Exclusive peek at coming Xbox 360 games (April-Oct 2008) – Part I

After attending Xbox 360’s 2nd birthday party at The Screening Room last night, I want to become a full-time gamer.

We were given a sneak peek at 10 upcoming titles on the Xbox 360 and they all (okay, not all, but most) look so fun I can’t wait to get my hands on them.

I was planning to show you all the 10 titles today, but I have spent the whole day writing and processing screenshots and I’ve only managed to cover half of them. Being a games previewer/reviewer is very hard work!!! And I still have yet to talk about the party!!

So, five games first. More another day.

Ninja Gaiden II

This very popular action series just got bloodier (if that’s even possible)! But don’t take my word for it. Check out the screenshots (click to enlarge).

[Ninja Gaiden 2 screen 1] [Ninja Gaiden 2 screen 2] [Ninja Gaiden 2 screen 3]
[Ninja Gaiden 2 screen 4] [Ninja Gaiden 2 screen 5] [Ninja Gaiden 2 screen 6]
[Ninja Gaiden 2 screen 7] [Ninja Gaiden 2 screen 8] [Ninja Gaiden 2 screen 9]

We saw the game being played “live” but were not allowed to videotape it, bummer. But you can watch a demo here and it’s the same, except played by different people.

The game opens with Ryu Hayabusa looking buff and sexy as ever, once again on a venging crusade for his clan and by-the-way saving the human race like heroes are wont to do.

After admiring a panoramic view of death and decay from the top of a gloomy castle, Ryu leaps off a tower ledge and charges straight into the bloodthirsty arms of monstrous freaks. Of course, if you’re a half-decent player, Ryu should be the one performing most of the bloodletting.

I don’t know if it’s my imagination, maybe aided by the hype and mood generated during the preview event, but the action in NG2 seems to be faster and slicker than its predecessor. Blood and ichor spill fast and furious. It’s just a total bloodbath. Well, the game engine for NG2 was built from the ground up to the specifications of the Xbox 360, so maybe that explains it.

The new auto-healing and save point system should be a welcome feature for casual players.

Or not.

When I told the Goonfather about it, he said, “I don’t even need to heal. Cos I’m leet.”

Okay, next!

Ninja Gaiden® II, exclusive for Xbox 360, releases on June 3rd, 2008.

Preorder is available here.
Official site on Xbox.com.

For Singaporeans, you don’t want to miss the special launch events and activities happening soon. Get updated here.


Grand Theft Auto IV

This game needs no introduction!! And trailers are up everywhere already, so I’m just going to show you a few screenshots (click to enlarge).

[Grand Theft Auto 4 screen 1] [Grand Theft Auto 4 screen 2]
[Grand Theft Auto 4 screen 3] [Grand Theft Auto 4 screen 4]

I love the GTA series because it’s pure madness and mayhem. The limitless potential for causing mischief and destruction is just so liberating for a gamer.

In GTA 4, you’re Niko Bellic from Eastern Europe. Tricked by your ruffian cousin, Roman, you travel to Liberty City expecting to live the high life — fast cars, women and mansions — only to find that Roman isn’t exactly raking in the dough, plus he immediately puts you to work as a gofer. What a trickster.

One of the good things about GTA 4 is the seamless gameplay. Apart from the initial loading, there are no loading screens to contend with anywhere in the entire game. I totally dig that.

Three words: I can’t wait!!

Grand Theft Auto IV releases on April 29, 2008.

Preorder is available here.
Official site on Rockstar Games and Xbox.com.


Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

This game is really, really cool. If you’re a Star Wars fan. Maybe even if you’re not. But who isn’t a Star Wars fan?

[Force Unleashed screen 1] [Force Unleashed screen 2] [Force Unleashed screen 3]

You’re Darth Vadar’s secret apprentice between the time periods of Star Wars Episodes 3 and 4, sent to destory all remaining Jedis.

You get to wield your very own lightsaber as well as use the force to do a variety of things including kill, maim and destroy living and non-living things. You can even take down TIE fighters using the force alone.

Who knows, you might even want to turn against foster daddy Darth Vadar and be a good guy. But I know all you hardcore gamers are too lean and mean to be good.

The game boasts really brilliant graphics that show you real time damage as you go about destroying everything around you. We were treated to a demonstration of the gameplay which, unfortunately, cannot be released yet. But it looked really good.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed releases on September 16 (USA), September 17 (Asia) and September 19 (Europe), 2008.

Preorder is available here.
Official site on LucasArts.com.


Dragonball Z Burst Limit

Watching this game brings back childhood memories of watching Dragonball cartoons and reading the manga. To date, Dragonball is my favourite manga series. Not that I’ve read many series, since buying manga is an expensive pasttime.

Anyway, here’s a videoclip of the game being played by two Microsoft representatives. (Sorry for the “pirated” quality of the video.)

And screenshots:

[Dragonball Z Burst Limit screen 1] [Dragonball Z Burst Limit screen 2] [Dragonball Z Burst Limit screen 3]

Nothing much to say about this game. It’s a fighter with tons of your favourite Dragonball characters to select from, and lots of cool Dragonball powers to invoke, enough to provide you with endless hours of mindless entertainment.

Dragonball Z Burst Limit releases on June 5, 2008.

Official site on Atari.com and Bandai Games (Japanese).


Dead Space

This is one of those creepy games you don’t want to play alone at home in the middle of the night.

Dead Space is EA’s first foray into the sci-fi/horror/thriller genre and it’s looking good.

In terms of scare factor, I put it somewhere between Silent Hill and Doom 3. It’s not as scary as Silent Hill because you’re battling aliens instead of ghosts (although some might argue that aliens are scarier) but scarier than Doom 3 in terms of environment, music and plot.

You’re an engineer aboard a deep space mining ship to fix the broken communications system all by your own lonesome. Next thing you know, you see dead bodies and you’re set upon by aliens.

A deep story and a surprise ending are promised. I guess I’m hooked. I can’t wait to check out how EA performs in this genre.


[Dead Space screen 1] [Dead Space Burst Limit screen 2] [Dead Space Burst Limit screen 3]

This will make a great Halloween present, if you’re giving out presents at all, because of its Halloween release date. Or plan a Halloween party around the game!

Dead Space releases on October 31, 2008.

Preorder is available here.
Official site on Ea.com.


Alrighty. Watch out for the next installment, coming soon!