Originally published in The Daily Toreador.
Nintendo hosted a media summit Wednesday morning in San Francisco to detail the company’s video game lineup for the first half of 2010.
The event was filled with news, data and release dates &- and man, some of it is pretty exciting.
Hardcore gamers should clear their calendars around June 27 because that’s when “Metroid: Other M” will be released for the Wii. This alone was huge news, as the “Metroid” franchise has a history of quality and always manages to turn heads.
This newest game, announced at E3 last year, presents a third-person take on the popular science-fiction universe, which is something we’ve never seen before. But perhaps more interesting is the fact Team Ninja, the developers behind the successful and frantic “Ninja Gaiden” games are helping Nintendo develop this title. It also looks like it attempts to put more emphasis on the storyline than fans might be used to. Gamers should definitely keep an eye on it.
Another big game shown was “Super Mario Galaxy 2,” which, to be honest, seems to mostly be “Super Mario Galaxy” again, only with new levels. Thing is, that’s far from a problem, and looks to be a stellar product (pun intended). The original game was my game of the year choice a few years ago, so I hope this sequel lives up. Wii owners can get their hands on it May 23.
It may show how nerdy I am that one of the games that got me most excited at the show was “Picross 3D,” which was at long last given a release date of May 3 for the Nintendo DS. “Picross” takes all of the logical fun that people love about Sudoku and manages to make it even more addicting. Players use logic to create pictures in an almost “paint by numbers” fashion on grids of various sizes. Both hardcore and casual gamers should find a lot to love here.
Nintendo also showed off several downloadable games coming to both the Wii and the DSi. Highlights include “Sin and Punishment: Star Successor,” a WiiWare sequel to an N64 classic, and “WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase,” which promises to take user generated content to a whole new level using “WarioWare’s” zany micro-game concept of frantic fun.
A fair amount of third-party games also were shown, and there’s good reason to look out for at least a few of them.
“Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies” finally makes its way to North America after seeing much success in Japan. The “Dragon Quest” name carries a ton of weight with RPG gamers (almost as much as “Final Fantasy”), and this DS installment looks like it doesn’t disappoint. It should be in your hands sometime this summer.
Another Japanese mega-hit, “Monster Hunter Tri,” launches April 20. The game, unsurprisingly, allows you to hunt monsters and provides hours of RPG goodness. More exciting is the fact, unlike Japan’s version of the game, online play will be absolutely free.
So if you’ve wanted to experience an online RPG for awhile but don’t want to pay “World of Warcraft’s” monthly fees, this might be a great option for you.
The folks at Ubisoft also showed off “Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands,” scheduled to be released May 18, right around the time that the blockbuster movie “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” starring Jake Gyllenhaal hits theaters. The game is said to be different than the Xbox 360 and PS3 game with the same name, and according to Nintendo will feature cooperative play of some sort. As a huge “Prince of Persia” fan, I’m excited about this one.
There was a lot more announced and discussed at the event, and I’ll do my best to delve into the other highlights over at our gaming blog, dtexperiencepoints.wordpress.com. But it definitely looks like Nintendo is on the right track for 2010. Hopefully they can make the second half of the year strong as well.