So it’s that time of the year again, New Year’s Eve. A time to look back at the year that was, and what all you could have done but either weren’t able to, or were too lazy to at least try. I’ll not be looking back though, I’ll be looking forwards, and into 2010 in videogames. Here’s some of my top picks in terms of what you should be keeping an eye on during the start of the Tens. Man that feels funny to say, Tens. It’s not like Nineties or Eighties, or even Noughties (I’d have personally called it Zeros or Ohs but they just had to make everything rare didn’t they?).
First off the bat, before I get into anything here, I’m going to try to be as not-biased as I can. I don’t have a 360 and this will of course mean that I’m going to miss out on some awesome 360 exclusives, but you’re free to leave your own suggestions in the comments after if there’s one that I might have overlooked and you think it’ll be a pretty good shout. So with that said, here goes…
Final Fantasy XIII
If you follow gaming blogs at all then you’d be an idiot to not have at least heard the name Final Fantasy mentioned at least once. Even if you hate the genre, you’ve probably seen the hype for yourself. While some people have been bashing it already (might I add, without playing it themselves), almost every JRPG fan will want to play this game, whether they are Final Fantasy Fans, or just to see what all the big deal’s about.
I’m not at liberty to say what the game’s actually about this time because I haven’t a clue myself, I’m distancing myself from potential spoilers, and while I’ve seen the pessimistic opinions of others myself, both native Japanese who know English, and importers that know Japanese, I’m probably still going to get this on Day 1, which is March 9th.
Gran Turismo 5
The King of Driving Sims makes it’s to-be triumphant return to the PlayStation in a fully-numbered series entry to try to steal back some of the attention it’s been losing to Xbox’s Forza Motorsport series, and with full online play, an even larger selection of cars, the eagerly-awaited Ferrari license, if you’re a petrolhead with a PS3 then this is right up your alley. Unless there’s more delays, expect GT5 in May.
Monster Hunter Tri
If you read these pages before, you’ll know how much I love Monster Hunter. This game is per chance the game that will make me buy back my Wii. I’m still holding out for a PS3 version, and I know Capcom will be having a serious think about porting it considering how well the PS3 sells in Japan, but at the same time there’s still a part of me that wants to enjoy the game as it was intended to be. It’s already the best-selling non-Nintendo game on the Wii in Japan at the moment with just shy of a million sold since August. The US localised version being slated for an April release if all goes to plan, but alas, no European release timeframe has been announced yet.
This is the part where I moan about not having an Xbox. Alan Wake is a psychological thriller, much akin to Stephen King novels. The story tells of the titular Alan Wake, a successful novelist himself, hitting writer’s block. His wife takes him on a break to a small rural town to try to see if he can find inspiration, but she winds up missing, and Alan’s world starts to collapse. Weird stuff starts to happen to Alan, and the events of his last novel (which he somehow doesn’t even remember writing) start to come true. The whole gimmick of the game is its light. Enemies in Alan Wake thrive on darkness, and your flashlight will end up being your weapon of choice in most situations. Wake was written by Sami Jarvi, the same guy that wrote Max Payne, so you know you’re onto something special with it. It’s also expected to release in May.
Red Dead Redemption
Sequel to Red Dead Revolver from 2004, Redemption hails the return of the Wild West to consoles, albeit in a time when the Wild West is coming to an end. The story is set in the early 1900s, about a vigilante of sorts, John Marston, who is sent out West to try to maintain the law. It’s fully free-roaming and you can choose however you want to deal with different tasks as you see fit. Having heard so many good things about the original, but never having played it myself, this game leaves me intrigued and I might be testing the water with this at some point, although probably not an opening week buy. Which is April 27th, by the way.
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
There’s something about the Ace Attorney series on the DS that I really enjoy. Whether it’s the sometimes-tricky evidence collection, the sense of humour in the game, or that awesome music that plays when you butt in at just the right time to shake up the case. Maybe it’s that the game from the original Japanese Game Boy Advance releases to a full-fledged proper DS game with great stylus controls. But one thing’s for sure, the series is about to get a huge shake-up. Investigations turns the scenarios on their head, as now you play the role of Miles Edgeworth, prosecutor and main rival during the first game of the series. The game should be much akin to the originals, only now you’re able to freely walk around crime scenes and look for clues instead of just tapping them with the stylus (though it should be noted that Edgey moves with the stylus so he just goes to the spot, you actually have to make him search yourself). It’s due for release on February 19th.
All in all there’s some really massive hits coming out, and maybe I’ll get around to talking about more of them in later posts, but that’s going to do it for 2009, I hope everyone has a great 2010, stay safe with tonight’s celebrations, and happy gaming in the Tens!