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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.