TSA’s Top 100 of 2013: 95-91 – Brain Training, Final Fantasy & Iron Sky

I’m finding it hard to believe that I’m writing about games releasing in 2013 already. It feels like just weeks ago that I was doing my bit for last year’s Top 100 of 2012 list and it took me about five minutes to get the date in the title right.

It’s happening, though, so I’ll continue on with this list without any too many complaints. Here’s the second lot of five games, which made the list but clearly didn’t excite us too much, since they’re so low. They’re better than the last lot though, probably.

95. Dark


95. Dark

Dark is a third-person vampiric stealth action game with RPG elements. There haven’t been too many good vampire games recently, though inFamous’ and Skyrim’s expansions seem to have managed to do it well. Hopefully this game, which is coming to Xbox 360 and PC next year, will do a vampire standalone adventure right.

Dark seems to have an art style similar to The Walking Dead but I’m betting it won’t do as much for vampires as The Walking Dead did for zombies. We’re not exactly sure just how it’ll play, but as a vampire you’ll be able to transform into a puff of smoke and take out enemies by sucking their blood.

It looks very dark indeed though, but we’re in need of some gameplay footage, rather than the single trailer currently available in order to judge the game fully. That might be a reason it only managed the 95th place in this list; yes, vampires are interesting but we really don’t know enough about it yet.

94. Brain Training 3D

94. Brain Training 3D

It’s very hard to get excited about a game like this. It’s basically a collection of puzzles in the guise of an intelligence enhancer and I don’t think there’s anything special about that. Still, the 3D might allow for some interesting puzzles and it could end up being quite fun for children.

[drop]There’s some confusion here, too – both the real Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training 3DS game and a similarly titled clone – Brain Training 3D are coming out next year. I was going to focus on Dr. Kawashima’s game, but when I looked further into Brain Training 3D, it was just too good to miss writing up.

So, Funbox’s Brain Training 3D; the developers don’t have the best track record, with games such as TV spin-off The Cube and Defendin’ DePenguin, which is described wonderfully by the developers themselves on their website

Defendin’ DePenguin is an arcade strategy game that is not just cool, it’s ICE COOL!

This Brain Training game doesn’t look too promising, but it should sell quite well, judging from the success of other games like it. It’s definitely marketed more towards children, too, as Funbox reveals in a statement on their official website.

The friendly little piggy character will guide your child through the game and both encourage and reward them when they are doing well.

Now, Dr. Kawashima’s game – which is an entirely different thing, and the one we were actually voting for, could be quite good – it releases a couple of months after the children-orientated Brain Training 3D in March. It features a demonic Kawashima (yes, really) and devilishly hard challenges, which are more focused on concentration and working memory this time around.

Don’t mix up your Brain Training games next year – you could end up with something that’s just cool rather than ICE COOL!

93. Ascend: New Gods

93. Ascend: New Gods

Ascend was revealed at this year’s Microsoft E3 conference. Developed by Xbox Live Arcade veterans and the team behind Toy Soldiers, Signal Studios, the game is a completely different venture from their previous releases.

It’s confirmed to be free-to-play, though you’ll need a XBL Gold membership for this. It could be interesting though, as the game is a third-person action RPG with lighter multiplayer elements, rather than a fully-fledged MMO. It features ‘parallel multiplayer’, meaning that as you advance through your own single player story you’ll be able to see (and choose to bless or curse them as you wish) other players in their own unique worlds.

It features connectivity with a mobile app, too, where you’re able to fight other players and then transfer your progress to the full game.

Ascend: New Gods seems to be doing a lot of things away from the norm, with interesting multiplayer and mobile connectivity, so let’s hope the gameplay matches the brilliance of these features.

92. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

92. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

I am not really sure who or what Lightning is. I’ve never played Final Fantasy and I don’t intend to, but this game appears to be the third Final Fantasy XIII game, so that’s nice and confusing too.

It concludes the story from the previous Final Fantasy XIII games, following directly on from XIII-2. It’s different, however, in that Lightning is the only playable character this time around and it takes place over 13 days, so you’re essentially on a time limit. You’re able to extend this limit by completing quests and such, but you might even lose time. Time is a core element to the game and it seems to be a different concept from the other Final Fantasy games.

There are different routes through the game too, so it all sounds very promising, even from the perspective of someone who isn’t a fan of the series. Now, where’s Final Fantasy Versus XIII?

91. Iron Sky Invasion

91. Iron Sky Invasion

[videoyoutube]I’ve seen the movie Iron Sky. It’s a terribly bad but actually quite fun sci-fi comedy about Nazis with a secret base on the moon. The game, Invasion, is a strategic space flight simulator, which expands upon the Universe of Iron Sky – though it’s not something that particularly needed to be expanded upon.

The gameplay is all about defending the earth from those pesky Nazi spaceships. You’re able to control a variety of spacecraft and upgrade them, as there are RPG elements in the mix. It might be a solid space simulator, though the movie tie-in aspect is extremely odd.

It’s set to release on PC, Mac, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS and Android platforms at an unspecified time next year. This game is going to be terrible, isn’t it?

That’s today’s game wrapped up. Tomorrow will see two more articles, and games 90-81 covered.



  1. That’s an interesting and new game to hear for final fantasy. I’m making my list for games to watch out for in 2013 thanks to this countdown.

  2. Never knew about the new FF game, Interesting. It’s a shame about versus, what happening with I haven’t the foggiest.

  3. Completely forgot about Dark, and hadn’t heard of Iron Sky before. Both look quite good, definitely ones to keep an eye on.

  4. Awesome, awesome & awesomer!
    Had NOT heard about the Iron Sky tie in but it’s got the US Pres, she rocks!
    Camp, erm sorry, game on!

  5. I know it’s probably only a matter of a few points, but these games seem far less interesting, to me at least, then the last lot. Monster Hunter and Persona got beaten by these? (see, I said I’d disagree… :-P ) None interest here, other than figuring out what that Lightning game is about.

    • I thought the same! Persona 4 looks amazing, and judging by the reviews so far it actually plays fantastically too – and it’s below Iron Sky and Microsoft’s free-to-play title (which whilst it looks interesting I can’t imagine that it’s going to be anywhere near as compelling).

  6. So they have decided to force you to play as one character and on a time limit. Because the fans do love being forced to play as Lightning who seems to be generic. Final Fantasy tends to only use time limits to suit the plot not have an entire game based around it as it makes the player feel as if they have to rush through it instead of taking their time. Why can’t Square just move on from FF13 and start work on 15 with characters that are interesting and a decent plot, with a decent soundtrack that suits the FF franchise?

    As for verus, tis a shame about the current state of it but it was too early for me to form an opinion of it.

  7. Iron Sky is awesome. Shush.

  8. How Iron Sky got in this list above Persona 4 while being arguably more sporadic and obscure is anyone’s guess.

  9. Is anyone still interested in Lightning? Or is it just cheaper for Square Enix to keep reusing the assets from their expensive and uninspiring original?

  10. will there really be two FFXIII sequels before VS XIII comes out?
    come on Square, pick up the pace.

    i’m surprised to be saying this, but that Iron Sky game doesn’t look awful. O_O

    and i like the sound of Dark, i haven’t played a good vampire rpg since the Masquerade games.

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