In factoring in my “Wants” for this year, I realize that I’m something of a hypocrite. For all my wants of originality and new IP, and everything that goes with it, I’m strangely all about sequels.

My list is pretty set on this: Bioshock: Infinite, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, Mortal Kombat, Dissidia 012, Telltale’s King’s Quest title…. Does Kid Icarus: Uprising even count considering its 20 year hiatus between sequels? And then there’s Yoostar 2, which I never even played the first one.

I’m actually trying to cut back my gaming purchases this year, and biased off the listed titles, I would have more than enough to play with. The thing is, I don’t know if I’m “playing it safe” with the familiar, or it’s just a really good year for the franchises. Bioshock, Elder Scrolls, and Batman all turned out to be first-rate, extremely playable titles from their last versions, so I don’t feel guilty for sticking with what I know in those cases.

Still, there is a call for new characters and situations, or bringing back old titles from the dead. King’s Quest and Kid Icarus fill that latter niche. I’ve seen some great “new” titles like Bit. Trip, World of Goo, Braid, Super Meat Boy, and Castle Crashers, but what’s next? What’s going to be the next title to turn everything on its collective ear? I find it a telling sign that the most creative games of this generation are all downloadable titles. I’m not even factoring in the titles from PopCap or Telltale.

Kinect seems to be offering some new ideas, but in it’s current state, I am starting to see limits. Would I like to try Skyrim while tromping around swinging my sword, or using motions to cast spells? Most definitely. But I keep thinking: “How will I be able to move my character? Or turn, for that matter?” I hope they find more to do with the accessory than just physical activity and dance games. The hacks I’ve seen online are impressive, but when are devs going to apply these ideas?

Gaming has been in a rut of late. I don’t know if its the current economic downturn, or people are just strapped for new ideas. Gaming does go in cycles, however. It’s all fighting one day. Or puzzles the next. Or platformers. These days, it seems all mini-game compilations and first-person shooters. Now everything is motion control. I still haven’t seen as many titles as I’d like to use motion control intelligently. That’s forever been my issue with the Wii (other than the whole “game eating” thing). How many games simulate an actual process or task versus shaking your controller until your arm threatens to dislodge its socket? Even Nintendo has stepped back a little from the motion control to focus on more gameplay and less gimmicks. I see the motion control aspect as having a lot of potential, but we end up see seeing more cloned ideas than original concepts. I expect the same will be true for the 3DS. “Glasses free” 3D sounds promising, but you know we’re going to see a lot of pointless “in your face” gimmicks and unnecessary special effects from companies in the next year. Mark my words.

Anyway, just a little late night rambling before I hit the hay. What are the sequels you find yourself interested in? For that matter, are you happy with the current state of motion control, or do you think it hasn’t reached its potential?

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Filed under: upcoming games