Resident Evil 6 (PS3, 360)
Announced late last week for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (I hope it's coming to Wii U as that platform needs all the third-party support it can get), Resident Evil 6 takes it to the player like an axe to a zombie's forehead. Leon S. Kennedy returns as does the boulder-punching Chris Redfield in what looks to be a return to the zombies of old. The action is faster with swifter zombies, the story seems even more convoluted, and the set pieces (at least from the trailer) look to be incredible. Resident Evil 6 appears to conclude the triple does of Resident Evil with Revelations (3DS), Operation Raccoon City (PS3, 360), and this game. If you still haven't had enough RE by the end of this game, perhaps you should see a specialist about your condition...
Tales of Graces f (PS3)
Originally appearing on the Wii in the form of simply Tales of Graces, Namco Bandai couldn't resist getting the game into more people's hands with the upgraded Tales of Graces f. Unlike the Wii iteration, however, f is actually coming stateside in mid-March. I've been craving a colorful action RPG, so Tales of Graces f seems to fit that mold just perfectly. Sure, I might have to sit through a trope-ridden game full of anime cliches and preteen characters, but as long as the gameplay is up to snuff, I will persevere through. It helps that the art style is immensely captivating.
Tales of the Abyss (3DS)
I have been craving for a 3DS RPG since I received the system in late August of last year. Soon my wait will soon be over when Namco Bandai releases Tales of the Abyss 3D to North America. Most PAL players have already been able to snag a copy and encompass themselves into the world the game presents. Tales of the Abyss originally came out for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. Many were knee-deep in the 360, PS3, and Wii by then, so the game was forgotten by most, yours truly included. Now I will rectify my error through playing this game in full 3D with little in the way of framerate problems and poor loading times that plagued the PS2 original.
Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS)
Some critics of recent Resident Evil titles such as Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 have complained about the larger focus on action than suspense. RE4 managed to walk a fine line between the two, but RE5 pretty much featured action front and center. Capcom aims to put the horror back into survival horror with Resident Evil: Revelations, a game currently exclusive to the 3DS. However, we all know how port-happy Capcom can be. Just look at RE4 which has appeared on everything from the current gen consoles to iOS. Putting a greater emphasis on frights, close quarters combat, and claustrophobia-inducing corridors, Revelations seems to hark back to the olden days of the franchise where horror didn't take a backseat to the action.
Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
After twenty-five years or so, Pit is back in a starring role! Sakurai-san (I find it to be better than Mr. Sakurai) and his team at Project Sora have developed one half an on-rails shooter a la Star Fox 64 and one half a ground combat game in Kid Icarus: Uprising. The game offers the ability for Pit to earn new weapons like claws, daggers, and bows in his quest to oust the evil Medusa and her many minions. Thankfully, Pit isn't alone as he has the guidance of Palutena to assist him in his journey. Personally, I'm concerned about the controls of the game as any game that comes packed with a stand can't have optimal controls. Regardless, I am still excited for this game even more so than I was when it was first announced alongside the 3DS.
Mario Party 9 (Wii)
Since Hudson is being killed off by those jerks at Konami, ND Cube, the team behind the stellar and fun Wii Party, are taking their shot at developing the newest Mario Party. Unlike 8, this one is built exclusively for Wii and not just putting GameCube assets and transferring them over to the Wii. New to the series is Party Adventure mode where four opponents travel together, competing against bosses and taking on one another in mini-games to earn Mini Stars. The player with the most Mini Stars at the conclusion of the board wins. While there is no online play to speak of, I am really looking forward to Mario Party 9. It's always a hot series to play with friends or family, and nine looks to be no different.
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
Fans were crying (maybe even literally) for Nintendo of America to localize this game for North American audiences. Somehow they got their wish albeit with a caveat. The game will only be available on Nintendo's online shop or through GameStop. Since I cannot stand GameStop, I'll be going with the lesser of two evils and ordering the game through Nintendo directly. Many have been stating that this isn't just a tremendous RPG because it's on Wii, but it's a tremendous RPG because it blurs the line between JRPGs and WRPGs. Add in some intense combat and a plethora of quests to partake in, and you have a highly anticipated title on your hands.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3, 360)
Set three years after a game I haven't even played yet, Final Fantasy XIII-2 tells the tale of Serah and Noel who go searching for Lightning, the heroine of the original game who has gone missing. Gone are the corridor dungeons and areas of XIII that limited exploration severely. The world is much more open and nonlinear. It just begs for players to invest hours upon hours combing every corner, every inch, every plateau in search of adventure. I'm hoping that I don't need much knowledge on the plot of Final Fantasy XIII to fully enjoy its direct sequel. Regardless, as long as the fun is there, so will I!
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational (PSV)
Fooooooore! Chip, drive, and putt all in the palm of your hand with Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational which is essentially Hot Shots Golf 6. You know, Sony gets flak for not investing their A teams to develop games on their hand-helds, but what do you call this? Clap Hanz is definitely a first-tier developer for Sony, and I have no doubt it will show with World Invitational. Yes, I probably am not getting a Vita anytime soon (at least not in the year 2012), but I can still anticipate its titles. I love arcade golf games, and even though Out of Bounds was depressingly disappointing, I have faith in the team behind this game.
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PSV)
Sony Bend might not be as well as the caliber of Naughty Dog, but they are doing their best to emulate the source material. Uncharted: Golden Abyss takes the dashing charm of Nathan Drake to the small screen in one big adventure. Chuck grenades, put the accelerometer to ample use, and take down baddies both large and small in this journey into the Golden Abyss. I heard that Sony Bend was wanting to perhaps patch online play into the game post-launch. That would add even more of an incentive to plop down the cash and pick up what will probably be one of the Vita's first excellent games.
I must have spent around 100 hours tinkering with own levels and playing other people's creations in both LittleBigPlanet and LittleBigPlanet 2. LittleBigPlanet 2 won runner-up at the SPC Best of 2011 Awards this past month, so it is only natural that I look forward to the all-new Vita iteration. Nearly all of the Vita's functions are put to good use. Need to get a platform over to Sackboy? Tilt the device towards Sackboy. Need to get some platforms to protrude forward for Sackboy to jump on them? Use the back touch screen to push them forward. If online play is a feature, then this installment of LittleBigPlanet seems like a no-brainer.
Wipeout 2048 (PSV)
The earliest edition of Wipeout offers wider tracks and 30 fps for some fast and frenetic racing action. While I am in the camp that Wipeout doesn't hold a candle to the F-Zero series (Who can beat Captain Falcon after all?), the series is still an outstanding one definitely. I might not be a pro at the franchise (Wipeout HD kicked my butt all over the place), I still have a lot of fun playing the games. Pure and Pulse on the PSP were great in this regard. If the track design of the demo is anything to note, then there are going to be some insane and devious designs to the courses indeed. Top it all off with online play, and you have a must buy for me.
So, now you have my list of twelve games for 2012, and we haven't even seen what E3 holds for the industry! Do you have a list of your own of twelve games that interest you for the year? If so, hit me up with it in the comments section.