Summer is here! Well, not quite – it doesn’t officially start until the 21st, but it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to spend the long, sun-soaked days ahead. In a dark room playing videogames? We figured as much. But don’t spend all your money at once, you silly goose – use this guide to help optimize your 2010 summer gaming experience, and get the most out of your June, July, August, and September. And if you live in the Southern Hemisphere… um, have a nice winter?
THE BIG PICK
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Release dates: June 8, 2010 (NA), June 17, 2010 (EU)
It might seem a little strange that our pick for this month is a PSP game, but this isn’t just any Metal Gear game for the PSP – this is the first developed by Kojima himself, and is the second canon MGS game on the PSP. Any serious new entry in the Metal Gear series is worth attention, and if you own a PSP, you will almost doubtlessly want this game.
Also contributing to our decision is the fact that most publishers are waiting until after E3, where they’ll surely try to wow us, to release their big titles, making this month a little lighter than the next few.
More: Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker previews, screens, and trailers
Green Day: Rock Band
Release date: June 8, 2010
Platforms: 360, PS3
Do you like Green Day? Do you like Rock Band? If so, this purchase shouldn’t take a lot of thought. Depending on the nature of your fandom, you may adore or scoff at the track list, but with a current Metacritic score of 92, it’s clear that at least the critics have found something to love. They don’t think it’s Dookie. You wouldn’t be a Nimrod to play it. They aren’t Warning you away. See what we’re doing here? Yeah you do.
More: Green Day: Rock Band previews, screens, and trailers
Transformers: War for Cybertron
Release date: June 22, 2010
Platforms: PC, 360, PS3, Wii
We’ve got high, possibly pie in the sky hopes about this one. It’s faster, more Gears of War-ey, and offers three-player online co-op, plus a Horde mode – could this be the Transformers experience we’ve been waiting for? Here’s how, according to Jim Sterling, to make it not suck.
More: Transformers: War for Cybertron previews, screens, and trailers
Toy Story 3
Release date: June 15, 2010
Platforms: PC, 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP
We like Pixar – how could we not? But the games? Okay, not so much. But wait! Don’t dismiss this one on face value. The Toy Story 3 game is taking a new approach, with an open world and everything, and the parts of us which don’t always want to kill zombies with baseball bats are kind of giddy about it.
More: Toy Story 3 previews, screens, and trailers
Puzzle Quest 2
Release date: June 22, 2010
Platforms: PC, DS, XBLA, iPhone
Puzzle Quest’s puzzle-role-playing mashup was pleasantly captivating – a sleeper hit – and unless developer Infinite Interactive tries to add another genre or something, PQ2 ought to be just as compelling.
Release date: June 29, 2010
Platforms: PC, 360, PS3
Given how well developer Raven handled X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and ever-so-slightly made up for the painfully-bad film, this original piece has promise.
Yes, it’s yet-another-FPS-with-time-manipulation, but if the Twilight Zone plot and chrono-bending gameplay synergize, it could be a pleasantly surprising summer hit. And if it doesn’t blow us away, it may at least be a nice distraction while we wait for Mafia II, Halo: Reach, Brink, and others.
More: Singularity previews, screens, and trailers
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Release dates: June 29, 2010 (NA), June 25, 2010 (EU)
Platforms: PC, 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2
Shut up – you love both LEGOs and Harry Potter. LEGO Indy and Star Wars were charming and fun, and assuming the formula is maintained, Harry ought to be as well. And we sort of just want to yell “expelliarmus” and see a bunch of LEGO bricks fall apart. Tee hee.
More: LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 previews, screens, and trailers