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Handheld Games for Q1 ‘07: The GigaGamez Watch List

Handheld games, on average, dont suffer as bad of a drought as PC and console games do after the holiday season, but theyre not exactly coming out of the woodworks, either.  As in our other article about PC gaming in Q1, today, were going to take a look at handhelds and see what games we think are gonna make it – or not.

Lost in Blue 2: Lost in Blue is a DS survival game that was released in 2005. In the game, you play as a high school student who is stranded on an island after his ship capsizes. Once you wash ashore, you have to survive by foraging for food, making weapons and so on. Lost in Blue, while it received middling reviews, was one of those games that you either loved or hated, and its hard to imagine the sequel being any different. While the scenario in Lost in Blue 2 is a little different, it appears to involve the same challenges. If, for some reason, Konami can make the inventory system a bit more managable and movement a touch less tedious, then this game could be a hit. However, we arent holding our breath.

Card Fighters 2: Ah, heres a classic with a touch of flare. Back in the days when men were men and Neo Geo was trying to contend with the Gameboy in the handheld arena, SNK came out with Card Figthers Clash, a card game that pitted SNK characters against each other in a duel to the death CCG (Collectible Card Game) style. Well, if you dont know how the Neo Geo Pocket fared (when was the last time you saw one?), we can just say that it didnt win. The real tragedy, though, is that some of its more classic games have been lost but this isnt one of them. SNK has decided to take another shot with a DS-ified version of SNK Vs. Capcom Card Fighters. What could be the sales potential of a game like this? Huge, oddly enough. Though not the most mainstream of gamers, there are still a ton of SNK fans out there. In fact, I think my friend Brian would probably throttle anyone who dared speak ill of his favorite fighter company. Needless to say, if enough old school fighter fans hear about this one, we could have a hit on our hands. Its not like the DS doesnt have a large enough install base to sell a few copies.

Super Collapse 3: Oh, ho ho! A casual game shows up on the list of anticipated software releases! Theres a few reasons I chose this one. First of all, its coming out for both the DS and PSP (oddly enough, its cheaper on the PSP). Theres nothing like killing two birds with one stone, and thats essentially what youre doing when you release your title for both major handheld platforms. Then, you have to consider that its an addictive, block-destroying game that in its franchise history has sold over 500,000 copies. Finally, casual games are what people crave on handheld platforms, so this is really an easy call. Though it wont be a blockbuster, Super Collapse 3 is going to make quite a few bucks.

Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters: Heres an easy one to call. Ratchet and Clank, one of the longest running and most beloved Playstation franchises, is back again, and this time its on the PSP. This is almost the Sony equivilent of releasing a Sonic game, except that Ratchet and Clank hasnt veered dangerously into the world of horror that is taken up by the Sonic Team. This one is money in the bank.

Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner: From the man behind the popular Shin Megami Tensei games, comes a new RPG for the PSP called Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner. Featuring monster collection and battling, this is the kind of game that will appeal to all the Pokemon fans out there who want to try something new but not too new. Just relying upon the continued fascination with monster collection games and new RPG properties for the PSP, this game should do fairly well. If you discount the purchases made by fans of the genre, you also have the fans of Kouji Okada to consider. However, its hard to judge this kind of game and the market is fickle. When is more of the same just too much? You never know until you hit that point.

Thats enough quirky handheld gameplay to keep most gamers-on-the-go happy for a month or two at least. As always, if we missed anything, or there are any games that you feel we should look at, please tell us in the comments!

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