Our Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2007 Revisited
July 27, 2007 - In January, we posted the first edition of our Most Anticipated Games of 2007 and in preparing for this update, we took a look back at some of our selections. Many of the titles on our lists proved to be worthy of our affection, including such hits as Paper Mario, Galaxy, Prime 3, and Smash Bros, the latter three of which have returned in today's update. But in fairness, we also had high hopes for a few duds, such as the ultimately-low-rated Cooking Mama. Now that E3 2007 has come and gone, we've updated our most anticipated feature to welcome with open arms a batch of new games. See what site editor-in-chief Matt Casamassina is looking forward to on Nintendo's new console below:
Matt''s Most Anticipated Games of 2007
10) Trauma Center: New Blood Genre: Action Simulation Developer: Atlus Publisher: Atlus Why?: The sequel to Second Opinion came out of nowhere at E3 2007 to make my revised list and if you at all liked the first game, as I did, it's pretty easy to understand why. New Blood is the Wii Trauma Center game that everybody wanted from the beginning. It arrives later this year complete with a wholly original storyline, new missions and characters, voice acting, and a full-fledged cooperative mode for two players. It also runs in both progressive-scan and 16:9 widescreen mode for the first time. Welcome back to the operating room.
9) Wii Fit and Balance Board Genre: Casual / Exercise Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo Why?: Formerly codenamed Wii Health Pack, I expected this exercise videogame to be one of the biggest titles at E3 2007, but I had no idea that it would put to use a brand new scale-shaped peripheral called the Wii Balance Board. What can I say? I'm intrigued. As Wii Sports proved, Nintendo is on to something with games that give you a workout, and in that regard Wii Fit makes Wii Sports seem like child's play. I tried the Yoga-like stretch routines at E3 and was impressed, but I'm really looking forward to the strength-training minis, such as those that revolve around push-ups.
8) Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Genre: Sports Developer: SEGA Publisher: SEGA Why?: I actually didn't get to play Mario & Sonic at the Olympics at E3 2007, which is one of my biggest disappointments. However, my co-workers who did go hands-on with the title, which marries the simplicity of Wii Sports with the Olympic games and peppers everything with Nintendo and SEGA mascots, seemed to like it. It's got a clean visual style and I'm excited about the prospect of one-to-one fencing, supposing Miyamoto's hints on the topic pan out. This title could very well be one of the most popular of the year and I'm keeping the faith.
7) Endless Ocean Genre: Adventure Developer: Arika Publisher: Nintendo Why?: I love the concept powering Endless Ocean. It's a game about oceanic exploration. Simple. You simply don some scuba gear, dive down below and marvel at the underwater world. You can go at your own pace, snap photos and interact with the aquatic life, and swim to dark water ruins, caves, and more. The title looks great on Wii and best of all, it features a two-player online cooperative so that you and a friend can go diving together. Now only if there was a way to communicate. Nintendo, where's that Wii headset?
6) Manhunt 2 Genre: Action Developer: Rockstar Toronto / London Publisher: Rockstar Why?: Poor Rockstar. Manhunt 2 should've been out by now, but if the latest internal retail list I've got is any indication, we might have to wait until December for this fun and gruesome action game. Manhunt 2 is ridiculously violent, which is a selling point for some, but its combination of smart Wii gesture controls and stealth action needn't be ignored, either. I've played some four different levels of the game and I had a good time with it. I'm looking forward to delving deeper into the action -- I just hope the ESRB doesn't get the best of the game's over-the-top content.
5) Battalion Wars 2 Genre: Action Developer: Kuju Entertainment Publisher: Nintendo Why?: Simply, I loved the original Battalion Wars and the sequel looks to be much improved. You both control an individual soldier and can command entire squads on the fly. The action is relentless and the graphics are very stylized. BWII boasts fresh units and vehicles, brand new naval squads, and an in-depth online mode for versus and cooperative play. Best of all, new Wii remote-enhanced control makes possible a tighter degree of sensitivity and accuracy than ever before. Simply point with the remote to select squads and give commands. Now that I've sampled Wi-Fi Connection with Strikers, I can't wait to play with and against friends over the network.
4) Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure Genre: Adventure Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Why?: Buy it. Perhaps of all the games on my list, Capcom's little adventure has the greatest risk of being overlooked by some gamers. The name and the style aren't likely to appeal to the same crowd that goes for, well, Manhunt 2. But Z&W is gorgeous in the same way that Wind Waker is and its level-based puzzles are smarter and more rewarding than the majority of offerings out there. Plus, it uses the Wii remote in 80 unique ways. I keep pushing our readers to this game because I don't want it to go ignored -- buy it and it may be the beginning of a great new franchise.
3) Super Smash Bros. Brawl Genre: Fighter Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo Why?: Like everyone else, I'm disappointed that Brawl was a complete no-show at E3 2007, but that hasn't changed the fact that I still very much want and, indeed, must own this hugely hyped sequel. With more characters and stages than ever before, four different control schemes, new specials, and noticeably improved graphics to boot, Brawl has everything going for it. Plus, although Nintendo still isn't talking about it, this is sure to be the Wii game that really pushes the Wi-Fi Connection.
2) Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Genre: First-person Adventure Developer: Retro Studios Publisher: Nintendo Why?: It's no big secret that I love the Metroid franchise and that the original Prime is one of, if not my favorite game of all time. The sequel was still great, but comparatively disappointing. However, Corruption looks and plays amazingly. The title spits out larger worlds with more detailed textures and particle effects, not to mention bloom lighting, and it also runs in 16:9 for the first time. But it's the game's new control scheme -- the best yet for any first-person console title -- that has me sold. On top of everything else, Retro Studios promises even more complex environmental puzzles than ever before. It's so close now that I can almost taste it.
1) Super Mario Galaxy Genre: Platformer Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo Why?: The ultimate no-brainer, right? It might be the predictable choice, but it also happens to be the correct one. Galaxy has been my Game of E3 for two years running because it beautifully marries old and new: traditional platformer controls with new Wii remote-enhanced maneuverability. Meanwhile, the game is filled with some of the most outstanding, completely out of this world (quite literally) level designs in any Mario game to date. Superbly tight controls plus ridiculously unconventional space-themed staged and even some phyiscs-powered puzzles, too. November can't come fast enough.
Other Games Worth Noting: I really had to limit myself with this revised list. I made the decision early on to completely ignore DS software -- magnificent games like Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, for example -- so that I wouldn't be forced to leave too many Wii games out. Even so, I still had to sacrifice several important titles from the top 10 list above. Dewy's Adventure could turn out to be as innovative as Elebits, but based on what I played of it at E3 2007, I wasn't totally sold. It came out in Japan this week and I've got big plans to play the import to death for the final verdict.
MySims is sure to be a lot of fun. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is a shoe-in, although -- like everybody else -- I find myself more excited by the prospect of Rock Band these days. Geometry Wars: Galaxies is very well done. My only gripe is that I don't want to pay full price for a title that is spawned from an Xbox Live Arcade game. Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 is a must own for me. While I wasn't completely dazzled by the first real gameplay footage of No More Heroes -- seems a bit sluggish and unrefined -- I still want it for the concept and also because it comes from Suda 51, who made the psychedelic Killer 7. Finally, I can't wait to try out Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis on Wii. This title was destined for Nintendo's new system so I'm glad that it's finally coming home.