Drew’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Games of 2012

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The economy is down, and so are the funds I have to buy games. The problem is, there are still plenty of games coming out between now and the end of the year. Which ones are going to be worthwhile for the investment?

There were a couple of recent releases that I would have possibly included on this list – Suda 51’s Lollipop Chainsaw and the Vita-exclusive Gravity Rush – but looking forward, there are still a ton of games that I hope to play. On the other hand, there are only five that I am completely convinced that I’ll purchase.

In a year that seems to be dominated by a lot of RPGs, here is what I hope to see in the second half of 2012:

#5 – Halo 4
I have always loved journeying with Master Chief through the Halo series. 343 Industries looks to breathe a life into the Halo universe that Bungie seemed to lack with ODST and Reach. Don’t get me wrong, ODST was a fun game that tried something new with the series we all know and love. On the other hand, it didn’t offer much content past its story, and as a standalone game it became much less exciting when Reach came out and improved its Firefight Mode. Similar to ODST, Reach did not showcase the hero of the series, and the lack of the Master Chief is what ultimately took away from the Halo experience I always enjoyed. I was already excited for Halo 4, buy after the single player demo and Spartan Ops demos at E3, I have every reason to trust that 343 Industries has everything under control. It really seems that they are fans of the game, just as I am – so Master Cheif’s return on November 6 should be a very good day for anyone else who enjoys Halo.

#4 – Borderlands 2
When I first played the original Borderlands despite sinking many hours into the title I was left wanting more. I picked up the Borderlands GOTY edition for 20 bucks on sale one day and easily got my moneys worth out of it, despite the lacklustre Underdome DLC. Even after playing through all of the content the GOTY edition had to offer me, I STILL felt like the game could have done more, and even to this day I cannot place my finger on what the game was lacking for me. The more I watch on Borderlands 2, the more I think that this is the final finished product that the original should have been. All of the new characters feel fresh and interesting to me and their special abilities look like they will be a lot more fun than the original protagonists.

#3 – Persona 4: Arena
It’s no secret to the Gamefreaks staff that I love RPGs. Some are obviously going to be better than others, but the Shin Megami series has never failed me before. I currently own every Shin Megami game available on console, and my collection is only missing the two Devil Survivor DS titles. Persona 4 Arena takes the series into unbridled territory and turns the characters that I know and love from a controversial series of RPG’s and turns them into an all out brawl fest. Whatever the outcome, I know seeing these characters in a brand new unfamiliar setting will be refreshing.

#2 – Persona 4 The Golden
I really struggled figuring out which game I was going to put in the number one and number two spot on this list. On the one hand, I have one of my favorite JRPGs of all time. On the other hand, my favorite survival horror series of all time. Decisions, decisions. I decided to put Persona 4 The Golden as my number two pick because of the simple fact that I have played the game before. Sure, I am excited that this wonderful game will be released again. More people will be able to enjoy it, and lets be honest, the Persona series usually stay on store shelves for a month? Maybe two? Get it while it is available because having a Playstation Vita version of one of the best RPGs of the last 10 years with updated content and graphics could be a nice turning point for the Vita.

#1 – Resident Evil 6
Here we are, at my number one pick for the rest of 2012. Resident Evil 6. The REmake for the Nintendo Gamecube is not only my favorite game of all time, but it was also my first foray into the Resident Evil series, and my first Mature rated game. I have been hooked ever since and not looked back. Resident Evil 4 branched away from the tank controls of the original titles, and while I did really enjoy the game, I could not shake the feeling like I was always in control. To me, Resident Evil has always been not knowing what is around the next corner. The sense of fear that I might walk past a hallway and get jumped by a hunter. The over the shoulder view of RE4 took that away from me. At least it was dark and suspenseful, unlike Resident Evil 5. RE5 was set in Africa, and every corner was lit up. The action took all the suspense out of the game. Granted, the game controlled a lot better than Resident Evil 4 and the story was more fleshed out. Resident Evil 6 is shaping up to have the great controls and great action scenes of Resident Evil 5, but also the same dark dreary suspense of Resident Evil 4 and previous titles. October 2nd can’t come soon enough.