So…2008 just ended, and you probably thought you were in the clear when it came to year-end listmania. Well, you were technically right — this list isn’t looking backward; it’s looking forward. We here at Destructoid have put on our videogame analyst prognostication caps in order to bring you our picks for the most hotly anticipated games of 2009. We’ll have lists for all kinds of platforms, but today, we’re starting with Sony’s black beast, since it’s looking like it very well may turn out to finally be the Year of the PlayStation 3.
Sony’s certainly had a rough go of it during this console generation — it’s been over two years since the PS3 launched, and the clichéd arguments saying that it has no games can still be heard echoing through the halls of the Internet. But Sony has an undeniably solid slate of games — exclusive ones, at that — lined up for 2009, so by the time next year rolls around, there will be at least one less facet of the PS3 that gamers can attack.
This year, Brad Rice, Editor-in-Chief of Japanator, joined me in putting together a list of ten games (we each contributed our top five). You’ll also see picks from various Destructoid editors at the end. Let’s get to the list!
[Amazing header image by Destructoid’s mind teaser and master debater, Fronz.]
5) The Beatles [working title] (Holiday 2009)
We essentially know nothing about this game, except that it (1) is being developed by Harmonix, published by MTV Games, and distributed by EA; (2) will showcase the music and history of The Beatles (reportedly 45 songs on the game disc) from Please Please Me to Abbey Road; (3) will be played using fake plastic instruments à la the Rock Band games — though it probably won’t be a Rock Band game; and (4) will be released for the PS3, 360, Wii, and PS2.
Of course, that does absolutely nothing to suppress my fervent excitement about it — as I’ve explained before, The Beatles are my all-time favorite band — and I’m sure that Harmonix will put out a great product. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the songs will be released as Rock Band DLC, but I’m expecting great things from the game nonetheless.
4) Killzone 2 (February 27, 2009)
Killzone 2 is probably the single most-hyped game in the history of the PlayStation 3, and with the game’s release only six weeks away, it’s time for developer Guerrilla Games to put its money where its mouth is. After a long, drawn-out development history fraught with white lies and numerous delays, the world will finally get to see if it was all worth it. Early reports indicate that the game is, indeed, as bad-ass as we all hoped it’d be — though we’re holding our breath until the Destructoid review.
3) MLB 09 The Show (March 3, 2009)
Last year, Sony established that its MLB The Show series is king of the hill (mound?) when it comes to baseball gaming. Fans of the sport who merely had non-Sony machines — and thus, only had the relatively inferior option of 2K Sports’ MLB 2K8 available to them — found themselves jealous of PS3 owners, who at least had a choice. SCEA San Diego is looking to step up its game (pun intended) this time around with Trophy support, revamped baserunning controls, and neat additions like the option to record personalized crowd talk, and I have no doubt that they will deliver.
2) Fat Princess (Q1 2009)
The PlayStation Network has made a name for itself as a home for unique and quirky titles, and Titan Studios’ Fat Princess fits that pedigree perfectly. The premise is pure gold: two teams duke it out, medieval-style, each trying to rescue its princess from its opponent’s dungeon. The twist? The imprisoned princess is being fattened up by her captors in an effort to prevent her being dragged off by a few knights in shining armor. Interested yet?
The action title, which we played at CES this past weekend, sounds relatively deep: players will be able to choose from five classes (Warrior, Archer, Mage, Worker, Priest), ten maps will be available, and since teamwork is crucial to success, it will support up to 32-player action in a variety of modes. Here’s what we want to know: is there a way to pre-order PSN games?
1) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Fall 2009)
With its combination of Gears-esque gunplay, Tomb Raider-style platforming, and a wisecracking, pulp fiction story, the original Uncharted was my favorite PS3 exclusive of 2007 — and it remains a high-water mark for console visuals. The sequel is said to be bringing new locales and more varied environments, as seen in the Spike VGA trailer, as well as all kinds of other changes. Our pants already featured a bulge after seeing these screenshots, and the full game may just require us to buy new trousers when it launches later this year.
5) Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 (March 24, 2009)
Remember, this list is about my most anticipated titles of 2009. No matter how much of a bad game you might consider Dynasty Warriors Gundam, the game is pure, cheesy fun. I’ve already run through the original a half dozen times, and I enjoyed every moment of it. It’s mostly about bonding with fond memories of Gundam series. You have no idea how excited I get when Master Asia screams, “THE EAST IS BURNING RED!”
4) God of War III (Q4 2009)
As horrible as it is, I love curb-stomping puppies in the game. The story is so absurd, the gameplay is over the top, and all in all, I love it like I love All Star Batman and Robin. I can’t take the game’s story seriously, but that’s what makes it fun. So I’ll enjoy slaughtering the Gods and using their powers against them at every chance that I get, all while splitting the denizens of Thebes apart with my bare hands.
3) Street Fighter IV (February 17, 2009)
In the realm of 2D fighters, I’m somewhat ambivalent about Street Fighter. I respect its presence in the genre, but I’ve never invested a serious amount of time into playing it. However, with SSF2THDR, I’ve started getting back into it. And as such, Street Fighter IV‘s ambitious art style has me intrigued. I’m very interested to see how everything flows as I run through it, and I’m looking forward to actually using the PS3’s online system for this.
2) Heavy Rain (TBA 2009)
Watching the gameplay footage from Leipzig, I was stunned at watching how smoothly the game handled, the setup for the story, and pretty much all the buzz around it. I love for games to be experimental in their storytelling and not stick to conventional bounds, simply because I don’t have a lot of time to play games right now, and Heavy Rain seems to have that in spades, from the bits that are floating about on the ‘net.
1) White Knight Chronicles (TBA 2009)
You know I’m a J-RPG whore, and this takes the place of Final Fantasy XIII, mainly because this is a bit of new blood and I’m not going to sink my time into sequel after sequel, especially when Square Enix has had a somewhat spotty track record with the last couple of titles. The review from Famitsu was a little disconcerting, but I’m willing to take a chance on Level-5, as they haven’t disappointed me with their past titles.
Many Destructoid editors now own PS3s, so some of them felt like chiming in.
Nick Chester: DC Universe Online, God of War III, Heavy Rain, inFamous, Killzone 2
Jonathan Holmes: Noby Noby Boy
Jonathan Ross: Fat Princess, God of War III, Heavy Rain, L.A. Noire, Tekken 6
Fronz: Flower, White Knight Chronicles, L.A. Noire, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, God of War III, Heavy Rain