The Gratuitous Rainbow Spectrum

Stone Age Gaming: Hopes & Hype for 2023

Stone Age Gaming: Hopes & Hype for 2023

Kris Randazzo
9 minute read

There's a LOT to be excited about in 2023. Between amazing new games, exciting new rumors, and hopeful endings to stories that have been playing out for WAY too long (ahem, Amico), this year is going to be a blast.

Transcript of the video:

Let’s start with an easy one. Breath of the Wild absolutely ruled my life for a WHILE. I loved that game so much more than I thought I could because I’m not typically a fan of open world games, but wowee did this game ever grab me. I loved just about everything about it (except just how fragile the weapons were). So a direct followup well, it kinda scares me. Zelda is my favorite game series, and I went so hard on Breath of the Wild I don't know how to feel about trying to do that again. Ocarina of Time was a monumental experience for me back when it first came out, but I genuinely don’t like Majora’s Mask, and I’ve beaten it three times now. I really don’t want Tears of the Kingdom to be another Majora’s Mask for me, so my major wish is that tears of the Kingdom does not disappoint. I have a feeling it won’t, but I’m still scared.

While we’re on the topic of sequels we’ve been waiting a long time for, I want to see what Metroid Prime 4 is. It’s been long enough where I think it’s not unreasonable to expect to see a trailer this year. Nintendo hasn’t exactly been radio silent on the title, but we’ve seen nothing but the logo. The Prime series used to be so lively, but if I’m being honest, none of the sequels compare to the first game for me. Metroid Prime on GameCube was pure magic, and its re-release on Wii only made it better. The follow ups though, while still really great games all around, weren’t quite the same level of greatness to me. I want Prime 4 to live up to that potential. I want Prime 4 to be what Breath of the Wild was to 3D Zelda and Odyssey was to 3D Mario. I want it to be a shining example of what 3D Metroid can be, and with the level of hype that’s been building over the years, I don't know if it can pull it off. But I’m hopeful.

On the other side of games we’ve been waiting too dang long for, I want a conclusion to the Chicken Wiggle saga. I was a massive fan of Atooi’s games. Xeodrifter, Mutant Mudds, Totes the Goat, these games are just great. So when Chicken Wiggle released on 3DS, you better believe I was right there to get my hands on it. But then there was this Kickstarter campaign to make an HD version of the game and poof. Things went SOUTH. The game was successfully funded, and then they… made a bunch of other games instead. Atooi seemingly quite literally stole the backers money (mine included), abandoned the game they promised to make, and did a bunch of other stuff instead. And look, I don’t know game development all that well, but I’m pretty confident that it doesn’t take this many years to make an HD version of a game that's already been made. So I want to hear from the horse’s mouth. I want Jools Watsham to tell everyone what happened. Be honest, and tell us if the game is never coming out. And if that’s the case, tell us why. But don’t just ignore all the people who paid you money to deliver this game. I don’t care that it’s called Hatch Tales now, I just want it to be over.

Speaking of things I want to be over, let’s get a conclusion to the whole Intellivision Amico situation. We interviewed Tommy Tallarico on our podcast a few years ago now, and while we didn’t exactly see eye to eye with him on a lot of what he was saying, there were aspects of his vision for this console that seemed like a neat idea. Any goodwill I had for the thing has loooooooong since been spent though, as the entire escapade looks more and more like a scam. It’s a bummer because I love weird game systems. I love the idea of having another wacky system with its own ecosystem and unique games on it that carves out a small but viable niche, but that was never going to be the case for Amico. And like Hatch Tales, I’m tired of the uncertainty. I’m tired of someone occasionally poking their head out and saying no, it’s still happening! It’s not. Find someone to publish the cool looking games you theoretically had in the works (like Breakout from Choice Provisions!) and move the heck on!

While we’re on the topic of weird game hardware, I want so badly for there to be a bright future for Atari. This company has been a depressing shell of its former self for decades, and while the current iteration of Atari isn’t perfect, it’s a darn sight better than it has been for a very, VERY long time. Wade Rosen, current CEO of Atari, actually seems to have legitimate respect for the Atari brand and its history. The fact that Atari 50 even exists to the degree that it does is a testament to that. The games they've been cranking out have been fun and interesting, and I really want to see more. But the VCS console itself isn’t doing so hot, and for all the good Rosen has done, Atari is still clinging to the rotting corpse of cryptocurrency and NFTs in a very distressing way. Speaker Hats are still a thing, and they’re supposedly building hotels somewhere too? I want so badly for Atari to find a clarity of vision, stop trying to take over the world, and just make the best of the position they’re in. Make new games that capture the feeling of the old days in ways that new generations can enjoy as well. I love this brand so much, and I really hope 2023 finds them on a clear path to stability.

Speaking of things I want, I want the release of Advance Wars Reboot Camp for Switch. Now, I’ve never been able to get into Advance Wars, but when this was announced I told myself I was finally going to do it. I preordered my copy at Target and then Nintendo decided to put the game on hold indefinitely. Well, I personally think it’s time to let the game out of the gates. Not releasing the game at this point isn’t doing anyone any good, and I’d hate to see all that work WayForward put into making the thing go to waste. It would be heartbreaking to see it shelved permanently, especially since I have to assume it’s effectively finished, so please let 2023 be the year. Get Advance Wars back out there!

So yeah, I’ve never been able to get into tactical RPGS like Advance Wars, but regular ol’ turn-based RPGS were my jam for a while there, and Chrono Trigger was a very big part of that. So while yes, one of my hopes and dreams for 2023 is to finally see that wonderful Steam version of Chrono Trigger get ported to home consoles, more than anything I want Sea of Stars to reignite my love of the genre. This new game from the creators of The Messenger, one of my favorite games of this generation, looks to be a spiritual successor to Chrono Trigger in ways that Chrono Cross could only ever dream of. Seriously, this game looks BEAUTIFUL, and after how much I loved The Messenger, these folks have my money for life. Sea of Stars is without a doubt one of my most highly anticipated games of the year, and every time they show off more footage it actually hurts my heart. It just looks so dang good!

Of course I could go on for days about the things I would love to see happen in video games, especially when it comes to Nintendo. Would I love a new Punch-Out!!? You better believe it. Is it time for a new Donkey Kong game? Absolutely. But my biggest wish of them all is, as always, with Kid Icarus. I love this series so much, and naturally, I’d love to see a brand new game. But honestly, more than anything, I want an HD port of Kid Icarus Uprising for 3DS. I also want the 3D Classics version of the original game ported to console, but the real dream is Uprising for Switch. I freaking love Kid Icarus Uprising, but I really don’t love playing it on 3DS. I’ve been itching to replay this game for most of the year, but every time I think of holding my 3DS XL and using the stylus on that tiny screen again, my hands hurt just thinking of the cramps. This game would be SO MUCH BETTER with a standard dual analog control scheme. And not just that, it’s practically begging to be played on a big screen. This game is epic. It’s huge, and I’m not just talking about length. Its scale is immense, and while it’s a breathtaking adventure on 3DS, it could look so much better on HD hardware. Please, Nintendo. This game deserves to be immortalized in a better fashion than the tiny 3DS screen. Please. Do it for me. 

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