My Top 5 Most Anticipated Games of 2023

2023 is filled to the brim with amazing video game releases, here are my most anticipated!

It feels like 2018 all over again.

The year that housed great video game releases like God of War, Red Dead Redemption II, Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Marvel’s Spider-Man and more, was an absolutely unforgettable one!

I spent much of my time playing through all of these titles and unfortunately, some of them overlapped with the releases of the others. It seems in 2023, the best games of the year will be quite spaced out, but based on the sheer scale of each, I may not be completely finished with one by the time another comes out!

Either way, I will be playing A LOT of games in 2023. Here’s my Top 5 list of my most anticipated games for next year:

Honorable Mention: Final Fantasy XVI (6/22/23)

This game is set to bring back what makes the Final Fantasy series, well, a fantasy series.

Taking the live battle action that has revolutionized the series from Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy VII: Remake, FF16 looks like an incredible game, filled with legendary battles and an intense storyline about bloodlines, revenge, and claims to a throne.

Judging by the most recent trailer, this game is going to absolutely control my life this summer.

5.) Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth (Winter 2023)

The only reason Final Fantasy XVI isn’t #5 is because there’s still a high chance that Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth releases in the Winter of 2023.

Following the epic release of Final Fantasy VII: Remake in 2020, this game follows Cloud and the gang along into the next step of their journey, beautifully remade from the 1997 classic for the PS1: Final Fantasy VII.

FF7Remake told solely the Midgar chapter of the 1997 original and FF7Rebirth will pick right back up with Cloud, Tifa, Barret, Aerith, and Red XIII after their escape from Midgar. However, as I discussed in this video from 2020, the ending of FF7Remake wasn’t exactly a 1-to-1 reboot of the original game; it was something completely different.

So, FF7Rebirth is set to be a nostalgic filled remake with even more twists and turns from the original that nobody can anticipate! Here’s to hoping it does release in 2023 and doesn’t get pushed into 2024!

4.) STAR WARS Jedi: Survivor (3/17/23)

The journey of Cal Kestis from 2019’s instant classic STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order resumes in 2023!

I just replayed Fallen Order to get back into the swing of things for Survivor and I must say, this new game can go down as one of the greatest, if not, the greatest Star Wars game ever.

There were some combat bugs and gameplay mechanics that I was reminded of in my replay of Fallen Order such as abilities not working or not being able to fast travel back to the ship that frustrated me. However, it looks like everything that was great about the original game is being improved upon and then some for the sequel!

With more story about Cal Kestis and the surviving Jedi following Order 66, I’m sure we’re bound to get interaction between Cal and some more characters from the Original Trilogy, or even Star Wars: Rebels in this game! Let’s just hope we can fast travel to the ship this time…

3.) The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (5/12/23)

Being a sequel to one of the greatest games ever made is a daunting task. However, if there’s one game that can live up to the hype of its predecessor, I’m sure it will be The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Following the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in 2017, hype for a sequel grew. As time went on, Breath of the Wild was recognized as the true flagship game for the Nintendo Switch.

Tears of the Kingdom is set to combine the timelines of the Zelda franchise and bring several of the series’ best storylines to the forefront with the series’ strongest entry as its base for gameplay.

Breath of the Wild is one of the few games I’ve ever played that I completed 100% of. All the Korok seeds, all the shrines, all the special armor, the Master Sword challenge, etc. I did ALL of it. I took my Switch with me everywhere and whether I grinded out several hours of discoveries or accomplished a quick shrine before my college classes, BOTW carved its way to being one of my favorite games of all-time.

I’m quite prepared to do all of this again, both throughout Hyrule and in the sky come May.

2.) Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (Fall 2023)

Ever since Insomniac’s announcement of Spider-Man 2 in 2021, gamers everywhere have patiently waited for more info on when the game will release.

In a recent PlayStation Blog, Sony and Insomniac guarantee the game’s release by Q3 of 2023, therefore, it makes my list for most anticipated games of next year!

Following Spider-Man (2018) and Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020), this game will tag team the two Spider-Men together to face their greatest threat yet: Venom. Given all of the unlockable suits from the previous two games, including all of the movie iterations of Spider-Man’s suits, I’m beyond excited to see their black, Symbiote versions that are infected by Venom.

While I’m really bummed there haven’t been any trailers or gameplay reveals since the game’s announcement, I know full well that this game is going to be amazing….or even spectacular, or dare I say: the ultimate Spider-Man experience.

Just like Breath of the Wild above, I fully 100% completed both 2018’s Spider-Man and 2020’s Miles Morales with very little frustration. These games are both just so much fun to play and they’re the epitome of super hero games overall.

I just can’t wait to see how Insomniac improves upon games that already seemed absolutely perfect.

1.) Hogwarts Legacy (2/10/23)

Considering the fact that I already wrote a lengthy blog about this game, it should come as no surprise that my most anticipated game for 2023 is Portkey Games’ Hogwarts Legacy.

I have an intense fandom for video games, movies, comic books, super heroes, etc., and it all wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t grow up with Harry Potter. It has always been my favorite media franchise and it helped me grow into the person I am today.

Playing through the licensed games from Electronic Arts that coincided with the releases of the Potter films throughout my childhood, always made me want a game where I could create my own wizard and experience my own stories at Hogwarts.

Hogwarts Legacy is that game. I will get to create myself and explore not only Hogwarts, but the Wizarding World around the castle as well; encountering all the magical creatures, enemies, spells, and potions that made us all fall in love with the world of Harry Potter initially.

Beginning as a fifth year transfer student into Hogwarts, your created protagonist is thrown into the center of a mystery that could endanger not only the students of Hogwarts, but for all the witches and wizards in the Wizarding World. Equipped with a full arsenal of spells, potions, and magical creatures, it’s up to you to uncover this mystery and cement your legacy at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

February 10th can’t come soon enough. If this game came out any later in the year, I think I would’ve spontaneously combusted.


Kingdom Hearts Theory: Could THIS character be the Master of Masters?

God of War: Ragnarok helped me connect a mystery that has yet to be solved in the Kingdom Hearts series

So…I wanted to get this theory out before the Game Awards because I’m hoping to have more videos about Kingdom Hearts IV after the show on 12/8. There are no signs of that happening, but one must always be prepared.

As bad luck would have it, I couldn’t be where I wanted to be to record and edit a video in time to do that, so I’m going to write this out!

This blog will contain HEAVY SPOILERS for both God of War: Ragnarok and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road. So if you want to remain fresh on those, please leave now!





Alright, so this theory has all to do with the identity of the Master of Masters (MoM) in Kingdom Hearts. We’ve known about MoM for a while, but we still haven’t figured out who he is exactly.

It’s still not entirely clear whether he’s a protagonist or an antagonist, but he will be a heavy hitter in the Lost Masters Arc, which is the next phase of Kingdom Hearts following Xehanort’s demise in the Dark Seeker Saga at the end of Kingdom Hearts III.

After playing God of War: Ragnarok though, my mind started racing with a theory about the MoM’s identity. Why is this not as weird of a connection as it seems?

Well, because the next phase of Kingdom Hearts revolves heavily around characters named after legends in Norse Mythology and God of War: Ragnarok takes place within those Norse legends and includes characters of the same names.

As this is a theory, I could be completely and totally off. This theory could also already be out and about and being discussed, but after playing GoW, I was putting all these connections together in my own head. So if you’ve been onto this theory for awhile without having played GoW or without some background knowledge in Norse Myth, I applaud you and I’d like you to call me out in the comments for being late to the party.

So, there are a few red flags that went up in my head and I will be addressing who I think the MoM is in Kingdom Hearts. There’s going to be plenty of lore jumping back and forth between Kingdom Hearts, God of War, and Norse Mythology, so please buckle up and enjoy the show!

To begin with the seed that grew this theory: let’s start with the Kingdom Hearts side of things.

The Gazing Eye and the Case of Odin

In Kingdom Hearts Unchained X/Union Cross, we learned that the MoM has read and seen the future, but bestows his “gazing eye” to his disciples so he can ensure that the future that is written in the Book of Prophecies comes true.

We discovered that the little blue eyes in ALL of these keyblades throughout the series are the Gazing Eye of the MoM, including Xehanort’s keyblade.

Xehanort’s keyblade was passed down to him in a long line of keyblade masters that includes the MoM himself, his dark disciple Luxu, and Xehanort’s own Master, named Odin.

Master Odin from Kingdom Hearts: Dark Road

Xehanort and his classmates (Eraqus, Bragi, Vor, Urd, Hermod, Vidar, Sigrun, Vala, Helgi, Vali, Heimdall, Hoder, and Baldr) are all taught by Odin in Scala ad Caelum, the epitome of society for keyblade wielders. Scala ad Caelum used to be Daybreak Town, where the MoM taught his pupils. Once that world was destroyed, it was rebuilt by the survivors to create Scala ad Caelum.

In both Kingdom Hearts III Re:Mind and Kingdom Hearts Union X, we discover that Scala ad Caelum was created after Daybreak Town was destroyed.

Each of the classmates, except for Xehanort and Eraqus, are named directly after Norse gods of Myth…but I’ll be back to that in a second.

So, Odin both in Norse Mythology and in God of War: Ragnarok is considered the “All-Father” and the god of gods, in a sense. He taught or created all of the gods in the Norse myth and houses them all in the realm of gods, called Asgard.

Odin in God of War: Ragnarok

Odin loses his eye trying to peer too far ahead into the future and discover the purpose of his own life. This is also represented within God of War: Ragnarok. Because he loses his eye, he employs an army of ravens throughout the Nine Realms to ensure that the future he’s foreseen comes to fruition. We see these throughout God of War: Ragnarok as green ravens that Kratos can destroy for rewards within the game.

While Odin pleads the titular God of War Kratos and his son, Atreus, for peace, we also learn that he’s not afraid to let Ragnarok (aka the destruction of the Nine Realms) happen if it means he’s allowed to see his purpose without losing his other eye.

Atreus and Kratos come across all of Odin’s Ravens that they’ve vanquished.

Odin also uses his two main ravens, Huginn and Muginn, to travel the realms and communicate on his behalf. Huginn and Muginn are adorned with Odin’s blue eyes, so he can see directly what and who they interact with.

Atreus talks to Huginn and Odin’s eye.

If we head back up to Kingdom Hearts Odin’s design, he is purposely drawn with only one eye being visible. Tetsuya Nomura, the character designer and director of the Kingdom Hearts series, designs his characters very deliberately.

Going back to something as simple as the “Recusant’s Sigil” otherwise known as a symbol for the “X” throughout the series, Nomura used simple means of the “X” on characters’ clothes or within their names to mark them as attached to Xehanort.

Roxas, the Nobody of Sora, being granted his identity within Organization XIII with the Recusant’s Sigil.

Nomura is also very into Norse Mythology and he makes that quite apparent in his breakout role as the character designer for the all-time classic Square Enix game Final Fantasy VII (1997). In which, many characters, towns, summons, and more are named after Norse legends.

So, it makes sense that the Kingdom Hearts Odin draws more than just the namesake from the actual Odin of myth, and thus, the Odin from God of War: Ragnarok.

The parallels between the eyes of the ravens and the Gazing eye of the keyblade makes too much sense, as well as being the “high teacher” in the “highest realms” of Asgard and Scala ad Caelum.

While I was looking into the eyes of Huginn and I realized that God of War: Ragnarok Odin sends his eyes everywhere and likes to peer into the future, everything just clicked!

Kingdom Hearts Odin was in possession of the main Gazing Eye keyblade, is missing an eye, and taught all of the keyblade wielders in Scala ad Caelum that used to be Daybreak Town……..I MEAN COME ON!

It would make complete sense that the MoM put Odin in his line of succession prior to the destruction of Daybreak Town! His dark disciple, Luxu, has proven multiple times in Kingdom Hearts lore that he’s placed his heart into the vessels of others to continue to pass down the Gazing eye keyblade.

But wait, wouldn’t that make Odin a vessel of Luxu then and not the MoM?”

While this is an excellent question, we find out in the end of Dark Road that Luxu has been hiding within the body of Bragi, one of Odin’s students. Bragi is a Norse prince, and considered to be Odin’s prime pupil.

Bragi reveals himself to actually be Luxu in Kingdom Hearts Dark Road

The Case of Baldr

The other pupil that ties this whole damn thing together is Baldr. There are Baldrs that exist in both Kingdom Hearts and God of War that also gives this Odin/MoM theory legs.

Baldr in Kingdom Hearts Dark Road

I touched upon the full ending of Baldr and Dark Road in this breakdown video, so please watch that for further detail. But basically, Baldr was touched by darkness and began killing off all of Odin’s other pupils. Once discovered, it came down to a clash between Odin, Xehanort, and Eraqus to vanquish Baldr. Although, Odin didn’t strike the final blow, he held Baldr in place and Xehanort finished him off.

Xehanort kills Baldr in Kingdom Hearts Dark Road

Once Baldr is killed, Odin bestows the Gazing eye keyblade upon Xehanort, who eventually becomes the main antagonist for Sora in the Dark Seeker Saga of Kingdom Hearts. Seems like an oddly great reward for striking down another pupil, eh?

Well, no. Xehanort, a former inhabitant of the Destiny Islands, was viewed as the “Child of Destiny” AKA the child that would balance the light and darkness in the world, according to the Book of Prophecies that the MoM wrote.

What MoM didn’t know was that Sora, the real protagonist of the Kingdom Hearts series, also came from the Destiny Islands and would eventually defeat Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts III. Sora foils all that “destiny” has foretold in the MoM’s prophecy and thus, the MoM must find a way to defy Sora’s destiny in Kingdom Hearts IV and beyond, which hasn’t been written yet.

Here’s how prophecy and Baldr tie together to God of War:

In the first God of War (2018), Baldur is sent by Odin to confront Kratos, the Greek God of War, for trespassing in Norse Midgard. Kratos has settled down, but unbeknownst to him, a frightening prophecy tells that the offspring of Kratos would lead to the demise of Asgard. Kratos and Atreus have no idea the adventures they’re about to be on, but it begins with Baldur.

Baldur, the main antagonist in God of War (2018)

I won’t rehash the whole plot of 2018’s God of War, but it ends almost identically to how the Kingdom Hearts Baldr meets his end. Kratos kills Baldur and fulfills his prophecy by being able to raise Atreus to confront Odin and kill him during Ragnarok.

Following the demise of Baldur, Odin tries to make Atreus his pupil. He tries to defy his own destiny, the destiny of Ragnarok, by winning Atreus over to his side. It ultimately fails and both Kratos and Atreus become heroes of the Nine Realms by defeating Odin.

In Norse Mythology, the death of Baldr brings upon the events of Ragnarok. In God of War, that absolutely happens, but the true Ragnarok is defied by Kratos and Atreus. The remainder of the Realms live on in peace. In Kingdom Hearts, the world’s destruction is consistently defied by Sora, while Xehanort and all of the gazing eye pupils are defeated throughout the Dark Seeker saga.

While God of War‘s Odin is defeated, the fate of Kingdom Hearts Odin has yet to be revealed. While he may have died of old age off screen in between Dark Road and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, I truly believe that he returned to his true form as the Master of Masters and is plotting to destroy Sora in order to finally balance light and darkness, as he originally thought Xehanort would accomplish.

An Oath to Return…?

The current theme of the Kingdom Hearts series following Kingdom Hearts III

So, to wrap it all up, we have yet to see who the Master of Masters is. All we know is that he’s going to play a pivotal role in the next Kingdom Hearts saga, which is everything after Kingdom Hearts III.

Following a long and winding road through mobile games like Kingdom Hearts Unchained X/Union X and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road, we’ve learned very little about the Master of Masters, but we know that both he and Odin are mysterious beings with very little screen time in the grand scheme of things.

After playing God of War: Ragnarok and making some connections with Norse Mythology, it just makes complete and total sense to me that the Master of Masters and Odin are one in the same.

Ragnarok has yet to truly happen in Kingdom Hearts, but maybe the “Oath to Return” means more than just the return of Sora to the realm of light. Maybe it also means the return of the Master of Masters as Odin and the destruction that once brought Daybreak Town to its knees to become Scala ad Caelum.

We’ll just have to wait for more in Kingdom Hearts IV and beyond to find out!

Thank you so much for sticking around this long if you have! I plan on using this as a script for a YouTube video so I can pair all these words to some gameplay from God of War: Ragnarok and Kingdom Hearts.

Here’s hoping I’m right back here tomorrow after the Game Awards with some more Kingdom Hearts news and updates!


Hogwarts Legacy is going to continue the epic history of Harry Potter video game music

The soundtrack preview for the highly anticipated Harry Potter prequel game hit me right in the nostalgia.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, but I can assure you, it’s because I was playing the literal Helheim out of God of War: Ragnarok.

It’s such an amazing game that for the second straight blog, I’m referencing it before I actually get into what I’m writing about. But before I proceed, I will say this: I plan on either writing a blog or making a YouTube video about God of War: Ragnarok and a theory I have about Norse Mythology as it pertains to another beloved video game franchise of mine.

So, why was today the day I was drawn out of the blog dry spell I was in? This is why:

The highly anticipated Hogwarts Legacy video game from Portkey Games and Warner Bros. Avalanche today released this music video titled “Overture to the Unwritten.”

This game releases on Feb. 10, 2023, and to my dismay, it can not come any sooner.

I’m a GIGANTIC Harry Potter fan. I would not like all of the nerdy things I do, video games included, if it weren’t for the Harry Potter series.

The book series literally helped me learn how to read. I grew up with the books, films, and video games all releasing as I was aging my way through school, wishing I was at Hogwarts.

The very first game I got with my very first console, the PlayStation 2, all the way back in 2001, was the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone PS1 video game. My older brother and I played the hell out of this game. The magical duo of the Ps2 and the game itself transported us within the castle walls.

You can even ask my parents about the Broomstick training level in this game; they still have nightmares about it. They stayed up “past midnight, easy” trying to fly through all the rings on my 4-year-old behalf.

What followed were countless magical journeys ranging from the GameBoy Color to the PlayStation 3 and spanned the course of 12 years. While the gameplay always slightly varied from game to game in the series, the one thing that remained a constant was the AMAZING score that backdropped these adapted adventures.

You want to talk about immersion? You want to make gamers feel like they’re actually in a magical castle? BOOM. You hire Jeremy Soule or James Hannigan. (Check out this website to hear all the music in one place.)

While the Potter films are epically scored by John Williams, Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper, and Alexandre Desplat, this blog is specifically about the video games and the video game music.

To begin with Jeremy Soule, I’d say he is probably more well-known for his work on other epic video game soundtracks including The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. But I know him for the first four Harry Potter video games as well as the PS2’s Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup.

The greatest bit of music from any of the early Harry Potter games is one I listen to at least once a week while I’m writing something. This track called “Happy Hogwarts” is just the perfect soundtrack for wandering around with Harry, Ron, and Hermione within the castle. Listen below:

The only way to describe this track is magical.

Not to mention, this amazingly soothing track for Diagon Alley from the Chamber of Secrets video game:

Soule also captured my imagination while running through the Hogwarts grounds in the Prisoner of Azkaban game with this track playing:

After Soule, Hannigan picked up from the Order of the Phoenix game through the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2 video games.

With a wide range of composition credits, including the Harry Potter audiobook soundtracks, the series’ conclusion was in safe hands with Hannigan.

Whether it’s the “Exploring Hogwarts” track from the Order of the Phoenix game:

Or the “Friendship Theme” from the Half-Blood Prince game:

And even the EPIC “Wandering Part 3 – Mystery” from the Deathly Hallows Part 2 game:

Hannigan took what Soule started and did an absolutely amazing job at putting you within the walls of Hogwarts as you completed tasks with characters you loved from the books and films.

Huge props to both Soule and Hannigan for making the music they did, because if you swapped their tracks into the films, the transition would be seamless.

But where does it all lead? Well, into Hogwarts Legacy, of course!

Judging by the “Overture to the Unwritten” music video today, I’m prepared to say that Hogwarts Legacy seems distinctly prepared to take what Soule and Hannigan built and add to the epic history of Harry Potter video game music.

This masterful piece performed by the Seven Springs Orchestra and Choir and composed by Chuck E. Myers “Sea”, J. Scott Rakozy, and Peter Murray, seems to capture what its predecessors once did.

The key difference I’m most excited about when I dive into Hogwarts Legacy in February is this: this game’s score will finally be the score that backdrops my journey at Hogwarts.

This game will begin with character customization and focuses on a new journey in the Harry Potter world that was once “unwritten.” You’d bet your ass that I’m going to make a character that looks like me and I can’t wait to discover what Hogwarts has in store for me!

Since all the previous video games in the Wizarding World followed the adventures of Harry directly from the books and films, I’m beyond excited to have my own journey in Hogwarts with its own unique musical score.

The official Hogwarts Legacy channel has also released a few peaceful ASMR videos that show off the environment of the game, including this one:

I can already picture a score like the “Overture to the Unwritten” being paired perfectly with the incredible diegetic sounds that the game developers put into these breathtaking environments.

However, if Portkey Games and WB Avalanche are reading this and want to make me shed even more tears on release day, I wouldn’t be upset if “Happy Hogwarts” chimed in as I make my way down the Grand Staircase and head toward my first ever Defence Against the Dark Arts class.

As you anticipate Hogwarts Legacy, please go listen to the Harry Potter video game soundtracks when you study, write, read, or work. You will not regret it!


EDIT from 12/6/22

Oh My Goodness, we’re back again today!

The Hogwarts Legacy Twitter account posted this video this morning all about the music to the game:

In this video, one of the composers (Chuck E. Myers “Sea”) confirms they’ve been working on the project for over 4 YEARS! He compliments John Williams for making “Hedwig’s Theme” and that it was an incredible base to begin from.

Another one of the composers (J. Scott Rakozy) also confirmed that they were going for the nostalgic element but with something new! They didn’t specifically mention the scores of the original Potter games, but they absolutely meant those, alongside the scores of the films.

What’s further apparent is that there’s so much attention to detail and care put into the soundtrack of the game. And if half as much care goes into the overall game, us Potter fans are in for one hell of an experience come February!

~ DS…again