It’s been a few weeks since my last New Games Plus, and with good reason; not a damn thing comes out between the second week of December and the second week of January. There’s really no need for me to ramble every week about, “Ohh gawd there are no games,” so I took a much-needed break. Now, I’m back! And ready for another year of great releases.
In this special edition of New Games Plus, I’m taking a look foward at what’s expected for 2009 in no particular order, complete with some predictions on what else will release over the next twelve months.
Killzone 2 (PlayStation 3): The sequel to the PS2’s “Halo-killer” that didn’t quite live up to the hype; also famous for looking incredible “in real-time game engine” back at whatever E3 that was. From clips, conversations and previews, it seems to be shaping up to be one of the rarest of the rare: a good PS3 exclusive.
Street Fighter IV (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3): The first numbered Street Fighter in 11 years brings with it a new graphical style, but retains the same ol’ 2D fighting style. The recent release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix has many people hankerin’ for a new fight, and this is sure to give it to them. Is it worth the $60, though?
Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3): I’m pretty torn on RE5. On one hand, I loved Resident Evil 4 on the Wii. On the other hand, I loved the control scheme of Resident Evil 4 on the Wii. Having downloaded the demo and giving it a try with the 360 controller, it feels really awkward and unwieldly. I’m also not so sure how well the co-op element has been implemented, and that will probably make or break it.
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride and Dragon Quest VI: The Realms of Reverie (Nintendo DS): After playing DQ IV over the past few months, I realize that I really enjoy old school RPGs on my DS. For this reason, these two games are really high on my “must-own-day-one” list, which currently contains two games. I hear that VI is the best in the series; looks like we’ll find out later this year if that’s true.
Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3): Most people who played Chronicles of Riddick for the original Xbox — about 12 people total — said it was the best FPS on the system, and hopefully this new-ish release keeps those high standards intact. Dark Athena is a remake with a whole extra game tacked onto the end of it. For those who can’t get enough Vin Diesel, this is the game for you.
Brutal Legend (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3): Jack Black is a rocker who fights evil demons with the power of rock. Created by Tim Schafer and the Doublefine team. Bound to be awesome.
Wheelman (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3): And in case you need any more Vin Diesel after Riddick, this is the game for you. Wheelman seems to be an over-the-top driving game where you can jump out of your car onto another guy’s car and then kick him out, and then jump a flaming pile of wreckage and shoot bad guys, and then get out of your car and shoot more bad guys. So basically, a GTA clone with more shooting.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC): Infinity Ward’s next Call of Duty game. Expect it to be awesome.
Ghostbusters (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii): The story screams “Ghostbusters 3”, the gameplay screams “accessibility”, the whole package screams “buy me because you’re a fan of Ghostbusters.” And it’s going to surprise a lot of people.
Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360): Ok, so this is me pulling it out of my ass, but I’m going to say that Mass Effect 2 is going to release this year, possibly as early as September. Being able to transfer your character over from the first Mass Effect won’t have as big an impact as originally promised, but there will be a few choices that will vary your game in fairly large ways depending on your previous actions. Also, they’ll ditch the crappy inventory system of the 360 version to the new better PC version.
Guitar Hero Metallica (every exploited console): Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (preorder at Gamestop and get a free pedal!) hhhhhhhhhhhh
The Conduit (Nintendo Wii): After watching this game at PAX, I am making the claim that this will be the single best FPS for the Wii, with the best implementation of controls, for the entire life of the console. The story won’t be anything great, but it will be really goddamn fun to play.
Assassin’s Creed 2: The Creedening (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3): It’s going to come out, it’s going to sell like hotcakes, and it’s going to be way better than the first one.
Looking at that list, it’s surprisingly full of a bunch of games I give a damn about. Of course, we haven’t gotten to the time where all the new big games get announced (E3 season), so expect several more huge blockbusters to come to everybody’s attention then. Seems like it’s going to be a pretty decent year.
Also, this week, Skate 2 and Star Ocean: Second Evolution both come out. I played the original Skate and quickly stopped playing it. Turns out I play Skate as well as I actually skateboard, which is to say not very well. Come back next week as I complain that nothing’s coming out. Good thing I’ve taken MCBanjoMike’s vow to not buy any new games until March.