absences such as a reliable save system, something which Dragonfall will thankfully negate by finally allowing the player to save their progress at any time. Plus, this promises to be less linear. Roll on dystopian 2054 Berlin!
South Park: The Stick of Truth. Hopefully this does come out this year, and not delayed again for the umpteenth time. The show's writers have come in to do the script for this one, so it's genuine South Park. Also, Obsidian is making this. Solid combination. But if that doesn't excite anyone yet, the game has a Mario RPG-like battle system. It's turn-based and you have to time button-presses for your range of absolutely silly moves in battle. Intrigued? I am.
Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. I have never played a Tales game before. I came close to it with Eternia, but on that particular day I decided to purchase Crisis Core instead. Regrettable, given how rare Eternia is at the moment and how mediocre Crisis Core turned out to be. Still, I can't call myself an RPG fan and not having ever touched Tales, so this remaster looks like an excellent place to start. Never played Symphonia and I heard it's great. The sequel has garnered much criticism and apathy, but I'm very willing to give it a shot. If it's not hot then it's a free bonus add-on. Can't complain too much.
The Witcher 3 is on my radar, albeit pushed to the back. Sadly I don't plan on purchasing a PS4 or Xbone anytime too soon, and I want to actually play through the first two entries first. Witcher 2 will be pending on whether I have access to a decent PC or a 360, and Witcher 1 is just....I'm really struggling to continue. It's just so bland. But Witcher 3's promises taste like glorious elixir. It promises a huge open-world and it looks absolutely stunning. It has the potential to be a new genre-defining benchmark. Can they do a Skyrim with all the majesty and child-like wonder of giddily exploring the world but without the minefield of technical problems and horribly clunky combat?
X. I don't expect to see it come out this year, but I want to see more of it. Desperately. Please. Show me more. FFXV and X are two games that I must see more of this year.
Pillars of Eternity is on my "to watch" list. I've little experience with CRPGs and games of that particular style aside from BioWare's Neverwinter Nights (a game I must revisit if I can find what's happened to the discs...). Lightning Returns is on the "ehh, I'll pick it up somewhere down the line" pile along with Drakengard 3. Divinity: Original Sin looks great, and I'll definitely consider it if it ever gets out of the alpha early-access phase. Tales of Xillia 2 will be overly dependent on me getting a copy of the first Xillia first and liking it enough to consider a sequel.
At the moment, I've already picked up The Banner Saga and Bravely Default will be on the way. This is a FANTASTIC time to be an RPG fan. Of RPGs of all colours and types.
I'm very grateful that I was able to expose myself to the wide variety of other RPGs of all sizes and types lining up the horizon, as well as the more obscure and unexplored side of the PC platform with digital distribution stores such as Steam, GOG and GMG. It's exactly what I need what with despite the start of a new generation, I have never been as apathetic towards the console space as I have been now.
I do urge people here - especially if you're only very familiar and comfortable with JRPGs - to embrace the opportunity to try out some of the lesser-known RPGs coming out this year if they are able to. I know conventional high fantasy WRPGs such as Pillars of Eternity will not be to everyone's tastes, but for every one of them, there are more visually and conceptually eye-catching ones such as Consortium, Dead State, Hyper Light Drifter, Shadowrun, Prisonscape and Wasteland 2. Sometimes you unassumingly come across something unexpected that just clicks with you, as Grimrock did with me. It's good also in that it broadens your horizon and all of a sudden the year feels exciting. Of course, it would be more exciting if Fallout 4 is actually announced and I can peer into the future for the next Mass Effect and next-gen Obsidian project. =(
Just a shame that the JRPG selection is considerably sparser and less exciting as a result. Personally, I don't see a JRPG confirmed for this year that really stands out to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm very interested in the Tales games, Drakengard 3, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 (still need to get 1.5 first. I really want to get into the series sometime and it's criminal that I haven't yet) and even Lightning Returns is on my pile of mild interest. It's just that I can't see any discernible wow factors in the JRPG camp to dissuade me otherwise that this is a bit of a stopgap year. I hope my tune can be changed by next year when Tales of Zestiria, X and Persona 5 should hopefully surface. I'm not holding my breath for FFXV, but I'm excited for further trailers and reveals, providing SE doesn't seek to cruelly jest with us further.
EDIT: Still waiting for Shin Megami Tensei 4, Ninty...