Tonight I’m Gonna Write Lists Like it’s 1999
Six Things That Made Gaming Fun in 2007
- The Wii. My hands-down favourite party trick this year was turning people on to the joy of leaping around my living room while flailing their arms like over-caffeinated octopi.
- The DS. Frantically slashing my way through heart surgeries and turnip farming turned my daily subway ride from a dreaded trek into a too-short playtime. (And yes, I’m well aware that both the Wii and the DS were squeezed out of Nintendo’s gaping vagina long before 2007, but what can I say? I came late to the party.)
- Guitar Hero III. The great gaming equalizer. Turns out everyone from my wife’s formerly game-dissing soccer teammates to my mom wants to rock out to “Welcome to the Jungle”.
- Skate. Tony Hawk can shove his “grind your way up the Statue of Liberty” bullshit challenges up his cartoony ass. This Zen-like wanderfest proved that all you need to enjoy an afternoon of skating is a board, some tunes and a desire to hunt down some sweet lines.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Again, another pre-2007 pick. But this was the game I played the most and enjoyed the most this year. So suck it.
- Mass Effect. Admittedly, a bit of a mixed blessing. Cheers to the great story, fully fleshed-out universe and fluid conversations. Jeers to the mind-numbingly dull side-missions, the snoozefest combat and those endless fucking elevator rides.
Two Old-Skool Games I Enjoyed More This Year Than Assassin’s Creed and GRAW 2 Combined
- Indigo Prophecy. A compelling story, an emphasis on emotion over action and a strange mix of real-world banality and supernatural creepiness all combined to make this a truly adult game.
- Pikmin. Growing and caring for an army of plant-like helpers so that you can solve a series of puzzles and repair your ultra-adorable spaceship may sound dorky (I believe I tried to sell someone on it by using the ill-advised sales pitch, “It’s a game about time management!”), but trust me, this one’s more addictive than crack-flavored Mountain Dew.
Three Love/Hate Games
- Bioshock. The critics went on and on and on about the art deco style, the twisty storyline and the complex morality. But nobody seemed willing to mention that you could see the single plot twist coming a mile away, the moral choices really didn’t matter and that – at the end of the day – it was basically just another first-person shooter with a few spells. Fun for a few hours, but an artistic masterpiece it ain’t.
- Crackdown. I couldn’t get enough of the Incredible Hulk-style leaping, but those story missions and gang battles were about as complex as a sundial.
- Online Gaming. As much as I like the idea of ditching AI in favour of genuine human intelligence, I just can’t get over the cries of “I raped you” from all the 14 year-old hillbillies on Xbox Live. And that moronic “ZOMG” leet lingo makes me want to sit every World of Warcraft player down and force-feed them English Grammar textbooks until they start shitting gerunds.
Two Games That Made Me Want To Claw My Eyeballs Out
- Two Worlds. So much hype. So much potential. And in the end, it turned out to be Oblivion’s retarded little inbred brother.
- Tenchu Z. I actually didn’t expect much from this one, but I’ve got a soft spot for ninjas, and I really, really, really hoped that would be the installment in the always-disappointing Tenchu saga that would finally deliver the throwing star goods. It didn’t. In spades.
Four Games That All Those Other Year-End Lists Tell Me I Really Should Be Playing
- Rock Band
- Super Mario Galaxy
- Call of Duty 4
The Five Most Over-Used Game Review Phrases in 2007
- “Cinema-quality graphics.”
- “Contender for Game of the Year.”
- “Addictive multiplayer experience.”
- “Revolutionizes the genre.”
- “Masterpiece of epic proportions.”
The Five Most Under-Used Game Review Phrases in 2007
- “Chock full o’ ninjas.”
- “Halo meets Everybody Loves Raymond.”
- “Kinetoscope-quality graphics.”
- “Hot antiquing action.”