My gift to the internet this Christmas Eve is another collection of lists. Hey, it's December, and everyone knows that the end of every calender year is the time to pollute the web with lists of anything and everything. This time it's about games coming out in 2012. In fact, it's a list of the five 2012 games I'm most excited for. Maybe it's because I'm no longer rushed to finish games or trying to follow a deadline, but four of these five games are RPGs, which is usually a recipe for a long-ass game. Anyhow, I reckon that a few of these games will be day-one purchases for me, and others are one or two positive reviews away from being the same.
But before the list begins, I should do some explaining. These are only games confirmed for 2012 releases, so speculated-for-2012 games are off. Second, these are only games for systems I currently own, so there are no exclusives for the 360, 3DS, or Vita listed. And third, these games are listed in reverse-alphabetical order. Because that's how I want to do it. Also, there's a trio of "backup lists" of a few games that didn't or couldn't make the list, but came close. Those are in no particular order after the first, more important list.
My Five Most Anticipated games of 2012
This game is already out in English in Europe, and won the title of "Best Wii Game" from several different publications. It's an RPG from the makers of Xenosaga and includes some staff from Xenogears and even Chrono Cross. The actiony battle system and character art both look fantastic, and the game is receiving praise across the board for its story. I'm sold.
The original Torchlight is one of my favorite games of the past few years, and TL2 looks to expand and improve the formula of the original from its predecessor's foundation in cool, dramatic ways. Multiplayer co-op? More classes? Four acts? More customization? I'm already excited. I was quite disheartened when this game was pushed back into 2012.
Tales of Graces F
I haven't played a new Tales game in too damn long. The last one I finished was Tales of Legendia on the PS2, and 2007 was a long-ass time ago. This looks to be just the Tales game I want: characters from both of the series' signature artists, free-flowing combat, and an epic storyline full of anime bullshit. Hell, I'm going to buy this just so they will keep releasing Tales games in the United States.
Street Fighter X Tekken
This looks like a fighting game I could really sink my teeth into - a control setup similar to MvC3, but more technical and slowed-down. Faster-moving than the defensive, fireball-heavy SF4, and with a large, diverse cast. I'm wary of its unusual gem customization system, however, and still warier for the likehood of an upgraded version coming out six months later. I think I'll wait to get this title, but I'm definitely pumped enough for it that I'm writing about it.
...I wanted to put Diablo III last without ranking it #1. That's the why for the reverse alphabetical thing. It has been a good 12 years since Diablo II, one of the most addictive, influential RPGs ever. Blizzard, who knows their shit, is pulling out all the stops on this sequel. I will NOT get this on day 1, but the odds I get it on day 7, 14, etc. are quite high indeed. I need to see it and get a feel for the community before I commit. But I will commit. This was one major reason I decided to upgrade my PC.
Three 2012 Games That Look Cool and Have Me Interested
I was ready to turn my nose up at this game at its announcement after I was underwhelmed by DMC 4 and unimpressed with "young Dante" in previews, but I've been drinking a little bit of DmC Kool-Aid since some more promising trailers surfaced and playing Ninja Theory's excellent Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. I'll keep an eye out for this game, read some reviews, look at my funds, and then make the call.
I liked the first BioShock quite a bit, and it sparked interest for Ken Levine's sophisticated brand of storytelling in me. I'll keep an eye on this game, and at the very least I'll try this game out when Jon inevitably gets it. Worth a buy, though? No, not soon. Too many other games to play, and I didn't like like BioShock enough to give this one a year-one pass. We'll see, though.
Mass Effect 3
Sure, I've barely started Mass Effect and have never even played Mass Effect 2. Well, I want to. This is BioWare's high-profile 2012 release, and since ME2 was a smash hit ME3 has a lot to live up to - those are reasons enough to follow Mass Effect 3's upcoming launch. And since this is the epic game to close out the epic trilogy I should at least try and get a measure of how much epic adventure to expect, right? Epic.
Three Games That Might Arrive in 2012 But Probably Won't
The Last Guardian
Now that I'm a born-again Shadow of the Colossus fan, of course I'm interested in The Last Guardian, which has allegedly been in development for over five years. This game has had a lot of delays, though, so you see a crazy range of release dates around the net, speculation fueled by mixed hope and cynicism.
God of War IV
There have only been rumors, but I'm listening. God of War I - III is one of the best trilogies in videogame history, and I love all three of the console titles. Of course I'd be interested in a fourth installment, but are we actually getting one so soon? I have doubts.
Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - The Second Chapter
Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky was one of my favorite games of 2011, a fantastic old-school RPG with a truly loveable cast of characters, but it had a cliffhanger ending. Here's to hoping that XSeed is working on The Second Chapter hard enough that we get it this year; I mean, the Japanese version came out over five years ago. However, we have zero news on that front other than "we're working on it."
Three 2012 Indie Games That I Will Probably Buy For the Hell of It
Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode 3
I like Penny Arcade, I thought the first OtRSPoD game okay, and I *LOVE* Zeboyd's first two indie RPGs. I will buy this on day one, but I'm not sure exactly when it's coming out. I won't even wait for a Steam sale - Zeboyd is worth the extra few bucks.
Gorgeous-looking puzzle game that has had indie scenes abuzz for at least a year. If I see it on Steam for a good price I will totally buy it on impulse, since it will definitely be the indie flavor of the month for whatever month it comes out and will inevitably be part of a few sales.
This game was very recently announced, but it looks awesome. Physics-based platformer where your character has gravity-altering powers. It sounds like the combination of VVVVVV and Trine that I never knew I wanted, but absolute must play if I see it for a good price.
So that's four lists and fourteen games that I will probably buy in 2012 but not play until way later. If I stick to old habits, of course. But that's enough listing, I should get back to Ocarina of Time. I'm moving through it at a good pace, so I think my goal of beating it before year's end is well within reach!