2009 gaming – a reflection

I have to admit that as an XBOX 360 owner, it has been a fairly underwhelming year with many big titles originally promised for this year being pushed back to 2010, namely Bioshock 2, Alan Wake and Splinter Cell Conviction.  Saying that I have still been impressed with the likes of Batman Arkham Asylum, F.E.A.R. 2 and especially Modern Warfare 2, and XBOX Live has offered up some gems in the shape of Shadow Complex and Braid.  Yet, with the exception of Modern Warfare, there hasn’t been that much anticipated title, and nothing on a par with last year’s end-of-year killer-apps like Fallout 3 and Gears Of War 2.

I even might say that Playstation 3 has had the real big hitter this year in the form of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, a breath-taking, cinematic benchmark that really shows what the system can do when in the right hands, and proving for once it really can out-wit the XBOX in raw processing power.  It’s just a shame that the majority of titles are multi-format and designed with the XBOX in mind rather than the PS3. 

My favourite gaming moments this year are as follows:  rediscovering the comic-book art and personality in Capcom’s Street Fighter 4 and loving the gameplay, even if getting my ass kicked online all the time means I haven’t picked it up in months!  The slow-motion gunplay of F.E.A.R. 2 and the tense atmosphere, even if the game is at times not much of a challenge.  The gorgeous african-setting of Resident Evil 5 and the accomplished online co-operative gameplay.  Oh yes, and the joy of navigating the crumbling locations of Tomb Raider Underworld, something that never gets old.

Yet again, as with my previous post, this year has felt like its missing that special something, like the movies that hit cinemas – nothing really blew me away, with a few notable exceptions.  So I’m playing Modern Warfare online until something really kicks my ass and re-awakens that gaming instinct.  Maybe it will be Bayonetta, of which I downloaded the demo, and was left thirsty for more – or maybe it will be discovering the PS3 at some stage and a whole new catalogue of delights.


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