So here we are, the halfway point. Fifty in and fifty games left to go. It might still be a long way off but the end is starting to come into sight. We couldn’t have got here without the fifty games that have gone before though, and if you missed the last five before the halfway mark then you should probably slide over here quickly.
You may well remember Ruin from this year’s E3, where it was used to showcase some of the link up between the PS Vita and PS3, as well as some interesting social features. Before we get to that it’s probably worth touching on the core gameplay, which is that of an action RPG. If you want the closest possible comparison the game look pretty similar to the Diablo series and focuses heavily on fast and flowing combat, with combos featuring heavily.
Whilst the gameplay looks fairly solid, it’s the technical features in it that are more interesting. The first is its cloud save functionality. Whilst PlayStation Plus subscribers are already familiar with putting their saves up into the ubiquitous cloud, it seems that online storage comes with Ruin automatically. That doesn’t sound all that impressive by itself, but the fact that this allows you to move your game seamlessly between the PS3 and Vita versions (which are expected to come bundled together) really is a fantastic technical achievement.
The other interesting aspect of the game is the online and social functionality. The game will allow you to create your own Lair that will reflect your progression through the game, more enemies and complexity appearing in the dungeon protecting your Lair as you level up. Sound slightly pointless? Well your Lair will appear in other people’s games, not just your friends but those of complete strangers as well. The game will match you up with a “nemesis” online if you decide to take part in that sort of thing, and whilst their Lair will still exist offline you can actually battle each other in real time if you both happen to be online.
Beyond the impressive technical features we don’t know too much about Ruin yet, but it certainly sounds fairly intriguing.
49 Paper Mario
Although next year’s Paper Mario for 3DS will only be the fourth title in the series, it somehow feels to me that the series has been going a lot longer than ten years. Next year’s iteration will, in some aspect, return to that original title from 2001 with turn-based battles making a return to the series after being dropped from 2007’s Super Paper Mario. Also gone from next year’s title is Super Paper Mario’s perspective switch mechanic, although the 3DS’ 3D abilities will obviously add a new sense of depth to the game’s 2D perspective.
Whilst the combat has returned to the series’ original turned-based system, it will feature a heavier focus on platforming and more action sequences than other Paper Mario games. As for new mechanics, the game adds stickers that will give Mario access to power-ups.
If you’re interested in playing with a paper version of Mario on you portable 3D beastie the best we can say right now is that the game will be out in 2012.
48 Gravity Rush
Gravity Rush (Gravity Daze in Japan) is another of those titles that we don’t know an awful lot about, but what we do know is clearly enough to leave TSA’s staff fairly impressed. So what is there to lead to this anticipation?
Well firstly there’s the absolutely gorgeous cel-shaded art style the Vita title employs, which really is simply beautiful. This is certainly helped by what little we’ve seen of the levels so far, which look absolutely vast. Floating cities seem to feature pretty prominently, an element that seems pretty key to the game.
I don’t mean the city part obviously, it’s the floating aspect that’s important. The core gameplay centers around gravity manipulation, and in some ways reminds me of Mirror’s Edge if you played it from a third-person perspective. You move fluidly over rooftops and between buildings, although with the ability to flip and twist gravity as you wish you can make jumps far beyond those any normal human would be capable of.
Beyond that it’s hard to say much about Gravity Rush. However, I will say that even with such a small amount of information available this is the only game that really makes me want to buy a Vita.
47 Game of Thrones
Possibly in an attempt to simplify the branding, the second Game of Thrones game (the first being RTS title, A Game of Thrones: Genesis) drops any subtitle to set it apart from any past or future titles from the franchise. Personally I actually find that fairly confusing, but that may well just be me.
Only announced last month, details about the title are a little thin on the ground right now but we do know that, unlike Genesis, Game of Thrones will be an action RPG. The game is is set to star Mors, a brother of the Night’s Watch, and Alester, a Red Priest and looks like it may well be set roughly at the same time as the opening of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. As well as that developers Cyanide are aiming for a play time of around 30 hours, and are looking to make political skills as important as your ability with a sword. However, that’s about it for the moment aside from the 2012 release date.
46 Street Fighter X Tekken
At this point you may well be thinking that Steet Fighter X Tekken has already featured in our Top 100 but fear not, that was its sister title – Tekken X Street Fighter. Street Fighter X Tekken is a bit more nailed down details wise, starting with an actual release date. The game will find its way to the retailer of your choice on the 9th of March on PS3 and 360, with the Vita and PC versions due to be released later in the year.
Whilst Tekken X Street Fighter is coming from Namco, Street Fighter X Tekken is being developed by Capcom and is, obviously, based on the fighting mechanics of the Street Fighter series and use its six-button system. However, in an attempt to stop Tekken players being driven away the game will allow for the use of a system similar to Tekken’s four button setup when playing with a Tekken character.
Talking of characters, the PS3 and Vita versions are getting three exclusive ones. First up are Toro and Kuro, two catlike characters who I’m not familiar with but are apparently Sony’s mascots in Japan. In a shocking move (I’m so sorry) the Sony versions of the game will also be getting inFamous’ Cole MacGrath. Whilst Toro and Kuro will mimic Ryu and Kazuya respectively, Cole MacGrath will be getting his own fighting style to take advantage of his electrical powers.