Most Anticipated JRPGs of 2013 - Article

By Karl Koebke, January 21, 2013
12,866 Views

It's the slow season for gaming so as always it's time to reflect on the things you'll be able to buy when the release schedule isn't so damn barren. Since I'm a JRPG fan at heart I've made a list of what fellow fans can expect in 2013. If a game you were thinking would be here isn't then it's probably because I don't have high hopes for it releasing in the West in 2013 (Shin Megami Tensei IV, Final Fantasy Vs. 13), I forgot about it, or I'm sick and tired of Lightning. Without further ado, here's the list.

 

Ni no Kuni
Release date: 22nd January
Platform(s): PS3

After months of waiting it's practically upon us, a JRPG made by a collaboration between the talents at Level 5 and Studio Ghibli.  A tragic set of events in the real world forces Oliver to visit the world of Ni no Kuni with the hope of getting back what he lost.  Add onto that beautiful visuals and a pokemon-inspired battle system of catching and training monsters and you have the recipe for something truly amazing.  Here's hoping it lives up to all our hopes when Ni no Kuni releases on January 22nd.

Read the preview

 

Atelier Ayesha: Alchemist of Dusk
Release date: 5th March
Platform(s): PS3


It's time for another year of alchemical fun with one of the best crafting systems in gaming.  Gust's series is back with more involved battle systems, a storyline of finding a lost sibling which will hopefully match the emotional narrative in Atelier Totori, and an improved crafting system.  Recently announced for North American release on March 5th, I can't wait to see if Gust has been able to continue the upward trend in quality they showed with the Atelier Arland series.


Pandora's Tower
Release date: 26th March
Platforms: Wii


North American gamers are finally going to get their hands on the third and last title from the Operation Rainfall localization campaign: Pandora's Tower. The European release was one of the best surprises from 2012 and North American Wii owners should definitely keep their eyes on this one for the interesting focused narrative, time management gameplay, and Zelda-like dungeon exploration. Xseed will be bringing Pandora's Tower to North America sometime in the Spring.

Read the review


Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Release date: 16th April
Platform(s): 3DS


Updated ports get a bad rap sometimes, but if Atlus' latest efforts are anything to go by there's no reason to look down on an updated Shin Megami Tensei title. Soul Hackers is the sequel to Devil Summoner and like its predecessor it focuses on maintaining the relationships with, and loyalty of, your demon subordinates. Neglect these and you'll soon find your demons going against your orders or simply up and leaving. Expect to find all the intricate gameplay and occult settings you love from a Shin Megami Tensei title when Soul Hackers see its first official English release April 16th. 

 


Pokemon X and Y
Release date: October
Platform(s): 3DS



For the first time in the series' history a non-spinoff Pokemon is moving into 3D. Not much else is known beyond the move to 3D and the starting pokemon you'll have to choose from, but with a worldwide release date set for October 2013 and a pattern of excellence, fans might as well start getting excited now. I'm sure Pokemon fans don't need me to tell them, though.


Tales of Xillia
Release date: TBA
Platform(s): PS3


Namco Bandai is at it again with a long awaited Tales game they've decided to finally bring to the West. Tales of Xillia allows you to play the game from two different perspectives: Jude Mathis or Millia Maxwell and it's the first time both of the Tales team character designers have worked on a title together. The release date isn't nailed down yet but Western Tales fans will finally get a chance to play this anniversary-celebrating Tales game sometime in 2013.


The Witch and the Hundred Knights
Release date: TBA
Platform(s): PS3


It's been a while since we heard about this title, but I still have high hopes of it not only releasing in 2013 but being something truly special when it does. An action RPG from Nippon Ichi Software, it promises to give you freedom unlike most JRPGs to do with the NPCs as you will. Just because you're saving the world doesn't mean you have to be a nice guy about it! This melding of WRPG ideals of freedom along with the humor and style of NIS has me excited for the possibilities of The Witch and the Hundred Knights. Now we just have to hope it actually comes out in 2013.


Toki to Towa
Release date: TBA
Platform(s): PS3


Imageepoch didn't really blow me away with the last game of theirs I played (Arc Rise Fantasia), but I'm a sucker for a new IP with a distinct look. When images of Toki to Towa were first released fans were instantly struck with how much the title looked like an anime, and couldn't wait to see if the gameplay style could match the screenshot stills. Gameplay videos from the Japanese release show that the characters definitely look a bit out of place from the background, but it's still an interesting style that's worth a look. If you want to give it a chance as well, look for Namco Bandai to be localizing this title sometime this year, hopefully with some better voice acting results than the previously mentioned Imageepoch game. 


Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
Release date: No Localization Announced
Platform(s): 3DS


It's been a while since a Square Enix published JRPG had me excited, but Bravely Default looks to change that. Made by the creators of 3D Dot Game Heroes it's slated as a traditional RPG with everything you'd expect from that. Turn based combat, random encounters, and a job system all definitely harken back to JRPGs of old, but that isn't all Bravely Default has to offer. Managing "brave points" allows you to decide how many actions to take in a turn at the cost of later turns, and the 3DS' Spotpass feature is used for a town rebuilding minigame. Couple that all with hand-drawn backgrounds and you have something to be excited about.



Ys Celceta: Sea of Trees
Release date: No Localization Announced
Platform(s): PSVita


A long shot since it hasn't been announced yet, but I'm hopeful that Xseed (who localized a number of Falcom's other titles) will announce this for 2013 release. Falcom is known for being masters of the action RPG battle system and Ys Celceta: Sea of Trees marks the first iteration of this title that Falcom is developing in-house after a long and convoluted history. Exploring the forest of Celceta looks like a lot of fun from the Japanese gameplay I've seen and I'm hopeful that Western gamers will get a chance to try out Falcom's latest sometime in 2013.

Related Articles