“The Year of …………” Prelude

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So, before analyzing the good and bad of 2008, a heads up on my (self-imposed) rules. I will only consider games for the PS3, PS2, Xbox360 (the only consoles I currently own) that have been released in the past year (01-01-2008 to 31-12-2008), in European territory only. The reason for this specific limitation is simple: I live in Europe and only have access to games released here, so games like “Persona 4” or “Tales of Vesperia” won’t be considered. Additionally, no re-releases (or pseudo-remakes) will be noted, only the first release of a game will count (which leaves games like “Rez-HD”, “Bioshock PS3” and “Mass Effect PC” out of this exercise).

The year analysis will consist of 3 sections:

  • In the first I will analyze the best and worst in 5 videogame categories (not to mistake with genres): Western RPG, Japanese RPG, Adventure/Platforming (action adventure games with platforming sections and emphasis on environmental puzzles), Survival Horror (action adventure games with horror themed backgrounds), and Action (action oriented games, mostly shooters, both first and third person). I chose these categories based on the type of reviews I’ve come to specialize on: mainstream games focused on single player experiences, with character driven narratives. I know this leaves a lot of games out, but it wouldn’t make sense to analyze types of videogames with which I’m not particularly familiar.
  • The second section will serve as an analysis on the evolution of the different expressive vehicles present in videogames. I’ll refer the best in 3 areas: Interaction (gameplay and level design), Aesthetic (art design and soundtrack) and Narrative (story, plot devices).
  • Finally, I’ll refer the absolute best of the year, and finish with some conclusions on this particular exercise.

Hope you’ll enjoy this as much I will. Remember, this is a subjective analysis! Any objections to my choices or method of analysis, please comment, I love to hear from you, whether it’s good things or bad. So hammer away 😉

So let’s find out who stands out this year for the best, and the worst reasons.

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