I bemoan my backlog for a while, then post about the games I want in 2014. Nothing absurd about that. Anyway, in regards to this list, my only limitation on titles is that they can’t have been released yet. I didn’t limit it to games on systems I own or anything. These are just the games that I’ve seen that appeal to me the most for this year. Of course, there is no guarantee that these are definitely coming this year, but I’m being optimistic. I’ve also used placeholder names in cases where the final title is as of yet unknown.
Keep Training, Grasshopper: Strider, Yoshi’s New Island, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Alien Isolation, Fantasia: Music Evolved, Bayonetta 2, Phantasy Star Nova, Deep Down, Dying Light
8. Yarn Yoshi
Nintendo showed this title off in a Nintendo Direct last year, then promptly seemed to forget that it existed. Yarn Yoshi (as it’s known) is being developed for the WiiU by the same company that developed Kirby’s Epic Yarn, which is exactly why I’m excited for it. The short preview we’ve seen looked gorgeous, and, while being a bit more 3D than Epic yarn, shared many of the same design choices of that game. While I doubt this game will be groundbreaking, the wonderful design of Epic Yarn makes me believe this game will be more than competent in that regard. My personal hope is that we see the return of Yin-Yarn in this game, after his exile from Dreamland.
7. Sunset Overdrive
Normally, a game like this wouldn’t do anything for me (because the premise is a bit old at this point), but when I see that it’s being developed by Insomniac, I begin to take notice. The bottom line for me is that this game seems to have strains of Ratchet & Clank in it, in terms of design and humor. I love the Ratchet & Clank games, so that is immediately appealing to me. That aside though, the gameplay looks intriguing in its own right. It appears to be fast-paced and open, as in, there are a variety of ways in which you can take on tasks. Similar to Dead Rising, maybe. I’m also curious to see how the “living world” aspect of this game works. If it’s implemented as I’ve read it will be, it could keep this game very up-to-date and relevant for years to come.
6. Zelda U
As time has passed since I finished Skyward Sword, I can more clearly see the flaws of the game. It was fairly linear and despite the heavy praise people gave the 1:1 sword movement with the Wii Remote, it just got on my nerves. All that said, I like what the developers have done with A Link Between Worlds and what’s being said about this game in terms of layout and linearity. I’m still clinging to the tech demo from the WiiU’s unveiling as the graphical style of choice, but that’s hardly been confirmed. It’s also unconfirmed that this game will grace us in 2014, but with the WiiU floundering, I’m hard pressed to believe that Nintendo won’t do everything in their power to have this title present for the holiday season in an effort to boost sales of the system.
5. The Evil Within
While survival horror games will always appeal to me, it’s the pedigree behind this game that makes me want it. Shinji Mikami, who worked on the Resident Evil series and created the sublime RE4, is directing this title. If there is anyone I want watching over this type of game, it is someone such as Mr. Mikami. Even if you aren’t a fan of the fixed camera of the original RE games, the fear and dread they were able to create was amazing. RE4 was able to keep the bulk of that fear while making the actual gameplay much more user friendly. My hope for this game is a further blending of the fear in RE with the ease of play of RE4 (I think that sentence makes sense).
4. The Order: 1886
A game set in 1886, featuring some steampunk elements and a rich story going back through the Arthurian Knights? Yeah, I think I’m probably sold on this title. The back story for this game has humanity fighting off monsters/mutants throughout history. After suffering many defeats, mankind has finally turned the tide when, in 1886, a new threat rises. Other than the plot, not too much is known about this title yet, but I still rank it this highly because I find that plot very intriguing. I just hope the gameplay impresses as well.
3. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
I’ll always prefer the style of older Castlevania games, but Lords of Shadow did quite a bit right. The idea of taking that style of that game, moving it to an open world with a Metroidvania feel is extremely exciting to me. While I don’t relish playing the “bad guy” (which I’ve written about before), in a case where you’re taking on the rise of Lucifer, it’s more of a lesser of two evils situation. All printed previews of this game praise it, so I can see this as a title I try to purchase quickly and play immediately. One of the most appealing aspects of this game is that it’s a continuation of the previous games and will completely close off the story that began in those titles. I like the idea of a developer setting out with a story in mind, even if it advances over a couple of games.
2. Fable Anniversary
Sure, it’s a re-release of a game that’s been out for some time, but what a game. Despite it’s flaws, I loved the original Fable. It never lived up to it’s expectations (but in fairness, no game could have done that), but what it did it did exceedingly well. Take that game, add some content, sharpen up the visuals, and bring it closer to what it was predicted to be, and you have one heck of a potentially amazing game. I’ve made it clear that I will rarely purchase a game quickly after its release due to both my backlog and tight funds, but this is a game that I will pick up relatively quickly after its release on 2/4. That is how pumped I am for this title.
Xenoblade Chronicles was not only my favorite game for the Nintendo Wii, but one of the best games I’ve ever played. I never expected a psuedo-sequel to be produced, so my surprise and delight at this game being unveiled was beyond measure. X appears to be connected to Xenoblade in some fashion, which is, of course, exciting for me, but even if it were not, I would still be just as excited based on the previews I’ve seen so far. X seems to be set in an open world with a combat system very similar to Xenoblade. Traveling takes place both on foot as well as in large mechs (“Dolls,” according to the trailer). It also appears that there will be online coop, though that isn’t confirmed, just suspected. Regarding visuals, this game looks gorgeous. I don’t demand wonderful graphics so long as the gameplay is fun, but if they are wonderful, I will compliment them. This is a game that will put all my other games on hold once it is released. I only hope it receives the appreciation I imagine it will deserve upon it’s release on the WiiU.