Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Staff picks: the 9 best Asian games of 2013

With the year drawing to a close, we thought it'd be fun to take a look back at the Asia-developed games that came out this year and pick a few of our favorites. Regular Tech in Asia readers will know that is our new sister site. Of course, since Games in Asia has only been around for a couple of months, there might be some titles that our fast-expanding team has missed. But if you missed any of these games this year, now's your chance to right that wrong!


(for PC): The original Korean Blade & Soul didn't come out this year, but the Chinese version (pictured above) did, and that counts. This gorgeous MMORPG isn't perfect, but it has come as close as any MMORPG ever has to making me an addict.

(for iOS): When it comes to mobile time-wasters, it's hard to beat Plane War. This is the shoot-em-up genre distilled to its finest elements, and I spent more time than I care to admit blasting aliens to smithereens.

Honorable mention: I can't really put on this list because the game isn't out yet, but the demo was pretty terrifying.


NI NO KUNI: WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH (for PS3): This game was a piece of art. The game was developed by Studio Ghibli, my favorite anime studio, and with music by Hisaishi Joe, my favorite composer, how could this be anything less than my favorite game of the year?

(for iOS): I picked this up a few weeks ago for my iPad, and wasn't expecting much. It just looked like any other monster collecting RPG, but after I gave it a go the game completely stole my heart, and subsequently my free time. Hunter Island has got a lot to offer, and it's only a buck.


DMC: DEVIL MAY CRY (for PlayStation and XBox): Do you remember the rage when we first saw the new Dante? The vitriol spewed forth by fans of the Devil May Cry series who predicted Dante's new look harkened the end of series' awesomeness? Do you remember how wrong they were? Devil May Cry is great in every way an action game can be great. It has oodles of different modes to test the most committed of gamers and it is more than happy to cater for new-comers as well. Add onto that the incredible Virgil's fall DLC and you have one of the best games released this year.

SMT IV (for Nintendo 3DS): SMT IV is best described as a post-apocalyptic Pokemon. Collecting demons, fusing demons and fighting demons in a strange world that mixes both classic and contemporary Japanese culture. If you ever wanted to be a chainsaw swinging, rifle wielding samurai with an army of demons at his command, then this is the game for you!


BLADE & SOUL (for PC): I like action games because they're exciting and challenging. Blade & Soul not only has amazing graphics, but also great action-packed gameplay. Now my only concern is that we've waited for so long. When is the rest of Asia going to get this game?

(for Android and iOS): I believe that games should be a work of art. Underneath the surface, there should be something that will make you remember it in a very unique way. Pretentious Game doesn't boast amazing graphics and has no complicated gameplay, but makes use of great story-telling to work with the player's imagination. I mean, I ended up sympathizing with a little blue square. That has to mean something.


ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF (for Nintendo 3DS): This was the first Animal Crossing game I picked up and I completely understand why people get so crazy about it. It's the perfect blend of relaxing, everyday life with an undertone of city building. You get to customize your character and your town and even nudge unwanted townsfolk towards moving out. And you get to shake trees for fruit. I dunno about you, but Animal Crossing: New Leaf is going to be something I'll be playing for many years to come.

(for Nintendo 3DS): The Pokemon RPG series finally made the leap into 3D. While Pokemon X & Y's story is somewhat lacking, its gameplay completely makes up for it. A true Pokemon master would squirm in delight at being able to send forth fully 3D pocket monsters with brand new cries, not to mention being able to play with and pet them in Pokemon Amie.

(Editing by Steven Millward)

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