The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been an absolutely stunning game. When I first played it, there was so much I could be doing within the world, and at first I was just exploring rather than following any quests. When I did start following those quests, I was still getting sidetracked by other things. It felt so open in approach, and allowed you to tackle things however the player wants. I can remember my opening few hours consisted of nothing but going for the towers and filling out the map. And in some places that's a lot harder than you might think if unprepared. I highly doubt I've explored everything even after finishing the main quest, though I'm always welcome to explore more.
Yooka-Laylee... I love the character this game has. All the self-referential humour and in-jokes are amusing to see. The game itself plays fine, and I've loved the time I've played it for. It's just... Something stops me from really going full-on with the game. I can explore, collect, and battle many things, but I don't feel like diving in for multiple sessions within a week. I don't think it's the game's fault, just that I hardly use my Xbox One for much except Forza.
As for the games I'll be talking about in this volume, one of them is indeed a racing game. It's not Forza, but The Crew 2. An idea I'd seen someone 'leak' for a Nintendo game involved a merge of Pilotwings and Wave Race into one game. I took that idea further, saying how great it would be if car, boat, and flying races were in one game, with the ability to create your own. Much like what's available in GTA Online. I went one step further with it. What if you could swap between the three during races? Cue E3, where The Crew 2 was shown off. While not much has been shown off, the trailer did show multiple vehicle racing with the ability to swap between them - whether that's in races via checkpoint transitions or in freeroam whenever you want. Again it features a version of America, this one with over 2000 square miles of map to play around in. This time, things aren't so linear, with what I'm hoping is multiple areas for progression opening up new opportunities. I'm hoping for things to explore within the open world as well, but we'll see what happens when the beta gets started. It's being advertised, so here's hoping it's soon. While I haven't played the first game, I do have it available from Games With Gold, so I can jump in and try it if I decide to do so. Despite being purely player created, GTA Online's races keep me coming back [half my own and half other creators] so we'll see if The Crew 2 can do the same. The Forza Horizon series is able to do it, so I see no reason why this game wouldn't also.
The second game is much harder to decide on what to choose. It could be Super Mario Odyssey, the game that looks to be surpassing all other 3D Mario games. It could be Sonic Forces, the game which hopefully looks to be utilising the expanded cast in more depth - even if they aren't playable still. And it would be ridiculously easy for me to say Star Wars Battlefront 2, what with it looking to improve on the first in nearly every single way.
For this though, I'm going to state another game coming in 2018. One that got that date only recently, and I'm hoping will stay with it. Kingdom Hearts 3. I started with the second game, and it was an absolute blast, one that kept me playing for years. I'd only dabbled with other games in the series, playing just a bit of 358/2 Days and Birth By Sleep. It wasn't until last year that I really started playing through another game. And that was with Dream Drop Distance. Kingdom Hearts 3 looks to expand on both KH2 and Dream Drop Distance in what should be the best game of the series to date. The reason I love the games is for their gameplay, and the crossovers with various Disney franchises. I loved exploring the Pride Lands in KH2, and seeing Pinocchio in Dream Drop Distance. There was a lot to do in the second game, and fighting alongside Disney characters made it all the greater. Now, with the third game, we get to fight alongside Woody and Buzz, which makes five characters in a party all fighting at the same time. When the game releases, it might become one of my all-time favourites. All the worlds are interesting to explore, and while I'm not one to follow the story obsessively, I understand enough of it that I should understand whatever crops up in the third game. So long as it can hold my interest with both story and gameplay, I'll be playing this one until the end.