Like many other staff members, I’ve decided to discuss my most anticipated games of 2014! I hope you’ll enjoy my list; I expect it may differ somewhat from the others due to a few differences in release dates between regions. Please, do read on, and enjoy!
- Bravely Default: Flying Fairy – Would be on this list, but I’m playing it already.
- Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tensei – We don’t have a release date yet. If it had been officially announced for next year, it may well have made my list.
- Monster Hunter 4 - Or the G version when it is inevitable produced, whichever they see fit to give us.
- Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth - I really hope we get this one, as its director is the same as the one from my beloved Etrian Odyssey IV.
With those out of the way, let’s get on to the meat of the article!
#5 - Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars
I first stumbled on Conception II earlier this year; with an itch to write and the start of the winter break giving me a lot of free time, I took on a few articles for games I knew nothing about so that I might learn a few things.
A trailer for a game developed by Spike Chunsoft caught my eye. “Conception II? Wonder if the game will involve pregnancy…”
Technically, and I mean technically, no, it doesn’t. It has you build affinites with seven different divine maidens; when the affinity level becomes high enough, the both of you pour some of your energy into a strange device, which then produces a Star Child. These children fight alongside you in turn-based battles, their classes determined by their respective maidens. The higher your affinity with each maiden, the stronger both she and her Star Child will be, making this mechanic a very important one for the game. I simply love how unusual this idea of character building is, though I hope it won’t be overly sexualised; in all honesty, it just gets tiring after a while.
The first Conception game never made it out of Japan, and this sequel released there in August. It’ll be out in North America next year, the announcement accompanied by the greatest press release I have ever read. Seriously, the press release is fantastically quirky, so please do go check it out. I really hope a PAL announcement soon follows, as I so want to give this game a spin for no reason other than its really, really odd concept.
#4 – Framed
Haven’t heard of it? I don’t blame you. Framed is the debut game from Australian indie developers, Loveshack Entertainment, and was a standout for me at PAX.
At the beginning of each level, Framed presents you with a bunch of panels. A scene will then play out, and some form of misfortune will befall our main character. Your job is to rearrange the panels so that our hero can navigate through the panels safely, avoiding any trouble he may encounter. The reason I’m excited for it is because it looks so different to anything else I’ve played, and from what I saw at PAX, seemed extremely well executed.
The whole concept is better explained in the trailer below. It’ll be out for PC, iOS and Mac sometime next year, so keep an eye out for it!
#3 – Etrian Odyssey: Untold
Dungeon-crawlers are quite possibly some of my favourite games, as I’ve shown on this site. Etrian Odyssey is one of the better ones, in my opinion; I love the exploration in the game. Etrian Odyssey games have you start out with a blank map, point you towards the local labyrinth and tell you to explore. As you do so, you fill in your map, take note of handy or harmful places in the labyrinth, and level up old-school RPG style. The series also allows for complete customisation of all your characters using skill points gained as party members level up; extra skill points can be gained after reaching the maximum level, though it’s generally a pain to do so.
One of the things I adore about the series, aside from all of the RPG elements I love, is the fantastic use of the two DS screens. In town, the top screen displays shops, the inn, equipment – all of that sort of stuff. In dungeons, it gives a first-person view of your environment within the labyrinth. The bottom screen always displays your map, and the stylus is used to alter and draw your map as you like.
Untold is a retelling of the first game, with added cutscenes, voices and other features. It promises to completely revitalise it for the 3DS, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it courtesy of NISA.
#2 – Super Smash Brothers
The Smash Brothers series has always been special to me. My cousin taught to play games with it on the N64; the GameCube was the first home console I owned, with my very own copy of Melee; I met the guy I’ve been dating for two and a half years now at a Brawl tournament. Our eyes locked over the controllers as Ike met Snake in a mortal dance… It’s also because of Smash Brothers that I got into Fire Emblem; I loved using Ike so much, I decided to try out the series he came from. To date, I’ve played every Western-released Fire Emblem game, and it’s all because of Brawl.
Smash Brothers is one of the few multiplayer games I greatly enjoy. It’s partly to do with nostalgia, but it’s also to do with the most random things that happen in fights. It’s just fun to play because matches can get completely insane in no time at all. Aside from that, I just really want to hear someone yelling out fitness tips to a group of people lounging around as couch potatoes.
“That’s it, feel the burn!”
“Let’s tone up those legs!”
“Now, let’s try it together.”
#1 – X
I love Xenoblade; it’s my all-time favourite game, and my love for it is what made me join oprainfall in the first place. After playing it, I decided that no gamer should be without it, so I did what I could to help the operation. I’ve also been playing Xenogears and loving it, and have the Xenosaga games lined up amongst my stack of games to play over the summer. The song from the trailer shown at E3 this year is currently sitting at over 2,000 plays in iTunes; this does not count the times I’ve had it looped on YouTube when I haven’t had access to my iPod or my regular laptop.
With this in mind, how could X not rate at the top of my list? The next Monolith Soft experience will always be my most anticipated game so long as they keep creating titles as amazing as Xenoblade Chronicles. On top of that, this game looks like it’s going to be throwing in some kind of multiplayer experience; combine this with the huge open world and amazing story seen in their previous games, and I think I’m going to be sinking a ridiculous amount of time into this title. I really hope it doesn’t release around exam time.