I can’t say that I play a lot of video games, but I sure do own a ton of them. My current backlog is 25 games deep and that’s only the PS3 titles.
Wow. That’s a very depressing fact.
Anyway, here are the ten games I’m most looking forward to buying and hopefully playing next year (in no particular order):
- Bioshock Infinite – Surprising, considering I thought the first game was vastly over-rated (although it I did buy it on sale and felt I got my money’s worth.) I sat out the sequel on account of it looking like more of the same. The promotion for the newest one seems to have moved beyond the whole “we’re not an FPS, we’re an RPG” shtick that the idiot fans of the first ate up with a spoon and going more towards “we’ll show you some really remarkable stuff, from zipping around a city in the sky to weird alternate reality aspects.”
- Anarchy Reigns – Brought to you by the nut jobs behind Vanquish and Bayonetta comes the sequel to the largely ignored Madworld. These guys aren’t classy; they don’t make anything that approaches profound but they make games that embrace gaming. At the very least, I know that this game will be all-out fun.
- Soul Calibur 5 – I’ll probably just get this out of habit. I liked Soul Blade and Soul Calibur and continue buying the sequels even though by all accounts they just keep getting worse. I doubt I’ll get this as a day 1 purchase (few games warrant that to me anymore.) It’s a game series where most of the characters fight with large, usually insanely designed weapons with sharp edges … but nobody ever gets cut.
- Mass Effect 3 – I had no interest in Mass Effect. Then Steam put the two games on sale for $10 each and I was curious enough to play them given all of the overwhelmingly positive reviews I’d seen for the games. I hated the first game and, like Bioshock, found it completely over-rated. The whole branching conversation aspect was good, but the combat was very poorly designed and in the end not fun. Considering that most of the actual game playing in an RPG is combat, that was a significant problem. Then after beating the first game I moved on to the sequel and found that everything I’d hated about the first game was improved. Combat was far more fluid, the direction for cinema sequences was much more dynamic, and the graphics were much less bland. I loved it. Sign me up for the end of the trilogy.
- Journey – From the team that brought Flower to the PS3. What’s it about? I don’t know, but it apparently involves walking. Since they’re the same people who made a game where you play flower petals caught in the wind compelling I trust in their ability to make this something good.
- Lollipop Chainsaw – The developers of this game, Grasshopper Manufacture, are also amazingly good at making games that embrace being video games. Narrative usually takes a back seat to wild presentation and fast-paced game play with healthy doses of comedy, with their standout title being the No More Heroes games. It’s an action game about a chainsaw wielding cheerleader clearing out a school full of zombies. I’m in, regardless of how played out zombies may be.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 – I didn’t hate Final Fantasy XIII. I found the story no more idiotic than any of the previous games and the linearity was no less irritating. What I really appreciated was that it actually tried to make the combat fast-paced. Gone was the rote, menu-based combat replaced with something almost arcade-like. I also found the characters more interesting than the typical emo crapfests that personified the series in previous entries. Also, FF13 had one of the most awesome cinematics I’ve ever seen in a video game. So I’m looking forward to its sequel, albeit grudgingly.
- Dragon’s Crown – I can’t say no to such gorgeous 2D gaming, even if some aspects are a little embarrassing.
- Armored Core 5 – I like From Software. I they made what were to me two of the most memorable games for the original Playstation, King’s Field and Armored Core. Their more recent Souls games haven’t been my cup of tea but I’m glad they’ve been successful for the company. Now it’s time for them to get back to what they do best and have robots go smashy smashy.
- Transformers Fall of Cybertron – HOLY F—ING S—, THE DINOBOTS!!