Unfortunately for a lot of gamers, despite the widespread popularity of Fable, it truly is a niche title. While some gamers enjoy the ability to play relentlessly repetitive mini-games to make cash or attempt to father as my kids as possible without playing in the NFL, it’s not really everyone’s cup of tea.
Although this game could easily be perceived as a Game of the Year candidate, the fact it’s more like a single-player MMO than anything else will probably hurt its chances more-so than help them. Regardless, it deserves to make this list and while it will continue to sell roughly 2 million copies, don’t expect it to outshine the others on this list, if it does, it’s definitely a dark horse upset.
If all anyone told you about this game is that it’s about Mickey Mouse and exclusive to the Wii, would you have any reason to care? We’d guess that you wouldn’t give the game a second look at your favorite retailer. Once names like Warren Spector are thrown into the mix, you suddenly have every reason to pay attention.
We can write entire features on Mr. Spector’s accomplishments, but for now just know that he worked on classic franchises such as Wing Commander, Ultima, Thief, and Deus Ex. So when his secret project turned out to be a game about Disney’s franchise cartoon character, people were understandably confused. What the hell could he possibly have in mind for the mouse?
A whole lot, it turns out. The game takes a darker approach to Mickey than many of his fans may be used to, featuring a morality system not unlike what you’ll find in a game like InFamous. Depending on the choices Mickey makes in the game, you can even avoid fighting certain bosses. Another neat mechanic is the paint/paint thinner, which allows you to either create parts of the environment or destroy them.
And have we mentioned that the game looks really, really good? Of course, the Disney art style lends itself quite well to the Wii’s hardware limitations, but that doesn’t stop it from looking as good as anything else on the system. While all the colorful environments that people have come to expect are there, it can also look ominously bleak. But you know, in a good way that’s actually impressive.
So yes, Mr. Harcore Gamerpants, you should absolutely be excited for a Wii-exclusive Mickey Mouse game.
Gran Turismo 5
Covering the reasons Gran Turismo 5 could probably take Game of the Year honors this year would take some considerable time — likely 5+ years. After all, that’s how long this state of the art gem has been in development. Over the course of that time, Polyphony Digital has done everything imaginable to make Gran Turismo 5 the definition of simulation racing and the icon of the industry in terms of racing in general.
Late last week, gamers learned that GT5 is going to feature a procedural damage component that allows for all collisions to effect cars differently. This is a huge leap forward for the franchise as damage has been one of the key factors missing from it since inception.
Furthermore, GT5 introduces for the first time ever, NASCAR, into its ranks and considering the long drawn out history of terrible NASCAR titles, this has to have the southern gamers in the United States amped to get their hands on it. Regardless of if you’re a fan of driving in a circle turning left repeatedly or not, we’re sure GT5 is going to make even one of the most boring sports…exciting!
Gran Turismo 5 releases at the start of November, so that means you should be halfway through it by the time you play it 24/7 all the way until Christmas. By that time, you should probably pick up LittleBigPlanet 2. After all, you need to spend some time with the family.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
If I’m being honest, my excitement factor for this title isn’t as high as the others on this list. After all, this is a yearly installment that has started to lose a little of its magic despite being developed by Treyarch instead of Infinity Ward. With that said, it’s painfully obvious that Black Ops is going to try and deliver on all fronts to make a push for Game of the Year. Considering what Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 were able to achieve, it only makes sense that Treyarch is dying to prove they can deliver as well.