Bangai-O Spirits – It’s a Treasure shoot-‘em-up, and as a big fan of shmups I couldn’t be more pleased. This one’s overflowing with typical Treasure craziness, including the ability to change levels as you’re playing them, create and trade your own levels (using audio files, WTF), and an apparently brutal level of difficulty. It’s been a while since Treasure has put anything out, and I can’t wait for this next release from the old-school fast-action masters.
KORG DS-10 – This turns your Nintendo DS into a dead-on replica of the legendary KORG MS-10 synthesizer. I’m no musician so the best I’ll be able to do is bang on this thing and grunt at it like a caveman, but I’m going to pick it up just because the idea is so out there. With this and that Rock Band 2 DrumRocker kit I have on order, I’ll be a one-man non-band!
Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff – I’m a Tecmo nut from way back in the day. One of my favorite video game memories involves a 17-hour Tecmo marathon in which myself and several buddies played an entire season without sleeping. From what I’ve read, this version retains all the old-school sensibilities of past Tecmo Bowl games, but adds online play to bring the franchise up-to-date. This is a title I’ll buy day one.
Retro Game Challenge – Another wild concept that sounds too cool to pass up. I’m so old that I can’t help but be a retro gamer, so anything that pays homage to the games of my youth is bound to end up in my library. Like the KORG DS-10, this is another game I have to buy on concept alone. It’s basically MST3K in video game form.
Rhythm Heaven – I loved Elite Beat Agents, so I’m definitely interested in any quirky rhythm game you can throw at me. This actually looks like a cross between Echochrome, Elite Beat Agents, and WarioWare: Smooth Moves, which is music to my ears.
Peggle – I have a friend who’s a PC gamer and unabashed Peggle addict. I’d heard about Peggle, but it took his urging for me to try it out. As soon as I started to play I was hooked. The game itself is very simple, but the mechanics are what draw you in. It’s incredibly satisfying to put your ball at just the right angle for a big score, and the game’s twisted sense of humor only adds to the experience. I’m not sure if I’d pay $29.99 for Peggle DS, but it’ll find its way into my library at some point.
Racing Gears 2 – I’m a big Orbital Media fan, and I loved what they did with Racing Gears for GBA (they also created Scurge: Hive, an overlooked title that I highly recommend for fans of the old-school Metroid games). For the uninitiated, Racing Gears has you guiding tiny cars around twisting and turning tracks of various terrains. You can outfit your car with better performance gear, as well as equip it with weapons like oil slicks. It’s fast, fun, and deep for a GBA game.
Moon – This is a first-person shooter from the makers of Dementium: The Ward. Moon will use an updated version of that game’s excellent 3D engine, and it’ll be interesting to see what they do with it this time around. Here’s hoping for some online deathmatch, something that I don’t think has been attempted on the DS since Metroid Prime: Hunters.
Dragon Quest IX: Protectors of the Sky –Even though I haven’t played much Dragon Quest throughout my gaming career (I have DQ VII and VIII but haven’t finished either one), I was ecstatic when Square Enix announced this title for the DS. After seeing the stellar work that’s been done so far on the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest DS remakes, I have a feeling that DQ IX is going to set DS benchmarks in terms of graphics, game world size, and adventure length. And it will also sell about a billion copies in Japan.
The Conduit – Why Nintendo isn’t publishing this, I’ll never know. Featuring a slick 3D engine and fully customizable controls, The Conduit looks to prove that you CAN create a completely original, “hardcore” first-person shooter for Nintendo’s system (since Retro doesn’t seem to want to use the Metroid Prime 3 engine to do so). Like Vicarious Visions on the DS, High Voltage is looking like they’re going to position themselves as the one third-party developer that actively seeks to push the Wii hardware to places it’s never been before. Kudos.
MadWorld – Like a video game version of The Running Man, MadWorld places gamers in the shoes of a contestant on the game show Death Watch, in which survival is the only way to win. Created by the same team that brought you Viewtiful Joe and Okami, all that really needs to be said about MadWorld can be summed up by the fact that you can kill enemies by chainsawing them in half - crotch-first. It has vulgarity, it has commentators that drop uncensored F-Bombs, and it only has three colors: black, white, and red. You guess what the red represents.
Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon – This is an RPG from Namco/Bandai that looks really intriguing. It has some gorgeous anime-style graphics and extremely detailed environments to roam around in. You guide a girl named Seto through a ruined world, trying to figure out secrets of the past. It doesn’t look like your typical Namco “Tales of…” RPG, that’s for sure.
So there you have it, my most wanted Wii and DS games. Hopefully Nintendo comes up with something appealing for those of us that aren’t interested in Animal Crossing: City Folk, Wii Music, and Wii Sports Resort. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!