5) Tomb Raider
I already figured this game would be awesome. The pre-E3 footage made it seem awesome already, and E3 just redoubled my impression of the game.
I’ve never been a massive fan of Tomb Raider – the character of Lara Croft wasn’t attractive and the games weren’t overly impressive. The franchise reboot? Looks like it’s everything a Tomb Raider game should be, and then some more.
Lara Croft is finally attractive – she looks human, she’s not invincible and that venerability opens the game up for the kind of horrific situations that will give the game a distinctive point of difference from other action adventure games, such as Uncharted.
My money’s on Miss Lara coming out on top.
4) Smash Brothers 3DS
Suddenly I’m glad I have a 3DS. Smash Brothers is a game that has won hundreds of hours of my time – it was my most played N64 multiplayer game, it was the Gamecube game I got at launch, and the Wii version is the default at family gatherings.
But there’s still more this series can do. The online play in the Wii game was woeful, and I’m largely an online gamer now. The single player game could use some beefing, and in an era with downloadable content this is a fighting game that’s just asking for extra characters, stages and scenarios.
Enter the 3DS game. Single player will have to be beefed up as this will largely be a single player game. Online will have to work to compete with the quality of Street Fighter. StreetPass can be used in numerous interesting ways.
If nothing else, this is the first Smash Brothers game in some time, and for that, we’re interested.
The Dungeons and Dragons franchise is desperate for a real MMO. The pen and paper classic is a natural fit for the epic and persistent world of MMOs, but to date that potential has not been realised. Dungeons and Dragons Online was reasonable, but failed to capture the D & D essence.
Neverwinter might be the last chance for the license in videogames, after the unpopular Dragonshard and Daggerdale. Thankfully, as you can see from the video, it looks the part.
Will it be able to dethrone World of Warcraft? Probably not. Can it carve itself out a substantial niche? I hope so, because I’m keen to try it.
2) Final Fantasy XIII-2
I don’t care what other people say: Final Fantasy XIII rocked. I fell in love with the characters and their plights, and from a plot perspective, that was the most refined experience Square Enix has produced.
The opportunity to return to the world in XIII-2 has me salivating. The fact that Square Enix has evidently decided to build a more traditional experience is good news too – in means they listened to some of the criticism directed at them.
Square Enix is promising a 30+ hour quest, along with side quests and other nice-to-haves. While I wait for Final Fantasy XIV to be fixed (and I think it can be), this will be one of the biggest JRPGs for me for the next year.
Have to throw an oddball game in there, don’t I? But seriously, BloodyRayne is going to be incredible. For one thing, it’s being developed by Wayforward – as in the modern masters of the 2D game. A Boy and His Blob with copious amounts of gore, if you will.
The adult nature of this game seems to be relished, too. Rayne is sexy as always, there is a lot of blood, and in a very over the top way, this resembles a Castlevania game that’s on steroids.
After loving every moment of Blob, I’m glad we’ll get another chance to see Wayforward fly high. This is one game everyone should have on their radars.