Waiting For: March

Yes, I’ll admit to being a huge college basketball fan, and March Madness has me taking sick time every year.  However, I’m not talking about basketball here.  Without a “great” game to open up 2012 I look forward to March to release the games I’ve been wanting to play.  While Mass Effect 3 will be the first blockbuster to hit shelves, I’m looking forward to the Silent Hill HD collection, along with the new title Downpour.  Homecoming and Shattered Memories were barely enough to keep scares up for the horror genre fans.  Getting to play the classics again with a fresh coat of paint will be a joy, and expectations are very high for Downpour to bring the series back to its old success.  Konami has also done the work to produce a title for the PS Vita.  Book of Memories could turn heads and will give the Vita a needed survival-horror game.

MLB 11 The Show disappointed me to say the least.  The hitting controls were very tough to get used to, and pitching controls didn’t really seem to make up for the difficulty in scoring runs.  I’m looking for the PS3 exclusive to improve its slight step-back and continue being the best baseball game available.  2K has a great franchise with their NBA games, however their hockey game has faltered and if drastic measures aren’t taken, their MLB title will be heading down the same path.  Look for strong releases from both publishers.  

Nearly three years after the release of Resident Evil 5, Capcom has taken its signature franchise into a very important direction.  With Revelations, Operation Raccoon City, and finally RE:6 coming out within a year of each other it’s a great time to be a Resident Evil fan.  Operation Raccoon City is the title I’m looking forward to the most over the spring because it gives the back story to RE:2.  Not only are we getting to play as the bad guys in this one, but rumor has it that Leon S. Kennedy may be the number one target in the game.  How would killing the series icon affect the story line that has past games based on Leon surviving his original exposure to the outbreak?  Completely new to the series will be online play.  While it is going to be a third person shooter, skill points will be earned for players able to get their opponents attacked by zombies rather than just shooting and killing them.  If you’re a Resident Evil fan, 2012 will be a highlight year and a critical part of the series’ future.

Later in the spring the games will continue to pour like a chocolate fountain.  Prototype 2 and Max Payne 3 have been delayed for far too long and long time fans will finally get the sequels they’ve been waiting for.  Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will also be released and hopefully raise the stock in the Tom Clancy title and in Ubisoft.  After early success in both Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon titles, it’s been a disappointing surprise that we’ve had to wait this long for another Tom Clancy game to be released.  Speaking of Ubisoft, Rayman Origins will be released for the Vita.  I imagine the platform style of gameplay will show off Playstation’s new toy in a strong way, and use the mechanics of the touch-screen effectively.  2011 was a tremendous year for video games, perhaps one of the best ever.  However, that doesn’t mean we should overlook 2012 and its hot releases come spring.

- Geoff Barry