X360, PS3 Monday, September 22, 2008 | 10:56 AM

Hit me one more time

Hit me one more time

October, November and December… For us gamers that period of time is just a blessing, for us responsible grown-ups it is also a nightmare when it comes to our bank accounts. The “gaming season” is upon us so I thought it would be a good opportunity to recapitulate the list of potential hits we’re about to play on our HD consoles.

The first thing to notice is that we can pretty much count on every possible genre to be there: action, adventure, sports, platformers, RPG, music games… You’d need to be very picky not to find something to your liking if you ask me. You might wonder the point of going through a list of games you all very much know by now but I really wanted to take a little time to make the most representative selection of more or less highly anticipated games. I’m fully aware that given the numbers of games that are to be released in the upcoming weeks, I might forget some but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk about them in your comments.

Let’s begin with the nerve of war, that is to say the games that will only be available exclusively either on Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. The good news is that, whatever the hardware you picked, you’re in for a real treat as both Sony and Microsoft have something to make you proud of your precious.

Xbox 360:

The first game from Microsoft I’ll mention is Fable’s highly anticipated sequel. Fable 2 will sure have to hold on to the promises Molyneux had made for the first game but it should offer a great adventure – playable in co-op – in the enchanting world of Albion anyway.

Rare hasn’t decided to play it safe with Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts as not only does it have the usual gameplay mechanics of a platformer but it also tries to innovate with a powerful vehicle construction tool that will allow players’ craziest inventions to come to life. Many of you guys already think it’s going to win the bet, we’ll find out soon.

Gears of War 2 is without a doubt the most anticipated game of late 2008 and it also is the flagship of Microsoft’s Xbox 360. The game is announced to be more badass so expect more action, more interaction and more dead locusts. Whether you want it for its co-op mode, its addicting multiplayer or its incredible graphics, I’m sure you’re all more than eager to “finish the fight”.

After their fantastic Orange Box, Valve is working on a ferocious multiplayer game called Left 4 Dead, only on PC and Xbox 360 for the moment. I can’t think of anything more appealing than facing a huge number of zombies with some friends. Unless maybe facing my friends as a zombie…

Before taking a look at what’s coming on PS3, I thought it would be fair to talk about Square-Enix’s new franchise: The Last Remnant. We haven’t seen much of it yet but considering it is a JRPG and they always have that little something, I think it’d be a mistake not to keep an eye on it. Infinite Undiscovery may have disappointed a bit but I’m convinced The Last Remnant will have some fans, even though it seems to be very similar to previous games by the same publisher.

Playstation 3:

Sony can also be proud as their lady in black has what it takes to please its users. I don’t think it is necessary to say more about LittleBigPlanet since we praised the game so much in our Gamersyde Awards article, suffice to say that we’re more and more impatient to play the game and that the bundle including both the game and the PS3 should sell like pancakes.

Santa won’t get his hands on Killzone 2 in time for Christmas but Resistance 2 will be there to satisfy those of you in need for action. The first game already was a lot of fun and to think the sequel will feature a promising 8 player co-op mode and a 60 player multiplayer frenzy in the other modes is rather exciting to say the least.

PS3 owners are also waiting for another sequel: Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. The demo that was released with Qore worried some of you but rest assured that the final version will be more polished as we could read everywhere on the net that the demo was based on an old build of the game. Other than that, the game still promises a hell of an adrenaline rush and it will also include some solid content this time around.

Xbox 360 owners will have a Naruto game to play but I chose not to mention it as it seems to me NamcoBandai’s Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm unleashes more enthusiasm with the fans. With a graphical style that couldn’t be any closer to the anime and some very dynamic fights, the game is shaping up well but we still need to see more of the adventure gameplay.


Most of the great games that are to be released by the end of the year aren’t exclusives and that’s great news for those who can’t afford to own the two systems. The bad news is it’s going to make it even harder to choose between them all.

Like every year, sports fans will get to use between games from publishers like Electronic Arts, Konami or 2K. Football – or soccer – fans have already been much impressed by Fifa 09’s demo though some still have issues with the way it handles. After a disappointing version last year PES 2009 more than ever needs to be convincing and we hope the demo – that should supposedly be available before the end of September – will do the job. Basketball fans won’t be left aside as NBA Live 09 has much improved since last year’s installment but it still remains to be seen if it will be strong enough to resist NBA 2K9 whose recent trailer was pretty amazing.

Racing sims fans will probably be disappointed but there will be no Race Pro before early 2009 on 360 and no Gran Turismo 5 before long on PS3… This year, it’s all about arcade racers and thrills in games like Pure - the excellent game from Black Rock Studio, released as soon as this week - and also Midnight Club L.A or Need For Speed: Undercover that could both be a pleasant surprise.

Survival horrors are pretty scarce these days but things are about to change with Dead Space, best surprise at last Game Convention and the new game in the Silent Hill franchise: Silent Hill: Homecoming. We’re pretty confident EA game will be good thanks to great graphics and a very good sound design but, like many people, we wonder if the new Silent Hill will be as effective as the first three.

First Person Shooters are on the contrary very common this generation but since most of them turn out to be good games, why should we complain? I’ve decided to narrow down the list to 4 of them and hopefully you’ll agree they should be the most interesting ones. Far Cry 2 and its huge open environment, the stylish and original Mirror’s Edge, Call of Duty: World at War and its usual effectiveness and finally Bioshock, a superb adventure that PS3 owners will soon discover. There are still questions about the quality of the AI in Ubisoft’s game, the interest of EA’s first person platformer in the long run and the choice of returning to WWII in Activision’s shooter but there’s a pretty good chance they all show some good stuff too.

For once, platformer lovers will have several games to choose from. Whether you’re more into mature adventures or you prefer more naïve worlds, you’ll all find something worth playing. Lara’s back in Tomb Raider: Underworld and she’s in pretty good shape - my numerous tries at Leipzig can attest to that – and she should not fail to deliver. The new Prince of Persia game may not be to everyone’s liking but it would be crazy not to consider it as a potential hit. Sonic Unleashed still has a lot of things to prove but it might turn out to be a fresh renewal of the franchise. As for Lego Batman, it’s a Lego game so if you’ve liked the others, there are no reasons not to fall for this one.

Not mentioning Fallout 3 in this selection would have been a huge mistake as we all expect so much from Bethesda’s RPG. Sure, you’ll hear some fans of the franchise bitch about the fact that Fallout “is not what it used to be” and criticize some of the choices made for this third installment. As for me, I have to say I was very impressed by the last bunch of videos they released and I’m really looking forward to playing the game.

Those of you who like sandbox games that allow you to do some crazy things and have a lot of fun will be happy to see Saints Row 2 return next month. I did try the game with Lunik at Leipzig and I can’t say we were particularly thrilled but we just got to play a bit of the intro level so if you liked the first game you should keep an eye on this one. Not everyone agrees when it comes to Saints Row 2 but it could be a nice departure from Rockstar’s game after all. What’s more, the “legendary” voice cast that has just been announced could make a big difference in the end. So the question is: suit up or not suit up?

Music games are very trendy these days because they appeal to a larger audience where casual and hardcore players meet to have some great fun. We’re all waiting for Guitar Hero: World Tour to show us what it’s made of and the tracklist that has just been announced is a very good start. However it will have to face Rock Band’s sequel in North America - which probably won’t be the case in Europe for a while at least. Because the first Rock Band is eventually coming to PS3 in Europe and that the price has dropped a bit - it’s still expensive but less of a rip-off – the battle could still be interesting here anyway.

I think that’s it. I could have mentioned more casually oriented games like Scene It 2, Lips or You’re in the Movies for Microsoft or Sing Star 2 for Sony, I probably forgot some too, not to mention those I intentionally left aside but I think you’ve done enough reading for one day - as for me I’ve done my share of translation for the month, believe me. So by the way, how much money will be left in your bank account in your opinion?

All comments

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Commented on 2008-09-22 11:01:00
Very good article! It seems every year outdones the year before it!

For me this year. FarCry 2, Fable 2 in OCTOBER. Last Remnant, Tomb Raider Underworld & Gears of War 2 in NOVEMBER. Prince of Persia in DECEMBER and that's about it. All other titles I want would have to wait until next year.
Commented on 2008-09-22 11:05:37
Since I'm mostly a RPG player and only own a Xbox 360, I'll go for Fallout 3, Fable 2 and Sacred 2: Fallen Angel. As diversions I'll probably get Dead Space and FraCry 2 also.

Fallout 3 will be the RPG GotY imo, since Fable 2 most likely is too simple and lightweight.
Commented on 2008-09-22 11:06:34 In reply to spif2001
No Fallout 3? Have you even read the article? ;)

Oops you edited.
Commented on 2008-09-22 11:08:55 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
No Fallout 3? Have you even read the article? ;)
Started out with the 360 portion and overlooked the multi. Corrected it 15 seconds after I postet it, but obviously one cannot leave a misunderstanding out in the open for that long. ;)
Commented on 2008-09-22 11:10:13 In reply to spif2001
There's no such thing as 15 second misunderstandings on Gamersyde. :D
Commented on 2008-09-22 11:29:48
great article! looking forward to GoW2, Fable2 and all FPS & survival horror games :)
Commented on 2008-09-22 11:59:42
What? We get love for yet another Sonic game (which is bound to let us down, no matter how much we hope it won't), but no love for Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway?!

What is the world coming too?

Anyway, fantastic list, and just what I been saying for some months now, this holiday is stacked from floor to ceiling with unbelievable amounts of potential . . . just the fall 2008 games that slipped into 2009, are enough to whet the appetite. Still, what is left over that is now etched in stone for 2008, is looking pretty, darned good.

BTW. I know for some strange reason a lot of people are jonesing for the Naruto game on the PS3, but considering the track record of the series, I cannot for the life of me figure out why. The best the series ever got, was the Ubisoft Montreal developed Naruto game from last year, and even that was so-so at best.

For PS3 exclusives, I'd rather hear more about WipEout HD and Valkyria Chronicles, than another lackluster Naruto-fest, any given day of the week.

And what about Alone in the Dark, for your horror delights? Have you seen the list of fixes coming for this game on the PS3 (and to the 360 as well, via a patch over Xbox LIVE)? Recently posted impressions of the fixed version of this game are extremely positive: http://kotaku.com/5048827/alone-in-the-dark-on-ps3...

Too bad Atari did not delay the game for all consoles in the first place. Even still, with the fixes coming into place for a November release, it really is looking like we have yet another strong contender in the horror department.
Commented on 2008-09-22 12:03:38
Looks like its going to be another amazing winter for gaming.
Must play games for me will be......Fable 2, Fallen 3, Midnight Club, Motorstorm, Need for Speed, Saints Row 2, GOW2, PES2009 and maybe Fifa09 if is lives up to the hype.
Just where I am going to find the time to pay all those games is another matter, especially as I am still playing catch from last winters games :-)
Commented on 2008-09-22 12:17:56 In reply to FreeSwag
Well, given what I think of the 360 version of Alone in the Dark - that I completed - I could certainly not mention the PS3 version as a potential hit. I might be wrong, some may have enjoyed the game but most of us were disappointed. If the promised fixes make it a lot better, then we'll just say I was wrong not to put it in the list. :)

As for Wipeout, it sure deserves a purchase but I chose not to talk about PSN or XBLA games to stay focus on the others. Again, some might not agree but that's how I saw the article. It would have been much longer if I had had to go through the upcoming downloadable games and it took me long enough to write all this down. Sorry. :)

I hesitated for BIA, the game seems attractive to me but I'm also quite wary. Many people don't believe in its chances so that's why I decided not to mention it in the end. But please continue to talk about the games you think are missing, your comments will complete the list of the article that way. ;)
Commented on 2008-09-22 12:24:17
Fifa, Farcry, Gears, Mirrors Edge, left 4 dead! arghhh

oh and maybe fallout too!!! arghghghahsdh ££££
Commented on 2008-09-22 13:31:33

awesome! :)
Commented on 2008-09-22 14:25:04
Left 4 Dead and Fable are all I need
Commented on 2008-09-22 14:31:21
Gamersyde did NOT just reference that annoying Britney Spears song. Anyway for me this time of year is usually a bittersweet one. Many games, little time. What's ironic is that this year the best games aren't on the latest systems.

Chrono Trigger (DS)
Persona 4 (PS2)

Everything else is a rental for me, but I have unusually high standards =P
Commented on 2008-09-22 15:05:05
wow!, there are just tooo many games to buy, I pray I even have time to play them all, I mean jeez, im in final year uni, games development is a very hard course. sheesh!

Summer was empty, why didnt they release games during the summer, we were out of school and on breaks, what gives! Anyways a good xmas still. A great xmas it will be.
Commented on 2008-09-22 15:08:58
my girlfriend is gonna kill me...far too many quality titles coming out in the coming months. Hopefully LBP will help to ease the pain for her, as I can't really see her playing anything else!
Commented on 2008-09-22 15:21:29
Nice article man.

Mirror's Edge better be as good as it looks, else I'll punch it right in the gooch.
Commented on 2008-09-22 15:28:25
My bank balance is already in tears at the thought of all this gaming goodness. For the first time since owing my Ps3, 360 and pc rig, I can honestly say that this xmas is one of the most exciting in the history of gaming for me.

Innovation is pouring out in droves and the thought of finally getting my hands on some of these titles is keeping me awake at night rofl.

Add pc titles such as Spore and Warcraft`s expansion: The Wrath Of The Lich King and Left 4 Dead (I`m getting it on the 360 too) and I am in awe at the prospects.

"Bring it on!!!!" Gaming FTW !!!!.
Commented on 2008-09-22 15:50:11
This is going to be one expensive Holiday season. That isn't including getting my PS3 fixed or buying a 360. Just the damn games. :-\
Commented on 2008-09-22 16:04:18
Many of my favorite titles aren't out til '09 but I can't wait for Gears 2 and Fallout this year. The one underdog for me that was left off the list is Baja: Edge of Control. While the graphics aren't anything special and it's missing an incar view, it still looks very fun with great physics and track design.
Commented on 2008-09-22 16:16:06
october gonig to hit my wallet hard...works out to be £200 for the games im getting, going to be hard hideing this from the wife!!lol
Commented on 2008-09-22 17:26:59
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (just a few more days!) and Far Cry 2, that's it for me!

Nice article btw!
Commented on 2008-09-22 17:27:55
I think LOTR: Conquest should be in there personally, but I agree with everything else. Gears of War 2 is going to rock. :)
Commented on 2008-09-22 17:38:44
There are 4 games on that list I'm pretty sure I'm going to get.

Fable 2
Gears of War 2
Mirror's Edge
Guitar Hero: World Tour.

3 months, 4 games. Hmm....
Commented on 2008-09-22 18:14:13
Is it a good idea to list Gran Turismo 5 under the Multiplatform games? some will be very confused...
Commented on 2008-09-22 18:17:51 In reply to Xion4360
It's not actually listed there, I just thought it might be good to remind PS3 owners (GT5) and 360 owners alike (Race Pro) that they will have to go for arcade multipatform games for this holiday season. :)

I wrote this article considering you guys on the forums knew the basics. ;)

You're right though, I'll correct it before all hell breaks loose. ^^
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