It’s hard to imagine a better month for gaming than November of this upcoming Holiday season, isn’t it? After all, we’re probably going to see the release of Skyrim, Uncharted, Call of Duty, etc…How do you topple a month like that or come even close to it? By starting with March 2011 is how.
I’ve never truly seen a month in gaming like I have for this upcoming March. Not only is it jam-packed with a ridiculous amount of titles, but there is literally a title releasing on all fronts for all types of gamers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a sports gamer, shooter fan, racing specialist or even a golfer – the month of March has you covered.
Sure, you can expect a lot of great action-adventure, shoot-em ups come November, but the eclectic list releasing in March should be considered head and shoulders above any other month of this year and that’s surprising to say the least. When was the last time you saw gaming rock a month this hard so early in the year?
Anyway – Let’s take a look at the month ahead which seems to be nothing more than an Electronic Arts showcase of titles.
Fight Night Champion
EA Sports is finally releasing a sequel to its last disappointing outing into the boxing world with Fight Night Round 4. It wasn’t so much that Round 4 was mediocre, but that it released against UFC 2009 which ended up shocking the industry and being a tremendously enjoyable title to play. This time around, however, EA Sports is leaving nothing behind and is instead slamming the foot down on the accelerator in releasing Fight Night Champion, a boxing game unlike any before it.
You shouldn’t expect FNC to just be the every day, run-of-the-mill boxing title as EA has taken the game down a darker and grittier path to excellence. They’ve created an entirely new control scheme that should allow for a slight learning curve, but massive improvements in continued playability. They’ve also added in a new “Champion Mode” which allows gamers to follow in the footsteps of Andre Bishop. This mode feels almost as though you’re taking control of some thug off the street who is trying to get his life back together after being screwed over one too many times. To be honest, it looks like you’re going to be just a complete bad ass in the ring.
Furthermore, you can probably expect Legacy Mode to return, which is the standard career mode as well as a laundry list of boxers that would make any fan of the sport proud. Considering a lot of the demo feedback was positive, EA may possibly have another HR hit on its hands with this one.
MLB 11: The Show
Last year’s iteration of The Show was one of the worst in recent memory, IMO. You had to create 36 workarounds in order for the title to function properly and to get even remotely close to a simulation experience. Even then, though, the game would screw you over by releasing all of the top all-stars into Free Agency for no reason at all.
Thankfully, with all of the updates and steps SCE San Diego has taken this year, it looks as though all of these early year issues last year are sure to be addressed. SCE has done a fantastic job adding in authentic stadium builds, including the new jumbotron from the Ballpark in Arlington. They’ve also revamped the control scheme to a fully analog-controlled system. While this may be uneasy for some, those giving it a chance will probably enjoy it.
One of the biggest additions to this year’s game, however, is the player vault share system. Now that individuals can share specific players it means that custom rosters and fully named minor leagues will release at a much more rapid pace than ever before. This year is definitely shaping up to be a great year for Baseball fans.
Dragon Age 2
When BioWare announced that they were developing Dragon Age 2, it was pretty much a no brainer and everyone saw it coming. After all, the original was played so much it probably wore out a lot of people’s consoles. Despite the popularity of the original, BioWare has made a lot of odd changes to the format of the game that have been met with some skepticism – such as the inability to change the race of your starting character. Though these slight road bumps are nothing more than something to whine about, the rest of Dragon Age II is shaping up to be a delightful piece of work much like the original.
In DAII, the game takes place in the Free Marches and the main character is known as a Blight survivor and the champion of the Marches as well. Therefore, it is entirely up to the gamer to shape history around “Hawke” as his tale spans well over a decade of time within the game.
One of the coolest features within BioWare’s upcoming title is the option to carry over decision you made in the previous Dragon Age. I believe it was smart for BioWare to leave the save transfer option nothing more than an option as some people would prefer to rebuild from the get go. Dragon Age II releases March 8th in North America and March 11th in March.
Only in a fictional war game would you ever see Mexico and Canada close its borders against the United States while the fury of the North Koreans against the Americans grows. Surprisingly, the antagonists were supposed to be Chinese, but due to American-China relations, THQ felt it may further cause a strain between the two and further the reality of economic interdependence.
Homefront brings the war home to a tattered United States on the brink of collapsing entirely (what’s left of it anyways) and should open a lot of eyes with its in-your-face gameplay. While other games have brought the war slightly to America at times, nobody has ever brought the full on force of the event to American soil leaving the country to fend for itself and to push the Greater Korean Republic back.