Four Games Lane Will Play Too Much of in 2012

January 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Posted in Video Games | Leave a comment
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Words can't describe how much I'm looking forward to this.

Hold on to your wallets, everyone.

A new year brings a host of new video game titles. As much as I’d like to quit my job and play games all day, I have to tend to pesky things like buying groceries and keeping the power on. As such, I have to prioritize my gaming time and budget. Some games will get pushed off until their price drops, or until Steam runs one of their crazy sales where they discount the price by some absurd amount*. Other games, however, have made it onto my Must Purchase and Play list.

*WOOOOOO I GOT KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC FOR TWO DOLLARS!

Four titles in particular are going to be day-one purchases. To the jump!

The Reboot Lane Never Expected Himself To Look Forward To: Tomb Raider

I was never that big of a Tomb Raider fan. The gameplay mechanics never sat right with me, plot seemed rather drab, the later games ranged from middling to bleh. There just wasn’t a whole lot to get me to go out and actively buy a game in this franchise. Then this happened at E3:

Holy. Frak.

If there was a franchise in need of a reboot, this was probably it, and what a reboot this is looking to be. I’m all for a Lara Croft origin story.

The Shooter Lane Looks Forward To Most: Bioshock: Infinite

There’s a few big-name first-person shooters hitting the shelves in 2012. One is Halo 4, the not-so-surprising sequel announcement that Microsoft debuted at E3 last year. That’s not the game I’m looking forward to, however. Enter Bioshock: Infinite.

I haven’t played many games that were as atmospheric and frightening as the original Bioshock, the spiritual successor to the horrifying and brilliant System Shock. What can you expect when playing a Bioshock game? Steampunk. Lots and lots of gorgeous Steampunk set in an alternate United States in 1912. Oh, and there’s also this:

Buhwhua? I was just in a magical steampunk floating city in an alternate universe.

Your guess is as good as mine.

The Game That Will Finally Get Lane To Dust Off His Nintendo Wii: Xenoblade: Chronicles

Yeah, I haven’t touched my Wii console in about two years. A library filled with shovelware and Mario rehashes has left the once impossible-to-find game system powered off for a long, long time. That looks like it’s going to be changing on April 2nd this year.

Xenoblade Chronicles is the Japanese-styled role playing game North American gamers have been clamoring to get for the better part of two years. Boasting large, beautiful environments that beg for exploration, compelling characters, and a plot loved by Japanese and UK critics, Xenoblade Chronicles is regarded as being a bright beacon in a genre of games that has struggled for international sales during this console generation.

The Game Lane Already Has Vacation Booked For: Mass Effect 3

Have I mentioned how much I love Mass Effect? I have? Tough. I have not enjoyed a set of games over the last decade and change as much as I’ve enjoyed Mass Effect. Five years ago I created a character that’s gone through nearly eighty hours of gameplay and I’m itching to throw another forty at my incarnation of Jane Shepard.

Admittedly, this is also the game I’m most nervous about. My expectations are sky high and I do worry that Mass Effect 3 is going to suffer from Return of the Jedi syndrome. No matter how good it is, it simply won’t stack up to the masterpiece that was Mass Effect 2.

As I’m obligated to say every time I mention Mass Effect in an article, if you’re a Star Wars fan and you have even a passing interest in video games, you owe it to yourself to play this trilogy. You may have noticed that there are no titles from the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Aside from Kinect Star Wars (which may or may not be released this year), there’s not much coming out from Lucasarts as far as the Star Wars IP goes. With the lack of titles, why don’t you take the time and play through a more-than-suitable substitute in Mass Effect?

Looking Beyond 2012

While I was looking at the list of game releases for 2012, I thought it looked somewhat slim. Granted, there are some fantastic titles coming out this year, there just aren’t as many as I thought there would be. On a cursory look through some gaming blogs I read once or twice a day*, I saw that rumors are beginning to spiral that both Microsoft and Sony are looking increasingly likely to reveal successors to the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 at this year’s E3.

*Read: Whenever I’m trying to avoid doing productive things.

If this is true, it could explain the somewhat light looking release schedule for this year. If the market is a year or two away from new consoles, developers may have begun shifting their efforts to developing for those new platforms. Long story short? Begin saving those pennies, it’s looking like we’re nearing the end of this console generation.

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