Even though the system isn't out til Sunday, I have my first Wii title. Rayman was out at my local EB, so I figured I should just go ahead and pick it up. Of course, now it practically taunts me, sitting on my desk since I can't even play it. Oh cruel evil rabbits! HOW YOU MOCK ME!!!!!
But moving on to today's main topic, just what should you get if you procure either a PS3 or a Wii come this weekend and don't plan on making a tidy profit? Well, based on nothing more than conjecture and other people's opinions, I'm gonna try my darnedest to sort out the cream of the crop for both with what at least seems to be the the top 5 titles for launch (with video clips!). I'll start with PS3, which admittedly won't be easy since it went from an unoriginal but solid 25 or so titles to around 15 mostly questionable titles in just the last few days.
Resistance: Fall of Man
Sony has never had a Halo. In fact, it's never had a mega-franchise it can truly call its own. Sure, there are hits like God of War & successful shooters such as SOCOM, but they don't have the ravenous fan devotion or mega sales that a series like Halo (or Gears of War) seem to generate solely for their system. Resistance, easily the most promising launch title, is set to change all that. It features unprecedented 40-player online, reportedly extremely intelligent A.I. (which is long overdue), and some great alien-ass whopping. And the resume of developer Insomniac is virtually unparalleled, with the few good games in the Spyro series and the brilliant Ratchet & Clank titles under their belt, this is one title no PS3 owner should be without.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Ok, maybe Ultimate Alliance seems like a questionable choice, especially when it's available on older consoles for $20 less and graphically, it's really not much of a step up. But It's easily the best bet for anyone looking for a fun and easy multi-player (especially online), and it's any comic-book fan's wet dream. It's also probably the best choice for any rpg players as Oblivion got dropped til next year and Untold Legends isn't looking too impressive.
Fight Night Round 3:
If you want a launch title that'll look damn sweet on your HD setup, look no further. One the best-looking 360 titles will probably look even better on PS3, and it's not too shabby a boxing game either.
Ridge Racer 7
Easily your best option for a racer at launch, Ridge Racer 7 may not have the flash of the Need for Speed series, but it makes up for it in customization and features. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of racing games unless the words "Mario" & "kart" are involved, but simply put despite a weak showing at E3, this game has gotten some really solid reviews (especially when compared to the latest Need for Speed title), and seems like a solid choice for fans or car racing and/or deep customization.
Call of Duty 3
I'm totally sick of WWII titles myself, and COD3 may suffer from all the hype Resistance is getting, but this is a very solid secondary choice for a shooter. It has great 24-player online warfare (for those who find 40 too hectic) offers several viewpoints of the war to try and keep things fresh, and COD2 is still one of the best titles available on the 360 (and a major reason it sold well), so the pedigree should easily be maintained here. And of course it's a perfect fit for anyone who isn't sick of WWII games.
So there are what I think are the top 5 choices for any PS3 owners this Friday. Of course, other than Resistance, I don't know how many of these are almost sure bets, I guess we'll see come launch day.
Moving onto to Wii, before I get started I'll just say that although I think it's great, Wii Sports won't be included, seeing as it's a pack-in, that clearly defeats the purpose here.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
This is just a no-brainer. Zelda is usually nothing short of amazing, and it promises to be no different this time around. Plus, I've actually played the game, and it completely rocks. I imagine I'll be spending lots of time in this latest adventure in the land of Hyrule, and so should anyone buying a Wii.
Rayman: Raving Rabbids
Simply put, Rayman is going to be wacky fun. This is one of the few games at launch that was truly built from the ground up to use the Wii controller in a lot of fun and creative ways. You just can't beat things like cow tossing and plunger shooting! Plus, Rayman as a series has been pretty excellent overall. I fully expect this to be the arguably best title on the Wii, and it's the only one I reserved aside from Zelda.
This is the first time I've probably been excited about a football game since the brilliant but short-lived NFL2K series started on the Dreamcast. Why? It's the first football game in ages that by it's very existence will fundamentally change the way you play football. Granted, the eventual 08 version will probably feature online play and improved controls over this initial offering, but I'm still very intrigued and I think EA actually trying anything truly innovative is more than worth checking out.
Metal Slug Anthology
While everybody is touting new shiny 3D graphics and revolutionary gameplay, sometimes classic is the best way to go, and Metal Slug is about as classic as you can get and it's great to see traditional 2D gameplay represented on a modern system. Hopefully games like Metal Slug popping up on the Wii are not an uncommon occurrence, as there's still plenty of great games to be culled from the field of 2D (and the $40 price tag makes it all the more attractive).
Trauma Center: Second Opinion:
Probably the launch title that seems to be the most natural fit for the Wii remote. Granted, I'd probably be as good at that as I am at Operation, but this seems like the style of gameplay truly best suited for the system. And hopefully Nintendo can use it as a basis for content downloads, as I could see lots of expansion possibilities (like how about a Scrubs one where your character has wacky daydreams and has a psychotic mentor that constantly berates him!).
And those are my Wii choices. Although it didn't make the list, I would like to say that I think Red Steel is probably going to be a solid title, but the lack of online play really hurts it's appeal more than any of the titles I choose. But ultimately, the bottom line is that there are at least several very solid choices for gamers getting either system this weekend.