| Conflict: Global Terror
It’s been to Baghdad (twice) and Vietnam. Now the Conflict squad-based series—never afraid of controversy—is set to stop a white-supremacist terrorist group intent on global domination in the aptly named Conflict: Global Terror.
Think of it as GTA Jr.: Bully puts you in the role of misunderstood 15-year-old Jimmy Hawkins, who has just wound up at Bullworth Academy after bouncing around several schools. Through a series of GTA-like missions and actions, including administering a swirly to get information out of a fellow student and being harassed by teachers, Jimmy must make it through the entire school year without being kicked out. Bully for him.
| Aeon Flux
From the makers of BloodRayne comes Aeon Flux, a third-person stealth-action game based on the upcoming movie based on MTV’s cultish silent animation series from the ’90s. Our fave thing about it: Charlize Theron is the movie’s lead. Scha-wiiing!
| The Warriors
Inspired by the 1979 cult favorite film about fictional New York street gangs, The Warriors is a tried-and-true bash-em-up group brawler, complete with melee combos and broken-glass knives as you guide the beleaguered Warriors back to their home turf of Coney Island. It’s Gauntlet but totally street.
| 25 to Life
Those who like their games with a side of controversy might prefer 25 to Life. The in-game ability to choose to side with the police or with the gangs has already sent the mainstream press and U.S. senators into fits of righteous outrage.
| Neopets: The Darkest Faerie
Neopets: The Darkest Faerie spans 1,000 years of Neopian history. (If that means nothing to you, go check with the nearest 8-year-old.) You’ll quest your way through huge dungeons, forests, palaces, and ghostly ruins with the ultimate goal of beating the evil Dark Faerie and her minions. To tie in specifically with the Neopets site—where members can raise and nurture their own virtual pets—the game will include a Petpet power-up system, allowing your very own Petpet to follow you and help you beat levels.
| The Nightmare Before Christmas
Fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas film may be a little disappointed that they’re getting a sequel in the videogame medium, but they’ll be happy to know that Oogie’s Revenge remains true to Tim Burton’s vision—except for Jack Skellington’s ectoplasm weapon and the fact that he can turn into the Santa Claus version of himself for a whole different set of attacks.
| Disney’s Chicken Little
Like Chicken Little and the sky, we saw the game based on the upcoming Chicken Little movie coming. Unlike Chicken Little and the sky, everyone believed us.
| 24: The Game
Ever wondered what the heck happened between seasons two and three of 24? Play 24: The Game from 2K Games to find out! There’s a whole lot of third-person shooting, a little bit of driving, a few minigames, and a heaping helping of Kiefer Sutherland yelling when you play the interrogation minigame.
| Jaws Unleashed
Jaws Unleashed puts you in the role of a hungry shark taking on all life-forms that cross your path. See those lifeguards hanging out in the water? Chomp them in half. Random surfer gets in your way? Take him out. This game sounds perfect for those days when all of humanity becomes absolutely intolerable.
| Ed, Edd Eddy
Hey Midway, we’re happy you’re making a game out of Cartoon Network’s popular three nutty boys from Ed, Edd Eddy. We just hope it doesn’t end up being like one of Eddy’s infamous schemes—you know, harebrained.
| Cowboy Bebop
We’re a little worried about Cowboy Bebop—the last time we heard anything about this game was during E3 of 2004, when it looked like a solid cel-shaded third-person action game with you fighting bad dudes as either Spike, Jet, or Faye. Then there was a quiet and ominous announcement of its delay—and absolutely no comment at all since. For better or for worse, it’s coming out this year, so we’ll see if the wait did anything for it.
| L.A. Rush
Get ready to blast through the Hollywood sign. L.A. Rush lets you spin your wheels through the vast interweaving streets of Los Angeles (in case you hadn’t figured it out from the title) and test your mettle with the more than 80 races available.
| Ford vs. Chevy
After Freddy vs. Jason and Alien vs. Predator, Ford vs. Chevy somehow seemed inevitable. As long as it’s not the cheapest heap ever visioned yet or found on the road dead, we’ll be happy.
| Shining Force Neo
An action-RPG from Sega, Shining Force Neo features a straightforward real-time combat system not unlike the one found in Shining Tears and games like Champions of Norrath.
| Wild Arms Alter Code: F
The original Wild Arms was such a big hit back in 1997 that Sony CEI is remaking the game, this time calling it Wild Arms Alter Code: F. In this new version, you’ll be able to control six characters instead of three, and the graphics look a whole lot better, but the story should be near and dear to fans of the original.
If you’ve been looking for a sequel to Tecmo’s cult-classic Deception series, you’ve found it—sort of. While not a direct sequel, Trapt serves up similar trap-setting gameplay, offering guillotines, falling chandeliers, and even “dark illusion” traps that require puzzle-solving skills to activate.
| We Love Katamari
We’re big fans of We Love Katamari’s Japanese cover, which is actually a photo of Namco employees in front of the company’s office. If you look closely at the windows on the side of the building pictured, you can see the King of All Cosmos gazing down disapprovingly, ready to zap you with his laser eyes if you don’t buy his game.
| NBA Live 06
Many would consider the Live series to be the pioneer of right analog control in sports games, and not surprisingly, EA Sports wants to make that an even bigger part of NBA Live 06. Star players now have a huge assortment of moves to use depending on their skill level. Last year’s popular All-Star Weekend mode will also be making a return appearance.
| NBA 2K6
Though there are no more ESPN announcers, NBA 2K6 is packed with so much content that you probably won’t even notice their absence. You’ll see the return of the franchise mode (which now allows you to track draft picks year-round) and 24/7 mode (complete with the ability to sign endorsement deals), and when you need to get away from it all, there will always be your crib to retreat to.
| NBA 06
989’s sports games have always strived to bring something new to the table, and while the ideas have been good on paper, they haven’t always quite panned out in the games. NBA 06 might break that trend, however, with the NBA life vol. 1 mode, in which you experience the NBA from behind the scenes, complete with a story and player-building options.
| Tournament Paintball Max’d
If you prefer bruises to blood and oozing welts to shotgun blasts, Greg Hastings’ Tournament Paintball Max’d could just be that nonlethal shooter you’ve been pining for. Activision plans to deliver real-life professional players (who knew?), sponsors, and fields, plus co-op and head-to-head multiplayer in three different game types. Start checking out paint chips.
We can’t say that the plot of Majesco’s Infected gets our hearts racing (NYC cop tries to stop a mysterious virus), but we are very intrigued by the wireless multiplayer concept, which allows you to go in and “infect” your opponents’ PSPs (with your own personalized zombies) if you defeat them.
| The Con
The key to Sony CEA’s fighter The Con—an all-out street brawler in which half the moves are fake—is the backstory: You’re working with organized crime, and sometimes they make you take a fall for the cash. You can also map any photograph from your memory stick onto your fighter’s face.
| X-Men Legends II
Activision recently announced X-Men Legends II for the PSP, but it hasn’t shown anything about it. For all we know, it could be the portable adventures of such X-Men luminaries as Jubilee, Dazzler, and Gambit as they fight world-threatening foes such as Arcade or Mojo. We can only hope.
| Ys: The Ark of Napishtim
The PSP could really use some RPGs, and hopefully Ys: The Ark of Napishtim will be one of many coming. While it’s essentially a port of its PlayStation 2 counterpart, the PSP version of the game has extras, including minigames, character profiles, and an option to listen to the soundtrack.
| Bounty Hounds
It might be easy to mistake Bounty Hounds for some kind of Dynasty Warriors in space clone. You will be fighting dozens of enemies at once, but the arsenal is greater than those found in any of the Dynasty Warriors games. In fact, you’ll have around 500 weapon and armor sets to choose from.
| Midway Arcade Treasures
The Midway Arcade Treasures collection for the PSP is sort of a compilation of the various Arcade Treasures games the company has released for the PS2. Not only will you find classics such as Defender, Spy Hunter, Paperboy, and Klax, but there are also some more recent entries, including the first three Mortal Kombat games. Many games will also support Wi-Fi multiplayer options.
| NBA 06
In a shocking turn of events, the PSP version of NBA 06 won’t be a straight port of its console counterpart. Instead, the PSP version will focus more on core gameplay elements and minigames, such as HORSE, three-point shoot-out, as well as a new minigame called dodge ball. Other parts of the game, like the graphics, have also been cleaned up.
| Gretzky NHL 06
The PSP version of Gretzky NHL 06 is getting the new Wayne vs. Wayne mode just like its big brother, but what we’re really hoping to see is a better framerate and improved handling from the last version. Keep your hockey sticks crossed.
| Virtua Tennis
Some call it the greatest tennis game of all time. Others just call it by its street name, digital crack. Whatever your description for Virtua Tennis, know that you’ll be able to satisfy your jonesing for some racket action very soon.
Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine.