Yeah yeah, it’s that time of year. The time when games bloggers have to talk about what’s coming up this year, as if we know. Rather than insult your intelligence with a list of “predictions” that really consists of a] poorly-camouflaged retreads of last year’s news (i.e. “Nintendo will release more white plastic accessories”) or b] the grindings of my own personal axes (“Bobby Kotick will rape your mom”), let’s just skip the whole deal and talk about hype. Specifically, the games where hype has gotten my attention and has me honestly interested in a title. Or at least given me something to say about it.
I was kind of embarrassed about this list when I first drew it up and had a look at the big picture: a dozen sequels? That’s what’s on my mind? Honestly, man, where are the exciting fresh ideas? Where are the daring experiments? Where are the new IPs?
Well, I don’t know. Where are they? These are the games I’ve heard about, so these are the ones I’m excited for. It may be that there are some really great indie titles coming out in the next few months, or that there are some really intense franchise-starters getting ready to make their mark, but I haven’t heard of them yet. If you don’t like my list, suggest something really innovative in the comments. You’d be doing me a favor! List starts after the jump.
Definite renter from what I’ve seen. It’s too bad I don’t rent games. Most likely I’ll read reviews from some websites I trust and then wait for the price to drop late this year.
|Mass Effect 2||1/26|
A Day One purchase for me. ME1 felt like a lot of game for my buck, and was the sit-down-together entertainment for me and the Baker for several fun weeks. I’m actually keen to see where they take this, story-wise and in terms of new game mechanics.
Except for Subject Zero. She sounds like an idiot, and I’d sooner put my Shepard’s proxy junk in the cranky krogan’s mouth than sit through a soft-focus cut scene of naked Zero being scrawny and swearing at me.
Again, I’m basing this on track record. Indigo Prophecy wasn’t perfect, but it was so different and interesting that I’d be willing to give the developer a shot at trying to refine the formula. A free hint for David Cage: do not end your game with a battle against a robot made of floating post-its.
|Final Fantasy XIII||3/9|
I’m cautiously curious; Final Fantasy XII left me completely cold after a few hours and I drifted away, but FF games before that have really knocked it out of the park. It’ll be hard to sort through the chaff to get some really useful opinions, but I’m just not ready to jump on this until I hear from someone I respect.
|RE 5: Gold Edition||3/9|
The Resident Evil series has been a constant companion of mine through my adult gaming life; RE2 was actually the first game I bought with my own money. RE4 blew me away, but the buzz on its sequel was mixed enough to make me think twice about spending my hard-earned cash and free time on it. I’m not saying RE5 sounded bad, but you have to bear in mind that I get to play maybe 4-5 hours a week and there were other candidates that were just more likely to please. Now that Capcom is releasing the de rigeur “everything that should have been in it originally” double-dip that seems to come after every big game or DVD, I’m ready to take a chance on the value proposition being offered here.
|Front Mission Evolved||3/29|
FM 3 was one of my all-time life-wasting games on PS1; I think I had something like 180 hours of play logged before I tried plugging the memory card into my PS2 and it ate my save. Early buzz on FME is not positive, which sounds about right given the series’ trajectory. But a boy can dream…
|DoW 2: Chaos Rising||3/30|
Double-Duh. I know Fyre will be going full Chaos in her effort to turn Thaddeus into a Khorne Berzerker, so it’s going to fall to me to keep the Blood Ravens loyal to the Emperor.
A good sandbox game is a joy. When you don’t really feel like getting deeply, truly involved in a game, it’s great to have something you can just pick up and goof off with; not so much a game as a toy, you know?
|Dead Rising 2||August… ish|
It’s hard to know for sure if this is going to be a good’n or not. I’ve written at length about my issues with the original, but for all the problems there was a gleam of real promise beneath the sludgy sheen of annoying design decisions. Decision to come after more coverage, but once again I am hopeful.
|StarCraft II||2010 or thereabouts|