Top 100 of 2012: 85-81 – Dragon’s Dogma, Skullgirls and Final Fantasy Versus

Another day and another five games in our Top 100 list. Today we’ve got a Final Fantasy, two fighters, a dragon slayer and a demon hunter, quite a strange range. If you missed yesterday’s five games you can take a look over here.

85 Dragon’s Dogma

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Back in October I very briefly touched on Dragon’s Dogma in my round-up of The Gathering. To be honest I didn’t really understand the game at the time, it felt like your average hack and slash title and the depth of the controls were more than a little intimidating when thrown in at the deep end in a preview situation.

Digging a little deeper the game sounds interesting. Come out of Capcom the game focuses on battling dragons and other monsters, and provides you with a few classes to select just how you want to attack said monsters. If you’re worried about having to do too much slaying single-handed you can put those fears to rest, the game will feature three AI controlled party members. Interestingly, whilst one of these party members must be drawn from your own world you can borrow NPCs from the games of your friends, via the internet. This appears to be a purely optional feature as the game doesn’t require an internet connection, but it’s a really interesting concept.

The other potentially interesting feature is a grab mechanic which can be used for clinging onto larger enemies. That may sound odd, but it then allows you to climb further up them and pick your target. You can take the easy swing at the legs if you feel like it, or risk climbing higher up for a shot at the torso or even go for the head. This may sound similar to the boss fights from games like God of War or Shadow of the Colossus but the ability to climb up any enemy and hit them wherever you feel like does sound like it could create some pretty fluid gameplay.

84 Tekken Tag Tournament 2

The first of two fighting games featuring in today’s games, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is the sequel to the wildly successful Tekken Tag Tournament from all the way back in 1999. Like the original, and as the name suggests, the game features tag battles rather than the usual solo battles that the series features.

It’s not clear yet whether the game will feature in the over-arching plot of the Tekken series; the original Tag Tournament was considered non-canon and didn’t feature any of the normal trials and tribulations of the King of Iron First tournament and the Mishima Zaibatsu. What it will feature is an interesting “stage gimmick” mechanic, similar to that of the Mortal Kombat series. These “gimmicks” are essentially special tag combos that allow you to move between areas of a stage, slamming your opponent through the floor or a wall before your partner finishes them off.

Although the Arcade version has been released, it seems it’s only available in Japan right now and we’ll likely have to wait for the console version to find out how the full game fairs. However, if you want to try out a limited demo of the game a Prologue version of the game is available to those who pick up Tekken: Blood Vengeance on Blu-Ray and have a PS3. It only features four fighters but might be worth a shot if you can’t wait until the tail end of next year, the expected release date for the full game.

83 Skullgirls

We now come to Skullgirls, the second of our fighters for today. Before Dan talked about this game back in August I hadn’t heard about it at all. However, as soon as I heard about the cartoon art style and the frankly ridiculous attacks, it swiftly moved up my own list for 2012. Essentially the game looks like what would happen if you mixed the play style of Marvel vs Capcom series with the cartoon antics of a classic Looney Tunes episode.

Whilst the fairly unique style of Skullgirls is certainly intriguing, perhaps the most interesting thing about the title is its origins. One of the driving forces behind the game is Mike Zaimont, otherwise known as Mike Z when he’s taking part in fighting game tournaments. Although it’s hardly a shock to find a fighting game enthusiast involved in the development of a fighter, it’s the first I know of where a tournament fighter is actually one of the game’s creators. This should certainly have a fairly prominent effect on the game’s mechanics and will hopefully create a game that feels pretty different in an increasingly crowded market place.

82 Final Fantasy Versus XIII

One of the titles that featured on last year’s list that never actually hit store shelves, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series that also features Final Fantasy XIII, XIII-2 and Final Fantasy Type-0. Perhaps interestingly for a Final Fantasy title, Versus is set to mix some elements from third person shooters into a battle system that’s largely based on that of Kindom Hearts. It won’t be an exact clone of the Kingdom Hearts system though, largely because Tetsuya Nomura, the game’s director, is aiming for a more realistic Final Fantasy title in Versus.

I know what you’re thinking, a realistic Final Fantasy title does seem to stray pretty heavily from the core of the series but fear not, it seems the game’s battle system will still feature elements like magic and summons. However, magic will feature less prominently in the game’s overall story and art style, this being one of Nomura’s focuses for injecting a dose of reality into the title.

Nomura other focus for realism is in the game’s characters. The aim is for characters to be realistic from their animations and look to their actions and motivations. To me it seems likely that the game will live or die on just how well this realism comes across, and whether or not the final result ends up in the unfortunate uncanny valley territory.

81 NeverDead

Today’s final title is NeverDead, an action-adventure title that follows the adventures of Bryce Boltzman, a demon hunter cursed with immortality centuries ago. The game is primarily set in the modern day, but after five centuries of life Bryce certainly has some stories to tell. In between killing demon’s in the present with his female partner Arcadia, Bryce relates various tales from his long life leading to the almost inevitable flashback sequences.

Whilst that all sounds pretty interesting, NeverDead features quite possibly one of the strangest mechanics I’ve ever heard of. What with his immortality, losing a limb doesn’t effect Bryce beyond being a minor annoyance. However, he can’t just regrow limbs at will and needs to pick up any severed limbs before moving on. It wouldn’t be much fun if you just re-attached them though, so you can also use your appendages as weapons before reconnecting them to the rest of your body.

It won’t be long till we see just how odd that mechanic might be, with game set for an early February release in the EU.

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24 Comments

  1. Really looking forward to Dragons Dogma, really impressed by the trailers and well its a bit different. Tekken should be great and well gameplay video of Skullgirls doesn’t really impress me. The other one? Neverdead is interesting so I’m keeping an eye on that.

    FFXII Versus…. ugh >.> not even going to get excited since I know its bound to be silent again.

  2. FFVSXIII is going to be awesome ( far better than FFXIII was ) Dragons dogma looks cool but as for the other games on this list i think i won’t bother with them :)

  3. Didn’t think Dragon’s Dogma would be so low on the list.

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