2009 – A Year To Remember, A Year To Forget

Looking Back on The Duds of 2009

So, the year is over, and a new one has already begun. Thing is, I have a hard time letting go. I believe that it’s safe to say 2009 was a solid year to be a gamer, or to be associated with the video game world, but not everything was squeaky clean. Some things are so unforgivable that they should be mentioned again, and those responsible for making these things what they were should hang their heads in shame. I’m getting older, my patience isn’t what it used to be, and sitting through games and asking myself ‘how did this get made?’ or attempting to use a new piece of hardware only to have it not do what it was intended to makes me super frustrated.

2009, you can vanish now, never to be heard of again, but before I totally let go I have some things to say.

Modern Warfare 2 – All hype, And Then Some

So before you Call of Duty die hards start chopping away at me, let me say up front, I liked Modern Warfare 2, it wasn’t a bad game. But, it wasn’t the jaw dropping masterpiece that Infinity Ward had us believe it would be. Maybe it’s just me, but I can only shoot so many terrorists before I lose interest, and beg for something more. At least Treyarch gave us Nazi Zombies. Why? Because Treyarch don’t have their heads as far up their asses as Infinity Ward does. Wanna do something great Infinity Ward? Start a new game series, and give Call of Duty a rest. Plus, because of this game I now have to wait to play so many great games that would have been released last year.

"You know, sometimes I wish we were fighting zombies. Hordes of zombies."

Tony Hawk Ride Is Everything That Is Bad About The Video Game Industry

Highly overpriced, looks like ass, and doesn’t even work. Seriously, not only should Tony Hawk and Activision hang their heads in shame, but they should continuously bang this useless piece of hardware on their heads until they have fully learned their lesson. I can’t help but think about all those parents who bought their children the ‘cool’ new skateboarding game for the Holidays only to realize it doesn’t matter who’s name you attach to shit, it still ends up being shit.

"Dude. Dude. This game sucks. And it only cost $130!!!!"

Games That Pretend To Be Art Usually Aren’t

You know what I’m talking about, it can’t be just me who is absolutely sick and tired of hearing about those hip little indie “gems” people chit chat about. The one that comes to mind is Flower. Seriously guys? Flower is art? Flower is a beautiful piece of gaming poetry? Get the hell over yourselves and wake up, besides being nothing more than a concept (do not really consider this a true game) it’s plain and simply boring. Stop acting like you’re better than other people just because they couldn’t wrap their heads around the game. You don’t look smart, in fact you look like a pretentious jackass who needs to get around the fact that you’re essentially playing a wind simulator. You want to watch grass and leaves blow in the wind, get off your couch and walk outside because this shit is happening around you! The same people praising games like Flower, are the same people who wouldn’t dare play true classics like Ico, or Shadow of the Colossus because the game looked too boring. If Flower moved you in any way, do yourself a favor and go see a therapist.

"No, you're right. Shadow of the Colossus wasn't art. But Flower was."

Wii MotionPlus Further Proof Nintendo Have Lost It

I remember when this piece of crap was going to change the way we played video games. As if Nintendo hadn’t already bombarded us with enough useless peripherals that we stored away in our closets never to see the light of day again. And now, at the beginning of 2010 it is already clear that it is completely unnecessary to attach this junk to our Wii controllers. Most games don’t use it, and the change is so insignificant in those that do that it’s as if the attachment is doing nothing at all. Way to go Nintendo, you suckered us in to spending a little more cash, I hope you’re happy killing the dreams of children around the world.

"Sigh. You're just peddling us crap, Nintendo! Crap!"

Sequels, Sequels, Sequels

This goes out to every single game developer and publisher on the planet. Do something original. 2009 saw so many sequels that when I see a game box that doesn’t have a number at the end I nearly go into a comatose state. We all love certain game characters and we all want to further their adventures, but when nearly half the games released in a single year are sequels then we have a problem. Sometimes, developers get them right (Uncharted 2 is exceptional) but most times the games are so similar to their original counterpart that they may as well package them with a giant sticker that says “SUCKER”. Wii Sports Resort was merely a way for Nintendo to sell more of their useless MotionPlus controllers. Street Fighter IV, let’s face it, was nothing more than Street Fighter 2 with a pretty paint job, and Capcom have the balls to release Super Street Fighter IV. Well, that just makes me angry, and what confuses me is how many suckers will buy it.

"Don't worry. I'll be back in Final Fantasy MMXXXXVIIII."

And finally…

Video Game Job Losses and Company Closures

In what was easily the biggest year in gaming, it’s sad to see so many companies shut their doors. It’s quite clear that the video game industry is an eat or be eaten business. You either make money, or you don’t (that’s why we have so many sequels) my blame on this is partly on YOU the gamers. Support new IP’s, make that your New Year’s resolution, let’s protest the obvious money grabbers and protect the games that innovate. Us gamers are a passionate group of people, we are loud and we like having our opinions heard, and that is a fantastic thing. But, the problem is we are putting our passion in all the wrong places. Who cares what console has better graphics, or which console loads faster, or has a better frame rate by half a second. Let’s not turn our fantastic industry into another Hollywood, let’s not let money decide what game is good and what game isn’t.

Overall, 2009, I am pleased with you, but my complaints had to be written. When it’s all said and done, the fact remains that we live in a golden age as far as video games are concerned.

Hello 2010, you have no clue how happy I am to see you.