Stumbling upon PC Gamer‘s Big 10 of 2011 list of the games they’re anticipating for this year, I was rather surprised. PCG is one of, if not¬†the most respected gaming magazine in the industry, and I’m sure there’s more than a little bit of insider knowledge going into this particular article of theirs.

PC Gamer logoThat said, the reason for my surprise was twofold. They think that both Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2 are going to be out this year! Whoooooaaa there, Nelly. As much as I’d be in RPG heaven were this to happen, I just really can’t see it… though of course there’s that leaked release schedule document which was all over the interwebz last month suggesting 2011 might be the year after all. Perhaps a combination of waiting this long and being generally cynical about everything has made me over-patient.

Anyhow, as I switched my brain into “lurk” mode in work today, I got to thinking about what games I’d like to play – if elephants could fly – this year.¬†Daydreaming is fun! Keep reading after the jump to find out what I came up with.

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It made me laugh when I heard from a follow gamer in work today that Gran Turismo 5‘s release date of March for Japan has been pushed back yet again, this time indefinitely.

While us poor old westerners have never been given a solid idea of when we might see our version of the game, this announcement isn’t especially encouraging for those who are still waiting. Conspiracy theories abound (in several places) on exactly what the “production-related” issues are that Sony say have caused this latest delay – their unwillingness to set a new release date is a bit unnerving given how long the title has already been in development.

Now, I own a PS3, and although I can’t say GT5 was ever a game I was desperate to play on it, it bugs me how Sony have swung another hammer blow to a nail in the PS3′s coffin. How many more times are they going to drop the ball? Is it even a ball any more, or a mangled, deflated mass after being repeatedly dumped into a spiky burning pit of doom? Did they release the PS3 purely as an exercise in finding out the most cackhanded and drawn out way of systematically ruining a gaming platform? Sometimes it certainly seems that way.

Yes, I exaggerate. It probably isn’t that bad, and the pit wasn’t actually very spiky at all. Look on the bright side: at least Final Fantasy XIII appears to be on schedule…

IGF 2009

Gosh, this time of year seems to roll around quicker and quicker lately. The finalists for 2009′s Independent Games Festival [link] have been announced and you can check the list of finalists and award nominations right here.

Night GameOther than the contenders that you may already know about like Cortex Command [link] and – rather inexplicably, I must say – You Have To Burn The Rope [link], here’s a sprinkling of entries that I think deserve an immediate mention…

  • Night Game [pictured], a non-violent physics puzzler designed by Nicklas “Nifflas” Nygren alongside other talented folks from Nicalis.
  • Dyson [link], from Rudolf Kremers and Alex May. A procedurally-generated RTS with a soothing ambiance but frantic gameplay – it’s come a long way since the TIGSource competition where it originated, and what’s more, it’s made in the UK! Yay!
  • Mightier [link], giving that printer and webcam of yours something useful to do! Create landscapes in this 3D platformer from Ratloop by drawing them on a printed piece of paper then scanning them back into the game.

More coverage of this year’s IGF to come in the following weeks, but for now, good luck to all the finalists!

Even as I write this they’re fixing some initial opening hitches, but earlier yesterday, Sony officially announced that they’re opening the doors on their “social gaming community” named Home. Everyone on the planet should have access to it within the next 24 hours or thereabouts, so I guess it’s time to see if there’s anything of any actual use or if it’s just another entry into Sony’s catalogue of errors…

Keep track of the most recent developments as the beta opens up on the European community messageboard.