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The Last Story
(Final Fantasy creator) Hironobu Sakaguchi’s recent console outing — and hopefully not the last! (?) — may not be as stellar as one would’ve hoped; especially after Tetsuya Takahashi’s Xenoblade Chronicles proved that modern J-RPGs can be extremely exciting again. Without using the words “Persona”, of course. BUT! You cannot at least deny that it’s one of his finest efforts and contributions to this generation next to Lost Odyssey.
New Super Mario Bros. U
The closest thingy we have right now to a “real” Super Mario World 2. It’s not as godly brilliant as the SNES classic, for sure. Hell, it’s not even a game that’s worth investing a Wii U just because Nintendo wants you to. But if we’re talking about experiencing a solid and polished 2D Mario game that you won’t probably find anywhere else: NSMBU delivers on all accounts.
The Walking Dead
“…and the awards for Best Supporting (video game) Actress AND Best Adapted Screenplay go to…”
It’s… one of the key reminders to why we love playing video games in the first place. And, please, don’t mind the price tag despite the game’s very short length. I mean: When you paid $15 (more or less) to watch The Hobbit in 48 frames-per-sec, did you complain afterwards? Oh, wait, you probably did. But I’m mostly pointing out to the amount of money you spent; you didn’t mind paying that much to see a 3 hour film, did you? Exact-lee.
Call me crazy, if not a fan of (Yakuza mastermind) Toshihiro Nagoshi’s gameography, but Binary Domain is (arguably) the best third-person-cover-shooter I’ve played since the original Gears of War. Shame we’ll never see the supposed planned follow up because it was such a very interesting universe. Fans of 80s style sci-fi anime will find a lot to like in this one, and that includes the dubbing.
Tales of Graces ƒ
I love Japanese RPGs as much as the next Twitter user (fans with Tetsuya Nomura, Akira Toriyama, and/or Shigenori Soejima-designed profile pictures to be precise). Whether it’s the grand adventure of saving the world, cheery characters, 90s-style dialogue, and interestingly designed combat mechanics — I always back them up, and Tales of Graces ƒ is a very good representation to the following J-RPG traits I just mentioned. Except maybe the characters because they can be pretty terribly (read: too kiddy) at times, I have to admit. Especially when compared to the previous game, which was Tales of Vesperia.
Guild Wars 2
Right, I don’t love MMORPGs as much as the next dudebro who has a healthy-and-not-so-healthy relationship with the Call of Duty franchise. That said: I was super hooked with Guild Wars 2 — to the point that I actually finished the entire single player campaign and reached level 80 a month after the game’s release date (not to brag or anything, mind you). That’s… something.
Lumines Electronic Symphony
If you need to distract me, or want me to be completely silent within the next hour or so: hand me a Vita with a copy of Lumines ES. It’s. So. Addiciting.
Persona 4 Arena
Atlus loves their fans so much, that in in 2012, they decided to release Persona 4-2! But instead of offering us the same template all over again — which I totally don’t mind! — they recruited the talented folks over from Arc System Works and instead gave us an amazing, well-presented, accessible 2D fighter that’s more than just “BlazBlue with Persona 4 characters/skins”. A true definition of fanservice, absolutely; I freaking love this game!
An odd and yet very interesting choice, and I reckon some of you are probably scratching your head at this point. But just… imagine the solo experience of Guild Wars 2’s single player campaign (well, sort of) and replace the typical PC RPG “clicky” battle interface with a solid, fun, Japanese-designed combat system that just, well, works! Dragon’s Dogma really pulled me through soon as I was messing around with my character — and his trusty sidekick — with new classes/jobs, armor, capes, weapons, and all the mumbo jumbo that represent goody-RPG-times.
And, again, it felt really awesome slicing-dicing-killing wolves, ogres, and other evil dudes with sharp objects. It’s almost like Skyrim but with a dash of anime and the best title screen… ever!