This is a big time of year for game releases, and I am here to point out some of the more deserving titles.? I’m sure there will be more of note than I see, so feel free to make your own additions to my list in the comments section.
Guitar Hero III (360, PS3, Wii, PS2) – Bringing the noise this week is Activision’s 3rd installment in the popular Guitar Hero franchise.? New to this edition is the Les Paul styled guitar controller with improved fret buttons, bundled with the game disc, and wireless on all versions except the Xbox 360, which inexplicably comes with a wired guitar controller. The set list this go-around includes both Guns ‘n’ Roses and Metallica, so I think that covers just about everyone.
John Woo’s Stranglehold (PS3) – The martial-arts and gunplay action fest finally makes its way around to Sony’s machine.? Pick up the collector’s edition and get the HD version of Hard Boiled on the same Blu-Ray disc.
The Simpsons Game (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS) – Normally games based on licensed properties are not worth anyone’s time, but I have heard surprisingly good things about this one.? If you are a big fan of the show and know enough about gaming cliches (in order to get a lot of the game’s humor), you might want to check this out.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (360, PS3, DS) – In a year without BioShock, Halo 3, or The Orange Box, this would be without a doubt the FPS to get.? Which is not to say the game lacks luster.? Not at all.? COD4 has some of the best visuals around, and the multiplayer experience promises to give even the Master Chief a run for his money.? I have it on good authority that this game is ?freakin’ sweet.?? Note that this only applies to the game as runs on the 360 and PS3.
Virtua Fighter 5 Online (360) – Fighting game franchises don’t get more hardcore than Virtua Fighter.? If you are a serious study, willing to put in hours and hours and hours (and hours) to learn the hundereds of moves and combos available to each character, then you might be competent enough to venture online for the first time in the series’s history and not be owned relentlessly.
Manhunt 2 (Wii, PS2, PSP) – The game finally sees release this month, after being slapped with an ?Adults Only? rating by the ESRB back in June, and subsequently being denied license to publish the game on any major platform.? Developer Rockstar (of Grand Theft Auto fame) has reworked the gore and violence present herein to be granted a ?Mature? rating instead.? Notable more for pushing the envelope in terms of controversy than decent game play, this is as serviceable a stealth action game as it may be.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker (DS) – JRPG fans take note.? Spin-offs of the much-loved-in-Japan Dragon Quest series have a very good track record, and this game in particular has made a very good name for itself since being released in Japan.? Only for the DS gamer with lots of time to lose.
Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness (PSP) – The strategy-rpg series gets another quality entry.? The genre is really taking off on Sony’s portable, with Jeanne d’Arc and Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions also recently having come out.
Silent Hill Origins (PSP) – A prequel to the first Silent Hill game, and just as chilling.? Horror fans will have a good excuse to put on the headphones, close the curtains, and curl up on the couch with their PSPs.