I remember being a bit younger and owning a Nintendo 64. I did not follow video games quite as closely then as I currently do. There were 3, maybe 4 games a year being released that were "must-buys" because they looked so incredible. I'm talking about the "Super Smash Brothers" and the "Jet Force Gemini"s. Nowadays, you need but glance at the home page of gamespot to glimpse the bevy of amazing games being released in the near future. The last few years have been especially great in terms of creating new IPs or bringing back old franchises and making them look beautiful and sophisticated. The first quarter of this year seems no different.
1. Well, I would have put White Knight Chronicles in this spot, but after reading and watching reviews, I've made the decision to give this game a rent, as opposed to a purchase.
2. Heavy Rain - An absolutely stunning game. I've been following this one since that first tech demo came out in 2006, the one featuring the pretty woman with the lilting accent, explaining how her life turned out differently than she had imagined. How good did it look then? And now the game is less than a month away from being released, and it continues to dazzle. Indigo Prophecy is a wonderful game, a very different game, and if Heavy Rain can follow in its footsteps, we will have many delighted people out there. The only difference: Heavy Rain seems to be receiving a great deal more publicity than Indigo Prophecy ever did.
3. Final Fantasy XIII - Whose list would be complete without this? I've perused the English review of the import on RPGfan.com, and the lack of NPCs and cities are mentioned as the main weaknesses. The intense and never-ending dungeon crawling are explained as well. Now, I've always enjoyed wandering around the cities, talking to inconsequential shop-owners and children, just to hear what they have to say. Remember Gold Saucer? Cleyra? Burmecia? Luca? Bhujerba? I wish Square Enix would have taken the extra step to include bustling metropolises, but perhaps that would have taken away from the game's visual and auditory achievements. I've been drooling over the visuals of this game for 3 or so years, and the wait is almost finished. If this is the most epic dungeon crawler ever created, with a story we've come to expect from FF, and a complete cast of characters to match the story, I will be a very content person when the credits begin to roll.
4. Bioshock 2 - Another game that'll be hitting store shelves momentarily. A commercial was shown for this game a few days ago, and I stood transfixed. Supposedly, an upgrade in graphics from the original is missing, but with another chance to explore the screwed-up environs of Rapture, I don't particularly tend to care about a graphics upgrade. The original's graphics were so amazing in the first place that a graphics upgrade isn't really needed. The ability to use weapons and plasmids at the same time is an intoxicating idea, as is the game's protagonist.
This isn't the end of the list of wondrous new games being released this year. This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. We have other games such as Splinter Cell: Conviction and HALO: Reach being released in the near future. What games are you most looking forward to? I know I didn't name nearly enough new titles.