The Weekend Gamer
Thoughts on gaming culture, living among non-gamers, and growing up in the nintendo generation

Game of the Year

It’s customary this time of year to look back at the months prior and reflect.  In the time we have left in 2008, I’ll be doing just that.  I figured I’d start with my personal pick for game of the year.

There are certainly not starved for choices.  Notable games I have played have included (but are not limited to) Grand Theft Auto IV, Dead Space, Gears of War 2, Mario Kart, Rock Band 2, Super Smash Bros., Fable 2, Left 4 Dead, Mirror’s Edge, No More Heroes, Burnout Paradise, and Metal Gear Solid 4.  And that’s just the cream of the crop.

Little Big Planet is very close to being my game of the year, simply because it is the most innovative game to come out in 2008.  Despite lacklustter sales for a supposed system seller (hey, it was a system seller for me!), it represents a leap forward in how we think about gaming–web 2.0 seamlessly and fluidly married to the side scrolling platformer.  It’s gorgeous, cute, family friendly, and addictively fun.

However, when all is said and done, my game of the year must be Fallout 3.  While not perfect, Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic RPG was the deepest, most immersive experience I’ve played in 2008.  The universe that they iterated on and presented was as compelling as they come, drawn to life with an eerie sense of foreboding that came across vividly as you trekked through the D.C. wasteland.  I also really enjoyed the gameplay mechanics, from the V.A.T.S. system to the leveling and perks.  Bethesda’s got three packs of DLC hitting starting in January, and I simply can’t wait to be reimmersed in the world of Fallout.

It was a tough year to pick just one game as game of the year.  I’m sure some of you agree with my pick, while many have a different game in mind.  What’s your personal game of the year?



4 Responses to “Game of the Year”

  1. I have to agree, dude – Fallout 3 is excellent and even without the DLC I’d still be playing through it again. There’s just so much potential there, and so many avenues you can go through.

    My favorite part so far has to be using the Victory Rifle on a Super Mutant, while he was running across a catwalk. I got a Critical Hit, knocked him over and watched him fall about 3 stories in V.A.T.S.

  2. If I don’t get it for Christmas, I’ll pick up Fallout 3 after. Since I have played that, I’d say I’m most impressed with Left 4 Dead this year. It takes co-op and versus to a whole new level.

  3. You said Web 2.0 .. LOL

    Honestly I missed most of the console games this year due to Warhammer Online. I did play Fable 2, and while it was a great game, I can’t say that it blew my mind or anything, especially since the coplay didn’t pan out. The others to top my list this year were Blue Dragon and Infinite Undiscovery. Honestly, they were both great RPGs, but nothing earth shattering there either. I have Fallout 3 but I haven’t even put it into the 360 yet, so I hope it lives up to your GotY award!

    Now, time to write that Warhammer Wrapup I’ve been dilly dallying around with for too long. 😉

  4. I got Fallout 3, and have to admit I’m a little disappointed at the outset.

    It places a lot of emphasis on slow dialogue and other time-consuming activities. Overall, the early game has a painfully slow pace. The VATS system, on the other hand, requires Action Points, so combat is necessarily fast-paced and hectic most of the time. It’s an odd mix.

    I’m a shooter fan, so I wouldn’t mind the pace of combat at all if not for the very limited ammo. I ran out of ammo for my hunting rifle and assault rifle quickly, forcing me to rely on 10mm pistol and melee. The Rock-It Launcher would be fun if encumbrance didn’t prevent me from carrying much ammo. Strength seems to be a necessity for all characters, just to delay encumbrance.

    It’s a cool game, and I expect it will get better. But so far, it seems slower and more hardcore than Oblivion.

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