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5. 'Final Fantasy XII' (PS2)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Final Fantasy XII shakes the series to its core with the introduction of a unique new combat system, while still honoring the franchise's reputation for epic storytelling, incredible spectacle, and compelling characters. Final Fantasy XII is undeniably FF, but it's also something completely different.

2. 'The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess' (NGC)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: Q2 2006

Alicia Ashby: It's the new Zelda game. What more needs to be said?

Well, okay, a little. Twilight Princess wowed audience when its trailer debuted at E3 2003, promising a shift away from the bright, cartoony graphics of Wind Waker in favor of a look that seemed downright inspired by Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings. Fanboys everywhere wept tears of joy as they saw Link returned to his badass adult form from the N64 days, and the promises of horseriding and sword-swinging action in the trailer were simply amazing.

3. 'Kingdom Hearts II' (PS2)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Square-Enix
Release Date: TBA

Alicia Ashby: o/` It's Tron! It's Tron! It's Trooooooon! o/`

Kingdom Hearts is the poster child for games that are much better than they have any right to be, and the sequel looks like it'll be everything the first game was and then some. The interface is streamlined, special cooperative moves with all of the guest characters have been implemented, and new context-sensitive moves let Sora perform amazing stunts during boss fights and special battles. Best of all is the new roster of series and guest characters: Jack Sparrow, Auron from

4. 'Gears of War' (X360)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Action
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: TBA

Mark "RumDragon" Bolin: Gears of War is probably what will convince me to finally buy an Xbox 360. The concentration on teamwork by the developers is impressive, and hopefully, it will play out well. From the trailers I've seen, the world looks immersive, and the A.I. seems rather brutal. The ability to use cover just about anywhere also looks quite interesting. I can't wait to get my hands on this stellar-looking shooter; I need only to find one of my friends with a lot of free time to sit

6. 'Black' (PS2/Xbox)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: FPS
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Criterion Studios
Release Date: February 28, 2006

Joe Keiser: Burnout 3 was a revelation in racing games when it came out in 2004, so when a shooting game from the creators of Burnout claims to be "Burnout for shooters," it'd be pretty foolish not to pay attention. Criterion, the game's creators, really knows their stuff – they're the daddy of Renderware, the most popular set of game creation tools in the industry, and they are virtuosos in its use. As a result, Black should be fast, fluid, and exhilarating. But perhaps most excitingly,

7. 'Grandia III' (PS2)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Game Arts
Release Date: February 14, 2006

Alicia Ashby: This is a big year for RPGs with fantastic battle systems, but when it comes to combat, Grandia's always been the pimp king of RPGs. Grandia III, due out less than a month as I write this, is doing a fine job of upholding the royal pimp legacy. The active battle system from the first two games is back, with a brand-new ability to juggle air combos for massive damage and spectacular graphics. The story and character elements people love about Grandia haven't changed either,

8. 'Tales of Legendia' (PS2)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Namco
Release Date: February 7, 2006

Alicia Ashby: Tales has been the major Japanese RPG series to fare the worst when it comes to entering the American market, but the great success of Tales of Symphonia for the GameCube seems to be changing that. Tales of Legendia hopes to continue the hot streak, offering an amazingly fun fighting-game like active battle system that still lets you manage a party full of characters. The 3D graphics are sharp, incorporating elements from Soul Calibur III's prodigious graphics engine, and it contains about 25 minutes of new

9. 'Neverwinter Nights 2' (PC)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Release Date: Q2 2006

Mark "RumDragon" Bolin: When I picked up the original Neverwinter Nights, I was just looking for more of my Baldur's Gate fix. What it ended up offered me was amazing, and for the sequel, I am most excited about building my own gaming world. The graphics are nothing short of amazing, and the world looks as if it will suck me in for a good long time. One of the greatest assets Obsidian has here are the legions of fans who will ravenously throw themselves at the modding

10. 'Metroid Prime: Hunters' (NDS)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: FPS
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: March 20, 2006

Geson Hatchett: The pack-in cartridge with the Nintendo DS contains a demo of Metroid Prime: Hunters, a glimpse at the future of first-person shooters. On those merits, many people have been waiting for this, myself included. In addition, Metroid's proven itself to be a viable franchise even in 3D, and merely the promise of another installment is reason enough by itself to salivate.

Joe Keiser: Metroid Prime: Hunters seems to be stuck in the nightmare tunnel of a release date that is to be forever pushed back, but all

11. 'Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter' (ALL)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Tactical FPS
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: March 7, 2006

Chad "Wudi" Crawford: I'll admit that I wasn't a fan of the original Ghost Recon: it seems that within three minutes of starting a map, my team would be all but dead. However, as I played new iterations in the series, it really started to grow on me, to the point where Advanced Warfighter has me foaming at the mouth. Maybe it's the breathtaking graphics, the redesigned HUD with the Cross-Com that lets you see what your soldiers see, or the robust multiplayer with competitive and cooperative

12. 'Fight Night Round 3' (ALL)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Sports
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Sports
Release Date: February 21, 2006

Geson Hatchett: The most intuitive and fun boxing series to hit the TV screen since the original Punch-Out! is set for another go. This one's coming to next-gen systems, too, so it'll look all shiny. The promised more robust career and rivalry aspects of the game are sure to be welcome additions, as is the augmented realism. At this point, there's nowhere for Fight Night to go but up.

Bill Lange: Say what you will about EA, but their digital pugilists never disappoint. Combine Round 2's incredibly

13. 'Dead Rising' (X360)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Action
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: May 2, 2006

Mark "RumDragon" Bolin: Zombies have always had a special place in my heart. Movies, games, and the occasional book on the topic have graced my shelves, and I still can't get enough. Dead Rising promises hordes of the undead for me to destroy with a plethora of weapons including 2x4s, chainsaws, pistols, and even cash registers. The graphics look impressive, and I can't wait to flood the halls with the blood of zombies. With a rather clich├ęd storyline (photojournalist in a mall full of zombies), I look forward

15. 'Starcraft: Ghost' (PS2/Xbox)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Action
Publisher: Blizzard
Developer: Swingin' Ape Studios
Release Date: Q2 2006

Mark "RumDragon" Bolin: The story of StarCraft was one of the best I have ever experienced, and this offering promises to expand on that great narrative even more. An incredible range of abilites, weapons, and vehicles will propel this game above the fray, and getting to see units from the original game in full 3-D will be a large addition to the fun factor.

Geson Hatchett: It says a lot about the expectations and quality of a game that people are still anticipating it after so many delays.

17. 'World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade' (PC)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: MMORPG
Publisher: Blizzard
Developer: Blizzard
Release Date: TBA

Chad "Wudi" Crawford: When I heard that there was going to be an expansion to this little sleeper hit, I was pleasantly surprised. Who would've ever thought that a quaint little game like…ok, so World of Warcraft is the mega-hit of the century, boasting an insane amount of subscribers, making an expansion a certainty. And oh what an expansion it will be: two new playable races, a brand new continent, and a higher level cap. When Blizzard designs games, they put their all into it, giving us their best possible

18. 'Enemy Territory: Quake Wars' (PC)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Action
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Splash Damage
Release Date: TBA

David Nadler: Splash Damage kicks ass. What more can I say? I love Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, and this should top it by a long shot. They've got a good game engine, they've obviously got game design talent, and the style of gameplay is right up my alley. I'm an online FPS player, and this is one of the few FPS games coming out in the near future that holds any interest to me.

Matt Mefford: The long-anticipated title from Splash Damage is coming! As the makers of Return to Castle

20. 'Too Human' (X360)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Action
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Silicon Knights
Release Date: October 1, 2006

Chad "Wudi" Crawford: Admittedly, not much is known about Too Human at this point. Could it be the 360's God of War? It's possible, but definitely too early to call. I can't help but feel good about this title, though. Chalk this up to the short but oh-so-sweet trailer that showcased the cybernetic god Baldur's impressive melee and ranged combat capabilities as he defends mankind from an onslaught of robotic war machines. With Silicon Knights (developers of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Eternal Darkness) behind it,

19. 'Dreamfall: The Longest Journey 2' (PC)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Adventure
Publisher: Funcom
Developer: Funcom
Release Date: Q2 2006

Joe Keiser: Dreamfall was one of my most anticipated games of last year, but now that it's been pushed into 2006, it has even less competition – it's my most anticipated game of the next 12 months, without question. The first game proved that the adventure genre still had plenty of life, in the hand of great creators. Ragnar Tornquist is that creator – Dreamfall looks to be gorgeous, deeply and intricately storied, and plans to make just enough concessions to the action-oriented to make it a game absolutely

16. 'Splinter Cell: Double Agent' (ALL)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: Action
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: September 26, 2006

Bill Lange: Say it ain't so, Sam! Everyone's favorite fifth-freedom holder takes a walk on the other side of the law and spices up a series that was running low on ideas. Despite my "meh" attitude towards the third installment, I'm looking forward to Fisher's deep-cover assignment. Expect a much darker tone, tough moral decisions, and more of the innovative online play that's become a Splinter Cell trademark.

Hugh McHarg: A latecomer to the joys of stealth, I learned from the first Splinter Cell that I really did have

14. 'Shadow Hearts: From the New World' (PS2)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: RPG
Publisher: Xseed Games
Developer: Nautilus
Release Date: March 7, 2006

Alicia Ashby: Anyone who played Midway's releases of the two Shadow Hearts games quickly realized they were playing the best RPGs ever released for the PS2 - yes, even better than juggernauts like Final Fantasy and Star Ocean. Newcomer XSEED is showing off their localization skills with the release of the third game, From the New World, and it's shaping up to be everything fans could possibly want. The third game in the series follows a new protagonist and an adventure set in America, with a Chicago

<b>1. 'Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion' (X360/PC)</b>

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST | Filed under Misc Events - Most Anticipated Games of 2006

Genre: RPG
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Bethesda Software
Release Date: March 20, 2006

Chad "Wudi" Crawford: With over 200 hours of gameplay and 16 square miles to be explored in the world of Tamriel, Oblivion is practically an alternate reality that gamers will live in for hours at a time. Plus, there's the Radiant AI, which allows NPCs to respond to the world around them like a real person would, adding to the immersion. Character's skills grow stronger the more they're used, which should make it that no two characters are ever alike. Throw together the game world, character