1 - The Last Guardian. Everything related to their work stands so tall. Shadow of the Colossus for me was, in the common language of gamers, "day one". Actually it was more like the eve of day one :) Late french site Overgame wrote about the extensive collaboration of Team Ico for a US movie dealing with september 11, Reign over me. If you are interested in how games are portrayed in cinema, it is very interesting. Back in 2OO2 I played through Ico with my beloved girlfriend at the time. I loved when, back home, she would fire up the PS2 and carry on with the gracile duet. It was a burrowed copy though. When we broke up I fell into gaming body and soul as a way to compensate such waste. And when I tracked down my own copy a couple of years later, as the game was off the shelves gor good, I waited two hours on the seller whom I was not even sure he would show up. Sony announced an HD treatment for both Ico & Shadow due for april, prior to The Last Guardian's. Wait & see If the miracle happens again.
2 - Journey. Right after Sony's steady support of Team Ico's output, through PS2 and now PS3, That Game Company's actual body of work and promises feel very close to what Fumito Ueda's team could achieve. This time in a downloadable era where the financial stakes are more controlled and allowing even more boldness. With their "less is more" and "pick up & play" approach, these people ravished my own dad on a Flower session. Which is no mean feat. Completing Flower gave me a sense of completeness and true happiness I coudn't find in the 30 hours of gameplay and counting from strong games like Demon's souls or Fallout 3, which I found very depressing due to their global atmosphere, to the point of not wanting to go on. Considering they had me amazed with the apparition of a mere tree in Flower's first field of green, everything I have been witnessing and reading about Journey so far means great expectations. Their games may be simple to pick up, but the feelings they seed in you are precious.
3 - Marvel Vs Capcom 3 / Radiant Silvergun's paintjob on the Xbox Live. I love shmups and fighting games. And I plainly suck at them. If a geek's passion comes from a specific frustration in his life, mine goes way back to my holidays when I was ten or eleven. I was so amazed by the spectacle offered by the arcades. And my dad was so keen to fetch me up in a minute, worried about the money I would spend in these no good places! Ninja Turtles, Shadow Warrior, Street Fighter 2: I wasn't even allowed to watch, but I was fascinated. Today Internet, Youtube and Mame are precious tools to raid this period and discover such gems as Elevator Action Returns. But if you want the real thing, like Treasure's original Radiant Silvergun on the Sega Saturn, It can leave your pockets dry. Thus, I am so happy that a a downloadable version comes along. It will have a much more democratic appeal. But I will probably keep my own copy of it ;)
4 - The Last story. The title speaks for itself as it serves as a step beyond the meaning of the "Final Fantasy" games name. A story to wrap and end up all the others, such is Sakaguchi's ambition with this game. And the visuals and music we have seen so far are ravishing on the Wii, to a point where you don't really think twice if it is PS2, Wii or HD level in terms of visual performance. It is just beautiful and holds a strong promise of escaping to a wonderful fantasy and adventure. Loved the feeling I got playing through FF7 on the PSX. Tried other FF's and never quite fell in love again. There are talks now about this game's eventual release in Europe anytime soon. And I have a feeling that Nintendo just wants to test gamers' response. Yes, we want this game to be released here in France. And if Nintendo lacks people for any English to French translation, well, here I am.
5 - Whatever Rockstar has in mind. Right now it seems to be called L.A Noire and it may just be on par with the astonishing Read Dead Redemption, a miraculous game where I feel constantly involved in a solid Sam Peckinpah movie. These guys are untouchables.
6 - Other stuff: remember the release of Deus Ex 2? A game I never played given the critics at the time and the "let's water it down for the jocks" approach Microsoft made to launch the Xbox. The thing was clear from the horrendous "In your face dude+emo" cover. Well, Deus Ex is going to get a third entry this year, called Human Revolution. So far, every visual and marketing tool is a promise of putting the once glorious franchise back on its true-to-self cyberpunk roots. And finally, like trillions of people, I am just curious to find out if Duke Nukem Forever, announced for a may release after a +12 year vaporware hiatus, is going to be solid, no more and no less.