I quickly realized that doing a separate post for every game I am really excited about this year wasn’t going to happen, then I kept pushing of this Megapost, putting the rest together. Since none of the games I am really excited about come out until February this post could still be considered timely so long as I did it some time in January…welp…ain’t no party like a last minute party!

We’ve already covered Lightning’s Return and Dragkengard 3 so let’s keep it rolling with another Squeenix title:

 

Bravely Default: As the Fairy Flies (3DS)

Image

I had heard of this game since before it released in Japan a year ago and wasn’t interested at all, to be honest. It just seemed like another nostalgia cash in for a generation of whiny gamer who pine for the days when “games were good.” Many months and lots of positive buzz later the demo lands in the NA 3DS shop and I decide to take a peak at it…and Praise the Sun that I did.

What, on the surface, looks like a typical, traditional, turn-based RPG set in another Fake British Empire with white citizens who have ill-fitting Japanese customary character-traits, turned out to be a revolution of the genre. The game has so many modernized and retooled systems engaging the  player at once that every battle becomes tactical warfare. The firs layer is the Job system that we’ve seen as early as FF3 but really done exquisitely in FF5. Each character can equip a main class (standards like the Black, White and Red Mages and Monk are joined by some really interesting ideas like Pirate and Spell Fencer) which dictates stats, equipment proficiency and passive skills. They also get access to the attack and spell pool of another class via a subclass class slot. Finally they can equip a certain amount of passive skills to a 3rd character slot, opening up a deluge of customization options.

The 2nd layer is seen during combat and is actually the game’s name’s sake. The Brave/Default system turns each battle into as big a gamble as you want to take. Defaulting defends and characters take reduced damage and store up Brave Points and Braving let’s you spend your BP to take additional actions in the same turn. Spend too many BP and you won’t be able to act at all, leaving yourself wide open to enemy punishment. It’s a simple yet powerful tool and an addicting concept.

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD (PS3/PSV)

Image

Might as well get the other Square entry out of the way. I was not at all interested in getting this re-release of a game I played over 10 years ago. But then one day I was on a video game blog that isn’t mine (*gasp*) and on a news post about this game a commenter explained that he never played X-2 because it seemed like a “girly game.” I took it upon myself to defend the game, explaining that the girliest thing about it was that it stars 3 female characters (and the magical girl transformations and that ridiculous scene in Mt Gagazet). I assured him that the story was just as typically over dramatic as most JRPGs, that the VA was vastly improved over the original and the battle system was AMAZING! By the end of our back and forth I had convinced BOTH of us that we needed to play this game again, in HD AND with all the extras that never made it to America before.

(This is the 3rd game on my lists involving costume changes…so I hope you’re making whatever connection needs to be made there.)

Child of Light (PSV/PS4/PC/360/x1/WIIU)

Image

A platforming-RPG hybrid that brings a shock of hand drawn characters and painted landscapes in this chrome next-gen future of high res textures and mo-cap everything. Besides being a soothing escape from the games that want to be hyper realistic, but just mimmick the worst parts of life (violence, death, explosions) this game is literally a fairy tale that you control.  I am really excited.

DARK SOULS 2: DARK HARDER

Image

8 characters.

300 hours.

25/41 achievements.

Anger. Tears, Curses. Praise (to the Sun of course). Laughter. Stress. Screams of fright.

These are all the things I’ve given to Dark Souls. The sequel looks so very worthy of all of these and more.

I am prepared to go beyond death.

DustForce

Image

A game that actually came out in the beginning of 2012, Dustforce is a platformer/action game from with a very simple and stylized aesthetic. Hitbox Team’s game hooked me with the burst of colors and very zen “just move forward and clean up some dust.” ideals. The reason this is on my 2014 list is because it’s being ported tot he Vita in about 3 days.

Hyper Lighter Drifter (PSV/PC)

Image

Another retro-styled looking game. HLD has a bit of a Zelda vibe going on, but unlike Zelda I actually give a toss about it! Enemies look large and intimidating and you’ll thank goodness for each gadget on your tool belt. This game was Kickstarted with over $640k, after going in asking for $27k. I look forward to diving in these dungeons.

I’m can’t wait for these games and hopefully a few surprise titles to liven up my 2014.

Advertisements