Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Best Games of 2008

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the obligatory-year-end-top-lists dept.

Games 109

As the year comes to an end, most game sites are putting up lists highlighting their favorite games of 2008. Gamasutra is no exception, but they've nicely consolidated a variety of lists, and included some of their reasons and commentary to go with them. The topics range from the best overlooked games (Soul Bubbles and Pure) to the best new gameplay mechanics (first-person parkour in Mirror's Edge and Spore's procedural content generation) to the best overall games of the year (Fallout 3, World of Goo, and LittleBigPlanet). What were your top games of 2008?

cancel ×

109 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Fallout 3 (3, Interesting)

Middle - Adopter (906754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277327)

I'm an avid gamer, and Fallout 3 was the best game hands down this year. Bionic Commando: Rearmed was pretty great too, for a Xbox Live title. But beyond those two, this was actually a great year for games: GTA IV, Mirror's Edge, Far Cry 2, Gears of War 2...man, I wish I didn't have to go to bed now! :/

Re:Fallout 3 (3, Insightful)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277525)

Dissenting opinion:

Fallout 3 had potential, but IMO it was definitely worse than the first two. I even though I was going to love it for the first 5 hours or so, but that turned out to be a premature judgement.

Nonsense story, terrible and surprisingly limited ending, very few side-quest arcs (and even fewer that had a satisfying payoff), and only 3 cities, only one of those had anywhere near as much depth as even Klamath did in F2.

IMO, STALKER:Shadow of Chernobyl is a better Fallout game than Fallout 3 is, and it isn't a Fallout game at all.

I do think the opening section was superb, and the VATS system managed, against all odds, to give an FPS-style game a very Fallout feel. Megaton was a good starting city, but was just a set-up for a big let-down when the player realized that they'd already found the most interesting city in the game right after stepping out of the vault.

If the modding community does to F3 what it did to Oblivion (and, to a lesser extent, Morrowind) then we'll see a thoroughly mediocre game with great underlying technology turn in to a spectacular game over the next couple years. As it stands, though, F3 missed the mark on so many points that should have been no-brainers that it isn't (yet) the classic that F1 and F2 are.

Bethesda needs to spend more money on writers and less on their managers that keep shipping obviously-unfinished games out the door.

On a happier note, I've finally decided to revisit Oblivion with a score of major mods installed, and I've spent more time playing through one of several very interesting regional quests added by one of the mods than I did on the entire main quest in vanilla Oblivion. It's amazing. It looks better, it plays better, there's more to do, and it's become one of my favorite games of all time. I hope for the sake of one of my favorite franchises that I'll be able to say the same of Fallout 3 in a few years.

Re:Fallout 3 (5, Interesting)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277569)

Nonsense story, terrible and surprisingly limited ending, very few side-quest arcs (and even fewer that had a satisfying payoff), and only 3 cities, only one of those had anywhere near as much depth as even Klamath did in F2.

- Nonsense story, completely true, you are thrust into a world where you can live a life of any range of karma (angel, good, neutral, bad, evil) but no matter how to choose to live your life the main story is always the same. The Water of Life. Not open ended and extremely boring. Forcing the player into a boring and linear story ruins almost the entire single-player experience once you get to the worst and most disappointing ending I've ever experience. Remember, Bethesda specifically promised over 200 unique endings, saying that the character could end the game in almost 200 different ways. Later on their own forums for Fallout 3 they admitted it was an error and that there are only four endings, not 200, quite a large discrepancy between 200 endings and four.

Bethesda needs to spend more money on writers and less on their managers that keep shipping obviously-unfinished games out the door.

Rumor has it that Bethesda spent significant amounts of budget on hiring the voice actors for the game, specifically two or three more famous ones, and that it broke the bank on the project. They invested so much money into voice acting that other aspects of the game had no extra budget.

Re:Fallout 3 (2, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277659)

- Nonsense story, completely true, you are thrust into a world where you can live a life of any range of karma (angel, good, neutral, bad, evil) but no matter how to choose to live your life the main story is always the same. The Water of Life. Not open ended and extremely boring. Forcing the player into a boring and linear story ruins almost the entire single-player experience once you get to the worst and most disappointing ending I've ever experience. Remember, Bethesda specifically promised over 200 unique endings, saying that the character could end the game in almost 200 different ways. Later on their own forums for Fallout 3 they admitted it was an error and that there are only four endings, not 200, quite a large discrepancy between 200 endings and four.

I'd have settled for a short little pre-rendered video and a voiceover for each major side quest (hell, there weren't very many significant ones, which is another problem altogether) at the end, like in its predecessors. That and a couple days of intensive editing and modification of the main story by a person who was willing to say "wait a minute, WTF?" could have salvaged it from my current rating of "oh, wow, kind of bad" and boosted it up to "a worthy but weak entry in the series".

Rumor has it that Bethesda spent significant amounts of budget on hiring the voice actors for the game, specifically two or three more famous ones, and that it broke the bank on the project. They invested so much money into voice acting that other aspects of the game had no extra budget.

Ah. I'd been deliberately avoiding news about the game so I wouldn't spoil the experience of my first playthrough (HA!), so I hadn't heard anything like that. Certainly sounds like something Bethesda would do, though.

I love the frameworks of the games they put out, but the games themselves are notoriously half-assed. I was sure that wouldn't happen this time since they were just building off the Oblivion engine and wouldn't have the same difficulty and expense of building that part, but they still managed to disappoint.

Re:Fallout 3 (2)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278083)

Rumor has it that Bethesda spent significant amounts of budget on hiring the voice actors for the game, specifically two or three more famous ones, and that it broke the bank on the project. They invested so much money into voice acting that other aspects of the game had no extra budget.

That seems ridiculous. The engine was already built. All they needed to do was to modify it so it could use VAT's. Some minor graphical things were reused from Oblivion as well. Where the fuck is all of their money going? Did they even have a decent budget for this game? With the game engine being built, that takes out a significant portion of a budget and leaves extra money to do more... Just... wow....

Re:Fallout 3 (4, Insightful)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#26279607)

Yeah, I went into fallout 3 full of hopes and expectations, I found oblivion with guns. I've tried my best, I really have, but I really can't get into it much.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284789)

Hell, it even still has some well-known and as-yet-unfixed bugs from Oblivion. They couldn't have done very much to it.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

enharmonix (988983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26279673)

...Bethesda spent significant amounts of budget on hiring the voice actors for the game, specifically two or three more famous ones...

Dear Old Dad is voiced by Liam Neeson. I didn't recognize any of the other voices though.

Re:Fallout 3 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26280219)

Malcolm McDowell was President Eden, they got Ron Perlman to do the narration as he has on the last games also.

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277843)

The Fallout 3 hype machine had modded this -1 overrated before any other moderations. Should you be allowed to mod things overrated before they have been rated?

Re:Fallout 3 (4, Interesting)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278239)

Now see I hated VATS. I thought it was a horrible system which took the worst parts from both real time FPS combat and turn based combat. On one hand you have a finite amount of action points which have to be recharged over time, on the other the enemy doesn't have AP, it just attacks until one of you dies. A lot of the time I would just end up running up to the guy point blank, going into VATS, use all of my AP on his head (which had a 90% probability of hitting) and then watch the slow motion carnage. After it was over I'd run the hell away and let my AP recharge. I know other people didn't mind VATS, but for me it was rather annoying.

Beyond that I thought Fallout 3 was an okay game. It definitely had the atmosphere of the previous two Fallout games, and I loved the graphics. I didn't even care that it was in the first person perspective. They even had some of the same kind of humor that the originals had. There were plenty of little gripes though, for instance the pipboy interface was clearly designed with consoles in mind. It had nested menus within nested menus. Granted the original Fallouts didn't have amazing interfaces, but I was expecting an improvement, not an interface designed solely with the console in mind (I bought the PC version). I also agree that the story was a bit shallow.

As for other games this year, here's what I think:

FarCry 2: It had nothing to do with the original, kind of like C&C:Generals. It was basically GTA in Africa. I thought the graphics were superb, blowing things up and lighting vast fields aflame were fun, but it got kind of tedious. All you do is go to X to kill Y for Z diamons. I haven't completed it yet, I'm about 3/4 done, but so far the story is horrible. I don't even know why they bothered.

Another gripe I had with FarCry 2 was the fact that they went for realism in some areas, but not others. You didn't have a reticule, you had to use iron sights. Vehicles broke down, weapons jammed (even bolt action rifles), etc... At the same time the vehicles are made from paper mache, guard posts would mysteriously resupply with troops when you get a hundred yards away (and not question the dead bodies apparently), and your character can get turned into swiss cheese by a volley of bullets and a syringe full of Cureital fixes everything.

I also had a problem with locating enemies sometimes. They'd always know where I was if I walked within a kilometer of them, but sometimes it took me several minutes just to locate them. Overall I thought the game was pretty and kind of fun, but I was hoping for more.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Yes, I actually bought this game. Or rather, I bought a license which allows me to install it on 5 different computers and that's it. Before we get started let me say I loved the new naval warfare. I honestly thought that was a good addition. I also enjoyed how units had two different "attacks". The music was also quite good. Beyond those few things, there wasn't anything else I liked about the game. A lot of the story was rehashed from the first two, the Empire of the Rising sun felt very awkward, a lot of the graphics were sort of cartoony (yet the water wasn't at all), and EA hired more breasts than writers*.

One thing that really annoyed me was the forced co-op single player. When started to play the first mission it gave me a choice between solo and co-op. I thought at the time that co-op is a great idea and would be fun, but I didn't have anyone to play with at the time, so I went for solo. To my surprise I was forced to play the map with a computer ally (with campy dialogue). Now with C&C games I love capturing enemy bases to win, call it a quirk, but I always found that more satisfying than rolling them with a million units. However, now that I was forced to play with a computer ally with very limited control** either the computer would destroy the base before I could capture it, or the computer would be wiped out and I'd have to guard that flank. Overall I think the C&C franchise is dead.

Mirror's Edge: A lot of people had a lot of problems with Mirror's Edge. Personally I found the game fantastic. True you ended up dying a fair bit, but usually you didn't have to redo a ton of the level to get back to where you were. I also loved the art direction the dev team took, even if the bloom made it hard to see ;). I loved making quick decisions in the thick of things and I felt that the game just had a very nice flow to it. The only real gripe I have with it is I don't see much replay value and it was kind of short. So overall I thought it was good.

Dead Space: This game, which I have yet to finish, is quite good so far. In the beginning it was quite scary, not really Silent Hill 2 scary, but a lot more scary than say Doom 3. I loved the way they incorporated the status of your health and weapons into your suit and weapons and how your inventory/map/.../objective screen was a projected screen in game. The only bad part I felt was the map screen, which was rather awkward to navigate. I haven't completed it but from what I've seen when my friend is playing, later on it has less scary moments and the game just tends to throw wave after wave of monstrosities at you while you're riding an incredibly slow tram with five ammo left. I haven't really gotten this far yet though, so I dunno if it will annoy me or not.

Left 4 Dead: This game, in my opinion, is nearly perfect for what it was billed as. A ton of zombies to kill and wonderful co-op. The graphics are wonderful, levels well designed, and the AI director does make the game have a lot of replay value. Supposedly ValvE will be adding more campaigns as well, so I can see this game sticking around for quite a while if they fix how you join games (more on that next).

One gripe which I do have is the server browser, or rather a lack of one. I know this doesn't concern a lot of people and the console style quickmatch system does work, but even after ValvE's "fix" I still think it's inadequate for a PC game. For one thing you never know what type of server you're joining. I know this isn't a huge deal right now***, but I think eventscripts will be updated so it works with L4D at some point, and this might make things a bit odd. Another thing which is a concern is communities which host these servers. Unlike with consoles where ValvE provides the servers, many communities (including one I'm part of) have to run these servers. The problem is that even though you can tie your servers to your steam community, you still don't have any real incentive to offer a L4D server. You'll never really increase the size of your community with these servers since for the most part people just join random servers through quickmatch and will most likely not visit your server again. The only community "branding" you can do to a server is in the MOTD and text adverts, but as stated above, it's kind of pointless.

Overall I think the game itself is fantastic and while getting into a game is better than when the demo was released, I still think ValvE is going to need to improve this a lot if they want L4D to stay popular for a long time like CS:S, DoD:S, and TF2.

Well, I think that's all I can manage to write at the moment. Just remember these are just my opinions, yours may differ =).

*I know a lot of people liked the semi-silly style of RA2, I personally preferred RA1, but RA3 took things too far. What's the point of hiring good actors if you're going to force them to act poorly?
**You're basically limited to telling your ally to move to a location, attack a location, or let him do whatever he feels is best. That's basically it. Even when you tell him to move somewhere, say to some large open area where nothing can attack him and he can't ruin your plans, after a while he'll go back to doing what he thinks is best.
***I've set up an L4D server myself for fun, and you can easily make it so the AI director always "panics" and sends wave after wave of zombies to you, non-stop.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280397)

The thing I hated about RA3 was that it was designed for co-op online play, which was fine (I had a friend I wanted to play through it with), but then they are still using the same networking code they used for the original C&C. If you don't have a direct connection to the internet or one of what seems like 3 piece of crap "home routers" that they support, good luck getting an online game set up. The tech support consists of "it should just automagically work, if it doesn't try running this Ultima Online tester and see what it says...". I never once got an online game of it successfully started, even after directly connecting to the internet and turning off the firewall (yes, I was getting desperate).

Mirror's Edge (1)

manekineko2 (1052430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280423)

Mirror's Edge: A lot of people had a lot of problems with Mirror's Edge. Personally I found the game fantastic. True you ended up dying a fair bit, but usually you didn't have to redo a ton of the level to get back to where you were. I also loved the art direction the dev team took, even if the bloom made it hard to see ;). I loved making quick decisions in the thick of things and I felt that the game just had a very nice flow to it. The only real gripe I have with it is I don't see much replay value and it was kind of short. So overall I thought it was good.

I totally agree. I loved Mirror's Edge. Maybe it's because I read so many horror stories about the boring combat in reviews, and set the combat to easy as a result, but I thought everything about this game was just about perfect, except the lack of open exploration, which was a shame.

Everyone was screaming about how the game was at its best when there was no enemies and you were free to approach obstacles as slowly as you liked, but I thought that running from the enemies really added quite a bit to the mix.

Another thing everyone complained about was the combat, but at least on easy mode, I thought combat was fairly fun. It's one of the few first person games where melee combat doesn't feel horribly awkward, and everything really worked for me.

Lastly, I didn't have a problem with the "Esurance" style cartoon cinematics. The game is stylish, and the stylized cut-scenes worked just fine for me.

Re:Mirror's Edge (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280589)

Oh thank you! I thought I was just a crazy person for loving the combat in Mirror's Edge.

The controls feel intuitive and smooth, melee attacks are really fun to chain together and the disarms are sweet icing. I find it genuinely satisfying to play a character who is badass enough to take down a dozen SWAT officers and be on the edge of death the entire time.

A couple shots and you're down, but a quick martial arts move and they're down. It becomes a game of strategy and planning: run here, turn there to peel the group apart, then dive in and pick them off one by one as the other enemies are trying to figure out what's happening.

It's even optional because in almost all cases (there are some special fights) you can avoid the combat entirely by running. I guess the problem is that for some (most?) gamers the puzzle element of the game (combat avoidance) is overshadowed by the obvious solution (direct combat), even though the game continually directs you to run from combat whenever possible.

My biggest problem with that game is that it has ruined lots of other games for me. Now controlling AltaÃr in Assassin's Creed feels sluggish and clunky. In Left 4 Dead I'm always seeing the lines that could easily propel me past the horde. Even Ryu in Ninja Gaiden, while still a fluid death machine, can't come close to matching Faith's free running movement.

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281427)

If you didn't like VATS, you were free to treat it like a pure FPS, just like the NPCs did (just shooting away).

VATS was intended more for special attacks, rather than routine use, which is probably why you got such a crappy amount of AP compared to your rate of fire with non-VATS attacks.

That said, dropping into VATS to swing my shishkebob at someone's head was classic. :) It worked just as well without VATS, though.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281441)

Now see I hated VATS. I thought it was a horrible system which took the worst parts from both real time FPS combat and turn based combat. On one hand you have a finite amount of action points which have to be recharged over time, on the other the enemy doesn't have AP, it just attacks until one of you dies. A lot of the time I would just end up running up to the guy point blank, going into VATS, use all of my AP on his head (which had a 90% probability of hitting) and then watch the slow motion carnage. After it was over I'd run the hell away and let my AP recharge. I know other people didn't mind VATS, but for me it was rather annoying.

Uhm... you can shoot outside of VATS, you know. In fact, real-time aiming is preferred for really long range shooting (i.e. the Sniper Rifle, or even just a hunting rifle.)

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

SyscRAsH (127068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281781)

Your opinion of fallout, far cry 2 and left 4 dead is largely right along with how I felt about them. I haven't played RA3, and really don't plan to; dawn of war is still my rts of choice lately. I've been wondering about mirror's edge, but because of your review, I'm now greatly looking forward to it.
So Thanks.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278673)

Agree 100%. Fallout is far too limited, story-wise. But until I was almost done, it gave some of the feeling of Deus Ex, but with almost total freedom of movement (which only makes it possible to solve the main quest quicker, but not change its outcome much). In the end, the freedom seems a bit pointless, though, as part of a game. Walking around and discovering new places becomes tedious as there's nothing to the places except monsters and some loot -- oh, and a point to fast-travel to later.

Re: Oblivion mod (1)

Lurchicus (1280666) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280663)

So... what's the name of the Oblivion mod you mentioned? It sounds interesting... and the out of the box game, as you mentioned, could use some more items if interest.

Re: Oblivion mod (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284755)

I looked through several comprehensive lists of mods to find all of the ones that sounded like things I wanted and which would play nice together, and dumped them all in at once, so I'm not entirely certain which one added the regional quests, but I think it was the super-famous and certainly must-have Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul (OOO). It may have been an improved landscapes mod that I use, though.

Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul [googlepages.com]

A meta-list of Oblivion mod lists [uesp.net]

Unique Landscapes [bethsoft.com] -- Scroll down to Section 2 for download links for completed landscape areas. I use all of them, and it's made it much more fun to run around new areas rather than just fast-traveling everywhere.

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26284193)

I never played F1 and F2 but I absolutely loved Fallout3.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284615)

I have to completely disagree that Megaton was the best town in the game. I found Megaton kinda boring, myself. Rivit City was far-and-away my home base. Other hot spots like the Citidel and the GNR building were nice too. I found myself avoiding Megaton like the pleague, except for a few quests.

I haven't played the first two Fallout games (I do mean to, though), but I absolutely LOVED Fallout 3. Far-and-away my favorite game of the year, and currently my favorite wRPG (I'm more of a jRPG fan myself). I never could get into Mass Effect, but Fallout 3 did right a lot of the thing I think Mass Effect did wrong. I actually liked and felt for the characters in this game, and felt like my work really had a lasting impact on the game world. My concern was that I'd heard the Fallout series was kind of goofy, and I usely dispise goofy games. But Fallout 3 was, for the most part, pretty series, though with a little quirky witt at times, which was okay. I love to wonder around aimlessly and explore vast regions, and Fallout 3 really did that for me. Tales of Vesparia was supposed to be my exploration orgy game, but it turned out to be not really all that enjoyable, but Fallout 3 filled in that gap quite nicely.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26286131)

The other Fallout games aren't goofy, exactly, unless you count a couple of the very rare and easter-egg-like random encounters.

Fallout 3 was far goofier, IMO. The first two have a healthy dose of humor, but it's more often macabre than goofy.

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278501)

It's a shame that the PC version of Fallout 3 was so bug infested and prone to constant crashes for a large percentage of players that Bethesda was perfectly willing to ignore. I've also heard about crashing issues in the console versions, but never witnessed this firsthand.

Heard nothing but problems with GTA IV like low framerates and excessive system requirements so I'll be skipping that one. I never really cared for the GTA games much anyhow.

Far Cry 2 was crap, pure and simple. Not too surprising since the original was crap as well.

Spore got old after about 5 hours. The idea was inventive, but the gameplay was practically non-existent.

I am looking forward to Mirror's Edge when it gets released on the 13th. I've already setup my rig with a good video card plus a 9600GT for dedicated PhysX processing specifically in anticipation.

Honestly I had more fun with freeware and indie games this year.

Iji [remar.se] is a fantastic freeware game that seems to draw inspirations from games like Flashback and Deus Ex. Changing your play style (ie. passive or aggressive) and having choices that actually affect the story was really nice for replayability, not to mention the unlockable bonuses. It also features fluidly animated, minimalistic visuals in a similar vein to Another World or Flashback and a great soundtrack (make sure you download the high quality soundtrack for best effect).

Tetroid 2012 [ainc.de] is a trippy freeware version of Tetris. Absolutely the best Tetris clone ever made.

TAGAP [tagap.net] is a freeware game that came out last year, but who cares? It's The Apocalyptic Game About Penguins and it's fantastic. It resembles a cross between Smash TV and Abuse with very high production values. TAGAP 2 is supposedly on the way also.

Dave the Ordinary Spaceman [mindbender.fi] is a freeware retro "2D" platform game with some interesting play mechanics and effects. I won't say anything else since it's much better experienced.

Penumbra : Black Plague [penumbrablackplague.com] is the sequel to the 2007 game Penumbra : Overture. It's a first person survival horror game that actually manages to be scary. It has a good story, nice visuals and realistic physics interaction with the environments.

Sins of a Solar Empire [sinsofasolarempire.com] was the best RTS game of 2008 and probably one of the best of all time. Battles take place in epic scale across entire star systems with hundreds of ships in combat simultaneously.

All those FOSS games! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26280419)

OMG, so many high quality FOSS titles! See? Stallman is RIGHT! FOSS is clearly superior to that evil and unnecessary commercial software in every way.

My own picks of 2008 (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277333)

Well, it's been an interesting year - quite a few very good titles (with a particularly large cluster of these released in the September - November range) and also a few which turned out to be fairly huge disappointments.

Anyway, my own top 10:

10) Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii) - a rare example of a first party Nintendo game which has decent production values and doesn't suffer from a severe lack of content. The single-player campaign is slightly let down by a few over-long platforming sections, but the brawling components are more than fun enough make up for it.

9) Siren: Blood Curse (PS3) - the only game I've seen to date to really pull off the whole "episodic gaming" thing. Blood Curse is the best entry to date in what has always been a very solid survival horror series. It's an excellent refuge for those who have been put off by the action-oriented direction that the Resident Evil franchise has taken and the continued flogging of the dead horse that the once-epic Silent Hill franchise has become ever since its 4th installment.

8) The World Ends With You (Nintendo DS) - quirky and original take on the Japanese RPG formula. The distinctive style isn't to everybody's taste (or even particularly to mine), but it did produce one of the most unique titles of the last 12 months. A huge range of customisation options (including heavily tweakable difficulty settings) further boost its appeal.

7) Lost Odyssey (Xbox 360) - hugely traditional take on the Japanese RPG formula. Superb production values and a well thought out narrative pull it above the average. A big improvement on 2007's Blue Dragon and a real sign that Square-Enix should be taking the competition from Mistwalker very, very seriously. The game's also notable for its extensive use of narrative text storytelling to flesh out the back-story.

6) Resistance 2 (PS3) - A few dubious design decisions mean that this isn't quite as good as its predecessor (the limitation on the number of weapons you can carry feels particularly restrictive in a game that's so heavily based around trying out funky weapons). However, it's still a slick and fun game, whose controls feel far more robust than those of pretty much any other console fps.

5) Far Cry 2 (PC - also Xbox 360 and PS3) - Despite a "ripped from the headlines" story that really is the ultimate in bad taste, this is a deeply impressive shooter. It takes some of the good ideas we saw in last year's STALKER: Shadows of Chernobyl and marries them with the execution needed to really pull them off.

4) Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3) - Yeah, this is the controversial one. With the cutscenes being, at a rough estimate, roughly twice the length of the playable sections of the game, this was never going to be everybody's cup of tea. However, a complete overhaul of the combat system took the series from being one where combat was, as Penny Arcade put it, a punishment inflicted on the player for getting the stealth sections wrong to a being one of the most fun games to play as a shooter of the entire year. The fact that you can play it as a stealth-em-up just adds icing to the cake. The game's graphics and production values blow away anything else released during this year.

3) Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360) - It doesn't do anything particularly original, but it improves on the original game in almost every respect. It presents a longer campaign with better balance than the original, more varied environments and some excellent tweaks to the weapons lineup. It also features some of the most fun multiplayer modes of any game I've seen this year, with a heavy emphasis on co-op and team-based gameplay.

2) Dead Space (Xbox 360, also PC and PS3) - Half way between Gears of War and a traditional survival-horror game, this was very close to being my favorite title of the entire year. As others have noted, it's anything but original, drawing heavy inspiration from three movies in particular: Aliens, Event Horizon and the Thing. However, it still establishes its own distinctive identity and managed to scare the hell out of me on far too many occasions. Combat struck the right balance between the leaden, vulnerable feeling of classic survival horror games and the more precise, satisfying feel of a shooter. The animated Dead Space: Downfall movie is a good accompaniment to the game.

1) Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (PSP) - Finally, an "expanded universe" FF7 game which doesn't do a spectacular dis-service to the original (yes, Dirge of Cereberus, I'm looking at you). Superb production values, a fun combat system that combines traditional Final Fantasy mechanics with some of the best elements from Kingdom Hearts, plenty of optional content and, most remarkably, a storyline that actually feels like a natural fit with the original FF7's. All we need now is a remake of FF7 for modern hardware and I'll be really happy.

A few honorable mentions that didn't quite make the list, but which were still eminently worthy games:

- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Not quite as well-paced as last year's Command & Conquer 3, but still a lot of fun. The sheer cheesy awfulness of the FMV cutscenes actually ends up being a huge positive point for a game that aims itself firmly at the B-movie niche.

- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King - A few questionable (and deeply arrogant) design decisions by Blizzard have kept this out of my top 10, but there's no denying the artistic achievement. The darker, more ambiguous morality of the plot line, which has already been noted on slashdot, is one of the more impressive aspects.

- Crysis Warhead - Far too short, but it does distill all of the best bits of last year's Crysis, while cutting out the tedious sections where you float around inside an alien ship with no ammo.

- Penny Arcade Episode 1 - Proof that you can produce a fun Japanese-style RPG on a tight budget. Doesn't have anything like the feature set of its full sized cousins, but the humour is sharp enough that I really don't mind.

- Burnout Paradise - Wonderfully open-ended driving/combat game powered by some really impressive technology. The seemless integration of the multiplayer component into the 360 version is really impressive.

- Grand Theft Auto 4 - I'll be honest and say that I don't actually find this game all that much fun. However, there's no denying the scope of what they've achieved. However, my favorite Rock Star game is still...

- Bully: Scholarship Edition - Nifty director's cut of the wonderfully subversive original. It would have been nice to see more advantage taken of the capabilities of the new console generation, but this is still a lot of fun. I personally think the small, detailed world of Bully is much more interesting than the huge cities of the Grand Theft Auto series.

And a couple of titles that probably would have made my top 10 - if I'd played them:

- Fallout 3 - I think I'm about the only gamer left who hasn't played this yet. It's on my to do list, but I doubt I'll get around to it until well into the New Year.

- Littlebigplanet - looks fun, must try it soon.

- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 - still have high hopes for this, even though I do think it's time the PS2 was allowed to die gracefully.

And now, the disappointments. The games which, while not necessarily bad, failed to live up to their hype and/or potential:

- Spore - the most hyped game of the decade turns out to be a poor man's clone of fl0w, followed by a poor man's action RPG, followed by three poor RTSes. The creature creator is fun for an hour or so, but that's about it.

- Disgaea 3 - the best thing about this game is the intro. After that, it rapidly turns into a straightforward but nevertheless substandard update of the first 2 games.

- Gran Turismo 5 Prologue - it's truly agonising to see how far the Gran Turismo series is falling behind the Forza games in terms of quality. Dreadful AI opponents and still no damage modelling. If these aren't fixed, then the full Gran Turismo 5 is in danger of flopping badly when it finally comes out. Looks pretty, though.

- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3: FES - I'm really conflicted by this one. On the one hand, it contains the definitive director's cut of the best Japanese RPG of 2007, which more than justifies the purchase price. Unfortunately, the 35-ish hour "after story" that for many people will be the reason behind the purchase is awful. It abandons Persona 3's unique selling points in favour of a boring dungeon crawl, whose insane difficulty level just adds insult to injury.

And finally, while I don't think this year has produced an absolute stinker on the same level as last year's Lair, it has produced three major releases which I would consider to be verging on actually bad:

- Star Wars: Force Unleashed - poor control systems, repetitive gameplay and some of the most tedious boss fights in the history of gaming.

- Mario Kart Wii - the Mario Kart formula is looking very tired now and every small way in which this game tries to depart from it actually makes things worse. The simple problem is that this game sticks too many racers on the track at once. Driving skill goes out the window as everything descends into a miasma of weapon-spam. The "balancing" system which gives those at the back of the field a constant supply of super-weapons only makes things worse.

- Infinite Undiscovery - probably the laziest RPG I've seen in years. Poor graphics, fiddly combat, unlikeable characters and a boring plot all hold this back. This is compounded by some truly bizarre voicing decisions, which see key scenes carried out as silent theatre, while random, trivial conversations in corridors are fully voiced.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (2, Insightful)

cbeley (1071560) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277527)

Mario Kart Wii - the Mario Kart formula is looking very tired now and every small way in which this game tries to depart from it actually makes things worse. The simple problem is that this game sticks too many racers on the track at once. Driving skill goes out the window as everything descends into a miasma of weapon-spam. The "balancing" system which gives those at the back of the field a constant supply of super-weapons only makes things worse.

You know, I'm currently on the search for a copy of Mario Kart Wii... However, I find your comment a little irritating. If that's how you feel then you shouldn't have liked ANY of the mario kart games. Quite frankly, the randomness of it is one of the things that makes it a lot of fun. It's not meant to be a serious racing game. Also, considering the good reviews (including reader reviews by thousands of people), I'm probably not too alone. Of course, an opinion is an opinion, but, I love mario kart (though, I've only played the wii one once ...but, the online play is what has me really excited).

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277945)

I liked the original Mario Kart, in its day, and I quite liked Double Dash (Mario Kart 64 did very little for me). For me, there were always two main assets for the Mario Kart series; first, that the cart physics and controls were among the best around and second that the tracks were good fun.

Now, the first of these advantages has been eroded hugely as the competition has caught up with (and in many cases overtaken) Nintendo's efforts. Mario Kart Wii makes the situation worse by actively penalising good driving - drivers at the front of the field almost inevitably get weapon-spammed to the back on the final straight, with nothing they can do to prevent it. The previous games always had this problem to some degree, but the sheer number of drivers on the track has aggravated the problem to breaking point in the latest version. The number of drivers has also had a negative impact on the track design. The tracks are all now stupidly wide and open, to accomodate the number of drivers. Unlike in previous games, there are very, very few sections of track that would actually be challenging to drive if you didn't have umpteen other carts spamming weapons at you.

So yes, I stand by my judgement that Mario Kart Wii is a case of a concept which was once good, but which has suffered badly over time from stagnation, and where every attempt that has been made this time around to deviate from the original concept has worsened it. They even lost the co-operative feature from Double Dash, which was something I really quite liked.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

j33pn (1049772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281109)

I think what always bothered me most in Double Dash was that you couldn't hold an item behind yourself for protection.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277593)

Wow, Left 4 Dead doesn't even get a mention in your list. Makes me sad.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277899)

I've only played it fairly briefly (about 3 hours), but it didn't do a massive amount for me. Sure, it has some nifty stuff, but I didn't like the emphasis on just repeating a fairly small number scenarios. I didn't actively dislike the game and my expectations for it were never stellar, so I wouldn't count it as a disappointment, but... I don't know... it just felt a bit too "meh" to make it onto the list. It possibly didn't help that I played it right after the (rather more polished) Dead Space, which I think had satisfied my immediate urge to play survival-horror games.

There were a few other games like that, which I just couldn't particularly bring myself to either particularly like or dislike. Call of Duty: World at War is probably the highest profile example. I mean, I guess I should have flagged it up as a disappointment, after CoD4 (which was excellent), but given it was the CoD3 people developing it, I had a fairly strong suspicion it was going to be poor. If anything, it was very slightly better than I expected.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (0, Flamebait)

Bertie (87778) | more than 5 years ago | (#26279381)

I have to say I've no idea what all the fuss is about with that game. It's just like every single other bog-standard mindless FPS since Wolfenstein. People get excited about the four-player co-op, but Gauntlet had that in 1985 - and did it better because the four characters had different strengths and weaknesses, whereas everybody's equal in L4D.

I just found it monotonous - "shit, here's a horde of zombies, kill kill kill, walk on a bit, shit, more zombies, kill kill kill". And tactically there's nothing to it - once you've worked out how to deal with a particular type of enemy (which you'll manage within minutes of starting to play because they're pretty dumb) that's it - seen one, seen 'em all.

Call me fussy, but after the thick end of 20 years of this type of game being around, I expect a bit more advancement than just prettier graphics.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280765)

I have to say I've no idea what all the fuss is about with that game.

well, the atmosphere is great for one. it's like you're in a Romero movie, and youre having sex with Romero. it's great.

the fact that you have to work as a team and you can't just run around solo without getting raped also helps.

I just found it monotonous - "shit, here's a horde of zombies, kill kill kill, walk on a bit, shit, more zombies, kill kill kill".

everything is randomly generated and scaled (further/back) depending on how you play. the music is also mixed like this, it's not a prerecorded soundtrack. this gives it a whole lot of replayability. I finished the game in one weekend, but been replaying ever since having equal amounts of fun even though I already went thru all the settings.

And tactically there's nothing to it - once you've worked out how to deal with a particular type of enemy

I kept getting barfed on by Boomers at least 2-3 times per chapter, no matter how careful I was. Hunters and Smokers still grabbed me from time to time. the Tank was always a problem, and the fucking Witch made me shit my pants every fucking time I ran into her.

Call me fussy, but after the thick end of 20 years of this type of game being around, I expect a bit more advancement than just prettier graphics.

I've played a lot of (shitty) FPS games so far, but no team zombie survival ones. made by Valve. ZOMBIES MAN! ZOMBIES!

I'd call you something worse than fussy, but I'll let it slide because you have such a cool UID.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277603)

- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 - still have high hopes for this, even though I do think it's time the PS2 was allowed to die gracefully.

It's great. I watched my wife play some of Persona 3 and didn't care for it, but we're playing 4 together and it's really good so far (~70% of the way through now). It does suffer occasionally from Guide Dang It [tvtropes.org] , but that's just something you've gotta put up with in most JRPGs. That's my only complaint, and it really could be much, much worse.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (2, Interesting)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277719)

- Mario Kart Wii - the Mario Kart formula is looking very tired now

Funny, I thought the same thing when Super Mario 64 and the original Super Smash Brothers came out. But people keep buying (and enjoying) the games, and the younger generations are apparently still enjoying it so Mario's legend still continues to live on (although Donkey Kong strangely disappeared).

I can't knock it if the majority of people enjoy it, but come on - at least enhance his graphics a little bit, you know? Add some textures to Mario for once, even though the idea of a half-life 2 looking Italian plumber would kind of kill the whole thing for me.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277995)

Well, I think there's a difference in how Nintendo has handled those two franchises this time around.

With Super Smash Bros Brawl, they've made a genuine effort to bring the game up to modern standards. They've even put in a proper story mode, with cutscenes and everything. Ok, Nintendo are still living in the 80s in some respects - the near total absence of voice acting being the most glaring example - but they've made an effort and it shows.

Mario Kart Wii, on the other hands, was a lazy update even by Nintendo's standards. The graphics felt, if anything, worse than Double Dash's and there were very few tweaks to the basic formula.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (2, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26279211)

I have to disagree with your opinion that MK Wii was less of an update than Brawl (not to mention your opinion of the game in general). To me, they both added the same amount of functionality to their respective parent games: new areas, new characters, new items, online play. Yes, Brawl has Subspace Emissary and stage builder, but those are some serious fluff features which don't really mean anything to the game itself.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26279447)

Sorry, but I can't consider a substantial single-player campaign, with a huge number of expensively rendered cutscenes and an actual plot (a rarity in a Nintendo game) to be "serious fluff". Moreover, while I will acknowledge that the core brawling gameplay in SSB wasn't hugely changed, they had at least avoiding making it actively worse, unlike in MK.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (2, Funny)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26279953)

I guess we have to differ on what constitutes a "substantial single-player campaign" and "an actual plot", then, because I felt SSE had neither. The cutscenes could be pretty glorious, though, I have to agree there.

Moreover, I have to disagree again that MK Wii made the core gameplay worse. At worst, I think it's the same as it's ever been, and a lot of times, it's even better (no snaking, doing tricks off the jumps really adds a lot). I think some of your complaints are seriously invalid (come on dude, Mario Kart has never been about skill, it's always been plagued by the Communist item syndrome, to whatever extent you consider that a problem... it's a feature for me), and others are possibly valid, but I just can't agree (for example, that the 12-player dynamic hurts the game). Just differences of opinion, I guess, but it does baffle me to see you bash MK Wii and praise Brawl, when they essentially gave the same update to both franchises.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (2, Interesting)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277759)

I have a massive dissenting opinion on FarCry 2.

It was pretty. It had some cool bits (the fire propogation was very nice). The AI had 'reasonable' alertness (none of this Op Flashpoint style 'seeing you and shooting you through 200m of forest').

That said, the AI was incredibly dumbed down. You had a couple of 'cease fire zones' where the AI was in passive mode, and everywhere else they were aggressive. There was meant to be a handful of factions - not evident in gameplay - everybody shot at you.

The mission briefings had a fair amount of laughable "...and this is a deniable operation, so everyone is going to be shooting at you...". No, sorry, everyone was going to be shooting at me, because nobody could be bothered coding in any factions.

Got so sick of repeatedly cleaning guardposts, I just wanted to do the job. Admittedly there was some great gaming moments, some good fun, and some quite hilarious fuck ups (usually setting my exit path on fire by mistake).

The random-buddy system seemed to be quite cool, however I felt like the development budget had gone into a heap of dialog that I would never see. Buddys were nice, and fairly developed characters.

The ending was bloody terrible (and also left you locked out of the open-world much before the ending).

Re:My own picks of 2008 (2, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278409)

I'm going to have to disagree with you on Mario Kart Wii. I found the steering wheel control to be about the best idea ever. For the first time, it actually felt like I was really racing. A large selection of tracks, characters, and karts, as well as a ton of unlockable content made this a real winner for me.

The monthly online competitions are a ton of fun. And being able to race with up to three of my friends, plus 8 cpu characters makes for a real fun time. One of my friends isn't the best at racing games, but the bonus items (bullet, lightning, etc) that she gets makes the game worthwhile for her. And I'm a pretty decent player - the 8 AI opponents keeps me on my toes. If we were playing a standard racer one-on-one it wouldn't be any fun at all, because I'd just spend the entire time lapping her, but in Mario Kart, we both feel challenged.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26283121)

I have always sucked at MK, but I do okay on the Wii. It's really amazing.

It's almost as though I have fifteen or so years of training in the use of a vertical wheel to control a car, and much less experience using a tiny little thumbstick to control a car.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (2)

Jupix (916634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278627)

Thought I'd post my $0.02:

Red Alert 3 - disagree. I hate the direction the RA dev teams have taken the series since the first RA. Base building was hugely fun in RA, and in this installment they've placed so little emphasis on it they could've just removed it. I got rid of my RA3 installation really quickly but from what I've seen, you can't even harass other players economically any more, since the ore trucks only stay at the designated point (and I mean harass, not destroy). Graphics-wise this is basically C&C3 so you can't zoom out far enough, which is basically the only thing that matters for an RTS graphics engine in my book. Cartoony style in menus was nice, but since it's in the menus, you never really get to see it. In the real game it's just C&C3 with different colors. As for units, mechamen and robots suck. Ships that turn in to tanks, airplanes or whatever also suck. And annoying DRM.

Far Cry 2 - disagree. Crappy console port. It sucked in almost all gameplay respects. Very pretty, but not as pretty as Crysis, which was a better game. Only things good about the FC2 engine were, because it wasn't as pretty as Crysis, it also ran better. Bushfires and daycycle were nice, but I'd gladly trade those for a better AI and weapon customization.

GTA IV PC - disagree. Crappy console port. Physics engine is nice, but look at the trade-offs: it looks awful and runs worse than Crysis. They've also dropped every feature since San Andreas, except character movement, weapons and storyline, only to add the annoying grind-fest that is the buddy thing. One thing I did like in principle was the on-call weapons store with Little Jacob, but that is rendered useless by the fact it doesn't supply body armor. Story and missions are nice in GTA IV, but I'd gladly trade some of the quality there for some programming quality. Also, HUGELY annoying DRM. I can only wish Vice City will be better on this engine when they get around to doing that.

Crysis Warhead - agreed. Very good game. Disagree about the length though, it was perfect for me, didn't bore me, nor leave me craving for more. For their next installment, I'd like Crysis in Africa, without the aliens.

Fallout 3 - haven't tried it either. I hear it's based on the Oblivion engine, which is famous for being about as immersive as EVE Online. Or Microsoft Word.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278691)

Fair enough on most of the disagreements, it would be a boring world if everybody was in agreement. I honestly do see your point on Red Alert 3, although I think the good still outweighs the bad. Particularly compared to the atrocity that was Red Alert 2 (probably the worst game I've ever paid money for). However...

If you want to play GTA IV on the PC, then you get what you deserve. Ever since GTA III hit, I don't think Rockstar have made it any secret that these are console games. The PC ports are afterthoughts and have never felt like anything else. The thing runs just fine on my PS3 and the controls feel just about acceptable on the Dualshock 3, which is the best you can ever hope for in a GTA game. I can't imagine that the 360 version is any different.

That said, Rockstar is, I think, in a position now where it really does need to think the gameplay over from the ground up for its next release. There are problems with the basic gameplay related to controls, mission structure and saving which have been in there since GTA III first hit and which are really, really glaring now, as many of Rockstar's competitors have evolved beyond them. Bully suffers from the same problems, but the generally more forgiving nature of that game means that they don't really detract as much from the overall experience.

Also, I'm curious as to why you found Far Cry 2 to be a "crappy console port". The only real hold-over from the consoles that I could see was the rather odd discrepancy of having both "save points" and quicksaves. Other than that, it felt like a well-tuned PC fps to me.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280475)

which is famous for being about as immersive as EVE Online

EVE is pretty immersive if you have your spreadsheet app handy.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

Aneurism75 (1048530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278861)

Left 4 Dead FTW. Best co-op experience ever... best game of 2008.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26279285)

1) Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (PSP) - Finally, an "expanded universe" FF7 game which doesn't do a spectacular dis-service to the original (yes, Dirge of Cereberus, I'm looking at you). Superb production values, a fun combat system that combines traditional Final Fantasy mechanics with some of the best elements from Kingdom Hearts, plenty of optional content and, most remarkably, a storyline that actually feels like a natural fit with the original FF7's. All we need now is a remake of FF7 for modern hardware and I'll be really happy.

You have got to be joking. Please, tell me you're joking. It's a joke, right?

OK, first off, the combat system. The combat system was a complete joke. It had the potential to be interesting, except:

1. The menu thing. Kingdom Hearts was able to do this "right" with the Quick menu for casting magic or using items. Not this game. Want to use an item? Go two levels deep into a menu.

2. The DMW. This was a set of slots. Yes, slots as in slot machine. This means that, randomly, while you're playing the game portion of the game, the game stops and you watch a cutscene. Now, if you haven't played the game, you probably think I'm referring to combat animations as a cutscene. I'm not. When I say cutscene, I literally mean cutscene - it shows a little flashback sequence. (This, thankfully, is skippable - but you still have to wait for it to load.) Then it shows the unskippable combat animation sequence. Randomly. There is nothing more annoying than having fun playing the game only to have your fun interrupted so you can watch a little combat animation that completes the battle for you.

3. The combat was boring. You get one basic attack. You get one dodge. There were special "command" moves - but you're selecting those off a menu. (And when I say "basic attack" I mean that in the traditional JRPG fashion - it includes running up to the enemy before slashing. Combine that with the ever-popular "target random things" system, and you've got your character running around without your control.)

Yes, there was plenty of optional content - little "missions" that took place on an absurdly small set of maps (I think eight?). They all involve running through the same maps, fighting enemies in the terrible combat system, until you make it to the boss monster and kill it. All of them might as well be the same.

- Littlebigplanet - looks fun, must try it soon.

It ain't. It's a subpar sidescroller with some of the ugliest avatars ever dreamed up. Yeah, there's a level editor, but it's overly restrictive and, at the end of it all, you're creating levels for a subpar sidescroller. If you ignore the wiz-bang 3D, you've got a sidescroller that's comparable - poorly - to some of the best sidescrollers on the SNES.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26296863)

- Littlebigplanet - looks fun, must try it soon.

"It ain't. It's a subpar sidescroller with some of the ugliest avatars ever dreamed up. Yeah, there's a level editor, but it's overly restrictive and, at the end of it all, you're creating levels for a subpar sidescroller. If you ignore the wiz-bang 3D, you've got a sidescroller that's comparable - poorly - to some of the best sidescrollers on the SNES."

Entitled your own opinion of course, but sure you've actually played Littlebigplanet or aren't reminiscing about old SNES games just a bit too much?

ugly avatars? (haven't heard that before about sackboy? its usually more along the lines of cute?) and you are complaining about a "restrictive" level editor (which people have used to create some incredible levels) compared with games which generally didn't even have one? these are the kind of comments you usually hear from xbox fanboi's rather than a serious appraisal of a very well received game rating at 95% in metacritic. (not saying that you are one)

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

j33pn (1049772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281079)

I like Kart. The GC versions was pretty crappy. The Wii versions goes back to more of the great N64 version. Good new features are online play in Vs, battle, and time trials. Try downloading some of the world record holding ghosts in the time trials, it's impressive.

I just wish they had brought back the short oval track from the GC.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 5 years ago | (#26282447)

The World Ends with You was a great game, especially the first section with Shiki. But ultimately it grows extremely tedious and the story turns into a bit of a letdown. It was still interesting and I continued to enjoy the game, but it didn't live up to the potential raised in that first section.

Re:My own picks of 2008 (1)

Tailsfan (1200615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26288905)

You got that right! I am going to smash them for not including brawl. pun intended

DNF! (2, Funny)

Garridan (597129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277335)

Duke Nukem Forever!

Oh wait, wrong list. Sorry.

Re:DNF! (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277387)

I told you people never to trust them psychic bibble-babblers!

Excellent! (3, Interesting)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277389)

I'm pretty excited to see World of Goo take #2, go indy developers! That said, I'm surprised Mount & Blade wasn't listed at all, and that Sins of a Solar Empire didn't score higher. Still, I'll agree with Fallout 3 ranking #1. While it was a disappointment to those who expected a full on RPG, the FPS element brought many more people in, and allowed for more people to get into the game, while VATS kept it closer to an RPG.

Re:Excellent! (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278991)

Problem with Fallout 3 in my opinion was that the Bethestha did not hire the original developers (Obsidian Entertainment nowadays) to do the writing job for the game. Bethestha always had good engines and lacked in the scripting and getting it part!
Fallout 3 while better out of the box than their last games still lacks, and it is hard to fill the shoes of the original fallouts due to the clouds and curtains of time!

Re:Excellent! (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281481)

Sins definitely deserved more of a mention. Stardock is releasing some of the best games out there right now without any DRM. It's a moral company releasing a quality product. Why isn't this more newsworthy?

Fallout 3 (4, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277451)

I'm probably being overly fixated on one of the many games featured on the list, but I must be one of the only people out there who thinks Fallout 3 was one of the most overrated games of the year, perhaps third only to GTA5 and Spore.

When I first played the game I regretted my purchase and lamented the fact that I couldn't return the game, having gotten the PC version. But I decided to spend more time with the game and found that my impression hadn't changed.

Getting past the excessively monotone color scheme, I will admit the game looks impressive. But otherwise I found it to be extremely tedious and the story a bit contrived. The characters followed the same uninspired templates I find in bad Sci-Fi channel movies.

While I can accept the gritty theme of the game, I dislike overly realistic characters that end up looking ugly and more like actors than actual inhabitants of the world being depicted. Always lame is when children look like miniature adults, mainly because of overly mottled facial textures. Encountering old people in the game made me laugh a few times because of how insanely wrinkled they were, like they were made of cracked leather or clay.

I don't care for having to repair my equipment, are constantly being encumbered by random crap I find, having to sit there and sort through inventory trying to determine what I need and don't need. The side quests are so disruptive to flow and feel so disconnected that I eventually lost track and forgot what the main quest was all about. Basically, it's reminiscent of Bethesda's other RPGs, Morrowind included. Although I think that, in terms of gameplay, was the superior game.

One high point was combat which was somewhat entertaining. The targetting feature, while helpful, I found disruptive and felt like little more than an excuse to showcase the violence.

Maybe the game gets better, but I don't have the patience to find out.

Interestingly enough, I played Knights of the Old Republic 2 for the first time less than a week after abandoning Fallout 3 and found that to be, far and a way, a much better game. It wasn't perfect and I'm not normally one for Star Wars games but it was very engaging the whole way through and a lot of fun to play. The customization was satisfying without being tedious. About the only thing that crossed my mind a few times was what KOTOR2 would look like with current generation graphics on the level of Fallout 3 but with more style.

Re:Fallout 3 (3, Insightful)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277547)

You're not alone--I posted a detailed description of my dislike of F3 a bit higher up.

Long story short, I felt like it had about 1/10 the meaningful content that Fallout 2 had, and that the designers seemed to care almost not at all about telling an interesting story or making the player feel like they were making a difference in the world.

With luck, the modders will fix it. They managed to turn the broken and (even looking past the brokenness) mediocre game Oblivion in to one of my favorite games ever, so there's hope yet.

Re:Fallout 3 (3, Insightful)

retyurecvb (1442035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277917)

They managed to turn the broken and (even looking past the brokenness) mediocre game Oblivion in to one of my favorite games ever, so there's hope yet.

I really hope that by The Elder Scrolls 5 they are able to take the hint and get rid of the level scaling. If the world around you levels up with you, why even have leveling? Why not just drop the stats all-together and have a mediocre adventure game? At least that way, you won't have to worry about your character being useless by level 20.

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281553)

I think it depends on what you're looking for in an RPG. The previous Fallouts certainly win on the content that's there, but Fallout 3 has a lot of atmosphere. I really do feel like I'm eking out an existence in a post-apocalyptic wasteland when I'm running around the barren environments of the Capital Wastelands. Playing "the game" is a secondary concern in my mind.

Re:Fallout 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26283513)

Warning! Fallout phanboi alert! Ignore at all costs or suffer permanent neuron death. The stoopid! It burns!

I'll bet you played Morrowind with a mod to make your fatigue bar fall even faster.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277903)

I enjoyed F3, but have to agree on most of your points. I do believe that Bethesda was the wrong choice of developer to hand the franchise to - they made only a few token gestures to their source material and then transformed the game into Oblivion-with-guns.

Characters are still uninspired, animations still stiff (despite Bethesda's claims otherwise) and lifeless. The main quest (as usual Bethesda style) is far too short, and level design is almost non-existent indoors, where you spend most of your time spelunking identical tunnels and hallways that are clearly built out of prefab parts. Honestly, I expected the interior of the fricking Capitol to look a bit different than some random DC office building!

The game is directionless and aimless, and requires the player to "find their own fun", which fortunately I did, after I brute-leveled my character to level 20 and started popping Super Mutants in single shots. Repairing items was a pain, as weapons wore down far too quickly, and you spend all your time scavenging and inventory-managing instead of *playing the game*. Bethesda needs to take cues from Rockstar - the masters of creating open worlds that still feel purposeful (not to mention having a much longer main quest).

I hated Oblivion, and I enjoyed Fallout 3, despite its many (and there are MANY) flaws. I just wish F4 will be given to a more competent developer that will make more of an effort to develop a real post-apocalyptic game instead of Oblivion with pew-pew lasers.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278849)

Since Fallout now is in the hands of Bethestha I rather doubt it! The biggest mistake was that Bethestha wanted a clean cut, new setting, none of the old developers were hired, although they applied when Bethestha set the job postings into the internet.
In the end, it ended up as the usual Bethestha game, excellent engine, and mediocre story and execution which now is left again to the community to fix up.
The biggest problem I had with the game, I did not even mind the story and liked the setting, is that Bethestha didnÂt even remotely got it what made Fallout great, by leaving out the humor almost entirely they left the biggest element of Fallout out!

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281583)

I may be able to pose a unique viewpoint. The reasons being that I detested the first two Fallouts (battle system, hated it, couldn't get past it). I also played Oblivion with a mild neglect (IE, I finally picked it up last winter and moved on to Culdcept Saga when it came out, also, Culdcept Saga is one of my fav's this year).

F3 is, for all intents and purposes, Oblivion with guns. But it's a lot better. Oblivion was terrible. Six voices, and everyone with a steel rod for a spine. Thankfully there is a bit of motion to the NPC's in F3. I don't mind at all repairing weapons, etc as it's just a few button presses.

The bad part? It's not Fallout. It's got the story... and the art. That's it. The game does nothing 'new', either. VATS is no big deal, just a way to slow down the game. Created weapons is nothing new, either (and what the heck, just 8 creatable weapons?! yup, 3D engine means LESS variety). Seriously, it was the interface, and surviving that made Fallout 1 & 2 what they were, and without that.. the game is not, nor will it ever be Fallout. It's just "Post nuclear desolation RPG/FPS" and that's about it.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

caramelcarrot (778148) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284661)

I was amazed at how awful the animation was, particually facial. You'd think after HL2 came out 4 years ago, most developers would be able to achieve similar results?

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26287321)

I'm disappointed at both Bethesda and BioWare in particular for this. Look at LucasArts, with their procedural character animations, and Valve with their incredible facial animation tools... these guys are putting an incredible amount of story-telling technology into their twitch-shooter games (and then severely under-using it)... meanwhile RPG developers like BW and Bethesda completely ignore this technology in favor of more "oh hey our characters interact with the environment LOL" crap.

And there's also the seeming mentality that, because we're a STORY-centric game, we don't care about texture popping, load times, and a horridly complex user interface. Both devs are guilty of this to the extreme. Both Mass Effect and Fallout 3 are slow, load all too frequently, and crash-prone to boot.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278017)

bout the only thing that crossed my mind a few times was what KOTOR2 would look like with current generation graphics on the level of Fallout 3 but with more style.

You're in luck - it's called Mass Effect. ;-)

Re:Fallout 3 (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278027)

We must have played different Mass Effects. The one I played was horribly mediocre and had very little in common with Knights of the Old Republic other than also being an RPG.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278863)

Well it is very similar, except for leaving out the beaten to death Star Wars setting. You still have a story which is quite good if you give the game time, you still have the good / evil angles, and way more interesting characters. The problem probably some people might have is that the first intro mission is heavy fight intensive and plays shooter like, which later changes in both aspects towards a more storyish and rpgish mode!

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 5 years ago | (#26282653)

Yeah, pretty much the same game. They even kept the choppy engine, sub-par graphics, and excruciatingly long load times!

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278073)

Everything you said you disliked in Fallout 3 is what I liked about it. The fact that you have to repair your guns and worry about how much you were carrying added to the immersion. I loved that the only equipment you got was from dead bodies and most of it was in poor condition until you fixed it. That's how I would imagine living in a post apocalyptic world is. I liked that you couldn't hoard every weapon you found and had to make difficult choices on what to keep or throw away because it was too heavy. I especially like the side missions, as the game is about exploration and immersion. You didn't like the main story but you're complaining about the other 75% of the game/stories? Each one had a sense of history. The world was alive, and it's all those things you disliked that made it so. Otherwise, it's just a Gears of War knockoff.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278267)

The fact that you have to repair your guns and worry about how much you were carrying added to the immersion.

If you twice invest in the trade caravans at Canterbury Commons the caravans will have a repair skill of 70-75% which is higher than I've had my repair skill. Even then, there are enough skill books and bobble heads, that you can max out every skill at 100 well before you reach level 20. Repairing items wasn't immersive, it was tedious, and monotonous. It's not realistic that someone magically invests in a 'repair stat' and they can someone repair items ranging from Powered Armor Clothing and Plasma Rifles to ancient Swords and Combat Shotguns and Rifles. How does one repair a Chinese Officer Sword without a blacksmith tool set or a heat and forge?

I loved that the only equipment you got was from dead bodies and most of it was in poor condition until you fixed it.

That's not true at all. The best items don't come from dead characters, they come from side quests, or random encounters. Here's some of them for example:

- Ledoux's Hockey Mask (+25 Action Points!!) from an unmarked quest relating to Nuka-Cola
- T-51b Power Armor, from side quest "You Gotta' Shoot 'Em In The Head!"
- A3-21's Plasma Rifle, from the Repiclant of Rivey City sidequest
- Shiskebab, built from a schematic, from misc. parts

I liked that you couldn't hoard every weapon you found and had to make difficult choices on what to keep or throw away because it was too heavy

Again your argument lacks any consistency. So the game was immersive because you could carry only a limited weight's worth of weapons and armor? But what about ammo? Ammo has no weight in the game (unless you play with the PC MOD that assigns weight to all items). Mini-nukes, missiles, large numbers of bullets, fusion cells, rails, BBs.......none of them have weight in the game. That makes no sense and is very inconsistent with the theme of survival in the game. Weapons have assigned weight value to them, but ammunition does not. Carrying 1 bullet versus 40,000 bullets affects your character in the exact same way. Makes no sense whatsoever.

I especially like the side missions, as the game is about exploration and immersion.

But not one mission encourages exploration at all. Every quest, side or main, marks the exact location on your PIP-BOY local and world map. And even if you have not discovered a location or any locations around it, your PIP-BOY manages to chart a PERFECT route through every tunnel and wasteland territory with no explanation of its mysterious psychic computer abilities. How does you PIP-BOY know the EXACT route from Megaton to Galaxy New Radio when you've never stepped foot outside of Vault101 or Megaton...?

The world was alive, and it's all those things you disliked that made it so.

No. The world was DEAD. Nothing is random in Fallout 3. No matter how many times you play through the game the same quests are there, characters never leave their programmed paths, and there is very little variety from play through to play through. Megaton is the same every time to start the game no matter what. It is up to the main character to change every aspect of the entire world. Why doesn't a random group of raiders burn down Oasis? Why don't the Enclave get the G.E.C.K. themselves before you do? We know TESLA armor survives radiation greatly, and Col. Autumn has advanced RAD-X to survive radiation poisoning. He could have retrieved the Garden Kit at any time.....how come Mr. Crowley doesn't just get the keys to Ft. Constantine himself? Dukov and Dave hand over their keys for next to nothing...and Strayer isn't even alive so his son gives up the keys. The game forces the 'lone wanderer' to make the difference in every town and village unrealistically. Why didn't the ENCLAVE destroy Megaton easily? They have an army of Death Claws for god's sake. Why don't raiders ever attack Big Town before you get there? Why don't the ants ever kill Bryan Wilks in Those!? How is it that I'm a Level 20 armed with an experimental MIRV and Power Armor and the kid from Little Lamplight lock me out with a wooden door? How come in Strictly Business the slavers can't round up a measly four random slaves, but in Head of State a smaller group of slavers can march across the ENTIRE Capital Wasteland and destroy the Temple of Union killing Super Mutants and Mercenaries easily along the way? How come Sydney never just gets the Declaration on her own? She waits in the lobby for over a month with nothing to eat or drink until the character decides to show up and initiate that part of the quest. Every quest has a linear and boring sequence to it.

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278825)

Do yourself a favor and get Mass Effect, it basically is Kotor with modern technology and without that annoying star wars setting, I nowadays hate due to overusage by LucasArts!

Btw. Kotor2 was done by the core Fallout guys who have formed Obsidian Entertainment, do have a serious watch on their games, they have 1-2 games in the line which look highly interesting!

Re:Fallout 3 (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 5 years ago | (#26287537)

FYI: If you likes KOTOR 2, you may find part one very good. Bioware made KOTOR 1 and then farmed the second instalment out to Obsidion who IMHO ruined KOTOR 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2 from their amazing originals.

Valkyria Chronicles (2, Interesting)

ShinSugoi (783392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277473)

As a fan of strategy games and RPGs, I was sad that this title was overlooked by so many. Whatever the reason, it is always painful to see an innovative title do poorly -- especially when it is one as enjoyable as this.

From the unique rendering style (which is not well conveyed in screenshots, sort of like okami) to the inventive gameplay which skillfully blends real time turn-based actions together, the soaring Sakimoto score, and unique storybook presentation, there's not much to dislike about Valkyria.

If you have a PS3, I highly recommend you give it a look.

Re:Valkyria Chronicles (1)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277531)

I've played VC for a couple of hours now and I've enjoyed it. Solid game? Yes. Game of the Year? No way.

You can't think this game is superior all-around to MGS4 or Fallout 3?

And yes the game looks terrible online, but the PSN has a nice demo of the game, so people can see what the game looks like in its HD glory.

Once I played the demo I snagged a used copy from my local Gamestop. Good decision.

Re:Valkyria Chronicles (1)

ShinSugoi (783392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277573)

I should probably clarify that I wasn't saying it was "game of the year" or anything like that, but it was the most overlooked game this year that was worthy of people's time.

As someone in the industry, it pains me greatly to see the hard work of many people fall by the wayside just because other titles released in the same season got more advertising. You can debate forever which game is "best", but it seems to me that it would be wiser to try and help the wheat rise out of the proverbial chaff.

And for the record, yes, I enjoyed MGS4 immensely. I thought it was a fantastic game, but it wasn't the best experience I had this year. Which, I should add, is no knock against it.

2009 is going to be even better.... (3, Informative)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277513)

When isolating the games that really separated themselves positively from the rest of the pack this year it boils down to three games for me.

- Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3 exclusive)
- Fallout 3 (PC version only)
- Dead Space (PS3,360,PC)

Metal Gear Solid 4 is the most polarizing AAA series in the last decade in gaming. Some people hate the cut scenes and stealth focus while millions of others embrace it. But the production values of the series, specifically the 4th iteration, are truly phenomenal, and are the best in gaming that have ever been seen. The entire package is aesthetically flawless. But what most people forget is that Metal Gear Solid 4 shipped with the amazing Metal Gear Online 2.0 bundled into it. And MGO2 is truly a remarkable multi-player experience and a standout amongst the already crowded shooter genre. By itself the single or multi-player components could warrant Game-of-the-Year consideration, they are that outstanding. But combined together the latest MGS game is an all-time classic. A single-player experience that will never die. A refreshing, engaging, and rewarding online experience as well. While the fact that is one console exclusive might stop many Nintendo and Microsoft fanboys or diehards from giving it GotY consideration they aren't going stop the flood of awards this game is going to get. One of the best reasons to own a PS3, practically the only reason I own a PS3. SNAAAAAAKE!

Fallout 3. First things first, the PS3 version is automatically disqualified from getting GotY praise as it has so many bugs, glitches, lacked trophy support at launch, and will not receive downloadable content, while the 360 and PC versions were less glitch prone (significantly) and will have DLC. But, the PC version, has the superior audio, visuals, and of course, the collective geniuses and minds of the ever-excellent MOD community (some of the MODs are brilliant already). So if any version of this post-apocalyptic science-fiction RPG-shooter hybrid it's the PC version. Fallout has excellent ambience and immersion, excellent environments and scale, remarkable side quests, and unique RPG elements. The flaws though are large, the main character story is cliche and terrible, compared to the epic and powerful story of Metal Gear Solid 4 it pales dramatically. The ending of the game was also weak, very weak, compared to the ending of MGS4 that some professional reviewers said left them in tears....there is no comparison to the MGS4 storyline. But Fallout 3's open ended quest structure was outstanding, every quest could be completed in any order, and each quest had several ways of successful completion. With the PC community the game is GotY, but as it shipped, with it's terrible story, HORRIBLE endings (Bethesda said the game had 200 possible endings, it has 4...only 196 off Bethesda), and glitches (especially on the PS3) on all platforms, the game shouldn't sweep the awards.

Dead Space. Oh Dead Space...probably the most surprising game of this year for the casual and hardcore alike. It crept up on us slowly like a necromorph hiding in the vents...and JUMPED OUT to scream the community abuzz. Good story? Check. Brilliant use of sound? Check. Good graphics? Check. Shout-outs and homage to The Thing, Event Horizon, and Aliens? Big fucking giant Ishimura mining ship sized check. The sound and graphics were well above par for this generation of games. The story was quite good for a survival-horror game. Unitology, interesting, I liked the back story, can't wait for the sequel (or prequel if you believe some rumors). But the game is mostly run-and-gun with little emphasis on original or unique gaming. And the puzzles? My hamsters could probably solve them. While Dead Space 1 is only a GotY contender, if Dead Space 2 is any major improvement on the first game, expect it to be one the greatest gaming franchises of all time.

Metal Gear Solid 4 for #1
Fallout 3 for #2
Dead Space for #3

Metal Gear Solid 4 doesn't even make the list? (1)

fyleow (1098657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277591)

Huh? It's probably debatable whether it should take the #1 spot but I think most people would agree it deserves a place in the top 10. I'm glad to see Valkyria Chronicles make the list though. Definitely the best PS3 game this year that nobody played.

Re:Metal Gear Solid 4 doesn't even make the list? (1, Flamebait)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26279313)

Thanks Mr. Fanboy

Sacred 2 (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277647)

I expect it will fill the gap between Hellgate:London and Diablo 3 since I'm ~60 hours in and I'm not even through the second level with my first charact (well I did complete about half of level 1 with a throwaway to learn the controls). If you're into hack'n'slash RPG's I don't think you're going to find on better than this until Diablo 3 is released.

As a Mac user I can only say (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277693)

That yeah, game of the year again is Photoshop.

Re:As a Mac user I can only say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277797)

Nice troll. I'll just get back to playing Fallout 3 on my mac, then.

Re:As a Mac user I can only say (2)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278029)

You mean Fallout 3 with a reboot, on a Mac? I'm a Mac user too, but there's no sense pretending that gaming is "as good as" the PC here, it simply isn't. What I wouldn't give for some native OS X games, rebooting every time I want to play a game is a bit stupid.

Not to mention I bought a Mac so I can run OS X, not use that craptastic piece of crap known as Windows.

Re:As a Mac user I can only say (1)

powerspike (729889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278667)

well if you buy a mac to look cool, you buy windows to work and play :P , why complain about something that just is ?

EchoChrome: Escher game for PS3 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277773)

EchoChrome is a PS3 game based on the worlds of M.C. Escher's drawings.

Turn the world view until paths appear to line up, and they do!

This has got to be the most innovative gameplay mechanism of the year, if not the decade!

Will probably get flamed for this, but... (0)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277951)

The only game I bought this year was the expansion WOTLK for WoW, and I like it alot, you can really see that warhammer put alot of pressure on them to do better, and they have (before you never got the feeling that they're listening, but that's changed.. a bit), but I always feel sad about the lack of character customization, wish you could one-time enchant the gear you'd like to wear with the stats you like instead of having to wear gear which doesn't fit your idea of your character (I think mages have for a long time complained about the robe limitation for instance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqO7zEWu0W0&feature=PlayList&p=A818244F3E90415E&index=4 [youtube.com] ).

RE: The Best Games of 2008 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278757)

Really, does anything beat rooting around in your own navel to discover what is in there? Depending on who you are, the game is beautifully rendered in 3D with such life-like tones as to be mind boggling. The game is at once simple to understand yet very difficult to master (since you can only dig so far without causing permanent injury, extreme blood loss, or untying the knot that holds in all the air that keeps you inflated). You also get a real prize: something with fuzz and hair on it and a slight odor that you can't quite describe yet continue to sniff at it with a slight sense of personal embarrassment at what you are doing.

This is a game worth mentioning!

Most people are playing: (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278823)

Sim Cardboard City.

Jobsearch II.

Hunt the CFO.

Call of Duty 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26279021)

Skip single player - go to Multi-player and hide the kids. Mindless, endless fun!

Parkour (1)

Z-MaxX (712880) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280653)

I just have to say thanks for mentioning 'parkour [wikipedia.org] '! I looked it up on Wikipedia and learned about it. I played Mirror's Edge and thought that the whole idea of the runners and their movement techniques was really cool, and now I learn there is an actual word for the movement techniques! That's great.

Now I'm off to learn parkour IRL.

Because nobody mentioned these... (1)

Bobtree (105901) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281751)

Sins of a Solar Empire (PC): excellent game design in this epic RTS with a great interface, beautiful scalable graphics engine, ongoing expansion-sized patch improvements and developer support, and smart hands-off units.

Shiren the Wanderer (DS): the definitive Japanese roguelike, a tight and inventive game design, structured world with randomized levels and persistent-between-games item storage and quest progress, short but sweet and highly replayable.

Baroque (Wii/PS2): a modern port of this obscure realtime action roguelike, mysterious goals and story unfolding over multiple trips to the tower, great atmosphere, and a truly enormous item list that will surprise you long after you think you've seen everything.

Savage 2 (PC): now free to play, this team FPS/RTS hybrid has much less downtime than its predecessor, much more accessible combat, very helpful in-game player aids, and nicely balanced sides.

Mount & Blade (PC): indie medieval combat on horseback meets open-world adventure sim (Sid Meier's Pirates! style), and it's half price on Steam until this Friday.

MGS4, no contest... (1)

Red Samurai (893134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26282413)

Anyone who's played through the whole series, start to finish, cannot deny that MGS4 deserves to be crowned this year's best game (I won't go in to why, as others have already done so in some detail). It won't win though, as most gamers will have never even played it because few even own a PS3, and that's tragic.

Dead Space/Fallout 3 (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 5 years ago | (#26282693)

Stuck fairly early in Dead Space so *meh* for that one until I can figure it out.

I like Fallout 3 so far. Much farther along that one. I really like the different radio stations though :)

[John]

The alternative list (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26283579)

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People.

No More Heroes

Mother 3 (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284617)

My game of the year is Mother 3 for the GBA. The game was released in 2006 but an unofficial English translation was released in October of this year. I loved the game, great story and classic gameplay.

For my complete list of game of the year winners, check out my site. I unfortunately didn't get to play a lot of games this year... having a baby and buying a house can really dig into your free time. Also having an old PC and no next gen systems doesn't help... Though I did finally get an Xbox 360 (and the first thing I'm doing is replaying Mass Effect... :)

http://firsthour.net/goty/2008-game-of-the-year-awards [firsthour.net]

DRM tag? Really? (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26284991)

Is there a reason for the DRM tag beyond "Spore" was one of the games listed? The list in no way was talking about DRM. Okay, several of the games listed had issues with DRM, that's true. They've been covered. Extensively. And complained about even more. Many times. We know it's important to you. We know you boycotted spore because it had DRM, good for you, I noted that in my log of things slashdotters effectively boycotted, right there on page 3271. But let's keep discussions of DRM to discussions of DRM. Let's stop bringing up DRM and how unfair it is every time someone talks about games.

My top game? Same game as last year... (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#26285455)

NetHack [nethack.org] .

How do you possibly quantify? (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26287665)

MGS4 was the epic story. It was also too self-referential.

GTA4 was the grand sandbox. But it could've used a solid anchoring experience in the middle somewhere.

Fable 2 was the accessible lovable. But it could've used a pinch more depth.

Fallout 3 was the total mood and setting. But it wasn't quite as satisfying as its predecessors.

World of Goo was the great cheap date. So was Braid. Braid was the cheap arthouse-and-museum date, Goo was the beer-and-pizza date.

And if you were a hardcore Japanese RPG fan, there was Persona 4. And if you were the outgoing, social tagalong, then you had Left 4 Dead. And if you're one of the rare Wii holdouts, you had Super Smash Bros Brawl.

Y'know, some years, Game of the Year awards are tough. But this year, it's going to be nothing but arguments. There was no single flawless game (enthusiasm for the consistently high-rated GTA4 seemed to fall off precipitously at a certain point), but there was an "excellent" game in every category. This was the year of, choose your own damned best game of the year.

Now, please excuse me. I'm going to go play some more Rock Band 2.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?