New Super Mario Bros. U
For me, nothing beats a great platformer, and New Super Mario Bros. U is bound to be one. Sure, it's going to be strikingly familiar, but for a 2D Super Mario game, would you want it any other way?
New Super Mario Bros. U retains the four player cooperative mayhem introduced in the New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but also adds a fifth player to the mix thanks to the Wii U GamePad. Player number 5 (or anybody using the Wii U GamePad) can take advantage of what Nintendo is calling "Boost Mode" to place temporary platforms for the other players about to die, or even take a few pot shots at the enemy. New power-ups are also being introduced in the form of Flying Squirrel Mario and some unique Baby Yoshi powers. Looks like I have another fun romp through the Mushroom Kingdom on my hands.
Pikmin 3 looks absolutely gorgeous with lush environments and enormous detail, it's no surprise Nintendo moved the project over to the Wii U. More important than graphics is the gameplay, and Pikmin 3 seems to deliver. Strategic gameplay makes a return, but like Pikmin 2, Pikmin 3 introduces new Pikmin types that will change your approach to the game. Nintendo introduced Rock Pikmin at E3 and explained that Rock Pikmin would be able to destroy hard surfaces that normal Pikmin wouldn't be able to touch. Pikmin 3 is a glorious return to form for Nintendo fans.
ZombiU will utilize the Wii U GamePad in a way that will make this survival horror game a little more, horrific so to speak. It can be used for inventory, scanning, sonar, and even zooming with a sniper rifle. Breaking from the action to fumble with the Wii U GamePad will make things tense, which is something I dig in survival horror. It looks like Ubisoft handles this feature well, in fact, the design makes sense. This is a game I'll be keeping my eye on in the weeks to come.
Honorable Mentions: Rayman Legends, Assassin's Creed III, Tank! Tank! Tank! and Project P-100
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Definitely my most anticipated 3DS title coming later in the year. I absolutely love the Paper Mario games and this one looks like it'll stick with me for a long time to come.
Paper Mario forgoes the conventional method of battle previously seen in the series and tries something new. As seen in the trailers, stickers will represent your battle actions in the game. Stickers like the Fire Flower will allow you to throw multiple fireballs at your opponent. If you look to the left, you will see a large variety of stickers, which tells me there will be a lot of these to collect. Actually, stickers can be found pretty much anywhere. You can peel them off of objects in the environment, find them in chests, grow them, etc. Another aspect that Nintendo has dropped this time around is a common experience point system. Instead, you must help citizens and complete other quests to gain boosts for your stats. I feel that this will encourage exploration, much like the sticker mechanic, and will do a great job of immersing you into the world of Paper Mario: Sticker Star.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
New Super Mario Bros. 2 looks very familiar, but that's what I want in a Mario game. Sure, I love when Nintendo creates something brand new for the Mario universe (pretty much all the 3D games), but this game retains everything I love about 2D platformers. Plus, Super Mario World mixed with Super Mario Bros. 3 is freaking genius. Raccon Mario? Yes please. Awesome level design? You betcha. Coins? This game got some coins. In fact, there are plenty of opportunities to create mass waves of coins at any given moment. Nintendo has also said that it's possible to collect 1,000,000 coins. Something tells me that if you get 1,000,000 coins, Nintendo will have something special waiting for us. Either that, or I'll be a fool for spending that much time with the game.
Honorable Mentions: Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Castlevania - Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate, Epic Mickey Power of Illusion
Watch_Dogs, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Tomb Raider
All three of these games have me excited, so I couldn't pick just one. Sure, they may also be multiplats, but if I'm being honest, I could care less about Halo 4 and Gears of War: Judgement. Plus, there's only one PS3 game I'm looking forward to, so these games had to end up here!
First off, Watch Dogs looks pretty darn cool. I like the idea that you have a ton of information at your fingertips and it can be used to find and infiltrate enemy bases. Makes you feel like a badass. Plus, I like how the demoed segment showed how the story is intertwined with the gameplay. I've also heard the game being criticized for its duck and cover shooting sequences, but if the hacking and information gameplay delivers, this game can be forgiven for allowing us to shoot a few bad guys.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist... Another Splinter Cell game, and I couldn't be more excited! I absolutely loved the direction Ubisoft took Conviction and I'm excited to see more of the same here as well. Well, not everything is exactly the same, looks like we will be getting a more interactive environment and some new twists on the mark and execute gameplay. If were talking badasses, then I think Jack Bauer, oops, I mean Sam Fisher is definitely up there. Plus, looks like Sam Fisher will be the head honcho this go around, which is quite different for the story this time around.
As were talking about badasses, there is one more person that comes to mind. You got it, It's Lara Croft. Wow, how much punishment did she take at E3? Yet she kept on kicking ass and taking names. However, this Lara isn't the one we remember, nope, this is Lara before she became a legendary tomb raider. I like how the story will show us the roots of her character, and her inevitable character growth. Plus there's sneaking around Splinter Cell style and taking dudes out with a bow and arrow; now that's cool.
The Last of Us
Another game on this list that I'm not too familiar with, but the trailer was enough to get me excited. Apparently, survival is key in this game as well. There are quarantine zones, infected, plus other survivors trying to scavenge supplies. There's a brutal feeling throughout the trailer that I felt Naughty Dog is capturing really well in the game. Environments are post-apocalyptic like and look fantastic. Overall, this is probably one of the coolest incoming PS3 games. Another God of War and a poor man's Super Smash Bros. clone just won't do!