Posted by DevourerOfTime (329 posts) -

So I've been looking at what's to come and I think I've narrowed down about 25 games I am dying to play in the next year. Come December, I think we will all agree this won't be the Top 25 Best Games of the Year, but these are the games I find most promising and exciting in this industry for me. I'll be posting this Top 25 in 5 pieces, with 5 being posted almost everyday (almost being the key word there. Really bad at keeping things on time). Anyway, here's the first 5 on the list:

#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.

#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?

#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.

#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.

#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.

- - - - -

This blog is a crosspost of a series of posts on my personal blog: Yeti Sized Games. It's a blog about my thoughts on gaming, whether it be reviews, opinions, podcasts, game design, and, sometimes, my time with indie game development while working towards getting my degree. Check it out if you want.

#1 Posted by DevourerOfTime (329 posts) -

So I've been looking at what's to come and I think I've narrowed down about 25 games I am dying to play in the next year. Come December, I think we will all agree this won't be the Top 25 Best Games of the Year, but these are the games I find most promising and exciting in this industry for me. I'll be posting this Top 25 in 5 pieces, with 5 being posted almost everyday (almost being the key word there. Really bad at keeping things on time). Anyway, here's the first 5 on the list:

#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.

#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?

#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.

#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.

#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.

- - - - -

This blog is a crosspost of a series of posts on my personal blog: Yeti Sized Games. It's a blog about my thoughts on gaming, whether it be reviews, opinions, podcasts, game design, and, sometimes, my time with indie game development while working towards getting my degree. Check it out if you want.

#2 Posted by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -

I don't think I can even name 25 games coming out in 2013.

#3 Posted by DevourerOfTime (329 posts) -

Really? Huh. When I was writing this, I had a list of about 60-70 2013 games that I was, at the very least, mildly interested in playing. Plus, that doesn't include the games on the new systems that may or may not launch this year that are being withheld from the public eye.

Guess it really depends on how focused your tastes are. I'll pretty much play anything if it intrigues me enough, so I've got a bit of everything on this list, from Japanese to North American, from AAA to Indie, from shooters to platformers to obscure JRPGs.

#4 Posted by Clonedzero (4091 posts) -

uh...

gta5.

bioshock infinite.

maybe tomb raider?

uh what else is there? is that hacker ubisoft assassincreed game coming out in 2013? it was at e3 i dont remeber the name but it was cool

#5 Posted by Morningstar (2142 posts) -

Ni No Kuni in 24th??? Madness!

#6 Posted by DelroyLindo (387 posts) -

@StarvingGamer said:

I don't think I can even name 25 games coming out in 2013.

#7 Posted by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

Are you sure these aren't your most anticipated Japanese TV shows?

#8 Posted by Pepsiman (2459 posts) -

Having played through a decent chunk of the original Saturn version in Japanese, I'd say it's possible to legitimately like actually playing Soul Hackers. To be certain, it has certain quirks to its gameplay mechanics that later SMT games don't exhibit and you're probably going to need to have some level of appreciation for 90s era Japanese cyberpunk, ironic or otherwise, to get the most out of its setting, but to me personally, it's otherwise still aged pretty well. I actually consider it and SMT If to be among the few older entries in the series I can actually still go back to and have a good time, especially since demon negotiation and dungeon navigation just felt a lot less prone to making me spontaneously rage like the really older games in the series for whatever reason. Going into it with a historical mindset is probably still the best way to go, but if you've already made your way through the Persona re-releases, Soul Hackers will treat you just fine and doubly so if you're a fan of Kaneko's character designs. Nemissa's still good stuff.

#9 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5806 posts) -

I'm pretty excited for Soul Hackers.

that song in the trailer that was released is pretty nice, I've listened to it like 20 times for some reason.

#10 Posted by Video_Game_King (36026 posts) -

@Pepsiman:

I've actually heard that Soul Hackers is probably the easiest pre-Nocturne SMT game to get into, but have yet to see any type of fan translation available. Is everything easy enough to understand without learning the language, or have I been missing out on something significantly huge in the series' community?

#11 Posted by Pepsiman (2459 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: I'd agree with that sentiment about it being the easiest quasi-mainline game to get into pre-Nocturne. The guys who were did the Innocent Sin PS1 translation were working on Soul Hackers a while back before putting it on hiatus, mostly because they went the masochistic route and decided to try working on the PS1 version of that as well, despite the programming on that port job apparently being an absolute nightmare. So beyond that, unless there are translation walkthroughs for it, I don't believe there's any info in English that could see you through it from start to finish. I otherwise wouldn't recommend diving into it as it is without that Japanese knowledge; demon negotiations are as critical as ever to the gameplay and I don't believe the game otherwise telegraphs where you should be going unless you're paying attention to the plot.

#12 Posted by Jackel2072 (2237 posts) -

@OfficeGamer said:

Are you sure these aren't your most anticipated Japanese TV shows?

#13 Posted by Video_Game_King (36026 posts) -

@Pepsiman said:

they went the masochistic route and decided to try working on the PS1 version of that as well, despite the programming on that port job apparently being an absolute nightmare.

I imagine because there are almost no translations for the Saturn (outside Shining Force and this one PDF for Princess Crown), and even then, emulation for it is an utter nightmare.

@Pepsiman said:

I don't believe the game otherwise telegraphs where you should be going unless you're paying attention to the plot.

Which I can't imagine being possible with a limited knowledge of the language.

#14 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

1. Dark Souls 2

2. ?

#15 Edited by believer258 (11642 posts) -

@Jackel2072 said:

@OfficeGamer said:

Are you sure these aren't your most anticipated Japanese TV shows?

Only one of these is based off of a TV show.

On topic:

@StarvingGamer said:

I don't think I can even name 25 games coming out in 2013.

I can't either. Grand Theft Auto V, Bioshock Infinite, Dead Space 3, that new Devil May Cry game, probably a new CoD, isn't Gears of War Judgement coming out? Uh, Tomb Raider, and I think The Last of Us is coming out this year. Probably a new Assassin's Creed as well. Saints Row 4 and Metro Last Light. There's ten - I don't think I could get to 25.

Online
#16 Posted by Pepsiman (2459 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Oh yeah, if I were in their shoes I probably would have gone with the PS1 version as well. I can get the Saturn version to run flawlessly on this machine with the right emulator, but you're right that it's ultimately not worth the hassle to expect everyone else to be the same since that scene isn't nearly as intuitive or technologically mature as the PS1 emulation scene is. And yeah, the demons go obtuse fast in terms of how they talk. I only started playing the game around the time my third year of university Japanese was wrapping up and couldn't imagine tackling it at a much lower level.

#17 Posted by Video_Game_King (36026 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Jackel2072 said:

@OfficeGamer said:

Are you sure these aren't your most anticipated Japanese TV shows?

Only one of these is based off of a TV show.

To be fair, though, it's the most Japanese one of all.

#18 Posted by RobotHamster (4171 posts) -

@StarvingGamer: This should help you out.

#19 Posted by Chibithor (574 posts) -

I'll wait and see on most big titles this year though it seems, I'm most anticipating the random indie games that I'll see on Steam that I've never heard of before and Playstation Plus stuff. The Witch and the Hundred Knights might be interesting but there seems to be zero info about it anywhere.

#20 Posted by StarvingGamer (8016 posts) -

@RobotHamster: Is it odd that the first thing I saw on that image was the word "Multiplats" and felt instantly repulsed?

#21 Posted by PenguinDust (12450 posts) -

@RobotHamster: I question the certainty of 2013 for a number of those games. Shadowrun, Star Wars 1313, Prey 2 and anything from THQ is still suspicious by my book. I'll believe 'em when I see 'em. The ones I know are Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider. That's all that that really has me excited right now.

#22 Posted by DevourerOfTime (329 posts) -

@Morningstar said:

Ni No Kuni in 24th??? Madness!

I'm excited for it! I'm just always unsure of any creative studio that specializes in movies and their ability to make a well paced, well executed, fully thought out game. Especially a long RPG.

@Pepsiman said:

Having played through a decent chunk of the original Saturn version in Japanese, I'd say it's possible to legitimately like actually playing Soul Hackers. To be certain, it has certain quirks to its gameplay mechanics that later SMT games don't exhibit and you're probably going to need to have some level of appreciation for 90s era Japanese cyberpunk, ironic or otherwise, to get the most out of its setting, but to me personally, it's otherwise still aged pretty well. I actually consider it and SMT If to be among the few older entries in the series I can actually still go back to and have a good time, especially since demon negotiation and dungeon navigation just felt a lot less prone to making me spontaneously rage like the really older games in the series for whatever reason. Going into it with a historical mindset is probably still the best way to go, but if you've already made your way through the Persona re-releases, Soul Hackers will treat you just fine and doubly so if you're a fan of Kaneko's character designs. Nemissa's still good stuff.

Unfortunately, my time with the series pre-Nocturne is brief, as I have really only played titles that were translated into English. I wasn't too impressed by Persona or Innocent Sin. I mean they're fine games. I got through them. They just really don't have anything going for them. They are terribly paced, they have an interesting battle system stretched way too thin by an overly long plot, the dungeons were confusing, etc. etc. Hence why I'm approaching Soul Hackers with that historical mindset. But yeah, I look forward to the game. Glad to hear from someone that its actually held up well. I imagine the changes made in this update will only improve it.

@Chibithor said:

I'll wait and see on most big titles this year though it seems, I'm most anticipating the random indie games that I'll see on Steam that I've never heard of before and Playstation Plus stuff. The Witch and the Hundred Knights might be interesting but there seems to be zero info about it anywhere.

Yeah, it's true. There hasn't been a trailer yet, only a handful of screenshots, and most of its coverage comes (naturally) from Japanese sources. I admit, it's a longshot for coming out this year and a weird choice for this list, but I am always looking forward to see what NIS can do internally outside of the SRPG genre. ZHP was a fantastic take on the roguelike design and applying NIS's standard deep and mechanics heavy design to a weird top down Action RPG sounds like a winning formula to me.

#23 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

Any idea if the three awesome looking/sounding japanese games are coming to PC? Of course not why did I even ask.

#24 Posted by DevourerOfTime (329 posts) -

@thabigred said:

Any idea if the three awesome looking/sounding japanese games are coming to PC? Of course not why did I even ask.

This updated version of Soul Hackers is 3DS exclusive. You could go the route of emulation for either the Saturn or PS1 versions, but, as pointed out, there isn't much in the way of fan-translations out there.

Ni no Kuni is PS3 exclusive and I don't see that changing.

Witch and the Hundred Knights... well, there is a possibility. NIS did put out Cladun X2 out on Steam, another action RPG, so if any game on here would be put out on PC it would be this. Don't hold your breath though. We don't have much details about the game yet and we don't know exactly how successful NIS's test of the PC waters went.

#25 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

@DevourerOfTime: It's the nature of the beast, my biggest regret to becoming solely PC is the fact that most Japanese developers don't do PC gaming.

#26 Posted by DevourerOfTime (329 posts) -

@thabigred: It's actually becoming a pretty big untapped market for Japanese developers. With things like Big Picture Mode out now and Steam focused computers meant for the living room on the horizon, PC gaming is just going to get more and more popular here in North America. I think that you will see more and more Japanese developers jumping to at least port to PC for western releases.

Over the next few years, I'd keep an eye on what the smaller guys are doing, companies like Marvelous, Falcom, NIS, and XSEED.

#27 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (1948 posts) -

I'm seriously considering buying a 3DS, and using Soul Hackers as my excuse... and the fact that a lot of JRPG's nowadays seem to hit the handheld market, and have for the past few years. Then again, I might be able to get into the original. It was totally impenetrable before, but I might be able to at least read some of it now - either way, looking forward to seeing your top 10, since that is around where my anticipation tops off.

#28 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -

Wait wait wait. There's an f2p MMO based off the Langrisser franchise? Are you fucking kidding me?

#29 Posted by DarthOrange (3851 posts) -
@Jackel2072:  
Holy shit another Dale Cooper avatar. How have I never seen you before? *High fives* 
 
 
On topic, how the hell do you not like LittleBigPlanet OP?  Platforming was just a small part of LittleBigPlanet, not all levels required mastering the platforming controls. I am totally hyped for Tearaway and game it my number 5 spot.
#30 Edited by DevourerOfTime (329 posts) -

@DarthOrange said:

On topic, how the hell do you not like LittleBigPlanet OP? Platforming was just a small part of LittleBigPlanet, not all levels required mastering the platforming controls. I am totally hyped for Tearaway and game it my number 5 spot.

Yeah, I know I'm an anomaly when it comes to LittleBigPlanet. I played it. I played the sequel. I even picked up the PSP version when it was offered for free after the whole PSN outage. None of them grabbed me. I've tried to play them, I've tried to like them. All of the elements are there for a good game and a game that I would no doubt enjoy, but I just find like the most basic mechanics to the game (the movement, the jumping, the multiple planes, the interaction with the environment) just slow, boring, tedious, and not enjoyable. I can't really explain it much better than that, it's purely a subjective and subconscious reason why I don't like the game, but everything about how I control the action on screen and the feedback it gives me just doesn't click.

#31 Posted by Roger778 (953 posts) -

Right now, my most anticipated games coming out this year are Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist. I'm also curious about the South Park game.

Anyway, keep up the good work, Devoureroftime. Looking forward to reading part 2.

#32 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

Oh god Acs Attorney 5 better come out this year D:

#33 Posted by RobotHamster (4171 posts) -

@StarvingGamer: Felt the same way when I saw it haha

@PenguinDust: Just an image I found a few days ago, I question some of them myself and others I haven't even heard of. But I'm sure that a good portion of the list will be released to keep us busy.

#34 Posted by advocatefish (355 posts) -

Killzone Mercenary, Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus 2 Vita, Soul Sacrifice, Tearaway, Dragon's Crown.

Pretty much everything come out for the Vita.

#35 Posted by Video_Game_King (36026 posts) -

@Turambar said:

Wait wait wait. There's an f2p MMO based off the Langrisser franchise? Are you fucking kidding me?

Huh? Where? I checked the Langrisser page, and didn't find anything recent.

#36 Posted by Turambar (6675 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Turambar said:

Wait wait wait. There's an f2p MMO based off the Langrisser franchise? Are you fucking kidding me?

Huh? Where? I checked the Langrisser page, and didn't find anything recent.

Langrisser Schwartz on the list of games posted earlier. Apparently it pretty much is your run of the mill generic third person action mmo. Color me depressed.

#37 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

@Turambar: As discussed on Warning A Huge Podcast every Japanese IP eventually turns into a mobile device game and/or Korean MMO.

#38 Posted by Video_Game_King (36026 posts) -

@Turambar said:

Apparently it pretty much is your run of the mill generic third person action mmo.

To be fair, Langrisser started as a run of the mill generic third person strategy RPG (it was such a blatant Fire Emblem rip-off when those things were pretty common), so this isn't too big a leap.

#39 Posted by DevourerOfTime (329 posts) -

Thanks for reading and commenting on my little blog entry. Enjoying the discussions it brought up. The second part is up over here.

I'm not going to be posting it onto the boards, just so I don't end up spamming General Discussion, but I'll post one of the later ones there.

Check my profile or this post in the next day (or two or so) for #15 through #11!