I need to pause just for a second and make sure everyone knows why I’m spelling “number” incorrectly. Especially for all the young badasses who read this and think “oh man I read a gaming blog that says words like “fuck” and “bitch ass cunt muscle”” but have no idea what Cartoon Network used to be before it because a home for mentally challenged degenerates. Back in the day, before stupid ass shows like Chowder and The Amazing World of Gumball were staples, we had good ass shows like Teen Titans, Samurai Jack, Ben 10, Justice League, and one of my favorites, Codename Kids Next Door. The kids all went by their code “Numbuhs”, and they were basically badass rebel spies who went on missions against teenagers and adults. It was an incredible show, something that kids nowadays are missing.

Anyway, this week, I’m going to highlight my most anticipated games for next year. Some of these titles haven’t been officially announced as 2019 games, but I’m almost 100% sure that they will be released next year. And I’ll say this, while last week’s ranked was super easy, I’ve already started struggling with this list. There’s just so many games coming out next spring that I cannot wait to play. But, this is my job. I must persevere. And something is gonna have to make the honorable mention list (because I need more content this month). So here we go:

Numbuh 5: Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I have a knack for finding gems in the Xbox Store. It really is a skill considering how much garbage you have to weed through to find a good game during one of their quarterly sales. I think I picked up Ori and the Blind Forest for like $7 in 2017? And man, I would have paid $30 for the experience I had. The game has very little dialogue, but the art style, the story, and the soundtrack make the game emotionally charged for the player. Brief summary: Ori (the little glowing white thing) is a guardian spirit who fell from The Great Spirit Tree as an infant and was raised by another weird ass creature. That creature dies of starvation while caring for Ori and he must leave on his own and restore light to the forest. (Yes, I understand that sounds super hippie and sappy but there’s alot more that is revealed throughout the game that makes it a heart warming adventure).

The game design is that of a Metroidvania platformer, where the hero starts with limited abilities, and gains new ones as he defeats bosses, which unlocks new areas in the world. These abilities are very fluid, and there is also an RPG element where you can upgrade Ori to play in the style that best fits you. In the original entry, Ori really only had one boss that he had to deal with, where in the trailer for the new game, it looks like he has at least 5-6. I remember watching the trailer at E3 and thinking “woah they’re crossing Ori over with Shadow of the Colossus“. At least that’s what it looks like. But there’s one thing that’s for sure: I fully expect the story to be just as emotionally charged as the original. You pick up the game for the story, the atmosphere, and the soundtrack, but the gameplay is so fun and fluid that it keeps you engaged. There are few video game soundtracks that I will listen to outside of the game, and Ori and the Blind Forest is at the top of the list (along with Celeste, Streets of Rage, and The Last of Us). Oh, and don’t let the bright cutesy atmosphere fool you; this is not at all an easy game. I would put it up there with Celeste and Hollow Knight: both very fun but sometimes leave you feeling frustrated after trying to beat an area 40-50 times. I remember one area in the original game where I tried for 2-3 days to beat a boss only to be thrown right into another challenge that took 2-3 days to beat. But those moments aren’t as common, leaving you to enjoy the game more as you explore the beautiful forest.

You may not be a big platformer or indie player, but I guarantee that you would enjoy this game. Not sure what the price will be, but since it is an Xbox Game Studios title, it will be available on the Game Pass for both Xbox and PC on February 11, 2020.