Rants and raves about all the latest in video games and other forms of mindless entertainment.

August 07, 2005

2005, Did it live up to the hype?

Well the first six months of year have come and gone, and enough time has passed to let the first halve's games sink in, and you begin to realize there are great contenders for Game of the Year thus far. Suprisingly, the original home grown titles are shaping up to be better than the few sequels that ended up being extraordinarily well done. So I've compiled a list of games so far for this year that get my nomination for Game of the Year. I suppose I could dive into other categories, but I"ll save those for the year end bash where I pick my pics for Game of the Year, and the obligatory special mentions for graphics, sound, etc, etc. This has been a very big year of "firsts" and "bests", and it still holds true for the predictions made circa pre-new years eve 2004, that 2005 will be gamings biggest and greatest hurrah.

God of War - Playstation 2

Without question, God of War is the greatest action title of the year, and in some cases ever. It puts a tasteful spin on the pornographic mythology of Greece. Not to mention stupendous story line, voice acting and a combat engine with limitless possibilities. This is the first game to use Greek myths as a basis for story telling on such a deep level. Even though many things God of War does have been done before, they've never been done quite as good as here. This is the game that brought the name "David Jaffe" into the ranks of Hideo Kojima, Shigeru Miyamoto or Shinji Mikami. For the latter, it took many years, and tens and hundreds of games to elevate them to legendary status, but it took only two games for Mr. Jaffe; God of War being the pinnacle game to cause this rise to fame.

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Resident Evil 4 - Gamecube

A game that reinvents it's kindred genre. Survival horror was stagnating before this beauty, and Resident Evil 4 did what it set out to do: breathe new life into a series some were worrying would continue to fester in it's stale and fixed camera roots. Not to overlook that this game has the best graphics of any console game in existence, with well over 10 000 polygons per charcter and texturing that adds an uncanny level of realism. While the overall methods of zombie disposal haven't changed much, the way we play and view the series has, and this game is a definite contender.

Review coming soon...

Killer 7 - Gamecube

I'm only nominating the Gamecube version of Killer 7 since the Ps2 version is plagued with unacceptable load times, atrocious framerates and graphical glitches. The world is black and white between the Ps2 and GC versions of this slam dunk hit from Capcom. Not suprisingly, this is Capcom's second nomination this year, proving that Capcom is still a strong developer, if not the strongest, in today's vicious, no holds bar market. Killer 7 tells a story so twisted, imagination is merely a basic prerequisite for understanding it, and a gameplay that shows us that you can mix the first person shooter and third person adventure genres cohesively. It also has one of the greatest visual styles, and just an overall characterization that pads every wall, and oozes out of every corner of Killer 7. One of the greatest gaming acheivements in a long while.

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Devil May Cry 3 - Playstation 2

While Devil May Cry 3 doesn't tell the best story of these pics, or have the best visuals or highest number of polygons, it offers us something we've never had before: a fully customizable combat engine. We're not talking stringing together a couple moves with a bit of choice, we're talking a full fledged combo-maker. Chose between 5 melee weapons and 5 fire arms, and mix them together as you switch between them mid combo to begin newer and more complicated moves. You could in essence, create a combo of any length for any amount of time. The stylized action broke new ground and again, brings Capcom another AAA title for 2005. Devil May Cry 3 features the most out of sight cut-scenes, the best action and fight sequences in gaming history (akin to Riyuhei Kitamura's Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes remake) and reminds us that even the most solid of hardcore gamers can still be challenged on all new levels. Perfect game design all around.

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(And it's Capcom with a hat trick)

I understand this year has seen many great titles, but I can't nominate every game I play and like. These choices are in my eyes, the best 4 titles seen so far this year. My intent from the get go was to only include 3 games, but as you can see there's just too much quality here, that not one of these games could do without a nomination. This is going to be the fiercest year yet for winning the hearts of gamers everywhere. In the remaining part of the year, we still have The Legend of Zelda to look forward to, Shadow of Collosus, Ultimate Spider Man, and the hoping to launch in 2005, Kingdom Hearts II.

Until then, stay frosty.


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