Dead Head Fred (D3 / Vicious Cycle - PSP)
Release Date: August 28, 2007
Same Time As: Silent Hill Origins (PSP), Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (PSP), Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of The Lions (PSP), Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron (PSP)
Why it should succeed: Sony's PSP has many problems, but its biggest has always been a glaring lack of creativity. From the beginning, and with very few exceptions, developers have simply treated the handheld system as a dumping ground, an afterthought depository for watered down ports and half-baked tie-ins.
Dead Head Fred is different. It's unique. It's original. It's positively bizarre. Your hero, a decapitated detective in search of his stolen head, is just the beginning of the game's off-the-wall creativity. Your arch rival is a crime boss. Your mentor is a mad scientist. You brawl hand-to-hand with zombies and usurp weird superpowers by trying on their heads. In your spare time, you play pinball, learn the saxophone and raise mutant chickens.
Strangest of all? These inventive ideas result in equally inventive gameplay, the kind we have yet to experience on the PSP... or any console, for that matter.
Why it probably won't: Well, there's the matter of Fred himself. Take a look at the screenshot above. Have you ever seen a more unappealing hero? Even for a guy with a brain and formaldehyde-filled jar sitting on his shoulders, he's surprisingly ugly. Maybe it's the tuxedo; maybe it's the gas mask. Either way, we wouldn't want to touch a box with this guy's face on the cover if we weren't already fans.
Being stuck on PSP doesn't help. Despite the claims of a certain infamousadvertisement, all the kids want for Christmas is not PSP games. And for those who do, seeing past the celebrated series above - all releasing before the end of 2007 - could be impossible.