Most Anticipated of 2012: Andrew's Picks
by Shack Staff, shacknews.com, Dec 29, 2011 9:00AM PST
There's a lot to be excited for in 2012, and the Shacknews staff each have five games on their radar. The editorial team at Shacknews outlines their most anticipated games of 2012 individually. Next up we've got east coast editor Andrew Yoon and his list of 2012 titles.
Mass Effect 3
There's almost no way for Mass Effect 3 to match the heights reached in Mass Effect 2. And I'm okay with that. The first two games have made me incredibly connected to that universe, and I'm excited to see the consequences of my decisions. Will saving the Rachni help me in the final battle against the Reapers? Will going against Cerberus in both games—especially in the climax of the second game—drastically change my ability to save the galaxy? Will Liara appreciate the fact that I didn't get tempted by anyone else in the second game? Also, what will happen to that annoying "fan" that made an appearance in the first two games?
Even if Mass Effect 3 is a total flop (which I doubt), I've become so committed to this franchise, that I have no choice but to have ME3 on my list of 2012 must-plays.
Sometimes, you get so excited for a game that you want to know everything about it before it comes out. Then there are other games that transcend that excitement—and you no longer want to hear a single thing about them. BioShock Infinite is one of those games. The little that I've seen from E3 has me convinced: I need to play this game, and I don't want to know any of the surprises it has in store for me.
I'm a big fan of the setting, but what really sold me is the gameplay: being able to jump in the sky on roller-coasters of death, while firing bionic-enhanced weapons at mutant enemies—well, who wouldn't want to play that?
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
I'm a sucker for cel-shaded games. I'm even more of a sucker for beautiful cel-shaded games. Level 5's collaboration with Studio Ghibli is one of the gorgeous games I've ever laid eyes on. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch really does look like a Miyazaki film come to life, and that alone makes the game worth the price of admission to me.
Of course, it helps that Level 5 has an incredible pedigree, rightfully earning the title of "the new Square Enix" amongst JRPG aficionados. I enjoyed what I played at Tokyo Game Show, and can't wait to play it and understand it at the same time.
Yes, it's "just another FPS." But boy, is it one of the most visually arresting ones I've seen this generation. The game's good looks don't come from tech like so many other games. Instead, Starbreeze manages to make Syndicate look eye-popping simply through some terrific artistic decisions. Everything from the color palette to the in-your-face augmented HUD overlay makes Syndicate seem cool and sexy.
And sure, it's "just another FPS," but it's been a long time since we've had a good FPS that isn't set in some kind of modern conflict. Given Starbreeze's impressive pedigree so far, I'm hopeful that Syndicate will be a fun shooter, even if it isn't the smartest game on the block.
I'm always impressed every time I get my hands on a Vita, but to be honest, the launch library hasn't really spoken to me. Yes, it's technically impressive that they've managed to squeeze an Uncharted and Resistance game to a portable device, but I'm not particularly interested in playing console games on the go. I'm more interested in seeing new experiences, and that's exactly what Sound Shapes is.
Queasy Games, developer of Everyday Shooter, has managed to combine the music and platforming genres—and it really works. This is the perfect kind of game for handheld consumption as well. I can see myself playing a stage or two while riding the subway. The creation tools definitely take advantage of the Vita's capabilities, and have the best use of the rear touch panel I've seen so far. This is the Vita's "killer app" in my opinion.