Thursday, January 29, 2009

Poll Results - Game of the Year 2008?

I've had a lot going on in my life the last couple of weeks so I'm a little behind on posting the poll results and my opinions. I know you've been dying to know what I think. Right?

Game of the Year 2008?

Grand Theft Auto IV = 0 votes
Gears of War 2 = 3 votes
Call of Duty: World at War = 1 vote
Fable 2 = 1 vote
Fallout 3 = 2 votes
Dead Space = 0 votes
Left 4 Dead = 0 votes

Okay, let's start with the losers. I'm not at all surprised that Grand Theft Auto IV didn't get any votes because the game came out in the first part of the year and it seemed to be a lot of hype but not much game from what I hear from people who've played it. With the news that a large bit of downloadable content coming out I thought there would be more interest in the game. But what does it say about the game when the additional content they put out for it isn't even for the characters or story lines already built in the game? I'm also not surprised that Left 4 Dead didn't get any votes. I hear it's a great game but almost impossible to play all alone. It's much easier to get through when playing with friends. But with all the games out there it might be difficult to get a group of friends together to play through the game.

I am a little surprised about Dead Space. Everyone I've talked to about that game says it's creepier than BioShock and fantastic. They suggest playing it with the lights out and the sound system turned up (if you've got one) and prepare to have nightmares every night. I own this game but I haven't had the chance to play it yet. I'm hoping to spend a weekend getting into this game.

I'm not surprised Fable II got a vote. It's a good game. There are tons of stuff to do in the game. I know. I've been playing it for hours and I haven't even gotten to the main city yet. I worked as a blacksmith for quite a while, then explored a secret cave by a ship, and I've spent a lot of time playing with my dog and letting him dig for things. Or at least point out where *I* need to dig for things. I love playing RPGs that give you lots of things to explore for and around. I can't stand the "let's confine the player to just the story line" type of game play. On the other hand I have a hard time with "sand box" style games like Grand Theft Auto. You know the ones where you can take on any mission or task that you feel like. I need a little bit more direction than that. With "sand box" games I always take on a task that I'm not up to completing for various reasons. Just like I'm better at playing the Domination game type in Call of Duty than the Deathmatch type. I need a goal to work towards. That's just how I play.

I'm surprised Call of Duty: World at War didn't get more votes. It's a good game with some interesting and different new twists thrown in that aren't in previous Call of Duty games. I also think the general gaming public is surprised by how good this game is in the first place. For Call of Duty fans the odd numbered games are created by a different developer and have always been seen as bad games compared to the even numbered COD games. Call of Duty 4 was a phenomenal game and much loved by COD games that everyone thought COD:W@W would be terrible. When it wasn't, people were shock and I think it's lower expectations prior to it's release might have hurt it for end of year honors.

If I had more people voting on the blog I know that Fallout 3 would have received more votes. I'm surprised it didn't win this poll. I have this game and I've played through the first part (my job in the shelter was "marriage counselor", don't ask). From what I've played so far I think this is great and deserving of Game of the Year honors. It's also a very slow plodding game if you do all the side missions and a very fast game if you stick to the main story line. This game has atmosphere and style which I think a lot of games these days are missing.

I'm really not surprised Gears of War 2 got the most votes. That's the game that most of my friends play on a regular basis (and thus most of my voting readers). It's pretty much like the first Gears with new features like vehicles and weapons and new game types. I don't know if that's enough to make it a great enough game for Game of the Year honors because it plays too much like the first one. That doesn't mean I want the developers to completely change the game play, it's just feels like part 2 . . . a sequel. Which it is.

I think it fascinating and a little disturbing that the majority of games being considered for Game of the Year options were sequels. Have we come to a point in the game community where only the tried and true formulas of existing games are the only place where we get our inspiration? I hope not. Hollywood goes through this swing of copying/sequelizing everything every couple of years. Has anyone seen Bewitched? or Stepford Wives? Or all of the Riddick or Underworld moves?

Every now and then a great game comes along that stands up on it's own, has no predecessor and makes the gaming world take notice. BioShock did that. Left 4 Dead is doing that. And maybe Dead Space. Every other item on my list is a sequel or follower of a previous game. A lot of times those second (or third, or fourth) iterations don't quite have the same shine and excitement that the first game did. Does that make them bad games for being sequels? No. None of these games on my list are bad games. That's why they're in contention for my Game of the Year honors.

So What game did I vote for? Well . . . none of them. I couldn't make up my mind which game stood out above the others. And then the poll closed. Depending on the day and how I feel I might change my vote (if I had made one). In years past there's usually been one or two games that are hands down better than anything else out there. They're natural shoo-ins for Game of the Year honors. This year I think the race is a much tougher and closer one than anyone expected. Maybe by next year I will have played enough of them to know which one really is the Game of the Year in 2008. That is if I don't buy and play any more games between now and then.


metallicorphan said...

GTA4-was a brilliant game,however with the aim assist the game was 10x easier than past GTAs

the DLC will be interesting to see how you can access the new stuff and new character because you dont need to complete the game to play the new how do you 'swap' over..i'll be getting it anyway

Gears Of War 2,i dont play online i am not keen online but offline this was a much better experience than GoW1,it had more story more passion and if i was a fanboy of the series i could easily be saying its the best

COD:W@W-offline a good game,not mega great but good-online a bit 50/50,i feel a lot of the maps are boring,or could be good if they didnt have spawn killing much as i am a fan of WWII stuff,i have to say i preffered COD4

Fable 2-a big let down for me this game,while the game was good,it was far too short ,it seemes the developers were concentrating on making Albion a great place to play(which it is)and not really giving that much of an effort into the story(which was really so-so)..yes the DLC will expand the game but seriously,these kind of games should have a great big story, the story was just a bit flat

Fallout 3-my GOTY from the list,amazing game,took me 70hrs to finish i loved everything of it,i loved the targeting sytem..and the DLC,well,i am waiitng until the third lot is out in march and then rebuying the game

Dead Space- i bought this for my birthday tuesday just gone,and i am loving it,the graphics are great and the creepiness is just right,this is how Resi evil 5 controls should be like...there are 12 levels to the game i have just finshed level 6,and i have just over 6 hrs in,so not bad for a TPS

Left4Dead-i have only played the demo on this one...seeemd okay,i have been hearing good things about co-op though

sorry for long post and these are my opinions,dont have to be yours ;p

pengwenn said...

As long as you don't call me an ass I welcome any opinions.

metallicorphan said...

i wouldnt do that

i may make some comment about your ass if i knew you better ;)

pengwenn said...

If you knew me there'd be lots of ass . . . I mean lots to say about my ass. :(

I just realized that Lost Odyssey was released in North America this year but wasn't on my list of GotY poll. Silly me. Of course right now that game is about to find itself buried in a hole in my backyard. I've never been this frustrated by a RPG ever. I restarted Oblivion last night because I wanted a change to something more forgivable.

metallicorphan said...

and with Oblivion the difficulty setting can be changed while playing,just like Fallout 3

i loved Oblivion and i am quite proud that i have 1250/1250 achievement points for that one

Lost Odyssey i loved,but i totally know what you mean...there is a part of that game(i think it is disc 4 actually)that reminded me of FF7(same guy did them)and thats when Weapon is heading for LO you have 4 of them(similar to Weapon anyway)..that was a very frustrating part for me

and yeah i think i made LO my number 3 of 2008