Game of the year…

January 7, 2008

End of the year lists have always been a bit contrived. What is it about the end of the year that causes us to simply cut the line and say “This is where all games up to this point must be judged”.

Furthermore, these lists are generally dominated by titles released later in year. This isn’t really surprising, as we tend to remember much more vividly our recent memories. Still, a penalty is automatically applied to the early releases.

And with that, I present ofDanes 1st anual best game that was released late in the year. The nominies are…

  • Bioshock
  • Mario Galaxy
  • Mass Effect
  • Portal

BioshockIt isn’t really that hard to be frightening. It is, however, quite difficult to both induce fear and at the same time compel the user to trudge on excitedly in this frightening place. Bioshock pulled this trick off perfectly. The last time I really felt like that playing a game? System Shock 2(duh). That said, the game-play was far from perfect. As I progressed, I would come to a point and say to myself “This is the end right here”, and when it wasn’t, I was actually disappointed. That takes Bioshock out of the running.

Portal – There has been some debate about the select ability of The Orange Box as game of the year. The argument goes as such: It’s 4 games. Some of the games are old. Portal is really short. All quite true. But if you disqualify Orange Box as game of the year, why is COD4 considered? Short single player. Check. Good multiplayer. Check. By this categorization, just Portal and TF2 should be considered the game of the year. ‘

I don’t feel constrained by any such law of reviewing physics. As such, Portal is on my list of “BEST GAME FROM LATE IN THE YEAR”. It is short though. So it doesn’t win (hypocrisy reigns here).

Mario Galaxy – I nearly completed this game in about 2 days over ther break. You’d think I’d love it. But I’m very Meh about it in truth. I can see why people love it, just not for me. Zero Punctuation sums up my thoughts well.

Mass Effect – Admittedly, ME can be a buggy, unpolished mess. It’s also by far the most fun I had playing a game late in 2007. It has by far the most cinematic quality of any game I’ve ever played, and the combat was surprisingly fun. I can completely understand how people were underwhelmed by this game (epically given the lack of tutorials and general game play information early on). I personally didn’t have any problems figuring out all of the nooks and carnies, and I may have even had a bit more fun figuring them out. So congrats Bioware.

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