Saturday, July 17, 2010

Top 10 March games that aren’t God of War III (Video’s)

Despite normally being a time reserved for catching up on all the games released during the Holiday season, February 2010 was a surprisingly busy month for gamers. There was the
immersive and cinematic Heavy Rain, the frantic sci-fi shooter Aliens vs Predator, the hack-and-slash Dante’s Inferno and much, much more. However, instead of finally giving customers a much needed break from the onslaught of high-caliber titles; publishers are looking to make March another huge month for gaming.
Leading the pack is, of course, Sony’s highly anticipated PlayStation 3 exclusive God of War III. The thing is, there is really no point in going on about how amazing the graphics look or fun it is going to be. Everyone with a pair of working eyes and an awareness of the obvious already knows this. If you don’t, go watch the trailer, change your pants and then come back. We’ll wait.
Instead, we’re going to focus ten of the biggest, most anticipated, upcoming games in March….that aren’t God of War III
10. Metro 2033 (03.16.10)
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC
In the wake of BorderlandsFallout 3 and S.T.A.L.E.R: Call of Pripyat, post-apocalyptic first-person shooters (FPS) are quickly becoming the next World War II cliché of video games. However, THQ and 4A Games are looking to change that perception with the narrative driven, survival horror FPS Metro 2033
Based on the Dmitry Glukhovsky novel of the same name, Metro 2033 will have gamers scavenging for guns, ammunition and items in the mutant infested, metro tunnels running underneath the ruins of Moscow. The game forgoes a HUD in order to immerse gamers in its gritty world, meaning you’ll have to rely on visual cues like blood splatters to gauge your health.
Still, there are a lot of question marks surrounding this game. The trailer looked good but not fantastic, and despite having worked on S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl, this is still technically 4A Games’ first console project. Metro 2033 could easily be as good as S.T.A.L.K.E.R, but it could also be a forgettable, generic FPS. Regardless, be sure to keep your eye on this one –gamers might be in for a big surprise.
9. Resonance of Fate (03.16.10)
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
What would happen if a Japanese role-playing game (RPG) gave its mandatory cast of teenage heroes guns instead of swords and bows and arrows? You’d probably the Persona series. Now, pretend like they use these guns to fight killer robots and diabolical bad guys instead of shooting themselves in the head, and you should get Resonance of Fate, tri-Ace and Sega’s latest RPG.
The story sounds a little cliché (complete with Byronic, teenage mercenaries), but the tri-Ace has proven time and time again they’re exceptional at crafting exciting, action-packed battle systems. Coming off the success of Star Ocean: The Last Hope, there’s no reason to doubt that the veteran RPG developer will strike gold again with Resonance of Fate
8. MLB 10: The Show / MLB 2K10 (03.02.10)
Platforms: PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Sony’s MLB: The Show series is a lot like the Chicago Cubs if the Cubs were consistently awesome instead of sucking and breaking my heart into a million pieces each and every year. The last several installments in Sony’s exclusive baseball franchise have been exceptionally stellar, so it seems to make sense that MLB 10: The Show will probably be just as good.
MLB 2K10, however, has a whole lot to prove. After the incredibly disappointing, bug infested MLB 2K9, developers Visual Concepts have fortunately made some substantial improvements to ensure this year’s addition remains a viable contender. Batting and pitching has been revamped to allow for great control and precision, and a number of new features, like the highly anticipated “My Player” mode, have been added to bolster the game’s robust selection of gameplay modes.
7. Pokemon HeartGold / SoulSilver (03.14.10)
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Though the whole entire Pokemon craze has lasted a bizarrely long time for a video game franchise that revolves around enslaving and conscripting cute monsters into gladiatorial events, it really hit the pinnacle of its success with Pokemon Gold and Silver for the Game Boy Color. Now, more than a decade later, Nintendo is revisiting its roots with the enhanced remake, Pokemon Heart andSoulSilver.
With upgraded visuals, touch-screen support and new mini-games, Pokemon HeartGold andSoulSilver should rekindle fond memories of raising your Pokemon into a formidable team so you could beat up your friends at school and become the number one trainer around. You caught them all before, and now you get the chance to do it all over again. 
6. Just Cause 2 (03.23.10)
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Just when you thought running amok in a sandbox style world, sowing anarchy and causing enough explosions to arouse Michael Bay, was getting old, Eidos and Avalanche Studios gives us the sequel to 2006’s Just Cause.
In Just Cause 2, there’s an evil dictator in need of toppling, and it’s up to CIA agent Rico Rodriguez to usher in democracy the American way –by blowing everything up. He’ll have a bristling arsenal of weapons, stunt parachutes, grappling hooks, cars, helicopters and even jets at his disposal, and while Rico’s campaign of violence may not earn the love the locals, destroying foreign countries one precariously placed gasoline tank at a time never gets old. Ever. 
5. Lunar: Silver Star Harmony (03.02.10) Platforms: PSP
Almost 12 years ago, Game Arts and Working Designs remade the classic Sega CD role-playing gameLunar: The Silver Star for the PlayStation. It used simple 16-bit graphics that looked archaic in comparison to other RPG’s like Final Fantasy VII, but it made up for it with its innovative battle system, charming characters and one of the best localization jobs in the history of video games.
In the PSP remake, Silver Star Harmony, the adventures of Alex and his friends receives a graphical facelift and a few new gameplay features. More importantly, gamers will finally get the chance to play one of the most defining RPG’s of the 1990’s without having to pay through the nose on Ebay. 
4. Red Steel 2 (03.23.10) Platforms: Nintendo Wii
The first FPS to utilize the Nintendo Wii’s motion-based controls, 2006’s Red Steel was ambitious and fun but received mixed reviews from critics. With the sequel, developers Ubisoft have taken the franchise in a brand new direction, complete with an aesthetically flashy, cel-shaded look.
A creative hybrid of Japanese samurai culture and the lawless Wild West, Red Steel 2 follows the story of a mute protagonist, The Swordsman, as he seeks revenge against an enemy clan called The Jackals. The game will use the Wii Motion Plus, allowing gamers to manually wield katanas and shoot guns with an unprecedented degree of precision and accuracy.
Granted, you’ll probably look silly as hell waving around your Wii remote and making growling noises, but it’s a small price to pay for being able to finally live out your repressed fantasies of being a badass samurai.
3. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon (03.16.10) Platforms: Nintendo Wii
tri-Crescendo and Namco’s gorgeous, post-apocalyptic role-playing game is finally arriving in North America after being stuck almost a year in localization, but rest assured, the wait will be well worth it. Set in the ruins of a decaying planet, Fragile Dreams has you playing as a young boy named Seto who is searching the world for survivors.
The gameplay is comprised mostly of exploring deserted cities and fighting off roaming ghosts and marauding demons, but Fragile Dream’s real highlight is its fascinating story and breathtaking, anime-inspired visuals. Already praised by big name critics, including Japan’s Game Famitsu, fully expect Fragile Dreams to be one of this year’s biggest sleeper hits.
2. Battlefield Bad Company 2 (03.02.10)
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Get ready to drive tanks, fly helicopters and snipe your friends in the face in Electronic Arts and DICE’s action-packed, destructible military shooter. Based on the beta, the graphics look better than ever, more guns and vehicles have been added, and countless tweaks have been made to the gameplay to create a more authentic, balanced experience.
The single-player campaign promises to rival Bad Company 2’s top competitor, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Also, if the current demo is any indication, the expansive multiplayer mode is already guaranteed to keep hardcore FPS gamers addicted to its unique brand of chaos, strategy and frenetic violence. 
Final Fanasy XIII (03.23.10)
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII is a huge departure from the normal conventions associated with past Final Fantasy video games. Its gameplay has been streamlined to make progression more linear, the combat system features a heavily revamped version of the traditional Active Time Battle, and it also marks the first time a single-player, numbered Final Fantasy adventure has appeared on multiple consoles.
Whether all these changes will be for the better or not remains to be seen, but considering the stellar reviews it has been receiving overseas, it is a pretty safe bet that Final Fantasy XIIIcontinues Square-Enix’s reputation for delivering unparalleled excellence.