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Whether you consider yourself a casual gamer or a hardcore Nintendo fan, you'll have plenty to look forward to in spring 2010. While the upcoming blockbuster titles for Nintendo Wii (Super Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid: Other M, and the new Zelda title) don't have set release dates yet, you can bide your time with a ton of new third party games. Here's a list of the ones you should keep an eye on as their release dates draw near.
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Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest
The Nintendo Wii came too late in the game to ride the massive bandwagon of Lord of the Rings-themed video games when the movie trilogy hit theaters, but now Wii fans can finally take on the role of the sword-slinging ranger-turned-king in Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest. Playing as titular character Aragorn, you'll shake your Nunchuk to bash foes with your shield, use the on-screen pointer to aim your bow, and waggle your Wii Remote to slash your way through 13 levels taken directly from the trilogy. The Shire serves as the game's main overworld, where you'll take on the role of a young hobbit. The young halfling will listen to tales of Aragorn's greatness as told by Samwise Gamge, which is where the levels come into play. Oh, and it looks like this:
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Don't be put off by the childish graphics, though. This upcoming Wii game could bridge the gap between casual and hardcore gamers with its two player co-op. A second player jumps in as Gandalf, using only the Wii Remote to cast various spells as the white wizard automatically wanders around the battlefield, creating the perfect opportunity for a less-experienced gamer to join in the action. At any rate, this upcoming Wii game is certainly one to keep an eye on. It launches April 13, 2010.
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LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
By now we all know what to expect from LEGO games: you'll traverse through movie-themed worlds made entirely from LEGO bricks, unlocking new characters along the way to create increasingly unlikely pairings. Indiana Jones and R2 D2 battling Darth Vader on the bridge of the Death Star? Why not!
Although not much is known about the game yet, we can guess that the game will be broken into four main chapters (similar to how the LEGO Star Wars and Indiana Jones games were divided into sections), will take you through key scenes from each book, and will offer stellar multiplayer. The official website boasts that the game's Hogwarts locale is "the largest, most detailed LEGO game location ever built" and you'll be able to unlock a whopping 100 characters throughout the game. We can only hope the series' penchant for cameos carries over so we can duke it out as Batman or Luke Skywalker against baddy Lord Voldemort. This upcoming Nintendo Wii game is set to release May 3, 2010.
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Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
The verbosely-titled Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon will take you on a beautiful adventure through a haunting, post-apocalyptic world.
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This adventure RPG title uses a flashlight mechanic similar to the one found in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, but fortunately you won't be without a weapon. Protagonist Seto wields a sword in addition to the flashlight. While combat plays a role, Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the moon places equal if not greater emphasis on exploration and searching for other survivors in its strange world. Look for this upcoming Wii game on shelves on March 16, 2010.
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Monster Hunter Tri
The Monster Hunter series, though wildly popular in Japan, has never garnered much attention stateside. Monster Hunter Tri should change that. Let's get the graphics out of the way first.
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Yes. Like High Voltage did with The Conduit, developer Capcom has pushed the Wii hardware's limits to create a beautiful 3D world and awesome character models. Capcom has also eliminated other common gripes about the Nintendo Wii. You hate pointless waggle controls? You can turn them off or use the Classic Controller for Monster Hunter Tri. You hate friend codes? Capcom has developed their own online system, free of annoying friend codes. According to an IGN preview of the title, Capcom is even attempting to bring Wii Speak support to the stateside release of the game. Keep an eye on this upcoming Wii game, as its set to release on April 6, 2010. You'll be able to pick up the game by itself or as part of a bundle with a black Classic Controller.
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Red Steel 2
By most accounts, Ubisoft's original sword-slashing shoot-em-up Red Steel was a massive failure. That's not all the developers' fault, though, since the problem started with the limitations of the Nintendo Wii hardware. Gamers wanted true one to one swordplay, and the original Wii Remote just couldn't deliver. Summer 2009's release of the Wii MotionPlus and Wii Sports Resort changed that. As we saw in Wii Sports Resort's swordplay mini-game, true one to one sword fighting is now possible. Even better, Ubisoft is utilizing the technology for Red Steel 2.
In addition to the addition of MotionPlus, Red Steel 2 has undergone a graphical overhaul--now in the cel shaded style of popular titles like No More Heroes. You'll be able to pick up Red Steel 2 on March 23, 2010, either as a bundle with the Wii MotionPlus or game only.