#89: Castlevania Judgment
Fall 2008: Wii The Castlevania franchise stakes its claim in the one-on-one fighting game genre. A plethora of famous 'vania villains and heroes fill the roster, and the Wii-exclusive title also promises Wi-Fi connectivity with Order of Ecclesia on the DS to unlock extra features. Rabid Castlevania fans may scream "sellout," but longtime series producer Koji "Iga" Igarashi's involvement gives us (cautious) hope.
#88: Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Fall 2008: DS Dracula bites. Dracula sucks. He is also the Road Runner of historical/fictional monsters, with a plucky, never-say-die attitude. It's time to stake Dracula once again, this time with the female protagonist Shinoa, a woman who can combine magical glyphs to create special attacks. The glyphs come in different flavors (sword, fire, light, dark) and can be attached to Shinoa's back and arms, or combined to create a delightful symphony of destruction. The glyphs will also help her explore the game's 2D worlds, creating rings that have magnetic effects and can slingshot her about. More classic 2D Castlevania action.
#87: The Conduit
First Quarter 2009: Wii The Wii isn't exactly a graphical powerhouse, but if The Conduit has its way, you'll be seeing visuals that are nearly on-par with the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. In this futuristic first-person shooter, you'll play a secret agent charged with fending off an impending alien invasion by a mysterious race called "The Drudge." Conduit is set in a post-apocalyptic/alien invasion-type of world, which sounds like a mash up of FPS clich?s, but works well for gameplay purposes. You've got Killzone-esque army dudes and Resistance-style crawlies to kill with alien guns reminiscent of Halo. And like all those games, Conduit should have a robust suite of online modes. Well, robust for the Wii anyway.
#86: Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen
September: DS One of the greatest 2D role-playing games of all-time writes a new chapter on the DS with re-imagined visuals and modernized gameplay. Dragon Quest IV retains the essence of its original release on the DS, but with welcome changes including a new Japanese-to-English translation, tweaks to bring the battle system in line with the remake of Final Fantasy III, and some bonus content. Any serious RPG fan must have this in their collection.