2008 in Review Part 4

Games, I have always believed, would benefit from acceptance into mainstream culture: once the stigma that video games entertained only troglodytic nerds disappears, the scope of what games are allowed to be would increase. This has started to happen, as, despite the whining and hand wringing of those who want games to remain in their and only their basements, gaming has expanded over the past several years. Part of this has been in the form of non-gamers picking up controllers, but my bet is that most of it is ex-gamers picking them up again, or twenty-somethings not putting them down as they (we) age.

This expansion has meant that the collective entity known as “gamers” now has much broader tastes: broader in terms of theme and maturity as well as content. →  Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about huffing paint.

2008 in Review Part 3

Being an optimistic person, I’d like to discuss some of the things I was disappointed with in ’08. Last year must have been the first since I reached financial independence that I played games on only one publishers system; in 2008 I was a Nintendo fanboy.

Oddly enough, I am not adding the Wii in ’08 to my list of disappointments. No More Heroes, House of the Dead, Mario Kart, Boom Blox, Strong Bad, World of Goo, De Blob, and Dokapon Kingdom all came in ’08 and while I may have quirky, Japan-centric (or shitty) taste, I was content.

I am disappointed that I refuse to learn lessons from past game purchases. The following are games that aren’t necessarily bad, just games I should have known I didn’t need:

Endless Ocean – The idea that games can be anything they want and don’t need to fit into a pre-defined mold is noble. →  [post launches in virtual reality]

2008 in Review Part 2

Many folks are saying that 2008 was a bad year for games. I think this is true in the sense that almost no Triple-A release lived up to their hype or potential. However, if you embrace a wide range of consoles and genres, there was a lot to love this year. Here are some of the more remarkable games from this year. Note that I don’t like them all, but each left a mark on my mind.

Burnout Paradise

Don’t let the hate fool you – Burnout Paradise is the future of “open world racers,” or whatever the hell you want to call them. One reason is that it plays like a spiritual successor to Midtown Madness, a game that existed before “open world” and GTA3 were in our vocabulary. Midtown was striking in that it made its city the spotlight of the game. →  Gotta get down on Friday.

2008 in Review Part 1

I like to pretend that my favorite games will always be the classics, but this year has been quite a trial for that facade. Every year more and more games come out, and I have no chance to play just the ones that people recommend to me, much less all of them. The games I have played are good enough that I know 2008 was a good year for games, not just in terms of volume but in terms of quality. The DS has gotten a bunch more good games (even if it still has only a few great ones), the PC, XBox360, and PS3 have been receiving a host of games with a few standouts each, and even the Wii has gotten a game or two I’ll at least be keeping on my shelf if not playing again. →  Lamers so loved the world that they gave their only article, so that everyone who believes in reading won’t perish but will have eternal lives.