Given that Americas economy is built around consumers spending billions during the holidays, its no surprise that every November is overflowing with game releases. That means millions of copies sold of mega-franchises like Assassins Creed and Call of Duty, but there are always dozens of other games that launch in this time of year that get overlooked. And thats about to happen again over the next six weeks of releases.
The titles we compiled would be overlooked in any normal November, but when you add in the extra factor of both new consoles launching, that means many games will contend for shelf space against new PS4 games and Xbox One games. So, in an effort to shed light on games youll likely miss out on--or may have not even heard of--here are 10 games scheduled for release by the end of 2013 that you should definitely watch out for. Starting with...
Will be overshadowed by: Sonys influx of indie games
The PS Vita is an amazing piece of hardware, but its biggest issue has been a real lack of games for the machine. The Vita really need that killer app that would incorporate all the systems strengths into one awesome game. Based on what we played over multiple events, Tearaway could very well be that game--but the papercraft platformer is beneath everyones radar!
First shown over a year ago, Tearaway comes from the team behind LittleBigPlanet, a team that brings similar DIY style and creativity to this Vita original. After promising showing on the way towards an October launch, Tearaway got delayed until 11/22. So now the game for a system many have forgotten about has to come one week after Sony spends all its marketing dollars on the PS4. Hopefully Tearaway is good enough to survive on word of mouth alone.
Mario Party: Island Tour
Will be overshadowed by: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Mario Party was once an infamously overexposed series, but NIntendo slowed down the releases over the last few years, which lead to an uptick in quality. Seriously, Mario Party 9 was really good. NIntendo and developer Nd Cube are returning to the series again, this time for its first 3DS entry, and we really enjoyed our brief time with Island Tour.
The game looks to translate whats best about the series to handhelds, and that includes the advancements made in the last Wii entry. But will those improvements even matter when its out the same day as a brand new Zelda adventure? Even if gamers choose to get a portable game on 11/22 over anything Xbox One related, its hard to believe anyone would go to Mario Party first.
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know!
Will be overshadowed by: Super Mario 3D World
WayForward ended up being the right developer for games based on Adventure Time. The cult hit cartoon has a clear love for 8-bit gaming, The Legend of Zelda in particular, and WayForward harnessed that with last years fun (but all-too-brief) 3DS game. It played like The Legend of Zelda II and featured tons of references to the show, and now that concept is getting expanded on the consoles as a multiplayer-focused dungeon crawler. And that means side characters like Marceline and Peppermint Butler will be playable in addition to Finn and Jake.
The first Adventure Time game had the promise of something great that we hope pays off in the sequel, but how many players will notice? It not only launches on 360/PS3 during the new console launch, its also up against the similarly multiplayer-enhanced Super Mario 3D World. Though if those get overlooked, fans of the wonderfully offbeat series will likely pick it up on 3DS, at the very least to get the BMO collectors edition.
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
Will be overshadowed by: Knack and the PS4
The Ratchet series has taken some weird detours over the last few years, delving into four player co-op and tower defense genres. Now the series is returning to its core platforming gameplay in a new entry from original developer, Insomniac. Nexus intends to refocus on fan-favorite concepts like a deep armory of weapons and creative exploration in a story meant to wrap the Future subseries.
Closing Future just as PlayStation 3 gets put out to pasture makes sense when the subseries began on the PS3, but that unfortunately means that Nexus has to come out alongside the PS4. Launching three days before the PS4, how can Ratchet standout next to Sonys next-gen Mascot, Knack? Then again, looks arent everything.
Will be overshadowed by: Ducktales retail release
Kickstarter has shown a lot of promise for financing games, but KS success story Shovel Knight will be one of the first retro-minded KS successes to finally launch this year. Shovel Knight is the first title from Yacht Club games, a developer made up of former developers from WayForward. SK allows those devs to proudly display their love of the past with a game that both looks and feels like an NES game, right down to gameplay inspired by Mega Man, Castlevania, and Metroid.
From our brief time playing the game on both Wii U and 3DS, it certainly feels like a lost NES release, but that might be why few people outside the Kickstarter pledges might notice it. The Wii Us eShop is overlooked by most gamers, with the 3DSs only getting moderately more exposure. And when WayForwards own launch of an actual lost NES game, DuckTales, gets a retail rerelease around the same time, it might be hard for an extra niche title like Shovel Knight to get any exposure.
XCOM: Enemy Within
Will be overshadowed by: Underestimating Firaxis massive expansions
Last year developer Firaxis was given the incredibly difficult task of translating XCOM, one of the most hardcore PC strategy franchises ever, and make it work on consoles. Firaxis more than met the challenge by effectively translating console controls into the series to make it one of the most rewarding challenges in recent memory. Now Firaxis has prepared a major expansion for the reboot, but it couldnt come out at a worse time.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown got decent word of mouth to make it a financial success, but it also had the benefit of launching in the slightly slower time of early October. Meanwhile, this expansion is coming in the middle of a next-gen shit storm. On the bright side, PC elitist will no doubt have time for it, but what about those poor console gamers?
Super T.I.M.E. Force
Will be overshadowed by: Lococycle, Killer Instinct, and other Xbox One downloads
Though the cut off wont be as pronounced as it was when the 360 replaced the original Xbox, Xbox One releases are already outshining 360 games before the new console even launches. That goes double for XBLA, as Microsoft has been talking up Xbox One downloads like Killer Instinct and Lococycle, but have little to say about 360s digital games. Which is sad, because Super T.I.M.E. Force begs your attention.
Super T.I.M.E. force is a hectic shooter that calls back to the radical 1990s with its headbands, hot pink glasses, and skateboarding dinosaurs. A tribute of sorts to games like Contra, the Capybara developed games interesting hook is that the characters use time travel to run through a level multiple times while being supported by themselves from a previous playthrough. This game looks inviting and charming, but if its out this year like the developers recently reconfirmed, we hope enough people be watching their 360s dashboard to notice this already niche title.
Will be overshadowed by: Basically everything
Weve talk a lot about niche games, but many of them will have the assistance of major publishers like Sony and 2K. Or they have a famous franchise or TV show attached to them. But AquaPazza has a mid-sized publisher in Atlus, but the 2D fighter crosses over with several different games and anime series. Unfortunately, most of them have never seen official release in the US.
AquaPazza got its start as a cult PC fighting game among Japanese fans, eventually earning it a PS3 port which is now coming to the US. The roster hails from ahem adult visual novels like To Heart and White Album, though the game itself is rated T by the ESRB. Its a dream match for the few western fans of Aquaplus games, but your average fighting game fan might appreciate the games visual flare and combat thats already been heavily tested by fans in Japan.
Keep an eye out
Those are GRs picks for the games we think youll miss this year, but do you know of any we overlooked? Let us know in the comments! Wed hate to miss any promising games.
And if you're looking for more info on upcoming games, check out the 50 most anticipated games still coming out in 2013 and our list of the games of November 2013.