As an avid Nintendo gamer, 2012 has been a great year for games. It has seen the mighty handheld that is the 3DS gain just about untouchable supremacy in the handheld market, which is a great victory considering the handheld’s less than favourable start in 2011. Then, of course, there was the launch of Nintendo’s new home console; Wii U. Although Wii U hasn’t had the same rapturous launch that the Wii had six years ago, it has still arguably had a great launch with a very high software purchase ratio.
Then there are the games of 2012 and we have seen some great ones. There was the final swansong of Nintendo Wii with the incredible Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story, along with the soaring heights of the 3DS marked with Resident Evil: Revelations and Kid Icarus: Uprising. The unfortunate downfall of the PS3 in my eyes with very few games I rate highly on the console this year, except of course Resident Evil 6 which I enjoyed. Then finally the release of Wii U-exclusive shooter ZombiU and the great fun that is the unbearably addictive Nintendo Land.
But, time to look ahead, what would I name as my five most anticipated titles of the quickly upcoming year?
Fire Emblem – Awakening (3DS)
The latest iteration of Nintendo’s turn-based medieval-setting strategy has to be my first pick. Having always been a fan of the series because I enjoy a bit of swords and sorcery, I was delighted to hear that not only is there a new title in the franchise, but it will be for Nintendo’s current world-beating handheld. The point of Fire Emblem is simple, send your units into battle in a glorified version of chess, using the grid for your movement. The objectives differ on each map, but the core ideals are the same, each unit has strengths and weaknesses but if they fall in battle they are lost forever. Awakening has changed things a little; for instance giving the ability to remove this ‘permadeath’ feature (among other things), which will make the game more accessible for newcomers. Quite frankly I cannot wait for this game to be released, in fact just about the only piece of bad news I have heard about this title is that it won’t be arriving in Europe until April.
This is more like it Sony, a truly decent-looking game on your console for once. No, put down the Vita, no one cares about it. Anyway, Ni No Kuni is definitely my second pick in this list. This game started off, unfortunately, by disappointing me though. I had heard of a game by Level-5 and Studio Ghibli coming to Nintendo DS and I became very excited. The game looked amazing and was set to not leave my 3DS game slot for the foreseeable future, however I soon learnt that there is no planned release outside of Japan. However, a PS3 version will be released in Europe in 2013, so all has since been forgiven. I don’t know a great deal about the game yet, as I have blocked out information so as to not ruin it for me, but it’s Level-5 with Ghibli and published by Namco-Bandai Games. With this game, I doubt anything could go wrong.
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
I loved the original Luigi’s Mansion on Gamecube. It was fun, light-hearted and very easy to play. When I saw the announcement at E3 2011 about a sequel to it that I never imagined would come, I wanted the game then and there. The objective of the first game was simple; Mario had been kidnapped by ghosts and Luigi (with the help of a worryingly crazy scientist) had to save him by using a vacuum cleaner to suck up the ghosts. Needless to say, this isn’t the usual Nintendo process with the Mario universe. The game was popular but I never would have expected a sequel, especially not in full stereoscopic 3D. From what I have seen of Dark Moon, there are now multiple mansions with different themes to explore, and Luigi has been given new gadgets to help him out in his new quest. Any other changes I am happy to wait to find out about, but this is a definite day one purchase for me.
The Wonderful 101 (Wii U)
I should have maybe put this one first, owing to how much I am actually looking forward to this game. Having played the demo at EXPO in October, after practically salivating over any information on it that I have found out since the demonstration of The Wonderful 101 at E3 2012, this became my most anticipated Wii U title. In this Wii U-exclusive you play as a band of superheroes trying to save the world from an alien invasion, with the added twist that you can combine your heroes together to create giant weapons capable of a lot of damage. This set-up is so clever and intuitive that, when playing the demo, even my non-gamer friend picked it up very quickly. I was, in fact, quite disappointed to hear that this game wasn’t a launch title for Wii U. However, after playing it, I am pretty sure I can wait if only because it is shaping up to be worth it.
Tomb Raider (PS3)
I am aware that I have spoken about this game now for the third article running, but it is just that good. The franchise reboot of this series is proving to be a great decision on Crystal Dynamics part, giving the title a far more survivalist objective than the previous games will give the franchise back a little portion of the realism it has lost over the years. Quite frankly, as I stated in my last article, the franchise has needed this boost for a long while, and I am glad to see it finally getting it. This game is one that I will be purchasing on day one, if only to be able to play a little further than the demo would let me. But, I will stop talking about this game now, at least until it’s release. Problem being that then I won’t shut up about it.
So there we are, my most anticipated games of 2013. So what do you guys think? Do you agree with my choices, do you think I may have missed something out, or even that that is something in here that shouldn’t be? Feel free to drop a comment, or even tweet me about it @reubenmount, I look forward to hearing from you all.