>I haven’t even started my 2008 GOTY post and yet here I am working on a 2009 Lust List. Blame it on Prince of Persia, which arrives later this week (and which is already starting to get some decent reviews). And blame it on my own avoidance of World of Goo, which I finally Steam’d last night; it had been getting all sorts of fawning adulation for months and I could no longer ignore its siren call. And I can’t very well hand Braid an indie award without at least trying WoG.
Nevertheless. We are in December of 2008, which means that 2009 is nearly upon us. And as such, it would behoove us to figure out how we’re going to be spending our money (and/or divvying up our rental queue real estate). 2007 set an insanely high standard in terms of AAA titles, and while it could be argued that 2008 may not have exactly equalled it in that regard, it was no slouch. So, then: what can we reasonably expect from 2009?
Unfortunately, it’s difficult for me, an industry outsider, to say. If one were to only peruse Gamestop’s release calendars (as I did), one would never see such heavy hitters as Heavy Rain, Alan Wake, Brutal Legend, The Witcher, and Uncharted 2 (the last 2 being sort-of announced just this morning). 1UP is running a Games of 2009 feature this month, but they’re only doing one game per day; I’m sure the other big sites will run similar features as well.
That said, I’ve done what I can, and what follows is a pretty good idea of what’s happening for (at least) the first half of 2009.
- LOTR: Conquest (multi). I’m hedging my bets on this Battlefront-in-LOTR title, but you never know.
- Peggle (DS). Never mind that it’s been on the PC since last year; it’s Peggle on the DS!
- Star Ocean (PSP). Gamestop lists maybe 5 titles for the PSP coming out in 2009; this is one of two that I was curious about. If it turns out to be a strategy JRPG, though, it’s off the list; I do not care for that particular subgenre one bit.
- Halo Wars (360). My appetite for strategy titles was born purely out of my intense (but brief) love affair with Civ Rev this past summer; Halo Wars is not Civ Rev. And I really don’t care all that much about the Halo universe. But this looks to be a quality title, and it will probably be a cold winter.
- Killzone 2 (PS3). As far as I’m concerned, this is the most important PS3 title of the first half of 2009. Early reports from the Beta are very promising.
- Splinter Cell: Conviction (multi). I was unaware that this was back on track, but Gamestop lists it as coming out on 2/2/09, which seems awfully soon for a title so riddled with development problems. I am crossing my fingers but not expecting very much, which is kind of sad.
- Sonic – Ultimate Genesis Collection (multi). Self-explanatory. I’ve always been a Sega Genesis fanboy, and I probably already own too many of these games as XBLA releases to justify purchasing it, but, well, if you haven’t figured out that I’m a total whore by now, you haven’t been paying attention.
- Street Figher 4 (multi). I haven’t bought a fighting game since… Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. I am inexplicably excited for this one, though.
- Godfather 2 (multi). It’s blasphemy that they’re making yet another game out of the greatest movies ever made, but at least they’re shooting high with this one. It remains to be seen how all the different elements of the game will play out, or if the game even needs the Godfather IP to be successful. I’m moderately intrigued, which makes me nauseous even just typing.
- DragonQuest 5 (DS)
- PuzzleQuest Galactrix (DS)
- Damnation (multi)
- Chronicles of Riddick (multi). I loved the hell out of it on the Xbox and I will love it again.
- Resident Evil 5 (multi). I’m not entirely sure how excited I’m going to be for this one. I only ever played the first 20 minutes of RE4 on the Wii and fucking hated it, which makes me one of the only people on Earth to think so.
- MadWorld (Wii). I have been avoiding coverage of this title for some bizarre reason; everyone seems to think it’s going to be totally insane. Maybe it’s because it makes me think of No More Heroes, which I never got into.
- Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure (DS)
- Alpha Protocol (multi)
- Phantasy Star Portable (PSP)
- Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. (multi)
- Star Ocean: The Last Hope (360)
- Broken Sword (Wii)
- Scrabble (DS)
APRIL AND BEYOND
- Fuel (multi). I loved Codemaster’s DiRT but was disappointed in GRiD. I saw some previews for this a little while ago and it looked absolutely insane.
- Ghostbusters (multi). I’m a little concerned by all the publishing drama it’s gone through, and it’s probably going to suck. But still. It’s Ghostbusters. With (mostly) the original cast, writing their own lines. At the very least, it should be good for a few laughs.
- Heavy Rain (PS3). I have been told by those in the know that this is going to be 2009’s GOTY.
- God of War 3 (PS3). I’m embarassed to admit that my first GoW game was the PSP title released earlier this year; I have to imagine that this title is going to be ridiculous.
- Alan Wake (360). If this game doesn’t get released this year, I will probably stop caring about it.
- Final Fantasy XIII (multi). This will be my first FF game. Not sure which platform I’ll play it on; if the Achievements are to be as esoteric and impossible as they were for FFXI, I’ll play it on the PS3 (which is supposedly the lead development platform, anyway).
- Brutal Legend (multi). Oh please oh please oh please.
- The Conduit (Wii). Yet another Wii game that I’m strangely ambivilent about.
- The Agency (PS3)
- Just Cause 2 (multi)
- Bayonetta (multi)
- Dragon Age Origins (multi)
- Uncharted 2 (PS3)
- The Witcher (multi)
- Duke Nukem Forever (multi). A boy can dream.