Wednesday, December 20, 2006

2006 honorable mentions

Just wanted to mention a few more games worthy of notice this year.

Most Noble Failure: Dead Rising

"Failure" is too strong a word here. Dead Rising didn't quite make good on its ambitions, in my view, although many disagreed. Capcom is a fantastic publisher and developer (they released my game of the year in both 2006 and 2005), so it's not surprising that even one of their weaker efforts was more interesting than many "better" games. I don't need to devote any more space to the game in this blog, since I covered it extensively earlier this summer. Just wanted to give it one more shout-out.

Critically Acclaimed Game I Just Didn't Get: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

There are lots of contenders for this award, notably Zelda: Twilight Princess, but at least I had some fun with that game. Oblivion really was like Doing Chores: The Game. One of the principles of game design is called telescoping, which is the process by which a primary goal is broken down into smaller goals, each of which may be broken down even further. Oblivion took this to a ludicrous extreme. I have never played a game that strove so aggressively to make me feel like it just wasn't worth it to put in the effort. You can't take a step without being handed another task to do. It's like being at work, except you're not getting paid.

Best Game That Wasn't Really Eligible for a "Best of 2006" List: Burnout Revenge (Xbox 360)

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Burnout Revenge 360 was the most fun I had with any game this year. Since it was a port from a 2005 title, I didn't review it or anything, but god damn this is everything a racing game should be. The leap to high-def graphics actually did improve the gameplay, because you could see much further down the road and therefore make better driving decisions. And I just love smashing stuff up.

If You Had to Own One Console This Year, It Was: PlayStation 2

Let's be honest: no other system had the quantity of good games that the PS2 had. The 360 had its moments, but the PS3 landed with a thud and the Wii had exactly one killer app. The PS2 had several. Maybe it's not surprising that the most popular console in history had the most to choose from, but what else do you want from your game system?

Worst Game: X-Men: The Official Game

Not much of a surprise. Although it was a toss-up between this and Driver: Parallel Lines.

No comments: