As we get closer to E3, the excitement builds for the prospect of new, never before revealed games to be announced to the media and public at large. Having been to a number of E3s myself (back in their wild and crazy heydays of midget strippers and midget KISS band – long story, weird party), they are certainly fun, and this year promises to be a return to the days of old.

There are certainly a number of titles that I’m looking forward to, many have been announced for quite some time, and I think I’m looking for a set number of titles this year, not my usual mad rush of all the latest and greatest. Which are my “must haves” of this year?

Ghostbusters – Without a doubt, this was my “Game of the Year” for 2008, until Activision dropped it, and it ended up in the Netherrealm for a while there. Atari, however, saved the title from the brink of vaporware, and it looks better than ever. The 360 version looks amazing, and the clips I’ve seen give it that old movie feeling. The Wii version has a stylized charm that looks equally cool, but in a completely different way. It hits the right notes with me, and unless some catastrophic event happens, this will likely be my personal “Game of the Year”.

Beatles: Rock Band – This is the only other game to give my first choice any competition, as I LOVE the Beatles, and now that my favorite Journey song has been realized in game form, this is the only other collection of songs that could make me lose my collective mind. I’ve seen the briefest of video clips in a Paul McCartney concert, but I still got excited.

Punch-Out!! – More of the same? Nintendo playing it safe? Probably, given their track record, but this is a sequel/update I’ve wanted for a really long time, and the new version looks stylized and fun. Who cares if they don’t tread new ground. I’m just glad to see the series remembered after 15 years. Now if they’d just remember Kid Icarus this year….

Bioshock 2 – The original game had one of the more compelling narratives seen/played in a video game in a long time. I stuck with the game to see how it turned out, and it was twisted, creepy and exciting. With the return of Rapture, I’ll be curious to see how they retread the same ground and make it “new”, but if the story’s as good as the first, I’m sold.

Oddly enough, the Wii seems to have stolen most of my attention this year. Games like Muramasa: The Demon Blade, A Boy and His Blob, and TMNT: Smash Up all seem interesting, and WiiWare’s Night Game, Cave Story, Super Meat Boy, Eduardo: The Samurai Toaster and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years are titles I plan to follow.

As of now, I’m still playing Bit.Trip.BEAT, Pinball Hall of Fame, Left 4 Dead, and Outrun.

So what are you waiting for, and what have you been playing?

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