Games I’m looking forward to the 1st half of 2011

De Blob 2 – Wii – 25 February
The first de blob game was brilliant. It had a very unique style, the graphical style was great for wii and the sound design was fitting as well. I played through the first game with a rental copy, this time barring any huge issues in the reviews I will buy it on day 1.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn – Wii – 25 February
I put Kirby down in my last list… turns out it only got a 2010 release date in the US and Japan. We schmucks in Europe have to wait till the end of February. Oh well, reviews have been good for this latest kirby game which to me makes it a must buy… Kirby is awesome!

Homefront – Xbox 360 – 11 March
I saw a preview for this game over a year ago, I immediately liked the idea behind the game and the visual style (reminding me of the brilliant Half Life 2). The story revolves around America being invaded by Korea (of all countries) and sees you taking on a role in a resistance of guerilla fighters to win back the country. Heres hoping they pull off a decent storyline to supplement the action.

Shift 2 – Xbox 360 – 25 March
I played the first Shift game for precisely one weekend and while I enjoyed it I wasn’t drawn to play it again. Everything I have seen of this second game looks like an improvement though and so I am optimistic that it could be a good sim racing game… If it has Brands Hatch again like the first did then I am even more likely to be buying it. I won’t make my father try this one though… Who would have thought he was slower at racing games that my mother and my wife… I think I know where I got my racing gaming ability from, my mother is pretty darn good at them.

Portal 2 – Xbox 360 – 22 April
The first portal was fairly well hidden away, it came as an anonymous looking puzzle game in a compilation called ‘the orange box’ which contained the half life 2 episodes. It turns out that this fairly short game could be counted as one of the best games of all time. You are given a portal gun with which you are able to define two portals. Walk through one and you come out of the other. The physics engine made the thing what it was andthe whole thing was beautifully framed by the idea that you are working through a testing facility run by a computer called GLADOS who may well be insane… The sequel promises to be a full length version of this game adding a more fleshed out storyline and some adjustments to the formula. This is the must buy game on this list and will be coming on PS3 and PC as well.

Dirt 3 – Xbox 360 – Q2
Dirt 2 was an odd racing game, in 2009 I gave it my Game of the Year awards. When I say odd I mean so stylistically. The graphics were slightly sepia while the menu system was trying to be perhaps a little too hip and occasionally got in the way but the driving was sublime. The AI was good to drive against and the stages created for the game were great. It also tried to add variety basing itself around the X games. This time out they are going back to their roots a little more. This sounds good to me, improved graphics, improved physics and more of what makes a rally game work? I’ll sign up for that… another day one buy for me.

L.A Noire – Xbox 360 – 20 May
Last year I was very happy to find a decent western game come out (though I have yet to buy/play it). The Leone Spaghetti Western’s are some of my favourite films and the genre had been dying for a decent game to represent it. Another poorly service genre of choice for me is crime. There are not many decent games out there where you play the cop, more often than not you are against the law. This is easier to portray and being the right side of the law in games where its done badly gets boring very fast. The indications are though that LA Noire is a game done right. I really hope so.

The 3DS and its games do not yet make this list. For me the announcement of the console was brilliant. It seemed like such a neat idea but in the 6 months since its unveiling each piece of news has only lessened the hype for me.
First came the news that the 3d can damage your eyes. Sounds to me like the virtual boy all over again. Granted they only mentioned it for children but the effect would be the same for anyone with an extended play.
Then more recently they announced the battery life. The best thing for me about my DS Lite is I do not feel tethered to a charging point, I can happily forget about charging my current DS for months and it will still have juice thanks to a meaty 15 hour battery. The 3DS… is a third of this, which is poor. That wouldn’t even sustain me for a flight to the US thus making it worthless.
Now the price, announced yesterday at $250, while I understand that Nintendo likes to make a profit on every hardware unit they sell this is too much. This is more than their home console and at a time when handheld gaming outside of the mobile phone market has gotten a little tenuous. So what if the 3D is cool, it is still a gimmick and is likely to be turned off fairly quickly by the majority of users.
So I will, as I did with the DS, be waiting for the inevitable lite version. It may take a few years but the updated looks and likely improved battery will make it worth the wait. DS rant over…

I hope that you have enjoyed this list, if there are any games you are looking forward to in the next six months let me know below.

To round out this blog post, you want to watch this video:

As you can see most of my images were taken from ign. Ign rocks yo! De Blob from gamezone

Just a little notice as well… this was my 1000 published blog post… Maybe I should do a celebration post next week.