March game avalanche

Looking through the list of recently released and upcoming March titles makes me think about sacrifice. Which games will I skip, which developers do I want to support with full price upfront, and on which days of the week will I eat Ramen? This isn’t a consumer product site like say IGN, who I recently notice house an inordinate number of game previews and features all obviously in an attempt at hyping and selling games, so I rarely discuss upcoming releases. Speaking to a few friends, however, I realized many of the games I am excited about are pretty low profile.

I thought of Pat’s old article on whose responsibility it was that we have heard of a game and then realized that quite frequently, within my small group of friends, it’s my responsibility. When Matt IGN dedicates a month to upcoming games he has never played (like he did for Zack and Wiki and Madworld) it is somewhat understandable – it’s important that people know about promising stuff that flies below the radar.

Of course I have never played any of the games I am about to hype and advise you to read reviews and discuss the games with other people before contemplating a purchase, but still, these look pretty cool to me. Besides the obvious just released Resident Evil 5 and Madworld and other famous upcoming titles like Suikoden, Crystal Chronicles Whatever of Whatever and Valkyrie Profile coming to the DS, there is a host of nicheier stuff. (Nicheier isn’t a word but Pat’s on vacation and I’ll be damned if I’m going to edit this myself.)

Avalon Code is a promising ARPG by the people who did the DS Final Fantasy remakes and has already received a number of decent to good reviews. Black Sigil looks to be a Chrono Trigger clone, which is fine with me. Plenty of shitty games are cloned every year, why not try reproducing one of the best?

Lux-Pain is a Japanese adventure title for the DS, and since I am willing to suffer through the worst of those there is little doubt I will be getting it. Speaking of adventure, the Broken Sword remake is coming to both the Wii and DS this month. The guys behind it also made Beneath a Steel Sky and I am told Broken Sword is another classic.

Henry Hatsworth is an oddity – a small team game (seven people) from a giant publisher (EA). It looks like it may be another cult hit, sharing similar inspiration as Puzzle Quest in how it mashes two genres together. But Hatsworth seems less content merely integrating disparate mechanics – there is literally a puzzle game playing out on the bottom screen and a 2D platformer on the top simultaneously. The Kyle who isn’t World of Goo Kyle of the famous two Kyles designed Hatsworth so I have high expectations.

And finally there is the quirky, possibly crappy stuff coming to Wii. Kororinpa probably doesn’t interest anyone who wasn’t interested in the original, though it’s likely most people were never able to be actively uninterested in it because they have no idea the game exists. I am hoping Rune Factory Frontier takes the DS game and makes it awesome, though obviously this is a futile hope. And then there is Major Minor’s Majestic March, the newest game by the designer/artist duo who brought PaRappa to the world. Sure the screenshots make your eyes bleed and it looks like a boring casual Wii game, but… I don’t know, think of something inspirational.

So I am a Nintendo shill, fine. It’s not my fault Japanese designers got together to plot a foreclosure inducing March. Now go do some research on these games so when they come out and flop you can’t pretend you had no idea they even existed.

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