Mighty No 9

I suppose I've been somewhat more fortunate than others through my Kickstarter exploits. I've backed a minimal amount of duds and have only done so at the minimum buy-in prices. Looking at those games on my Backed Projects list stings, but now that I'm finally starting to get some games, I feel that the 2013/2014 Gold Rush days were not a waste of money in the least.

Indeed, all of the games I received after backing them turned out to be marvelous. Shovel Knight and The Adventures of Pip get special commendation for not only being brilliant games, but also doing it in a timely manner. Both were developed by former WayFoward employees, and they took less time to make their Kickstarter games than WayForward did itself!

Not a jab at WayForward in any way mind you, more of a compliment at how the studio is training great indie developers if they ever decide to make it on their own.

Kickstarter also introduced me to the wonderful world of Undertale, which is an experience I'll never forget and a project I'll never regret backing. I sadly haven't had a chance to run through Dropsy yet.

Now in 2016, two more fabulous games have already crawled into my collection in both Darkest Dungeon and Hyper Light Drifter. Not properly transferring my save files when restoring my PC caused me not to beat either of them, but I enjoyed them both immensely while I was playing them. Something to go back to in the summer months, I suppose.

However, I might not have that much time. Why is that? Because I finally have a solid line-up of release dates for even more games! Indeed, after two or three years of waiting, the Kickstarter games from my Gold Rush days are starting to pour in, and I feel I'll be busy for months to come. Here are all the games on my wait list that have finally gotten solid release dates for 2016.

Mighty No. 9

The biggest elephant in the room. A handful of delays and questionable marketing of meme-generating proportions have spoiled all the goodwill that made this game a record setting campaign back in Sept. 2013. Originally planned for release in April 2015, backers have been waiting for a finished project for over a year now. Such delays have proven to be inevitable, but knowing that Deep Silver and Comcept have been sitting on a finished game for a long time now made backers antsy.

The fact that delays have been caused by generally unwanted mulitplayer servers just made the wait sting more. Toss on Comcept starting a new project called ReCore with Microsoft, the animated series not yet panning out, and a failed Kickstarter campaign called RED ASH, and you have so many reasons why this game needs to come out soon and be the greatest thing on Earth to set matters right.

I almost feel like people won't give this game a forgiving eye or a fair chance to prove itself. We'll find out on June 21 when it finally comes out.

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

Even though it ran alongside Mighty No. 9's Kickstarter campaign back in Sept. 2013, WayForward has managed to avoid the sharp criticisms that Comcept and everyone involved with Mighty No. 9 have received.

Maybe because the studio is a fan-favorite and has produced marvelous games in the past. Maybe because it didn't go all-in with merchandise and promise the entire world before its game came out. Maybe because it didn't commit to a release date only to be forced to push it back. Maybe because it didn't start or attempt to fund any further projects before its game came out.

Who knows? All we know is that the release date of Sept. 27, 2016 has been met with a lot more jubilation than Mighty No. 9's, which has been met with frustration and exhausted acceptance. Plus, the game looks great, bursting with colorful charm and character, just like any Shantae game should!

Cosmic Star Heroine

If there was a game on my backlist that I want to play the most, then Cosmic Star Heroine is now leader of the pack. A new trailer released just this week confirmed the game would be releasing this summer, and its timing couldn't be any better.

After missing its original release date of Dec. 2014, Zeboyd Games is hitting me at a time when I am burning through all of my classic favorites, Chrono Trigger among them. There isn't a game out there that Zeboyd has borrowed more cues from, and the rush I get playing through Chrono Trigger is going to carry me over into this obvious homage to the games of that marvelous age.

Of course, that rush could also open it to more criticism and a much more closely inspected playthroughs. When you are being compared to some of the greatest games of all time, chances are, you're going to come up short.

So that makes three games that have confirmed release windows within the next half-year, and that is good enough for me. However, we also have a few more games I suspect will be getting plenty of screen-time at E3 2016 next week.

The biggest of these will be Heart Forth, Alicia. Developer Alonso Martin has not confirmed a date for his beautiful "metroidvania," but it has become more prevalent at each passing convention. He also streams the game on a weekly basis through the official Twitch account, showing off the game's progress and answering any questions that followers might have.

A recent update on the game showed off a few more stunning .gif animations, which the game is especially popular for.

Heart Forth Alicia

Hive Jump, the colorful alien blasting strategy game, also has a chance to show up in full capacity at some point next week. The game has a confirmed launch of July 20, but that is for Steam Early Access and not the final console build.

One problem that studio Graphite Lab might have is that it needs to get the game out on the Wii U before the console becomes a thing of the past. A recent update on the Kickstarter page says that the team remains committed to releasing Hive Jump on Nintendo's console, but there is a countdown timer now firmly tied to it.

Hive Jump

Also have my eye on Liege, Aegis Defenders, and LA-MULANA 2, but those all seem like slow burners and will be missing even more shows. Still, with a line-up like this, I have plenty to do while I wait.