70 – Quantum Theory (Multi)
It might be one of the most shameless “tributes” we’ve yet seen this generation, but Tecmo’s blatant Gears of War-alike is actually a rather interesting prospect. It’s a Japanese take on the cover shooter, and we’re dying to see what eastern designers can bring to the current western genre of choice. So far the answer seems to be a squishy, living environment with organically evolving cover, which could put one hell of a hectic spin on things. If Quantum Theory brings enough other ideas to make it stand apart from its inspiration, it could be a real winner.
69 – Max Payne 3 (Multi)
He might have started to look over the hill – what with his Charles Bronson (the mad prison one) appearance – but Max is set to be as bad-ass as ever. Rather than plonk him in New York again, Rockstar are setting his new adventure in Sao Paolo where he’s been double-crossed and is obviously gunning for revenge. Little is known of this sequel but with Rockstar’s top men working on it, expect a seriously dark romp with Mr. Payne.
68 – ModNation Racers (PS3)
Promising to do for racers what LittleBigPlanet did for platformers, ModNation takes a ridiculously customizable approach to high-speed kart racing. Not only can you freely tweak and redecorate your car and driver, but you’ll also be able to design new courses simply by driving them into existence, with your car as a drivable brush and a simple interface for adding detail, before sharing them online.
67 – Aliens vs Predator (Multi)
The Aliens and Predator universes are in no danger of being underrepresented in games, but we’re always willing to step into the skins of the famous slobbering death-machines for another go. Each species (Aliens, Predators and human Marines) plays as it should (things can get a little dizzying as a wall-walking Alien), and aside from the three campaigns, the varying multiplayer modes and entertainingly gory “Trophy Kills” should make AvP a suitable way to kill some time this February.
66 – NBA Jam (Wii)
Retro remakes are a popular scene right now, but Nintendo fans have definitely benefited the most from all the ‘80s and ‘90s love. From Contra to Castlevania to Mega Man to the entire Virtual Console library, old is in. Next in line is this highly imaginative take on the 1993 classic NBA Jam, which pits two star players against two opponents in a fiendishly addictive game of cartoonish, stylized hoops. Expect “He’s on fire!” and “BOOM SHAKA LAKA!” to ring through the GR offices when it finally arrives.
65 – Okamiden (DS)
This is cheating a bit, as this DS-only follow-up to one of 2006’s most original games isn’t even slated for a US release at all. However, we can’t imagine Capcom (who’s been very good to the community as of late) will keep this pint-sized pup stuck in Japan. And if/when it’s announced, rest assured we’ll bring it up every chance
64 – True Crime: Hong Kong (Multi)
Rising from the super shitty ashes of True Crime: New York City like an incredibly determined (and hopefully not rubbish) Phoenix, the return of the GTA wannabe will probably raise more than a few ‘meh’s’. Put that apathy to one side, though, and there’s actually a promising-looking game shaping up here. You play an undercover Hong Kong cop knee-deep in with Triads. And, judging by the early trailer, it looks like the action will mix parts of Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Yakuza and even a bit of Pursuit Force’s mental car combat into a delicious criminal cake.
63 – Red Steel 2 (Wii)
After the criminal bait and switch that was the first game (“hey, this game looks and plays like shit after all!”), we’re extremely reserved about the sequel. That said, Ubi’s taking a totally different route this time with a punky Old West aesthetic and highly touted Wii MotionPlus support, so at least it’s shedding the original’s mistakes right off the bat. E3 sessions left us feeling a bit better (and pleased to see the team treating Wii with respect), so we’re definitely ready to give the shooty-swordy series a second shot.
62 – The Grinder (Wii)
With last year’s The Conduit, High Voltage Software emerged as The Heroes of Hardcore. While the game didn’t reinvent the FPS, it did prove Wii’s hardware could deliver a solid “core” experience without falling into the development trappings of senseless waggle and pancake-flipping minigames. So, using Conduit’s Quantum3 engine, The Grinder is giving players the opportunity to slaughter unending waves of werewolves, vampires and zombies in a rail-less, first-person Grindhouse presentation! Getting their own version of Left 4 Dead should be enough to have Wii owners doing backflips.
61 – Green Day: Rock Band (Multi)
At first pass, the idea of Harmonix following The Beatles: Rock Band with a band like Green Day seems like a major step down. Further thought reveals a band that’s far more relevant to generations who grew up with videogames, not to mention music that fits the series’ eclectic gameplay far better than Lennon and McCartney’s slower paced (though industry-defining) tunes. It’s hard to stay excited about yet another music game, but the prospect of playing “I Want to be Alone” is too sweet to ignore. Now, how will EA handle the rampant cussing?