Most Anticipated Video Games of 2013

I haven’t done a video game feature yet, so it seems obvious to write about some of the most anticipated games of 2013…and my chances of actually playing them.

BEYOND: TWO SOULS TBD for PS3 

THE DEAL: This psychological thriller is Quantic Dream’s follow-up to 2010’s Heavy Rain and features a performance from Juno herself Ellen Page as the main character. The player experiences 15 years of her life as we try to piece together the secrets of the mysterious ghostly companion at her side and discover what lies beyond after death. Quantic Dream’s success with Heavy Rain in redefining how we play games has gamers excited for this next project.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: SLIM TO NONE I don’t own a PS3 which poses a challenge considering this is a PS3 exclusive.

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BIOSHOCK INFINITE March 26 for 360/PS3/PC

THE DEAL: The original Bioshock from 2007 is an already classic game due to its cinematic-like quality, rich narrative with twists around every corner, and the setting of Rapture, a utopia-turned-wasteland beneath the sea. Bioshock Infinite is the third game in the Bioshock franchise, but don’t expect to return to Rapture. Infinite takes place in a new city (in the sky rather than underwater) and new time period, and it remains to be seen whether there’s any connection to Rapture. However, after Bioshock 2 took a slight misstep (I say slight because it wasn’t a disaster), we can expect Infinite to return to the creativity and originality that made the original a nearly universally acclaimed game.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: HIGHER THAN WIZ KHALIFA I’m playing this game no matter what.

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DEAD SPACE 3 February 5 for 360/PS3/PC

THE DEAL: The original Dead Space was a refreshing entry into the horror genre, piling on the blood and gore as Isaac Clarke took aim at the limbs of thousands of Necromorphs on the planet-cracking ship, the USG Ishimura. Its sequel improved on the foundations laid by its predecessor with a faster-moving story, more action, and actually giving Isaac some character. The third game in the series takes place on an ice planet with new emphasis on cooperative multiplayer. Is this a good idea for a series built on solo play and its claustrophobic atmosphere? Time will tell. 

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: VERY HIGH I own, and highly enjoyed, the first two games, and definitely plan on playing this one. Lets hope it doesn’t suck.

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GEARS OF WAR: JUDGEMENT March 19 for 360

THE DEAL: Judgement is the fourth game in the Gears of War series, but acts as a prequel to the trilogy before it. Because after 3 titles, the obvious thing to do is a prequel. Since it’s a prequel, players can say bye to Marcus and say hello to Damon and Augustus, whoever they are. Really, does anyone play Gears of War for the story or characters? My assumption is that they play to chainsaw the shit out of Locusts.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: LOW I’ve never played the first three games so I don’t know about my chances of playing this one. But considering it’s actually a 360 exclusive and we don’t get many of those, maybe I’ll give it a shot. Knowing me, though, I’d rather just get the first couple games for really cheap and play those.

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GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION March 12 for PS3

THE DEAL: The popular series gets its seventh entry and second game on the PS3, the first being 2010’s God of War III. Apparently, Kratos has something against Ares in the campaign, but talk of the town is actually a new-to-the-series multiplayer mode.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: SLIM TO NONE Don’t own a PS3, so I can’t afford to care about the single player or the new multiplayer. Woe is me.

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GRAND THEFT AUTO V TBD for 360/PS3

THE DEAL: It’s Grand Theft Auto, one of the biggest gaming series ever. And it’s been five years since GTA IV, so ya just know people are waiting to get their car-stealing, cop-shooting fix.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: POSSIBLE There’s other games I’m looking forward to playing more, but if the chance arises, I’ll be on it.

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INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US April 16 for 360/PS3/Wii U

THE DEAL: This DC fighting game is from the creators of the 2011 Mortal Kombat game so expect something similar to that. The game is expected to feature the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Catwoman, Lex Luthor, Deathstroke, and Bane (but no Tom Hardy). Sadly, no word on whether Aquaman will make an appearance. Sigh.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: POSSIBLE I love me some superheroes and if the reviews are good, maybe I’ll find myself playing this one.

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THE LAST OF US May 7 for PS3

THE DEAL: The Last of Us is an upcoming PS3 exclusive from Naughty Dog, the creators of the Uncharted series. That already puts it ahead of the pack on gamers’ buying lists. The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where zombie-like creatures roam the streets. Gamers like their zombie games, and I don’t think The Last of Us will have to do much to set it apart from the crowd: it’s got Naughty Dog, stunning graphics, and an Ellen Page (there she is again) look-a-like going for it already.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: OKAY, I GET IT, PS3 HAS A LOT OF DAMN EXCLUSIVES!! Games like this make me wish I could afford both an X-Box and Playstation.

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PIKMIN 3 TBD for Wii U

THE DEAL: I’m gonna assume this is one of the bigger exclusive releases for the Wii U seeing as though the last game was 2004’s Pikmin 2 for GameCube. I’ve tried the Wii U and it’s got loads of potential. And I’ve seen the game in action on a demo and it looks fun enough. The gamepad will be used primarily as a map, so too bad they couldn’t make use of the co-op potential.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: LOW I doubt I’ll be playing it…unless my roommate picks it up.

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SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH March 5 for 360/PS3/PC

THE DEAL: A South Park RPG from the makers of Fallout: New Vegas with heavy creative influence from Matt Stone and Trey Parker that looks exactly like the show’s visuals? It’s no question that fans are excited about this one.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: I RESPECT ITS AUTHORITY No way I’m missing this one. I’m a big fan of South Park and can’t wait to play.

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TOMB RAIDER March 5 for 360/PS3/PC

THE DEAL: This long awaited (and long delayed) reboot finally has a release date. Fans of Lara Croft can expect a dark and gritty (as with everything nowadays) retelling of her origin story, and how she became the tough-as-nails heroine that she is. Also expect multiplayer.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: POSSIBLE If reviews are good, I may find myself picking it up one way or another. Seeing as how it’s released the same time as South Park, I may have to wait. Chances are I won’t play it, but I like my dark and gritty origin stories, so we’ll see.

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THE WALKING DEAD: THE GAME SEASON 2 TBD

THE DEAL: Okay, so this hasn’t been officially confirmed for 2013 yet. But Telltale Games has stated that a season 2 is a definite. We just don’t know when it’s coming. As long as it’s ready to go, I say it would be smart to release it late this year…fans are eager to learn what happens next.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: HELL YES…when it’s actually released. The first five episodes made up one of the best games I’ve ever played.

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WATCH DOGS TBD for 360/PS3/PC

THE DEAL: The demo previewed at E3 was highly impressive, with awesome visuals and highlighting unique gameplay that combines stealth, shooting, and hacking. Despite little being known about it, this is one of the most anticipated games of 2013…but also one of the ones that could be pushed back. Let’s hope it’s not.

MY CHANCES OF PLAYING: HIGH…if it’s actually released this year.

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Music: Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

If the rumors are true, 2013 looks to be a good year for hip-hop and even some ’90s comebacks. Here’s my most anticipated albums of the year, in alphabetical order.

Arcade Fire-TBA I became a fan of Arcade Fire after listening to their last album, the Grammy-winning The Superbs from 2010. This year, the band is planning to release their fourth studio album. Could it mean more Grammy gold?

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Backstreet Boys-TBA Don’t judge me. I, along with most of the young population in the ’90s, loved the Backstreet Boys. Now the news is that their eighth studio album is being released this year and you better be fucking excited. To hell with One Direction.

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Big Sean-Hall of Fame Big Sean’s sophomore album is reportedly being released in February. His debut studio album was entertaining and proved he has what it takes. Now that he’s “finally famous,” I expect even bigger things from the Detroit rapper, especially with a name like Hall of Fame. The album has been confirmed to feature Kanye West, Common, Tyga, and Nas.

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Drake-TBA It seems like Drake catches a lot of shit, mainly due to the fact he coined the phrase “YOLO” which gave every frat boy and sorority slut across the nation further excuse to do stupid  things and forget they did them. But as someone who’s been a fan of Drake since Thank Me Later and has actually listened to his albums other than the radio singles released, I’m excited for his rumored third studio album, which we can expect to be different in style from Take Care.

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Eminem-TBA If the talk is true, we can expect Eminem to release a new album this year, his first solo project since 2010’s Recovery. He’s been featured on some songs and released a collaborative album with Royce da 5’9 since then but reports say he’s been hard at work in the studio putting together a new album. Let’s hope it’s true. One’s gotta wonder how different it will be from Recovery.

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J. Cole-Born Sinner J. Cole’s debut studio album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, proved the rapper is the real deal. His second album was scheduled for release on January 28 but has been pushed back to a later date. That means fans will have to wait a little longer, but if it means Cole makes the album as good as it possibly can be, then I’m all for it. The first single, “Miss America,” has already been released.

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Justin TimberlakeThe 20/20 Experience Timberlake will finally release his first solo album in nearly seven years later this year. In fact, JT just released the first single off the album, “Suit and Tie” featuring Jay-Z, and he’s brought sexy back again. Thank God.

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Kanye West-TBA Who knows if West will actually release an album this year, but rumors are that he’s been working on a solo album, his follow-up to 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’ve even read he’ll be dabbling in a little dubstep. I wouldn’t count it out. West is known for experimenting. There’s even been talks of Cruel Winter, the sequel to G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer, being released sometime this year. Whatever the case, I hope we can expect some new material from Kanye.

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Most Anticipated Movies of 2013

Now that my list of the best films of 2012 is done, here’s my most anticipated of 2013. These aren’t necessarily the movies that will be swarming the awards season come the end of the year, but they’re the movies I’m most excited for currently. I’m looking forward to revisiting this list at the end of the year to see which of these (hopefully) lived up to expectations.

Honorable Mention: After Earth Okay, hear me out. I know it’s M. Night Shya-what’s-his-name. I know it stars mini-Will Smith. I know it’s basically Planet of the Apes minus the apes. I know this movie will most likely suck. But here’s my main reason for anticipating this movie: Will Smith. Will fucking Smith. You know that Men in Black III, released in 2012, was his first movie since Seven Pounds? SEVEN POUNDS. That came out in 2008. That’s four years before a Will Smith-starring movie. I am convinced that the only reason the world didn’t end in 2012 was because Will Smith was finally in a movie again, even if it was Men in Black III.

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10. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire I have yet to finish the book. In fact, I’m only on page 30, but I’ve got time. I read the first book, though, and saw the first movie, and liked them, so I guess that makes me a fan. I’d rather be a fan of a book series about a battle to the death than one about sparkling vampires and werewolves that fall in love with babies. Oh, not to mention that new movie that looks like Twilight for witches. Seriously, what is up with all these “young adult” book series getting made into shitty movies? May The Hunger Games be ever in our favor.

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9. The Lone Ranger Despite the fact that the movie faced budget issues due to a need for…werewolves, I think it was (?) early on in production, and the fact that Tonto is going white-faced to hide the fact that Johnny Depp is playing him, I’m anticipating this flick because my dad’s a fan of the character and therefore, I’m familiar with the source material and I want it to be good.

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8. Kick-Ass 2 The first film was one of my favorite movies of 2010 and the fact that a sequel is getting made with the same cast is pretty exciting. If Matthew Vaughn was returning to direct, it would be higher on the list. Sadly, he isn’t, but that doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to it. He is, however, returning as producer, so there’s that. It doesn’t mean much, but it makes me feel better, so LAY OFF.

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7. Only God Forgives I don’t even know if this movie will get a wide release anywhere, but Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling, the director/actor team that gave us the best film of 2011, Drive, are returning with this thriller that Refn describes as similar to a “western” with a western-type hero. The plot is kind of similar to Drive in that Gosling is getting revenge against people again and there’s a drug smuggling operation. Other than that, I don’t really know much. I didn’t know anything about Drive either and I fucking loved that movie. If the picture below is any indication, prepare to see Gosling get the shit beat out of him.

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6. The Great Gatsby The first trailer used a song from Watch The Throne. That’s more than enough reason to look forward to it. But seriously, this looks like nothing anyone expected from a film adaptation of this classic novel, and to me, that’s all the more reason to look forward to it. When you add in the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio is playing the title character, and you may have a hit on your hands. And if it’s not a hit, then, well, fuck it, read the book.

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5. Pacific Rim Guilermo Del Toro is making a giant alien monsters vs. giant robots movie. That’s plenty of reason to be excited. This is the closest thing we’ll get to a Godzilla movie for…oh…they’re remaking Godzilla?…well, anyway, this movie is gonna rock my socks off, or at least I hope it does. Not to mention Idris Elba is in it (the only black guy in the Thor movie) and he’s bad ass.

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4. Iron Man 3 Remember how everyone went ape shit over the first Iron Man? People even went so far as to say it was better than The Dark Knight (which, okay, whatever floats your boat). And then Iron Man 2 came out and people weren’t really into Iron Man anymore and it was all about Captain America and Thor. And then The Avengers came out and it was all about Iron Man again and, gasp, the Hulk. Well it seems to be all about just Iron Man again due to a change in director and a more “serious” tone for the third movie. And Ben Kingsley and Guy Pierce are the villains. So…fuck yes?

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3. Star Trek Into Darkness The first Star Trek was entertaining and ushered in a new generation of fans. The sequel looks like it’ll follow the same pattern as sequels like The Dark Knight and Empire Strikes Back in that it’s more “dark” and “everything about the first, but better.” It better be dark, or I’ll ask for my money back. Because that will mean a very misleading title. We all know “dark” is all the rage nowadays anyway. That’s why Django Unchained is such a hit, after all.

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2. Elysium  Neil Blomkamp’s first film since District 9, which is probably my favorite movie of 2009. If he can capture the same creativity he did with that movie and infuse it into this, it’s already a classic. I have no knowledge of it save for a very brief and basic plot summary and I’d like to keep it like that.

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1. Man of Steel This movie better be fucking good or I’m done. That is all.

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