There's a lot to be excited for in the new year, like y'know--VIDEO GAMES. The Shacknews staff pick their most anticipated games of 2014. First up is associate editor Ozzie Mejia.
Super Smash Bros.
Namco Bandai | 3DS, Wii U
I can't emphasize enough how much I love the Super Smash Bros. series. The Nintendo 64 original was so amazing to me that I used to play through 60 minute matches. Melee got me through those first few awkward years of college, as I played against roommates and guys down the dorm halls. Brawl kept me up over countless nights, as I played hours of co-op through the Subspace Emissary. So it shouldn't be any secret that I'm incredibly stoked for the next iteration of Nintendo's brawler on both Wii U and 3DS.
I've loved each of the Smash Bros. games for different reasons and if there's one aspect of the new games that I'm looking forward to, it's refined online play. Brawl's online was a mess, made worse by the Wii's inability to patch its titles. With Nintendo finally enabling this novel feature from over 10 years ago, online play should be smooth as silk, meaning I'll likely be playing the new Smash Bros. games all through the night, just like the old days.
Obsidian Entertainment | Xbox 360, PS3, PC
This is not a repost, I swear! Yes, South Park: The Stick of Truth is on my Most Anticipated list yet again, making an illustrious third consecutive appearance. That's to be expected after the game was delayed... then delayed again... and then delayed some more. No offense to Obsidian, but I hope this is the last time I'll have to put this game on one of these lists.
My personal anticipation for South Park has only grown more with each passing trailer and every new detail revealed. And while the more recent trailers tease a story that looks almost nothing like the original teaser, it still looks like it's going to be a masterful work of storytelling from show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
Of course, nothing has me more amped for this game than the cruel tease at the end of the Black Friday trilogy of episodes that aired last month.
Young Horses | PS4, Linux, Mac, PC
A lot has changed since 2010. The folks at Young Horses were just students from DePaul University and Octodad was just starting life as a student project. Four years later, the tentacled patriarch has become a dedicated family man with a backstory that I'm genuinely interested in exploring in Octodad: Dadliest Catch.
But beyond the baffling questions over how a giant octopus has managed to raise (or even breed) a human family, I'm looking forward to Dadliest Catch, because it's just plain fun. Both times I've gone hands-on with the game (at E3 and IndieCade), I've drawn crowds of people, curious to see me fiddle around with the PS4's analog sticks and make mundane tasks entertaining. No one should be so curious to watch someone attempt to mow a lawn, but Octodad's slippery movements make the idea fun. The whole premise is so weird in concept, but howlingly hilarious in execution.
While it's set to come to PC, I'll be going straight for the PS4 version and the intuitive analog stick control. I don't know how, but Young Horses has made manually controlling an octopus with dual analog sticks enjoyable.
Sucker Punch Productions | PS4
I wasn't quite sure how the Infamous series would carry on following Infamous 2, especially given that I wasn't sure which of the two endings was considered canon. Now that Sucker Punch has answered the latter question, I look forward to checking out new frontman Delsin Rowe's adventures through Seattle with a whole new slew of conduit powers in Infamous: Second Son.
Flying around with smoke and neon powers looks as much fun here as it has in previous Infamous games. Second Son's visuals look gorgeous and are a far leap from what Infamous 2 had on display. What I'm more curious to see, however, is whether the series' morality-based choices will evolve just as much. I want to see the conundrums that Delsin's faced with and how much they'll affect the story, as well as what powers Delsin's granted throughout the game.
Given how much developers like Telltale and CD Projekt Red have done for player choice in their games, I'm hopeful that Sucker Punch will take the same steps for Second Son and make it a more-than-worthy entry into the Infamous series.
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Capcom | Xbox 360, PS3
It's a bit odd to put another Street Fighter incarnation on this list, given that Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition pretty much is what it is, at this point. But given how far down the fighting game rabbit hole I've gone since last year, I'm now ready to jump back into the SF world with Ultra Street Fighter 4.
I'm champing at the bit for USF4 for more than the five new characters, though the demonstrations I've seen of Rolento and Hugo do get me stoked. I also love the introduction of Elimination mode, which reminds me a lot of classic games like SNK vs. Capcom 2. I like some of the new wrinkles that are being introduced, like the Red Focus. But most of all, I love that Capcom is doing everything in their power to try and keep the game balanced as much as possible, making the barrier of entry for rusty fossils like me that much easier.
Who knows? Maybe I'll eventually be good enough for an EVO run. (Or not.)
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