The Entertainment Dome Episode 194 – Wahoo!

This week on The Entertainment Dome, we share our very belated thoughts on last month’s Nintendo Direct, as well as the Pokémon Scarlet & Violet reveal.

My Ten Most Anticipated Games of 2022

I feel like it’d be an over exaggeration, if not outright inaccurate, to say 2021 was a bad year for video games. Quite frankly, there were plenty of awesome new games or updates to existing ones. On a personal level, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart properly demonstrated the potential of the PlayStation 5, both Great Ace Attorney games finally made it to the West, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate truly made the impossible possible by completing its roster with Sora from Kingdom Hearts.

But I will admit the industry itself has made it hard to be optimistic about 2022. Over the last twelve months, we’ve seen outright abysmal releases like the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy remasters, the likes of Ubisoft and Square Enix committing to incorporating NFTs (the newest environmentally damaging grift) into their games, and then there’s just everything about Activision, which has once again highlighted how horrible the industry can be behind closed doors.

While it is important to acknowledge all the bad parts of this industry, even if it’s painful to do so, that doesn’t mean there’ll be no joy to be found in it either. As always, there are already a number of select games I’m looking forward to this year and I’m sure there are a number of amazing titles that haven’t been announced yet. Plus, this is a yearly tradition at this point so let’s get on with things and get to my ten most anticipated games of 2022.

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Review | World’s End Club – 12 Friends at the End of The World (startmenu Preview)

Back in 2017, a group of Spike Chunsoft employees left to form their own company, Too Kyo Games. Among its founding members were Kazutaka Kodaka and Kotaro Uchikoshi, the respective creators of the Danganronpa and Zero Escape series. Given the similarities between both their series, it’s honestly surprising that it took until 2020 for the two to actually work on a project together. Released last year as an early access Apple Arcade title, World’s End Club is the two’s first proper collaboration, with Uchikoshi as director and writer and Kodaka as creative director.

The full game was recently released on the Nintendo Switch and expectations were certainly high for it. Danganronpa and Zero Escape are well-known and beloved by their fans for their complex mysteries, larger than life characters, and off-the-wall humour, so many assumed that World’s End Club would follow in their footsteps. And while in some ways it does, it is a very different beast compared to anything in either series.

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Review | Gnosia (startmenu Preview)

Chances are that if you’re at all already familiar with Gnosia, then you probably know it as that game that’s basically Among Us except with an anime aesthetic. And while that’s not an entirely inaccurate description, it doesn’t do the game justice in the slightest.

Set aboard a drifting spaceship, you and your fellow crew members learn that somebody onboard has been infected by the titular Gnosia. What the Gnosia actually are is a complete mystery, but their goal is clear: the complete eradication of all human life. The goal of the crew is to correctly identify the infected and put them into cold sleep, while the Gnosia must avoid detection and pick the crew members off one by one until they can take over the ship.

Despite the Among Us comparisons, Gnosia is more like the classic party game Werewolf (something it actively acknowledged in its launch trailer), but the key difference is that Gnosia has no multiplayer aspects whatsoever. It’s entirely single-player, which you wouldn’t think would work for a social deduction game where the fun primarily comes from the arguments, distrust, and deception between players. So what has the team at Petit Depotto done to create a compelling experience?

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Preview | Balan Wonderworld (startmenu Preview)

In a world where so many big-budget video games feel rather homogenised, to the point where most new releases can be easily described by just comparing it to another (e.g. Avengers is just Destiny but with Marvel), Balan Wonderworld really stands out from the crowd.

Wonderworld is the first title from new Square Enix subsidiary Balan Company, which is being directed by Yuji Naka (one of the men credited with creating Sonic the Hedgehog). Balan Wonderworld wears its inspiration on its sleeve and is quite clearly meant to evoke a sense of nostalgia from players despite being an original IP.

I’m sure you’ve seen every other outlet make obvious comparisons to old Sega games like Nights and Billy Hatcher, and you can hardly blame them. Watching the announcement trailer made me feel like I had stepped through a wormhole back to the late 90s or early 2000s but despite some trepidation about the whole thing I was admittedly quite charmed by just how strange this game seemed. The world could desperately do with more 3D-platformers that aren’t Super Mario or crowdfunded indie projects like A Hat in Time.

So, with a surprisingly sizable demo now available, it made sense to investigate this new world of Balan and let Naka and his team try to convince me to give this new (planned) franchise of theirs a look-see. Unfortunately, those aforementioned trepidations turned out to be justified.

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We Should Be Cautious About Paper Mario: The Origami King (startmenu Preview)

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Nintendo, as Nintendo does, suddenly dropped a trailer for a new Paper Mario game on us earlier in the week, and we collectively lost it.

Even though it’s only been four years, it feels like it has been forever since the last entry in the role-playing spin-off series, so excitement is at a fever pitch. Established fans and those who had never touched a Paper Mario before have become immediately invested thanks to that trailer and rightly so. It’s a good trailer. I myself as a long-time fan was hooked quite easily.

But as I watched the trailer, my excitement gave way to concern and anxiousness. The memories of the last couple of Paper Mario games flooded back in and, now, I can’t help but be incredibly cautious. And frankly, so should you.

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