2009 Game Releases For Which I Have Cautious Optimism

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Rockstar – Nintendo DS

It’s a brand new entry made specifically for DS.  The runs in full 3D but the standard camera view is overhead with 360 degree movement.  It takes place in Liberty City (again) and focuses on all them crazy East Asians I hear so much about.  Supposedly, the game’s been in development for over 2 years and hopefully the result will be high quality.

Grand Theft Auto IV: Lost and the Damned

Rockstar – Xbox 360

This new installment is a downloadable expansion for GTAIV.  It uses the same environments and all that jazz but features a new story, characters, missions, etc.  It’s kind of stupid that it’s not being released for PS3 but that’s the nature of today’s insulting exclusivity contracts.

Dragon Quest IX: Protectors of the Sky

Square Enix – Nintendo DS

I haven’t really played much Dragon Quest but I can’t help being intrigued by this release.  Akira Toriyama’s art looks fun, as usual, and I like playing RPGs on the go.  Plus, by the time it comes out the game will have been announced 3 YEARS earlier.  With that kind of development time, it had better be awesome.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Atari – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2

Why am I excited for this game?  Let me count the ways.  First, it was written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, the homies what writ the moviez.  Second, the characters are all voiced by the actors that starred in the movies.  Third, this ain’t just some game.  This is the script that was meant to be Ghostbusters III aka Ghostbusters Go To Hell.  Yeah, that’s right, the GBz go to HELL in this game.  Now, none of that has anything to do with the actual gameplay but it’s enough to make a mediocre game at least pretty enjoyable.  But if the gameplay is there then this game will be awesome.  PS – The X360 and PS3 versions will feature realistic graphics while the Wii and PS2 versions will have more cartoony visuals.

Street Fighter IV

Capcom – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Hey, it’s the latest game in the Street Fighter series and actually looks like a new game with a really distinct art style.

Resident Evil 5

Capcom – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Well, RE4 was a great game and this looks like more of the same in a good way.  This time, the action takes place in Africa and it has black people.  Still, even with a solid game engine, Africa, and black people, most of the people that made RE4 great have since left the company.

Bionic Commando

Capcom – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

My optimism for this game is extremely cautious for several reasons.  First, there haven’t been very many previews of this game yet.  Second, I know very little about the developer, GRIN, although they did do a very good job with the 2D Bionic Commando Rearmed release last year.  Third, this will be the very first 3D Bionic Commando game.  Most series made the 2D to 3D transition about 10 years ago but old BC is a late bloomer.  On a final note, Mike Patton, one of my favorite singers/musicians/composers is providing the voice of the main character.  Hopefully he will use the money to make another Tomahawk album.

Lord of the Rings Conquest

EA – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

I’m really not very fond of the LoTR films but my interest in this game stems more from the development team involved.  Pandemic Studios were the force behind the 2 Star Wars Battlefront games, which I actually liked a great deal.  If you’re not familiar, it’s basically mayhem with dozens of troops running around waging a battle.  When the guy you’re controlling is killed you just take over another dude and keep fighting until a side wins.  So the game will probably be fun even if it does have orcs and that kinda garbage.

Madworld

SEGA – Wii

Remember the RE4 guys I previously mentioned that have left Capcom?  This is their first game for SEGA and it looks like a doozy: it features visuals that look like they were ripped right out of Sin City, ridiculously bloody action, and a Running Man-style storyline.  The development team, now known as Platinum Games, made one of my favorite over-the-top PS2 games, God Hand, and I demand more of the same, God bless them.

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