In this special Staff Sez, we ask the staff what they are most anticipating in the latter part of 2012.
Video Game fans rejoice come the fall season almost every year. It is that special time where nearly every week is filled with a high profile release. This year's fall season is not only filled with some great content on the 3DS, but also the release of the Wii U. Like Staff Sez's in the past, we prompted the entire staff with a question "What are your most anticipated games this fall?" However, instead of limiting their response to one line, we wanted to know every facet of their fall hype; so we gave them a paragraph to do so.
Read on to find out what everybody is looking forward to getting their hands on this fall. If there is anything special you are very excited about shout it out in the talkback below.
Neal "Skylander Giants" Ronaghan
For me, there are two non-Nintendo-published games that are tipping the scales of anticipation. Skylanders Giants is the sequel to one of my favorite games of 2011, and as such, I can't wait to use all my toys and fight evil and junk. Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, a throwback to old Disney platformers, is something that speaks my gaming language. I love DreamRift's games, and I have a soft spot for Disney. On the Nintendo-published front, Paper Mario: Sticker Star looks fantastic and Nintendo Land is, by far, my most anticipated Wii U game. All in all, I'm pretty sure I have the same gaming tastes that I did when I was five years old. I have no problem with this.
Alex "Paper Mario" Culafi
After a bit of deliberation, I think the game I'm most excited about is New Super Mario Bros. U. It's clear that (unlike the 3DS game) this has the 2D Mario A-team behind it, and it seems like it is being treated as a love letter to games of the past. The other Mario game I'm excited for is Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Paper Mario and its sequel are two of my favorite games, and even though I'm fearful of the new changes, I have confidence in Intelligent Systems. It also seems necessary to give honorable mentions to Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two and the PlayStation Vita game Persona 4: Golden. I'm a huge fan of the original Epic Mickey, and view it as one of the most creative platformers I have ever played. Considering that Junction Point will jam in tons of classic Disney stuff, I have faith that the sequel will be even better. And as far as Persona goes, I played Persona 3 for the first time a couple of months ago, loved everything about it, and am especially excited to try the definitive version of the sequel.
Carmine "LEGO City" Red
I'm currently looking at my list of "will-buy" Wii U launch window games and having difficulty singling any of them out. But if I had to pick just one, it'd be Lego City: Undercover. I'm starved for some open-world action ala the Wii's Godfather: Blackhand, and have never owned a Lego game before, so that's a double whammy of newness for me. There's some danger that Lego City: Undercover will slip to a 2013 release though so let me pick a backup choice: Karaoke Joysound for the Wii. It must be obvious that I enjoy Karaoke, but the reason I'm pumped for a Wii game despite the Wii U's imminent launch is that Karaoke Joysound may be the answer to my karaoke prayers. Karaoke Joysound will put a huge selection of songs at my fingertips, 1000 songs in their online library that I can't wait to sing poorly. I apologize in advance to all my neighbors.
Pedro "Epic Mickey" Hernandez
While there are many cool games coming out in the fall and holiday season, the one that has captured my heart and imagination is Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion. It's no secret that I am a big Disney fan; I have been since I was 4 years old. Mainly, I have been a huge fan of the Disney animated classics, from Snow White to Tangled; I love them all. When I read that Power of Illusion was going to feature worlds and characters from the movies, I was in. The animated movies mean a lot to me, and Power of Illusion so far looks to pay loving tribute to them in a spectacular manner.
Zach "Code of Princess" Miller
My first most-anticipated game is easy: Code of Princess. I've written about it before. It was my Game of Show at E3. It's a brawler with RPG trappings and, most importantly, a busty, scantily-clad princess with a giant sword. Otherwise, I can't think of too many "most anticipated" games. Dead or Alive 5 is up there, and I'll most likely own it by the time you're reading this. I've been anticipating Darksiders 2 all year, but I've also been happy to wait until the Wii U version, which I'm still happy to do (I've heard the PS3 version is extremely buggy). I wouldn't say I'm holding my breath for WayForward's take on Silent Hill (Book of Memories), but I certainly want to try it out...and have something to play on my Vita. Oddly enough, most of the Wii U launch library isn't a huge draw for me. Sure, I'll buy NSMB U, but it's not like I'm counting the days until its release. 2012 would've been a lot more interesting if so many of its games hadn't been pushed back to 2013.
Jonathan "Fluidity" Metts
As most RFN listeners will know, I play a variety of platforms now, and my most anticipated games of the fall reflect that. However, I also have a deep backlog (which I am AGGRESSIVELY clearing) and thus don't plan to buy very many games upon release date over the next few months. My gaming appetite is such that, even then, I'm left planning to buy several irresistible titles this fall. The must-have Wii U launch title is, unquestionably, New Super Mario Bros. U. Not only does it promise to be one of the most substantial exclusives for the new console, it is by far the most impressive and interesting game in the "New" series; I'm such an ardent Mario fan that even a whiff of actual give-a-shit from Nintendo is enough to rev the ol' motor skills. Zombi U is a much less assured quantity, but the early demos have been promising, and Ubisoft has had a lot of time to stick the landing on this one. Over on 3DS, it's not a great holiday season lineup, but I am looking forward to the first Paper Mario in several years, especially if the writing and battle pacing are a bit leaner and quicker, respectively, than we've previously seen. The other high-value target is Power of Illusion, and this is a testament to my adoration and respect for Dream Rift moreso than any penchant for Disney or Epicness or Mickey Mouse. There is eShop lovin' on the horizon as well, with a rather unlikely but most certainly welcome sequel to Fluidity dropping soon. Looking to the multi-platform side of things, I am very anxious for Assassin's Creed III to revive that franchise after a couple of utterly unappealing side games; this one may end up on my GamePad, if I can busy myself through its earlier release/hype/backlash cycle on other platforms. X-COM: Enemy Unknown looks strikingly addictive, just like its forebears, yet hopefully much less sadistic. Finally, I was charmed to no end by early demos of Hell Yeah, and this chainsawbunnyvania game will be downloaded with great haste as soon as the gatekeepers allow.
Andrew "Zombi" Brown
First and foremost on my list is, of course, New Super Mario Bros. U. A Nintendo console doesn't feel the same without at least one denizen of the Mushroom Kingdom to start things off with, and from what I've played in demos and seen in previews since then, it looks like the franchise is going strong as ever and it's bound to be a blast. If I had to pick one third party title, it'd probably be Zombi U. Horror games are a big deal to me and this looks like the first game to properly capture the atmosphere of the classic apocalyptic zombie films and provide a true meaning to the term "survival horror". Resident Evil 6 looks okay, but after 5 I'm not holding my breath...
Tyler "New Super Mario Bros." Ohlew
What am I most looking forward to this Fall? Why only New Super Mario Bros. U, of course! No, Neal's not behind me with a gun to my head with Reggie behind him doing the same. It's super exciting! As soon as you put slanty mountains in the background, you know you're in for a good time. Plus, NSMB2 didn't satiate my need for Mario...in fact, I can never be fulfilled! Runner-up would be Code of Princess. Although, it's not for the breasts. I'm more of a decomposing witch kind of guy.
Josh "Pokemon" Max
Now I'm gonna be a bit of an oddball here. One of my most anticipated games is Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. I know they've been out in Japan for a while now, but I've been really good and kept myself spoiler free! Aside from that? Nintendo Land. Oh dear sweet gods in Asgard, I am excited for that game. I have played nine of the twelve games and I still haven't had enough of it. With achievements to unlock and friendships to ruin, that game still has a lot more life in it for me. It's actually weird how excited I am for it.
Tom "Assassin's Creed" Malina
It goes without saying that I'm greatly looking forward to the Mario double whammy, with Paper Mario: Sticker Star on 3DS and New Super Mario Bros. U on Wii U. The former looks to be breaking new ground for the portly plumber's RPG antics, building itself around a fascinating core mechanic. Meanwhile, the latter has me excited for some good old top-quality platforming action, but now with intriguing new modes and a big boost in production values. On the third-party front, I am eagerly awaiting a couple of Ubisoft titles (a surprise in itself!) First of all, every new detail I learn about ZombiU has me more and more interested. In addition, I'll be there day one for Assassin's Creed III. It will be my first foray into the popular series, but it would seem like a fine place to jump in. It's not often that I watch every trailer for a game and think for the entire duration of every one: "This looks so damn cool!"
Nicholas "Sonic Racing" Bray
Seeing as though we are only two months away from the Wii U, my most anticipated first party games are quite simply, Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros U. I think Nintendo Land will be a lot of fun, especially in multiplayer. As for the new Mario game, well, what can I say? It's Mario and it looks to be a step up in terms of art assets and game design over New Super Mario Bros 2. For third party Wii U games, at the moment I am considering Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed. I really liked the original on the 360 and had hoped that the Wii U would see a port. I am also contemplating picking up 007 Legends, as I think its looking pretty good, and I enjoyed Goldeneye 007 on the Wii quite a bit. The theme of Bond is also a bit more appealing to me than Call of Duty.
David "Rayman Legends" Egolf
This one's tough for me. I'm generally not one to get too hyped up about unreleased games, but this year is different. If you'd have asked me this a few months ago, I probably would've just shrugged my shoulders and said "Mists of Pandaria," completely ignoring the fact that it's only an expansion and not a full game. In the recent months, however, I've gotten far more hyped up about the Wii U launch. I've got New Super Mario Bros U, ZombiU, and Assassins Creed III preorderd (with my deluxe Wii U, so Nintendo Land as well.) I've seen more game footage for Rayman Legends, and I've been thinking about Darksiders II for a while now (for the PC, but more recently for the Wii U.) I can honestly say that I really am not sure which I'm most excited about.
Justin "Nintendo Land" Berube
On the console side of things I’m really looking forward to Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. When I first saw Nintendo Land, I wasn’t impressed, but after playing it I knew that this game was going to be a sleeper hit for many. Super Mario is my favorite game series so just seeing the recent trailers for the Wii U title has me doing triple jumps. Handheld wise I really want Paper Mario: Sticker Star since I wasn’t a fan of Super Paper Mario and am happy to see the series return to its roots. Additionally it will be fun to see how the 3DS changes the Layton formula in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. Overall, Nintendo fans have a lot to look forward to over the next several months and these are only a few of the games I want to play.
Danny "Bravely Default" Bivens
Being in Japan definitely has its advantages when it comes to Nintendo releases on the handheld platform. Sure, I'm going to have to wait a few weeks longer than the rest of the world to pick up my Wii U, but there are definitely plenty of titles to keep me busy while waiting for it. Things start off early in Japan in October with the releases of both Bravely Default: Flying Fairy and Project X Zone. The hits just keep on rolling, too, with Animal Crossing, EX Troopers and Fantasy Life (an awesome action/RPG from Level 5) are set to hit store shelves before the end of the year. On top of that, I'm planning on picking up a Wii U on day one with New Super Mario Bros. U, ZombiU, possibly Nintendo Land, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate HD (I'm hoping to get the bundle with the Wii U Pro controller). To throw even more to the pile, as long as I can nab a Premium Wii U set, I'll have access to the Wii U beta for Dragon Quest X. Being a gamer with Japanese hardware can really pay off!
Patrick "Batman" Barnett
This fall is looking to be one of my most expensive holiday seasons yet. Between all the great 3DS content approaching (Professor Latyon / Paper Mario), there is a bountiful amount of eShop content to look forward to as well. The Wii U's launch is also promising plenty of great things to look forward to. I will be picking up Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, Assassins Creed 3, and Batman: Arkham City on launch day. Although I am excited for all of these games, the one thing that I am really anticipating is the Wii U eShop. Toki Tori 2, Trine 2, Little Inferno, and Cloudberry Kingdom all look to be great games for this upcoming fall season.