TotalRoundTable: 2011 – The Year of “Hot damn… lookit all those games!”

Does sequelitis and oversaturation ruin the best gaming lineup of the best year in gaming?
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: February 21, 2011
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This is a year that unquestionably belongs to Sony. If everything goes according to plan – which is, admittedly, a pretty big if – the console manufacturer will have one exclusive title every single month of the year, something we’re already seeing with January’s LittleBigPlanet 2 and this month’s impending Killzone 3. This will make for much gameplaying – too much, in fact, for all these wonderful titles to find an audience? – and it already makes for much conversing and analyzing and debating, which is precisely what TotalRoundTable is for.

With features editor Marc N. Kleinhenz on a one-month sabbatical to polish off his ever-growing mound of deadlines (be sure to check out his work at GameXplain, Game Over Nation, and Corona’s Coming Attractions), resident German mastermind Paji Holtz steps in to fill his way-too-small shoes. Sitting beside him at the trusty table of round are EIC Sam Bishop, mysterious Sir Gordon Wheelmeier, site mascot Shaun Mason, and their guest of honor for the month, Bitmob staff writer, and Exploding Barrel co-host, Mike Minotti (who, like Marc, resides in the beautiful state of Ohio).

Sam Bishop, editor-in-chief:

2011. What is it? It's a number. It's a number made of numbers. It's also a year. It's also also potentially the biggest year in the whole of this generation. Devs have the hardware down now, so established systems are likely going to see the best-looking, (hopefully) best-playing games they're going to get – at least en masse. The sheer amount of potential is ridiculous. Even if we just consider the PlayStation systems (okay, realistically, system), there's so much ridiculousness happening, it's hard to even process it all:

Mass Effect 2 (yes, some of us actually held out on playing it until last month)
LittleBigPlanet 2
Dead Space 2
Killzone 3
Portal 2
Infamous 2
Yakuza 4
Resistance 3
Uncharted 3

...Okay, so that's by no means a comprehensive list or even close to final, and I kinda cherry-picked those titles just because, yes, this is most definitely the Year of the Sequel. Personally, I have zero problem with that; it's not only the nature of the industry, but something that's inevitable now that the hardware's been somewhat wrestled under control. Not only that, but that's almost exclusively first-party stuff, which is absolutely nuts. When you factor in just the third-party entries and just on the PS3, it becomes... scary. And then one starts to contemplate the other guys and what they have and it's just... AHHHHHHHHHHH! I love this job.

And then, of course, there's the whole hardware thing. The 3DS is coming, the NGP is coming, nobody really knows what Nintendo has planned for the Wii successor and if they'll launch first, nor when the generation will officially end now that it's been spurred a little by the addition of new peripherals. All that really means, though, is moooooooore ducks – or, uh, games.

So, what do you guys think? What are you looking forward to? Any hardware predictions that we'll doubtlessly be horribly wrong about? Anything you don't like about the way things are going right now? You know me – I'm a spaz, and I love hearing about new stuff, be it games or hardware, but maybe that's just the hyperactive geek in me.
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