Sorry for the title, but all wake and no sleep make J. “something something.” Today is the final day of 2011, or the year of Murphy’s Law where anything that can go wrong, not only will go wrong, but gets progressively worse. But alas, I look upon the horizon of 2012, as I will hopefully wake from a 4 hour nap so that I may celebrate into the wee hours of the night before having to prepare for work at 0500 hours. If only we had a strong enough readership, I would ask how you are going to spend your last day on Earth in 2011. But it’s not strong, so I’m giving something a bit more indulging to read. And yeah, I know everyone else does it, but everyone else is stupid…and so are their lists. They’re like an intro to Steve Irwin’s old TV show. It used to be awesome, but now it’s just sad and depressing. While I am like the intro to Jack Hanna’s Wild Country! Because Jack Hanna condones killing Bengal Tigers let loose on the Ohio countryside whilst listening to this guy.
Before I derail this reading any further, let me bring you my most anticipated games for the new year starting with:
10. Skullgirls – Release Date: Early 2012 (hopefully by March)
Skullgirls, in summation, is a 2-D fighting game with fantastic artist-rendered sprites, visually impressive backgrounds, smooth game play and enough sex appeal to make Victoria’s Secret blush. But if the current roster of ladies doesn’t whet your appetite, then the game play undoubtedly will. I’ve yet to get my hands on a demo, but all-in-all I am impressed with what I’ve seen from the videos coming out of the recent conventions and from Wednesday Night Fights. Don’t believe me? See for yourself!
Skullgirls is set in the land of Canopy Kingdom, where peace has seemingly reigned supreme over the land, due largely in part by the powerful Skull Heart, which has the power to make any pure, young girl’s dreams come true…with a catch. Wish for peace at the cost of a great and bloody war. Funny, I always thought you needed war to attain peace. What a twist! Storyline aside, the gameplay seems fun, intuitive and easy to learn, especially if you’re already adept at fight games. The games promises easy-to-learn tutorials for the novice or “casual” gamer, so hopefully it lands the game a wide audience and popularity among the gaming community. It’s one game I’d love to see competitively at EVO 2012 this year, as I’ll be attending!
09. The Last of Us - Release Date: 4th Quarter 2012 (November?)
Although the game was just recently announced, I got one word for you: Naughty…Dog. Yes, the fine gentlemen and women who brought you the stellar Uncharted series, has a new IP and although many seem to be thinking, “Zombies? Really?” I’m tired of it too(chainsaw lollipop much?), but listen, if you go to the game’s dedicated website, you can see a video of an ant. Okay, so the ant video doesn’t really explain much, but the video is from a clip of the BBC hit series, Planet Earth, and chronicles an anti-ant fungus that invades, mind-controls, kills and grows from it, then releases a massive fungi-dama on the rest of the ant community. Just click this link, and you’ll see the end result. Ignore the violin music.
Yeah, maybe you’re still not so excited because you’re thinking, “Anti-human fungus instead of zombicolytus, big deal! Pass.” The idea itself, has always interested me and raises many questions about the uncertain future of human civilization, which I won’t delve into. But what has me excited is that the game may swim into some of these topics and dive deeper into an immersible storyline, which I’m sure won’t disappoint. And the best part of all, PS3 exclusive! Suck it 360 turds!
08. Bioshock Infinite - Release Date: June 1st, 2012
First off, I need to say that I wasn’t really a fan of Bioshock 1 and 2. It was something about the sub oceanic atmosphere that didn’t really grip me off the bat. I have a few friends that thoroughly enjoyed it, but I never had the urge to play it. Infinite on the other hand, is my kind of game. There’s certain moments in the game, as you’ll see in the video, that are reminiscent of Uncharted, what with all the high-flying and free falling and intense gun fights going on. I’m no fan of heights either, but games like these allow me to face my fears and play them out with little to no fear but all the rush and exhiliration. I’ll still never jump from a plane, or anything over 13 feet high though. Ever, never…
All the same, the exhilaration I get, from watching this trailer in particular, is what has me excited for the game. I don’t know if it’s been outright stated or not, but the game seems to be tailored to a multitude of approaches, allowing you to complete a mission or tackle an objective how you see fit. Whether or not that’s the case, I’m still excited for Infinite, but multiple approaches to a situation wouldn’t hurt The game stars you, as DeWitt; a disgraced former government agent who is hired by a third party to locate and rescue a woman named Elizabeth, who is the weighing factor in a civil war between the Ultranationalists and the Vox Populi on a cloud city that’s not Bespin. Armed with an array of guns and special abilities, you and Elizabeth venture to find out what’s really happening on not-Bespin and then jump ship before the giant chicken kills you.
07. Asura’s Wrath - Release Date: February 12, 2012
Don’t know about you, but I love me some hack n’ slashers! They’re a great remedy for a rough day. Asura’s Wrath looks to cure any remedy with over-the-top action, epic set pieces and more rage-induced, reality-altering punches than any internet troll could ever hope to produce. Behold the trailer as awesomeness explodes into your retinas and violently exits out of your rectal column.
You essentially start as Asura; an arrogant, young deity and pretty much just the Asian mythological version of Ares, but evidently much more exaggeratedly powerful. After winning some war for his God-King, Asura arrives home to find that his King is slain and he’s been set up as the culprit. Gladiator much? So Russell Crowe loses to the guy that kills the God-King and as he falls down to Earth, because fighting on the Moon has many setbacks, he swears vengeance upon thee. He wakes up some millenia later and begins his quest for vengeance. You can also play as his old bff, which I guess you encounter later in the game, as he defects from the Gods’ good graces to join Asura’s reign of pain. Asura and his six arms of muscle, steel and sex appeal will not disappoint come Valentine’s Day, which is to say, I probably will. Sorry wife.
06. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - Release Date: TBA 2012
In continuing the hacking and the slashing is a game where you actually… do both! After being quietly canceled then reintroduced as Revengeance, Rising looks to still be intact after Team Kojima dropped the ball and realized they had no idea what they were doing with a game that had nothing to do with Solid Snake. along with the absence of their venerable leader, Hideo Kojima, the team was left with a great idea that had potential to achieve great abilities but, ironically enough, they had no idea of how to execute *cue technologically impaired duck*
*Channels Troy McClure* “Hi, I’m Hideki Kamiya. You may remember from such games as Resident Evil, Devil May Cry and Okami. I left Capcom to start Platinum Games and went on to create a new IP called Bayonetta.” Although, the legend himself may not have anything directly to do with Revengeance, his company is taking control of the game and diving right in to, what has to be, very familiar territory. If anybody were to make this game, I’m glad it’s Platinum Games. Bobbybeatle said it best as he’s a beast at Bayonetta and also very familiar with the MGS series, read this if you haven’t already. Even without watching the trailer, if you played Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, you know what Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is all about. That alone, is reason enough to pick this title up at launch.
05. Soul Calibur V - Release Date: January 31st, 2012
It’s been over 3 years since Soul Calibur IV was released, and fans were beginning to wonder if another incarnation would ever appear, even after Project Soul announced they would disband once SCIV was released. Just as doubt and speculation began to swirl, Soul Calibur V was announced this past May with a slew of changes and additions in store. Many new characters (whether clone or unique) are squeezing in for some game time with many long-time favorites along with the surprising addition of Ezio from Assassin’s Creed. The game takes place 17 years after the end events of Soul Calibur IV and promises a more robust gameplay experience than what we saw with III and IV.
Among other things, I’m most excited about the character creation mode as it promises more innovation and creativity. Above most changes being made, 8-way run has been tweaked, Critical Finishes have been added (super combo’s), and Guard Impacts now require meter(also they added meter) to utilize, which i don’t think I like. That’s like using meter to parry in 3rd Strike, a big no-no. One thing I enjoyed but found heavily flawed in SCIII, was the “Chronicles of the Sword” mode. As lackluster as SCIII was, this mode added replayability beyond the game’s versus mode. As said before, many new character are making their debut’s, but really seem nothing more than clones such as Paktrolos, Leixia, Natsu and Xiba, who are all basically younger versions of Sophitia, Xiangxua, Taki and Kilik, respectively. Mind you, they’re either kin and/or disciples of their respective predecessors, so to a degree understandable. Other characters seem to be *insert name* 2.0 such as Yoshimitsu(kills original, keeps namesake), Astaroth(little golem brother, but more menacing) and Nightmare(new incarnation and more evil, if that’s even possible). These three promise to be better and more improved versions of their respective predecessors, so let’s pray for the best! I’m really hoping for similar but unique play styles to each counterpart ala Ken being a more kick-based shoryu character to Ryu’s more balanced play style.
04. Street Fighter X Tekken - Release Date: March 6th, 2012
That what-if’s and could-be’s have been laid to rest people. After fanboy-gasms for years, we finally got our wish. Regardless if the game was crap or not, I would still be picking up this title if only for the milestone it created. Kazuya vs Ryu! Dudley vs Steve Fox! Hugo vs King! Although as complimentary as Poison is (like Miss Elizabeth to Macho Man), I’d much rather see Alex as Hugo’s tag partner. And Rolento/Ibuki? Really? Ibuki/Makoto was the obvious choice! At the very least Elena/Ibuki. Here’s to hoping we see Elena/Makoto. With the accidental leak of Xiayou and Bison added to the roster who knows what other characters are set to pop up. Did any of your favorites make the roster?
Although the game isn’t without it’s fair share of controversy as far as the gem and pandora system is concerned, I find myself unfazed and still excited to get my hands on the game. Concerns are obviously coming from a tourney-legit point of view, which doesn’t concern a player like me but all the same, the game still needs quite a bit of work before it’s released. Let’s just hope all is resolved by March so we don’t see a push back on the release date. And in case you’re wondering, I only chose this trailer because it has the least fruity song of all the rest. Plus it’s got Cammy, who is Prom’s favorite character. Well, next to Sakura that is. Anyway, the trailer was still better than this one, and this one, or even this one. Seriously, whoever handles the music selection needs to be fired….into the sun!
03. Final Fantasy Versus XIII - Release Date: Same as The Rapture
I’m not kidding about that release date either. The game was first announced at E3 in, get this, 2006! It was announced with a couple of impressive photos and a small teaser trailer that completely floored audiences, myself included. It’s a big deal for me because I don’t play Final Fantasy at all. XIII, Versus XIII and Agito XIII were all announced at the same time. FFXIII has been out for nearly two years now; Agito XIII was renamed “Type 0″ and was released in Japan back in October(NA release still being developed) and Versus is yet to receive a release date. Fans, at this point, are hoping for a 2012 release, but I wouldn’t mind if we had to wait until 2013. I just hope that isn’t the case. Much more info and a more in-depth trailer has been released(look below), but for a game announced over 5 years ago, I’d like a Nikki Minaj assload of trailers and demo’s to be made available.
Beautiful, isn’t it? The game is set to be the darkest incarnation of the series to date and I believe is set around the same period as FFXIII. Don’t quote me on that because I’m not familiar with any Final Fantasy lore aside from FF: Crystal Chronicles…so I lied earlier. FFXIII is already getting a sequel in Crisis Core, and the fact that the 1st Production Team has yet to announce a release date just irks me to no end. I’ll stop mentioning the release date.
The story follows the young Prince Noctis, an heir to a kingdom that rules over a city-state that controls the last remaining crystals, I’m guessing on the planet and they’re probably very important *faps off*. These crystals share the same origin story as the XIII and Type 0 storylines, if I read correctly, but I don’t quite understand how it fits with the other companion titles or if they’re still considered companion titles. I’m mainly intrigued by the game because it promises to ground itself in reality and although it still has magic and EX attacks (c’mon it’s Final Fantasy), there are also guns! I don’t know if that’s unique to the series, but the game is also more action based and seems much more ambitious with it’s gameplay mechanics involving the player to use their surroundings to create makeshift tactics to defeat enemies. Honestly, this really seems like my kind of game. Square Enix, just let me know when the game comes out and I will pre-order it.
02. Ninja Gaiden 3 - Release Date: March 20, 2012
Played Ninja Gaiden on the XBOX on hard mode and beat the crap out of it. Played Ninja Gaiden 2 on 360 on Warrior, Master and halfway through Mentor before it crapped out on me and I beat the crap out of it. Now I plan to do the same with Ninja Gaiden 3. This time, I’ll be playing on the PS3 and I can only hope it comes fully loaded with extras like the previous Sigma versions.
This time around, the game seems to be changing towards a more personal tone, which I’m all for, as the Dragon Sword is slowly consuming Ryu and possibly making him evil with every slash he takes. The production team also seems set on removing any dismemberment of enemies limbs or heads. As far as human dismemberment I can understand, but a totally fictional spider-person(not Peter parker) or a humanoid demon, why not leave the evil bastard to have their limbs sliced like fresh romaine? The story seems pretty lackluster as usual, but it’s the challenge that calls us to arms, not uncreative names like “Volf.” Still a disappoint about that!
01. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations – Release Date: March 13th, 2012
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Really, this? This is your #1?” Yeah, bitch, it’s my #1! Naruto is the bomb, homie! Got my platinum trophy in Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and I’m looking for a repeat. The previous game is easily one of the most accurate and enjoyable video game adaptations I’ve ever played. The cinematics were incredible, the fighting was intense at times and being able to play through the story as if you were reading the manga itself is just too fun. It makes me giddy!
I’m really digging on everything CyberConnect2 is putting out. The game promises some changes in gameplay as well, which is much needed. The exploring aspect felt mundane and limited in the previous title, so here’s to hoping for a more open world and more creative and challenging missions. One of the coolest things to come out of this announcement is that Studio Pierrot, the guys who animate the show, will be animating over 60 minutes of unique in-game sequences and cut scenes, telling stories never told, previously speculated or hardly elaborated on in the manga and tv series. The game crosses the current versions of characters with their younger counterparts so you can have lil’ Naruto fight against the older Sage Naruto and lil’ Sasuke can see how big of a douche bag he ended up being. It should make for some interesting (and probably one-sided) gameplay. With a couple more titles in the same month, March can’t come any sooner.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
The Last Guardian
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
WoW: Mysts of Pandaria
Guild Wars 2