Ah yes, the March release rush. I always found it odd that so many games came out just before my birthday (March 30th). As it ends up, March is the end of the first financial quarter. So, if you want to start the year with a bang, you need to release something in March. So what do we have? Well the Wii takes a bit of a break while the PSP finishes off it’s releases, the PS3 gets some exclusives, and the 3DS launches. Sadly the 3DS launch lineup is pretty slim pickings, with the built-in games generally looking more intriguing. However, no matter how you look at it, March is a busy month!
Beyond Good & Evil HD (XBLA, PSN)
The critically acclaimed cult classic PS2 game receives an HD upgrade and downloadable release. I gotta say, I am happy they aren’t giving it a boxed PS3 exclusive release like other titles and hopefully the sales of this game will allow the long awaited sequel to see the light of day. Note that last sentance, people. If you want the sequel, buy the HD version.
Pokemon Black & White (DS)
The latest entry in the long running Pokemon series introduces us to an entirely new roster of pocket monsters to catch! After the disappointing Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, this game looks to be much closer to what a DS Pokemon game should be. Shame it’s hitting just as the 3DS launches.
Dragon Age II (360, PS3, PC)
The sequel to the critically acclaimed Bioware RPG. Admittedly I skipped out on the original due to excessive amounts of brown. This one, however, intrigues me for some reason.
The cult hit Diablo clone Torchlight hits XBLA! If you’ve never played it, prepare to be blown awa…and then complain profusely about the lack of multiplayer. While the upcoming sequel promises to add this much needed feature in, for right now we’ll all be screaming about the lack of this incredibly important feature.
It’s little Okami on the DS! You know it’s funny, when everyone was talking about how original the brush mechanics of the original Okami were, I couldn’t help but say “that sounds like a DS game”. Now it finally is.
Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel (PS3)
I hate Ar Tonelico. The game was poorly made and actually came off as kind of sexist (and I am not normally one to complain about that). I nearly swore off Gust’s game altogether after it. Good thing I didn’t as Mana Khemia was awesome. However with the move to PS3, maybe Ar Tonelico will improve? I’ll keep my eye on this one.
Yakuza 4 (PS3)
Okay, here’s a weird one. Yakuza is SEGA’s biggest series in Japan at the moment. Called “Shenmue done right” by many Japanese magazines, this brawling, free roaming, RPG-esque game series is incredible. A lively detailed and accurate depiction of Japan, tons of sidequests, and rock solid combat. Sadly complications prevented the series from reaching popularity in America. The first game was forced to be dubbed and when the original writer for Yakuza complained about it, the few gamers interested opted to boycott it and buy the Japanese version (a shame as the dub was phenomenal). As such the sequel didn’t hit the states until the end of the PS2’s life cycle, when Sony relaxed their “quality control” policies, allowing the game to be released subbed. With such a late release on an outdated system, it was generally passed over. Then Yakuza 3 happened, possibly the best game on PS3, and there was no good reason to bring it to America as the previous two games failed to sell. However, SEGA decided that if it could be done quickly and cheaply, they’d do it. The end result was a sizeable chunk of content getting removed from the game to allow for a US release. Fans complained profusely about this. Somehow though it sold pretty well and now Yakuza 4 is coming to America with no cuts at all! There’s a reason for this though: all those bonus side activities from Yakuza 3 are now required in Yakuza 4 as they are actually part of the plot! Still, the graphics look better than ever and the game now features multiple playable characters each with different fighting styles! Chances are, this is going to be great! I mean, if nothing else, it does have a sexy ping-pong mini-game!
Gods Eater Burst (PSP)
Namco’s entry in the Monster Hunter “Clone” genre. Technically what we’re getting is the expansion as Namco figured it would just be silly to bring the original to America when they had a better version coming down the pipeline. As a fan of the genre, I am of course intrigued.
Jikandia: The Timeless Land (PSP)
An odd side scrolling timed action RPG. I am somewhat interested.
Dance on Broadway (PS3 Move)
Shoot me now. Yes, Ubisoft is taking one of their many Just Dance clones and porting it to PS3. Though the visuals look mildly improved (it now looks like a low-end PS2 game instead of an N64 game), chances are it will be atrocious. Really I’m only listing this so I can make note of my disappointment. At the end of the month though, things get worse.
Monster Tale (DS)
A combination monster training game and side scrolling adventure. I must admit, I am intrigued.
Dynasty Warriors 7 (360, PS3 Move Supported)
Screw the haters, I love Dynasty Warriors! Clearly learning from the mistakes made in Dynasty Warriors 6, the 7th installment of the franchise fixes many of it’s predecessor’s mistakes. The game returns to the older Dynasty Warriors combo system while also introducing Strikeforce’s weapon system. Any character can equip any two weapons and switch between them on the fly. The story mode will be more rigid though, forcing players to play as specific characters in order to be more historically accurate. However, the Free Mode will feature a hub town as well as 2-player online co-op! Better still, you can now get the full story as this is the first Dynasty Warriors to continue on past the Three Kingdoms era! Also the PS3 version features both 3D and Move support. Shame I doubt the Move useage will be anything more than pointless waggling.
Mayhem 3D (360, PS3)
A demolition derby game with Mad World-esque graphics. Be forwarned, it’s made by a budget game company so unless you see it cheap, don’t spend too much money on it.
PlayStation Move Heroes (PS3 Move)
Originally titled “Heroes on the Move”, the name somehow got worse. A cross-over title featuring Jak, Ratchet, and Sly together as they play through assorted mini-game psuedo adventures. Admittedly I am somewhat disappointed it’s not a full adventure, but the Move useage here looks truly promising.
Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy (PSP)
Essentially an expansion for Dissidia that adds more characters to the Final Fantasy themed fighter. Although whoever decided to add Vaan as FFXII’s hero is woefully out of touch with that game. Admittedly I felt Dissidia was overrated and best described as “Castlevania Judgement but worse”, however I only played the Japanese version (as it was accidentally shipped to me for free) so I intend to give this one a second chance to see if I perhaps missed something.
Nintendo’s newest portable. With glasses-less 3D, backwards compatibility, and supposedly more power than the Wii, the 3DS looks to be a winner! Well…eventually…the launch line-up is admittedly pretty slim pickings.
Bust-A-Move Universe (3DS)
The classic puzzle game gets needlessly tacked on 3D! Ah well, it’s still Puzzle Bobble so I’m pretty interested.
Ridge Racer 3D (3DS)
It’s Ridge Racer! More importantly, it has Reiko Nagase looking hotter than ever and anyone that knows me know that this is all it takes to get me interested.
Samurai Warriors Chronicles (3DS)
Samurai Warriors on 3DS? Sure, why not. I’ll bite. Admittedly the Samurai Warriors series is a lot shakier than the Dynasty Warriors series for me. I hated the first and second Samurai Warriors and only really liked the third one. How will this one turn out? Dunno but I’m going to need some games for this thing!
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition (3DS)
Street Fighter IV except portable and 3D! Actually kinda neat, though I’m sure it has Wii owners screaming. Back when SF4 was in development, Capcom claimed they could port it to any system, even the DS, due to how they coded it. They could actually remove the graphics from the gameplay, tone them down, and then apply them and get the same game with different graphics. Wii owners assumed this meant they would be getting the game. Obviously, they did not. While they did get the vastly superior Tatsunoko vs Capcom, some are still sore about this. Ah well…
The Sims 3 (3DS)
The Sims is just the kind of game that would be perfect for a portable. Now that we have one powerful enough to handle the game pretty well, I think this could be a winner.
Johnny Test (DS)
Can I just ask one question: How the HECK can a single series have this much crossdressing in it! No, seriously, like if you’ve ever seen this show the sheer amount of cross dressing is insane. Why do I bring this up? Because this is the plot of the game: “Johnnys sisters dressed up their beloved Gil as a princess, but now hes been captured by the jealous Bling-Bling Boy.” WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT! I might need to buy this game just to find out! For the record it’s a side scroller with kinda crummy looking 3D graphics.
Rush’N Attack Ex-Patriot (XBLA)
Of all the games to get a fancy HD sequel, Rush’N Attack was the last one I thought of. Really? Rush’N Attack? Well whatever. The game is made by an American company who is also going to be responsible for the next Silent Hill so this could be their trial by fire.
Country Dance (Wii)
Thought Ubisoft porting one of their Wii failures to PS3 was bad? How about a Just Dance clone, with all Country music, made by HighVoltage Software. Ladies and gentlemen, this could well be the worst game ever. The fact that it is being released by a company called “GameMill Publishing” doesn’t exactly fill me with much faith either. Know what’s really sad though? It honestly looks like more effort went into this than Just Dance.
As a side note, please excuse the formatting of these posts. I have wrestled with WordPress’s posting system for a while now and it just loves to muck with my spacing. Why certain spacing works at the start of this post but not at the end is beyond my mere human comprehension.