Features// SPOnG's Cult Games Of 2010

Posted 8 Jan 2010 12:30 by
2010 is going to kick some serious arse in terms of gaming. If I were to make a list of the awesome games heading our way, it would probably contain the no-brainers; Mass Effect 2, Bayonetta, AvP, Final Fantasy XIII, BioShock 2, Metal Gear Solid (Rising and Peace Walker), Mega Man 10, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Halo: Reach, God of War 3, Crackdown 2, Splinter Cell Conviction... and so on.

But that's no fun! What about the games that may get lost amongst the high-profile ones, or the titles that are bat shit insane? Fear no more, as SPOnG takes a look at some of the awesome cult games coming in 2010.

Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars
Wii, Jan 2010
This fighting game has been on many gamers' Most Wanted lists since its release in Japan – way back in 2008. Featuring all the depth and special moves you'd expect from a high-class Capcom brawler, plus characters from the annals of Japanese anime history such as Ippatsuman and Tekkaman Blade, tag battles are about to get a lot more awesome.

Phantasy Star Zero
Nintendo DS, Feb 2010
We love Phantasy Star Online. We love the Mega Drive originals more, obviously, but PSO - cannot fault it. Then SEGA went and made Phantasy Star Universe, and it all went a bit downhill. Zero picks up where the Dreamcast original (and expansion) left off, with online and local team play, interesting dungeons, a much cooler graphical style and the return of the PSO combat system. Welcome back, old friend.

Heavy Rain
PlayStation 3, Feb 2010
An 'interactive story', is how Quantic Dream is defining Heavy Rain. Actions in game will deeply affect the consequences of the characters and storyline. It's different in that it doesn't engage the player with typical gameplay, but rather the narrative alone drives them to explore the interactive world around them.

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Wii, Feb 2010
Travis Touchdown's first adventure was a super-cool, artistic statement about a man and his phallic laser beamsword, decapitating animated goons to become the #1 assassin in the world. So the adventure elements were a bit wonky, but pulling off some of the most hilariously gruesome finishers was a joy to behold. This sequel cranks everything up to eleven, including the sexual innuendo.

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Nintendo DS, Feb 2010
Phoenix Wright is probably one of the best interactive storybooks we've seen in a long while. And this spinoff puts you in the shoes of the defence lawyer's friend and rival in prosecution, Miles Edgeworth. The departure from pure text-based gameplay to an adventure style is an intriguing prospect, and we dare say the dialogue will be as sharp as ever.

Yakuza 3
PlayStation 3, Mar 2010
For the uninitiated, Yakuza is the best explained as a one-man, 3D Streets of Rage (done right), with an adventure map to push the story along. As Yakuza 3 finally hits European stores, Japan will be playing the fourth game in the series. Kiryu Kazuma, a retired Yakuza who keeps getting into trouble, finds himself back with the Tojo Clan after a close friend is murdered. Pure, unadulterated beat'em-up awesomeness.

Muscle March
WiiWare, March 2010 [US]
“NICE MUSCLE!” Honestly, this game will probably win the prize of 'oddest title of the year'. A game where you use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to match poses in time with the conga line ahead of you, Muscle March distracts you from its simple gameplay with hyper-colours, ripped men wearing bras and sprinting polar bears. All to take down the American Footballer that's stolen your protein shakes. Madness.

Alan Wake
Xbox 360, May 2010
A psychological thriller that puts you in control of a nutjob writer as he tries to solve the mystery of his fiancee's disappearance. As Alan Wake, you tackle action-based missions in an open world environment, all the while battling his inner demons. Episodic gameplay and a curious emphasis on light and dark make this a somewhat high-brow adventure for the 360 gamer.

3D Dot Game Heroes
PlayStation 3, May 2010 [US]
Never has an 8-bit game been so shamelessly ripped off on 'homage' as this game. This is essentially a Legend of Zelda game, with a funky 3D dot-matrix graphical style and a humorous take on some classic gaming philosophies. Your sword can be upgraded so that it can fill the entire screen too. How cool is that?

Sin & Punishment 2
Wii, May 2010
Treasure is a master of the shoot'em-up, and the original Sin & Punishment was a Japan-only release for the Nintendo 64 back in 2000. Ten years later, we get a second dose of the 3D on-rails run-and-gunner, this time focusing on fugitives Isa and Kachi as they overcome waves of relentlessly tough enemies.

Valkyria Chronicles 2
PSP, Aug 2010
Valkyria Chronicles on the PS3 was one of the best RPGs of recent years, and created an addictive strategy experience with the presentation of an aged anime. The sequel is hitting the PSP, with a new squad to lead and another war to try and see off and putting all the charm and replayability of the original in a portable form.

Metroid: Other M
Wii, Late 2010
Not much is known about Samus' latest adventure on the Wii, but we do know that Team Ninja (of Ninja Gaiden fame) is taking up development duties, so we can expect some mental 2D and 3D set pieces. Indeed, from what we've seen the action flips from one plane to the next, with explosions and insane stunts pulled off at every opportunity. We can't wait.

Xbox 360, Winter 2010
OK, this isn't strictly a game per se, but it's still a pretty wacky idea based on the success of the motion control sensation. Microsoft has decided to go a step further than the Wii Remote and offer a camera that tracks your entire body movement. Tech demos haven't really surprised but the possibilities, when handed to the right developers, are huge.

Naturally, there are so many more great-looking cult titles coming out this year, but we haven't the space – what games are you looking forward to that may get overlooked, or follow the path less travelled? Let us know in the comments box below!

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PaulRayment 11 Jan 2010 12:50
Nice feature...

Can I add Blazeblu to the mix? Know it has been out in Japan for some time but looks like we should get it in Feb.

Also Super Street Fighter 4. Might be a popular game but a big cult following too. I'll shut up now.
Dreadknux 11 Jan 2010 19:38
No, don't shut up, additions to the list are welcome. :) I was actually going to put BlazBlue up there, but I didn't have the space in the end, what with all the bikini muscle and all. I remember going to Japan last April, and arcades were rammed with BlazBlue units. I was too scared to give it a go but it looks intense.
PaulRayment 11 Jan 2010 19:44
Well I might see you on Xbox Live when it hits the UK then - I'm not as good as all the kids in Japan so dauntin it should not be.
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