Nick's Gaming Blog

On The Docket: Upcoming Games You Might Actually Purchase

Oftentimes I find myself thinking, “Geeze Nick, you sure have way too many games on your plate as is…what are you actively doing to keep yourself continually backlogged with titles?”

That’s when I generally end up calling up Kurt/Zander/insert another equally gaming-addicted friend and making a trip to Best Buy or GameStop.  However, this isn’t always the most efficient way to discover that nothing remains (or that, remarkably, something still remains) for one to waste spend money on.  Time is money…and so is gasoline, for that matter.

What am I going to do about it?  The usual, sob uncontrollably and reach for whatever frozen food item in the freezer contains the most Trans Fats.

I mean…do a little investigative work on the “oh-so” wonderful website known as GameFaqs to check upcoming titles without having to leave the messy confines of my room.  Isn’t the Internet great like that (and by “that” I mean providing ceaseless fodder for “To Catch A Predator”)?  Of course, their system has a couple faults; namely that they force the reader to go to the sub-page for each console to pull up its respective list, instead of conveniently placing the combined releases for all consoles on one page.  In addition, and I can’t blame them for this, they don’t sift through the list to remove such “quality” titles as anything prefaced with “Bratz”  or from Ubisoft’s “Imagine” series.

You, my friend, are more than likely a quality gamer…the sort that does not buy titles of that sort, nor do you need to tire your strained eyes further reading such drivel.  So let me do it for you.  Below is a list of titles that have just come out/soon will arrive on consoles, and a short blurb on why it just might merit purchasing.

Wii

4/20–Monster Hunter Tri–Look, it’s arguably the best looking game on the Wii, it’s reviewing well, and for 60 dollars it comes with the “Classic Controller Pro.”  Essentially, it’s a WYSIWYG game: Your job is to…well…hunt down massively over-sized creatures, underwater and on land with axes, swords, and other sharp monster-carving implements.  It also has free online play, and actively supports Wii Speak.

Nietzsche: He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster."--I don't think he was talking about this game.

4/27–2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa–This game already has three things working against it, to be honest.  First, it’s a sports game, which most hardcore gamers tend to scorn, as one cannot play as Samus Aran in some disrobed state or as any member of the Belmont Clan.  Secondly, of all sports, it’s the one that’s low-scoring and the rest of the world loves, ergo we as Americans have an obligation to hate it.  Finally, it’s the Wii version of a sports game: poor controls, stupid Wii-motion utilization, and low-res graphics.  However, if you happen to like soccer and you only have a Wii and you can’t wait for the next actual FIFA or Winning Eleven title…then this is for you.

5/18–Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands–One has to respect when developers putting out a title on a plethora of platforms (alliteration FTW!) takes the time to properly weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each console, and custom build each title according to such.  This just so happens to be the case with The Forgotten Sands for the Wii, which is being designed separately from its PS3 and Xbox 360 counterparts by Ubisoft’s Quebec City studio with the intent of covering a different chapter of the Prince’s adventures.  It also just so happens to look amazing.  Personally, I think if this “semi-tie-in” title happens to suck (see: 2008′s Prince of Persia) it won’t, unlike much of the time, be isolated to the Wii edition.  That’s a compliment, for those Wii owners not paying attention.  P.S.  Ubisoft?  Don’t give me another reason to hate you, i.e, destroy my favorite franchise of yours.

5/23–Super Mario Galaxy 2–Does it even merit any sort of follow-up info in addition to the title?  It’s Mario, so you know it’ll be good…people will buy it regardless.  I kid.  In all seriousness, the shift of the franchise in the Galaxy direction was a good one…I can name more than a few gamers that were disappointed with Mario’s H20 Jetpack Adventure (myself included) that think Galaxy more than makes up for it.  Yeah, I know, I know…some people worry that popular franchise titles shouldn’t have sequels…Final Fantasy X-2, anyone?  Others might complain that the game is nothing more than a “level pack” expansion to the original with a few twists.  It just might be such…and that’s fine.

If you don't think romping around on a planet remarkably shaped like Mario's head sounds like fun...you are likely going to hell. Have fun.

DS

5/04–Dementium II–I don’t own a DS, but I did play the first Dementium for about an hour and a half.  That probably makes me about as qualified to speak about it as most of those folks on those Holiday Inn Express commercials.  I can say this though…those looking to “fill up” their ” handheld first-person survival-horror tank” (it’s behind the premium) would do well to look into the franchise.  You get to roam around a sanitarium once more, there’s an increased emphasis on melee weapons, and the ability to use the flashlight in conjunction with single-handed weapons is a huge addition too.  There’s not much else to say, really.  This is the sort of genre that tends to appeal to a select audience, who will buy the game (barring an awful critical reception) on the genre’s limited offerings recently (especially on handhelds).

5/18–Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow–Unlike Dementium II, the DS market is already quite saturated with RPGs…many that happen to be better than the latest offering in Mistwalker’s recent title.  They got the guy (Akira Toriyama) who created Dragon Ball Z (something for which I know next to nothing, but appreciate his style) and did the art design for Dragon Quest VIII, (a visual masterpiece) as well as the other titles in the series…and that’s the best he could do for character design?  *Groan*  Famitsu magazine gave the game a 31/40, so unless you really love the franchise, or have exhausted all other DS RPG options (if that’s the case, I’m really disturbed!) then it might be worth doing a little extra research on the game.

I honestly don't find any of this art design appealing. Why did I buy Blue Dragon for the 360 anyway? Oh, that's right, I wanted to play an RPG.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands–a quick cursory search doesn’t yield much about this pocket sized edition of the Prince.  Just know that it’s there if, you know, you wanted it.  Last couple ones were decent.

PSP

4/23–Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley–Do I love my Harvest Moon games?  Yes.  Yes I do.  Am I aware that all of them are essentially the same game?  Absolutely…when one does not take the Rune Factory series into consideration.  Specifically, the game’s more or less been confirmed to be a rehashing/remake of the PlayStation 2′s title Harvest Moon: Save the Farm…once again your hometown of Sugar Village stands to be bulldozed to hell unless you can do something about it.  However, there’s now sixteen different paths to accomplish such, instead of the original nine.  Whatever that means.  Given a choice, I’d still play Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life over any of the other ones any day of the week.

5/25–ModNation Racers (PSP Edition)–Ever wondered what would happen if Little Big Planet met Mario Kart?  Well, the emphasis on user generated content will hit the race track at the tail-end of May for both the PSP and its big brother, the PS3.  Not much has been said about the differences between the two consoles, aside from the fact that the PS3′s online multiplayer will allow up to 12 participants in a race, while the PSP has been capped at 6.  Other than that, expect a freakish amount of customization in track design, as well as driver design, and Little Big Planet’s love for importing characters from other games is also found here.  Preorders can land you Nathan Drake, Ratchet and Clank, or Kratos as it stands.

As much as I like these guys, you gotta admit that the Sackboy edition of Kratos was cuter. Though, that probably was the point.

June will be a bit kinder to the PSP, offering up such gems as Disgaea: Infinite and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on the 8th…but until then…hang tight, play something older/a different system…or begin to rethink only owning a PSP.

Xbox 360

4/27–2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa–Remember that soccer title we discussed in the Wii section of this post?  Imagine it with slightly better controls, functional online play, and HD graphics.  Still not interested?  That’s what I thought.

Dead to Rights: Retribution–Looking for a 3rd person “over-the-shoulder” shooter in which a renegade cop with “nothing-left-to-lose” teams up with a dog to take down a city ridden with crime?  You’re not?  Well…supposing you were, and you were excited at the prospect of ordering Shadow to strangle people, or hold them in place so you can shoot them…then Retribution might be your sort of title.  Otherwise, this title sounds so derivative, and…well, let me be honest: this franchise was barely average the first time; a poor man’s Max Payne (down to the bullet time) if you will.

NIER–Alright, I’ve been giving Kurt a hard time over how the main character looks unusually aged to be the protagonist in a Japanese RPG, but that aside, NIER has potential.  It’s a RPG with an emphasis on action, as Nier attempts to find a cure for his sick daughter, who is suffering from something known as The Black Scrawl, which has also been linked to the appearance of enemies known as shades.  Nier is joined by several interesting characters in this predictably drawn-out quest, and you’ll be able to gain proficiency in martial arts, magic, and weapons, both single and two-handed.  Again, it’s a simple question of whether or not you like Japanese-developed action RPGs, essentially.

See what I mean, the guy looks old, even for a dad! In the version of the game that Japan gets, he's younger.

Super Street Fighter IV–Let’s start with a simple question: Do you already own Street Fighter IV? If “yes”…do you really, really like it?  If “yes” is still your answer, then shelling out $40 dollars will net you: ten new characters (8 from previous games) an additional alternate costume for each character from Street Fighter IV, as well as the addition of an “ultra combos” system, and some new online modes.  However, if you like fighting games, and you don’t own Street Fighter IV (an odd scenario, I know) then this is almost a no-brainer.

5/11

Batman: Arkham Asylum (GOTY)–Umm….WHY DON’T YOU OWN THIS GAME ALREADY?  Now go to your room and think about your life.  And how it’s frightfully meaningless without playing said game.

Lost Planet 2–So remember the effort to make the planet E.D.N III a livable one in Lost Planet? Well, it’s ten years since the mech-hopping, snow-laden events of the first title, and the snowdrifts reminiscent of Buffalo, NY have given way to jungles, and the sorts of locales most couples visit for their honeymoon, and end up with Giardia.  Big improvement?  As you aren’t in the Arctic Circle anymore, you’re not continually losing T-Energy (even though that’s what everybody is still fighting over)…only seeing it diminish when you use certain weapons or pilot mechs.  There’s also an increased emphasis on co-op play, and instead of Wayne from the first game, you customize your own character from a blank slate.

Skate 3–EA’s latest entry in the “Tony Hawk-dethroning” skateboard series hopes to make things easier for the rest of us who actually began to wonder if skateboarding wouldn’t be easier to do in real life.  They’ve added more help sessions with the assistance of a certain character called “Coach Frank” who is played by Jason Lee.  This, in its own right, is a huge reason to buy the game.  Interesting fact: before he became an actor, Lee was a professional skateboarder. I shit you not.  I like the aesthetic, as well as the options and customization…but unless this series “dumbs down” the controls for those of us who can’t “flick the c-stick” with the best of ‘em…I’m a-gonna pass.

This man teaches lessons...in awesomeness.

5/18

Alan Wake–Look, if you haven’t figured out from all my other posts that Alan Wake is going to kick ass, take names…and then possibly kick some more ass…then you’re probably new to my site.  In that case…umm…Hello.  I’m Nick.  Now go read about how the creators of the Max Payne franchise created this Twin Peaks inspired masterpiece.

Red Dead Redemption–I’ve already written a fair amount about this as well, but if you’re still in the dark, let me give you a basic premise.  Do you like Grand Theft Auto 4′s “go anywhere, do anything” premise?  How about we transplant that from Liberty City to the Wild West around the turn of the 20th Century?  Wanna hunt buffalo and be chased by cougars?  Ride horses into the sunset and use a lasso?  Get into a duel or an all-out brawl in a saloon?  Well, so do the rest of us, and that’s why we’ll be buying Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption on May 18th.  That simple, people.

Split/Second–I know, some of you will write it off as “just another racing game” but, like BLUR, I think this has potential…after all, it is by the guys that made PURE. The premise is interesting: you’ll fill a certain meter by performing stunts, or driving techniques like closely passing someone or drafting.  Fill it up and you’ll be able to trigger such abilities as creating obstacles for other competitors, giving you shorter routes to take, or even changing the course altogether.  The trick is that the more you fill the bar, the more powerful these moves are, creating a certain strategy as to holding off to the end, or utilizing them in small, but less-powerful bursts throughout the race.

Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands–If this ends up like the old PoP games (which it looks like it might be, both visually and puzzle-wise) then all will be well.  If this turns out to be more of a movie tie-in than an actual title, and attempts ANY of the “hand-holding” and “it’s all good” mentality of the 2008 release, then we’re all really in trouble.

Yes, I know...there have been rumors about this screenshot being a prerendered, or at the very least airbrushed...but it gives me hope. Those skeletons look PISSED!!!

PS3

This is simple.  Take the 360 releases, remove Alan Wake, and add 3D Dot Game Heroes, which (in addition to coming out on 5/11) looks like a 2D Zelda title in a 3D world.  Though, frankly, it just looks weird, but not entirely in a bad way.  If you’re into Zelda or retro games of that fashion…or just know that everything From Software does is kooky in a “at the very least above average” way, then you might want to take a gander.  Also, add the PS3 version of ModNation.

PC

Honestly, I’m very unfamiliar with any of the titles coming out over the next month or two for PC.  Anybody that’s really into PC gaming, feel free to fill me in on what possibly might be a launch purchase for PC in your future.

1 Comment

    Looks like there’s a whole bunch of games to look forward to!

    I’m pumped about Monster Hunter Tri. I played a little bit of Monster Hunter 2 and loved it, and I love the concept of the game and it’s multiplayer. Even though the game is just basically a Cabela Big Game Hunter game but with dinosaurs and dragons, the idea of having to work with a group of players to take down beats like that really intrigues me. I know I won’t be able to get it, what with me not owning a wii, but it looks like it’s gonna be fun!

    Still super excited for Red Dead Redemption. They just released a new video for the multiplayer game modes and it’s looking pretty fun. Not especially innovative, but in the western setting, things like a “capture the flag” mode with bags of gold looks at least somewhat new. Not sure how I’m going to make it through the summer or school year with all the money that I’m dropping on games though. ^~^

    Not to be a… “nudge”, but I didn’t know what WYSIWYG was and I couldn’t guess what it was either. I had to google it. Pro tip: If people have to leave your site to investigate something, that increases the chance that they will get distracted and not navigate back to your site. I know I’m not exactly on the cusp of internet stuff, video games, and terminology, but I’d think it not the best to assume that the rest of your readership is either.

Leave a Reply