Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
This was quite a surprise. We've never had two mainline Mario titles in the same generation on the same console since the original Nintendo. You can't really count Super Mario World 2 since that was supposed to be an entirely different series as it is in Japan-- billed just as Yoshi's Island. The gravitational gameplay of the original is still here having Mario scamper around planets, but now he can do so with the help of his trusty companion, Yoshi. Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes off sometime in 2010.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
I enjoyed New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo DS, but it wasn't perfect. I didn't like how two of the worlds were optional or the mega and mini mushroom power-ups. The Wii installment is a brand-new side-scrolling platformer adding multiplayer into the mix as a main component of the game. There is no online functionality to be seen which is disappointing, but for those with friends or family to play with, nothing can be shouting at the screen together, laughing, and playing together. We'll see how well the game plays in single-player later this year when New Super Mario Bros. Wii leaps onto the Wii landscape.
Wii Sports Resort (Wii)
This past E3 both Sony and Microsoft unveiled their entries into motion controls. This summer (more like next week), the first game utilizes Nintendo's new MotionPlus peripheral will be released. Well, this is how the Wii should have been all along! Just like how the Super Nintendo is what the original NES should have been all along! ...Wait. Regardless, Wii Sports Resort comes with twelve events total from returning favorites like golf and bowling to new games like basketball, boating, jet skiing, swordfighting, and kangaroo-inseminating. One of those is not real. Find out which one at the end of July.
Metroid: Other M (Wii)
The "other M" in this case stands for a lowercase "m" as the "M" in the title is uppercase, the other "m" must be lowercase. Mystery solved. Who would have guessed that Nintendo would team up with Team Ninja best known for the Ninja Gaiden series? It seems like 2002 again where we're asking ourselves if Metroid can work in a different form of gameplay like we were pondering if Metroid could work in first-person. Hopefully the outcome is the same.
Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii)
I am a sucker for 2D games. I don't literally suck 2D games, dammit. Don't judge me unfairly like that, guys. I simply grew up on them, and I love them to this day. Muramasa is from the team behind the Playstation 2 action game, Odin Sphere ($20 by the way for those wanting a sample of what Muramasa may be). This is one of the reasons I love the Wii, too. Apparently, Muramasa would have been impossible on the HD consoles due to costs, so the cheaper Wii brought this game to us. A work of art visually, but will Muramasa be a work of art in the gameplay department as well?
Crackdown 2 (360)
Along with Dead Rising, Crackdown is one of my favorite Xbox 360 exclusives. It had an impressive visual package full of clever cel-shading and vivid colors quite unlike a lot of the dreary-looking games all around. All we received at Microsoft's conference was an announcement that the game is coming. That's announcement enough.
Perfect Dark (XBLA)
It's not sad that my most anticipated 360 game is a Nintendo 64 title. No. Why? Because it's only a remake/port of my favorite shooter of all time-- Perfect Dark! This is all we have, but the new theme is up now. Hooray!
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (PS3, 360)
A new Castlevania has been announced for the HD consoles, but this time there's no Igarashi to be found. Like the past console games, this one is a 3D open world adventure. Just check out the teaser trailer of sorts, and you'll be intrigued, too!
God of War III (PS3)
The God of War games are fantastic and epic-in-scope adventures full of visceral action and brilliant battles. God of War III is the first installment to hit the Playstation 3, and the violence is even more disturbing. If that's a major selling point to you, rent the Saw movies. For everyone else, the game simply seems as tight, responsive, well-designed, masterful, and fun as ever!
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time (PS3)
I'm really glad Insomniac took a year off from the Ratchet series. Otherwise it would have been something like eight games in six years-- all in the same genre and game formula. Hm? Someone's whispering something from my earpiece. Oh... they didn't take a year off? Another company put out a PSP spinoff in its absence? Okay, but while the PSP games have not been up to snuff in quality, I am truly excited for another new Ratchet from Insomniac. Other the years the series has shifted away from having a decent amount of platforming to just pure action. Regardless, here's hoping A Crack in Time doesn't feel like more of the same. Seriously, Super Mario Galaxy 2, game of the generation, is yelled at instead?
ModNation Racers (PS3)
ModNation Racers is a brand new kart-style racer based off the success of Mario Kart Wii. However, while Mario Kart Wii was just racing, ModNation Racers is about racing as well as creating. Creating what? New racers as well as tracks that can be designed and detailed in a manner of minutes. It's like a LittleBigPlanet version of a kart racer but without Sackboy, a load of happy gadders, and the time investment it takes to make something decent.
Somehow a game only playable with the power of the cell has appeared on PSP! I'm not complaining though! Hopefully the developers give players more accessible tools in order to create high quality levels in a smaller amount of time and without the glitches. It seems all the charm and fun of the PS3 original has been shrunk down to fit into the portable realm.
Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP)
Not your typical fighter at all. Dissidia Final Fantasy takes two characters from each past Final Fantasy game, one hero and one villain, and creates a cast of fighters representing the best that the Final Fantasy series has to offer! ...And then there's Final Fantasy X. A 3D battler with all of the glitz and glammer you'd expect from Square-Enix, this PSP exclusive is definitely one to look out for!
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)
Utilizing the same 3D engine used in Phantom Hourglass, the newest installment of The Legend of Zelda series uses the touch screen in even more clever ways-- and this just going by the short E3 trailer. Instead of traveling the seas to reach your destination, Hyrule has built an infrastructure of railroad tracks throughout its center for faster traveling. Now all I need to see is that there's no repeated trips to the same dungeon for many of us to be fully interested.
Golden Sun DS (DS)
The original duo of Golden Sun games for the Game Boy Advance were top-down 2D RPGs with a 3D battle system. Golden Sun DS turns everything 3D and in an impressive fashion at that. Whereas Golden Sun and The Lost Age used 2D sprites in 3D, Golden Sun DS uses full 3D models as the Final Fantasy-like Djinn summons show. No word on what this tale is. Is it a remake? Is it a new entry in the series? Only time will tell.
Other notables titles I liked in order of memory:
Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier (PSP, PS2)
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (DS)
Endless Ocean 2 (Wii)
Sin & Punishment 2 (Wii)
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers (Wii)
The Conduit (Wii)
The Grinder (Wii)
Little King's Story (Wii)
Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
Red Steel 2 (Wii)
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Wii, PS2, PSP)
Dead Space Extraction (Wii)
Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles (Wii)
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Wii)
Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled (XBLA)
Uncharted 2 (PS3)
Hot Shots Tennis [tentative title] (PSP) - Pics only
So there you have it. No matter what platform or platforms you own, there's a great amount of titles for all to be had. What a great time to enjoy gaming whether you play ten minutes a day to ten hours! I imagine there's games I'm not particularly interested in that you are anticipating, so there's a lot to be excited for. If not, find another hobby. Gardening is a fantastic choice, and it's great exercise!
Phew. I think that's the most work I've put into a story in a long time. A lot of descriptions to type, pictures to find, and videos to scavenge. Thankfully I have a year until the next E3 where this all begins again. Hope you enjoyed this year's E3 as it was tremendous for all.