Mar 24, 2011

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5 Games You Should Support in 2011

5 Games You Should Support in 2011

We’re close to a quarter of the way through 2011, and we have already seen some high quality releases.  Throughout the year, there will be tons of other great titles released, along with others most likely to fly under the radar. I’ve gone through a list of already released or soon-to-be released titles and came up with five games that I feel we should all support this year. Hopefully I can bring your attention to these gems and encourage everyone to dig a little deeper to see what they’ve been missing.

By consistently supporting yearly franchises and shunning new IPs, we are encouraging developers to just rehash and repackage the same material over and over (see Call of Duty, Madden).  Also, by doing so, many developers are hesitant to take risks, because great titles will be undersold due to lack of marketing and ignorant consumers.

These games below are most likely A-grade titles, but may be at risk of getting looked over for more higher profile titles like L.A. Noire or Elder Scrolls V (both of which I’m excited about by the way).

 

1. Okamiden

Nintendo DS – March 15, 2011

Okami, also known as that game everyone should have bought but no one did, and now known as the game that the dog/wolf thing from Marvel vs Capcom 3 comes from, is getting a second chance on the Nintendo DS. Boasting an incredible art style and gameplay akin to the Legend of Zelda, Okami should have been loved by consumers. Critically acclaimed, yet tragically undersold, it’s amazing that its sequel, Okamiden, is being localized to North America. Due to its poor sales, Okami‘s developer, Clover Studios, closed down, and its staff moved on. Please don’t make the same mistake and shun this title.  I’ve actually seen copies of Okami (on PS2 and the Wii) being sold as cheap as $10 new, so there’s no excuse not to own it.  In fact, for $20 less then you’d pay for a new Xbox 360/PS3 title, you can go pick up a used PS2 and a copy of Okami!  Go!  Go now!  Or if not, pick up a copy of Okamiden for your DS.

 

2. Beyond Good & Evil HD

XBLA, PSN – March 15, 2011 (XBLA), May 2011 (PSN)

Originally released in 2003 for all platforms, Beyond Good & Evil was destined to fail.  Lack of marketing, plus the fact that it was released alongside major titles like the Prince of Persia, insured that many would overlook this gem, but for the few that bought it, we were treated to a very creative game.  Just like Okami, this was also a Zelda-esque adventure starring the style-challenged Jade and her uncle Pey’j.  The creator Michael Ancel (Rayman) originally envisioned it as a trilogy and even released a teaser trailer for the sequel.  Due to underwhelming numbers though, the project was put on hold indefinitely.  Thankfully, the game is seeing a second life on XBLA/PSN, and at $10, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.

 

3. Catherine

Xbox 360, PS3 – July 26, 2011

As perverted as the covers for this title look, don’t let that affect your thoughts on this game.  From the team that brought you the Persona series, you play as Vincent, who is having strange nightmares after meeting a woman named Catherine.  Gameplay shifts from daytime to night, with the former having players balance Vincent’s relationship between the two women Catherine and Katherine.  Here, Vincent can buy drinks, play minigames, and interact with others.  During nighttime, however, is where the game truly takes form.  Players must guide Vincent through these nightmarish worlds where he must solve puzzles and is at risk of dying.  Actions and decisions during the game affect the plot’s outcome, and the game supposedly has multiple endings, with a quest lasting close to 20 hours.  Atlus already released the game in Japan, and Famitsu scored it a solid 35/40, so hopefully the game delivers and you all support it.

 

4. Journey

PSN – TBA 2011

While most believe Xbox Live is the better online experience (myself included), I’d definitely argue that PSN gives XBLA a run for it’s money. One of my favorite PSN titles was thatgamecompany’s Flower. Journey is their newest game, and is a title that encourages gamers to explore a land online and make memories with strangers they meet. While Journey seems simple in concept, I don’t doubt that thatgamecompany will create a unique experience that will have gamers chirping this year. After all, they released a game that had players practically controlling the wind and directing flower petals around, and gamers loved it, so I have high expectations for their follow-up.

 

5. The Last Guardian

PS3 – Q4 2011

How many of you supported the PS2 titles ICO or The Shadow of the Colossus? Lucky for us (because I’m sure you didn’t buy them), they’re releasing an HD collection for the PS3 shortly. After you pick up the collection, make sure you pre-order Team Ico’s new title The Last Guardian, set to release later this year (though I wouldn’t be surprised if they push it to 2012). The story follows the relationship between a boy and a griffin-like creature named Trico. Gameplay will be puzzle-oriented, with an action-adventure feel, and many have said it’s a mix of Team Ico’s two previous efforts. This means gamers should expect an engaging story, emotional attachment, and a game that many will wax nostalgic about years from now.

 

What titles are you hoping won’t fall through the cracks this year?  Let us know your opinion, and what you think of my choices, in the comments.