Gaming in 2009: 21 Things We Missed!
If our list of 50 of the hottest releases, events, unveilings and announcements scheduled in 2009 wasn't enough, thank the internet's gaming forums, friendly publisher PRs and our own grey matter for an additional helping of 21...
We were hoping for a quiet New Year, but then Kikizo published its 50 Hottest Things in Gaming 2009, and suddenly lots of internet angry men were queuing up to spank our metaphorical buns. We try to avoid gratifying internet angry men as a rule, but inspection of various forums (together with an onslaught of emails from our saintly PR contacts) revealed that we had indeed skipped a few significant titles, even taking into account some perfectly valid differences of opinion. And on top of that, we remembered one or two additions we'd really have put down even without the feedback.
Here, then, is Kikizo's '21 Things We Missed', which makes good some of the 2009 feature's more painful omissions. Again, these pages contain a small helping of speculation, chiefly as regards release dates, which is clearly flagged in the relevant entries.
Leipzig VS Cologne
As I penned in the pages of trade weekly MCV after it emerged that European E3-rivalling mega-show Games Convention in Leipzig would be going head-to-head with the new, more widely industry backed Gamescom show in Cologne in 2009: "I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand I feel really bad for GC organisers, Leipziger Messe. Their show has been the best in the world for both consumers and trade, particularly the last couple of years. It has grown significantly every year for five years and it attracts the industry's very top people. The convention centre is big and beautiful and the whole thing is extremely well organised. Personally my show was very successful this year and I basically can't praise it enough. Unfortunately, once you step outside of the convention centre, the rest of Leipzig lets the whole thing down. It's by no means hell on earth but it's just a dull, inconvenient, isolated and indifferent place that contradicts the international spirit of the Messe and GC. The transport is a joke and getting there is as much hassle as making the trip to E3. It's cheap as chips, which is nice, but I personally will not miss Leipzig (the place). Regardless, [Gamescom organisers Koelnmesse] have a lot to live up to if they want to match the success of the Games Convention show, let alone better it." Both shows are going to run simultaneously from 19-23 August, so the gloves are off - and if past 'show wars' of the UK have shown us anything, it's that there'll be casualties. -AD
21 Jan 2009 (US), 23 Jan 2009 (Europe) (Xbox 360, PS3)
EA Black Box's gnarly boarding sequel offers double the tricks of the Tony-Hawk-toppling Skate, including rail slides, foot-plants, fingerflips, lip tricks, ollie norths and the ability to 'skitch', which sounds a mite sordid but is, in fact, the act of latching onto a moving car bumper to build up speed. Even more excitingly, players can now rearrange things like park benches and tables - stuff you could realistically lift, in short - to create their own little courses. Once everything's to your satisfaction, you can upload your creation and score other players for beating it. The video editor returns with new camera angles, and there's a Hall of Meat mode which challenges you to wipe out as spectacularly as possible. We'd say more, but we've run out of skater slang. -EET