Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stay Frosty

So, we all know that games are supposedly one of those great forms of art that allow people to bring their own experiences along for the ride and as such enable each person to have their own favorites. 
But gaming is not like movies or a book or a painting, because games need an exhaustive amount of effort invested simply to ensure that the game is able let you play it. Then the game designers have to apply what is possible with some form of story and experience to make gameplay exist. Simply if a game fails on a mechanical level it would be the equivalent of what would happen if Leonardo had decided that the public wanted to see Mona Lisa so bad that he would simply have it put on display with only half of her face drawn in. 
As such games that fail to do this are usually derided by gamers and critics alike because they are not fun, even if the story is great or at the very least intriguing. 
But when certain local print publications begin posting their best of 2008 and put games with such glaring flaws in them, I begin to question that publications quality. To be fair a local newspaper is not the best source for hardcore gamers to go. Newspapers are literally the source of gaming info for the casual creature. 
There was a few grievous titles that were left on this list that make me question the quality of the list in general. 
First up, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Good game. Not best of the year by a long shot however. Especially in light of the fact that one mission is utterly broken (Dtar Sestroyer). This moment completely ruins the game. Also the fact that the game is basically God of War in Star Wars without blood or dismemberment, or the superb calibre of God of War's combat fluidity. Or considering that Ninja Gaiden II came out in July maybe you would think they'd at least try to compete with that.

Sure the maybe if you were a hardcore Star Wars fan you might call it one of the best of year, but then you have to explain that you are a hardcore Star Wars fan. This was not present. The story was good, but not superb.

Next up, Fable 2. Does advertising that you can jump fences, even though you really wont be able really qualify a game for best of the year? Or does shipping the exact same game with a slightly better combat engine? Maybe if you did this in 1 year. But if you did it over 5 years and said that the game will make you feel love and blah blah blah. I cannot reiterate Peter Molyneux's words here for fear that I may summon him, and listen to him hype me into oblivion.

Now maybe it isnt fair for me to bash the game because, well I never played it *wink*, but I will give this game credit for at least not being completely broken, well minus that thing that can break the game that needs a patch that still needs to come out, oh and there is the issue of the DLC that was planned to ship before Christmas that smacks of coulda made it into the gold code but Microsoft decided it would look better as 800 Microsoft points. 

really I'm just sore because games like Valkyria Chronicles, No More Heroes, The World Ends With You, Boom Blox, Burnout Paradise, Ninja Gaiden II, Rock Band 2. Hell they did not even include Metal Gear Solid 4 for fucks sake. I mean I'm sorry but the role of the gaming press should not be to hype the fuck out of what is already gotten 2 months worth of press coverage. At a year end best of the year you should remember the games that you played and you know other people did not play. I mean could drone on and on about GTA IV or Gears 2 or Mario Kart Wii, but i know they all sold in excess of 7 million copies and everyone who played them knows what I would say about them. But if I talk about games that less people played maybe they'll go out and grab those games, maybe they wont because I'm bashing the fuck out of the game but at least I'm giving the game something. But if people buy good games, more good games get made. If we praise adulations upon games that are technically broken, that exhibit signs that they dont know how to playtest (looking at you Star Destroyer pull down sequence) then they treat their paying customers like idiots.

I mean Force Unleashed and Fable 2 weren't bad games, they pretty fun. But they are mediocre games being included in list that is leaving out vastly superior games, that may only be lower profile. And that doesnt slide with me. Oh well at least the enthusiast press is a little better. I mean IGN gave Sins of a Solar Empire GotY, that gives some hope.

Oh and I've decided to simply put quotes from my favorite shows in the Title. Its fun that way.

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