Sunday, September 25, 2011

Upcoming Games - Others

So I was looking at my list of games that I'm looking forward to, and I realized that I actually covered half of the ones slated for a 2011 release just with my last post about shooters (another sign that the game industry needs more originality, more than half of the major games coming out for the rest of this year are shooters...). So instead of splitting the rest into genres, I'll just cover them all at once. Here we go!

The game: Dark Souls
Release date: October 4, 2011
Platform: PS3, X360
Why I'm interested: 
Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to Demon's Souls, a surprise hit of 2009. I haven't actually played Demon's Souls, but the game was lauded for its brutal difficulty and innovative use of online multiplayer. Dark Souls promises to be even more difficult than the first, and also features a more expansive world to explore and be murdered by. And I really enjoy a challenge.

The game: Batman: Arkham City
Release date: October 18, 2011
Platform: PS3, X360
Batman: Arkham City takes place after the events of the first game, Batman: Arkham Asylum. Arkham Asylum has been expanded to cover a large chunk of Gotham City, and the inmates have essentially formed gangs and taken over the entire asylum. As Batman, you must stop the supervillains from... doing something. I don't actually know any more of the plot.
Why I'm interested:
Amazingly, Batman: Arkham Asylum may be the first game I've ever played with a large focus on stealth based gameplay. Aside from the ending (and particularly the final boss battle), it was amazing, and since then I have grown to love stealth games. Arkham City promises to take what made Arkham Asylum so great and expand it further, providing a more open world for players to explore as Batman, with more abilities and more playable characters too (Joker was playable in a few extra challenge maps on the PS3 version of Arkham Asylum, but Catwoman and Robin will be playable in Arkham City).

The game: Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Release date: October 24, 2011
Platform: Wii
Why I'm interested:
Kirby games are adorable and fun. The latest ones to come out, Kirby's Epic Yarn and Kirby Mass Attack, didn't have Kirby's usual copy-ability gameplay though. Epic Yarn turned Kirby into string and featured a lasso attack, while Mass Attack splits Kirby into ten mini-Kirbys (mini-Kirbies? mini=Kirby's?), and focuses on DS stylus control and has some more micromanagement. Kirby's Return to Dream Land, though, has Kirby sucking in and swallowing opponents to gain their abilities as usual (plus there are quite a few new abilities). In addition, Return to Dream Land also features 4 player co-op, with series regulars Metaknight and King Dedede as playable options, and as usual I can't get enough of co-op.

The game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Release date: November 11, 2011
Platform: PC, X360, PS3
The Elder Scrolls V takes place in the titular Skyrim, a region of the Tamriel continent where all Elder Scrolls games have taken place. A prophecy foretells of the coming of a dragon god of wrath or something of that sort, and you are the last Dragonborn, the only one able to fight on equal ground with dragons. Cue save the world plot and what not.
Why I'm interested:
The Elder Scrolls is developed by Bethesda, who is also responsible for the Fallout series. Both series are famous as phenomenal western RPG's that place you into a massive open world with hundreds of hours worth of exploration and side quests. Skyrim promises that (the developer has estimated over 300 hours worth of gameplay in Skyrim), but with a more varied world and improvements on the combat system of Oblivion. Also, there are dragons. Seriously though, if you only have time to watch one of these videos, WATCH THIS TRAILER.

The game: Super Mario 3D Land
Release date: November 13, 2011
Platform: 3DS
Why I'm interested:
This isn't really about Super Mario 3D Land. Instead, this is more about the 3DS as a whole, which has a very solid lineup of games coming out. This year has already seen the release of remakes for Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64, two phenomenal N64 games. Next, Nintendo has a stellar lineup of first and second party games announced, including Mario Tennis 3D, a new Fire Emblem game, a new Paper Mario game, Luigi's Mansion 2, Mario Kart 7, Kid Icarus Uprising, a promise of a new Super Smash Bros. game, and finally Super Mario 3D Land. While I'm looking forward to all of these (especially Paper Mario, I love that series), Super Mario 3D Land is the first one to be coming out and only one of two coming out this year (the other being Mario Kart 7). And I'm sure it'll be great, with the debut of Mario's suits in a full 3D game. And most of all, Nintendo EAD doesn't disappoint.

The game: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Release date: November 20, 2011
Platform: Wii
Why I'm interested:
Speaking of Nintendo EAD not disappointing, Skyward Sword is the next release in the main Legend of Zelda franchise, and is the first Zelda game to be fully developed for the Wii (Twilight Princess started development on the GameCube and was then ported to the Wii). Set deep within Hyrule's past, Skyward Sword focuses on the creation of the Master Sword that is so prominent in the Legend of Zelda lore, and finally grants full control of Link's sword to the player using the Wii MotionPlus extension. And there's not that much else to say about it. It's a Zelda game, and it's highly probable that it will be fantastic. Even if it's not, fans (including me, I actually owned Twilight Princess before I even owned a Wii) will be all over it. Also, if you're a longtime Zelda fan, check out this trailer from GDC, and then the same trailer reversed. My mind was blown. The trailer posted below is the latest trailer (maybe) from E3 2011.

The game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Release Date: December 20, 2011
Platform: PC
Why I'm interested:
I almost missed this one. I thought that the Old Republic was coming out in 2012. Good thing I checked. There's really not much to say about this one, even less than for Zelda. It is Star Wars, and it is an MMO. The trailers and cinematics at least look amazing (see here and here and here and here). The actual gameplay looks a lot more MMO like:

Well, that's it. These are the games that I am looking forward to for the rest of this year. I definitely missed some major ones, such as FIFA 12 (I'm not a huge sports game fan, though I have read that FIFA 12 is amazing), the Team Ico Collection (Ico and Shadow of the Colossus on one disc and with HD graphics = must have), Assassin's Creed: Revelations (I haven't actually played any of the Assassin's Creed games, or else I probably would be more interested in it). Some other bigger name releases in these next few months also include franchises like Forza, Spiderman, Spyro, Professor Layton, Ratchet & Clank, Sonic, Need For Speed, Rayman, and Saint's Row. But with this, I've covered the games that I'm really looking forward to, hopefully I could pass along some of that excitement. If there's any game that I didn't mention that you think really deserves its own paragraph, put it in the comments!

Also, I just wanted to point out that the last post about upcoming shooters didn't have a single Wii/NDS/3DS game, whereas this list has 3/7 games coming to the Wii/3DS. So on the one hand, Nintendo is not participating in this propagation of shooter clones in the market, which is good. On the other hand, the three games Nintendo has on this list are entries in the Kirby, Mario, and Zelda franchises, which are franchises that have all sold over 20 million copies: Kirby has shipped over 30 million as of 2009, Zelda has shipped 59 million (also as of 2009), and Mario is the single best selling video game franchise ever, with over 262 million copies shipped (this figure's more recent, from 2011, also note that the second best selling video game franchise ever is Pokemon). Every single game I mentioned in the paragraph for Super Mario 3D Land is also from a pre-existing franchise. And yet, although I welcome change in the video game industry with open arms (for the most part, I think), I have to admit... As long as the quality of their games remains at such a stellar level, I would be perfectly happy if Nintendo never created a single new IP and just continued with their existing franchises.

Hopefully it won't be another two weeks before my next post...

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