Speculator: Does something wicked this way come?

January 15, 2013

spec_thewitcher2

Shawn’s been super-sick this week (get better, Shawn!), but the rest of the crew weighs in on the latest rumors about The Witcher and Pokemon, and wraps up a lot of the results for their previous predictions!

Next main-series Pokemon game after Pokemon X and Y to be named Pokemon Z

There’s been rampant speculation about the names for the new 3DS Pokemon games, and the prevailing theory at the moment is that they’re named after the planes of 3D space, making Z the logical third installment. There are other theories, of course, but does this one have merit?

Andrew
90%
If the patterns of the previous Pokemon generations remain consistent, it seems likely we’ll eventually get a third game that follows the same formula as the first two with some new content. Pokemon Z follows that naming convention, so it will most likely be the best-case scenario.
Eric
100%
I actually don’t have a single doubt that the next game will actually be called Pokemon Z. It makes sense to the 3D name and it completes the triangle of names that these games usually go for. The only way they could possibly put icing on the cake is if they add an electric monkey whose hair turns yellow and spikes up whenever he’s trying to use Charge Beam.
Graham
80%
I’m confident that Z will be the third installment if there’s a third installment, because it just seems too right to be a coincidence for the series’ first true polygonal release. My doubts? Even if those are the plans, I could see this generation skipping to sequels or remakes.

North American release of Level-5’s Fantasy Life announced in 2013

Appealing largely to the Animal Crossing crowd, open-world RPG Fantasy Life has sold particularly well in Japan after its late-December release. Will we hear that it’s coming Stateside before the end of the year?

Andrew
60%
Fantasy Life is a bizarre looking game that I feel utterly compelled to play, but I’m not sure how successful it would be here in North America. I would say its chances are greater than a console-sized JRPG of this style, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it remains a Japanese exclusive.
Eric
70%
I wouldn’t put it past them to actually release this in the U.S. at some point. It could be a lot worse, considering some of the terrible games for the 3DS they’ve put out in the market over here. All things considered, it is a Level-5 game, so that has to account for something considering it usually makes solid games.
Graham
80%
I definitely want to play this, and since it’s not tied to the monolithic Nintendo and its high expectations bar for localization, I think it’s likely we’ll see it. The real question: will Level-5 try to put it out alone, or co-publish with another company like it’s doing with Namco Bandai and Ni no Kuni? I could see either happening.

CD Projekt Red to announce The Witcher 3 on February 5, 2013

The highly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 teaser trailer ended with a message saying we’ll know more about what else the company’s developing on a very specific date: February 5. Is this The Witcher 3?

Andrew
95%
My understanding is that CD Projekt Red has two different teams at work, and one of those teams is working on Cyberpunk 2077. The other? Probably busy with the next Witcher game. The Witcher series has been  successful for them, and an announcement of The Witcher 3 seems to be all but officially confirmed at this point, so it’s safe to say that we’ll be hearing about it very soon. 
Eric
85%
Sure. Aside from Cyberpunk 2077 itself, I can’t really imagine anything else CD Projekt Red could possibly be working on that isn’t the third game in the series that made them.
Graham
75%
It seems like a likely topic, but a few factors make it not a given. First, the independence of the company means it doesn’t have to speak now about its biggest projects. Second, it holds events with its compatriots over at GOG, and can often use “we’re coming to Mac” or “we’re coming to 360″ as its part of the event. That said, it’s been a while since we got new Witcher content precisely because the last few announcements have been ports. 

Current 2012-13 Season standings:

Andrew
59
Eric
-109
Graham
166
Shawn
-115

Starting this season, scores are centered on a zero point to account for occasional panelist changes.

Doom 4 to be released in 2012 disproved. Andrew 15, Graham 20, Shawn 30, Eric 40.
Respawn’s first title to release in 2012 disproved. Andrew 40, Graham 86, Shawn 35, Eric 70.
PS Vita to outsell 3DS in America in 2012 disproved. Andrew 5, Graham 12, Shawn 20, Eric 0.
Shenmue HD Collection headed to XBLA and PSN in 2012 disproved. Andrew 90, Graham 65, Shawn 80, Eric 45.
Apple to release a Kinect-like game console in 2012 disproved. Andrew 5, Graham 12, Shawn 1, Eric 5.
Harmonix to announce a ‘unique’ new motion game in 2012 disproved. Andrew 80, Graham 85, Shawn 80, Eric 80.
Sony to rework the PlayStation Plus program in 2012 confirmed. Andrew 90, Graham 60, Shawn 75, Eric 15.
New Prince of Persia game to be announced in 2012 disproved. Andrew 70, Graham 40, Shawn 75, Eric 95.
Final Fantasy character playable in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale disproved. Andrew 60, Graham 60, Shawn 75, Eric 75.
Half-Life 3 to be announced in 2012 disproved. Andrew 20, Graham 40, Shawn 30, Eric 0.
Microsoft to release Blu-ray add-on for Xbox 360 disproved. (for now, anyway). Andrew 35, Graham 5, Shawn 15.
Odin Sphere to be re-released on XBLA/PSN confirmed (PS2 Classics release technically counts). Andrew 85, Graham 90, Shawn 75.