Sunday, December 23, 2007

2K7 Game-a-Week: The Wrap-up

As I start writing this, there are only a handful of days left in '07 (if your hand could hold 8 days). Looking back on the 2K7 posts I've made, I'm struck by how few there actually are that kept to my "vision". Things came up and getting around to playing that new game every week sort of fell apart. But, I have to say that at least I enjoyed the games I did get in and it's probably more than what I would have played if I had started with no plan at all.

So, for 2008, I've come up with a different idea (not necessarily better, just different). In my "collection", there are games that I really should have played by now. Games that fueled forum posts, graced magazine covers, and landed on numerous "piles of shame". As I seem determined not to be dragged into the next generation of gaming, I think it's especially important that I tackle each of these before moving on to more high definition pastures.

For the most part, I haven't picked any particular order for these. Only a few, like October's fare, for example, fit a particular theme. I also decided to go on a monthly schedule as these games warrant more than what I can manage in a week's time.

Jan. Final Fantasy X (PS2)
Feb. Ico (PS2)
Mar. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (Xbox)
Apr. Beyond Good & Evil (Xbox)
May Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2)
Jun. God of War (PS2)
Jul. Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
Aug. Splinter Cell (Xbox)
Sep. Halo 2 (Xbox)
Oct. Manhunt (Xbox) \ Fatal Frame (Xbox)
Nov. Okami (PS2)
Dec. Devil May Cry 1, 2 & 3 (PS2)

All year: Animal Crossing (Cube)

I haven't put in DS or GBA games as they can be played at off-times at work. These are ones that I have to be at a console for the experience. While there aren't any Gamecube games on the list, having Animal Crossing be a year long run seemed like a good way to experience all the assorted holiday treats it provides.

And since every other source of on-line gaming goodness is doing their End of the Year specials, I humbly present my own:

Major stories of 2007:

A Wii Comes Home - Yes, this was the year I dove into a platform that I expressed perhaps more hate for than the DS. Insanely, the Wii is just as hard to get this Xmas as last, selling nearly a million units in November alone! Since its original release it has never been "easy" to obtain. I got mine by being in Gamestop at the right time. And I've been very happy with the purchase. The Wii is a nice, simple kind of gaming fun. It may herald the end of the "serious" video game, but I have a feeling that the last generation was the final bastion for that style anyway.

Still no HD - Unless things change dramatically, there will be no 360 (or even less chance, a PS3) in my corral of game devices. Hell, I already run 5, so why do I need more? Basically the problem is price and selection - the Premium is $350, but I really would prefer the Elite, which is another $100. Five hundred dollars (or more) for a game system (assuming tax and some accessories) is just ridiculous. I'll get a 360 when I can get a Premium system for $250.

A DS for mom - Yup, seemed like a long shot, but she likes it. Plays the Clubhouse games during commercials while watching TV. I guess Ninny's plan to make a system even casual gamers can play didn't go so badly.

A change of MMO's - This year saw a major shift - one away from FFXI. We had come to a halt as far as what our characters could do. Funny how easy it was to walk away from 2 1/2 years of building up a character. We've started into Guild Wars (after a brief detour into Dungeon Runners) and that seems to be going very well.

End of Year Collection Tally - The total number of my games (PS2, Xbox, Cube, DS, GBA, Wii, SNES, N64, PS1) as of the end of 2007 is 880. And I still need to add in my Genesis and original Gameboy games. Good grief!

Game of the Year - Mind you, this is "my" game of the year, as in what game did I play this year that I had the most fun/best experience with. The nominee's for Chessasaur's Game of the Year 2007 are:

Bioshock (PC) for presenting a vision of an undersea city gone mad
Guild Wars (PC) for showing me there can be beauty and fun again in an MMO
Call of Duty (PC) for putting me in the blasted streets of Stalingrad and caring about my virtual squad mates
Wii Sports (Wii) for pure bowling and golfing joy
Oblivion (PC) for a rich sword and sorcery world (but with ugly people)
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS) for letting me touch a dream

And the winner is...........Wii Sports! As much as the other games stand out, Wii Play was the portal into a new type of gaming. It was more than going through the simulated motions. It was lots of OMG moments when a pin or a ball did something I didn't expect and I broke that 4th wall and was part of the game.

Congratulations to all the contenders and let's see what 2008 brings!

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