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features >> looking forward

Written By Shaun McCracken

February 10, 2005

Welcome to a brand new feature on BlueStorm that I like to call "Looking Forward". Every so often, this feature will take a look at three upcoming releases that you may or may not have heard about. I'll pick out the three upcoming releases currently announced that I, personally, am looking forward to. Perhaps you may have thought about getting one of these titles or not, and maybe I can help you out on your next decision. That's why BlueStorm is here, to help gamers find the information and opinions on the games they want! So, are you ready?

Game #1: Gran Turismo 4

System: PS2 - Publisher: SCEA - Genre: Simulation Racing - Release Date: February 22, 2005

Okay, I'm sure many of you have heard of GT4, seen the previews, and so on. But this is the one game I'm REALLY looking forward to right now, so much so, I've pre-ordered the game, which is something I rarely do. I think those who have heard of GT4 will obviously know why this game is so much worth looking forward to. 600+ cars (more than GT2, or any other racer), nearly 100 courses (some reverse, but still), a multitude of racing events, mission races, the B-Spec mode, the photo mode and probably other things I'm forgetting. If you like racing games, even the slightest, GT4 should be the next game you should buy. With nearly three years of development time and a nearly un-tarnished reputation for it's franchise, GT4 is unquesionably worth owning.

Game #2: Phantom Dust

System: Xbox - Publisher: Majesco - Genre: Action RPG? - Release Date: March 2005

Last year, Microsoft kind of stuck it to US gamers when they decided not to publish their first Japanese developed title, Phantom Dust, for the Xbox. Why they did this is a mystery, because from what I heard, nearly the entire damn thing was in english and really didn't need that much localization. I also heard it was a pretty good game, and something the console could have used in it's library (at least here in the US). But, luckily Majesco (of all companies) has acquired the rights to publish the title here in the US. But wait, it gets better! It's going to retail for $19.99! An action RPG that's actually gotten some great press is retailing for less than $20? Well, I won't complain.

Game #3: Forza Motorsport

System: Xbox - Publisher: Microsoft - Genre: Simulation Racing - Release Date: May 3, 2005

The "other" simulation racing game won't make it's debut until May, but it's still one that I've been keeping my eye on since it's announcement last year. Forza Motorsport promises to deliver much more than GT4 does, by offering car damage that's not only cosmetic, but can also affect your driving perfromance; online gameplay; deeper graphical customization on your vehicle; and automakers that for some reason Sony just won't secure a license from. The visuals are looking better and better with each progress updeate, and may be the best looking Xbox racer yet. For fans of racing games, 2005 seems to be the best year ever.