March: Feels Like November, Doesn’t It? [3DS, DA2, ETC.]

Update: Well, looks like PSOM was wrong. L.A. Noire just announced a May release date.

Wow, March is fast approaching and it feels like November. We have some very big things approaching: Rift, Dragon Age 2, L.A. Noire, and, of course, the 3DS. Let’s see…that’s, what, about $400+ in goodies to buy? I don’t think I’d have enough in trade-ins if I got rid of my whole library. How much is a Nintendo 64 going for these days?

As a Day One Buyer for the things that excite me most, I find myself a little confounded. We have four biggies, each with it’s own incredible level of polish and pizzazz, vying for the top spot. How does the budget conscious gamer even approach a month like this? More importantly, how does he explain it to his wife?

Well, the long and short of it is this: he doesn’t. He makes hard choices. Thankfully, the good folks at Bioware and Nintendo have helped me pare down the list a little bit.

Let’s face it, guys, the 3DS launch window is a huge let down. I’m as excited about the handheld as anyone but the launch titles for the first three months just aren’t there. The biggest releases to catch my eye are the nostalgic Pilotwings Resort (I loved that game for the N64) and Resident Evil: Mercenaries, the multi-player only, non-Resident Evil, Resident Evil. And, frankly, the last game sucked. RE5 was a massive let down on every front. Where’s Mario, Kirby, and Link? Why is Kid Icarus being replaced with Super Monkey Ball and Dead or Alive: Dimensions? This isn’t the line-up that justifies dropping $250. I’d go so far as to say that this is the most disappointing game line-up we’ve seen for a new console since before the PS3.

So, the 3DS is out for at least the next three months. /sigh of relief. Now maybe I’ll be able to finish up my last few PSP games before trading in.

Aside: Am I the only one who’s starting to feel a little torn after hearing the rumors about the PSP2? 3D is great and all but PS3 level graphics, dual joysticks, and the end of UMDs kind of blows that out of the water. Add in advanced online functionality (we assume, since the PSP had BY FAR better online than the DSi) and you have the recipe for truly portable next-gen gaming. Online CoD that doesn’t sacrifice functionality? I’m in.

Then there’s Dragon Age 2. I’m really holding out hope that I won’t have to buy this one. Through Vagary I was able to get in touch with a great PR rep who put me on the list for a review copy “pending availability.” We’re still a small site, so it was especially nice to see one of the biggest and most upcoming companies in gaming give us the time of day. The sad truth is it’s pretty hard for a new site to break into the PR consciousness. But we’re getting there and if my first review (we’ve done many others; I hang on the back-end mostly) can be of a game I’ve looked forward to since it’s announced, I’ll be a very happy guy.

That still leaves Rift and L.A. Noire. I have a couple of games to trade in, so I can offset those by at least 20 bucks a piece. This time I might even go online to get a better ‘used’ discount, since it’s an extra $5 savings. Here’s hoping they offer some kind of decent deal, though.

Anyways… wow. Kind of feels like the holiday season, doesn’t it? I’ve got to say, even though I’m relieved that I won’t be chomping at the bit for the 3DS, I’m really disappointed that this is all Nintendo has to offer. Oh well. Hopefully while they decide to actually sell the stuff they advertised the system with, we’ll find out more about the PSP2. I’m not buying a new console for a bunch of remakes and I think it’d be a mistake to think the 3D will be anything more than a gimmick this time next year. They’re really going to have to make some good games. Until then, DA2, L.A. Noire, and Rift will keep me satisfied.

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