There are some good looking games coming out this year for the Xbox 360 and the Wii.   Not an exhaustive list, by any means, but these games are the ones sparking my interest at the moment.  Here are some of the ones I’m excited for..

Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360): The first Mass Effect changed my expectations of what an RPG – or a video game in fact – could deliver.  An impressive and surprising narrative wrapped up into a game that was very immersive and fun to play kept me coming back – I worked through the first game practically day and night and finished it within a few days because I was so hooked.  The space-theme game, which combines live action play with a very deep role playing structure in which your minor actions could have unforseen consequences later is an impressive thing.  Not to mention that saved games from the Mass Effect 1 are importable into the sequel, so decisions you made in the first game will carry on… making it truly, your universe.  The folks at Bioware know what they are doing and I am hoping for more of the same.  This game comes out next Tuesday (North America, sorry Aussies).

Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360): Fallout 3 was a very good RPG.  As a student of History and Politics, I was fascinated by the world Bethesda had created for us.  I was completely taken in my the exploration of this broken, post-apocalyptic world.  Constantly I found myself asking questions as I entered new areas.  Fallout was set in a post-apocalyptic ‘world of tomorrow, as seen yesterday’.  Essentially, the world was a future world as was envisioned in the 1950s – filled robot butlers, massive computers (no miniaturization), laser guns, but was still culturally the 1950s – including music and cold war politics.  I kept asking – What happened here?  Were there survivors? How did history diverge from ours?  The small touches made this game incredible – in Germantown there was a hackable computer that retold the journals of aid workers in the immediate aftermath of nuclear attacks attempting to provide medicine and comfort for the survivors while awaiting for authorities to help, only for the story to become sader as they realised there were no more authorities and they themselves had come down with radiation poisoning.  This game managed to share a very human element, while at the same time revealing the danger of hardened politics; all wrapped in an immersive roleplaying experience that included zombie-like creatures, battles with the remnants of the US government that put the world in the state it was, and plenty of  moral decisions with far reaching consequences.  Fallout: Vegas has not been revealed to great detail yet, but I am confident it will be another success.

Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360): What’s better than roaming around Vegas-like sandbox style world of Casinos with the ability to pull any item off the wall to use as a weapon?  That, with zombies.

I Am Alive (Xbox 360): This one I admit I know only a little bit about but it intrigues me.  This game is set in Chicago after the city is devastated by a major Earthquake and the city is quarantined.  The player is tasked with setting up a refugee camp and trying to get the Government’s attention.

Alan Wake (Xbox 360): As far as I can tell, this is an adventure style game.  The plot focuses around a bestselling fiction writer who goes to a resort town to fight a case of writer’s bloc, only to be trapped into some sort of nightmare that he gradually realises is one of his thrillers – but he can’t remember writing it.  Sounds intriguing.

Fable III (Xbox 360): This game I’m not sure about – I found Fable II disappointing because of its brevity and low difficulty(although I loved the experience as I played), but I decided to include it anyway.  Last I heard, Fable III would place players in the position of the King/Queen of Albion right away, free to rule as one saw fit.  They promise a lot, and didn’t really deliver in the past (don’t get me wrong, Fable II was a good game, just not what quite up to what it said it was going to be).  However, I’m giving this one the benefit of the doubt for now.

Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii): The first Mario Galaxy was an incredible experience.  For the first time in quite awhile, it felt like Nintendo had truly delivered an inspired Mario game once more.  I remember the smile on my face when Mario moved towards that first castle in the introductory segment and how his movement style hearkened back to Mario 64.  It just felt right.  This game was awe inspiring because it was Nintendo on its best – a truly creative experience.  The movement around these small planets finally felt like Nintendo understood how to put together a 3D game.  The second one promises more, and thankfully promises more difficulty – I cruised though the first one relatively quickly.

The Legend of Zelda (Wii): This game does not require explanation, so I won’t give any.  We all know what a Zelda game is by now.  The last I heard they were promising a new experience, and they said they would only realise it when it’s ready, not a moment before.

Megaman 10 (Wiiware): Just like Megaman 9, but 10.

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