Grading The Games: Holiday 2009 Preview

happy_holidaysEvery fall and winter, we gamers are treated to the annual holiday game release season.  Every year this means that I deal with escalating poverty, and my friends and family are forced to deal with inferior gifts.  Given that the holiday release season has just started with the release of The Beatles:Rock Band earlier this month, I thought I would briefly preview a selection of the rest of the year’s upcoming titles.

Must Buys:

Brutal Legend (Rocktober 13) – If you don’t like Tim Schafer games, you don’t like fun.

Uncharted 2 (10/13) – Despite a bit of craziness at the end and wonky gunplay, the first Uncharted was a ton of fun.  The sequel looks to be bigger, better, and just as entertaining.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (11/10) – I’m not the biggest shooter fan, but unless this game completely falls on its face, it’s a must buy.  CoD4 was brilliant, and I’ve seen nothing to convince me the second entry won’t follow suite.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (12/7) – It’s a new Zelda game, I really don’t think any additional justification is necessary.


Alpha Protocol (10/27) – I like the work Obsidian has done in the past, and everytime I see press for this game, I like it a little more.  I’ll be keeping a close eye on it up until its release.

Assassin’s Creed 2 (11/17) – The original Assassin’s Creed got a bit repetitive after the first few assassinations.  With more variety though, the sequel could be a good game.  This one bears watching.

Borderlands (10/20) – I’m not the biggest shooter fan, but I like the RPG and loot aspects.  I’ll probably be basing my decision off of the early reviews.

Dragon Age Origins (11/17) – Bioware has a great history with fantasy RPGs, and the group dynamic component looks very interesting.

Forza 3 (10/27) – Since Gran Turismo 5 is not coming any time soon, Forza is a probable for me this year.  Sim racers tend to have long legs with me, and Forza should keep me busy for 6 months or so.

GTAIV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (10/29) – I had fun with the previous DLC episode, so I’m really considering giving the new one a shot as well.  I thought for DLC the price to content ratio was worthwhile.

Halo 3: ODST (9/22) – I’m not calling it a must buy, but I’ll end up with it.  It looks to be a little light on content, and I already have access to the multiplayer via Halo 3.  But the co-op campaign in Halo 3 was a ton of fun, and with friends this campaign could be as well.

Left 4 Dead 2 (11/17) – Now I to date have not played the original Left 4 Dead, but I’m strongly considering it.  Firearms, zombies, co-op, what’s not to love?  With the right friends on board, it sounds like a great time to me.

Right After I Harvest My Money Tree

DJ Hero (10/27) – This game looks like it could be fun, but I would need to try something like that before I drop $120 on “another rhythm game”.

Fairytale Fights (10/27) – I played this game at PAX and really enjoyed it, but I thought it looked like a $15-$20 downloadable game.  Methinks they may have overreached at full retail.

Tony Hawk: Ride (11/17) – Because nothing says happy holidays like taking a $120 header into your coffee table.  Seriously though, another one that could be fun, but I’d need hands on before I drop that kind of cash.

Not With Someone Else’s Money

Band Hero (11/3) – Just what we needed, another derivative rhythm game.  As if Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero, and the single band Guitar Hero games weren’t enough.  Way to whore out the franchise.  I’m too angry to keep thinking about this.

Guitar Hero: Van Halen (12/22) – $#@!@!$#@!$#@!$#@!  In the name of all things right and holy, WHY?

Feel free to agree, disagree, or point out anything I might have missed in the comments.  But remember, it’s the holiday release season, and you all have homework to do.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,