80. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2
Having launched back in March, City Interactive’s second punt at creating an intuitive sniper-only experience came as a disappointment for many, including us. When the original Ghost Warrior (review) released a couple of years ago it was an experiment for the publisher; a flawed yet enjoyable game with bags of potential for a sequel.
Sadly, City Interactive did very little to capitalise on this. At launch, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 was met by a generally lukewarm reception, some critics going as far to say that it marked a step back for the series. By adopting CryEngine 3, the studio was able to render luscious environments and a myriad of intriguing visual effects. However, these did little to carry the game’s repetitive design and its all-round sense of constraint, despite the seemingly boundless reaches of each stage.
Even the multiplayer was generally panned. Having hardly developed at all since the original Ghost Warrior, it offered a unique approach to online play but one that ultimately lacked a number of core features that even copy-and-paste shooters seem to get right.
79. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Going into 2012, Dragon’s Dogma looked like a huge gamble for publisher Capcom but one that paid off nicely, resulting in one of the year’s best sleeper hits. Combining elements from a number of action RPGs including The Elder Scrolls and Monster Hunter, Dragon’s Dogma was able to forge its own unique identity with its tactical combat and masterful boss battles.
When Capcom announced Dark Arisen at TGS there was an instant flurry of excitement though one that would eventually be curbed as more and more details started to emerge. You see, Dark Arisen isn’t a sequel to Dragon’s Dogma, nor is it your conventional DLC expansion. Instead, it’s a re-release; an enhanced version of the game that came little more than a year before it.
Adding new pawns (AI companions), skills, quests, weapons, enemies, and armour, it’s everything dedicated fans wanted whilst offering a more appealing (and slightly discounted) entry point for newcomers.
Dragon’s Dogma has been a success for Capcom that, in the past few years, has struggled to create new universally-praised IP. Let’s just hope some sort of sequel in currently in the wings. If not, the publisher’s confirmed next-gen title, “Deep Down” definitely has a similar vibe going on.
78. Tekken Tag Team Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
Though not entirely original, Tekken Tag Team Tournament 2: Wii U Edition is still one of the better-rated games swirling around in the Wii U’s ever-growing pool of titles.
As with any port, Tekken Tag 2 wasn’t completely reworked for Nintendo’s new console. Instead, Namco lifted everything from the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version which launched in 2012, adding a small cluster of modes and costumes. These new modes included Mushroom Battle, Tekken Ball, and Supporters, the former two proving quite enjoyable.
In Mushroom Battle players would trade blows whilst Mario-style mushrooms infested the arena, granting effects or debuffs when picked up. Tekken Ball, on the other hand, was a revival of the popular Tekken 3 mode which saw players whacking a volleyball back and forth, dealing damage when it connected.
Technically, the game didn’t fare quite as well on Wii U, at least when compared to the PS3 and 360. However, Tekken did demonstrate how Nintendo is aiming for a wider audience with a variety of mature, hardcore games.
77. Ibb and Obb
When totting up last year’s top 100, Ibb and Obb had been pushed back by developers Sparpweed and Codeglue. Originally it was slated for Q4 2012 but pulled out in order for the studios to work on a new multiplayer focus.
Ibb and Obb is best summed up as an indie platformer that uses gravity as its central mechanic. Players adopt the roles of two little critters as they roam between gravitational planes to solve a myriad of puzzles.
After spending months off the grid, Ibb and Obb has only just re-surfaced, mainly thanks to Sony’s upcoming Play promotion. The game will join other digital titles including DuckTales HD, Cloudberry Kingdom, and Stealth Inc as part of the company’s annual online sale.
76. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Sqaure Enix’s rebirth of disgraced MMORPG, Final Fantasy XIV, has been a long time coming, especially for those in the PlayStation camp. Riddled with bugs and messy design choices, the original game flatlined, its failure all the more evident in a time where free-to-play MMOs were really taking off.
Currently in closed beta (with open testing just around the corner) things are looking up for A Realm Reborn. Though gamers often relish when big-time publishers slip up, it was genuinely disheartening to see Square fumble, especially after its success with FFXI. It may have taken the best part of two years but XIV is almost here and could be the perfect sleeper hit for PS3 gamers not yet acquainted with the MMO genre.
That’s it for this week – come back on Monday for five more games!