Friday, January 9, 2009

Games Anticipated for 2009

I remember this time last year thinking that there was no way that 2008 could be as good a year for gaming as 2007 had been. As we all know, I was sorely mistaken and 2008 was a grand year to be a gamer and I feel that 2009 is going to be just as good. I only have my eyes and ears on a few games but I have listed other games that I am also interested in playing.

My Personal Most Anticipated

Halo Wars – This game looks deliciously fun and if it succeeds at its main promise, (intuitive control system) I am sure it will be one of my top games of the year.

Mass Effect 2 – If this actually comes out in 2009 I would be surprised. I haven’t heard anything to say that it is coming out this year but I haven’t heard anything on the contrary. Saying that it is coming out this year is just going on the assumption that it is going on the two year development plan (Gears of War 2, etc.) that so many games seem to have adopted.

Brutal Legend – This is my top anticipation for 2009 because Psychonauts was my favorite game of the last generation. Tim Schafer is a genius and I believe that this will be my favorite game of 2009 just based on whom it is coming from.

Games on 1UP’s List That I Will Probably Play

I had trouble remembering all of the games that were mentioned to come out this year so I was browsing Digg and came up with 1UP’s list and these are the few that I am interested in.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – This seems like it can be one of the most innovative games of 2009 (for its control system) and that is enough for me to play it. I am so very impressed with a lot of the games that come out for the DS.

Star Wars: The Old Republic – There are so many games that I am considering buying a new PC for and this is one of them. If this is any bit as good as the Knights of the Old Republic Games then I am sold. The fact that it is an MMO does nothing to dissuade me and knowing my addictive personality, once I start playing this game, I will not stop – unless it is awful.

Wolfenstein – I think I have to play this by proxy seeing as Wolfenstein 3D was the first game that I ever played where I started to play games seriously (as in more than just going over to my friends out to play his NES with him).

Diablo 3 – Do I need to even say anything? I realize that I probably do need to say something for all of those that read this who do not know who I am but seriously it is a Diablo game so yes, I do not really need to say anything more. I will say that this is another game that I am going to need a PC for.

Assassin’s Creed 2 – This was a game that I did not find on many ’09 lists but I would like to see where Ubisoft is taking this story.

Games I Might Consider Played Just to Say That I Am Open Minded

Prototype – I know nothing about this game and I probably will not until it comes out and I play it. The name is interesting enough and a friend has told me that he is interested. That is enough for me to be interested in it. How presumptuous is that?

Resident Evil 5 – I have no interest but I think I might rent this one just to say that I gave it a shot. Maybe I will love it. Maybe.


Bioshock 2 – I want this game to be great but like everyone else, I have huge doubts.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game – Read Bioshock 2

Halo 3: ODST – It is another Halo game and I’m not excited.

APB (All Points Bulletin) – I have my doubts on whether this one will come out this year but it is the one out of this set (“Others”) that I am the most interested in. It is from Realtime Worlds, which as we all know made Crackdown. This is also an MMO and if it comes out this year alongside The Old Republic then my time is in trouble.

It looks to be a solid year and I am sure this is only half of the list of games that will be on my games played post come the year’s end. It will be good to see what comes out of all of the conventions this year and I must say as a final note that I am anticipating the year to come.

P.S. - I also wanted to add that I am glad that I am not the only one who is observing this barren blogging wasteland. The only information that came out of CES was the reaffirmation of XBOX LIVE Primetime, a Halo Wars demo/release date that we already knew, some community game the is supposed to be like LittleBigPlanet, etc. Thanks to Joystiq for all of the information but seriously these are not new stories.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Game of the Year 2008 (GOTY)

10. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – This was a fun enough game that it deserves to be in my top ten. It was the best action Star Wars game that I have ever played and the story could not have been better in my opinion.

9. Too Human – This could have been higher in my top ten if the story parts of the game weren’t so poorly constructed. By no means am I saying that the game itself had a poor story, seeing as I want to see where it goes, but there was so little of it and the cut scenes were almost painful to watch at times because they were so poorly animated and put together. Though it does not really factor in, I am sure anyone who played the game will never forget the death animation. All in all the game was fun to play and when you knew what you were doing you truly felt like a Norse God.

8. Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 – For this game to not be in my ten would be a crime because this is my go to game when I do not know what I want to play. I might see Fallout or Gears of War in my game tray but if I am not feeling up to it Geo Wars is always what is booted up. The six modes that this game has, offers a game play style for any mood you might possibly be in. This is truly one fantastic game.

7. Grand Theft Auto IV – This is one of the games this year that I sunk a lot of my time into. It had a great cohesive whole. If you were to break off pieces you could see the flaws but still as a whole the game accomplished a lot. I had good fun with this game and though everyone is basically saying that this should be in no top ten I obviously disagree. It is not the greatest game ever made but it still does what does the best and I had a lot of fun with it (though I still want Crackdown 2).

6. Braid – Oh the horror, Braid is not even in my top five. It was a fantastic experience but ultimately I did not want to go back to it even though I am sure I forgot how to solve half of the puzzles. When I was playing it I had the greatest time and I thought it was ingenious. I still do. It does not change the fact that I had more fun with those games that are in the top five. Sorry but at least I can say that I am looking forward to Jonathan Blow’s next game.

5. Castle Crashers – Honest Fact: I absolutely love this game but still not as much as the hype had me wanting to. It is honestly the best game aesthetically that I have laid eyes on all year and definitely the most humorous (sorry Penny Arcade). The ending was unbelievably fantastic and it was definitely long enough. What was missing I cannot say but I expected to never want to play any other arcade game… ever and that is not the case. I probably have too high of expectations but I am a Behemoth fanboy and I cannot wait to see some DLC for this game.

4. Fable 2 – Fable 2 fixed all of Fable’s problems and I could probably leave it right there and that would be enough but alas I do have more to say. This game is clever, witty, and has one of the best campaigns in games all year. I love spending time in Albion but not as much as I love spending time in the Wasteland. Oops.

3. Gears of War 2 – This game is not at number three because of its campaign. It is in this spot because after all is said and done this is the game that will probably have the most longevity for me (that and my number one game). It has multiplayer that will undoubtedly be fixed and therefore be played by many for years to come. Millions purchased it so there will always be someone to play with. Oh yeah and horde is f’in delicious.

2. Fallout 3 – I know I have not completed this game but I also know that when I play it, I feel like I am part of this world. I love this game and that is all there needs to be said about that.

1. Left 4 Dead – This game is at number one because it has provided my friends and myself with an experience never had before. I freak out when I play this game and so does everyone around me. My wife plays this game with me. My wife does not play any game with me. There is not enough that I can say about this game other than the fact that I want more. I am not even worried about not having someone to play with in the future because I know I always have a team of four ready to play.

Honorable Mentions

Battlefield: Bad Company


Penny Arcade Adventures

Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Games Not Finished/Touched Upon

Mirrors Edge

Dead Space

The World Ends With You

I know I did not say anything about the other games that were not on my top ten but I do not feel that I had enough time with this game in order to properly judge it. I am sure it would have been in my top ten if I had finished it in time.

Prince of Persia

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Games Played This Past Year (2008)

These are the games that I played this year regardless of whether they came out this year or not. I am still not convinced that the list is long enough but I put more time into gaming this year than I ever have before. I do not think that this is because I am “more” into gaming than I was last year instead I think it results from the fact that more games came out this year than any other (at least that I wanted to play).

I am going to fully admit to cribbing Stephen Totilo’s style for this entry because I like the way he set up this kind of entry. I’ll list all of the games that I have put my hands on this year and italicize the completed ones.

Games played in 2008:

Battlefield: Bad Company

I completed the story of this game, which I found enjoyable and funny. The multiplayer was good fun but I never gave it the time it deserved.

Mass Effect

Though I know it is a game from 2007 I only completed it at the beginning of this year. Not only did I complete it, I think I played through it a full four times. It may be the only full-length title I have ever done that with (that is including the original Halo (which coincidentally was one of the only games that I had for the original Xbox (I think I have mentioned this before))).

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Another game from 2007 but the difference between this one and Mass Effect is that I did not complete the single player and I did not play the multiplayer enough. I’ll go back to it but I think that it will be a strictly gamescore venture. I am a little sad that I couldn’t be more into this title.

Grand Theft Auto IV
I did not love this game as some others loved it and I did not hate it as some others did. I liked this game for what it was. I believe that I liked this game so much when I played through it because I am a New Yorker and I felt like I was living this fantasy lifestyle in my own backyard. I think this game always deserved more points if you were a New Yorker. I enjoyed the story but by the end I just wanted the whole thing to be over. Since then it has lost some of its luster but it is still the only GTA game I have ever played to completion. And yes, I will probably be one of those who return to Liberty City for the DLC. I think it is worth it to return and drive around some more in my backyard.

Lego Indiana Jones
This was a game that was bought as a gift for my wife and I as a wedding present. We didn’t make it through mostly because we do not get a lot of time to game together.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance
This game was a gift for my birthday from my fellow blogger. He and I need to play through this since he lost all of his save data. I would like to complete this game but I always get distracted.

Viva Pinata
I’ll highlight this game as completed though one can never really complete it. The reason is that I had purchased this game a while ago and another game distracted me. Earlier this year, in early August, I decided that I needed to play through it to the best of my ability… and I did. I was greatly enjoyable and though I do not think I will go back to it, it has prompted me to be interested in VP: TIP (the sequel). I’ll probably play that when there is another dry spell of no games.

Fable 2

I finished this game albeit a few side quests that I will go back to. I want to play through for the other endings and I am sure I will when I find the time.

Too Human

This really was not a bad game. It had a few problems but nothing that won’t be remedied in an inevitable sequel. I learned something new (in terms of new attacks) about how to play this game until the moment I stopped playing it. The more one played this game the more one understood it and the more it became better and better.

Fallout 3
I have not yet completed this game but it is one of the greatest games I have ever played.

Gears of War 2

I can say that I have completed the story mode, though I am working through it on insane with two other people, but that is about all I can say. I haven’t properly played Horde mode and I haven’t properly played multiplayer.

Left 4 Dead

The only reason I can call this completed is because I played through all four campaigns but I will never “complete” this game because I do not ever want to stop playing it. No game has ever done for me what this game does for me… but more on that later… like next post later.

The World Ends With You
Once again… I have not yet completed this amazing game. It has taught me something else about games – you can always learn something new – how to use two screens at once to create an amazing experience.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village
This game was great fun and occupied a lot of my time. It probably would have been better if I hadn’t spoiled the ending for myself.

Castle Crashers

This was the best beat-em-up that I have played since TMNT. It is incredible and has my vote for the best art of the year. Again, more on this one later.

Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2
One cannot complete this game but one can have their soul tormented by pink blocks and blue diamonds. This sequel also caused me to have resurgence in interest in the original. I became better at the game and beat all of my friend’s high scores in the original. Now if only I could do the same in all of the modes of the sequel.


This was one of the greatest game play mechanics of this year and also one of the greatest game stories. It was also one of the most confusing game stories ever. More later.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

I greatly enjoyed this game but for more on that see my review. I want to play through it again (mostly for gamerscore reasons).

I wish I were skilled enough to be able to beat this game. It is a possibility that it will happen one day.

Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 1

Funny, witty, and amazing! Now I must find the time to play the second piece of it.

Scene It! BOS
Good times with friends but no end in sight.

Games I missed:

Ninja Gaiden 2
I played most of the original so that I could play this one but I have still yet to complete it so until then the sequel remains on hold.

Burnout Paradise
I know that at this point I am just waiting for the Ultimate Box version but I am exited to play it. This one was just a time issue. When it came out I was caught up in the world of Mass Effect and nothing was going to stop me from playing.

Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 2
See above.

Prince of Persia
This is another one that you know I have expressed interest in.

Dead Space
I want to play this but I feel like I am not going to like it as much as I want to. Don’t ask I really can’t explain.

Mirror’s Edge
And on the opposite end of the Dead Space spectrum I feel like I will love this game. I played the demo and now I just need to complete some other games and I will come back to play this.

All in all this was a good year for gaming and my next post will be my game of the year post in which you will see just what I thought of all of the games that I have played.