March is no February when it comes to quantity, but it boasts a few very interesting or otherwise highly anticipated titles. Kicking things off is, for many folks, an instant game of the year contender.
Mass Effect 3
PS3, 360, PC
Hype-O-Meter: Potential day-one purchase.
Mass Effect 3 - BioWare's science fiction magnum opus, and poster child for western-developed RPGs - will be a huge commercial success, and an early front-runner for Game of the Year 2012. I would probably be much more hyped for it if I had ever managed to complete Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2 - but I haven't, and the odds of me finishing SSX and Shinobido 2 in time to complete this game's prequel and give it its due are not good.
Still, I've always wanted to get in on the ground floor with one of these Mass Effect games you hear so much about, and experience it along with the rest of the world.
I Am Alive
XBLA (timed exclusive - no word on the PSN release date)
Hype-O-Meter: Unless I get bored and need something to play, I'll wait for my preferred control method and platform.
Ubisoft have a great deal of credit with me when it comes to assembling a satisfying platformer - and that's much of what I Am Alive promises, along with a post-apocalyptic yet modern-day setting and survival mechanics.
I'll be paying very close attention to reviews of I Am Alive - the game's development history certainly gives one reason for concern, but at the very least it's an action-adventure game with a unique premise, as you scramble through the ruins of a metropolis in search of your family.
Hype-O-Meter: Day One.
Journey is the next thing from Flow and Flower developer ThatGameCompany. That's really all I need to know.
If you want to know more, simply understand that its developers are known for pushing the boundaries of what emotions a game can inspire with relatively simple tools, that Journey is an explorative platformer with very unique multiplayer implementation, and it looks gorgeous.
Silent Hill: Downpour
Hype-O-Meter: You'll have no faith from me, Silent Hill.
There hasn't been a great Silent Hill game since 3 back on the PS2 - every game since 4: The Room has been a failed exercise in attempting to return to what made the series great, and I have little confidence that Downpour will be any better.
At the same time, it's a triple-A survival horror game - and when was the last time we got one of those?
Yakuza: Dead Souls
Hype-O-Meter: For me? Eh. For Mogs? Day One.
I'm not even gonna' write anything here. Mogs, if you're reading this, please write a comment below - or heck, email me - briefly explaining how people should feel about Dead Souls. You're the guy to ask, on this stuff.
"Five words: Majima Goro with a shotgun.
But in all seriousness, Dead Souls appears to be a straight-up Yakuza game (meaning heavy on story that can get a little crazy and/or over-the-top, in a good way) only instead of the brawling, it's a Third-Person Shooter because you just can't-punch- the zombies that've infested Kamurocho to re-death unfortunately. Apparently, the controls were a bit tank-y in the initial release in Japan, but Yakuza Studios went on record saying, should the game get a localization, they would likely tweak the controls to play more like Binary Domain, which was developed with a more Western mindset anyway.
From what I can tell, it'll retain the usual side-quest bits, but I'm not sure as to what capacity, and, like Yakuza 4, the story will be told from the viewpoints of four different characters: Kiryu Kazuma, Shun Akiyama, Majima Goro and a blast from the past, Goda Ryuji who literally has a machine gun for a hand. Despite all that, the story is usually handled pretty well, so even a tale of zombie infestation could end up as something special, or at least pretty neat."...and that's Dead Souls. Thank you, sir.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories
Hype-O-Meter: What have you done to Silent Hill?
Okay, so it's called Silent Hill but you create your own character and guide them through what appears to be a multiplayer co-op top-down shooter.
Way to disappoint on general principle, Konami. I'll be thrilled and amazed if this thing gets any better than mediocre reviews.
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...and that's March! Not exactly bursting at the seams, but c'mon - Mass Effect 3 and Journey?