If the release dates hold -- although, of course, they rarely do -- there are quite a number of promising titles on the way next month:
* 11/4: Dynasty Warriors 4 - Xtreme Legends
Another add-on pack for Koei's beat-em-up franchise. If the Skirmishes mode (randomly-generated short stages) makes the final build, it'll provide even more replay value for Three Kingdoms fanatics.
* 11/4: FIFA Soccer 2004
Whether it's the best soccer game this year or not is irrelevant -- the EA junkies out there already have it reserved.
* 11/4: SOCOM: US Navy Seals II
More state-of-the-art online bang-bang.
* 11/5: Lupin III: Treasure of Sorceror King
This one has me nervous, as the Banpresto and Bandai logos are rarely positive signs. However, it's a great license, and the early reports are positive (sort of a Metal Gear Solid in the Lupin universe).
* 11/10: Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly
I thought the first one was underrated, and the trailer looks SWEET. (If any game on this list is likely to have its release date slip, though, it's this one. Tecmo has a habit of that, and this one's already moved once.)
* 11/11: Medal of Honor: Rising Sun
More bang-bang, this time in Japan.
* 11/11: XIII
A cel-shaded FPS? And it's not bad? We'll see.
* 11/17: Monster Rancher 4
Again, Tecmo might bump this back again, but apparently it's on Sony's production schedule now, so it shouldn't be long.
* 11/17: Midway Arcade Treasures
For once, this is a BEEFY classics compilation, even if it's mostly games already available for the PSX. 23 emulated games for $20 isn't bad at all, though.
* 11/17: Spy Hunter 2
More of the same, but the last one wasn't bad.
* 11/18: Battlestar Galactica
* 11/18: Final Fantasy X-2
It's a Final Fantasy game. Fans and haters have already made their purchasing decisions accordingly.
* 11/18: Manhunt
Rockstar's latest game has SERIOUS potential, if it's handled right. (Some sites are kvetching that they haven't seen a beta build yet, which is rarely a good sign -- sort of like movie studios withholding previews so they get a decent first-week turnout before the word-of-mouth kicks in.)
Basically, it's The Running Man, and you're the one running. Heavy emphasis on stealth and using sound and shadows (or lack thereof) to your advantage.
Not a bad half-month, in all. Anything I missed that others are looking forward to?
"There were times when I intensely wanted to walk out of the theater and into the fresh air and look at the sky and buy an apple and sigh for our civilization, but I stuck it out." -- Roger Ebert
Hell October wasnt even that bad with Castlevania and tomorrow's Smackdown HCTP. November is a great month for games all around with Mario Kart on Gamecube, and Ninja Gaiden on the X-box (plus countless other games I'm sure)
Mr. Burns: You are of course familiar with our state usury laws? Homer:U-sur-y? Mr. Burns: Oh silly me, I must have just used a word that doesn't exist.