Release Date: March 12, 2010 (EU)
Same Time As: Final Fantasy XIII
Why it should succeed: It’s a PS3 sandbox game about the coolest-of-the-cool gang ever, and its gameplay is, to at least a small extent, the spiritual successor to Shenmue, a favorite of Dreamcast nostalgia-whores. What’s there not for PS3 owners to like, especially the Japanophile type? Here’s an immensely popular Japanese game about the kind of thing Western audiences eat up, you know, gang violence, and it’s got minigames!
Above: Blood! Bad-assery! Don’t you want it?
Why it will be ignored: The Yakuza series has always done well in Japan, and the games have received generally positive critical reception in the West, but despite this, Yakuza 2 only sold about 40,000 copies in North America. It’s just not a wide-audience game, and Yakuza 3 will likely fare the same.
Before the decision to release Yakuza 3 in the West, the managing director of Sega Australia told GameSpot: “In a lot of cases we have a very strong vocal group of fans, who demand the opportunity to play these games in their local markets, and are very outspoken in their support. However when the time comes, they are reluctant to stay committed and actually make the purchase."
Stupid fans, not buying the good stuff Sega works so hard to give you! It also doesn’t help that the game is a PS3 exclusive, and that its March release date sticks it next to the one game that outsold it in Japan last year – Final Fantasy XIII. Don’t expect it to hide from price cuts for long.
Platforms: PS3, 360
Same Time As:?
Why it should succeed: It’s a proper 2D Sonic game! It appeals to the hardcore audience, and fans of Sonic’s recent exploits, and Sonic is historically an automatic seller.
Above: How ambiguous…
Why it will be ignored: Sonic is historically an automatic seller. After years of slow franchise death, does anyone really give a crap about the little blue bugger anymore? At this point, anyone who does care probably isn’t interested in the Sonic of yesteryear, and anyone who cared about Sonic when he was at the top of the industry has had his passion destroyed by this:
Above: Just think about this scene whenever you want to kill a boner
Release date: March 31, 2010
Platforms: PS3, 360
Same Time As: Crysis 2
Why it should succeed: Japanese-made Western-style third-person shooters are a rarity, and Tecmo’s attempt looks something like Gears of War with some JRPG flavor mixed in, which, if it plays well, could be a winning combination. Also, this is the first high-profile game for Team Tachyon, which thus far has only worked on Wii, PS2, and PSP games, so it’s a chance to prove their development chops.
Above: “No, no, no, more scars! That’s how you know he’s tough!”
Why it will be ignored: If GameStop is telling the truth, it’s right up against Crysis 2, and that’s some hefty competition, given how console gamers were endlessly teased with videos of the PC-only Crysis a couple years ago. And even if GameStop is lying, it’ll be in the wake of God of War III and Just Cause 2. Why pick up a generic partner-driven shooter when there’s so much else going on?