Hello again, dear readers – it’s day two of our list of our most anticipated games of 2013. Today I bring you news of Mojang’s difficult second game, an XBLA title which looks to pretty much be an unofficial Tron game from the makers of The Gunstringer, and whatever the hell Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Extra Ninja Total Revenge Lighting Storm is. Onwards!
Mojang – the house that Minecraft built – is in an interesting position. For one, they are ridiculously rich for an indie studio, with a multi-million selling game across PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Xbox 360 (and with a free, experimental Raspberry Pi edition on the way) under their belts. But that equally means they are now under tremendous pressure to follow up the game (which actually only went gold around this time last year) with another cult hit.
With a release date still up in the air, Scrolls might not actually make it out next (Minecraft creator Notch is building a sci-fi-themed sandbox game named 0x10c, and there’s a sidescrolling deathmatch title in development at Oxeye to be published by Mojang), but there’s been a couple of rounds of alpha testing already, so I’m gonna take a punt on it.
Scrolls is being headed up by Jakon “JahKob” Porsér, and is pretty much as far as you can get from Minecraft’s cubic, creative playground. Instead, Scrolls is a turn-based cross between board games and trading cards. There’s a board of hexes, and a deck of cards – oh, and Penny Arcade’s Tycho (Jerry Holkins) is writing the backstory. What’s not to love?
Scrolls is currently in a closed alpha, but once that testing phase opens up, buying the game (at a reduced price) will net you access to the early builds, Minecraft-style. When it eventually goes 1.0, Scrolls will be available on PC, Mac, iOS and Android (with a Unity base meaning further ports are possible further down the line).
89. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5
It’s time for disproportionate pointing fingers and giant “Objection!” text bubbles to make their debut on 3DS. The newest game in the Phoenix Wright series is the first for Nintendo’s latest portable, and the first entry into the series in over five years. So what’s new? Well Ace Attorney 5 brings with it a new darker tone, as well as the “Heart Scope”, a sort of tiny computer in a necklace (go with it!) that can show up discrepancies between what a witness is saying and their emotional condition. Sounds nifty.
The game was announced back in January, but aside from confirmation of a Western release, there are no further details on a release date. The development team includes a number of newcomers, as some of the usual core creative team working away on the crossover game with Professor Layton, also due out sometime this coming year.
Pheonix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 (we’re still waiting on a western title) is due out in Japan in 2013, with a localisation hopefully not too far behind.
88. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
I’m going to be honest with you: I have absolutely no interest in Naruto, and have never even heard of this game. But hey, someone here at TSA clearly thought it was worth including here on the list, so I shall attempt to do it justice. From what I can tell, Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 is the latest in a line of fighting games based on the animated series, and includes 72(?!) characters, which is pretty impressive by anyone’s count.
What does sound cool is that after clearing up the events of Ultimate Ninja Storm 2’s conclusion, the new game plans to adapt each of the by-that-point aired episodes, so you could watch an episode, then follow it up by playing through the same segment. Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds pretty awesome. There’s also something about being able to change the outcome of some battles, resulting in alternate timelines of some kind, and any of that sort of timey-wimey mumbo-jumbo is just peachy with me too.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (as it is known here) is due out at the beginning of March on PS3 and 360.
I’d love to be able to tell you how LocoCycle is basically what you’ve always wanted from a Tron game, but without the limitations of the license – Armagetron with a decent budget; light cycles with a decent story.
But that would all be a load of rubbish I made up, because we know effectively nothing about Twisted Pixel’s upcoming XBLA game aside from that it has a futuristic motorbike with glowing blue highlights and is due sometime next year. There’s something about the motorbike being sentient, and being an assassin or something, but that’s pretty much all you can get out of the game’s fifty-something-second CGI teaser from this year’s Microsoft E3 presser.
LocoCycle is due on XBLA at an undisclosed point in 2013.
86. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
Going by reviews, the first two Call of Juarez games weren’t all that bad. First-person shooters set in the Old West don’t come along all that often (let alone decent ones), and therefore people were pretty disappointed when last year’s third series entry The Cartel ditched all that for a mediocre present-day sweary mobster tale.
It sold and reviewed poorly, and one German critic (giving it a 57) gave possibly one of my favourite conclusions ever: “If Techland would have called this one ‘Stupid shooter with pathetic characters full of cliché’, it would have been less of a disappointment.” Love it.
But hey, Techland and Ubisoft are back with a new effort, bringing the series back to its western roots and ditching the whole single-player component, with Gunslinger being a arcadey cel-shaded downloadable multiplayer shooter instead. It might sound a little samey but there is at least a cool feature called the “Sense of Death”, which allows you to attempt to slow-mo dodge the bullet that killed you, and if you manage it successfully, then follow it up with a kill on your would-be assassin, you get yourself a second lease on life.
Sounds like it could be a good bit of fun – lord knows any game that lets you run around in a cowboy outfit shootin’ at people deserves a look – and maybe Ubisoft will look at properly bringing the series back if Gunslinger goes down well.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is due sometime in 2013 on PC, PSN and XBLA.