The AbyssThe Abyss

Posted on Jan 4th 2009 at 04:06:36 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Feature, Year in Review, Modern Gaming

2008 is over, and has been now for almost three days. Is it sad? Nah, sure the economy hit the dump and many developers went belly up but that does not mean that there were not some great moments in gaming over the year. Sadly, there were also bound to be some disappointments as well. Being now 2009, it seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect on the previous year as it pertains to games. Let's all do that, shall we? I'll start.

The Good
My Wii Library: Sure lots of people like to knock on the Wii as the perpetual source of shovelware (see Target: Terror), but that doesn't mean that there haven't been quite a few diamonds in the rough. I mean, look at No More Heroes. That game is absolutely pure awesome, and it's an exclusive. I mean I liked it so much that it had an unsolicited ad on the site. That's a quality game right there if you ask me. But it's more than No More Heroes. Okami was awesome, even if it was a port. De Blob was probably the biggest breath of fresh air that I've played in a long time, and then there some gems in WiiWare, namely World of Goo. I mean, damn, that game is fun, certainly not my game of the year (No offense to you IGN but DeBlob was better, but still a treat). Surely, for all the flak the Wii gets it does in fact have some gems, and I enjoyed them. Here's to you diamonds in the crap.

Buying a PS3: Sure, it's expensive as hell, but I enjoy having it. I have GTA IV, Eternal Sonata, Guitar Hero, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift (for free), and LittleBigPlanet; and so far I love the games I have. Sure, GTA is just a nicer version of III, but I still love it and there is the gem that is LittleBigPlanet. LittleBigPlanet is interesting. At it's core it is just a good platformer, but then they take it to a whole new level through community interaction. There are so many community levels that it at times seems like a totally different game. It's really damn cool, if you ask me. And then there is Guitar Hero: World Tour. Sure, it's a Rock Band knockoff and my guitar tilt sensor is broken, but it's fun to play drums and the likes. While I imagine my electric bills will be a tad higher now that I have the PS3 and subsequently rehooked up my audio receiver I'll survive, even with my four day furlough.

The Bad
Playstation Home: It was supposed to be AWESOME! Instead it seems to a place where you wait a long time to bowl and if you're a girl you get surrounded by guys who won't let you escape while they dance around you. Here's to you, PlayStation Home, you're the nongame I thought would be interesting but in your current manifestation is terrible!

Spore: Spore was supposed to be the game to end all games, Will Wright's biggest achievement. Instead, to me it seems like five mini games strewn together in a game that makes you wishing for more. Sure, you can design stuff til your heart's content, but if you want a game, there's just not much there, and that makes me a sad panda.

The Ugly
DRM and Spore: Let's not kid ourselves here, SecuROM is an evil, evil thing that deserves to be sent to the lowest circles of hell. Unfortunately, EA deems SecuROM a necessary evil and has included it on several of its games, including Spore. Well, its inclusion into Spore was ugly, very ugly. See, in its original form you could only install it on three PCs and you could not deauth installations, so if you like to reformat you were pretty screwed. This copy protection caused the Amazon rating to tank, and it was precious. EA has completely some improvements to the DRM in Spore, but to a certain extent it's still atrocious. Here's to your future EA!

Goodbye, Studio X: God, the economy in the second half of 2008 has been brutal. If you are looking for a job, or if you have a government job (like me) this economy probably has you a little bit jittery. Sadly, the recession did not bode well for quite a few developers. Factor 5 was known for Rogue Squadron and most recently the poorly received game Lair. Unfortunately, economy hasn't been to kind to Factor 5's employees, as the company was forced to close. It's sad really, but they aren't the only ones to close. Free Radical? Essentially closed. Midway? Bankrupt. It's sad times we live in, and when you look beyond the realm of games the times we live in are truly scary. It's an ugly, ugly time for game developers, and I hope the future is brighter for them.

So, 2008. How was it for you? What's your, good, bad, and ugly? I imagine your thoughts and my thoughts are different, and as such I want to know, I really truly want to know, what they exactly are. Share them with us in the comments.

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I got a 80 Gig MGS4 PS3 bundle for my Birthday!!!  My wife bought it Months b4 my bday so I could have a backwards compatible PS3.

It crapped out after a couple weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had to settle for a newer 80 gig PS3 that isn't backwards compatilbe.
The Good: Fallout 3. - The only game on my 2008 List 'em that actually came out. Tongue It was better than I had hoped and it made for a shining light in an otherwise bland Holiday gaming season.

It was also the year, thanks to BioWare, I got to enjoy a great Sonic game for a change (Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood). Now that doesn't happen as often these days.

The Bad: Valkyria Chronicles - I was really looking forward to this game. It was supposed to be the first of my PS3 RPGs but I ended up being really disappointed in it's pace which I found to be much too slow and tedious. "The Good" of it is I saved $70 by not buying it.

The Ugly: Xbox RRoD - My second machine with the new chipset, dies on me during the Holidays as I prepare to fire up some gaming gifts I had received.
Good-Got over 300 Import games and a Duo-R for $40 as well as a Wonderswan FF1 LE pack for $45!
Bad-Met girl, fell for girl, fell hard for girl, lost girl.  Single life is great when it's by your own choice, not so much when you you still feel she was right months after it's over.
Ugly-Family crisis after crisis all year long with atleast half of it visiting one or more family members in the hospital.
Stupid-I've been playing Disgaea DS sense October.  I've got over 200 hours invested in the damn game and cant stop playing it.  I play it nearly every single day but I just cant stop playing it.  I swear I've got more time invested in it then some do in their PhD.

Good: No More Heroes = "pure awesome"
Good: DLC - so many great titles - Ikaruga, Rez HD, Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Braid, Galaga Legions, Bionic Commando Rearmed, Mega Man 9, etc.

Bad: Xbox 360 RRoD - at least I managed to beat Gears 2 before it died.
Good: Laser Ball - My first pinball machine. I'm still working on it and it is a long way from being finished but it's great to have and lots of fun to work on and play.
PS3 - I bought a "broken" 20 gig for 150 and found out that it works perfectly. I've been able to pick up a few games for it but I think I like it more as a blu-ray player
Dragon Warrior III proto - My first proto and it'll be staying in my collection forever. Now all I need to do is track down protos for all the other Dragon Warrior games and my collection will be complete.

Bad: Wii - I really want to want to play it but I just can't I bought Mario Kart wii and I still haven't opened it. It just sits there unloved, I have hope in 09 if I am able to get WiiFit that I'll get more use out of it.

Ugly: All the shovelwear that is still coming out for the Wii. I love oddball unknown games but only if they are playable. I think Nintendo has to go back to the rules they had in place with the NES only 3 games per year per company. Maybe then studios will spend more than a weekend on games.
Good: Lots of great games for the 360 - Left 4 Dead, Gears of War 2, GTA4, Sid Meier's Civ Revolution, etc. and a lot to look forward to in 2009 (SF4, RE5, Halo Wars, Prototype, Borderlands, Halo 3: ODST, Bioshock 2, Dragon Age:Origins, etc.).

Bad: Not enough time to play all the great games that came out this year. Still don't have a copy of Fallout 3, Soul Calibur 4, or Call of Duty 4. Anxious to get Fable 2 again, but I don't regret trading in my copy towards Left 4 Dead. Lastly, had a lot of family issues to deal with, similar to Fuyukaze's; we all got through it, though, so that makes it "good", I guess? Undecided

Ugly: RROD. Had it hit just days after Gears 2 released. The process went rather smoothly, though, and I got my own repaired console back in less than 3 weeks.
The good: I'm finally enjoying modern systems while they're still modern. I got the Wii and 360 this year. Although I got the 360 for Christmas, so I didn't get to play it a whole lot in '08.

I also amassed a ton more games and systems for the ol' collection. Several rare and high price items and semi-obscure systems.

The really good: I joined the staff here, best thing to happen to me all year.

The bad: I didn't have enough time to play games as much as I would like, with school taking up nearly the entire week and then work and garage saling taking up the weekend. I just didn't have any free time. But, it's always like that and unless I win the lottery, I'll never have as much time as I would like.

The ugly: Running out of room for my collection. Too many games in too little time left me reorganizing my collection weekly. And I've still got hundreds of duplicates to get rid of.

Bad: Order of Ecclesia (Not bad but huge disappointment)
Ugly: Your face


I see what you did there. God, if my face is ugly than yours must be atrocious.

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