Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ten Most Anticipated Games of 2013

Oh look, it’s the start of a new year. Looking back, 2012 was a rather dull year for me in terms of video games. It felt like there were a whole slew of games, both high profile and independent, released this year, and yet the only games I was really excited for before their launch were Rhythm Heaven Fever, Xenoblade Chronicles, Lollipop Chainsaw, and Kirby’s Dream Collection (I also bought The Last Story out of obligation). This year, however, is already looking much different when it comes to games I’m interested in. that’s why to start off 2013, I decided to create a list of the ten video games I’m most interested in this year.

This is a list of games that are currently scheduled to be released in the United States this year that I am most excited for. They are listed in alphabetical order so don’t look at this list expecting some kind of ranking of my anticipation for each game. In addition, prepare to learn just how bad I am at finishing video games. That’s a habit I should fix.

Anarchy Reigns
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Sega

Despite owning it, I’ve yet to actually play MadWorld. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. That said, I have seen gameplay footage and it looks like a game I would really enjoy. To my understanding, the game is a 3D multiplayer brawler complete to over-the-top moves, arenas, and characters. Sounds like my kind of game. I was sold on the game through Two Best Friends Play and their videos featuring the Japanese release of the game. Speaking of, I’m glad Sega finally got around to releasing this game internationally seeing how this was released in Japan with dual English and Japanese text back in July. At least they’ll only be selling it for $30. That makes it worth the wait.

I also made sure to preorder this game in order to unlock Bayonetta as a playable character. I have played the first Bayonetta game (still need to beat it) and I look forward to using her crazy finishers in this game. So if you’re interested in this game I would suggest placing a preorder as soon as possible since Anarchy Reigns comes out next week.

BioShock Infinite
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: 2K Games

The original Bioshock was the first M-rated video game I ever owned and I loved it. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to finish it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to reinstall the game onto my new computer without being locked out. Also, I’ve yet to play either System Shock (don’t own them yet).

Anyway, I’m really interested in what Irrational Games can accomplish with Infinite. I love how the game is full of bright colors but still look like it’s capable of creating a tense and possibly scary atmosphere. I rarely play first person shooters, but an FPS game set in a dystopian city in the sky is enough of a concept to warrant attention from me. In addition, the ability to move around on zip lines while fighting simply looks awesome.

Bit.Trip Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC
Release Date: March 1, 2013 (PC), TBA 2013 (PS3, 360, Wii U)
Developer / Publisher: Gaijin Games

So far, I’ve played three of the six original Bit.Trip games (Beat, Runner, and Fate) and of the three, Bit.Trip Runner was by far my favorite. I loved the art direction, the music, and the very responsive gameplay. The game had a degree of difficulty where it didn’t feel like my losses were the game’s fault, but rather my own fault. The game’s use of music to tie in with the gameplay not only made me feel accomplished about completing a game, but also had me wanting to replay a level in order to achieve a perfect run. Runner2 is promising to be essentially the same game with a new art style, but with the addition of more moves and content. Personally, that’s all I could ask for in this sequel. Now I just have to decide which version to buy.

Brain Age: Concentration Training
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Dates: February 10, 2013
Developer / Publisher: Nintendo

I love the Brain Age games. I love the series’ mini-games that force you to use your head. I simply like games that make you think, and these games fit the bill. I don’t know if they really did make my mind younger, but I did enjoy playing them anyway. As for this new game, Brain Age: Concentration Training is designed to work on your focus. The idea is that thanks to the internet and social networking, people are getting more distracted and are having a hard time focusing on the work they need to get done. I find that to be very relatable. Heck, I almost finished this blog late due to me being distracted by the internet. So, I’ll definitely be checking this game out next month. Even if this game doesn’t improve my concentration, I’ll probably be enjoying the new mini-games too much to care.

Fire Emblem: Awakening
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: February 4, 2013
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo

I enjoy playing RPGs. My favorite type of RPG is easily the turned based strategy RPG. When Fire Emblem finally made its way to the US with the seventh game of the series, I was hooked. I am especially looking forward to this entry of the series because Nintendo has promised some new game mechanics such as the ability for characters to team up with their attacks. Hopefully, that will open up new possibilities with how you can play the game. In addition, the game also allows you to turn permanent death off when you’re playing. I’ll still be playing with it on (I like the challenge), but I like the idea of the game trying to be more accessible to less experienced players without ruining the experience for more seasoned players.

I also made sure to preorder the game because Nintendo of America announced that preordered games will come with an art book. And I love art books.

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: Spring 2013
Developer: Next Level Games
Publisher: Nintendo

It’s been a while since the first Luigi’s Mansion. Luigi’s first official game (Mario Is Missing doesn’t count) was a GameCube launch title that I really enjoyed playing. Personally, I was hoping for this game to be a console release, but I’m sure the game will be fun on the 3DS as well. Now let’s see if the game will actually release without Nintendo delaying the game yet again.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Platform: PlayStation 3
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Developer: Level-5 and Studio Ghibli
Publisher: Namco Bandai

Remember when I said that I love art books? Ni No Kuni became the first game I ever ordered the special edition version because it comes with a 300 page hardcover art book. Over the summer, Namco Bandai held a promotion where the more preorders they received for the special edition, the more items the special edition would contain. After seeing that art book, I placed my order. I’ve actually yet to try the game out yet. I figured since I already placed my order, I don’t need to preview the game. Personally, the fact that this game is a joint project between Level-5 and Studio Ghibli is all I need to trust in this game’s quality. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to haunt me later.

Pikmin 3
Platform: Wii U
Release Date: Q2 2013
Developer / Publisher: Nintendo

I think the Pikmin games are the best console real-time strategy games ever created, hands down. The first two games also did a great job of making me care for these little creatures. Seriously, if you never felt even a little sad when a Pikmin died, I just may consider you coldhearted. Because I was short on time, I elected to not try this game at New York Comic Con since I already knew I was going to get this game.

It’s also worth mentioning that this game could a great way to showcase how HD gaming should be done. Personally, most HD games that try to be super realistic generally don’t impress me. One look at Pikmin 3, however, and I was instantly blown away. The bold colors really pop-out in HD and if Nintendo makes more games that look as good as this one, people could be looking at how HD videos games are portrayed differently.

South Park: The Stick of Truth
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: THQ

Of the games on this list, this game is the one I’m most weary about. THQ recently filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (which isn’t as bad as Chapter 7 Bankruptcy) and Obsidian is a company I rarely hear people praise for having highly polished games. Still, I see a lot of potential with this one. I’m a fan of South Park and Matt Parker and Trey Stone’s involvement with the game certainly makes me more hopefully that this will be a funny RPG adventure through the South Park universe. I just hope the game is better than the episode of South Park about pro wrestling. That one was just rubbish.

The Wonderful 101
Platform: Wii U
Release Date: Q1 2013
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Nintendo

I got to play this game at New York Comic Con and loved every minute of it. My only hope at this point is that the entire game will be as enjoyable as the demo was.

And those are the ten games I’m currently most excited for in 2013. Now I’m sure I’ll have more to look forward to after this year’s E3, but if these are the only games we get, I’ll be okay with that. Given how I play games, I’ll probably have enough trouble finishing these games before 2014 comes along. I really should work on that.

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