All About spiralhedgehog
These are my personal Game of the Year Awards. These are my opinions, so don't complain about my choices. Expect the winners on New Year's Eve.
Update (December 7, 2012):
Due to the length of my message, I could not put up the full list on this site. Where I will put my awards will be determined and when I find it, I'll post a URL to said blog when the time comes.
After waiting all week for it to come in, I finally got my copy of the collevtor's edition of Atelier Meruru, the sequel to 2011's Best Sequel winner Atelier Totori. I got the To-shirt, art book, soundtrack and (of course) the game itself. This was the highlight of my night since I had to work long tonight. I know there are people who feel worse after their days, but my right foot is feeling funny right now. I'll get to playing Meruru once I test a combo in Street Fighter X Tekken (haven't been able to stop playing it). I might post up my review for this when I get around to it, but definitely expect me to play it.
Happy New Year! People have announced their Game of the Year and are looking forward to what's next. 2011 was arguably THE Best Year in Gaming. Rather than compile a Top 10 List like in the past, I decided to just discuss the big games of 2012 from each genre. I can already see 2012 being another incredible year, possibly even better than last year. But only time will tell if it will be able to claim that title. Since these blogs can only hold so many words, I'll have to do the Most Anticipated of 2012 as a series. Before I start, I should mention that this is only for games with confirmed 2012 release windows and games with incredibly vague release schedules (Grand Theft Auto V, The Last Guardian, etc.) will not be mentioned or involved. Now with that out of the way, please enjoy.
This will be the last of my Most Anticipated of 2012 series and it's undoubtedly the best. RPGs have had a constant slew of quality releases since 2010 and that continued in 2011 and will continue in 2012 based on what's already set to release this year. This might also be the longest of my Most Anticipated series, since there's so much to talk about, but I'll keep it to the minimum of what I can do.
There are two 2012 RPGs that are on everyone's mind in particular and they're both multiplatform: Mass Effect 3 and Final Fantasy XIII-2. First, I'll talk about Mass Effect 3, the final game in the planned trilogy from BioWare. Other than the melee system, nothing's really changed from Mass Effect 2, though that's not a bad thing. However, the sense of scale in terms of your decisions and the enemies you fight are at an all-time high for the series and players will finally get to see the decisions they made in the first two games affects their experience in the final game. Actually, I just remembered that I need to play the first two games over again because of the XBox profile problem I had last month. Once I finish those up, I'll play Mass Effect 3. I'll probably still pick it up, but if I don't beat them both by March 6, I'll have to buy it and play it when I'm done.
Now, on to Final Fantasy XIII-2, the sequel to my Best Role-Playing Game, Best Graphics and Best PlayStation 3 Game in 2010. Though that's not why I'm excited about it, it's the improvements to the design. While I didn't mind the linear hallway of the original, I'm even happier knowing that I have a lot more flexibilty in the order in which I tackle the objectives. When it was first announced, I was not expecting time travel at all. While this might evoke Chrono Trigger, it's set up more like Radiant Historia where you can go to specific periods in time and go in as though almost nothing you did happen before. Sqaure is really trying to make up for its mistake, with an evolved version of XIII's battle system that's more invloving and has a variety of monsters to recruit to customize your Paradigm loadouts, a Crystarium that has you evolving a character's particular stat when they level up and a seemlingly endless number of ways to alter each timeline that multiple playthroughs are a necessity for this Final Fantasy. What's even better, what took players 25 hours to get to ill be provided within the first few hours of XIII-2. It comes out early on January 31, so be sure to pre-order soon if you want to get your hands on this, and you can get the Collector's Edition for an extra $20. Sounds like a deal to me, I already have the CE on reserve and fully paid off.
Here's an interesting story. RPGamer put up a poll last month to ask their users what their most anticipated RPG of 2012 is. Surprisingly, neither Mass Effect 3 or Final Fantasy XIII-2 were #1, as they were #3 and #2 respectively. What was #1 was none other than Tales of Graces F, the PS3 port of a 2009 Japanese Wii title that was released in 2010, and we get it a week after Mass Effect 3, March 13. While Japan has had a flood of Tales games over the last 3 years or so, other countries have been left out in the cold. That changed when on February 2, 2011 Namco announced that they were localizing Tales of Graces F for North Americs, and Europe later in the year. We finally have a solid release date and fans of both Tales and JRPGs in general will finally have an experience to really sink their teeth into. Other than an enhanced resolution, Graces F adds a few new titles and an epilogue sequence that adds an extra 10-15 hours to the already beefy 30-40 hour game, and that doesn't even include stuff like side quests. Unlike past Tales games, titles directly affect the gameplay rather than being purely cosmetic costumes. Titles in this game allow you to level up your character in a particular way such as specializations in healing, combat, magic, ice damage and more. Based on the latest trailer, it appears that the localization is going very well, with Bryce Papenbrook (Masaomi Kida from Durarara!!) voicing main hero Asbel and Cassasndra Morris (1st voice of Leo and Luna in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds) as heroine Sophie and solid dialogue. For me, March 13 can't come soon enough.
Another one of 2012's RPGs is one that has been bringing up a lot of questions, particular when you're also talking about this site's Best of 2011. What many people are calling the savior of the JRPG genre, Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii was awarded GameSpot's Best Wii Game of 2011. This was probably on the part of the UK editors. However, for some weird reasons, Nintendo of America has refused to bring this game over to the States until last month and what's even weirder is that us North Americans won't have the game until Spring. The game's already in English, so why they chose not to release it close to the UK release is so eccentric, it makes Dan Schneider's shows (such as iCarly and Victorious) seem tame by comparison. It might be coming a little late in the Wii's life cycle, especially for North America, but it might be the Wii's lastamazing title, in addition to be an awesome role-playing game.
One of the other RPGs I'm excited about is set for release on the 3DS and that title is Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Birth By Sleep on the PSP has set new standards for the series and with faster combat and superb visuals for a 3DS game, it's looking the part so far. There's still much more we don't know about the games, like what are the other worlds that will appear, since we know about Traverse Town and locations from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pinocchio, The Three Musketeers and Tron: Legacy. What's probably the most interesting part of the game is what the story's revelations will be, as 3D will be the start of the story to the final game. Another thing to note is rather than Final Fantasy characters making cameos, characters from another game by Tetsuya Nomura, The World Ends With You, will be making an appearance. I was a big fan of that game when I got to play it in 2008 and is still one of my favorite games on the Nintendo DS.
And there's much more where that came from. RPGs such as Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (which I'm not exactly excited about), Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2, Gungnir for the PSP and Dragon's Crown by Vanillaware (developer of cult hitsOdin Sphere for PS2 and Muramasa: The Demon Blade for Wii) for PlayStation Vita and PS3. The genre is no stranger to remakes and there's already a few on the way such as Tales of the Abyss for the 3DS (which Europe already has) and hopefully, Persona 4: The Golden, which is a PS Vita remake of my favorite game of all time. If you're a RPG fan, 2012 is going to be like 335 days of Christmas. (I'd explain why not 365, but it woudn't be witty if I did.)