Welcome to Most Anticipated Games Week

I don't really even care about Batman, but I'm excited for this game.

Well Riddles got his chance to write about Back to the Future: The Game, but only came up with a video of his friend playing it. So I’m moving on.

This year is fucking insane for us gamers.
This is the calm before the storm. Quite literally. Because next week both Pokémon and Dragon Age 2 will be released, then Infamous soon after, then the 3DS, Team ICO collection, then nonstop blockbuster AAA titles until all of our faces fall off.

This week – at least – I will talk about the games I have unbridled excitement for (see: Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3, Pokémon White, Batman: Arkham City). I will talk about games that I am excited for with hesitation of varying levels (see: Uncharted 3, The Last Guardian, Infamous 2) and games that I am tentatively excited for (see: Skyward Sword).

That last category probably wouldn’t even exist without the latest gameplay trailer for Zelda. I’m all for a little context sensitive swordplay, but based on that trailer, it looks like the entire thing is motion gimmick after motion gimmick. It’s like Nintendo hasn’t realized that their controller sucks and is really, really old. Even with the expensive fix.

There’s actually a lot more I have to say about that, but I’ll leave it to the specific article. I hope to write one for at least each of the games I’ve already mentioned. Can you feel it? Gaming is going to give a hell of a year before the 2012 apocalypse.

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32 Responses to “Welcome to Most Anticipated Games Week”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    I want to play skyward sword, but won’t unless Nintendo surprise us with classic controller support …

  2. Ethos says:

    There is absolutely zero chance of that possibly ever happening.
    Skyward Sword is clearly meant to be the shining example of WiiMotionPlus. If you watched the trailer, practically every shot had to do with Link slicing his sword in a particular direction, or tilting it to make an enemy fall off a tightrope or manipulate a puzzle. To be perfectly frank, I think the idea of precise swordplay IS exciting. The swordplay minigame in Sports Champions for Playstation Move is really satisfying. I just simply don’t trust WiiMotionPlus to be that accurate. If the thing isn’t at least 95% accurate, it will be – in many ways – a failure. And that’s being a little generous.
    Maybe not too much considering how in Ocarina of Time, using your shield wouldn’t work against Stalfos 25% of the time it was supposed to.

    Anyway, I’ll cover most of this in my article about the game.

  3. Ethos says:

    Ha, and I just realized that 60% of the games featured in the banner I made are PS3 exclusives.

  4. SiliconNooB says:

    A 3DS version using the stylus isn’t totally off the cards though … Right?

  5. Ethos says:

    Well let’s just say it’s MORE in the cards than classic/GCN controller support. I’d expect a new 3DS Zelda title first though. And that should be interesting. No more transportation cop-outs…

  6. SiliconNooB says:

    Proper Zelda games (the ones that aren’t choo choo conductor) take ages to make, if they’ve a mind to port it, then it’ll be out way sooner. It just depends whether Nintendo feel as though the 3DS spec is worthy of a first class effort, or whether they will carry on with the SD cell shaded side series.

  7. 7thCircle says:

    Ethan knows I am the anti-hype and just a generally unexcitable human all-around, but 2011’s outlook isn’t as OMG to me as it seems to be for everyone else. Not that I recall a year in the history of gaming where people didn’t claim a bunch of fantastic games were on the horizon (I was still learning how not to crap my diapers in the mid-80s and didn’t hear much about gaming), but 2011 looks more “meh” to me than other recent years. As a huge Bethesda fan, the thought of ES5 coming sooner than I’d have expected gets my heart rate up to a solid 70 bpm. Everything else that people seem to be happy for is just a standard, upcoming entry in a tired series or a sequel with an ungodly short dev cycle that has me a hair tentative. Not that I’m saying 2011 will be shit. I just think the known Big Games of 2011 don’t look any better than 2010, 2009, 2008, or 2007 looked in winter of those years.

    Maybe this theme week will change my mind, but it will need assistance from Lameish, who is the only writer for this site who can go 3 sentences without talking in superlatives and seems to be a brother in anti-hype.

  8. Ethos says:

    Man, I’d love it if Lameish showed his face around here again.
    And I didn’t think last year’s outlook looked great. Mass Effect 2 was about it for me.
    I wouldn’t say DA, Infamous or ME are tired yet. Uncharted and Zelda, sure. The Last Guardian isn’t really even part of a series, and that’s easily my most anticipated game of the year. Far and away.

    Oh no, FFXIII had me excited last year too. I keep forgetting about that. Let’s keep it that way.

  9. SiliconNooB says:

    I think there are an above average amount of games coming this year, especially this month. It’s a bit overwhelming frankly.

  10. SiliconNooB says:

    BTW, How is Uncharted tired? There have ony been two games, the last of which came out before Mass Effect 2, so I’m way hungrier for that than I am for another Mass Effect title.

  11. Ethos says:

    I’m just a little wary of the formula. I’ll talk about it more in my hype article. Mass Effect is just a more expansive universe with an overarching storyline. Uncharted connects, but are more standalones. I’m excited, don’t get me wrong, I just feel like it will be more difficult to match/top whereas I feel Bioware would have to fuck up big time to at least not match ME2.

  12. Ethos says:

    Yeah, this year feels different than any other this generation, that’s for sure.

  13. SiliconNooB says:

    I think it’s because the studios have finally learned how to pump out current gen sequels at a reasonable pace.

  14. SiliconNooB says:

    ^ Means that a whole bunch of recognisable franchises are coming out this year.

    - IMO Uncharted has overstayed it’s welcome far less than Mass Effect, not that there’s anything wrong with Mass Effect.

  15. 7thCircle says:

    I was thinking of Uncharted, ME, Arkham, DA, and Infamous when I said sequels with ungodly short dev cycles, not tired series. They might be fun, but I don’t get excited for games that will be copy-and-pastastic with 2 or 3 minor tweaks. I don’t think it’s likely that they’ll all be better than the previous entries — there are going to be more Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhoods in there than Mass Effect 2s.

    2010 had 2 new FFs, a new DQ, a new SMT, a new Golden Sun, Heavy Rain, two Obsidian games, Mass Effect 2, new Assassin’s Creed, Bayonetta, a remake of the best Pokemon game ever, and StarFuckingCraft 2. It’s an RPG heavy list, but that’s mostly what I pay attention to and I just made that off the top of my head. All those games were super hyped, and 2011 can’t touch it. About every JRPG series got a brand spanking new not-a-rehash-of-a-recent-game entry in 2010. So 2010’s outlook did look better than 2011’s to me.

    I expect Mass Effect 3 to be great because the series is more about the story than the gameplay for me, and I want to know how it ends. Then there’s Skyrim. And that’s about it for me in 2011. I would be more interested in Pokemon if I didn’t dislike Pearl/Diamond so much and spend a stupid amount of time on SoulSilver last year. DA2 was developed too quickly for me to deem it worthy of hype. I will add a game to your list, though — L.A. Noire has people more excited than the ones you mentioned. Did that slip under your radar? IT SHOULDN’T!

  16. SiliconNooB says:

    2011 sounds much more appealing to me, not because there’s any absolutely must have games, but because there’s a massive quantity of games which should be fairly good.

  17. Ethos says:

    Yeah, Glenn, you’re just an old man. We’re deep into these console lifespans. A two year dev cycle on an existing franchise is totally acceptable.
    Last year – of the games you mentioned – I really only got excited for FFXIII and Mass Effect 2. Golden Sun was cool, Dragon Quest was Dragon Quest, Brotherhood held no interest for me, neither did Bayonetta, and Heavy Rain sucks. StarCraft II ended up being the shit, but I’ve only realized that this year, really. Although last year had Mario Galaxy 2 as well, you didn’t mention that.

    Infamous 2, Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3, The Last Guardian, Pokémon White, Dragon Age 2, and to a lesser extent Skyward Sword are all games that I largely care about a LOT more than any of those 2010 titles. Although, that’s after the fact, because FFXIII turned out to be the game that it was.

    But I think your assessment of most of the titles I listed as being “brotherhood” titles is definitely a little insane. Except for DA2, none of those games had the one year dev cycle of Brotherhood.

    Hell, The Last Guardian alone is enough to make me care more about this year without hesitation.
    The beginning of 2010 was very exciting, but I was never hyped about the last half. 2011 looks sounds from top to bottom.


  18. Ethos says:

    And I disagree, SN. I think most of the games I listed for this year are must-haves.

  19. SiliconNooB says:

    Not really must haves for me, as most of the games (with the exception of Last Guardian) are sequels, and I have long since given up on sequels being substantially different from the previous entry.

    Sure I want the games, but they are harder to label as must haves when I imagine them to be closer to updates than de jure sequels.

  20. SiliconNooB says:

    The only one that I think looks like a proper sequel is DA2, but in the case of DA2 I am not sold on a few of the changes, and suspect that it won’t be as good as the original.

  21. 7thCircle says:

    The Last Guardian I definitely give you, but that has more in common with Skyrim in that the series hasn’t been touched in several years, unlike the rest. The others we’ll have to wait and see who’s right — the excitable, childish optimist or the crotchety, sullen pessimist. I enjoyed AC:Brotherhood, by the way, so I’m not predicting the games will be crap.

  22. SiliconNooB says:

    Sadly, pessimists tend to be right on balance.

  23. Ethos says:

    That, or pessimists give themselves self-fulfilling prophecies.

    I also don’t have ridiculous expectations for any of these games. I’m aware that Mass Effect 3 will likely be what 2 was to 1. But that’s just the third part of a story for a game I have a ridiculously good time with. Unless the RPG mechanics get so watered down that it’s TOO distracting. It was annoying in 2, but enough was fantastic about it to not mind. I’m aware of the possibility, however.

    Same thing-ish with Uncharted. There’s nothing wrong with it existing only two years after its predecessor, although it would have to be the last in a trilogy. And that’s maybe why I’m more hesitant for Uncharted 3. Because I think that game can explore another 15 hours of good dialogue and badassery, but I don’t want to be playing Uncharted 5 in 4 years. Three is a magic number for a reason.

    I’m well aware of what these games will most likely be, but I still think it’s cause for excitement, and built on such solid foundations to be considered must-haves.

    I think 2 years between titles in a trilogy is enough to not be touched for.

  24. 7thCircle says:

    I’ll say something else nice then. I think Arkham City will be amazing. Of the 2s and 3s on your hypemobile, I think it has the best chance of surprising even the people who have been drooling over it for months. It had more than a couple of years in development, and Arkham Asylum’s flaws were so few and so easily fixable that if they can take the strong atmosphere from AA, put it in a new environment with new villains, and make the controls smoother, this could replace AC2 as my #2 favorite not-RPG of this console generation. Oh, and no Scarecrow. Games spook me easily and I want him gone.

    Happy? And don’t ask what my favorite not-RPG of this generation is. You won’t like it.

  25. Ethos says:

    Yeah, hence why Arkham City is in my unbridled hype list. I don’t give two shits about Batman, and I really liked Arkham Asylum.

    What’s your favourite not-RPG of this generation?

  26. 7thCircle says:

    Heavy Rain. While planning the Game of the Year feature for RPGamer this year, I asked to have a Best Non-RPG of 2010 category added because I figured Heavy Rain would win it and I wanted an excuse to praise it on the site.

  27. Ethos says:

    Bah-ha. Despite my giant meh-load all over that game’s face, I actually don’t mind people loving it. It’s kinda fun to see people’s reactions if I knock it, but people praising it doesn’t bother me. At least it tells a great story and has a palpable mood.

  28. Ethos says:

    And encourages innovation in the industry.

  29. 7thCircle says:

    It gripped me the way a good WRPG does. I started Heavy Rain around 10pm, figured I’d play for a few hours and go to bed, and didn’t stop until the credits scrolled around dawn. I didn’t read much, if anything, that you wrote about it when it came out because I was planning to buy a PS3 soon, so I don’t know why you didn’t like it. It is one of a kind, and most games I end up getting hooked on do something so differently that they are hard to blindly recommend to others. You still haven’t played some of my favorite console games of this generation, but you also seem to play RPGs less than before and most of my favs are RPGs.

    Which reminds me, how did that Fallout 3 PS3 attempt go? I’m curious what your opinions on it are since you said you liked it, but never seemed to be able to play it very long.

  30. SiliconNooB says:

    Three wasn’t the magic number for God of War (should have stopped with II) … :/

    I quite liked Heavy Rain, I’m not sure it’s a game though …

  31. Ethos says:

    I don’t like it because it’s just a storybook. It’s Quick Time Event: The Game. I understand that that’s not FULLY accurate, but I really couldn’t deal with its…erm…”gameplay”.

    And I got distracted by a trophy war. I DID like Fallout 3, so I’m still planning to give it a fair shot on my PS3.

    And I don’t know. The ending of GoWIII really sucked, but it did a lot of things right that the other entries didn’t. Most fluid combat, context sensitive music. Okay, so it did two things right. Also, the beginning rocks. I think GoWII is the best as well, but III was worth playing.

  32. SiliconNooB says:

    No, I think your description of Heavy Rain is perfectly accurate. I really don’t think it’s even a game.

    As I mentioned on this weeks podcast (I think?) I really liked the GoW series for its visual diversity, scope and spectacle. GoW3 made far too much use of dingy tunnels, caverns etc, which border me.

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