13 games I'm looking forward to in 2013...

2013 is nearly upon us and while it may be the last gasp of this generation, there are still a pretty good amount of titles to look forward to even without knowing if and when there are new consoles coming out and what will be available. I've tried to stick to ones we know for a fact are coming to current consoles (hence no Watch Dogs. Star Wars 1313 or Dragon Age III, all of which are rumored to be next gen titles).

#13: Aliens: Colonial Marines-Granted, I'm not a huge FPS fan, but it's hard not to get excited about Gearbox, the same guys behind the very inventive Borderlands series, taking a crack at the Aliens license. Also of interest is that the Wii U version will have exclusive features like using the gamepad as a motion tracker, which just sounds amazing.

#12. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time-One genre that's been kind of lacking this gen is 3D platformer titles. I mean sure you had the Mario Galaxies & a couple traditional Ratchet & Clank games, but that was really about it. Sly Cooper has always seemed to fly under the radar, but it's continually had solid gameplay with a very fun and engaging cast of characters. Anyone who is a fan of good 3D platformers should keep this on their radar.

#11. Tomb Raider-Granted, yet another re-invention of Lara Croft seems like grasping for straws initially, but everything shown from this game so far seems like it's taken plenty of good cues from Uncharted without seeming like a cheap imitator and Crystal Dynamics is one of the best developers out there so this is already shaping up to be one of the top adventure games of the coming year.

#10. Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns-The third and final entry in the XIII series. While XIII itself was pretty divisive, XIII-2 was a pretty good return to form including most of the things that were absent from XIII like real exploration and towns(though I am nowhere near finished with it at this point). Lightning returns will hopefully up the ante by providing a little more solid story in what should be a surprisingly satisfying conclusion to a series that did not start off so well.

#9. The Last of Us: Zombie games are getting to be a dime a dozen now, so it takes something special for one to stand out. One being developed by Naughty Dog should be that something special, as The Last of Us doesn't look nearly as light hearted as the Uncharted games, but seems to carry to same degree of compelling action and story-telling. It's also a new IP which this late in a console cycle is a very rare thing.

#8. Pikmin 3-The long overdue sequel probably should've been a launch title, but Nintedo has never been one to rush their core franchises out to market. Will it get delayed again? Quite possibly, but odds are it will still come out in 2013 and looks to be the premier core Nintedo title to hold us over until something along the lines of a new Zelda/Metroid/3D Mario comes out.

#7. Luigi's Mansion 2-I've mentioned before that I feel the original Luigi's Mansion full under a lot of undeserved scrutiny because it was a launch title for the Gamecube and admittedly it wasn't really on par with most games Nintendo throws out at launch. It was still an incredibly solid game that I really enjoyed so I am extremely excited for the sequel which promises to be longer and more varied. Add the ability to play it on the go and you've got another great reason to own a 3DS.

#6. Tales of Xilia: Granted, the Tales series doesn't really break he mold of Japanese rpgs everyone is saying are stagnant, but two of my best rpg experiences this generation were Tales of Vesperia and Tales of Graces F, because when it's done that well it's like video game comfort food. Yeah it's familiar but familiar can be very good. I very much look forward to this comfort food in 2013.

#5. South Park: The Stick of Truth-A South Park RPG? By the same guys who brought us Elder Scrolls & Fallout? With heavy involvement from Matt Parker and Trey Stone? I shouldn't even need to explain why this already has best rpg of the year all over it. And so few rpgs have a real sense of humor to them days. Stick of Truth should be viciously funny yet loving of its subject matter like most great South Park episodes.

#4. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch-On the more serious but no less exciting side of rpgs we have this highly anticipated joint effort from great rpg studio Level 5 and legendary Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli. The game looks incredible and should feature the same kind of heartwarming characters and story combined with great rpg gameply we've come to expect from these two and I love that it's coming out in just under a month so it's not even that long a wait.

#3. Bioshock Infinite-The original Bioshock is easily one of the best games of this generation, so the real follow-up (2 wasn't bad, but it was pretty much the same game) taking it to the skies with an all new setting, a protagonist with actual personality and some all new plasmids make this one of the few action games I'm really looking forward to next year.

#2. The Wonderful 101-Platinum games first incredible Wii U effort looks nothing short of amazing. It's a major reason I was sold on the system. Whether or not it will make compelling use of the Wii U's Gamepad is anyone's guess but it still looks incredible and it seems like it's doing Pikmin-style gameplay way better than Pikmin is doing it. It might be number one if I could actually play a demo to confirm it. Which leads me to me #1 most anticipated title:

#1. Rayman Legends: Again, New Super Mario Bros U was great, but having played several levels of the latest Rayman title shows it just doing everything a magnitude better and more creatively. This title is already pretty much guaranteed 2D platforming awesomeness which is incredibly rare this generation aside from a few indie darlings. This is currently my most anticipated game of 2013. no contest.

That's all for today. I do plan to have a post up tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be able to keep to that. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Super House of Dead Ninjas

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