This was a big year for games.
Lots of interesting titles, lots of brilliant titles, and lots of… well… absolutely pointless titles that made me bash my head against walls for days on end while I contemplated just how moronic the reviews would sound.
And so coming up in the next few days, I will be presenting Leigh's Top Ten Games of 2007!
But right now… I'm not.
You see I am a cock tease. Or a game cock tease. Or an Xbox controller tease. Perhaps I'm a Dual Shock Cock tease. Who knows.
Anyway, this post is for the games that noooo!!!– just missed out on taking a spot in the Top 10 list of 2007 for whatever reason. Maybe they were too repetitive… maybe they just weren't my cup of tea.
Either way, these are the games that just missed out.
THE EVER SO SLIGHTLY HONOURABLE MENTIONS OF 2007!!!
Not in any particular order…
What the hell are they actually singing?! Whatever it is, it's sure catchy…
Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii – Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 (Nintendo DS)
The next game in the Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! series missed out because it's only available in Japan and while EBA did come out in Australia this year (and I'm an Australian game reviewer), there is the problem that I played and beat that last year.
Truth be told, Ouendan 2 is much better than both the original Japanese and the Elite Beat Agents. It's still as fast paced, insane, and generally fun as the originals but Inis have cleared up many of the timing issues that plagued the previous entries in the series. Couple that with music that you're unlikely to have heard of if you live outside of Japan and you've got one of the most addictive games released this year.
I've been wondering… where does a Big Daddy piss from? Does he have some sort of steam pipe valve that he has to let loose or something…
Bioshock (Xbox 360, PC)
Bioshock has the displeasure of not making my list (sorry 2K Australia!) because of how bloody pointless I found it.
I loved the artwork. I loved the sound.
But Christ it was predictable. And the so-called "choice system" that I was told was going to be present in the game appeared to be little more than two choices that didn't really amount to anything more than piss-all and some beans. I actually got bored of figuring out what was happening next and moved onto the next game. The promises made in this game were intriguing to start with but then started to fall apart which really is just a shame.
I can see why a lot of people liked the game. Really I can… but those of you who think this was one of the best games of the year? You're kidding yourselves. Go play something better… like Orange Box or Call of Duty 4.
And to think, only yesterday I was a bartender making Cosmopolitans for people who carried handbags made out of horses like this!
Assassin's Creed (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
I'd love to be able to put this game in my Top 10. I know that there are virtually no bad reviews for it and that tells me that every reviewer is thinking the same thing: Assassin's Creed is an excellent game.
But then you're probably wondering why I haven't included it in my Top 10.
Well, truth be told, I only just started playing it a few days ago and short of falling asleep through that really boring tutorial, I haven't found myself drawn in quite as much as I expected to. I can already see how well made the game is and I can see the concept being inspiration for loads of clones in the future. But there are two specific reasons why this isn't in my Top Ten:
1. I haven't had enough time with the title yet to make a firm decision. At the moment, I like the design and build but I'm finding it's just not drawing me in. I think I need to play it a bit longer and while that's all well and good, it still takes time to write, edit, and post a Top Ten online… and I'll be playing Assassin's Creed when I'm done with it.
2. It just seems stupid. Seriously, if I'm in my own head with some sense of control over my memories and I can enter them as I please because the machine is helping me, why can't I get my brain to recall a character from The Terminator to just invade my dreams and blow all my enemies away. Or a court jester for me to laugh at. Geeze.
Oooh… I like a girl who can kick some ass… a lot of ass…
Heavenly Sword (PlayStation 3)
I should probably say that the PlayStation 3 wasn't exactly my favourite console this year. Somewhere between a lousy controller and a lackluster selection of games, the PS3 wasn't my favourite… well… anything this year.
But Heavenly Sword made me think twice about approaching that big hulking monolith of HD technology.
With an excellent script, brilliant visuals and sound, as well as some of the best acting ever to roundhouse kick its way into a video game, you could see that Heavenly Sword was made for people who loved the artistic side of video games.
It's then a shame that it was really little more than a simple button masher. And not just any simple button masher but one that had no problem making sure your wrists and hands were turned to mush as quickly as you started the game. You can really only play for about five to ten minutes before you feel the need to jump out of an airlock, and since airlocks haven't been invented yet, that's quite problematic.
You've got to love a game that lets you paint anime characters on your wings…
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (Xbox 360)
Ace Combat is one of those games you either love or you just hate. If you're a fan of the traditional flight combat sim, you're probably not going to be fond of the gameplay as it really adopts more of an arcade style experience. But there's probably something we can all agree on and that is it excels in the graphics department.
It really is a pretty game and the sounds are excellent too. Air traffic chatter goes on all around you and really creates the experience that you're stuck amidst a heated war battle.
It is a good game but it skimps out on the list because while it's quite fun, it never really pulls itself out from being more of the same. Gr
eat game if you like blowing stuff up which makes it a great stress reliever.
Perfect after a hard day of writing reviews for gadgets and games.
For those about to rock… learn how to play an instrument instead!
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, PC, Mac)
I like rhythm games… I do. But I'm sure if you went and told most of the hardcore fanboys who play Guitar Hero that they were playing nothing more than Dance Dance Revolution with a guitar, they'd deny everything right before beating you silly with their Guitar Hero controller… which would then break into many pieces and Activision would get more money from the person who decided to buy yet another controller for this game.
Seriously. It's DDR for people who like Guitar. And I don't like it much.
I can accept that it's a well made game with a huge fan base and that musicians and non-musicians like it, but I just can't bring myself to finding it fun.
As an example, I tried the song "Monsters" by Matchbook Romance as that's something I actually like playing on my bass… and wow… I don't think I've ever been more bored. I tried a few other missions and sadly the game didn't really capture my attention.
I can see why others like it but it's not for me.
And someone needs to remove that "s" from "Legends of Rock". Yahtzee was right about it not really containing and "Legends of Rock" aside for one. I mean seriously… I know Jimi is dead but did you even bother to ask the boys out of AC/DC, Grateful Dead, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, or Eric Clapton whether they'd mind being a Legend of Rock since I'd say they have more place then a guy out of Rage. Don't get me wrong, I like Rage… but a Legend of Rock? What the–?
Batter up… here batter batter… swing batter batter… fish batter batter…
The Bigs (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii)
I love The Bigs. I do. I must confess that because I suck immensely at baseball (due to never really playing it except for a few times at Woodrow Elementary in Modesto, California) and because no one in Australia really plays it, I find that it's very hard to get out your need for baseball while you live in Australia. I mean seriously, what's a guy to do?!
But The Bigs is special. It's one of those games that makes you work your ass off for a result and it's fun while doing so.
Okay, the pitching, running, and fielding controls completely suck. And it's really a niche game so that's obviously keeping it from the list… but yeah, what a game.
I only hope 2K's next baseball game improves it and not makes it crappier… like some of 2K's more recent entries into their various franchises have managed to do.
I always knew the briefcase had something in it… but since there was a banana in the lock, I never tried opening it…
Hotel Dusk (Nintendo DS)
Created by the same team who pulled of the very creative Trace Memory, Hotel Dusk is a mystery that really required you to think.
Now this sort of "thinking" thing might be seen as a problem for many gamers. Who really plays games to think?
Well, if you did you were in for a treat. The presentation — a mixture of film noir, black & white comics, and 3D environment — works beautifully and you couldn't ask for a more interesting looking game.
It's just a shame that the difficulty of this game is so irritating. If you get stuck — and chances are you will — the game doesn't really do a lot to help you out. You can wander the hotel and your environment trying to find what you're supposed to do until well past how long you would have actually had in real time. I imagine that the developers probably had a hard time tweaking the difficulty level until it was just perfect and while I'm not sure if it's there yet, it is a game to look at if you're looking for a challenging and interesting story to play on your DS.
Games I Didn't Actually Get To Play (So in turn didn't make the list)
Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction (PlayStation 3)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS)
Rock Band (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2)
Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (Nintendo Wii)
NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (Nintendo Wii)
Unreal Tournament 3 (PlayStation 3, PC)
Tabula Rasa (PC)
Blacksite: Area 51 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
John Woo's Stranglehold (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PlayStation 3)