The games I enjoyed playing most this year (in some vague order of enjoyment quotient):
- Pikmin 2 – GC
- Paper Mario – GC
- 塊魂 [Katamari Damacy] – PS2
- Sly 2 – PS2
- Hot Shots Golf: Fore! – PS2
I also played a few wacky indy games that I really enjoyed:
As I generally don’t review games that I don’t finish, it may be hard to gauge what I played based on my somewhat sporadic review output. For balance, here are some games I played that I didn’t much like:
- La Pucelle Tactics – I prefer strategy games where a small number of units and actual strategy take precedent over a zillion different item and unit combinations.
- Half-Life 2 – I don’t like shooting things and books are a better medium for stories.
- Metal Gear Solid 3 – See above, but replace books with movies and stories with overacted action plots.
- Metroid Prime 2 – I got tired of waiting for the “Scanning…” display and of falling off platforms due to the first person perspective, and I don’t really like shooting things.
- GTA3 – The driving interface was fiddly and standing in front of a wall and pressing a button to spray graffiti wasn’t a lot of fun. I have enough time worrying about eating cheese burgers and exercise in real life, if I have to do it in a game too, it damned well better add fun gameplay. Moreover, I’m sure if I got further into it, I would have been reminded that I don’t like shooting things.
- Pitfall: The Lost Expedition – The worst execution I’ve seen in a long time; I’m not even sure the game was finished before they shipped it.
- Transformers – Driving wasn’t that fun and did I mention that I don’t like shooting things.
- Perimiter – An inscrutable RTS.
- Evil Genius – Had some promise style-wise, but in the end the simulation gameplay failed to be compelling or fluid.
- Leisure Suit Larry Magna Cum Laude – Gag me with a spoon, is this a game?
- Burnout 3 – Oh God, the load times, my eyes, they burn. Maybe if I had a fun GBA game to play while I was waiting for the level to reload, I could have enjoyed it.
And a number of games were alright, but not worth writing home about, as they say. The best part about 2004 was that thanks to Gamefly, I didn’t have to waste hundreds of dollars on tens of games that I didn’t enjoy. Yay for the consumer. Here’s hoping 2005 will provide more reasons to actually cough up the full price.