Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Merely For the Sake of Argument

There's two worst-of lists in my google reader today: Leigh Alexander over at Gamasutra and L.B. Jeffries both posted their year-end roundup of the worst in gaming, which are nearly as enjoyable as the best in gaming. Their mutual bête noire? The holiday game-release funpocalypse, which has made holistic analysis of the current gaming scene impossible to all save heavily medicated twelve-year olds. Seriously guys, when you're releasing these games, think of the critics. There is only so much fun that we can take.

...Which is why I can't weigh in on the question raised by Chris Suellentrop in my favorite year-end tradition, Slate.com's year-end critical roundtable with N'Gai Croal, Stephen Totilo, and Seth Schiesel. Chris asks if 2008 was the best year ever for games; since I've yet to play Far Cry 2, Fable II, Gears of War 2, or Imagine Babiez Pony Party 2 (possibly an actual game), I have no right to weigh in on this question.

So instead I'm going to make an end run on the whole discussion, evade the calendar year, and declare a Tiger Slam. The following games were released between August 14, 2007 and August 14, 2008 in the United States.

Bioshock
Rock Band
Portal
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Persona 3
Halo 3
Pixeljunk Eden
The World Ends With You
Super Mario Galaxy
Grand Theft Auto 4
Braid
Everyday Shooter
No More Heroes

There are others that could go on this list: Burnout Paradise, Wii Fit, Mass Effect, Boom Blox, Assassin's Creed, and Metal Gear Solid 4. All I'm saying is, I left deserving stuff off the list, merely for dramatic effect. Discuss.

4 comments:

thesimplicity said...

how are there no comments for this?

I don't think I realized the impact until I saw all these titles laid out like this: holy shit, that all happened in one year. If anything, this is the perfect counterpoint to the "games are growing stale" debate. Portal and Assassin's Creed upped the ante for game narratives tenfold. There were exercises in the familiar that helped redefined standards, like Persona 3 and Bioshock. Super Mario Galaxy and Boom Blox pretty much proved what games can be (I know it's cool to trash the Wii, but those two titles change things). And CoD4... and Rock Band... and Eden... and The World Ends With You... gah! It's too much.

For most critics it seems like "2008" equals October to December. 2008 was too good for gaming. As is every year. And that's not something I want to see change: I enjoy going to Toys R Us and having boxes fight for my food stamps. Can you imagine someone who's just now purchasing a new console? They'd be overwhelmed with quality titles. Which means devs will have to work harder to make their game stand out among all this amazing reduced priced stuff. Which means we all win.

But seriously, that list is a mindfuck.

Iroquois Pliskin said...

right? The list *is* a total mindfuck, in terms of both quality and quantity.

Maybe it's cheating to pick a non-calendar year but a great many of my all-time favorite games came out. I feel like there's a lot of year-end griping this year. But you're right, gaming is too good for us, except when it's not. (like when my third Xbox broke, today. Whee!)

Ninjeff said...

Why did you choose August 14th? I ask, not only because the date seems random, but because 8/14 is also my birthday.

Kiara said...

What is so special with August 14? I think the games you have posted captured my interest, especially these Call of Duty 4. I've been hearing that this is the counterpart of Wii Sports of Nintendo. I am a encouraged to play these Download Games. Honestly although its been a year, I haven't tried most of them.