When the decade started, there were two major home systems: Nintendo 64 and Playstation. Playstation had become the generational icon of the late 90s by that time, but I was a nintendo loyalist through and through. To me, video gaming still begun and ended with Nintendo. Hell, I was still somewhat apprehensive about making jumps to 3D platformers as opposed to traditional 2D side scrollers. Which is actualy what brought me to getting a playstation in 2001. Graphics were all in 3D polygons... still clunky in design, but fluid in animation. And then in 2001, came the next step up. The Game Cube and Playstation 2. And then also the X-Box, but I never got one, and never wanted on, so Im ignoring it (yeah yeah yeah, I know, it was a big impact blah blah blah HALO blah blah blah Tom Clancy's this or that blah blah blah). I ended up getting the PS2 in fall of 2002, more for its ablility to play DVDs, as well as backwards compatablitly, which was one major trend in the 00s that I liked. I got my game cube in 2003, the same day Iraq was invaded, to see which would last longer (in terms of if the game cube would be replaced by a newer generation console before the iraq war was over.) in 2007 the Iraq war won, when the Wii was released.
So yeah, anyway, with the cube, also came a gameboy attachment, which I thought was BRILLIANT, especialy since the gameboy advance offered so many of the traditional design games that I so enjoyed from the SNES, and the fact that I didnt need to rely on a hand-held to play them. So yeah, for the majority of the decade, it was those 2 systems for me. And, with the advancing technology, games became more theatrical. voice-overs became more than brief soundbites, and more money was invested in them to hire actual voice-actors (or in some cases, actual celebrities). Movie tie-ins, well, there was more of them, but I ignored them by and large. I cant say that I really got too in to the new-fangled 1st-person shooter types... mostly just contiuations of long-running franchises I grew up with and loved. Then, there was also the big jump in online gaming. World of Warcraft was the big thing throughout the decade. But yeah, my computer was never much for games, and I didnt really care to. Ive always been more of a solitary gamer than anything else.
In 2007 came the next generation. The Wii, the Playstation 3, and the X-Box 360. As mentioned, I had no interest whatsoever in the X-Box. The playstation 3, at the time of its release, was a monstrosity. With a 500.00 pricetag. That had a loud hum, like some sort of government supercomputer. And the wii? What, with its remote and nunchuck thing, was just too.... weird. But, I was drawn to its virtual console, featuring the ability to download games from systems past. Which was great because, even though I still had my NES, SNES, and N64, cartridges were taking up limited space, and half the time, they didnt realy work. So, in 2008, I got me a wii. And yes, there were some good games with it, but seemed like more of a novelty system than anything else. I did get a PSP also in 08 for CrisisCore, and was impressed with the capabilities of handheld systems again. And with the pricetag on the PS3 going down, I may end up getting one eventualy. Then again, if it doesnt have backwards compatiblity, then what would be the point?
So yeah? What did the decade give us? Games evolved into interactive movies. That's the best way to put it. Games became longer and more involved. Characters became more developed. Budgets increased. Games became more accepted by pop culture. Graphics and plots became more realisitic. Instead of games based on movies, there were movies based on games now (and at least one of them was even a GOOD one). And then of course, there were more of the party games, and imaginary musician games... but yeah, there ya have it.
Now the list. Ranked from favorite to least favorite. All of them I can say were good (except for the last one anyway.) Im not exactly what one would call a hardcore gamer, but here's what I liked.
best game of the decade:
Metroid Prime Trillogy (GC/Wii)- 2003-2008
All three of these games were modern classics. And since they were recently repackaged as a trillogy, Im going to cheat and call it one game on here. In these games, it combines 1st person shooter genres, with search and find RPG collection genres, and puts it into a great atmospheric Sci-Fi scenario. If I have to rank them Individual, I would start with Echos, Prime, then Corruption.
2. Conker's Bad Fur Day (N64)- 2000
Here we have your typical violently funny Tex Avery-ish cartoon. Except filled with all sorts of depraved vulgarity. But instead of being sophomoricly stupid, it comes of as being clever and entertaining, what with its 4th wall humour, and clever parodies on various pop-culture-isms. Basicaly, its a game about having a bad day. Conker goes out, gets plastered, and wakes up with a hangover and not quite sure how to get home. And this whole time, the powers that be need him has a subsitute table leg.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Its the end of the world. The sky is falling, and you have 3 days to stop it. A great, dark, atmospheric follow up to the classic Ocarina of Time.
4. Paper Mario 2
Mario is in an exotic land, basicly going on a treasure hunt, with all sorts of other factions heading for a collision course. A Quirkey little RPG type game, with enough fun and dark moments to make this an enjoyable time killer, along with its unique "stage-performance-audience-
participation" based fight systems, along with the Halarious Bowser interludes.
5. The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess
This was the game that should have been released instead of Wind Waker. A great, straightforward game but with enough twists to keep one from getting bored along with darkly beautiful game designs (which although some might say, were a little dated by the time it was made)
6. Metroid: Fusion
- (GBA)- 2002
A great little Sci-Fi game in the classic 2D design, where Samsun is marooned on a space station alone, with a parasite hunting her down.
7. Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core
(PSP) - 2008
The prequal to FFVII. This one had a slightly more linear plot than your average Final Fantasy game, but yes, it definitly did a great job creating the interactive movie type game. But yes, the constant play-quoting characters did tend to get a bit annoying.
8. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
9. Mega Man x8
I really loved the tag-team features in this game, along with the item-finding goals as well.
10. Castlevania : Lament of Innocence (PS2)- 2003
Dark, moody, and beautiful. A bit more straightforward than the average 3D Castlevania game, but I still found it enjoyable.
11. Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga (GBA)- 2003
A bit of a twist on the standard Mario RPG style, with plot and characters with all sorts of weird behaviours.
11. Final Fantasy X (PS2)- 2001
Yeah, the protagonist was a whiney obnoxious mothers boy. But the game design and music is still so lush and beautiful, and the plot and gameplay interesting enough, to make the whole 'wah wah wah daddy didnt love me' bit bareable.
12. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC)- 2003
The game itself is flawlessly animated, with a great score, and a good plot. Too bad its too bogged down with tedious sidequests, not enough action, and sailing.... Hours and hours of nothing but sailing. It was a bit of a disappointment, but when it was good, it was amazing.
13. Final Fantasy XII (PS2)- 2006
A bit of a departure from the normal FF fare, with even more sidequests, but the plot was interesting, and the characters, for a change, where not these constantly whining emotionaly-stunted teenagers from previous FF games.
14. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)- 2004
The Kinstones and Seashells where a bit tedious, but I really dont have anything too negative to say about this one.
15. Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (PS2)- 2005
The weapon combining system was a nice touch, along with the pokemon-type demon to level up. But having to steal all your equipment tended to bog it down fast.
16. Super Mario Sunshine (GC)- 2002
Basicly, its another Mario 64. Except with mind-numbingly frustrating obstacle courses.
17. Castlevania: Harmony ofDissonance (GBA)- 2002
18. Paper Mario (N64)- 2001
A great game for its time and day, with all sorts of fun sidequests. But compared to Paper Mario 2, it hasnt really aged well.
19. Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)- 2004
Basicly, a good remake of Metroid 1. Not bad, but not anything really new or remarkable. Actualy, I found it a little hollow and a bit too short.
20. Raving Rabbids (Wii)- 2006
A great party game, but a bit exhausting for my health at times. But very, very fun.
21. Star Fox Assault (GC)- 2005
alot of variety, and maybe too much. Oh yes, and the blatant Borg rip-off was a bit annoying.
22. Mega Man+Bass (GBA)- 2001
Actualy, a re-release. Not too bad, but a bit frustrating at parts.
23. Castlevania: Circle of the moon (GBA)- 2001
A very diffifult and frustrating game at times, but enjoyable enough to keep me coming back for more.
24. Mega Man 9 (Wii)- 2008
a new Mega Man game in the tradional 8 bit style. While exciting at 1st, the loss of several tradional abilities (like the slide and charge), and the frustrating difficulty, made me a bit disappointed.
25. Super Paper Mario (Wii)- 2008
Side Scrollers and RPGs really dont mix. While the plot was OK, I found it a bit disappointing.
26. Wario World (GC)- 2003
Not too bad, but seemed more like a demo than an actual game. Just, really short.
27. Luigi's Mansion (GC)- 2002
Same thing. A well made demo, but didnt feel long enough to be a real game.
28. Mega Man X7 (PS2)- 2003
This has to be my least favorite game- Mega Man didnt, and doesnt, translate well into 3D. And Axl was completly worthless. And Mega Man's Whining didnt help much either.
Honorable mention goes to the new Super Mario Wii. I just got it, and Im really liking it, but havnt played it enough to get a subjective opinion.
As far as system of the year? My heart says Game Cube, but my mind goes with PS2. PS2 lasted the longest, had the more varied library, and most versatility.
The best year for games this decade? 2004.
Review, and discuss.