For the first time, I think I am actually excited more for Japanese games than I am for Western releases. That's not to say I'm not excited for games like the new SimCity, The Last of Us or BioShock Infinite, but this year's Japanese release slate is chock full of games I am at least interest in, if not excited for. I have never really had a particular fondness for Japanese games, but from what I have played I have enjoyed. So I have decided that 2013 will be the Year of the Japanese Game (for me at least.)
Pokemon X and Y
I used to love Pokemon games, but in recent years I have lost so much enjoyment I used to have. Black and White were huge disappointments to me, because it finally showed me just how little they have actually changed. B&W had some good ideas, but they were all wasted and the game reverted back to the same old thing. I am not saying that X and Y will flip the script on Pokemon games, but the shift from sprites to polygonal (bringing back some love I have for the Dragon Quest games) is enough to get me interested.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
The art style alone was enough to get me excited for this game, as I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli. But after watching the QL, I am now officially in the "can't wait to play it" stage.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
I have always been interested in the Fire Emblem games, but they were all weirdly hard to get hold of in Europe. Both DS releases are impossible to find in Switzerland, and on Amazon they currently both go for around 65$. The tactical battle system looks interesting, and after playing XCOM last year I am definitely interested in trying out some more.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Monster Hunter 4
I loved the Monster Hunter game on the PS2, but for whatever reason (mainly because they were released on the PSP) I have missed out on the last few games in the series. As a result, I could not be more excited for (hopefully) 2 MH games being released this year. Monster Hunter 3 will definitely be the first game I buy on the WiiU.
Dragon Quest X
I love the Dragon Quest series. Hand of the Heavenly Bride remains in my top 3 games of all time, and I actually really enjoyed the time I spent in Dragon Quest IX. DQX is a very different game however, with a new dev team and a new genre. But a new DQ game, as well as an MMORPG being released on a Nintendo console? Certainly interesting enough to make me check it out.
Dark Souls/ Dark Souls 2
I never played Dark Souls. I kept saying I would, but I never got around to it. Then I convinced myself to wait for the PC version, and then that version was apparently terrible. But this year, I have told myself I am going to play it, and what better time than in preparation for the newest in the series? Dark Souls 2 has not been given an official release date yet, but the general consensus is this year (I think) and I remain hopeful!
So what do you guys think? Have I missed any major Japanese releases coming out this year?