Q1 2010As usual, I'm doing things backwards, so let's take a look at what's coming out this quarter before I talk about my favorite games of 2009 (and a separate post about my favorite games of the decade). I'm sure I'm leaving games off this list, but here's at least a fractional look at what might be interesting this quarter. Also, please note that these release dates are straight from EB, so there may be changes that haven't been updated yet.
1/19 Dark Void (PC, 360, PS3).
Jetpacks. Do I need to say anything else? Demo available this week for 360 and PS3 versions.
1/26 Mass Effect 2 (360, PC)
This is an auto-buy, basically. Bioware + science fiction=win.
1/26 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (Wii)
The original was one of my favorite games of 2008, and one of the most entertaining and exhilarating games I've ever played. One of the funniest, too.
2/2 Star Trek Online (PC)
Somebody has to get this right someday.
2/9 Shiren The Wanderer (Wii)
Also one of my favorite games of 2008 (the previous version on the DS) and one of my favorite rogue games ever.
2/9 Bioshock 2 (360, PC, PS3)
Another auto-buy. The original was a beautiful, thoughtful game. One possible concern: Ken Levine isn't involved.
2/16 Heavy Rain (PS3)
It's been overhyped (and has anyone been more overhyped than David Cage? Well, besides American McGee), but Indigo Prophecy was an interesting, generally thoughtful game. So was Omikron, which was more interesting as a failure than most games that succeed.
2/23 Splinter Cell: Conviction (360, PC)
This game universally impressed at E3, partially due to this trailer, which is quite fabulous.
3/1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (360, PC, PS3, Wii)
Eli 8.5 will be all over this, although this is probably a shaky release date (EB usually puts the first day of the month for games with uncertain release dates)
3/2 Supreme Commander 2 (PC, 360 3/16)
The original absolutely KILLED at E3 one year--I remember how blown away I was by the demonstration. The final game, though, lacked something (I'm still not sure what). This is more of a "hope."
3/2 MLB 10 (PS3)
Generally acknowledged as the pinnacle of sports gaming (although I think the NHL series has surpassed it by the barest of margins).
3/2 All Points Bulletin (PC)
I've always loved the idea of choosing to be a cop or a criminal, and David Jones (Crackdown) is an instant win.
3/9 Final Fantasy XIII (360, PS3)
It's the 10-ton monster, finally arriving on our shores. Critical reaction has been less positive than I expected, but it's still Final Fantasy, and I'll still buy it on day one.
3/22 Red Steel 2 (Wii)
With the addition of MotionPlus controls in this version, I have generally high hopes.
3/23 Just Cause 2 (360, PC)
The first game was a somewhat glorious mess. Great premise, incredibly messy execution, and lots of potential for a sequel.
3/30 Crysis 2 (360, PC, PS3)
It will be gorgeous, and there will be shooting. At a minimum.
This is easily the strongest first quarter for releases I've ever seen (because so many titles were pushed last fall due to general crappy marked conditions). It's so strong, in fact, that I think some of these games may get pushed again (to Q2) due to the stiff competition.
I'm on the lookout for sleepers, and if I find a few, I'll post an update.