While Tampa Bay's football frenzy subsides, let's not forget scads of new video games for 2009 are getting ready to ship before Spring.
By now you've no doubt been able to finish your holiday goodies, so we can turn first to Capcom's long-awaited zombiefied sequel, Resident Evil 5 (PS3, 360) — unless you're still chewing through the decent Afro Samurai adaptation that came out for the PS3 and 360 last Tuesday. Thanks to the recent downloadable demo, we know the action is still fast-paced and frenetic. The whole thing will be available on March 13.
Before then, however, the big news from Capcom is the much-hyped Street Fighter IV (PS3, 360), with stellar hand-drawn graphics and new characters to keep the world warrior saga kicking. The tournament begins on home consoles on Feb. 17.
Strangely, Edge Online says the Feb. 20 release of The Sims 3 for PC may be delayed, because EA is "evaluating the launch window." Yikes.
But back to shooting games: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PS3, 360, PC) is bringing ill-fated security teams to their knees on Feb. 10. And The House of the Dead: Overkill (Wii) brings a lot of style — but likely little substance, since the franchise is so old — to the rail shooter category the same day.
HOTD is supposed to be one of the titles Nintendo has promised will raise the profile of their best-selling console. Noting that casual gamers will only buy just so much, the company has decided to go a bit more mature, offering this and the eagerly anticipated Madworld, which is due in March.
A Wii port of Capcom's zombie shopping mall adventure, Dead Rising: Chop Til You Drop finally shows up on Feb. 24, with a few changes. There's not supposed to be any camera mechanic, nor time limits, so it's basically a different game, for good or ill.
Also a question mark is Deadly Creatures, coming Feb. 9. Somehow a fighting game pitting tarantulas and rattlesnakes doesn't seem too gripping.
The PSP also has to shore up a weak 2008 catalog, promising Loco Roco 2 on Feb. 10 and a downsized port of Sony's alien-blaster, Resistance: Retribution on March 17. Also, Phantasy Star Portable on March 24 should keep RPG fans happy. Anything is better than last year.
Grand Theft Auto Fans have plenty to tide them over, as the 360 offers the first of two exclusive expansion packs, GTA IV: The Lost and The Damned, on Feb. 17. If you have a DS, Check out Chinatown Wars on March 17. The same crowd will like 50 Cent's latest mission, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (PS3, 360) on Feb. 24.
And while waiting for Major League Baseball 2K9 (PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, PSP) on March 2 or MLB 09: The Show (PS3, PS2, PSP) on March 3, we can salivate over the exclusives: The PS3 is offering Killzone 2 come Feb. 27, while Microsoft's touted real-time strategy chapter to the Halo saga, Halo Wars, is slated for March 3.
And don't forget that Guitar Hero: Metallica pack coming out for both consoles on March 29. That should hold us over until the second quarter, easy.
— Joshua Gillin writes about video games and entertainment news for tbt* Feel free to challenge his opinions at firstname.lastname@example.org.