January 3, 2009 // 9:24 pm
- Another year has passed and in 2009 promises an amazing round of games from each platform and we are likely to see mobile phone gaming finally crack the North American market (whether it is through a Symbian, RIM, Windows Mobile, Apple, or Andriod powered phone), but before we can look to 2009 we have to evaluate 2008 and see how it matches up to the so-called Best Year of Gaming; 2007.
2007 was a year where there was no shortage of quality on any platform. With the DS sporting heavy hitters like Zelda, Puzzle Quest, Hotel Dusk, and Contra 4, the PC reclaimed top honors with amazing experiences like Call of Duty 4, Bioshock, and Crysis, but the Xbox 360 was the platform that took the crown with some of the PC offerings as well as it crown jewel, Halo 3.
Not to be discounted, the Sony platforms could not be forgotten either with titles like Uncharted, God of War 2 and Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow. With such a heavy field of courter vying for our attention, who could deny that 2007 WAS the "Best Year in Gaming" however, 2008 was not to be out done.
2008 was touted as "The Year of the PS3".
Sony's flagship console bared all with Metal Gear Solid 4, Grand Turismo 5 Prologue, Resistance 2, SOCOM (aka SO-CRACK): Confrontation, and LittleBigPlanet as well as the shared titles with the Xbox 360 and PC like Call of Duty: World at War, Burnout Paridise (PC 09), FarCry2, Fallout 3 and Grand Theft Auto 4.
On the PC front, we also saw the unveiling of Sir Will Wright's Spore,Valve's Left 4 Dead, the DRM free Sins of the Solar Empire and the highly pirated World of Goo.
The PSP and DS were not shabby either with titles like Patapon, God of War: Chains of Olympus and Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core on the PSP and Professor Layton, The World End's with You, Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword, and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia on the DS. Yes there was a lot of gaming to be had in had 2008 but how did it measure up with 2007? Lets break it down.
Anyone who knows about the "typical" video game release cycle know that the first few months of the year are slow and usually riddled with garbage-ware but at the very beginning of 2007, something strange happened. there were some good games to play like:
* Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (360)
* World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade (PC)
* Hotel Dusk (DS)
* Sid Meirer's Pirates (PSP)
* Winning Eleven Pro Evo 2007 (Multi)
* Lunar Knights (DS)
* Rouge Galaxy (PS2)
* Virtual Fighter 5 (PS3)
* Supreme Commander (PC)
* Fl0w (PS3)
* MLB the Show 07 (Playstation)
* Ghost Recon 2 (Multi)
* S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (PC)
And that's just in the first 3 months! But the hits kept coming month after month and ended with what may be the best year in gaming history.
* 2008 started a bit late with: Burnout Paradise (Multi)
* No More Heros (Wii)
* RezHD (360)
* PixelJunk Monsters (PS3)
* Devil May Cry 4 (Multi)
* Sins of the Solar Empire (PC)
* Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)
* Wipeout Pulse (PSP)
* MLB 2K8 (multi)
* MLB 08 (Playstation)
* N+ (Multi)
* Condemned 2 (Multi)
* Pro Evo 2008 (Multi)
* Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 (Multi)
And progressed with some good games but as you can see from this list of games, its heavy with sequels. The wide variety of genres of 2007 were condensed to a few titles per and a lack of Wii and PS2 titles. Of the sequels released, the amazing production of 2007 only scrutinized the 2008 releases day and date with ITS releases.
To "sour" the mood, the Anti-piracy argument was in full effect with the success of the non-DRMed Sins of the Solar Empire and the failure of the also non-DRMed World of Goo and the mind boggling DRMed future-proofed Grand Theft Auto 4.
To make matters worse, not only were some of 2008's list of software releases plagued with delays but the purchases of 2007's titles on credit came back to haunt us with a worldwide financial recession where we saw several studios close as well as a generous handing out of pink slips.
2008 could have been a good year for gaming but we are likely to see a period were gamers and studios scale down their expectations in 2009. All in all 2008 was a good year... should have been labeled "The Year of the Sequel" but still a good year.
2008 was almost as good as 2007 but, life (being the deciding factor) was better in 2007. Here's looking to 2009!