Gamer Hate

Belligerently lacking in remorse.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Commander Hate’s Best and Worst of 2008

Seems like a good way to close out the year, yeah? Well, agree or not, here are my opinions on the best and worst games of 2008.

The Best Games of 2008

3. Professor Layton and the Curious Village. (Nintendo DS)
I love puzzle games, and Professor Layton had fun little puzzles in spades. If I complete the game it’s either a testament to my stubbornness or a testament to how much fun I was having playing the game. In the case of Professor Layton, it was both. In addition it had a new (to me) and interesting art style that made it a joy to explore. I also consider this a great example of how adventure games on the DS can be very successful.

2. Fallout 3. (PC)
I also love RPGs and recently have had an affinity for RPGs with FPS elements in them. As much as I have disliked the Obsidian series, the leveling and customization features of Fallout 3 have made me very happy to play. Add to that a fascinating series of short stories to stumble upon while exploring a nuclear devastated Washington D.C. and you have a winner. The best part of this game is that no two players seem to have the same experience, even when exploring the same areas, making Fallout 3 a testament to well crafted design.

1. Braid. (Xbox 360)
This is probably always going to be one of my favorite games. It demonstrates so well what happens when you tell a story through the gameplay itself. Not to mention it’s my favorite use of using rewinding time as a game mechanic ever… EVER… And time rewinding is usually crap in games. Braid is the best game of 2008, so if you haven’t played it yet, go, now… play.

The Worst Games of 2008

I must preface this by saying it’s not my policy to play bad games. In fact, if I even get a whiff of awfulness from a game, I don’t buy it. So, since I’m only going to talk about games that I’ve actually played (since there’s no other way to have a valid opinion on the quality of a game), this worst list might include some people’s favorite games.

3. Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (Nintendo DS)
You dropped the ball Square. As much as I love FF Tactics, this game had the worst and slowest gameplay of all of them so far. The gameboy advance version had a simple way to speed through the boring parts of combat. Hit the shoulder button and it would skip through animations to the next action. WHY THE HELL DID YOU NOT PUT THAT IN THE LATEST VERSION OF THE GAME?! Seriously, I could have played through the game in 1/10th the time if I didn’t have to watch every stupid slow animation of every character doing things for the thousandth time.

As much as I enjoy the gameplay and character building aspects, the story was unforgivable. We do not enjoy the whole “I’m a loner kid in school but I find this magical world and am forever changed” shit. It sucks… It really sucks. The original FFT had a hint of it, but was a very deep and involved story that had all sorts of revenge and death twist plot elements strewn throughout. Why don’t you go with the story elements that originally made the game a success instead of the one thing people didn’t like about the GBA version?

Oh and your stylus controls that were made just for the DS? FRIGGIN FAIL! The only reason to use the stylus was if you wanted to be frustrated and angry when it totally misinterpreted whatever you were tapping with the stylus… FAIL!

2. Warhammer Online (PC)
I found almost zero innovation in this game. It was pretty much a clone of World of Warcraft but with really ugly art (even at the highest settings on a good PC). There was nothing special about the quests or the characters or the combat. Pretty much a yawn fest from day one. Been there done that, don’t want to do it again, thanks so much for trying, better luck next time. The game was so boring that I can’t even find the anger within me to get worked up about it.

1. Age of Conan (PC)
Another MMORPG, but this one promised to be different by having an in-depth fighting gameplay mechanic. For the most part, yes, good stuff… Unfortunately they rushed the game out the door a bit too fast and ended with an epic failure. Why? Because the animation speeds of women were SLOWER than that of men and caused HUGE discrepancies in damage per second values from one character to the next. You could have the exact same class with the exact same equipment but if they were female, they SUCKED compared to the male counterpart.

What was the core of this problem? The animations were taking longer for women than men. How the fuck did this get by QA? This wasn’t just a balance issue, it was a complete cluster fuck of the entire game and made a mockery of PVP as well as level advancement since an entire gender had a SEVERE advantage. You cannot release a game with such a tremendous failing. You especially cannot release a PVP based game with such a tremendous failing of BALANCE!

If you knew about this before you released it and chose to release the game anyways, you have no ethics and I seriously question your moral judgment.


So, there you have it, the best and worst of 2008. At least, in my opinion. Do you agree or think I’m an idiot? Post your comments and your own opinions on the best and worst games of 2008.

posted by CommanderHate at 6:03 am  

1 Comment »

  1. Against all odds, I loved playing the recent Sonic Unleashed on the 360.

    Maybe because I enjoyed the Dreamcast versions.
    And I can safely say that Unleashed was an improvement in all aspects.

    I definitely think that this is the best 3D Sonic to date. But.. That’s up to the players to decide.
    I had a blast playing the Day time levels, and I still do.

    I have to give MGS4 a huge kudos for making the game for what it is.. Crazy amount of work and detail.

    I haven’t really encountered a game to be called worst, but I did have some disappointing games such as:

    Mirror’s Edge. This game had it’s moments, but my way too many frequent deaths and ‘not sure what to do’ segments just made me too frustrated than awed. And the story felt quite weak and loose ended.

    Little Big Planet. I know many people will start throwing rocks at me. ‘WHAT? You liked Sonic and you don’t like LBP?’

    I guess it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I don’t think it’s a bad game, but I personally think it was over hyped by the gaming media. The three plane confused me more than anything, and the nature of the physics based platformer gameplay didn’t feel ‘tight’ in my opinion.

    Hmm… Such a biased review 😛

    Comment by Kohyunu — December 23, 2008 @ 12:11 am

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