5. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Games of 2013

Announced in Famistu back in 2008, Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch was the collaborated efforts of esteemed companies Level-5 and Studio Ghibli…a move considered a dream come true. It made me think back when Sony said that games on the PS2 could potentially display Pixar-like graphics — and while that never came true, I believe that we have come closer to “Pixar-like” than ever before with this game .

The demo was released not too long ago. And while the time limit was an overall bone-headed move on the publisher’s side, it did what it needed to do: showcase what we needed to see. Graphics were top notch, even when the resolution seemed to have suffered a bit in transition. The style of its open world and its gameplay  mechanics had me feel a bit of nostalgia. Definitely feeling like this game is cut from the same thread as the 16-bit RPGs of the past.  I can safely say that my pre-order on the Wizard’s Edition was a good gamble, as my hype-level has never been greater. Lastly, for what appears to be for kids at first sight — like Miyizaki films,  it goes on a more deeper level that can be an experience for all ages. January can’t come soon enough!


4. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Metal Gear Rising Revengeance Logo

What was originally titled Metal Gear Rising looked like what could be a pretty cool spin-off, but as far as my excitement for it…well… to tell the truth I didn’t really care. After it was first revealed,  it seemed to disappear into the shadows of development hell. Then out of nowhere at the 2011 VGAs, Kojima came out and not only announced that the game was not dead, but  also offered that Platinum Games was now the main development force behind the game. I’m biased when I say this, but it was then my excitement level reached the stratosphere. I’m a big fan of Platinum Games and the games that they have made this generation, as well as the games that many in the company have done before leaving Capcom. (Lets not forget Clover Studio!)

All I heard about after E3, PAX, and various other conventions was the positive outcome of what people have experienced with the demo kiosks of Metal Gear Rising and the anticipation of the general public being able to get their hands on a similar build before launch. We got it in the form of a packaged demo within another game, the Zone of the Enders HD Collection. (This could have been a throwback to the original Zone of the Enders game having the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo packaged in.)

While I loved being able to experience both of the Zone of the Enders games; one of the biggest draws to me was not only the beautiful art book with the Limited Edition, but the demo included. Let’s just my reaction to the demo was — from the staff recounting it — an amusing sight to see. I was gushing so much about it, it was everything and more then what I thought it was going to be. Amazing visuals that was still presented at 60 fps, beautifully well done animations, fantastic sound design coupled with a kick ass soundtrack that fit the tone of the game. We can’t forget about the gameplay either; it was awe inspiring! I have never felt so satisfied in cutting enemies up into pieces, that in its self a wonder to behold; which thankfully never got old even after beating the demo over 20 times. You can bet this will be a day one purchase without question!


3. Shin Megami Tensei IV

shin megami tensei 4 logo

Seemingly out of nowhere, Shin Megami Tensei was revealed in a very unconventional way than has previously been done: slowly, bit by bit, the abstract image above all started to make sense. Even without the teasing, if you know me or have seen the latest episode of The Downpour Podcast, you will know that I’m a big Shin Megami Tensei fan. SMT is easily one of the best series in the RPG genre, in my opinion.

Though the fact that the mainline series seems to have been demoted to handhelds for whatever circumstances that befell it, it did not stop my enthusiasm I still had for the upcoming game. What appears to be a setting outside of the usual Japanese major cities like in previous games, it will indeed have that element with the series strong surreal look of modern day setting with a dark phantasy tone that’s embellished by the strong emphasis on demons and lore/mythos behind said demons. Keeping to its roots, it uses the old first person perspective when traveling, but also has the old, but enhanced battle mechanics of the older games plus Strange Journey.

While the game hasn’t been officially released in Japan, we can only hope Atlus will localize the game afterwards in a timely manner; if at all! Please Atlus, games like these are why I don’t regret buying a 3DS.


2. Fire Emblem Awakening

fire emblem awakening

What was a mistake that revealed something we shouldn’t have known became the one true gem that saved yet another awful convention that was E3. Yes! It was this announcement that made it worth stomaching the entire show. I take the saying  “give credit where credit is due” very seriously, so: thanks Jason Schreier at Kotaku for asking Reggie about the game, which made him slip up in the first place!

It was released in Japan earlier this year, and nothing but good things have been heard. While there was certainly a bit of controversy over the DLC, or even a Fire Emblem game having DLC; most of the flaws seem to be from the visual aspect of the game. When it comes to gameplay however, it seems there’s nothing but love for it, and that’s the most important thing, to me. Taking elements from past games including FE4, with the marriage and second generation of main characters, is a huge plus! More replay value, an even greater emotional attachments to the story and characters, which has always been a strength of the past games. Games like this fill in the void that is missing with the 3DS that the DS was known for, niche games — more specifically RPGs, get a chance in the spotlight.

Fire Emblem Awakening is the only game that a majority of our Most Anticipated Game lists have in common. I’m sure we can all agree on one thing: February can’t come soon enough.


1. Dark Souls II

Dark Souls II Logo

Who what have thought that the VGAs this year would be THAT much of an improvement over the previous ones? It certainly helped when games like this are revealed to the world on the show. While the actual dialogue that was spoken in the trailer helped me realize it as soon as I heard it, I was only joking with the staff as we all watched it that it was indeed Dark Souls II or at least a new ‘Souls’ title. Then it came — the title, and I exploded with warm and fuzziness all over!

The Soul series is easily to me, the best series to come out of this generation of console gaming. Miyazaki is a genius. Period.

Both Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls really are a what you could call a “different beast” — truly unlike any games out there. Taking the RPG genre established by Wizardy, Ultima, Baldur’s Gate, and Planescape as influences from yonder of old, including From Software’s past series King’s Field and blew that genre right of your mind. That role-playing aspect truly sets the game apart from RPGs nowadays, as you can truly determine everything about the character you create… where he/she came from, why they’re present in the game, their motivation…basically their purpose and why they fight… that’s all up to you and your imagination. Most say this is one of Miyazaki’s design choices that reflect on his own childhood experiences. These games are challenging, thought-provoking, and filled to the brim with with beautifully designed areas that are dense, but never feel sparse.

I can go on for hours on why I love the previous games and you can easily see why I love this series and the level of anticipation and anxiousness I have for its sequel. While the interviews with Edge after the reveal and then the recent reveal of the interview in the latest issue of Edge kinda has me at a stand still with mix responses, I still think the game will deliver in the gameplay department. The story and how the game is presented can go either way with the way they keep wording accessibility and being more straightforward. (They could be talking about just including a better tutorial on the game mechanics for all we know) In my eyes, this will be a different game — no question, the Miyazaki era is over for now or for good, which is quite honestly heartbreaking.

The reveal that the game might not make a 2013 release can also make me question if putting the game at number one anticipated for games next year a good idea. However, there’s no point denying how I feel about it, in the end it truly is my most anticipated game because of everything I’m feeling towards it. Again the changes could be for better or worse, we still haven’t seen a gameplay trailer. So for now all we can do is wait and see, simply have faith in From Software, I’m neither going to be overly pessimistic or optimistic.


Honorary Mentions:

  • Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC
  • Toki to Towa
  • Phantasy Star Online 2
  • Bravely Default
  • Dragon’s Crown
  • Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
  • Rune Factory 4
  • The Last of Us
  • Beyond Two Souls
  • Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord
  • Sly Cooper 4
  • Yakuza 5 & Yakuza HD Collection
  • Watch_Dogs
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Tales of Xilla
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate & Monster Hunter 4
  • Soul Sacrifice
  • Atelier Ayesha
  • Pikmin 3
  • Wonderful 101
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Ace Attorney 5
  • Yakuza 5
David Fernandes
(Community Manager) David is an assistant admin and community manager at oprainfall. He joined the Operation Rainfall Campaign at the beginning, and became one of the staff as the first wave of new volunteers were needed back in mid June. He is an avid video game collector, and lover of most game genres. David spends much of his time in a futile effort in clearing out his ever growing video game backlog.