30 Dec 2008

Games Of The Year

My personal GOTY's for 2008:
  • Fallout 3: I was very skeptical at first, but after 1.5 playthroughs (and counting) I must say that this is the best Bethesda game yet. In my opinion, the Fallout world fits the "Bethesda school of game design" much better then the phantasy world of the Elder Scrolls. And gameplay-wise, Fallout is quite a bit more streamlined then Oblivion, keeping the player engaged without giving up too much freedom.
  • Ninja Gaiden 2: Yeah, the game was rushed and there are some obvious flaws, but the combat in NG2 is simply spectacular. I must have played through the game eight or nine times, and I'm currently in the middle of my first Mentor run. I wish there would be hope for some sort of refined "NG2 Black", but with Itagaki's leave from Tecmo chances seem to be void :(
  • Dead Space: This game came out of nowhere for me, and in fact, it's hard to describe, why the game is so great. Dead Space is basically "Doom3, done right", and that's all there needs to be said. It's an old-school corridor shooter with shiny graphics and rock-solid shooting mechanics. And I can't get over the fact that this is an EA game. EA!!!
Live Arcade GOTYs: Castle Crashers, RezHD, BC: Rearmed and Omega Five (hmm, more great games on XBLA then retail this year...).

Here's my XBLA wishlist for 2009: downloadable full games, and more price variety for downloadable games (in my opinion, a game like Mirror's Edge would be better if it wouldn't have to fill the shoes of a full-blown 60.- Euro game).

See ya'all in 2009 :)

12 Dec 2008

Home (PSN)

I was just checking out Home, and to put it mildly, I was not impressed:
  • I was trying for about 15 minutes to get past the start screen, getting all types of connection errors, then suddenly... one connection attempt worked, as a "casual user" I would have given up after the first four or five errors (which do have intuitive names like "C931").
  • I tried for 10 minutes to create a character which doesn't look like shit and failed.
  • Downloads and long loading times between sections totally kills the "experience".
  • Everything basically looks and feels like it has been designed by yuppie marketeers stuck in the 90's.
I doubt I will ever return. Even if Home was "the cool shit", the long startup time kills every impulse to even launch that thing.

I don't know... I refuse to believe that Sony is driven by marketing peeps who thought that Second-Life is the next-big-thing during its short media-hype. I just don't "get" it. But who knows, I wasn't "getting" the Wii either, and look how that turned out (yeah, who am I kidding, it's more likely that Home will turn into a wasteland and Sony will let it die a quiet and slow death in a few months). Hmm... wasteland... time to return to Fallout3 :)