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TSA's Top 100 of 2013: 100-96 - Persona 4 Golden, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge & Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Kicking things off with some ninjas and monsters.

So here we are, right at the very start of our journey. If you want to know more about how the top 100 works then you’re better off reading Peter’s introduction piece from earlier today, because now it’s all about the games.

It’s safe to say that the five games we’re looking at in this article didn’t excite the staff all that much. These are the bottom of the bunch, although a few names are certainly familiar. Monster Hunter and Ninja Gaiden certainly ring a bell, as does the Persona series. So without further ado, it’s time to start our countdown.

Persona 4 Golden

100. Persona 4 Golden

Although already out in Japan and America, this Vita port of Persona 4 won’t make it to Europe’s shores until February of next year. The game was originally planned for the PSP, although the platform’s limitations would have required stripping away some of the features from the original PS2 game. Fortunately the Vita came along and provided enough horsepower that developers Atlus were able to expand the game, rather than being forced to pull elements out.

If you’re not familiar with the original Persona 4, it’s an RPG set in modern day Japan that follows a group of high school students as they investigate a series of murders. During their investigation they gain the ability to travel between the real world and a TV world, as well as gaining Persona abilities. The Personas are, as far as I can tell, characters that can be used during battle sequences and can also be upgraded and fused together to gain new abilities.

The original Persona 4 did rather well critically, currently sitting at 90 on Metacritic. It would seem that Persona 4 Golden is a slightly better game, as it’s worked its way up to 94, again on Metacritic. If you enjoyed the original Persona 4 then it looks like this is one to watch out for, even if it does sit in last place on our list.

Maia

99. Maia

Maia marks a first for our series of Top 100 lists, it’s the first game we’ve had that was funded via Kickstarter. The game finished its funding just over a week ago on the 28th of November, reaching £140,481, £40,000 more than it needed. If you still feel like chipping some money in then funding remains open on Indiegogo until the 6th of January.

As for the game itself, it’s described as “Dungeon Keeper meets Dwarf Fortress on a primordial alien world,” with developer Simon Roth also making comparisons to Bullfrog games at large. Essentially, the games sees you managing a subterranean colony on a hostile alien world. From the gameplay that’s been shown it’s clear that Roth really has drawn from Bullfrog, although with a dark twist. Building a typical front room may seem a little too like The Sims, but being forced to build auto-turrets to guard the entrance adds a nice, tactical element to the game.

Aesthetically, the game’s sci-fi setting draws heavily from the darker sci-fi of the 1970s, and looks simply gorgeous. In fact everything about this game looks amazing, and after a few minutes of research I want it badly. The game will be released DRM free next summer for Windows, Linux and Mac, and chipping $16 into the Indiegogo campaign will get you access to the Alpha in January as well as the full game. I may have to throw in some of my own money.

PayDay 2

98. PayDay 2

The sequel to 2011′s PayDay: The Heist was announced back in June as coming from the developers of the original, Overkill. 505 Games had stepped up to the plate as publishers, and it all seemed like a fairly straight forward announcement. However, just fourteen days after the announcement on the 7th of June, Starbreeze purchased Overkill. This, confusingly, lead to a raft of news stories in September that Starbreeze had taken over development, with 505 still on board as publishers. What seems far more likely is that Overkill are still developing the game, although as an internal studio at Starbreeze.

Sadly there seems to be no information on the game beyond its double announcement. We were fairly favourable towards the original in our review, scoring it at 7/10 and praising the way it borrowed from Left 4 Dead’s gameplay whilst maintaining its own sense of identity. If the sequel can improve on some of its failings, such as poor partner AI and a lack of missions, then PayDay 2 could be very interesting indeed.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge

97. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge

Now you may well be thinking that Ninja Gaiden 3 has been out since March, and you would be correct. In fact we actually reviewed the game back then, giving it a distinctly average 5/10. However, Razor’s Edge is the Wii U version of the game, and it’s seen a few gameplay changes. For a start there’s the GamePad, which can be used for functions such as selecting weaponry or, if you’re feeling adventurous, to control the game as a whole. This mode is optional though, and seems to be borrowing from the Ninja Gaiden DS title, Dragon Sword (a truly terribly name).

The game will also see the return of decapitation and dismemberment, something that had been stripped from the original version of Ninja Gaiden 3, and online co-op with a new female ninja called Ayane. She’ll battle alongside the game’s star, Ryu Hayabusa, as well as being able to play through any section of the game via the new Chapter Challenge mode.

Whilst it’s not surprising that a Wii U version of an average game doesn’t spark that much anticipation in our staff, the game actually seems to be fairing a little better than the game originally did. Razor’s Edge is currently at 70 on Metacritic, although that is only based on 12 reviews. However, the original only managed to achieve a 58, which seems to tally well with our 5/10. Hopefully it’s a sign that Team Ninja have recognised their mistakes and created a superior product. We’ll see when it arrives in February.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

96. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Last year, Monster Hunter Freedom 3 (Remastered) only managed to reach 99 on our list, so Ultimate has managed to do a little better. The game, much like Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, is a Wii U port of a pre-existing game, although it’s also being released on the 3DS. The dual release on the Nintendo platforms is one of the interesting things about the game, with saves being able to be transferred between the two platforms. For some reason I don’t quite understand you won’t be able to transfer a save between regions though, which may disappoint those looking to get the game from Japan where it’s out on the 8th for the Wii U (it’s already been out on 3DS there for a year). If you’d rather wait than import then you’ll have to be patient until March rolls around.

When the game does arrive in Japan it’s likely to do big business for the Wii U, as there’s a bundle available. It actually seems like a pretty good deal, coming with the Premium Console, a Wii U Pro Controller and a copy of the game. The 3DS release in Japan last year saw similar bundles, and with the game’s popularity over there it’s clearly a good move on Nintendo’s part.

I honestly wish I could tell you more about the game but I’ve never understood the Monster Hunter series. As far as I can tell, it seems to be a solid JRPG with Pokémon like elements in it. There certainly seems to be a lot more depth in the game than you get in your average Pokémon title though, with the environment and attack patterns apparently playing a role in your success. Perhaps I’ll fill in the gaps in my knowledge in March.

That’s it for this entry in the list. Because we’re lunatics, we’ll be back with another five games later today.

17 Comments
  1. XisTG
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Wow, didn’t expect to find Persona so low. Specially with Ninja Gaiden 3 as an option :p

    Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 13:32.
    • Kris Lipscombe
      Team TSA: Writer
      Since: Mar 2009

      Well I think Persona 4′s a little under the radar outside of Japan, especially in comparison to many other Japanese RPGs.

      Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 13:43.
      • XisTG
        Member
        Since: May 2010

        True. I just think that by now we shouldn’t expect nothing good from Ninja Gaiden :P

        Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 14:50.
    • Kivi95
      Member
      Since: Oct 2009

      Yeah I thought it would go WAY higher as it have the top score for the year on metacritic!

      Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 13:52.
      • colmshan1990
        Member
        Since: Apr 2009

        On ANY platform too, or at least it was when I checked last week.

        Off to a bit of a shock.

        Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 18:01.
  2. kjkg
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    Really wish MH was released on Vita. It seems like the kind of game I could really enjoy.

    Other than that, none of the others take my fancy if I’m honest.

    Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 13:35.
    • avengerrr
      Member
      Since: Oct 2012

      I would of thought MH was an obvious priority for the Vita, the countless possibilities and the sales. But obviously no one at Sony or Capcom really care.

      I am tempted by the 3ds for the game though, providing they are keeping everything including underwater battles.

      Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 15:28.
  3. Bodachi
    Member
    Since: Jan 2010

    Definitely looking forward to Persona 4 on the Vita. I think that will be staying in my Vita for quite a long time.

    Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 13:47.
    • bigbaldwolf
      Member
      Since: Mar 2012

      Mine as well. Really can’t wait for this game to arrive

      Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 14:54.
  4. Kovacs
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    “Its” funding. Sorry, it just drives me crazy seeing this and I can’t help myself. It’s a disease!
    :)

    On topic, Persona 4 for me, though I’m now intrigued to know more about Maia. Thanks, Kris!

    Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 13:57.
  5. LTG Davey
    andUandU
    Since: Aug 2008

    #96 and #97 are both on my shopping list.
    Really enjoyed Gaiden1 and was gutted to hear they had screwed up part3. They seem to have ramped up the difficulty of the WiiU version however and thrown some new content in so that sounds good to me and worth checking out.
    As for MH3, I never played the Wii version so I will be all over this game – though I may hold out until June as it sounds like a perfect “summer” game – i.e. lots of content to keep me busy during the wait for new releases in October-December.

    Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 14:40.
  6. Ryoshi
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    Very odd… I would have placed Persona 4 Golden in the top 5, maybe even top 10… but well… maybe I’ll change my mind when I see the rest of the top 100. I’m guessing the people who are keen, probably imported it from the US.

    Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 14:53.
  7. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    I thought P4G was already out in Europe too. I’ll probably be getting it as reviews have been stellar, which makes it odd for it to land so low on the list.

    No interest in the rest.

    Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 15:01.
  8. jimmy-google
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    None of those will get anywhere near my consoles

    Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 16:22.
  9. keaneplay
    Member
    Since: Oct 2010

    Persona 4 would definitely be in my top 3 for games released next year… except that I already imported it from the US due to it not having a release date for ages in Europe.

    I’ve had the game for just over a week and can say that it really is an awesome game, anything that can get me to put in over 60 hours in a week – especially since I’ve been working most of the week! – is pure brilliance.

    Besides Persona, nothing else on this list interests me at all – a Vita Monster Hunter might but not a Wii-U version.

    Comment posted on 07/12/2012 at 22:50.
  10. Dom El
    Member
    Since: Mar 2012

    Monster Hunter Ultimate is easily one of my most anticipated games of next year – I’m hoping that it sets a precedent and that a version of MH4 also makes its way to the Wii U. I would like to point out that it isn’t a “JRPG with Pokemon like elements in it”, rather it’s an action adventure title, which rewards preparation and skill whilst featuring boss-style encounters that can take up to an hour to complete. There’s also a big emphasis on its massively multiplayer online (and offline) features.

    Whilst I’m not super excited about Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, I think I’ll still pick it up as I enjoyed the first two and it sounds like they’ve fixed many of the glaring flaws it originally had.

    Comment posted on 08/12/2012 at 01:59.

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