Sunday, June 27, 2010

Clint Eastwood Movies

Last year, while waiting for a copy of Gran Torino on DVD to come in at the Library, I decided to have my own little Clint Eastwood film festival, which ended up spanning two months or so. Many were films I had seen before but wanted to refresh my memory, some were films I'd never seen or just hadn't seen from start to finish in all their unedited glory...

Over 2 months time I'd watched;
I kicked it off with two Clint Eastwood starred & directed westerns which both have supernatural overtones, High Plains Drifter {1973} (I love how he gets his drink on, his aggro on, and his lay on all within the first 10 minutes of rolling into town) and Pale Rider {1985}.

The Fistful Of Dollars Trilogy aka the "Man With No Name" Trilogy);
A Fistful Of Dollars {1964}, For A Few Dollars More {1965}, The Good, the Bad and The Ugly {1966}

Of the three, I'd have to say my personal favorite is 'For A Few Dollars More'. I really enjoy Clint's partnership with Lee Van Cleef (who plays the altogether different character 'The Bad' in The Good, Bad and The Ugly).
Now there's a lot of people who think that The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is the pinnacle of Clint's westerns, or even the best western ever made. But at nearly 3 hours long, I think it's a bit bloated, and I could do without the interjection of the Civil War.

Other westerns;
Hang 'Em High {1968}, Two Mules For Sister Sara {1970}, Joe Kidd {1972}, High Plains Drifter {1973}, Outlaw Josey Wales {1976}, Pale Rider {1985}, and Unforgiven {1992}.

And how about that Josey Wales. I laughed at Josey always spittin' chew spit on everything. But what did the dog ever do to you? Jerk!

I'd have to say that out of all Clint's westerns, my favorites are High Plains Drifter and For A Few Dollars More.

Next up I completed a 5-movie 5-night Dirty Harry marathon.
The Dirty Harry 5;
Dirty Harry {1971}, Magnum Force {1973}, The Enforcer {1976}, Sudden Impact {1983}, and The Dead Pool {1988}.

The character makes the films, but there are certainly better movies out there with Dirty Harry-esque characters.
I think my personal fave may have been Magnum Force, the 2nd in the series where he goes against the band of vigilante traffic cops.
Harry Callahan does seem a bit too much of a bitter old man in the last two Dirty Harry movies (filmed in the eighties), rather than the groovy fluffy-haired rebel he was in the first three.
That and I think the last three movies get bogged down by the 'chick factor'. Harry has to deal with his first female partner in The Enforcer, Sudden Impact centers around the scorned female killer, and lastly the pushy reporter in The Dead Pool.
Jim Carey's 'music video' scene where he mouths the words to Guns N Roses "Welcome To The Jungle from The Dead Pool is hilarious.

But yeah, it'd be great to tell your bosses to stick it up their ass, keep your job, and go run around the city playing judge, jury, and executioner blasting all the 'punks and hoods' you want and walk away from it scot-free and with a clean conscience to boot - who doesn't want that from time to time?

Other movies where Clint plays a Cop;
Coogan's Bluff {1968}, The Gauntlet {1977}, and Tightrope {1984}.

I enjoyed The Gauntlet (movie poster by the father of "Fantasy Art", Frank Frazetta), and thought that out of all the Clint Eastwood films with Sondra Locke, her role in The Gauntlet was her most pronounced performance.

World War II films;
Where Eagles Dare {1968} and Kelly's Heroes {1970}.

I really enjoyed Brian G. Hutton's two WWII films with Clint Eastwood, and they'd be strong WWII films with or without Eastwood. I have to admit I was taken aback at how well the WWII films played. The action, intensity and pyrotechnics were on par with many of the WWII films of the past 15 years. Make no mistake about it, these are big scale war films regardless of if they were made today or forty years ago.

And other films;
The Beguiled {1971}, Play Misty For Me {1971}, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot {1974}, The Eiger Sanction {1975}, and Firefox {1982}.

Clint Eastwood and Universal paid $25,000 to use the titular song, "Misty" by Erroll Garner in the film. "Misty" is a legendary jazz standard that will forever be etched into my mind, as it was in my Father's piano playing repertoire ever since I was born until the day he died. So I'd probably heard that song on and off for a good 25 years.

The movie Firefox spawned Atari's only Laserdisc based arcade game a year later. Watch Eastwood himself try out the arcade game in this video clip from Entertainment Tonight.
After all is said and done though, Firefox (the movie) is damn long and boring. It only picks up when he finally steals the dang thing and that's like 3/4's through the movie.

Finally was Every Which Way But Loose {1978} and Any Which Way You Can {1980} and I was all Clint'd out.

Movies and Television Shows featuring Chimpanzees, Gorillas and Orangutans in the mix was a recurring theme back in the seventies and early eighties. As a matter of fact, with the exception of The Ghost Busters which had a man in an ape suit, you could find a show featuring a real live primate on the television dial (including reruns) on one of the big three networks from 1975 all the way through 1981.
Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp which ran from 9/12/70 to 9/2/72 on ABC, The Ghost Busters (no relation to the movie Ghostbusters with Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd and Harold Ramis) which ran from 9/6/75 to 9/4/76 on CBS, Ark II which ran from 9/11/76 to 12/18/76 (reruns played until 8/25/79) on CBS, B.J. and The Bear which aired from 2/10/79 to 8/11/81 on NBC, and finally a show entitled Mr. Smith which aired from September 23, 1983 to December 16, 1983 on NBC. Mr. Smith was based around the premise of an Orangutan who drinks an experimental mixture to increase human intelligence and after drinking the mixture is able to talk and is later determined to have an I.Q of 256.

+1 for Escape From Alcatraz {1979} (I own the DVD), In The Line Of Fire {1993}, and the Eastwood directed Costner starred A Perfect World {1993}.

As for Gran Torino {2009}

I enjoyed it, but I kinda felt like his self-sacrifice at the end was, in a way, symbolic in Eastwood making amends for his 'take no prisoners' violent filmography of the past, and that's just not something I can get behind. If it's time for the Man With No Name/Dirty Harry to take a fall, the only way he should go out is guns a'blazin. No concessions necessary.

P.S. I've never understood the appeal of John Wayne. There's a real generational gap there.

Konami Arcade

This is an extension of the originating Game Room post.

Konami has been nickel & diming fans of their back cataloge for years, and now they are continuing that tradition by releasing their arcade games on Xbox Live Arcade's Game Room, rather than doing what they should've done long ago - release an all encompassing on-disc arcade compilation.
Activision, Atari, Capcom, Data East, Intellivision, Midway, Namco, Sega, Taito, hell even Tecmo have released arcade or console compilations. But Konami continues to hawk their arcade games on XBLA, and their old console games on Wii Virtual Console, all for prices well above the precedent that every other classic gaming company has set with their arcade and classic console compilations. Sure, one could say that Konami deserves credit for being the only developer to bring something exclusive to the table at the launch of Game Room with Battlantis, Finalizer and Jungler. But I say hold back the praise. Bottom line is Konami has no excuse for being the only company not to release an arcade classics compilation on the 6th and 7th generation (non-handheld) of consoles. And after having dropped $20 on 4 Konami XBLA games, I feel like they owe me that much.

Of Konami's 20 (at time of post) Game Room releases, the games which have never appeared on a compilation of any kind before are;
Battlantis, Finalizer, Jailbreak, Jungler, Juno First, Konami's Ping Pong, Mega Zone, Mr. Goemon, Rack 'Em Up, Scooter Shooter, Strategy X, and Video Hustler.

A total of 42 (at time of post) of Konami's arcade classics have been released on the PSOne, Plug'N Play, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP, Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox Live Game Room, and the Wii's Virtual Console. Those games are as follows;
1) Battlantis
2) Circus Charlie
3-4) Contra, Super Contra
5-6) Double Dribble, Super Basketball
7-10) Gradius, Gradius II, Gradius III, Gradius IV (available on Gradius Collection for the PSP)
11) Gyruss
12) Finalizer
13) Frogger
14) Jailbreak
15) Jungler
16) Juno First
17-20) Life Force, Salamander, Salamander 2, Xexex (*on Salamander Portable on the PSP, only available in Japan)
21) Mega Zone
22) Mr. Goemon
23) Pooyan
24) Rack 'Em Up
25) Road Fighter
26) Roc'n Rope
27) Rush'n Attack
28) Scramble
29) Scooter Shooter
30) Shao Lin's Road
31) Strategy X
32) Super Cobra
33-34) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time
35) Time Pilot
36) Track and Field
37) Tutankham
38-40) TwinBee, Detana!! TwinBee, TwinBee Yahho! (*on TwinBee Portable on the PSP, only available in Japan)
41) Video Hustler
42) Yie Ar Kung-Fu

In reality, every last one of these games should be available on a singular compilation. Keep in mind Namco Museum Virtual Arcade had 40 games and was released at an MSRP of $29.99.

Konami to release expensive compilation
"Konami Classics Volume 1 will feature Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, Frogger and Super Contra, while Volume 2 will feature Contra, Rush'n Attack and Track & Field.
Each collection will cost $19.99 in the US - which means the first volume costs the same as it would to buy them all on the Xbox Live Marketplace, but it also means the second volume costs $5 more than the marketplace."

A compilation of 3 XBLA games is NOT an "arcade classics compilation". And while Castlevania SOTN is a terrific game, it isn't an arcade title.

Once again, in comparison, take a look at Namco Museum Virtual Arcade as an example of how to release an arcade compilation with a few XBLA games thrown in done right, and priced right at $29.99. Namco Museum Virtual Arcade has a total of 40 games included, 31 of which are Arcade Classics on disc, 9 of which are games accessible through XBLA.

Even at a measley 10 games, Konami Arcade Classics was the closest Konami came to full-fledged classic arcade compilation on a non-handheld home console. It's now a rare find and those on Ebay and Amazon are (or were) asking quite a bit for it. The reason I say were is because now 7 (8 if you include Pooyan which is slated to be released) out of the 10 games on the compilation are now available on Game Room. The three games from the Konami Arcade Classics which are not yet on Game Room are Circus Charlie, Pooyan, and Roc'n Rope.

It's unfortunate that Gradius Collection for the PSP was not also released on the PS2.

Gradius Compilations
It's unfortunate that Salamander Portable was only released in Japan. Not really sure why it wasn't released internationally, since the first Salamander, renamed Life Force in North America, was a terrific and popular NES game and is the only space shooter I owned for the Nintendo. Would've been nice to see Salamander 2 in North America!
Life Force IS however available on the Wii's Virtual Console in North America.

"Despite TwinBee being one of Konami's most prominent series in Japan during most of the 1990s, only a select few titles were localized for the foreign market. Particularly the second console game Moero! TwinBee (which was released as Stinger on the NES in North America). The second arcade game, Detana!! TwinBee, also had a limited international release under the name of Bells & Whistles.
The first in the series, TwinBee, was officially released for the first time outside Japan as part of the Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits for the Nintendo DS in March 2007, under the name RainbowBell in North America. TwinBee is slated for release on the Nintendo 3DS, and was featured amongst other games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES to be released for the 3DS on a tech demo called Classic Games at E3 2010."

Konami Arcade Advanced for the Gameboy Advance contains 6 games; Frogger, Gyruss, Rush'n Attack, Scramble, Time Pilot, and Yie Ar Kung-Fu.
Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits for the Nintendo DS contains 15 games; Basketball (aka Super Basketball), Contra, Circus Charlie, Gradius, Horror Maze (aka Tutankham), Pooyan, Rainbowbell (aka TwinBee), Road Fighter, Roc 'n' Rope, Rush'n Attack, Scramble, Shao-Lin's Road, Time Pilot, Track and Field, and Yie Ar Kung-Fu.
Although it's missing Frogger and Gyruss from the GBA and Plug'n Play, the DS Konami Arcade Classics Series: Arcade Hits is the best across-the-board arcade classics compilation on the handheld market.

Konami Arcade Advanced Plug'n Play contains 6 games; Frogger, Gyruss, Rush'n Attack, Scramble, Time Pilot, and Yie Ar Kung-Fu.

Aside from Konami's arcade games, to date Konami has released 16 of their console classics on the Wii's Virtual Console, PS2, and Xbox Live Arcade (Castlevania SOTN].
1) Axelay
2) Castlevania
3) Casltevania II: Simon's Quest
4) Castlevania III
5) (Super) Castlevania IV
6) Castlevania Rondo
7) Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night
8) Contra III: The Alien Wars
9) Super C
10) Cybernator
11) Gradius 2 (MSX game on Salamander Portable for the PSP in Japan)
12) Gradius Gaiden (PSOne game on Gradius Collection for the PSP)
13) Metal Gear
14) Metal Gear 2
15) The Legend of the Mystical Ninja
16) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES game)
I think it's high time that Konami releases a Contra Anthology including all their iterations of Contra (arcade and console), and since 2010's Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is going to be more or less a reboot of the franchise, it's time Konami release an all encompassing Castlevania Anthology.

Xbox 360 Arcade Sticks

This is an extension of the originating Game Room post.

It is said that Microsoft has no plans to release an official arcade stick for Game Room. Although I think this is a big mistake by Microsoft, there are a number of third-party arcade controllers (designed for fighting games) by Hori and Mad Catz, albeit controllers that can be a bit on the pricey side.

As an alternative, one can use one of the numerous arcade sticks on the market, including the MadCatz Street Fighter IV arcade sticks, the Hori arcade sticks and Tekken 6 wireless arcade stick. All arcade sticks have 8 buttons on the face except for the Hori Real Arcade Pro EX2 and (the unofficial) Dream Arcade stick, and all arcade sticks are wired except for the Hori Tekken 6 stick and (the unofficial) Dream Arcade stick which are wireless.

For someone who hasn't had an "arcade stick" since the NES Advantage way back in 1988
NES Advantage 1988
this new day of arcade sticks and official japanese parts can be a bit confusing. Here's an attempt at a breakdown of Arcade Sticks for the Xbox 360.

Mad Catz Street Fighter IV Arcade FightStick

ThomGuestAcc from Please release an Arcade Controller says;
The mad catz SE stick (the white one) is smaller and more plasti-ey (excuse the phrase), and does not have sanwa or seimitsu parts, but was designed so that all the dimensions of the stick and buttons exactly match those of sanwa and seimitsus flagship sticks and buttons, so, you can easily swap the mad catz stick with a sanwa JLF stick and it works fine. Similarly, seimitsu's flagship stick (the LS-32-01) also is the same, a trivial swap. Swapping the mad catz buttons on the SE is a simple matter as well (to sanwa OBSF-30 or seimitsu PS-14-G). If anything, the main advantage of the mad catz sticks is the fact they are intentionally made to the exact specification that is used by the most popular sanwa and seimitsu lines of sticks and buttons, so changing or replacing parts if required is as easy as it can be since there is no soldering, no electronics modifications etc, it is simply a direct swap of a stick for a stick or a button for a button etc.

In summary the mad catz SE has mad catz parts which are inferior to the TE parts (which are sanwa) but can be replaced with sanwa or seimitsu parts with only a little effort required, while importantly, such a change does not involve anything other than direct swaps of parts that are not functional (ie no electronic modifications, no pcb modifications, simply swapping eg a bit of plastic with a bit of plastic etc...).

Mad Catz Street Fighter IV Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition Round 1, Tournament Edition Round 2, Sagar Scar design, Femme Fatale Limited Edition, and Marvel VS Capcom all have the same layout and design (they're the same Tournament Edition FightStick's, just with different artwork).

ThomGuestAcc from Please release an Arcade Controller says;
The TE stick is all sanwa parts, every TE stick has identical part numbers on the stick and buttons, just the colours of the ball top and buttons are different. If you look about, you usually can get TE's for the same price or less than it would cost to buy an SE+the sanwa parts included in the TE.

The mad catz TE sticks (round 1, round 2, femme fatale, MvsC2, penny arcade expo [sagat scar design] are all identical except artwork and colour choices, they all use the sanwa JLF stick and sanwa OBSF-30 buttons and OBSF-24 buttons for start and select.

Mad Catz Super Street Fighter IV Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition S (comes in White and Black)

ThomGuestAcc from Please release an Arcade Controller says;
The new design TE stick (for super SSF4) has identical parts (again, JLF, OBSF-30 and OBSF-24), but it has a slightly different construction in terms of the case.
The only functional difference between the TE and TE-S (The super one thats not out yet), is there is a switch on the TE-S that disables guide/start and select and auto fire, whereas on the intial design TE's, this switch only disables the auto fire panel. This 'change' was in response to requests from the SF4 community because accidentally pausing etc during tournaments results in a round disqualification.
Summary though is that all TE sticks have identical sanwa parts (stick and buttons identical, even in the new unreleased version). It is also worth noting that these sticks all use quick disconnects meaning if down the line something stopped working it is easy to get repaired, and the parts needed are a direct like for like swap (so the stick is identical post repair parts wise) and are available from almost all suppliers of arcade parts. Basically if your button dies etc you can replace it with an identical one and it will be identical afterwards (eg this is not some unofficial modification of an xbox device, it could be as simple as removing an OBSF-30 button and inserting an OBSF-30 button, no electronics or wiring or circuit boards etc ever enter the equation here, and if it is in warranty, mad catz do it for you anyway).

Hori Real Arcade Pro EX

The Hori Real Arcade Pro EX uses a Seimitsu joystick with Hori buttons.

Hori Real Arcade Pro EX-SE

The Hori Real Arcade Pro EX-SE uses Seimitsu joystick and buttons.

Hori Real Arcade Pro EX 2 (6 buttons)

The Real Arcade Pro Dead Or Alive 4 and Real Arcade Pro Soul Calibur IV Arcade Sticks are simply EX2's with specialized artwork ($10 premium). All EX 2's use Hori parts.

Hori Tekken 6 Wireless Arcade Stick (only available in bundle with Tekken 6)

The Tekken 6 Arcade Stick uses Hori parts.
ThomGuestAcc from Please release an Arcade Controller says;
The problem with most Hori sticks and some European sticks/parts is that they use parts which are not interchangeable eg many European buttons are slightly smaller than 30mm which means if you want to swap your buttons with the japanese arcade standard [sanwa or seimitsu] then you are going to have to do some work to modify your case to allow them to fit, while in some instances the buttons are soldered directly onto the controller pcb which means changing anything is extremely difficult and requires some technical expertise to do (I am not saying anything about the quality of the parts here you should note, just that the dimensions are different and in some cases the buttons are soldered directly onto circuit boards). Further, doing any sort of electronics modification, or even anything that is not a simple direct like-for-like swap of a bit of plastic (eg an identical button etc) potentially could get you banned from live, so not really advisable at all, and anyone who does anything like this is asking for trouble.

As of July 9, 2010 Hori's gargantuan $300 Hori Real Arcade Pro Premium VLX has become available in the USA. Unlike previous versions of the Real Arcade Pro which used Seimitsu parts, the Premium VLX uses all Sanwa parts.

Dream Arcades stick like the Tekken 6 by Hori is also wireless, but unlike the Tekken 6 stick Dream Arcades stick is not an officially licensed stick from Microsoft, so using it means risking getting banned from Xbox Live.
Video Review

- The Issue Of Paddle and Trackball Games -
I'd love to see a controller attempt to emulate Trackball and Paddle (aka Dial, Spinner) controls, although no matter if you're speaking of the Mad Catz Arcade Game Stick, the X-Arcade Tank Stick's trackball, or fitting your Mad Catz TE or Hori RAP with a Seimitsu LS-29 paddle/rotary knob from Gremlin Solutions...
Ruined says; "A trackball emulating an analog stick is just going to be a disappointment in the end. For a usable trackball MS needs to make mouse drivers for the 360, which do not exist at this point."
ThomGuestAcc says; "Until the 360 supports a mouse etc I really do not think we can do much better than what we have at present, certainly things like spinners/trackballs and other input devices are pretty much out."

The Mad Catz Arcade Game Stick may be the only controller to attempt to emulate a spinner, although from what's said on the Video Review it seems like the spinner portion was a disaster and did not work as intended.
*This controller is no longer manufactured or for sale.

The X-Arcade Tank Stick comes with a built-in trackball. All X-Arcade sticks require the use of a Xbox 360 Adapter.
More importantly though, X-Arcade is not an officially licensed stick from Microsoft, so using it means risking getting banned from Xbox Live.

ThomGuestAcc from Please release an Arcade Controller summarizes; What works best with retro games is extremely complicated, and in large will depend on whether you need a 4 way (left, right, up, down) stick or an 8 way (diagonals as well). What is best between sanwa or seimitsu is again complicated, game dependent (to some people), and also involves personal preference. You may want to read up at Slagcoin to gain some better understanding of what affects the choice of stick etc as no one can really tell you what you will prefer! Until the 360 (eg PS2, dreamcast etc), most people using sticks seriously were making custom sticks, now, it is probably fair to say that the Mad Catz TE stick is the standard stick. Even with all the tools and stuff required to make your own custom stick, the cost of the arcade parts alone, time and effort required to make a custom stick exceed that of the cost of a mad catz TE stick if you look about on the web and look for good deals, so pretty much everyone who needs a stick that I know (so this is in my experience, and only really is street fighter players), is using the mad catz sticks.

Ruined says; "The Hori Pad EX2 Turbo is AMAZING for Game Room. Great dpad and button placement."

"The Hori EX2 gamepad is a great controller for most of these games, as it has a superb dpad. Can also be used for SF4 with its 6 face buttons, or for analog games (i.e. crystal castles) with its analog controller."

"I have 4 arcade sticks (3 madcatz TE, 1 HRAP) all modded (with different types of gates, sticks, and one of the TEs I modded to be all Seimitsu build). I still end up using my HORI PAD EX2 for game room most often. First of all with some of the earlier games the TE sticks suck unless you mod them to +/cross gate (I did this with the HRAP) as you need the solid four directions without diagonals. Second there are some games that are completely useless like the games that used spinners and benefit most from analog stick roll (i.e. circus atari, kaboom, etc). The hori pad ex2 seems best if you dont want to be swapping controllers all the time.

Article On Joystick Brands
G4 Arcade Stick Round Up
SD Tekken

Sunday, June 20, 2010

E3 2010

Official Site
Wikipedia Entry

Overall, surprisingly, nothing much I was all that interested in, and a series of disappointments.

One of the games I was looking forward to being there was Aliens: Colonial Marines by Gearbox (first announced way back in 2006). Gamespot listed it on their E3 show floor map (as they did the year before) and it was eventually taken down.

On the classic gaming front it would've also been nice for Microsoft to give some sort of update on Game Room, but no show of support there.
I was also looking to hear more info about SNK Arcade Classics 0 from G1M2/SNK Playmore listed as being for the PS2, as info on that title has been extremely scarce ever since it was found listed on the ESRB website last year, but neither companies had a show booth.

I could hardly be less excited for all the games showcased for release at and around the launch of Xbox 360's Kinect (formerly known as Project Natal). All family-friendly, one-note games with simple and colorful graphics.
I just love how everything demo'd is a near-perfect representation of the players own movements. I'm almost willing to bet money that the actual experience won't be nearly as responsive/accurate or immediate. It'll still be wonky, I'm almost sure of it.

This current day focus on online/multiplayer and motion activated/controller-less controls with Xbox 360's Kinect, not to mention music based games (Rock Band 3), and just this overall emphasis on casual gaming has really sidetracked core gaming and slowed it's momentum.
In regards to controller free gaming, I just don't see it replacing the controller. I like a controller's tangible aspect. Do we really want to do ten times the work and have a fraction of the actions available? How long do you think you could hold out your hands gripping an invisible steering wheel? Great if you're into 5 minute increments of play, not so great otherwise. Perhaps a day will come where everyone using a controller to game will be considered "old school", but we ain't close to there yet.

More of the same. Halo Reach, Gears Of War 3, Fable III (by the overrated as a game creator Peter Molyneux), and the Call Of Duty franchise exclusive to the Xbox 360 through 2012, starting with Call Of Duty: Black Ops, so they can release Call Of Duty sequels until we're all blue in the face.

The new Xbox 360 with a 250gb hard drive for $299?
Great, but what'd be even better is if they comped every existing 360 owner with a 250gb hard drive for their years of patronage and for suffering through the Red Ring Of Death!
Having vents on top of the console might cause trouble for some, particularly those who like to stack things on top of their 360, or those who had purchased the HD-DVD player and still use it to play DVDs (like I do) and place it on top.

There isn't much for the Wii I'm interested in other than the usual first-party games, Metroid: Other M and The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword which is slated for 2011.
I enjoyed the Metroid Prime series, but I'm thankful they're trying something new with the series. Metroid: Other M looks alright, but honestly kinda looks like it should be a $15 DLC game, and if it were on any other console it probably would be.

Somewhat disappointed that Nintendo changed direction from their initially planned "realistic graphics" with a more adult approach, over to simple and colorful graphics fused with cell-shading ala Wind Waker. They're going back to basics instead of going forward, and I didn't think they'd reached the ceiling just yet.
Also let down that they're reviving Kid Icarus, Pilotwings and Star Fox (remake of Star Fox 64) on Nintendo's 3DS, rather than giving them the fully realized Wii titles which they deserve.

For the PS3, I'm looking foward to The Last Guardian by Team Ico, who created the amazing ICO and Shadow Of The Colossus for the PS2. The Last Guardian was there, but no additional information was presented about the game.

Gran Turismo 5 is finally coming November 2 2010 after being in development for four years.
After such a long development cycle, even photo realistic graphics won't be enough to set a fire in my pants. The tracks in the GT games have always been rather boring and repetitive, and to progress in the game you're forced to race them over and over and over again.
I picked up GT4 for ten bucks at a clearance sale two years ago and have barely played it since.