Things X 5 – January 14, 2013

by Francois Joron

Welcome back! I hope you had a great time celebrating with your loved ones. I’m glad to bring back my weekly gaming feature with a slightly new look – I hope you like it. Let’s start the new year with a bang and take a look at 5 of my most anticipated games for the first half of 2013.

Grand Theft Auto V (PS3, Xbox, PC)
Spring 2013 

There is no doubt GTA V is pretty much the most anticipated game of 2013. As far as real world inspired sandbox games go, the Rockstar’s series remains unbeaten. The careful mix of serious and absurd elements makes Grand Theft Auto quite unique in its tone, even though games like Saints Row have gone to offbeat extremes with a certain success. By the look of the latest trailer, the fifth instalment seems to bring back this mix of lighthearted and gritty gameplay along intriguing with new elements like the ability to swap between the game’s three main protagonist on the fly. But, on a more personal level, the GTA series is a gaming guilty pleasure juxtaposed to some of the best licensed music.

LEGO City Undercover (Wii U)
Early 2013

It seems I’m one of the few who is really excited for this Lego game. Although with the slew of Lego branded games released each year I do agree it is quite hard to be looking forward to a new one. Traveller’s Tale successful series is still going strong in sales but is growing a little bit stale in term of innovation and often feels like licenses swapping over a tried-and-true formula. But, this time, things could be different. Free of the limitations imposed by a proper license, the developer can do pretty much anything it wants within the Lego world and the generic, real world inspired, City theme seems perfect especially if you’re aiming for a sand box experience. From the look of the trailer, the game keeps the same humor and comic relief trademarks the series has been known for along with its simple but addictive collect-a-thon elements. More importantly though, Nintendo is behind the publishing and financing of the game, a company known to not to rush its titles to retail, which could explain the hazy “early 2013″ release date and precipitated marketing ads. But, honestly, do people realize this is pretty much Grand Theft Auto made in Lego? That pretty much seals the deal for me.

BIT.TRIP Presents Runner2: Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien
(PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Steam)

February 2013

I consider the Bit.Trip series to be one of the finest videogame experiences of the past few years, so it is no shock that Runner2, a sequel to Bit.Trip Runner, is easily the game I am looking forward to the most this year. With a bold new style, crazy unlockable characters, new moves, alternate routes and certainly plenty of other fun features, it looks like the guys at Gaijin Games have poured their heart and soul into this new chapter in the Commander Video saga. I cannot wait to get addicted again to another taste of rhythm-music platforming.

Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
Spring 2013

It’s been a long wait, but a new Pikmin is finally near release. With brand new glass shattering “brickmins”, new imposing ennemies (take a look at this recent footage from Nintendo Direct), 4 player co-op and, of course, HD graphics. Because if there is one Nintendo’s franchise that can be enhance by an HD output it is certainly Pikmin. From the footage made available so far, the game looks strikingly gorgeous emphasizing even more on the sensation of scale between you, your enemies and your surrounding environnement.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS)
Early 2013

As a fan who is in need of his Animal Crossing fix, it is almost frustrating to not have a proper release date for the new 3DS instalment. While our Japanese friends are playing with the game’s new feature like customizable furniture, evolved online interaction, streetpass and pants (!) in what seems to be the best selling 3DS game with over 2 millions copies sold so far, we are still waiting for a damn release date.

Got a Wii U during the Holidays? Don’t forget to add me! My Nintendo Network ID is Jorf-Jorf.

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