Release Date: TBA 2010
What It Is: Astro Tripper joins a long line of top-down arcade shooters. Like the classic Defender before it, Astro Tripper puts players in control of a small spaceship which can only fire to the left or to the right. Although the ship can move freely around the environment, players will have to navigate the game's four worlds and blast alien baddies like it's their job.
Why It's Hot: When Astro Tripper first hit the PlayStation Store, it impressed us with its straight-forward, satisfying gameplay and trippy visuals. Now that it's on the way to Sony's portable, PSP owners can get in on the action and take Astro Tripper on the go. Considering the game's simple nature, the PSP seems like the perfect fit for the top-down shooter.
Release Date: May 2010
What It Is: Not a typical Disgaea game, Disgaea Infinite is a "visual novel" set within the popular anime universe. If you haven't been lucky enough to play a previous Disgaea game, they're some of the best turn-based strategy titles around and are full of wacky, comical characters. Fans will find familiar faces in Infinite like Laharl, Etna, and Flonne.
Why It's Hot: Sure, a new Disgaea strategy game would be nice, but we'll take what we can get from developer NIS. We love these characters and the developer's sense of humor, so an interactive novel set in the Netherworld could be very entertaining. Plus, it stars a Prinny, dood. These types of games are popular in Japan but are uncommon here in the West.
Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake
Release Date: April 27, 2010
What It Is: Imagine a cartoony looking game the likes of Animal Crossing and toss in buckets of blood for when you hack an opponent up with an axe – that's Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake. Your goal is to get to the opponent's castle, grab your princess and get the lady back to your base without losing the opposing princess you have in your dungeon. How do you keep her there? Force feed her cake so she's too heavy to move.
Why It's Hot: This is everything that made up the PS3 version of the game along with a bunch of new maps and modes. You can still go online for multiplayer mayhem, there are still a ton of classes to tinker with and find the best ways to kill, and you still have hilarious dialogue from the British announcer to listen to.
Iron Man 2
Release Date: May 4, 2010
What It Is: Just in time for the movie with the same name, Iron Man 2 tosses you back into the metallic boots of one Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man to the likes of you and us. You'll fly through the air, shoot ion blasts from your hands, and probably hit on one or two ladies along the way.
Why It's Hot: The first Iron Man movie rocked and made a ton of new fans for the storied franchise; sadly, the game wasn't that great. With a new movie coming out, the fans are all riled up, and SEGA's out to deliver a game worthy of old shellhead. Play as Iron Man AND War Machine? OK, you have our attention…
LEGO Harry Potter
Release Date: May 4, 2010
What It Is: The first four Harry Potter books/movies are getting the LEGO treatment. Take the Harry who has no idea what he's doing from the start of the first film to Diagon Alley. Go into Tom Riddle's memory with plastic blocks. Have your friends drop in and out at will while you fool around in the Gryffindor common room.
Why It's Hot: People love the LEGO games – collecting studs, unlocking characters, and watching some of their favorite memories get turned into cute little cutscenes without words. People also love Harry Potter – wands, flying, and spells. Put them together in a game kids and adults can play together, and you're set for fun.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Release Date: June 8, 2010
What It Is: After the events of Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Big Boss has setup his "Military Without Borders" and is training an army of mercenaries. When a professor shows up with a mission in Costa Rica, Big Boss is pulled back into the world of totally crazy plot twists and Metal Gears.
Why It's Hot: Duh, it's Metal Gear. Yes, fans can't get enough of Naked Snake's exploits, and Peace Walker doesn't look like a slouch – the game's got a brand new control scheme, beautiful graphics, and four-player co-op missions. It's Metal Gear Solid, and after this long, we really don't need that much information to know it's going to be good.
Mimana Iyar Chronicles
Release Date: March 2010
What It Is: Mimana is yet another Japanese role-playing game to find its home on the PSP. In Mimana, players will find all the JRPG traditions they know and love, including anime-style character designs, random battles, and a hero that owes money to the Mercenary Guild. If you have a long trip ahead of you, this is the kind of game you should have on hand.
Why It's Hot: The PSP has been boasting a number of high-quality JRPGs, and Mimana could be among them. With a stylized, 2D battle system that has a touch of action mixed in for good measure, Mimana should be an entertaining romp. Although we don't know much about how the story will fare, the gameplay looks solid and we're eager to see more.
Release Date: May 25, 2010
What It Is: Take the creating and sharing that made LittleBigPlanet a hit and combine it with an HD version of Mario Kart – that's ModNation Racers. You can create your own drivers, karts and even tracks in this one before logging online and sharing them with the world – either by uploading them for people to see or racing your opponents' wheels off.
Why It's Hot: The PSP has been dying for a great kart racers, and ModNation Racers looks like it's got what it takes. The things you can create are wholly unique and the options for sharing and downloading are really impressive. Add in that driving actually feel great, and you've got a racer you need to watch.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Release Date: May 18, 2010
What It Is: Set between Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within, this game casts you as the prince and challenges you to platform, rewind time, and fight off hordes of mystical dudes in order to stop the sand army tearing your world apart.
Why It's Hot: This is a title harkening back to Sands of Time, and that was one of the coolest games around. The original voice of the Prince is back, you can now harness the power of the elements for special attack, and the platforming is even more mind-bending now that you can freeze water and use it to traverse the environment.
The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest
Release Date: April 13, 2010
What It Is: A family friendly version of The Lord of the Rings Story, as told by Samwise Gamgee. Players control the hero Aragorn as they play through familiar events from the movies, only now with small twists since they're being embellished by a silly old hobbit.
Why It's Hot: Sure, it's obviously geared towards kids, but the little we've seen so far seemed pretty entertaining. The Wii version has two player co-op (where the second player controls Gandalf) so that should also help when your little brother starts screaming to let him play.