I try to do this once every ~6 months. I swear, great new games seem to be popping up by the dozens. What I’ve noticed however, is that a LOT of games previously slated for a Holiday ’09 release were pushed to a later date, most commonly Spring ’10. Most think this has a lot to do with the impending release of Modern Warfare 2, and I don’t blame them. That’s a game that will inevitably sell “Halo 3-well”, and probably be the biggest release of the year. So I can’t blame publishers for feeling a bit intimidated. Ironically however, like I mentioned before, most of the games fled to the same release window, and are now threatened by Gran Turismo 5, God of War 3, and Final Fantasy 13, all three of which are almost guaranteed to top the sales charts when they release. Nice, guys. At this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if they simply pushed the games again to summer or early fall. Perhaps what publishers need to understand is that there’s really no escape. I’m not sure why, but good games are coming out by the boatload at this point in the current generation. I hear Square-Enix is juggling at least 5 games (or is planning to) at the moment, and other houses like EA, Capcom and Ubisoft are chugging along with fervor as well. The market is going to be at least a little crowded, so all that can be done to avoid losing out financially is to make sure the game is actually good, and for Christ’s sake, advertise it! Even the best games will fall flat on the sales charts if nobody knows about them (See: Valkyria Chronicles).
Games I’m Looking Forward To #2
Anyway, let’s get this going.
-Assassin’s Creed 2; Ever since I played Batman Arkham Asylum I’ve found myself paying more and more attention to Assassin’s Creed 2. The two share a few gameplay concepts, and frankly I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
-Uncharted 2; This is promising to be a complete package in a vein similar to Resistance 2; A full-featured singleplayer campaign, with competent multiplayer and co-op to boot.
-Star Ocean: The Last Hope International; Yep, it’s been announced for PS3, and it’s coming early this February. Hopefully the story won’t be as prone to being sidetracked as Till the End of Time.
-Modnation Racers; Mario Kart+LittleBigPlanet=Modnation Racers. It’s that simple.
-Borderlands; It’s a little like Diablo, except instead of fantasy, magic and medieval weaponry, you have FPS action, a desert wasteland, and 4 player Co-Op.
-Demon’s Souls; This has actually been out for quite some time in Japan and other Asian countries (with English vocals to boot!), but I decided to wait. It seems Atlus knew there would people like me, and is thus including some swag with their localized version. The game is praised both for it’s old-school hardcore difficulty, and for its simple addictiveness. I haven’t played it at all, but besides the difficulty (which has been rationalized by some), I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about it.
-Dead Nation; This is a zombie dual-stick shooter that came from the people behind Super Stardust HD, a game very close to my heart. It’ll have two-player co-op, and an interesting metagame. I wish Housemarque would give us some sort of release timeframe, so I can decide whether I’ll be able to get it for Christmas.
-PixelJunk Shooter; I’m intrigued at how subtle, yet totally impressive this game feels. Plus it’ll have co-op, which I’m a sucker for.
-Castle Crashers; I love this game just from the videos I’ve seen from it. I have an innate feeling that this game will simply be great, and there will be little reason to read reviews first. Plus, it has 4 player multiplayer! How bad can it be?
-Tales of Vesperia; Still no word on if this game is even getting localized, but I sure hope so. Otherwise I’ll have to just continue being satisfied with Tales of the Abyss.
-The Last Guardian; People know very little about this game, but they already love it anyway. I am among those people.
-3D Dot Game Heroes; It is, for all intents and purposes, a clone of the old 2D top-down Zelda games, except that each pixel is instead a 3D cube. It’s wierd and difficult to explain, but an awesome concept. You really need to see a video or two before the visual style begins to dawn on you.
-Front Mission Evolved; I’m not holding my breath for this one. Mech games have an innate tendency to not be so great, which is kind of ridiculous, because who doesn’t want to duke it out and unleash beam spam and Macross Missile Massacres(TM) in big friggin robots? I want this to be good, don’t get me wrong. But too many mech games have disappointed for me to get my hopes up just yet.
-Resonance of Fate; This game is beautiful. Really. It still sucks that they couldn’t keep the original, more..original name (End of Eternity), but it’s still got some uniqueness going for it. I saw a full battle once, and I have mixed feelings. I’m hoping that was a boss battle, because it took forever. The characters flipping around doing ridiculous stunts and acrobatics while squeezing off dozens of bullets was awesome at first, but got to be repetitive eventually.
-Final Fantasy Versus 13; Yep, still have looking forward to this one. Hopefully SE will have more info on it soon.
-Heavy Rain; I’m a bit worried for Heavy Rain. It’s a new IP, and overall a risky concept that’s suddenly found it’s release date bogged down by a whole lot of other big games. I will probably buy it, because I love the replay value potential, but I hope it doesn’t get flattened by its competitors.
-Lost Planet 2; The demo was all sorts of fun, especially with a full 4 player party. I think I will probably buy it if they manage to work in splitscreen, but if they don’t…we’ll see. I like graphics, and love the mechs and enemies, and of course the multiplayer, but I still have trouble seeing this as worth the full $60 price tag.
-Darksiders; It’s Zelda, with a brutal God of War-like twist on the combat. Will it be good? We’ll see.
-Army of Two: The 40th Day; As of this writing I’m currently playing through the original Army of Two. I’m undecided whether a game like this is worth the full price tag, but it’s not out of the question.
-The Grinder; I like High Voltage and all, but they are really bad at keeping their fans informed about the games they’re working on. They talked up the Grinder a few months ago, then went completely off the radar about it.
-Animales de la Muertes; Another High Voltage game that might as well have been scrapped, for all I know about it. Animales de la Muertes (is that it? can’t fully remember the name) was announced what feels like at least a year ago, but we’ve heard nothing about it. It’s just a WiiWare game! How long could it possibly take to develop?
-Metroid: The Other M; Given how badass Samus is, I’m honestly surprised something like this hasn’t been done before. Team Ninja (the dudes behind Ninja Gaiden) are co-developing, so I have no doubt this game will have no shortage of awesome alien pwnage.
-Red Steel 2; I have mild hopes for this game. I remember reading about the first Red Steel in Nintendo Power. God that game sounded so ridiculously awesome, and the concept it boasted was one of the reasons I bought a Wii. But then I played it. The game wasn’t horrible, but I was sorely disappointed. Maybe with Motion+, Red Steel 2 will deliver.
-Pokemon Heartgold/SoulSilver; I’m fully aware this a blatant attempt to continue milking the franchise that is Pokemon. But I don’t care, because you know what? I had the original Gold for Gameboy Color, and that thing quit on me. I loved that game to tears, so I will buy this for nostalgia and because I love Johto’s pokemon.
-Guild Wars 2; Fuck you, subscription fees. Why should I buy a game, and only get to play it for a month before I have to continue paying for it? No, to hell with that.
-Kingdom Under Fire 2; This is probably going to be a Games for Windows Live game, which will deter me from buying it. But I know one thing; If hacking n’ slashing random dudes in the middle of a crowded battlefield isn’t awesome, I might not be sure what is.
There you have it. The list of games I’m looking forward to most at this point in time.