3DS Role-Playing Game Report 2012

Thus far, 3DS owners have slim pickings when it comes to role-playing games. There's the excellent action RPG, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, as well as the difficult to find Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked, but that's about it, unless you want to throw Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns onto the pile.

On the positive side, 2012 will be much better, both in Western markets and Japan. Nintendo has some RPG goodness on the way, while Square Enix and Namco Bandai should also make an impact.

That said, here's a list of most RPGs (action/tactical/turn-based) coming to 3DS, hopefully sooner than later.

Paper Mario 3DS

Nintendo, determined to give its fans as much Mario as possible, will bring this delightful looking adventure to 3DS. In the Paper Mario tradition, you can expect charming 2D cutouts of popular characters. What's especially cool, though, is the way Mario can cut the environment with a pair of scissors, or summon a giant fan to blow enemies away. Should make for some cool 3D effects.

Fire Emblem 3DS

We still haven't heard anything about a new Advance Wars, but who needs it with Fire Emblem 3DS? Little is known about this fantasy inspired and tactical RPG, aside from two versus one battles and exploring via traversable map, giving you the chance to purchase valuable items from a host of locations.

In addition, it has 3D characters over 2D sprites. Definitely looking forward to this one.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Both Sora and Riku set off to become Keyblade Masters in Square Enix's highly anticipated adventure that whisks players to a plethora of Disney themed environments, such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pinocchio and Mickey, Donald and Goofy's The Three Musketeers. A "free-flow" mechanic lets characters jump along walls, while fans will make use of the Command Deck system, first seen in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.

Heroes of Ruin

Square Enix strikes again, this time with an action RPG that features four person co-op, both local and online. Players team up to raid randomly generated dungeons, battling monsters and grabbing as much loot as they can carry. StreetPass lets them swap items, while SpotPass allows the developers at n-Space to add new challenges and weapons. All told, Heroes of Ruin has a ton of potential.

Bravely Default: Flying Fairy

Gorgeous. That's all we can say about Square Enix's Bravely Default: Flying Fairy. The breath-taking graphics put 3DS to great use, while the inclusion of Augmented Reality could make for an interesting experience. Beyond that, the game is a mystery. There's a young male hero, a kidnapped young woman and a whole lot of nothing else. Stay tuned for more info.

Tales of the Abyss

Celebrate the New Year (February 14, to be precise) playing Namco Bandai's port of the popular PlayStation 2 RPG. Take control of hero/brat Luke fon Fabre and explore a beautiful world while battling enemies via the Flex Range Linear Motion Battle System, enjoying new artwork specifically created for the 3DS edition.

Beyond the Labyrinth

Guide a young and mysterious girl through a series of dungeons, battling creatures using three kinds of elemental attacks, a feature that gives this title a rock, paper scissors kind of feel. Not sure how well it plays, but the game features some of the best 3DS graphics yet.

Monster Hunter 4

As much as we'd love to see this new Monster Hunter appear in 2012, its release date is a big question mark. Capcom just unleashed Monster Hunter 3G in Japan less than a week ago, and we don't know how far along in development Monster Hunter 4 is. With this in mind, there exists the possibility it may debut sometime in the fall, with a 2013 U.S. debut a real possibility.

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