2012 Wrap-up & 25 Games That Will Make 2013 Rad
31.12.12

2012’s Leftovers

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Please, just… uhhh… just ignore my ugly inability to use Photoshop effectively.

There was a lot of promising games in 2012, as I covered at the start of the year, but a few of them didn’t quite make it, whether that’s due to delays, translation troubles, or general release ambiguity. Regardless, let’s look at the stragglers, shall we?

Bioshock Infinite

I’m actually starting to get worried about this one. It seems like of all the games coming out in 2013, Bioshock Infinite is the one with the weight of the world on its shoulders. With all this pressure and heightened expectations, not to mention with the constant changes we’ve seen during its development, this game could be a spectacular failure, much like I correctly feared about Mass Effect 3. We shall see on this one, but I am quite excited nonetheless.

Release Status (NA): Released.

Dragon’s Crown

Dragon’s Crown is in that weird place of development hell where we know things have kinda maybe gone completely wrong, but no details are given. Doubly so, considering this is a Japanese company. All I really know is that the game was cancelled… kinda, Atlus is now publishing it now, and then that’s about it. Hopefully it will come out. We get far too few quality beat-em-ups nowadays.

Release Status (NA): Released.

Check out the other 4 games after the break.

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02.01.13
#25 - Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
While technically an updated port of a 16 year old Sega Saturn game that never came out here, I’m excited to get a chance to play anything “new” in the SMT series. The look back at the 32-bit era Persona ports on the PSP were not exactly enjoyable, but they were interesting to at least examine, especially when you contrast them against the critically acclaimed series Persona is now. So I guess mark this one down as more of a historical curiosity than a game worth being excited about.
Release Status (NA): Released

#25 - Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers

While technically an updated port of a 16 year old Sega Saturn game that never came out here, I’m excited to get a chance to play anything “new” in the SMT series. The look back at the 32-bit era Persona ports on the PSP were not exactly enjoyable, but they were interesting to at least examine, especially when you contrast them against the critically acclaimed series Persona is now. So I guess mark this one down as more of a historical curiosity than a game worth being excited about.

Release Status (NA): Released

04.01.13
#24 - Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.
I’m not really much of an anime fan. It’s a weird thing to admit, given how many elements Japanese games just straight up lift from anime and how much enjoyment I get out of those Japanese titles. It’s like saying you don’t like chicken, but you eat KFC all the time.
However, much like most of the world, Studio Ghibli is the one source in anime I will always pay attention to. They make fantastic films with powerful storytelling, but how much of their movies’ magic will transfer into a video game is what really matters. My hopes aren’t exactly set incredibly high for that, as I don’t really trust that they can effectively capture the Ghibli essence without really understanding the medium.But I do trust Level-5. They’ve had some stinkers in the past, but they’ve risen to quite the powerhouse in Japanese game development, especially in JRPGs with their involvement in the Dragon Quest series. Regardless of how much Ghibli is actually in the game beyond the art style, I know that this will be a mechanically solid RPG.P.S. What in the hell is going on with that guy’s face?
Release Status (NA): Released

#24 - Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

I’m not really much of an anime fan. It’s a weird thing to admit, given how many elements Japanese games just straight up lift from anime and how much enjoyment I get out of those Japanese titles. It’s like saying you don’t like chicken, but you eat KFC all the time.

However, much like most of the world, Studio Ghibli is the one source in anime I will always pay attention to. They make fantastic films with powerful storytelling, but how much of their movies’ magic will transfer into a video game is what really matters. My hopes aren’t exactly set incredibly high for that, as I don’t really trust that they can effectively capture the Ghibli essence without really understanding the medium.

But I do trust Level-5. They’ve had some stinkers in the past, but they’ve risen to quite the powerhouse in Japanese game development, especially in JRPGs with their involvement in the Dragon Quest series. Regardless of how much Ghibli is actually in the game beyond the art style, I know that this will be a mechanically solid RPG.

P.S. What in the hell is going on with that guy’s face?

Release Status (NA): Released

04.01.13
#23 - Tearaway
Media Molecule has been nothing but a house of disappointment. I never could look past LittleBigPlanet’s loose and frustrating base platforming mechanics in order to enjoy its incredible creative tools. Its sequel solved none of the originals problems, only adding a larger variety of disappointments.This is their big second chance and I think it might just win me over. The animation in the game and the commitment to that papercraft style is stunning. The gimmicky Vita real world interaction seems to be used in at least cool ways. Most of all? The game doesn’t look like it will depend on tight controls to explore its cool landscapes. I have my doubts, but maybe this will work out.
Release Status (NA): Released

#23 - Tearaway

Media Molecule has been nothing but a house of disappointment. I never could look past LittleBigPlanet’s loose and frustrating base platforming mechanics in order to enjoy its incredible creative tools. Its sequel solved none of the originals problems, only adding a larger variety of disappointments.

This is their big second chance and I think it might just win me over. The animation in the game and the commitment to that papercraft style is stunning. The gimmicky Vita real world interaction seems to be used in at least cool ways. Most of all? The game doesn’t look like it will depend on tight controls to explore its cool landscapes. I have my doubts, but maybe this will work out.

Release Status (NA): Released

04.01.13
#22 - South Park: The Stick of Truth
Ni no Kuni and South Park are basically the same pitch: a popular name in animation and a top rated RPG developer join forces to create a simplistic RPG with the animation, style, and story worthy of the animation it is based on.
Now, I don’t really think South Park is going to be a better game than Ni no Kuni, especially considering the absolutely awful run of South Park games over the years, but I have a little bit more faith that the South Park essence could be successfully captured in a video game. From the moment I first saw Stick of Truth, it reminded me of all the reasons why I loved the show. While I don’t I watch South Park regularly anymore, I’m still very excited to see how this one turns out.
Release Status (NA): Delayed :(

#22 - South Park: The Stick of Truth

Ni no Kuni and South Park are basically the same pitch: a popular name in animation and a top rated RPG developer join forces to create a simplistic RPG with the animation, style, and story worthy of the animation it is based on.

Now, I don’t really think South Park is going to be a better game than Ni no Kuni, especially considering the absolutely awful run of South Park games over the years, but I have a little bit more faith that the South Park essence could be successfully captured in a video game. From the moment I first saw Stick of Truth, it reminded me of all the reasons why I loved the show. While I don’t I watch South Park regularly anymore, I’m still very excited to see how this one turns out.

Release Status (NA): Delayed :(

04.01.13
#21 - The Witch and The Hundred Knights
There is a golden rule* that I have learned when it comes to one of my favourite developers, Nippon Ichi: Never. Ever. Ever play a game in which they collaborate on or in which they purely publish. Mugen Souls, Last Rebellion, Hyperdimension Neptunia, Trinity Universe, Cross Edge. All of these games? Complete and utter pieces of shit. Almost offensively so. To the point that if someone were to look at the catalogue of Nippon Ichi’s games, these stinkers would almost invalidate the great games they have produced.(*The only exception to this rule is System Prisma, who are actually owned by Nippon Ichi. They released the Cladun games which were actually pretty good. Simplistic, but good.)Thankfully, despite not being a Strategy RPG, Witch and the Hundred Knights is purely a Nippon Ichi developed game, so I am expecting quality. Not much has been shown of the game yet, but it looks to be a vibrant, stage based action RPG that almost reminds me of Little King Story with the the RTS aspects toned down. Plop a dark, yet still Disgaea-like, story on top of that and I can definitely get behind this.
Release Status (NA): Delayed :(

#21 - The Witch and The Hundred Knights

There is a golden rule* that I have learned when it comes to one of my favourite developers, Nippon Ichi: Never. Ever. Ever play a game in which they collaborate on or in which they purely publish. Mugen Souls, Last Rebellion, Hyperdimension Neptunia, Trinity Universe, Cross Edge. All of these games? Complete and utter pieces of shit. Almost offensively so. To the point that if someone were to look at the catalogue of Nippon Ichi’s games, these stinkers would almost invalidate the great games they have produced.

(*The only exception to this rule is System Prisma, who are actually owned by Nippon Ichi. They released the Cladun games which were actually pretty good. Simplistic, but good.)

Thankfully, despite not being a Strategy RPG, Witch and the Hundred Knights is purely a Nippon Ichi developed game, so I am expecting quality. Not much has been shown of the game yet, but it looks to be a vibrant, stage based action RPG that almost reminds me of Little King Story with the the RTS aspects toned down. Plop a dark, yet still Disgaea-like, story on top of that and I can definitely get behind this.

Release Status (NA): Delayed :(

04.01.13
#20 - Dark Souls II
Confession time! I’m not done Dark Souls. I mean, I’m not even close. I’m only a few hours in, but I played enough of it to “get it.” I see where the appeal lies, why so many people were enraptured by this brutally difficult and masochistic series. I’m honestly excited to play more of Dark Souls, and its spiritual prequel, when I get around to it.
Dark Souls II offers more of that, but with the opportunity to improve some of the rougher edges of the series. I’d be lying if I said that Dark Souls was a perfect game, as there were many aspects that rubbed me the wrong way. Another attempt with a nice coat of polish seems to be exactly what this series needs, even if the end product only amounts to being “just more Dark Souls”.
Release Status (NA): Delayed :(

#20 - Dark Souls II

Confession time! I’m not done Dark Souls. I mean, I’m not even close. I’m only a few hours in, but I played enough of it to “get it.” I see where the appeal lies, why so many people were enraptured by this brutally difficult and masochistic series. I’m honestly excited to play more of Dark Souls, and its spiritual prequel, when I get around to it.

Dark Souls II offers more of that, but with the opportunity to improve some of the rougher edges of the series. I’d be lying if I said that Dark Souls was a perfect game, as there were many aspects that rubbed me the wrong way. Another attempt with a nice coat of polish seems to be exactly what this series needs, even if the end product only amounts to being “just more Dark Souls”.

Release Status (NA): Delayed :(

05.01.13
#19 - Monster Hunter 4
Much like Dark Souls, I haven’t played enough of this series as I should, but I’ve still invested well over 20-30 hours into Freedom Unite and Tri. Again, the appeal of the series has clicked for me. I know why I should be playing these games and I understand why so many others sing its praises. So I’m excited to jump into a new start for the series. With no multiple versions or expansions, everyone will be starting off on the same foot here and I’ll be there in the thick of it, finally being able to play the series both online and on-the-go.
Release Status (NA): Who the fuck knows…

#19 - Monster Hunter 4

Much like Dark Souls, I haven’t played enough of this series as I should, but I’ve still invested well over 20-30 hours into Freedom Unite and Tri. Again, the appeal of the series has clicked for me. I know why I should be playing these games and I understand why so many others sing its praises. So I’m excited to jump into a new start for the series. With no multiple versions or expansions, everyone will be starting off on the same foot here and I’ll be there in the thick of it, finally being able to play the series both online and on-the-go.

Release Status (NA): Who the fuck knows…

05.01.13
#18 - Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse
Again, a series I have not played enough of. I never had a Game Boy Colour back in the day and, since Shantae is quite rare now, my ability to go back and play that WayForward classic is unfortunately hindered. I have played quite a bit of its DSiWare sequel (Risky’s Revenge) though. It’s a great game to have on your DS whenever you boot it up, always available for you to hop in for some metroidvania goodness here and there. My relaxed pace through the game hasn’t lead me to completion yet, but it does have me very excited for the sequel.
Release Status (NA): Delayed :(

#18 - Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

Again, a series I have not played enough of. I never had a Game Boy Colour back in the day and, since Shantae is quite rare now, my ability to go back and play that WayForward classic is unfortunately hindered. I have played quite a bit of its DSiWare sequel (Risky’s Revenge) though. It’s a great game to have on your DS whenever you boot it up, always available for you to hop in for some metroidvania goodness here and there. My relaxed pace through the game hasn’t lead me to completion yet, but it does have me very excited for the sequel.

Release Status (NA): Delayed :(

05.01.13
#17 - The Cave
With this (kinda) spiritual sequel to Maniac Mansion, except with more platforming and character focused storytelling, it’s looking like Ron Gilbert will finally be working on a title worthy of his history and legend. Not to say that Deathspank was utterly terrible, but it’s just that Monkey Island and those other LucasArts classics will always have a special place in heart. To see Ron working back in that realm again is reason enough for this game to be on my list.Also, I have always had a soft spot for “Be careful what you wish for”, monkey paw-esque storylines and The Cave is promising three different ones each playthrough, along with some clever puzzles built around each character’s special abilities and the interaction between the three heroes (?) of your journey.What is there not to like?
Release Status (NA): Released

#17 - The Cave

With this (kinda) spiritual sequel to Maniac Mansion, except with more platforming and character focused storytelling, it’s looking like Ron Gilbert will finally be working on a title worthy of his history and legend. Not to say that Deathspank was utterly terrible, but it’s just that Monkey Island and those other LucasArts classics will always have a special place in heart. To see Ron working back in that realm again is reason enough for this game to be on my list.

Also, I have always had a soft spot for “Be careful what you wish for”, monkey paw-esque storylines and The Cave is promising three different ones each playthrough, along with some clever puzzles built around each character’s special abilities and the interaction between the three heroes (?) of your journey.

What is there not to like?

Release Status (NA): Released

05.01.13