Most Anticipated Games of 2014

Dark-Souls-2-Logo1_zps1b846887
The Souls series has already established itself as one of the best ever in only two games and this new entry should prove to be just as amazing.

Persona5_zpsb4ebbb3f
Since Persona 3, this spin-off Shin Megami Tensei series has been brilliant and has deserved to be as loved as it has, especially in the west. I’m very much looking forward to what new ideas, both narrative and gameplay, Atlus has in store for the first new Persona in six years.

persona-4-dancing-all-night_PSVita_cover_zps21d356e0
A large portion of Persona fans seems to really dislike the very idea of this game existing. I say, shut up and like it! The Persona series has always had fantastic music and a game like this centered around it makes complete sense.

825f186d-de82-4b4f-b163-94f7f73328b0_zps18b22a61
This selection may seem strange because it’s just simply the same collection of the two PlayStation 2 God of War games that the PS3 received years ago, but now for Vita. I don’t really know what to say, they’re simply two of the best PS2 games ever, but now I can play ’em on the go!

bayonetta-2-21199-1280x800_zpsd11acb82
As always, I love Platinum Games and my absolute favorite of their’s is Bayonetta. Now there’s gonna be a sequel on a system I don’t own yet and really kinda don’t want to have to get, but if there’s any game that’ll make me get a system just for it, a Bayonetta sequel is it!

Metal-Gear-Solid-V-Ground-Zeroes_zps76392110
It wasn’t until Metal Gear Solid 4 that I became a fan of the series and because of that, I am very much looking forward to what Hideo Kojima has in store for both this and the main game, The Phantom Pain.

infamous-second-son-ps4-wallpaper-1080p_zps5b843ab8
I really loved the first inFamous and Second Son looks to be taking the series in an interesting new direction for narrative and perhaps even gameplay.

WATCHDOGS-hero_zpse6e59306
This was to be my most anticipated launch title for PS4 until Ubisoft delayed its release until sometime in 2014. In spite of that it will still be highly anticipated by me, but I definitely do not need to see any more about it before it finally comes out.

GGXrd_sign_zps8d6e57dd
Last generation was all about Arc System Works’ new IP, BlazBlue, which I enjoyed a lot. Now that Arc Sys has acquired the series that originally made them famous, I’m looking forward to see what they do to make the long awaited third main installment of Guilty Gear special.

Transistor_zps647de61e
I was always interested in playing SuperGiant Games’ Bastion, but it was never released on a platform I would prefer to play it on so I’m looking forward to this as my first experience from them.

usagi704′s BEST GAMES PLAYED 2013 Awards

THIS YEAR’S RULES FOR GAMES TO BE CONSIDERED FOR NOMINATION

(List of games eligible for this year’s awards)

– THE GAME MUST HAVE BEEN PLAYED FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR
– THE GAME DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE BEEN ORIGINALLY RELEASED THIS YEAR

BEST GAMES PLAYED 2013

usagi13-bestplayed1
When it was first announced that Ninja Theory would be developing the newest entry in the Devil May Cry series, I was skeptical. I felt their other action oriented titles like Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, while good, weren’t particularly great. Much to my surprise they were able to pull off an entry in the DMC series as if they’ve done it before. Perhaps it was Capcom’s guidance that helped them get the exacting standard of action gaming that is Devil May Cry, but they did it and DmC is an excellent entry that rebooted the series in a way that was fresh, yet familiar in the ways that mattered.

usagi13-bestplayed2
Another year, yet another awesome action game by the masters of the genre, Platinum Games! Somehow they keep churning out the best action games and manage to make them all feel unique from each other. This time it’s a Metal Gear spinoff letting us play as Raiden which I’ve been wanting to do since his appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4 and it is glorious! It has all the crazy, over-the-top hallmarks you’d expect from Platinum including scenery chewing, hammy voice acting that I love! The Zandatsu mechanic is so rad there’s nothing else that needs to be said.

usagi13-bestplayed3
The Tomb Raider series has had a long history, but I never played any entry until this year. Tomb Raider: Legend was the one recommend by HartKnight and I have to say it was a very impressive game! It reminded me of the Prince of Persia series in general gameplay because there’s a sizable focus on platforming as well as action with a dash of puzzles to be solved. It was a good mix of gameplay styles that all worked well to form a cohesive whole that I highly enjoyed!

usagi13-bestplayed4
Once I picked up a PS Vita in early November I just happened to download the Zen Pinball 2 client and purchased the Super Street Fighter II table to see what it was all about. Before I knew it I was score chasing my friends and bought 9 other tables! I then spent most of the next month beating all friends on all 10 tables. It’s safe to say that Zen Studios knows how to craft some fun and imaginative pinball. My favorite tables are Moon Knight, Thor, Fear Itself, and Infinity Gauntlet.

usagi13-bestplayed5
I was so sure that Dark Souls wasn’t going to quite live up to Demon’s Souls in my mind early on, but thankfully I was dead wrong. It turned out to be better in a few ways that mattered beyond the more open world structure since I actually liked the hub structure of the first game. Dark Souls lives up to Demon’s Souls in every way you could want and then some!

usagi13-bestplayed6
A great licensed game based on a movie that has decent voice acting and good beat-’em-up action with a web slinging mechanic that is still completely exhilarating to use to swing around the city.

usagi13-bestplayed7
For most of July and August I was in a gaming slump, not knowing what to play or feeling like playing much of anything. Fortunately all I needed was a big dose of the old school in a new release and that game was Dragon’s Crown. The best part was adventuring with up to four friends and taking down the bosses together, but you could even do it alone with up to three AI partners if so desired. It was just the jolt I needed to get the passion for gaming back!

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Mega Man Zero 3 (DS)
Payday: The Heist (PS3)
Resogun (PS4)

BEST VISUALS

• Dragon’s Crown (PS3)
• Killzone: Shadow Fall (PS4)
• Resogun (PS4)
• Knack (PS4)
• Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3)

RUNNER-UP: Resogun (PS4)

usagi13-visuals
It’s kinda funny that there’s so many PlayStation 4 nominees for this category yet the one that wins is the gorgeous Dragon’s Crown for PS3. When I played this game I could not believe how breathtaking the artistry of the game was! So full of color and all beautifully painted by the unmistakable George Kamitani it easily takes the award for Best Visuals this year!

BEST MUSIC

• DmC: Devil May Cry (PS3)
• Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3)
• Tomb Raider: Legend (PS2)
• Daytona USA (PS3)
• Resogun (PS4)

RUNNER-UP: Resogun (PS4)

usagi13-music
I used to hate dubstep, but have since grown a taste for it within the last year or so and I really enjoyed DmC’s electronic/dubstep soundtrack. I felt it all worked for the style and mood set in this reboot of the Devil May Cry series. My favorite track is from the Lilith’s Club stage.

BEST FIGHTING GAME

• Vampire Resurrection (PS3)
• JoJo no Kimyo na Bouken: All-Star Battle (PS3)
• Chaos Code (PS3)
• Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PSV)

RUNNER-UP: JoJo no Kimyo na Bouken: All-Star Battle (PS3)

usagi13-fighting
The unassuming little fighter Chaos Code really surprised me. I liked the mix of Capcom’s Marvel Vs. series and SNK’s King of Fighters in its DNA which made it a great melding of two fighting game styles that worked well. While I really enjoyed the fanservice of JoJo ASB, I have to say that the far more in-depth awesomeness from FK Digital’s Chaos Code was great.

MOST SURPRISINGLY GOOD GAME

• DmC: Devil May Cry (PS3)
• Rogue Trooper (PS2)
• Payday: The Heist (PS3)
• Zen Pinball 2 (PSV/PS3)

RUNNER-UP: Payday: The Heist (PS3)

usagi13-surprising
When deciding to play Rogue Trooper, I didn’t expect much, but I was quite surprised by how solid of a third-person shooter it turned out to be. It’s definitely not a looker even for its release year, but if you’re looking for a good shooter for your PS2 or Xbox that you may not have tried, give Rogue Trooper a look.

MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME

• Moon Diver (PS3)
• Mega Man Zero 4 (DS)
• MechAssault (XB)
• Super Stardust Δ (PSV)
• Killzone (PS2)

RUNNER-UP: MechAssault (XB)

usagi13-disappointing
After coming off of the what I consider to be the best in this series, Mega Man Zero 3, MMZ4’s additions to gameplay (Zero Knuckle) and the narrative are all decidedly worse. Compared the its immediate predecessor, Mega Man Zero 4 fails on almost every level to be an entertaining entry in the series.

WORST GAME PLAYED

• Moon Diver (PS3)
• Jetpack Joyride (PS3)
• Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi (PSP)
• F.E.A.R. 3 (PS3)
• Knack (PS4)

RUNNER-UP: Jetpack Joyride (PS3)

usagi13-worst
What’s supposed to be a spiritual successor to Strider by some of said game’s original staff, but with up to 4 player multiplayer, ended up being a boring mess of a game in spite of its initial decent impression.

GAME OF THE YEAR

RUNNER-UP: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3)

usagi13-goty
After playing Demon’s Souls two years earlier, I just didn’t think it would be possible for From Software to match the majesty of that first game, but they surpassed it in many ways. The versatility of the combat was upped, the scope of the world was hugely increased, the bosses even more memorable than before, and the lore just as captivating. All this and still with a difficulty that finds the perfect balance of challenge and reward. Just like two years ago, I have to award From Software’s second Souls entry Game of the Year just as its predecessor. Praise the Sun!