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What Is Your Game of the Year?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the all-three-console-makers-are-having-a-merry-christmas dept.

Games 477

It's that time of year again. Last year's response to our Game of the Year post was so enthusiastic that I thought it would be worthwhile to give it another go. So, once again, some of the Slashdot folks have come together to offer up our 'games of the year'. Scuttlemonkey, Scott Collins, Chris Brown, CmdrTaco, and myself have all put together quick blurbs about the games we couldn't get enough of this year. When you're through reading those, it's your turn to speak up. What was the game you couldn't put down? The next-gen consoles really came into their own this year; was it one of those games, or something for the PC? In your opinion, what was the best game of the year?Slashdot Engineer Chris Brown:
If you read game sites at all, by now you've probably had more than your fill of cake and Weighted Companion Cube jokes. But Portal remains one of the best games to come out this year, well worth the price of the entire Orange Box just by itself. It's a darkly funny genre-bender of a game, and every minute of it is enjoyable. The only thing a reasonable person could still wish for is more of it - it's a short game by anyone's standards. And Ellen McLain's brilliant voice acting as GLaDOS makes me giggle like a schoolgirl.

My only regret is not experiencing the game on my PC. The Xbox 360's controls are awkward and the general ambiance of the environments seemed pretty drab and washed out.

Slashdot Engineer Scott Collins:
My favorite game this year (outside of WoW, I'm required to admit) was something of a surprise. It started at a chili-dinner party when a friend pulled a deck of cards out and said "Let's play Fluxx." Everyone else seemed to know what was going on, so I didn't require any convincing. It turns out to be a pretty fast-paced card game where you play: 'Action' cards, such as 'Pick a card at random from another player's hand'; 'Keeper' cards which are assets you collect to win, like 'The Brain', 'The Toaster', 'Dreams', 'The Rocket', et al; 'New Rule' cards that change play, like 'Draw 4' which changes the initial game of "draw 1, play 1" to "draw 4, play 1"; and 'Goals', like 'Milk and Cookies' meaning that while that is the current goal, the player who has played both the Milk and Cookies Keepers immediately wins. It ends up being a very strange and fun mix, something like Nomic combined with Uno. But that's not the end of the story.

The game was so much fun that when I got home I looked up the maker, Looney Labs, to buy a Fluxx deck for myself. There I discovered Zombie Fluxx.Zombie Fluxx adds a new kind of anti-Keeper: the Creeper; while the Keepers are things like 'The Chainsaw', 'The Can of Gasoline', 'The Shotgun'; the Goals are things like 'I alone survived', where if you have a Friend (Keeper), and the Car, and no zombies --- and everyone else has at least one zombie, you win. I managed to play Zombie Fluxx with all of my kids at once. At Thanksgiving, we had a game with three generations playing (just regular Fluxx though; I don't think Grandma and Grampa are ready for Zombies). The decks are designed so you can easily combine regular Fluxx and Zombie Fluxx for an even bigger game (and easily separate them again).

Patrick "Scuttlemonkey" McGarry:
This year saw a rather violent shift in my gaming appetites, as I decided it was time to kick the World of Warcraft habit.Any game that required too much of my time was avoided like the plague.That being said, the Wii's Mario Galaxy turned out to be my perfect game this year. So long have I been engrossed in the massive "pretty factor" of games (Quake, Doom, F.E.A.R., Warcraft, EVE, Empire at War, etc) that try to impress users with graphics, huge storylines, or tons of options that I forgot how great it could be just to find a simple game that offers a little bit of distraction and fun. Mario Galaxy really is the ultimate realization of the Mario franchise so far. It offers all of the glory of a platformer while offering several new twists.The first major expansion beyond the normal Mario world was their use of 3D and gravity. Many surfaces in the game acted as their own planet, complete with gravity well and the ability to traverse all sides of the object. There are also many fun manipulations of gravity throughout the game.Mario Galaxy also takes advantage of many unique controls available on the Wii to really make the gameplay interesting, without being overly hard.

Many games I have played recently really required a great deal of time to hone your skills to that "expert" level, and while that may be fine for a game with the scope of World of Warcraft, I shouldn't need that level of dedication for a simple platformer and Mario Galaxy delivers spectacularly. There were just enough challenges in the game to make it interesting but it was easy enough I could just pick it up and put it down whenever I felt like it without getting frustrated. The other major advancement Mario Galaxy has made was in cooperative gameplay. The new "co-star" mode makes it possible for you to include even the most staunch non-gamers in the Mario Galaxy experience. The co-star is given a cursor on the screen with which they can pick up power-ups, halt incoming enemies or enemy attacks, assist with stronger jumps, and even stun enemies for easy dispatch. Keep in mind that while all of these things are helpful if you happen to have a co-star, the game doesn't require you to have one, so that helpful individual can come and go as they please.

This makes it ideal for friends who drop by or loved ones that don't want to really jump in with both feet. All in all Mario Galaxy is a great casual game that can provide entertainment for just about any gaming appetite, definitely worth a look.

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda:
My entry for game of the year is almost more about multiplayer gameplay. From fighters to first person shooters, there are just so many games out where I can invite a friend to join me, and then one of us crushes the other. Don't get me wrong, this is fun, but in many of those games, the person with the superior skill is bored while the less experienced player is defeated over and over again. It can get old.

Enter Rock Band. It might be the perfect party game. Someone drums, another plays bass, another lead guitar. And the most daring of any you takes up the USB microphone and goes nuts karaoke style. Instead of competing, you are a team. When one person fails out, another can bring them back by pulling off an overdrive move. And with the multiple difficulty settings, I can play on hard, while a friend plays on easy, and we can both be challenged and entertained.

It's hours of fun. It has problems: too many cords, not enough songs that everyone agrees on, and finding a spare guitar right now seems to be impossible. But each of those problems is addressable and doesn't take away from the fact that everyone can rock out for a few minutes. Everyone can be equals with a common goal and be challenged (well, maybe not people who have mastered expert mode, but I have no sympathy for you ;) It's got a steep price tag, but if you have 3 friends, it's worth it.

Michael "Zonk" Zenke:
My game of the year 2007 was decided during the 2006 E3 event.Mass Effect, at that point, was nothing more than a trailer about some space marine talking to an alien bartender. Years of patient waiting culminated for me in a 45 minute drive to the K-Mart in Portage, WI. Being able to buy a game a full week and a half before it releases generally is a special treat - moreso for me because of the chance to review the game before it came out. With a review in mind, I spent a full week leisurely exploring the world of Commander Shepherd, trying to stop Saren from carrying out his mad plot.

Over the course of that week, I was deeply, fully in love with the game. Yes, it's got some major flaws. The game's UI ranges from barely passable to amateur hour, and there are some honest frustrations to be voiced about character AI. Just the same, I was hooked, happily using the conversation wheel and Paragoning my way through the game's endless content. In some ways it reminded me a lot of Oblivion, my pick for last year's GOTY, in that the story fully drew me in. I've played Mass Effect quite a bit less than Oblivion; the exploration elements are just not as engaging.

But quality easily makes up for quantity, and my time with Mass Effect has been amazing. The moment that cemented this title in my personal hall of fame was actually the climax. Oblivion's ending is something of a 'whatever' - the joy there is in the journey. With Mass Effect, Shepherd's final confrontation with Saren is easily one of the most memorable gaming moments I've ever experienced. It's an incredibly fitting cap to the game's epic story and (somehow) actually makes me want to play through the whole thing over again.

Blemishes and all, Mass Effect is my game of the year for 2007. It reaffirmed for me the storytelling potential of western-style RPGs, and let me put to rest a burning anticipation I've had for quite some time. And, of course, now I can get ready for the next chapter in the series. When do you think Mass Effect 2 will be out?

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Super Mario Bros. 3 (4, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768104)

My game of the year is Super Mario Bros 3. It is an awesome game, easily as good or better than anything else I played this year. Or does it have to be something made this year? Hmmm, I guess whatever Wii game it was that I played at the mall.

Re:Super Mario Bros. 3 (3, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768238)

I think that it does have to be something made this year, but lucky for you that doesn't count out Super Mario 3 because it seems like nintendo is perpetually rereleasing it for various platforms in various new versions. So you can't vote for Super Mario 3, you'll have to vote for "Super Mario Advanced Grand Ultimate Collection DS, now with online multi-player and purchasable characters and music, only $5.99 per download".

Game of the Year? (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768662)

You mean "Trolling Slashdot?" ;-)

O.K. Lego Star Wars II. Great gameplay, and required interaction/cooperation of the players.

Re:Super Mario Bros. 3 (3, Interesting)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768272)

If we're picking old games, I'll say that Planescape: Torment [] from 1999 has given me more joy than the games listed above. I like some of the best's picked by those guys, but they just don't have the staying power for me.

Despite the fact that it's visually unimpressive now(and was not really that special then), it has a very compelling story, and fantastic dialogue. I actually cared about many of the characters in the story, and hoped for Good Things to happen to them. And there's some dark stuff too, which I like. Shame that more work wasn't done in the Planescape universe, it's a pretty interesting system.

Re:Super Mario Bros. 3 (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768648)

The latest Civilization. It's the Emacs of games.

Super Mario Bros. 2! (2, Interesting)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768380)

I am very happy that they finally released the original NES version of Super Mario Bros. 2 as a Virtual Console download...

I think one of the neat things about it is that pretty much everybody has played Super Mario Bros., so they know how the game works - and some will even remember it well enough that playing it again would hold no surprises - but not so many have played SMB2, so it's like a brand-new experience with the old favorite.

(For the record, I've got nothing against the game that was released as "Super Mario Bros. 2" in the US - I love that game, I have lots of great memories of playing it as a kid, and feel it's very worthy of being turned into a Mario title... And I don't believe players in the US would have been thrilled by the real SMB2 back in 1988, when SMB3 was coming out, because NES games had progressed so far beyond the original SMB by then...)

Re:Super Mario Bros. 3 (2, Informative)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768496)

First of all, great analysis.

This is definately one of the most informative posts I have read all day. You must have played a dizzying amount of games this year to come up with the conclusion that Super Mario Bros. 3 is the best game ever.

Your backup choice for Game of the Year is equally inspired. Whatever Wii game you played at the mall is an unforgetable classic that will be played for years to come.

My choice for Game of the Year is Super Mario Galaxy [] . The number of mindblowingly cool levels and awesome game play put this game in a class of its own.

Re:Super Mario Bros. 3 (5, Funny)

danamania (540950) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768654)

I'm on a Mac, so I'll have to say Photoshop, again.

Re:Super Mario Bros. 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768804)

I just bought SMB3 and I was blown away how good it is. Usually games are not as good as you remember them, but not the case with SMB3. This would also be my game of the year, for the second time...

nethack (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768110)

same as last year.

rogue (1)

wart (89140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768298)

Same as the last 26 years...

hands down (3, Funny)

wolfgang_spangler (40539) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768116)

pass the pigs.

#1 game (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768132)

hide the salami

Re:#1 game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768846)

i don't know why, but that shit was so funny I almost pissed myself

Bioshock (5, Interesting)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768142)

It's not exactly an adventurous or controversial pick, but for me, Bioshock was far and away the best game of 2007. It represents a new era of the video game as a story, continually engaging players in the plot of the world that unfolds around them. The art was downright stunning, the characters interesting, the gameplay was great, and you got to engage in the exciting-yet-gross act of harvesting a 9 year old girl for her body fluids.

Re:Bioshock (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768282)

the exciting-yet-gross act of harvesting a 9 year old girl for her body fluids
I hope you know the FBI is on the way.

Re:Bioshock (5, Funny)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768494)

If anybody asks, I'll say that I was trying to Rescue her and my finger hit the wrong button.

13 times.

While I was naked.

Re:Bioshock (1)

klingens (147173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768718)

There have been games like this long before. First one I remember is Ultima Underworld. Others are System Shock, System Shock 2 and Deus Es

Porta! (-1, Redundant)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768148)


P.S. The cake is a LIE!

Vice City (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768154)

Grand Theft Audio: Vice City Stories (PS2)

That game rocks.

Rock Band (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768164)

I'm hoping it's 1/2 as good as you say. I'm waiting on the PS2 bundle which was to be released on the 18th...the Gamestops are all saying tomorrow the 21st. Which blows because I'm leaving early in the morning. Anyone know where I can get it in the Houston area?

Oldschool (1)

blackbirdwork (821859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768172)

Monkey Island for ever. I don't care about new games.

I've got a little TIP for you! Get the POINT? (4, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768568)

Since I bought a Nintendo DS this year and was delighted to learn there's a port of SCUMMVM [] I think I might have to agree with your choice.

portal (1)

hagnat (752654) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768178)

nuff said

Most Popular (3, Funny)

krog (25663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768180)

The "Waiting in line for the big-box store to open for the day so I can maybe snag a Wii" seems to be a popular title this year. No supply shortages either.

Re:Most Popular (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768514)

The "Waiting in line for the big-box store to open for the day so I can maybe snag a Wii" seems to be a popular title this year. No supply shortages either.

That was pretty popular, but there was a cross platform game that was way more popular. It was called "Console Fanboi".

Ratchet & Clank (2)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768186)

Ratchet & Clank is my game of the year. It's a throwback to the old school 3D platformers like Crash Bandicoot. Fun game play, tons of great weapons and an interesting and funny storyline. Just an overall great game.

A close second would have to be Heavenly Sword.

Call of Duty 4 (3, Interesting)

Fear13ss (917494) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768196)

Gameplay is amazing, graphics are acceptable. Single player isn't half bad either. After buying Call of Duty, it was nearly impossible to go back to Halo 3, so I haven't.

Second. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768352)

Graphics are absolutely amazing - on a PS3 with a hidef TV.

On a PC, your mileage may vary - but they were beautiful enough on my three-year old system with a crappy GeForce 6-series.

It runs on my new system - which has a mere onboard video card. Not very well, not very well at all, mind you, but it runs. But then, the CoD series has always been famous for running on systems far below spec.

Singleplayer is absolutely amazing - the game will never be mislabelled as glorifying war.

Multiplayer... For the first time since the Counterstrike beta versions, I've seen random groups of people attempting to use teamwork - holy crap, imagine that.

CoD 4 owns all.

Re:Call of Duty 4 (0, Flamebait)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768424)

After buying Call of Duty, it was nearly impossible to go back to Halo 3, so I haven't.
Halo 2 was lame so I did not bother with Halo 3. Funny though, how every major game site came out with a 9.something review.

Re:Call of Duty 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768610)

Game of the Year! There is, and has never been, a more intense, beautiful shooter. Infinity Ward jumps to the front of the developer pack with this game, just slightly ahead of Valve, for now...

The QA game (4, Funny)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768236)

It's great.

You score 5 points every time you reduce a developer to incoherent frustration*, 10 points when you "suddenly notice" a flaw in the requirements causing a project to be re-engineered at the last minute and 20 points when you break a production system and successfully lay the blame on someone else.

*Double if they're on the autistic spectrum and temporarily lose the ability to communicate except in grunts and howls.

I'm still alive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768240)

Portal is definitely a very nice game, and worthy of consideration for GOTY. It could only be improved by adding more levels.

nannymud (1)

wolfgang_spangler (40539) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768244)

After not playing for quite some time, I got hooked on Nannymud [] again this year.

Laser Game! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768250)

My favorite game is shining a green laser at helicopters with my wife.

For differing system types: (2, Interesting)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768254)

PC -- WoW, because it's one of the only games that runs on my Mac. And it's awesome.

Console -- Mass Effect. Great looking and sounding game, with a fun real-time combat system and a cool space-opera story.

Portable/handheld -- FFXII: Revenant Wings. They said that RTS could not be done on a portable. Then came the DS and Square.

Puzzle Quest (2, Interesting)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768262)

I've spent more hours playing Puzzle Quest for my DS than I care to mention, and I haven't even finished yet.

Re:Puzzle Quest (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768566)

Gah. I bought Puzzle Quest and played it for a few hours. I ended up selling to my cousin because I was bored out of my mind. My wife LOVES puzzle games and she was the one to suggest that we get rid of it. I'm glad you enjoy it, but I just couldn't get into it.

And there will be... cake... (5, Insightful)

EtoilePB (1087031) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768270)

I can't help but agree with Portal. I was impressed with it through and through. And as someone who adores Jonathan Coulton and who writes about gender issues in gaming... well, what's not to love? The game had a SUPERB learning curve, especially for someone like me who generally hates and does poorly with FPS-like games. It was clever, darkly amusing, and hnad actual problems to solve, which is my favorite sort of game.

So Portal hands down, with BioShock in a good solid second place. I can't find out until after Christmas what I'll place in third, because that's when I'll be getting the rest of the games I was hoping to try this year. ;)

Board Games (1)

auburnate (755235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768276)

I may behind the times on when these games came out, but I throughly enjoyed playing Power Grid, Ra, and Puerto Rico for the first time last week.

Is this... (1)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768290)


a bit of a suprise... (1)

mraudigy (1193551) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768292)

I planned to say Call of Duty 4 simply for its mastery of realism and gameplay, but then I thought some more and decided upon Rock Band. Maybe not the greatest game to play, but to watch people play its rather entertaining. Unlike Guitar Hero, now not only can you NOT be in a band, you can NOT be in a band with all of your friends too! Rejection and denial all around!


SniperClops (776236) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768296)

I purchased Lord of the Rings Online and ended up really liking it. Even more so than WoW.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (1, Interesting)

Chuckaluphagus (111487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768300)

It isn't necessarily the best game of the year (I'd give that to Portal), but it was such an astonishing shift in the way first-person games are played. The control interface is the first time the motion controls on the Wii have been absolutely perfect, the design is beautiful and varied and the gameplay is fluid and intuitive. I've never before encountered such a radical shift in my expectations of how an entire game genre should be played.

Wondering what it's like.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768302) have so much spare time you have to play games to fill it up?

Re:Wondering what it's like.... (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768576)

Wonderfully lonely.

Even before I saw the Shire... (1, Interesting)

sherpajohn (113531) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768330)

I was hooked on Lord of the Rings Online. But being in Beta and seeing the Shire the day it was released was a dream come true. It helps that Turbine made Lord of the Rings Online a game I love playing.

And my wife and I were happy to leave WOW, after friends from EQ1 begged us to come onboard, then to be told we were not "ready" for the raids they held was a bit of a bummer. What aboring grindfest. I am still having fun taking my 4th alt in LOTRO through the level 30 content.

n00bs (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768334)

you guys are n00bs... Portal? Mario? what happened to all the cool fraggers on /.?
ETQW ftw!
Excellent Linux support too!

This one (0, Troll)

Butisol (994224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768344)

My favorite game of the year is the one where Mistress strips me, handcuffs me, and makes me push a marble to the other side of the room with my erection. It's tricky because if I don't do it in a certain amount of time she gives me a nasty spanking.

FreeCiv 2.1.1 (2, Interesting)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768358)

Seriously, our family just loves FreeCiv [] .


Mass Effect (3, Informative)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768372)

I would also have to give it to Mass Effect this year. Last year it was Oblivion, with stiff competition from Gears of War, Final Fantasy XII, Okami, and LoZ: Twilight Princess. I just like open-ended RPGs with immersive worlds more than anything else, I guess.

This year Mass Effect has similarly strong competition from Bioshock, Halo 3, and Mario Galaxy (as far as "regular," non-Guitar Hero-type games go), but it managed to really draw me in the way Oblivion did. I haven't been this into a game since Gears of War and FFXII, and it's been a year since then ^^

Mass Effect's story is decent enough on the surface (your character is badass and everyone knows it so you are sent to take out another badass -- simple but cool) and it really shines in the details. Very real character development takes place. You get attached to them. I do wish they had a bit more "presence" during combat, the way your teammates in Gears do, but that's a small complaint.

The character models are fantastic, and the visual design of the game in general is quite good. The ligthing and shadows are sometimes very bad, and texture loading is very noticeably slow, but that rarely distracts, which is important.

The flow of one mission to another, the way subquests are introduced and progressed -- it's all quite immersive.

In short, Mass Effect is the closest I've come to feeling like I'm controlling a movie or miniseries. (Oblivion felt like I was playing a spinoff of Hercules The Legendary Journeys, which was sweet, hehe.)

Oh, also the "world" Mass Effect introduces is cool and easily one of my favorite in sci-fi now.

My top 10 - and a few other picks (4, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768382)

Game of the Year? Hmm... tough one. It's been a good year for games. I think if I were to rank my top picks, it'd look something like this:

10) Odin Sphere (PS2) - wonderfully quirky little RPG/brawler combo, with 2d graphics that put some next-gen titles to shame and probably the best game soundtrack of the year.

9) God of War 2 (PS2) - epic in scale, utterly exhilerating to play, the perfect demonstration that you don't need a fancy gimmick controller to make a game's controls immersive. Probably the best looking game that will ever hit the PS2.

8) Call of Duty 4 (PC) - I hated the previous installments in the series, but this one is much, much better. Unlike most other "military" shooters around, this one has a pretty good plot. The combat is probably the most satisfying we've seen from an fps this year. It's too short, but it's a lot of fun while it lasts.

7) Bioshock (PC) - yeah, I know, it wasn't quite the Second Coming of Gaming that some of the early reviews made it out to be. The atmosphere, concept and sheer flexibility of the combat system, however, still mean it was a great game.

6) Command & Conquer 3 (PC) - I went into this prepared to hate it (I loathed C&C2 and Red Alert 2), but this was he game that, for me at least, put the fun back into the RTS genre. Stupidly fast-paced, it delivered the kind of adrenelin rush that you don't expect from an RTS. Moreover, with the gratuitous use of FMV cutscenes, it left most other offerings this year in the dust in terms of production values.

5) Crysis (PC) - The combat doesn't quite match up to Call of Duty 4's, but the sheer scope of Crysis is incredible. Even compared to Farcry, the sheer number of ways you can tackle each mission is staggering. If it weren't for the incredibly irritating floaty mission in the alien base, this would have been a contender for number 1.

4) Forza Motorsport 2 (Xbox 360) - Still no release date in sight for Gran Turismo 5, but I don't care any more. This is the best "realistic" racing sim I've seen on any platform, ever. A few more tracks would have been nice, but I guess we can hope to see that in the sequel.

3) Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 - With a hideously dated game-engine and a repetative combat system, this might seem an odd pick for so high up on the list. However, with the superb production values, the great writing and the innovative "everyday life" dynamic, this was my favourite Japanese RPG of the year.

2) Portal (PC) - Let's be clear, this game was too short. But there's no point crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.

1) Mass Effect (Xbox 360) - My game of the year, by some distance. Bioshock show just what they can do when they step out of the shackles of other people's content. It took me a while to get into this game, as the sheer size of it was a bit intimidating. However, there's no denying this is the deepest, best written, best produced and just-plain-all-around-jaw-dropping game of the year. The combat rocks, the characters are memorable and the game mechanics are intuitive.

Now, a few games not quite in my top 10, but which also impressed me a lot this year (in no particular order):

Ar Tonelico (PS2) - The ultimate guilty pleasure. I really shouldn't like this, but I couldn't help it.

Halo 3 (Xbox 360) - Too short and unoriginal to make the top 10, but still engrossing.

Resident Evil 4 (Wii) - One of the few Wii ports to be genuinely enhanced by the control system.

Final Fantasy 3 (DS) - This is how you do a remake.

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PSP) - Another excellent remake.

Heavenly Sword (PS3) - Thoroughly overshadowed by God of War 2, but still decent.

And now, the disappointments...

Supreme Commander (PC) - It pains me to write this, because I had a lot of hopes invested in this game, but it just reminded me how much things had moved on since Total Annihilation. A good effort, but it felt slow and (dare I say it) a bit boring compared to more recent offerings.

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - I don't see what all the fuss is about, it's still just Mario 64. .hack//G.U. (PS2) - Come on guys, I love the concept of this franchise, but just please make an effort with the gameplay.

Blue Dragon (Xbox 360) - Oh dear god. Finally, the Xbox 360 gets a Japanese RPG with serious talent behind it, a huge production budget and a polished release. And they go and make it look, sound and feel like Dragon Ball fucking Z. Somebody shoot me.

And finally, in a category all of its own:

Lair (PS3) - Outside of the PC and Nintendo DS budget ranges, truly bad games are almost extinct these days. The quality assurance systems in place at the big developers and console manufacturers mean that we should never actually play a game that is actively bad, rather than just insipid and mediocre. This is why Lair came as such a shock. It took me back to the days of C64 gaming in the 1980s, when you actually got games with truly unworkable controls, abysmal mission design, dire scripting and almost no way to distinguish friend from foe. I actually bought Lair and I don't regret the purchase. Everybody should have a game like this in their collection, to give them a bit of perspective whenever the slash-horde starts ranting about how the latest over-hyped, under-polished (but still playable) big name game is the Worst Game Ever (TM). We won't see another AAA title like this for years, so enjoy it.

Super Mario Galaxy / Halflife 2, Ep2 (1)

tcdk (173945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768388)

For playing with the kid Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii is amazing. The graphics are okay, for a wii, but the puzzles and the game eplay is just amazingly engaging. It's just fun.

Halflife 2. Ep 2 looks amazing. My PC isn't a dedicated gaming PC, but fairly new, and I did splash a bit extra on the graphics card. It's fun and it has a few good places where a literally twitched and dodged, when something jumped me. You need to be in the game to do that. Was a bit short through...

ugh (1)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768390)

I'm tired of hearing people talk about Mario Galaxy as if it did something new. Not only was Sonic messing around with gravity in the Genesis days, the entire concept of mini planetoids with their own gravity that you can walk around was the basis for like... 3 levels in Sonic Adventure 2.

Stop acting like it's new, Nintendo is out of ideas. They're just lucky that they're amazing at whatever they put their tired minds to.

Mario Galaxy hands down (4, Informative)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768398)

Mario Galaxy is definitely my game of the year. It's pretty much what every Mario fan has been waiting for after New Super Mario Bros. Right from the beginning, you keep getting wowed until you just can't believe you're playing this game. The physics of the gravity, the variety of gameplay in the different power-ups you can grab, and the focus on core Mario gameplay really brings this game to the top. This game will have you perfecting the controls in every sense, and they're a joy to use. You'll be doing acrobatics all over levels to reach areas that seem impossible to get to. The game is also constantly surprising with the various bosses and tricks the different levels use to get the most out of the gameplay engine.
I just sincerely hope this won't be the last actual 'traditional' (platformer) Mario game we'll be seeing on the Wii. Mario Sunshine was pretty much the only one on the Gamecube, Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64, and Mario World for the SNES, but NES got SMB 1, 2, and 3. I realize it takes a lot to put out one of these games, but I really don't want to be playing any Princess Peach, Wario, or Luigi games or any of these knock-offs. They're great in their own right, but really you wish you were playing a new Mario game. I realize too much could water down the franchise, but it definitely won't get tired if there's a new one every 2 or 1.5 years. Come on, Nintendo! I want as much Mario as I can get!

Mass Effect, no doubt (1)

hudsonhawk (148194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768404)

I usually only game about 3 or 4 hours per week. I got Mass Effect about 2 weeks ago and have already put in nearly 30 hours.

It's pretty rare that I bother to "savor" a game - but that's exactly what I'm doing. I know I'm about to go to the last planet, so I'm running around completely all the side quests first. They're definitely weaker than the core missions, but it's nice to have some extra bit of world to immerse yourself in.

This is easy (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768406)

Duke Nukem Forever. It should sweep this Game of the Year and Vaporware of the Year. And being slashdot, it should win again tomorrow.

Seriously... UT2004... (3, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768422)

My friend and I been playing UT2004 mulitplayer since my other computer can't run UT3 yet. This is the game that we still keep coming back to year after year. Before that, it was Quake 2.

Age of Empires III Asian Dynasties (1)

mytrip (940886) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768430)

My favorite game is AOE III. I play that and Flight Sim X but AOE III Dynasties is the best thing to come out this year as far as I'm concerned. I built a new core 2 duo system with an ATI XTX 1950 card and run it it full 1920x1200 mode with all the bells and whistles turned on and the graphics are awesome. It will use a havoc physics engine if you have one. Playing that game in 4x4 mode stresses the computer but its quite an experience and a big step forward in realtime rendering, especially since it will use the GPU on the card.

Could have been rock band (1)

get quad (917331) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768440)

Mine could have been rock band, but after all 3 peripherals broke within the first week of play I'd have to say GHII. My pending news submission from Dec 19th tells all about the problems with Rock Band.

Where's the Crisis!?!?!?!?! (1)

MM_LONEWOLF (994599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768442)

Having played most of the games mentioned, albeit less than 30 minutes apiece, I must say that I'm surprised that Crysis did not make the list. I can honestly say that it was the best game I ever played, and if god grants my wish, there will be endless sequels.

Just one? Here's a list. (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768454)

I really couldn't decide on one game, so I made a list. The one central theme this year (for me) is fun. I've enjoyed just about every genre over the years, so was really looking for something different.

BioShock. I know many people will disagree, but the story and setting of BioShock made it a blast to play. Loads of fun from start to finish.

Zelda, Phantom Hourglass. I'm currently about 3/4 finished with the newest Zelda rendition and I'm having a hard time putting it down. The control scheme took a bit to get used to, but it has proved to be a very enjoyable change. Also, the graphics are striking considering that it is a DS game.

I'd like to vote for Mario Galaxy, but I haven't had enough time to play it. My vote will probably go to Metroid Prime 3. The controls are fantastic and I would repurchase 1 & 2 if they were released with Wii controls for around $25-30 each. I'm also looking forward to Zack & Wiki.

Card/Board game:
Munchkin Bites. I'm sure more than a few here have had the pleasure of Munchkin, but I didn't find it until a couple of months ago. I brought that and Bang! (card game) with to a party and both were great fun.

Portal, hands down (1)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768456)

I'd have to agree with Chris - Portal would be my choice for "Best Game of 2007".

I'm not sure who thought of making a first-person puzzle-shooting dark comedy game, but it just so happened to come together wonderfully. Add in the fact that GLADOS was the only real "enemy" of the game (unless you count the turrets), and you have one of the most ingenuitive games I've ever played. It's no wonder that 'The cake is a LIE!' and the 'Companion Cube' are now concepts easily recognized by most gamers and non-gamers alike. If only they had added some kind of multiplayer component!

My Games of the Moment... (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768468)

Some lesser-appreciated games have my attention right now. Like "Yin and Yang" (a silly little Flash from MTV games), or Line Rider (another, even simpler flash game), or the Pirates CCG. For the big ones, Rock Band, Mario Galaxy, and Portal all struck me as fascinating, but I haven't played any of them at length.

guild wars: eye of the north (1)

Augmento (725540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768472)

i get to fight charr without going to pre-searing. runner up goes to battle for wesnoth.

Ratchet&Clank (2)

NumbDr9 (601117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768482)

Tools of destruction.

Loads of fun, gorgeous visuals, beautiful environment, stylish characters, amusing mini-games, and fun for the whole family. This was a game where I would get home from work and my kids would say, "Dad, can you play Ratchet and Clank?"


auldnic (1185365) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768488)

For the geeks and nerds it must be The Lord Of The Rings Online mmorpg. Gorgeous game and meeting Gandalf and Strider et al is an honour!

Definitely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768492)

Chrono Trigger!

Stalker (4, Interesting)

GreggBz (777373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768520)

I don't know if it's worth anything but STALKER was the only game I played to completion this year.

I'm just so sick of Fantasy. I'm sick of elves, magic and special potions. I'm sick of WW2. Bioshock, while good, was not real to me, it just seemed over the top; to far fetched, sensational and psedu-scientific. A little make believe is ok, but spouting fire and lightning bolts from your hands because of a genetic enhancement potion stopped being intriguing to me. It just seems ridicules as I approach 30.

Playing something that really challenged me, based on a real area, with very realistic weapons and a gritty post-apocalyptic atmosphere was refreshing. I also enjoyed the depth and detail. The translations for all that is said in Russian reveal some very interesting dialog. The almost endless buildings to hunt around in and the 7 different endings to try gave the game more replayability than most. The amount of different equipment to use led to lots of debate and online discussion of strategy.

It was buggy, but in terms of breaking new ground, I think it gets overlooked when compared to the more sensational BioShock.

Re:Stalker (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768752)

I'm able to run BioShock without any issues and Supreme Commander on medium settings. Yet, I've never managed to get Stalker to run without stuttering. Unfortunate since it sounded like an interesting game.

Half Life 2 Orange Box (1)

joshtheitguy (1205998) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768526)

I had a hard time deciding whether or not I enjoyed Crysis or Half Life 2 Orange Box more but when I really think about it I'd have to go with the Orange Box. Episodes One and Two helped take the depth and the involvement of the characters within the game to a whole new level. I can't say much but the ending on Episode Two showed how good of writers the Valve Software team really are, the whole time I felt as if I was watching a movie. As far as Portal goes, this game was not just fun but the ending was so funny I was in tears of laughter, I have never laughed that hard in my entire life.

Munchkin! (4, Interesting)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768532)

This past October I was introduced to Munchkin, and all it's table-top goodness. My roommate and I became so enamored with the series that he purchased all five original Munchkin expansions within a week, and I've picked up its western brother, The Good, the Bad and the Munchkin.

For anyone who hasn't played, think D&D. Now throw everything else out the window. Get a bunch of people, and try to get to level 10. Everyone will be real helpful to each other until someone reaches level 5 or so, and then it gets ugly. Redirect attacks, curse people, change their gender, take their pants, completely screw them over to the point of no return.

Best game for me this year, hands down.

Re:Munchkin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768622)

I have found people who like that sort of game are the same ones who treat TT games as a competition to have the strongest, fastest, "bestest" character. It is more a competition then fun. No, the true fun from any TT game should come from great storytelling and adventures.

Re:Munchkin! (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768736)

I have found people who like that sort of game are the same ones who treat TT games as a competition to have the strongest, fastest, "bestest" character.
Well, I hate to tell you this, but that's kind of the point in Munchkin. You need to have the best character possible in order to survive all the things getting in your way, be it monsters, or your party members.

It is more a competition then fun.
You say that as if the two are mutually exclusive. Most professional sports involve competition, and can be quite enjoyable. Unless one player is a sore loser.

No, the true fun from any TT game should come from great storytelling and adventures.
That's your opinion. You play your games, I'll play mine. That's why there's an entire aisle of them at the Big Box Store.

AC (3, Interesting)

harl (84412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768534)

Yes I know it's more of a tech demo than a game but Assassin's Creed is my choice for GotY.

Portal (1)

Sczi (1030288) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768546)

Portal was one of the freshest gaming experiences for me in a long time. I haven't replayed a game since mario, but I played Portal a couple times start to finish to pick up extra GladOS smack talk that I missed the first time. Particularly the line "you will be baked, and then there will be cake". Half-Life 2, Episode 1 and 2 were pretty good too, mainly because of mostly having someone running with me the whole game. And the funny part is they were actually USEFUL for a change. Like crossing a field of zombies with Alyx manning the sniper rifle and blowing zombies' heads off.. or the good alien dude who shoots lightning and tears up bad guys like nothing. Definitely a nice change of pace from WoW escort quests.

Portal (1)

imbroken3a (862091) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768554)


Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768590)

Everyone who owns a DS and does not both own this game and include it among their absolute best games of the year should give up on life now, because theirs has no meaning.

Wii Sports (5, Insightful)

jalano (309339) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768600)

Without a doubt, Wii Sports made the Wii the popular console that it is today. That small collection of easy to play games has the biggest mass appeal of any game I've seen come out in many, many years. How many games have you seen that entices your parents and grandparents to buy a console?

I'd even go as far to say that if Wii Sports was not bundled with the Wii at launch, the Wii probably would not be the runaway success it is today.

Still playing Elite on my C=64 (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768634)

Man, this game just keeps going on and on. My hats are off to the people who beat this one.

Seriously, CoD4 is my game of the year at this point. I can't get into the single player but the multiplayer simply owns.

For single player it has to be Portal. Sure, it's not a hard concept and it's pretty short but it's a neat idea for the fantastic engine it's built off of and the end credit song is worth any minor frustration you may experience during gameplay.

Oh, and the cake is pretty damn good.

Lord of the Rings Online. (1)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768640)

I tried many games this year... Lord of the Rings Online has got to be the most enjoyable game I have played. But what do I know? I am waiting anxiously for Star Trek Online to come out... lol

Pirates of the Burning Sea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21768652)

Now that the NDA is lifted, this game definatley covers a nitch.
        This MMORPG is not a massive click fest. Often encounters last upwards of 20 minutes.
        There is a new approach to crafting where labor is stored up. 99% of all items in the game are player crafted. The "grind" for crafting is actually moving goods to the port where your manufacturing structures are. Since you may purchase (your countries) goods from any port, you still have to go get them. This makes some ports in central areas "host spots". I.E. people would rather pay more than have to sail for 30 minutes to go get it cheaper.
        The "Free Trader" class has skils that allow you to trade with foreign ports at reduced tax rates etc...
        Although any "class" can craft, Naval officers, Privateers, etc do not have a ship selection with storage space in mind.

      There is a major drawback to this game. I can see non-society (guild) members being left in the dust. Our society (royal red) has dedicated leaders and we have become pretty much self sufficient.
      Not much time to go into the whole game mechanics, and not all games are for all people, but I love the pace, concept, engine, graphics, etc...
      Here is the shocker (especially to anyone that was in any Sony beta), the Devs were/are responsive. A dev actually had me forward him a sniffer trace, he analyzed it and found out that my little linksys had a know bug I had not fixed.

Mass Effect (1)

Shky (703024) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768658)

I've played it through twice now, and I'm gunning to give it another go. It's overtaken The Curse of Monkey Island as my favorite video game. The storytelling is truly epic (as overused as that word may be), and, like was mentioned, the ending is perfect. The feeling of overwhelming heroism that comes over you as the credits roll is unmatched.

Eschalon: Book 1 (1)

Braintrust (449843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768686)

If you have fond memories of names like Ultima, Wizardry, and Might and Magic, you should really check this game out...

I forgot just how much I loved true turn-based gameplay... games are supposed to be fun... it's always been tremendous fun to stop time...

Not a shill, but this is my game of the year. A great first attempt. []

Half-Life 2: Ep. 2 (2, Informative)

neo-mkrey (948389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768694)

Half-Life 2: Ep. 2 is my pick for my favorite game. It felt like a HL game again (something the Ep. 1 was missing IMHO). A close second would have to be Portal.

Too many to consider... (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768702)

In the last 4 months alone I've played a good dozen games many of which are contenders for GOTY.

Bioshock comes to mind first....Portal is certainly a consideration. Mass Effect, although flawed, is an incredible gaming experience.

I haven't played Mario Galaxy so I can't comment on that...Halo 3 will certainly win the award for the most over hyped and ultimately mediocre game of the year. OHAUMGOTY!

I'll probably go with Bioshock...polished to perfection...a technical and artistic masterpiece.

Alien Arena (1)

dunc78 (583090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768708)

I downloaded a free FPS game called Alien Arena (which I might have first seen on slashdot) and it has provided many hours of enjoyment through online play. It doesn't have a whole lot of eye candy, but I believe the game play engine is based off of Quake.

World of Warcraft (1)

tc3driver (669596) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768712)

or Warcrack if you will...
I love it.. I still play roughly 30~60 hours a week

GH II (2, Interesting)

MyNameIsEarl (917015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768720)

I have to say Guitar Hero II on my Xbox 360 pumping out through the stereo system. A good game to play with friends who are drinking.

Guess I'm not your average gamer... (1)

Sarutobi (1135167) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768750)

I'd have to go with some strategy games. World in conflict, Final Fantasy tactics (on psp) and the Dark Avatar expansion for Galactic civilizations 2 come to mind.

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance (2, Insightful)

thygrrr (765730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768754)

Supreme Commander and its Add-On Forged Alliance are clearly my personal picks as "Game of the Year", somewhat closely followed by Team Fortress 2.

My game(s) of the year (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768760)

My game of the year is Portal, simply an awesome game with my review here [] .

My console game of the year is Call of Duty 4 (yes the game is also on the PC, but I played it on the Xbox 360). My review for that is here [] .

I played a lot of portable games this year but nothing really that new, mostly catching up on things. Two games of note were Dragon Quest: Rocket Slime and Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (review [] ). Both good games but nothing I can say is game of the year quality.

I also traditionally pick a game that didn't come out this year but I played it for the first time, this year I have to give that to Psychonauts. Truly a wonderful and hilarious experience. If you're wondering... here's my review [] .

Disclaimer, there's no ads or anything on my site so I'm not trying to cash in on Slashdot, but if you're interested in a further opinion, check them out.

Open Arena (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768762)

Not just playing, but creating content is very enjoyable. Top it off with servers playing your maps. or using your models etc. Good stuff.

Game of the Year (1)

hrbngr (409829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768776)

This has been a great year for really good games.

Of those that I've played, a few have really stood out to me as excellent: Halo3, Bioshock, Mass Effect and The Witcher.

Halo 3 was predictable and generally lacked a whole lot of innovation in gameplay over the previous entries in the series, but it didn't intend to do those things, either. It is a very well done incremental polishing of the formula used for the preceding entries in the series. The level design is well done, and the storyline plays out at a reasonable pace to keep me interested. While not my pick for Game of the Year, it is a very enjoyable game and well worth my time and money.

Bioshock was wonderfully surreal. I absolutely love the progressive unveiling of what's really going on. The overall look and feel of the game is polished to a level that is almost unnerving. The underlying basis of objectivism and all that goes with it plays into the storyline wonderfully and enhanced the overall experience superbly. There are a few moments towards the end of the game where I felt the level design was lacking the polish of some of the early and mid-game content. The fundamental gameplay is good, but nothing spectacular. The best strengths of the game are in its storytelling and immersion into a depressing juxtaposition of a dystopian world sprung from a utopian vision gone wrong. Many criticise Bioshock for being derivative of System Shock 2. Perhaps that's a true statement. To me, it doesn't matter one bit. I'm not trying to decide if Bioshock is better or worse than SS2 or if it innovates or derives in comparison. I'm deciding whether Bioshock is a well crafted and enjoyable game. It is.

Mass Effect is a later entry in the foray, and highly anticipated. It lives up to the hype. The main storyline missions are well designed, and well integrated into the story. The basic gameplay elements are simple, but not simplistic, and give just enough of a challenge to my twitch reflexes to keep me from being too complacent. I was totally sucked in to the story and the world, doing everything I could to find every tidbit of dialog and side content available. While not without flaws, I very much enjoyed Mass Effect, and it's likely I'll be back for a 3rd playthough at some point.

Even against those wonderful games, my pick for Game of the Year has to go to an unexpected (at least for me) game called The Witcher. I picked it up based on the terse but strongly voiced recommendation of Scott Jennings. I shudder to think that I almost missed this game. The gameplay is well done and well balanced. The look and feel are polished and smooth. The world and storyline have incredible depth. Somehow, the designers have woven a remarkable tapestry where everything all comes together. Characters I care about. Choices that tug at my conscience (and have a real effect on the ensuing story!). Wow.

The Witcher. Absolutely wonderful and easily my top pick for Game of the Year.

Portal (1)

Jodiamonds (226053) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768780)

Nothing beat Portal this year. Probably not last year either. I'd have to think hard about what the best game before Portal was.

That includes Bioshock, and I'm a diehard 'shock fan. (Which did not make Bioshock worse for me, fwiw.)

Hellgate: London (1, Troll)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768790)

I just picked it up a couple weeks ago so I avoided all the problems people seem to have had with patch 0. It's terribly addictive in the same way Diablo 2 was for me and I haven't even started playing hardcore yet =) Of course the people I played with was one of the things that kept me playing D2 for over 2 years and Hellgate doesn't seem to have quite the same community around it as D2 did.

Portal (1)

johnnyoxford (523789) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768802)

Portal (Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.)

Second Life (1)

ylikone (589264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768810)

Not really a game... but the only thing I've "played" all year. Runs on Linux/Mac as well as Windows. If you've never heard of it, use my link to sign up [] .

Thank you Scott! (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768862)

I am glad analog gaming got some play in this story. While Fluxx (and its descendants) are a bit childish, they do serve as a great gateway drug to get typical Americans interested in modern card and board games.

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri Alien Crossfire (1)

SMACX guy (1003684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21768864)

[Seriously, this year, SMACX is the game in which I have spent almost all of my gaming time. That should surprise no one.]
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