The 2007 Big Ten
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We've already given our 2007 predictions, as seen in our previous article. And a few surprises are bound to be revealed over the next year, especially by the likes of Nintendo and Sony for their respective handhelds. But what games are there to really look forward to for the beginning part of 2007? Fortunately, we were able to look through the list of numerous contenders and came up with ten big games - five Nintendo DS, five Sony PSP - that gamers should be frothing at the mouths over. Be it flying, strategic action, or full-blown racing excitement, there's something for everyone in this list. So let's dive right in and see what we're in for for the first part of the year...
Gran Turismo (SCEA/Sony PSP) - Yes, it's still coming. Nearly two years after its initial announcement, many considered Gran Turismo 4 Mobile to be sitting in development limbo. But 2007 should finally be the year that Polyphony Digital gets it out the door, in an attempt to create some hype for the forthcoming Gran Turismo 5 for the PlayStation 3. Look for this game to have a number of tracks available, including some classic favorites as well as a few new ones, and numerous vehicle classes to choose from. Wi-Fi and Infrastructure Modes should be available for good measure as well. Look for this one in summer/fall 2007. Yes, really.
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (Nintendo/Nintendo DS) - Nintendo's enticed us before with some odd adventures for the DS, including third-party offerings like Trace Memory, Trauma Center, and Contact. But Hotel Dusk looks even more bizarre than any of these, an involving mystery that revolves around a mysterious hotel room and the goings-on surrounding it. This game will benefit from a wonderful interface that's sure to draw in gamers for multiple plays, and its presentation looks to be like nothing else, with well-designed characters and numerous tools available to solve the mystery. Look to solve this one in early 2007.
Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (SCEA/Sony PSP) - Insomniac's destructive duo have been dishing out destruction for the past few years now on the PlayStation 2, so it was only a matter of time before they showed up on the Sony PSP. Size Matters features Ratchet and his robotic assistant Clank as they take on a whole new adventure, one that spans across a series of bizarre worlds. Along the way, Ratchet will pick up numerous guns that will help out the pair, and Clank will even get his chance to shine in the action spotlight over a series of stages. Although the game itself isn't being handled by Insomniac, High Impact Games looks more than ready to fill their shoes. Expect some challenging single-player action, along with intense multiplayer scenarios.
Phoenix Wright: Justice For All (Capcom/Nintendo DS) - We've already reviewed the import version, so you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect with this lawyer's return on the Nintendo DS. Phoenix tackles a whole new series of cases, ranging from the incredibly insane to the almost unwinable, and Phoenix must use everything in his power, from witness testimonies to examining evidence and turning to assistants for help, in order to win the day. Expect all kinds of crazy characters and thought-provoking gameplay when Phoenix Wright reconvenes for court in January.
Burnout Dominator (Electronic Arts/Sony PSP) - And you thought the Burnout legend came to a close on the PSP with Burnout Legends. Think again. Criterion is back to work on an all new chapter being made exclusively for the PlayStation 2 and Sony PSP, where car damage is not only commonplace, it's required. The game will feature all kinds of butt-kicking, high-octane racing action as only Criterion can deliver, along with multiplayer sessions through Wi-Fi that are sure to engage even the slightest of racing fans. We'll have more details on this game soon enough in a full-blown preview. For now, you'll have to wait a little while and dream of car-nage.
Hot PXL (Atari/Sony PSP) - Crazy mini-game laden collections are always welcome, especially for the A.D.D.-thwarted crowd. So Atari's certainly obliging with this new collection, which is due to arrive for the PSP in the beginning of next year. In the game, players interact with a stylish skateboarder with Djon over a series of wacky mini-games, ranging from avoiding fatty foots (or eating them) to playing rehashes of classic Atari games. Players can also organize mini-games into their own personal collections, while also being able to download new ones via an interactive online store. Hot PXL looks like one hell of a good time. Respect!
Diddy Kong Racing (Nintendo/Nintendo DS) - Not since the original Mario Kart DS has a cart-racing game been so hotly wanted on a game system. Rare is back for programming duties on this new take on the N64 classic, with Diddy Kong and company hopping behind the wheel for hours upon hours of fast racing action. Expect some classic courses, as well as some brand new worlds to race across. The game will also fully support Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection, allowing gamers across the nation to hook up for some quick racing action. Sick of Mario and his old set of wheels? Then Diddy Kong's the one to turn to. This Racing phenomenon should arrive in February.
Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo/Nintendo DS) - Sure, we've got this Twilight Princess thing to tide us over in the meantime on the Nintendo Wii and GameCube, but pretty soon we're going to need another new Zelda adventure. Enter Phantom Hourglass, a take on the classic Wind Waker formula but with new puzzles, items, and abilities to unlock via the Nintendo DS Touch-Screen. Phantom Hourglass will include an enthralling quest with hours of gameplay packed into it, while introducing a fun graphic style and sharp gameplay that classic Zelda players and newcomers alike will get into. Look for Zelda to make a huge splash in spring 2007.
After Burner: Black Falcon (Sega/Sony PSP) - Since we didn't get the After Burner game we so badly wanted on the Xbox 360, this portable version will have to go. Being handled by the team at Planet Moon (Darkwatch), After Burner: Black Falcon promises plenty of thrilling jet action. There will be a wide selection of aircraft and weapons to choose from, and different missions that will keep bringing gamers back to the danger zone. The promising addition of multiplayer makes this game sound even better - now if we can just get the classic game thrown in as an unlockable bonus. What say you, Planet Moon?
Wario: Master of Disguise (Nintendo/Nintendo DS) - Somewhere, Wario's doing the Dana Carvey thing and screaming, "I'm going to be a Master of Disguise!" This new platforming adventure returns Wario to his roots, with plenty of challenges to complete and mini-games to take on. But a huge difference this time around is that gamers can dress up Wario in a series of outfits, each one giving him new abilities that help him further in his adventure. Look for Wario to be the Master of disaster when this game arrives in spring 2007.