Thank you, "Mass Effect 3."
The year's first blockbuster has whet our appetites for an incredible slate of high-end releases and potential sleeper hits due in the coming months.
And "Game Cache," b's new gaming blog, will be all over them. We'll be covering the exciting medley of sequels, re-boots, and imaginative new titles coming to a console, PC, or mobile device near you. Let us be your guide, as you declare 2012 the year you rediscover what you love about video games.
Here are 15 titles to make your palms sweaty with anticipation.
'Ninja Gaiden 3'
Xbox 360/PS3/Wii U
Release: March 20
If there is one consistent aspect in the storied "Ninja Gaiden" series (going all the way back to the NES) it's a high degree of difficulty. "Ninja Gaiden 3" finds entirely new ways to make you feel inferior, with harder enemies and more gruesome katana sword attacks. However, the lasting quality of "Ninja Gaiden 3" may actually rest in how well it will demonstrate the features of the new Wii U console when it launches later this year.
Release: April 17 (rumored)
It's been over a decade since "Diablo II" (Blizzard's been a little busy in that time), but the anticipation for this dungeon-crawling point-and clicker has hardly waned. The beta version of the game indicates a good balance between class specialization, looting and good old hack-and-slash fun. Blizzard also seems to have addressed the offline black market that was rampant in "Diablo II" with a sanctioned "Auction House."
'Max Payne 3'
Release: May 15
The third title in the "Max Payne" series takes place eight years after "Max Payne 2" and is set primarily in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The early word on the game, based on an IGN.com hands-on, is that multiplayer is the real prized feature of "Max Payne 3." By weaving a compelling story and the series' trademark "Bullet time" into the team online "Gang Wars," Rockstar is going for a true advancement in the online shooter experience.
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