I know what youíre thinking: Isnít it a little early to list off the best games of 2013? And if youíre not thinking thatÖ think about it! I mean, the Oscars havenít even happened yet: those people havenít necessarily had a chance to see all the nominated films yet, and they actually have some professional obligation to do so. I donít, and videogames are so much harder to get through besides! So youíre right, it is too early, and I havenít had a chance to play all the 2013 games Iím interested in yet, but goddamnit Iíve started playing 2014 games and I donít know when Iím gonna get around to buying stupid Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Rising and I wanna make this goddamn list already so fuck off!
Er, anyway, 2013 was a ridiculously great year for videogames. So much good stuff! All ten of these games are A-level wonderful, wonderful games. To say nothing of what I left off Ė so much great stuff Ė including Pokťmon X which is possibly the best Pokťmon game ever because you can catch a Farfetchíd two hours in.
2014 on the other hand looks a bit dreary by comparison I must admit. But there are some interesting games coming. Since I still havenít done my most anticipated games of the year list yet either, Iíll try to mix them in with this list. Thatís like two lists youíre getting! You lucky dogs. And, as a bonus, howzabout I throw some other random 2013 Ďawardsí in as well? Iíve just changed the title of this blog from ĎSpectacularí to ĎExtravaganzaí.
Most Anticipated! #10! Shovel Knight!
Iím not a huge fan of all these retro-styled games, banking on nostalgia, because, well, I grew up with the N64 Ė Iím not nostalgic for those old games, and honestly I donít even really like that many of them. However, Shovel Knight stands out to me from amongst many of the other indie pixel art games Ė I sense, thereís real heart in this one, and talent, and it may be worth playing.
Random Award! Best Graphics!
Killer is Dead! If you skip the side-missions, Killer is Dead can be pretty fun (despite being by far the worst Suda game in terms of characters and writing). But thatís not the reason to play this game;†Killer is Dead is an extraordinary and sometimes hypnotic audio-visual experience, and though it wonít make my top 10 list in a year so packed with all-around excellent titles, for this it does deserve special mention.
GOTY#10! The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds!
Despite Legend of Zelda being my favourite game series, Iíve never really been able to get into the old top-down ones. Iíve never finished any of them. But this oneÖ Iím just about to do the final dungeon, and Iíve had a blast with it from start to finish. The dungeon design is fantastic, there are tons of cool secrets to findÖ Itís great, easily my favourite portable Zelda game after Phantom Hourglass.
Most Anticipated! #9! Persona 5!
Iíve never played a Persona game before but Iíve been long-curious to give it a shot. Now admittedly, my experience trying to play my first Shin Megami Tensei game with the new one last year on 3DS did not work out so well (er, I did not make it past the tutorial dungeon), but I still hold out hope that the spin-off series will be more my cup of tea.
Random Award! Best New Character(s) of 2013!
Grace and Savannah from Tokyo Crash Mobs!
GOTY #9!Super Mario 3D World!
2013 was great for couch multiplayer, thanksÖ mostly to this game. While I wouldnít go quite so far with my praise for it as some people Ė the game didnít do much that was truly new Ė absolutely I think itís the best of both worlds from Mario 3D Land and the New Super Mario Bros series, and, outside of Smash, it's probably the best multiplayer game Nintendoís ever made. Itís pure fun, and thereís been no shortage of people to play it with, living in residence now.
Most Anticipated! #8! Watch Dogs!
The Wii U version is still coming, right? Anyway, Watch Dogs looks damn neat, and Iím all for a big budget game that is not a sequel.
Random Award! Best Virtual Console Release!
Earthbound! Iíve made the decision not to count this as a proper 2013 game, to free up a much-needed spot on my list. But Earthbound was one of my most memorable gaming experiences of the year, and one of my top 2013 releases all the same. For some reason I could never get into Earthbound, playing it in an unofficial capacity on emulator several years back. And, Iíll be honest, if the Wii U VC didnít have its own save-anywhere feature, I could see this being a very frustrating game. But playing it now, like this, Iíve absolutely fallen in love with the world of Earthbound, and the characters, and Iím thrilled to have had the chance to play it in this capacity. Hopefully Mother 3 will finally get an official release soon too. What was that about GBA games coming to Wii U?
GOTY #8!Rayman Legends!
Rayman is the other wonderful couch multiplayer game Iíve been playing with friends a lot, and while most seem to be a bit more partial to Mario 3D World, to me Rayman is the much fresher game experience. Itís a brilliant platformer, itís brimming with new ideas, it makes far better use of the Wii Gamepad, andÖ itís a blast to play. Itís maybe the best multiplayer platformer Iíve ever played.
Most Anticipated! #7! Metal Gear Solid V!
While Iíve given up on ever truly understanding the story of the MGS games, I think theyíre some of the most technically impressive games around, I really enjoy the stealth gameplay, and I canít help anticipating the newest instalment.
Random Award! Best game from a different year that I played for the first time this year!
Chulip! A classic of the kissing adventure game genre! Okay, Chulip is marred somewhat by some series gameplay flaws, but I loved it so much despite that, and now that some time has passed since I played it, the good sticks with me far more than the bad. It could almost be one of my favourite games. You know what, Iím gonna write it a love letter:
Dear Chulip, I really really love you, Chulip. I love you very much. Please give me a kiss next time. End.
GOTY #7!Pikmin 3!
Pikmin 3 was my most anticipated Wii U game, period. Itís one of my favourite series, and I couldnít think of a better one to lead off Nintendoís first foray into HD gaming. I donít think Pikmin 3 is quite as perfect as Pikmin 1, nor does it have the sheer wealth of content that Pikmin 2 does (I was actually surprised when it ended so soon, I was still expecting to get the purple and white pikmin!), but it is certainly the most beautiful and polished Pikmin game yet, and absolutely one of the most enjoyable games Iíve played all year. I loved every minute.
Most Anticipated! #6! Mario Kart 8!
I havenít been this interested in a Mario Kart game inÖ some time. The Wii one was kind of lame, and I didnít even bother with the 3DS game. The best Mario Kart Ė the last great one Ė in my opinion, is the DS Mario Kart. They nailed that one. Except it was on the DS. And Mario Kart belongs on console, to be played in local multiplayer. Mario Kart 64 is hard to play nowadays; I want a new, definitive Kart game. And from everything Iíve seen of 8, it looks like thereís enormous potential there for this to be it.
Random Award! Game everybody loves I most want to slag off!
Heh, Iím not gonna make any friends with this award. But I canít help slagging off Fire Emblem: Awakening. Itís made me realize I do not like turn-based strategy games. Itís the same problem I have with Advance Wars. These games walk the line between boring and frustrating. Depending on the difficulty level itís one or the other. It never actually threatens to be fun. However, there is one thing that sets Fire Emblem apart from other games in the genre: the extreme wealth of inane chatterbollocks between missions. Itís worse than Mass Effect! Honestly, you guys!
GOTY #6!The Last of Us!
After Uncharted 3 I was no longer impressed by Naughty Dogís hallmark spectacle, and I was fed up with their annoying-ass characters. When I put The Last of Us in my PS3 for the first time however, it was immediately striking Ė this was something different, something special, and something from the heart. And itís not the story, why I like this game, though itís certainly compelling. I am perplexed by pop cultureís current interest in ďemotional zombie shitĒ (as Shinta once wonderfully put it), and I sure as hell didnít cry seeing Ellie pet some giraffes out of nowhere (though my dad did snicker a little when he entered the room at that moment), but no Ė it is the gameplay I like. I love the gameplay, the atmosphere, the tension and fear, the strategy, the design and graphics, the characterizations, and the story Ė itís the whole damn package. Itís damn near flawless from top to bottom.
Most Anticipated! #5! Super Smash Bros. for Wii U!
Whereas I feel the Mario Kart series is dying for a definitive instalment, I feel that the Smash Bros. series has already been perfected. That said, Smash is my favourite multiplayer game series Ė the best party game around Ė and I canít help looking more forward to this than the next Kart. And hey, maybe Travisíll be in itÖ Sigh. He wonít. But itíd be great.
Random Award! Fuck videogames; Best Music Album and Song of 2013!
The Next Day by David Bowie. I havenít really listened to any other 2013 music (besides the new Chameleons Vox EP), and I canít really be fucked to, but irregardless: OH MY GOD DAVID BOWIEíS BACK AFTER TEN YEARS AND AMAZING STILL!
GOTY #5!Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch!
Ni No Kuni is a game about a little boy who accidentally causes his motherís death. In his inability to cope with this situation, he dreams up a fantasy world in his mind wherein he may be able to bring his mother back to life in the real world, though we, the player, soon realize itís just a fantasy, and the game is most certainly not going to end with his mother actually coming back to life. This interplay between real and fantastic worlds calls to mind other Studio Ghibli works and especially Spirited Away. And like that movie, it is beautifully handled (and way less depressing than I describe). Ni No Kuni is a thoroughly enchanting game, everything I hoped it would be. And while I was worried the JRPG gameplay would be a dull grindfest, in fact I never found that, and I quite enjoyed the Pokťmon-style monster catching and fighting. Though Ni No Kuni came out in January, itís by far one of the most memorable games of the year, and Iím already wondering if I havenít placed it too low on this list. Too many amazing games!
Most Anticipated! #4! Fantasy Life!
Fantasy Life is that RPG where you can play as the postman if you want because why not. It looks like adorable fun. It was on my list last year, and I donít think Iíve actually heard anything about it since then. Someone localize it already!
Random Award! Best Movie of 2013!
The Next Day, starring Gary Oldman and the stunning Merriam CotillardÖ Even if I had seen more than a couple actual 2013 movies, I think Iíd still be pretty adamant that this Bowie music video is the motion picture of the year.
GOTY #4!†Luigiís Mansion: Dark Moon!
Luigiís Mansion brought me back to the days of playing games like Super Mario 64 for the first time as a kid. Hereís a first party Nintendo game like nothing Iíve ever played before, but with all the polish, charm and brilliance of the games that made me fall in love with them in the first place. Iíve never played the original Luigiís Mansion; itís a new style of gameplay for me, and as fun and perfectly executed as any Nintendo game Iíve ever played.
Most Anticipated! #3! Hyrule Warriors!
I just started playing Dynasty Warriors 8 Ė my first foray into the series Ė recently, andÖ Iím not really sure what I think about it yetÖ But whatever, the idea of a Zelda-Dynasty Warriors crossover is so ridiculous and hilarious to me that I canít help it being one of my most anticipated games.
Random Award! Best Movie from a different year that I watched for the first time this year!
Love Exposure! The latest addition to my top ten favourite movies of all time. It is everything good forever. A wickedly funny and beautiful epic romantic bildungsroman about religion and perverts. I hate trying to describe it. And anyway itíll no doubt mean something different to everyone who watches it. Itís a four-hour long Japanese film but it feels like 2 hours. My highest recommendation.
GOTY #3!Animal Crossing: New Leaf!
Oh my god I hate this game. I played it for like 200 hours before I finally gave up on it. Iím still missing that one goddamn fossil. This game is so fucking addictive. I just wish it didnít take so long for Blathers to wake up, or for the Nooklings to sell me those damn fortune cookies. And of course Gaston moved out as soon as I stopped playingÖ Gaston! My favourite neighbour! Now some fucking prick I streetpassed has him. Son of a bitch. Anyway, the whole mayor thing was a stroke of goddamn genius, as itís made me feel as invested in customizing my town as my house and character. My town, which goes to ruin now without me. Jesus Christ.
Most Anticipated! #2! Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze!
Okay, this game did come out like 3 days ago. And Iíve already played the first world. But believe me, even before I played it, before it started getting 10/10 reviews, this was at the top of my most anticipated games list! DKCR is perhaps my favourite 2D platformer of all-time, I like it better than any 2D Mario or the like. And this looks like more of that. But even more fun and with the best enemy designs ever and also HD monkey fur. Now, playing itÖ so far so good. And one more thing stands out as a stroke of sheer genius: Cranky Kong is playable and Funky Kong replaces him at the store.
Random Award! Worst Sequel!
The sequel to my PS3 getting the yellow light of doom in December 2012! After paying 100+ dollars to get it repaired from Sony only to find Iíd permanently lost two and a half years of save data, and then having to redownload, one by one, every single game and piece of DLC of PSN Ė way over a hundred things Ė and reinstall all my disc-based gamesÖ Exactly one year later, Iím watching my new blu-ray of Love Exposure, and all of a sudden my PS3 craps out exactly like it did the last time. I was literally one day away from buying a harddrive to finally back up my data to (as well a bunch of games for it). I decided: Iím not getting it repaired, Iím waiting and maybe Iíll buy a slim in a couple years when theyíre like $100. Anyway, I bought a slim from a friend 3 days ago, and my mum got the old PS3 repaired by a third party for her to keep Ė it lasted about a week but I got my data backed up to copy to the new one. But just save data backs up apparently so I still have to redownload everythingÖ or not botherÖ IN SUM: Fuck Sony! <3
GOTY #2!Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate!
Though I did kind of abandon Monster Hunter prematurely to play other things (with the intention of returning to it), I still maintain that itís one of the most enjoyable and refreshing gaming experiences in a long time, and indeed the best online co-op game Iíve ever played, if not the best online game, period. What an enjoyable game, like nothing Iíve ever played, and addictive as all hell. Anyway, I wrote a thing about it when it was actually fresh in my memory you can read if you want.
Most Anticipated! #1! Whatever Onion Games is Working On!
This is a bit of a cop-out since there isnít an actual game announced and god knows if thereíll be something out this year, but I wanted to bump stupid Yarn Yoshi out of my top ten most anticipated games, and frankly there isnít one game that Iím as excited for as Iíd be if, say, Yoshiro Kimuraís new game were to be announced to be coming out. Anyway, have you seen the latest blog post Ė he revealed character designs for this mystery game and theyíre amazing. Thereís a guy whose face is shaped like an onion who also has one of those upside-down faces where his face is a different face when you flip it over. And also thereís a guy whoís an asparagus with a face and then another face on his butt. Also, naked mariachis. This is my most anticipated game.
Random Award! Best thing I bought with money in 2013!
Zatoichi blu-ray boxset! The Zatoichi movies are so consistently great itís ridiculous. Itís like the best movie series ever. And look at this boxset. Itís so awesome!
GOTY #1!The Wonderful 101
The Wonderful 101 is the best game on the Wii U, itís the best action game Iíve ever played, itís breathlessly paced, funny, spectacular and visually gorgeous, itís a totally unique combat system that only gets better and better as you get better at it, itís a complete game experience, huge yet so full of little details, and just when you think it canít possibly feel climactic in the wake of what came before, my god, that endingÖ What more can I say about The Wonderful 101, I feel like Iíve said it all before. Just buy it, if you have a Wii U and like cool videogames. Itís everything I want the Wii U to be about, and itís freaking awesome.
Since blogging on Destructoid, I havenít done as many stupid Ďupdate on what games Iíve been playing/thinking about/excited for recentlyí-type blogs as I used to. I guess I feel like thereís more pressure here to better develop my ideas into something more fully-formed Ė something with a point Ė lest I appear in the recaps under ďcould be betterĒ and feel bad for pushing more worthy blog posts off the first page.
But then there are times when Iím inspired to think about videogames enough that I just want to unite morph my random unconnected thoughts into a giant fist and punch my blog with demented prattle. And anyway, random blogs Ďbecause videogamesí are in fashion†now, so let me be!
Anyway, I declare this a new segment on my blog (meaning I might do another one ever): Grethiwords! I write the words about the videogames! Because Iíve been thinking about the videogames! Videogames!
I just finished The Wonderful 101. Itís awesome. Like, my favourite game on the Wii U awesome. Like, the best action game Iíve ever played awesome. I didnt even realise it was an action game at first Ė to me it just looked like a cross between Pikmin and Ōkami, from the creator of the latter, and that was enough to sell me on it, I needed no more. But this is an action game. Like God of War. Or some other action game. I donít play a lot of action games honestly. Combo systems scare me. Maybe I should try Kamiyaís other action games ≠Ė Devil May Cry or Bayonetta? Iíve played the demos for those gamesÖ Bayonetta I could barely play. Maybe if I played it from the start Ė like Wonderful 101 where the gameplay isnít especially satisfying at first but gets more and more fun the better I get at it the farther into it I get, maybe I could get better at Bayonetta? Anyway, I always thought that game looked totally pandering, and I figure these games lack the charm I love in Kamiyaís cartoony games besides. Now Viewtiful JoeÖ I will buy that†in a heartbeat if it gets made available through the virtual console or an HD update or something.
Anyway, The Wonderful 101 does not play like a typical action game, and perhaps thatís why I was so able to embrace it. Its gameplay is also nothing like Pikmin or any of the other 100-guys-following-you-around games. But it is such a unique system, that like I said gets steadily more enjoyable the better I got at it, and I just love it. And like a true action game, it is breathlessly paced, and full of ludicrous set-pieces. It is also one of the most gorgeous and visually intensive games Iíve played. And itís also damn long for a game paced so ≠Ė I had heard it was gonna be short, but it lasted me a good 20 hours. I cringe to think how much they spent on this game considering the sales Ė but I donít care, because I love it for the spectacle it is. Itís such a complete†game, so full of detail and perfectly executed. I wasnít sure it was gonna end in a way that truly manages to feel climactic in the wake of everything that came before, while still utilizing all the mechanics and everything Iíd learned to that point Ė I wasnít sure it was possible Ė but holy hell did they ever pull it off. Hats off to Platinum games.
And did I mention how damn funny and full of personality the game is?
Anyway, The Wonderful 101ís got me thinking about my 2013 games of the year. Which Iíll be posting on this blog no doubt well into February or March with all the games I still need to play. But I canít wait Ďtil then! I wanna talk about it now! So, spoiler alert: The Wonderful 101 is the frontrunner for my GOTY. Anyway, I already have eight games this year (nine if you count Earthbound; I wonít) that are so damn good itíd be sin to leave them off my top 10 at the end of the year. Whereas last year I could only come up with 3 must-play games for the year.
At the risk of sounding like a twat, 2013 is an amazing year to be a Nintendo fan. Six out of these eight games are on Nintendo consoles. And four of those are Wii U games. The Wii U is amazing and people should start buying it. Thereís enough good stuff now, and I still have to play the new Mario game next week, and Deus Ex (though Iíll wait for a price drop on that), not to mention The Wind Waker HD. So much good stuff.
Anyway, I also still need to play Killer Is Dead, and Fire EmblemÖ The upcoming Zelda gameÖ I gotta pick up Grand Theft Auto V. And Saints Row IV. And if thatís not enough, Iíve been watching some Hong Kong movies lately and feel compelled now to play last yearís Sleeping Dogs. Too much open-world! Waiting for a price drop on Dynasty Warriors 8, but Iím excited to finally try that series. Gonna get Pokťmon X. And maybe I should play Bioshock Infinite, now that I think of it. (Edit: I forgot about†Attack of the Friday Monsters,†Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, and the new†Ace Attorney...) Haha. Fuck. Do not expect my games of the year list by March.
And how the hell will I narrow it down to 10?
And now for something completely different. I did a blog about Love-de-Lic recently, which Iím actually kind of proud of, although itís secretly just a romantic love letter to game director Yoshiro Kimura. Thereís a scene in his game Chulip where the boy writes his first love letter, and that scene makes me so happy I want to cry.
Anyway, I didnít know what he was up to now when I wrote that blog, but I just found out, from Podtoid of all places. Heís started an indie company called Onion Games and, as discussed on Podtoid, he has a twitter account in which he writes from the perspective of a sentient onion. It is amazing. But even more amazing to me is his blog/website, started mid-September. He writes diary updates like this one, and somehow, because of the cartoons he draws with it, and because of the way itís written, in broken English, it somehow captures that mixture of child-like innocence and serious feelings from his games that I always find so beautiful and makes me want to cry so. I love it so much!
He also posts pixel art on the blog. Like this:
Isnít it the best?! Look at it!! <3
Anyway, I still have no idea what kind of game heís working on, but according to the blog, ďOnion games is making game happilyĒ, and I couldnít be happier to read that.
Jim Sterling left Destructoid. In case you didn't know. Which is to me kind of like Mr. Destructoid leaving Dtoid for another website, so intrinsic is Jim to this place. And I'm still baffled by the lack of fanfare.
My head has been awhirl all day wondering if I even want to stick around this place now. Up until this morning when I happened upon the news mentioned off-handedly in a c-blog, everything at Dtoid was great for me. The rise in melodramatic posts as of late about the site becoming less and less fun left me unfazed, because I can only dedicate so much time to this shit, and as far as I'm concerned, the news, and personalities and content, in the capacity I have to digest them, are enough for me. But now without Jim, it's a whole other equation, and all of a sudden the front page does seem a bit dry to me. And I remember when my favourite editors left the last gaming site I used to browse, how hollow an experience it was to stick around afterwards as long as I did.
Anyway, since the best explanations of the situation seem to currently be found through such means as wading through Twitter posts, and Deadly Premonition let's plays Ė for the part where Jim talks about what happened for a bit before getting distracted by a cutscene Ė I will briefly post my findings.
- There seems to have been some sort of disagreement between Jim and Dale about the type or capacity of content Jim was to contribute, which he thought they could compromise on, but apparently they couldn't (wth) and decided it was best to get a divorce. But they're on friendly terms and mommy and daddy both still love you.
- Podtoid is now "The Dismal Jesters" and you can find it here for now. And it was just added to iTunes apparently as I was typing this. It's like, a regular episode of Podtoid.
That's about all I've got. Anyway, I did scout some other gaming sites today, but ultimately my conclusion is, I love Dtoid, and it still meets my needs as well or better than any other site out there, and it's crazy early to think about jumping ship. And I can still follow Jim separately on Youtube and the Escapist and the new podcast. And I'm encouraged by Dale North's words in a reply on another cblog, about the direction of the site and wanting to liven up the front page. It sounds pretty good. And there are still plenty of great people, in the staff and community. I'll stick around awhile yet, friends.
But now, Jim does deserve a proper Dtoid farewell.
Pleased to enjoy this list of things I want. They are things. I would be happy if they were real things. Probably they are not.
...Yeah. I've not listed anything we know is coming at E3, nor anything too boring, that we just had or can obviously expect. And in a way this is my wishlist (for Nintendo 1st party/published stuff) for the whole of the Wii U's lifespan. And even then I think these range from wishful thinking to totally impossible. But think if they happened!
10. New Star Fox
I haven't played much†Star Fox. I played the N64 game (on VC)... once. I didn't like the whole arcadey play-the-whole-game-in-one-sitting thing, and I don't think I actually beat it, but it was quite fun while it lasted. I think I've played the SNES original a little bit... and not cared. How were the Gamecube ones? Point is, this is a franchise that's skipped a generation, and that I think has a lot of untapped potential and there's room for it to make one hell of a comeback. I want a truly amazing†Star Fox†game.
9. 2014 Year of Waluigi
Waluigi is my favourite†Mario†character. Wario has two whole serieses. Luigi's been getting plenty of attention these days. Now it's about time Waluigi got his own game. I don't care what it is. Nintendo's take on the stealth genre? It literally doesn't matter.
8. Super Smash Bros. U includes Travis Touchdown
Super Smash Bros.†is to my mind the best party game, hands down, and it's definitely the confirmed thing I'm most excited just to actually see. But my number one wish for it is to include Travis Touchdown as a playable character. Suda's expressed his interest in this. And his existing moveset in his own games already translates perfectly to Smash Bros.
7. Earthbound Bundle
This is already speculated to be coming for the Wii U.†I'd love this. Both†Earthbound†and†Mother 3†are games I've tried to play on emulator but I've not gotten far in either. Being able to play them in an official capacity on the gamepad however, may be the motivation I need to really get into these games. We already know†Earthbound†is coming to Virtual Console, but a†Mother 3†release would be more important, and I'd love to be there for some kind of series-celebrating physical special-edition release or something.
6. Battalion Wars/Endless Ocean 3
Though these series have little to do with one another,†Battalion Wars 2†and†Endless Ocean†are both Wii games I got really into way back in 2007, and though they're often forgotten about nowadays, I think they're both ideal for the Wii U. I think the control possibilities for†Battalion Wars†on the gamepad are limitless, and I think†Endless Ocean, more than just about any game I can think of, would benefit from HD photorealistic graphics.
5. Real-time 3D Pokťmon Red Remake
This is a pipe dream I've had probably since forever. I want a fully-3D open-world†Pokťmon†game. One in which for battles you control Pokťmon in 3D space in real time and use the environment the way Pokťmon do in the show. It would be a ridiculous undertaking for Nintendo, having to animate all those Pokťmon... but I only really want the first 151 to be in it anyhow. Yeah, this would be higher up if I thought there was even a slight chance of it happening.
4. Skip Ltd. Bundle
I mentioned this in my last blog, how happy I would be if Nintendo localized†New Play Control Chibi-Robo†and†Captain Rainbow†and threw them out there, together in a bundle. I don't even care if they're up-resed for the Wii U. I just want to play these games.
3. Gamecube Games on VC, includes Cubivore
Okay, GC on VC is something that needs to happen. Hell, Sony's already got PS2 games on the PS3; there's no reason Nintendo can't keep up the two-generations-behind thing with its Virtual Console library. But more than the usual suspects on VC Ė†Mario Sunshine,†Melee, and all that Ė I wanna see some of the weirder games I missed out on, like†Cubivore,†Odama,†Viewtiful Joe... and imports! The cancelled-last-minute localization of†GiFTPiA, if it's not already included in the Skip bundle!
2.†New Miyamoto IP
This is what Nintendo desperately needs Ė a new IP from Miyamoto, like we haven't had since†Pikmin. Of course we know the idea for†Pikmin†came to Miyamoto as he'd recently taken up gardening. What's Miyamoto been up to lately that he can turn into the next brilliant game concept? He's getting older. Maybe an adventure game where your character is constantly and rapidly aging. As his abilities and agility decrease, he has to accomplish tasks to get something to reset his aging before he expires. Heh, a cartoonified†Ubik. I'd play that. I would very much play that.
1. Wave Race 3
Remembering†Wave Race†exists (and having no one IRL to yell at about how much I want a new one) inspired this blog post.†Wave Race†is the greatest of all racing games. It's been 12 years since the last one. This series needs to come back. Please please please please†please please please†please please please†please please please†please please please.
When I think back to my time with†Little King's Story, one of my favourite games of all time and to my mind surely the best original game of the console generation, I feel something like heartbreak. There is some kind of beautiful innocence to the presentation of that game, and my mind wanders to the positively stunning final level and very final cutscene in the game; I can't say any more for fear of spoiling it, but it is something nobody talks about, despite how deeply it's ingrained itself in my†subconscious, like only a sparse few such sequences in games ever do. Equally heartbreaking is it to think of†the game's poor performance, and that the main mind behind†Little King's Story,†Yoshiro 'miserable Japanese guy' Kimura hasn't been able to get another project off the ground.
The latter article has put Kimura back on my mind. I'd totally forgotten his PS2 title†Chulip, was announced for PSN. It's apparently been on there for several months now. I've started playing it. I immediately fell in love with the game. There are so many good things in this game; it would take me an hour to explain! That said, the more I play it, the more its gameplay has proven an obstacle in my enjoyment. There's a complete game walkthrough in the software manual which has unfortunately proven entirely necessary, the game is too slow going, I get game over way too often, poopie causes way too much heartbreak... er, yeah, I'm not going to try to explain that one. But despite all these issues, I keep coming back to the game, and I must see it through. It's hilarious, and ferociously unique, and on some other mysterious level, it resonates with me, in a similar way to†Little King's Story. It's nowhere near the same level as†Little King's Story, and for the record, I think†Little King's Story†has incredible gameplay to match its presentation, but†Chulip†is nonetheless evidence of a major talent. One which deserved the resources to reach its true potential in†Little King's Story, and one which deserves the resources to make even more games.
Finally playing another game by Kimura has once again reminded me of†this Neogaf post†I saw some time after playing†Little King's Story, which has stuck with me. It is about†Moon: Remix RPG Adventure, an untranslated Japanese PS1 game, which seems to be considered by many of those who've been able to play it as one of the greatest games ever made. It would seem that Kimura, back then, was part of a dream team known as 'Love-de-Lic', supposedly at the height of their creativity. That none of their games have made it out of Japan seems almost criminal.
With Kimura and Love-de-Lic on my mind, I've been trying to look into it more to find out exactly where the†Moon†guys have ended up, what games they've been involved in. It seems the three men most instrumental in that game's making are Kimura, Taro Kudou, and most of all, Love-de-Lic founder Kenichi Nishi.
First off, Kimura, we know, made†Chulip†and†Little King's Story. After Love-de-Lic broke up, he formed his own studio, 'Punchline', which only made two games:†Chulip, and the localized albeit very rare PS2 survival-horror title†Rule of Rose, which I believe Kimura was heavily involved in but not the main mind behind. He then worked with Cing/TownFactory on†Little King's Story, and since has worked briefly at Grasshopper and elsewhere, but hasn't been quite at the helm of another project, that I know of.
Taro Kudou meanwhile formed his own studio along with fellow Love-de-Lic guy Kazuyuki Kurashima called 'Vanpool', which've done a lot of things for Nintendo. Kudou, it turns out, was the guy behind†Freshly Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, which I so wish had made it past Europe.†But his first and perhaps most interesting game there, the one selected by the aforementioned Neogaffer as the second best LdL game,†Endonesia, is confined to Japan.
Finally, Kenichi Nishi seems to have had the biggest career since Love-de-Lic, but also the most frustratingly unlocalized. He formed the studio 'Skip Ltd.', which've grown and made all sorts of things. But three games in particular were headed by Nishi, the only one to make it outside of Japan being†Chibi-Robo.†Chibi-Robo!†How I want to play this game. But it's kinda rare now. I saw it in an EB Games once, a couple years back, prominently displayed. I was tempted and so wish I'd bought it, but it was $30 which seemed really high for a used Gamecube game, and at the time I still thought there was hope that the†New Play Control†version would get localized. But it never did. Anyhow, the other two include the Gamecube adventure title†GiFTPiA, and, what's long been my most wanted unlocalized Wii game,†Captain Rainbow. Anyway, Nishi has since formed another studio called 'Route24', and has made weird stuff like†LOL†on the DS, and some iOS games or something. Apparently he wants to do a†Moon: Remix RPG Adventure†sequel.
Point is, these are some of the most talented game developers in Japan, and it's incredibly disheartening that their games are so underrepresented outside their home country. For a minute I imagined Nintendo announcing a bundle with†New Play Control Chibi-Robo†and†Captain Rainbow†(and GiFTPiA for good measure why not), and now I'm so depressed I want to cry, because of how badly that's so not going to happen. Games don't have their Criterion Collection, someone to pluck them from obscurity and translate and rerelease them; it's too much work and there's not enough interest. It's awful, but it seems the time has passed on Love-de-Lic's games, unless I'm to learn Japanese...
...That's not entirely true.†Moon: Remix RPG Adventure, the "greatest game yet made",†has a fan translation underway. If there's one thing I hope someone takes away from this blog... it's to be as excited for this project as I am.