Forum Roundtable: Gaming In 2006

With the new year ahead of us, there are bound to be some pleasant and not so pleasant surprises in store for gamers. Two new consoles are to be released, along with many anticipated titles for all systems currently available.

What are your personal opinions, what are you most intending to do or what are you anticipating the most?

For me, I can’t wait for E3, to see what a Revolution game actually looks like. If Nintendo is actually able to substantiate their claims that in standard definition , Revolution won’t look any different to PS3 and 360 titles. I remain sceptical about this.

Furthermore, I would really like to see Camelot Software Planning announce a home console sequel to Golden Sun: The Lost Age. There is so much opportunity and so much potential, along with the clear data at the end of The Lost Age. This is a wonderful RPG series that could be taken to new heights on a console.

And of course, I can’t wait to play Twilight Princess! People will already know this is my favourite series, and it looks absolutely gorgeous on the GCN. To play Link as an adult again will be simply wonderful, as he now looks like the hero he is made out to be.

For me the highlight will be to see how Sony and Nintendo fare against Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Last time an early launch was a huge benefit to Sony, and because of Microsoft’s early release it looks set to be one of the closest console wars to date. My prediction is that Microsoft will hold +40% of the console market and this will signal a shift in power away from Sony, who we’ve really seen very little from of late. As for Nintendo, their DS handheld is doing well, but the GameCube struggled to compete against the PS2 and Xbox. This time around they promise new ideas, but I’m sure many are sceptical like I am. There are few new ideas in today’s games and for Nintendo to gain ground through innovation certainly isn’t the easy road to take.

This year I’m also looking forward to the release of the new Sensible Soccer, although I hope they reduce the size of the players’ heads, as if they don’t they’ll stand no chance against the likes of Pro Evolution Soccer 6, another game I can’t wait to get my hands on.

I’m also hoping to hear more on Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 and whether Lucasarts are planning to release a fifth Monkey Island game.

I’m looking forward to locking myself away for a few days with Twilight Princess… I do have faith that it will be as good a game as OOT and will be praised by almost everyone as pretty much the best game EVER.

Also really looking forward to seeing what Halo 3 looks like, I expect it to redefine what we think a next gen game is meant to look like and after all the criticism for Halo 2 I’m expecting it to build upon what made Halo 1 so good with regard to gameplay mechanics…

I’m looking forward to actually seeing something of the PS3 although I think second generation 360 games will wipe the floor with the PS3 launch lineup.

Im looking forward to using the Rev controller in an FPS… (I think it will be launched this year with a metroid game of some sort) I also think the Rev will recapture the Nintendo magic I thought was so sorely lacking on the Cube…

Call me an optimist but I think this will be one hell of a year for games/ gamers

Hardware wise the only thing I’m really interested in in 2006 is the Revolution, if Europe gets it this year. I just want to see if the controller is really as intuitive and as much fun as it looks like. I’m also anxious to check out the Revolution’s online capabilities, I was a little disappointed with the DS online play with Mario Kart, so I’m hoping they can do something better with the Revolution. I’m not expecting it to be as comprehensive as the 360’s Live service, but it really needs to be equal to the original Live service on the Xbox, friend’s lists and voice chat are essential really.

Software wise, there’s a few 360 titles I’m looking forward too, Gears of War looks really nice, but I was a little disappointed with the gameplay of Unreal Championship 2 on the Xbox and am hoping Epic can get things back up to standard for this. I also quite like the look of Dead Rising, there’s been plenty of zombie games in the past, but never on this scale, before you’ve never had to deal with more than a handful at a time, this time you’re dealing with hundreds of them. It’ll be interesting to see how it works out. Another game that’s caught my interest is Full Auto, I’ve always liked the idea of mixing racing with combat, and this looks to do it very nicely, I know the whole game is a bit of a mish mash of borrowed ideas, but the demo I’ve played of it was fun, and the prospect of online play with it looks like it’ll be a right hoot.

I’m looking forward to upcoming Revolution and Xbox 360 games. First of all I’ll speak about the Revolution. I’ve never really been interested in the GameCube, Revolution etc. But since I actually bought a GameCube a few days ago and quite enjoy it I’m starting to like the GameCube and the Revolution. Nintendo’s console is completely original, the way the controller works is a great idea and Miyamoto is cool.

For Xbox 360 some of the upcoming games look amazing, Crackdown and Dead Rising is the most hyped for me, they both look absolutely stunning, should be a great year for gaming.

The two things I’m anticipating most at the moment are as follows;

1. Can Killzone 2 really look as good as it did in that video?
2. If so can Halo 3 compete in the video that will be shown of it at E3 in May?

Other than that I look forward to;
the DS redesign
the new 2D Mario platformer on DS
Sonic 360
and buying a Revolution.

My most anticipated release is the PlayStation 3. Obviously a lot of things have been mentioned about how amazing it is and how it can perform better than the Xbox 360. Yet I will not be convinced until I see some actually code running on the finished hardware. At the moment though the sheer scale of what the PS3 promises is very exciting. With the first titles of the 360 passed, I’m looking forward to seeing what developers can come up with now that they have had proper dev kits for a while, Gears of War and Dead Rising look to be very promising.

On the Nintendo front I am, like the majority excited about what the revolution will be, obviously we know the major bits but Nintendo have said a couple of times about more surprises still to be revealed. I am also hugely anticipating the virtual console on the Revo, mainly because I never played most of the N 64 games, so I really want to give them a try.

2006 for me
There are quite a few things actually.

Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Firstly I think the Nintendo Wi-Fi system hasn’t been fully released yet. The DS is limited with what it can obviously do due to processor and memory restrictions, here’s where I expect a slightly better DS revamp with more memory and a slightly faster chip in a slimmer Rev type glossy shell. This DS will be able to shift games over from Nintendo’s Virtual console system and play them on the go. I also feel the Wi-Fi system will obviously be quite something on a home console. Slick, efficient, safe, but restricted.

I know you can set the age limit on the Rev for games etc, I also expect this will control Wi-Fi level of access, under 15’s can’t use voice or talk to strangers, but 15’s and over (maybe 18’s (I’m 25)) can talk and link up with anyone. There is no control for this on the DS so it’s one level for all.

The Revolution begins…?
The GC’s main problem was although it had a few cool games what else did you get for your money? Xbox had Live, HDD, DVD, PS2 had games, games, games and more games. GC had limited games, and nothing else. It just sits there not being used so it loses your mindset. The Xbox and Ps2 would always be in your mind when not playing games as you where watching DVD’s or playing music on them.
The GC offered nothing to multi-platform games the others didn’t have.
The Rev though is a different kettle of fish. It’s different. It offers something that the others don’t.
A new way to play games, controlling games with every movement of your body. Those twists of the pad we all still do now and again will actually affect your gameplay, as well as your regular way to play of course. Access to 20 years of AAA games, your online fix, as well as your DVD player if you want it and god knows what else it will have. I think for this reason, like the DS is doing with the PSP, if it has the games and offers a new way to play something you have been doing for 20 years, Revolution is going to sell no matter how powerful.

Twilight Princess
First shown at E3 2004. Release likely summer 2006, so we are looking at up to 3 ½ to 4yrs development (Dev started straight after Wind-Waker according to Nintendo).
The game is meant to be the biggest world a Zelda game has ever seen with 80 hours main time game play!
The game will rock, it’s Zelda and it’s ALWAYS a fantastic experience with solid gameplay and an involving storyline (Wind Waker Haters be Damned).

Mario 128
I’ll bet my eternal damnation from the internet now that this game is going to be shown in some shape or form at E3 2006, and it’s going to rock the place, and receive critical acclaim.

The 3D gaming revolution was needed to boost Mario back to the top of gamer’s minds with Mario64, as it was new, different and Nintendo. The GC version although undoubtedly the most solid platform game of this Gen, was still slightly gimmicky as they couldn’t do anything overly new with it, like they had done with the jump to initial 3D. But now they have a new controller, now they can again give us a new gaming experience, and a Mario game to show us all that Freehand Control is the future. Freedom of movement, unrestricted and in your full control. Point, move, flip your hand, whatever and Mario will do exactly what you have asked him to do. The character is now an extension of you.

This is what I personally am looking forward to this year.

2006 will be a grand year for gaming with the release of several hard-hitting fan-acclaimed franchises and of course the Nintendo Revolution and the PlayStation 3. My own excitements, of course, come first and foremost with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

Next is E3 where everything goes boom as three giant monkeys beat their chests and bear their fangs. Certainly all three will make a spectacular show ooing and ahhing the crowds, but I personally would love to see how the Nintendo Revolution works out, what the games look like, how they play, and so on and so forth. Titles I’m quite anticipated for there are obviously Super Smash Bros Revolution and Mario 128 among the ‘new franchises’ Nintendo has announced.

During the year, although I don’t yet own a 360, Too Human has certainly caught my eye, but before I make any decisions, Halo 3 must be revealed. Halo 2 multiplayer has brought on countless hours of fun, and I want Halo 3 to be able to do the same.

It’s easy to say what I expect, but the hard part is having to wait.

This year is guaranteed to be a big year for gaming, with the imminent release of Twilight Princess and the announcement of Halo 3’s release to highlight the year it is going to be one hell of a year for gamers and those alike.

On the 360 I am looking forward to:

Fight Night – I feel this game has the looks and the gameplay to register as the best boxing game and my most enjoyed boxing game since Knockout Kings on the Dreamcast back in ’98.

Halo 3 – Need I say anymore?

Blue Dragon – Mistwalker Studios have me waiting with baited breathe for what I feel will be the best RPG for the year.

There are many more titles for the 360 I am anticipating that I can’t think of at the moment, Gears of War for one looks really good, but I am looking forward to gaming on the 360 and the experiences it will bring.

I am really looking forward to Zelda: Twilight Princess and how it will utilise the controls on the Revolution.

It’s going to be really interesting to see how Sony present the PS3 to the world in its finished form and we finally see actual games in action and then we will finally realise its a powerful central chip, with just a fancy PC graphics card and not the be all and end all of gaming as we see it.

I am not looking forward especially to any one thing but I am looking forward to see how gaming moves forward and evolves over the next 12months. Buckle Up

Nintendo Revolution
Super Smash Bros. – Online play will be great.

Nintendo DS
Animal Crossing: Wild World – It will be great visiting other people’s towns and communicating.

Xbox 360
Resident Evil 5 – I hope zombies appear in it and Capcom make it scary.
Halo 3 – I’d like it to have a better campaign mode than Halo 2.

Sony PlayStation 3
Killzone – I hope it’s better than the first one.

Gaming In 2006

2006 has potential to be an unforgettable year in gaming. There’s so much changing in the year to come. These are just some of the things that will be huge for me in the following 12 months.

E3 2006

The show of all game shows is going to be a massive battle between Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, each company will be trying to make us drool like new born babies while we watch in amazement at next gen gaming. E3 will basically be mostly about the next generation as this generation slowly comes to an end, well maybe not the Playstation 2, that guy seems to have a lot of stamina still left in him. I’ll be excited as any fellow gamer to see what will be in store for us come May. Playstation 3 fully unveiled, Revolution fully unravelled, second batch of Xbox 360 games shown, and it’s going to be like Christmas again, just without the presents to open.

Death of current generation, well 50% of it

Basically we can see when we have a look at the release dates of the upcoming games that it doesn’t look all that lively for the Nintendo GameCube or the Microsoft Xbox for that matter. I was having a quick look through the list the other day and could only find three GameCube games I felt I would like to own and the same fate was met for the Xbox as I trickled down its list of the years coming titles. These didn’t include games that were coming to the 360. Games like Splinter Cell: Double Agent and Ghost Recon Advance War Fighter are games I’d like to experience to the best possible way and having updated graphics and more power really do add to the atmosphere of those games, hell Fight Night 3 just feels so damn great to watch and play with that available power, but what about the PlayStation 2? Hell that guy seems to just keep going and going and I can say that the system seems to be sharing the same path its older sibling the PlayStation met. It’s going to be the only current generation console still fully alive for me as we move into the power of the future.

RPGs and Games of Playstation 2

The release list for the PS2 looks a lot livelier than any of the others. I couldn’t believe how many games I still wanted for the system, this might be because I’m a big RPG fan, but when a system is the oldest of the bunch yet still manages to make me want 17 + games, it must be doing something right. The only thing that is of concern is after experiencing the future of games can I go back and still have the staying power to keep with the system. It’s kind of like looking at Kelly Brook for a day and then going back and looking at your Grandma, yes you suddenly scream “THE JAGGIES ARE BACK!” in eye ripping pain.

The system does have some nice games arriving for it though. I can’t wait to get my teeth into Capcom’s Okami, which just looks so beautiful and of course the crazy amount of RPGs the system is still getting, all this brings a big smile to my face.

Proof that old can still show the fancy new who’s boss

2006 also holds the most anticipated game for me, not since The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time have I wanted a game so much, there’s no point babbling on about it as I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is THE game to watch for in 2006. It’s this generation and it looks fantastically groovy that I just want it right now.

Always wanting the new stuff

I certainly want to get a Revolution on launch and I hope to god that if Nintendo ends up doing a Microsoft and having a worldwide release that they make enough damn units. Revolution just has so much potential to supply us gamers with something different, something refreshing and that twitches my taste buds. We all know what Nintendo can do it, but I hope that the gamers out there will buy it.

I’ll end up buying all of the next gen consoles; I always do because of some game that decides to make it self at home on one specific system. I know Nippon Ichi are making games for the Playstation 3 already and that alone makes me want one.

Last of the group, the little handheld fellas

Handheld gaming went into the biggies last year with the release of two new handheld systems, both of them are very hot products but at the moment it seems the DS is getting the people on it’s bandwagon and I don’t blame them. I look forward to a few batches of particular handheld games. Nintendo and its usual franchises on the DS will be a nice offering, a sequel to Phoenix Wright is hot on my list and speaking of sequels I’d like to rub some more rabbits and rub Tetsuya Mizuguchi till he throws me a sequel to Lumines, yum.

It’s going to be a big year for me and that means my pockets are going to be containing a lot of moths, damn them for sucking me dry!