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Slashdot's Games of the Year 364

Not everyone who works on Slashdot plays games. Enough of us do, though, that I thought it would be interesting to tap my co-workers to see what folks would call their 'game of the year'. Below are comments on the best gaming of 2006 from Chris Nandor, CmdrTaco, Chris Brown, Scuttlemonkey, and myself. Then, once you've read that, we need your help in the comments. What was the game you couldn't put down? Perhaps it was over quickly, but you know you'll be thinking about it in the future? Was it a next-gen title, or something for the good old PlayStation 2? In your opinion, what was the best game of the year?
I've been a fan of the Tomb Raider franchise since the PlayStation days, but sitting down to Legend was like taking a step in a fresh and new direction. I found every aspect of this game wonderful. The graphics and sound engines are stunning, the the plot is well-written and executed, and the controls have been completely redesigned, eliminating the clunkiness found in past installments. My experience was sheer, unadulterated fun. My only gripe is the game's length. I blew through it in a weekend, and the ending cliffhanger left me hungry for more.

- Chris "Entweichen" Brown

Full Tilt Poker is my best game of the year. Basically, all online poker programs are kinda lame in one way or another, but Full Tilt has done a good job of fixing problems, adding features, and generally keeping the site and program running smoothly. And they have a wide variety of games to play, and usually plenty of people to play against. The biggest problem, other than being Java and eating up most of my CPU, is that it pretends to need a password to install, and doesn't even tell you why. That's very lame. And no, I don't play in the "real money" games. Because that is a felony according to both state and federal law, and I would never do such a thing, even though it's perfectly legal for me to go a few miles down the street, never leave my own residential neighborhood, and play poker for real money in an Indian casino.

- Chris "Pudge" Nandor

This year there were quite a few games to snag my interest, however, the one that was the most surprising to me was the MMOG, Eve Online. The game has been around since 2003, but I had always resisted since it looked like another time sink a la World of Warcraft, but a friend finally talked me into playing. While at first the game seemed like nothing more than a passing novelty I promised to give it 6 months, even if all I did was skill train and log out (unlike most MMOs skills can be trained while offline). However, once I had a better handle on all the nuances of the interface and a few skills under my belt the game started to unfold into this vast universe of possibilities unlike any game I had ever played before. The game starts off slow, very slow in fact, but if you have the patience to make it through the tutorials (dear god do NOT skip the tutorials unless you have your own personal guide) then there is plenty to keep you busy for months at a time. Of all the things that make Eve great, the skill system is certainly the most unique. Only being able to train one skill at a time and having a fixed time until it is done, you know exactly when it will finish (whether you are online or not). This allows people with real lives to at least keep up with the power curve in terms of skills, but ensures that the "veterans" will always have the edge. Many people complain about this fact, but I think it adds to the realism that pilots who have been doing it for years get to be the ace while you, the new pilot, get to play the rookie for a while. It doesn't take long (in terms of most MMOs) to at least be a contributing member of a large corporation (Eve's guild equivalent) and really get in on the fun. With all of the different possibilities in Eve it is no wonder that it is the only MMO still growing (and has been steadily since 2003 from what I hear). Whether you are a fan of casual solo play and just want to be the captain of a mining ship or are a meticulous power gamer who craves vast space battles and PvP, Eve has something for everyone, just give it a few months to grow on you.

- Patrick "Scuttlemonkey" McGarry

What can I say? I'm a Final Fantasy junkie- I even liked X-2, so take me with a grain of salt. Final Fantasy XII's new gambit system takes the tedium out of the game but still lets me control what I want. The ability to see mobs and avoid random encounters is fantastic. The graphics, the story, the gameplay. You don't often see a game worth of any sort of perfect rating but this one is it. My only complaint is that the traditional FF victory theme music plays only over the larger fights... but the other occupant of my living room would tell you that this fact makes this game an upgrade (as she humms the tune over and over again, each time with more fury). I'm not the sort of person who needs to go collect every last esper, so I guess my only complaint is that it's over, and it'll be awhile before I get to see a Final Fantasy on the PS3, which is probably what it will take for me to buy the damn thing.

- Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda

From the moment the soaring orchestral theme to Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion began playing, I was hooked. Bethesda landed me like a gaffed fish, and while I've played a lot of games this year, Oblivion is always going to be my 2006 game of the year. As I said lo these many months ago in March, the story is great, the graphics are amazing ... but what made Oblivion special then and has kept it special all the way through to December is the trust the developers have put into the player. They don't put you in a little car, lower the safety bar, and make you ride through their experience the way they intended. You're at the controls, and they've made the effort to make every nook and cranny worthwhile to explore. Part of what has made Oblivion so compelling is that my preferred character from Morrowind has finally gotten his full due. Playing a stealthy character in Elder Scrolls III was fun, but in battle it was often quite a challenge. Oblivion's critical system has allowed my Khajit Assassin the punch he needed to make battles turn his way. A character now an embarrassing 75 hours old, I've run him through the main quest, the Thieves guild, the Dark Brotherhood, the Arena, 'The Collector' chain, and dozens of smaller quests. I've been across the length and breadth of Cyrodil, and in all of those 75 hours I have never, not once, found myself bored. It's hard to find the words to give a game higher praise than that.

I also want to give Half-Life 2: Episode One a quick nod of the head. For a little slip of a game that only lasted a few hours of my life, the time players spent with Alyx Vance this year will (I think) weigh heavily on gaming as a whole for the near future. Her wit, charm, and intensely personable nature are a high water mark that every other NPC now has to live up to. The promise of Episode Two has made PC gamers more than a bit cranky at Valve for the constant delays. It's not just the humor of Team Fortress 2 or the brain-bending of Portal that has us looking forward to Valve's next release; Half-Life players are very much looking forward to the next time we can have real backup in an FPS.

- Michael "Zonk" Zenke

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Slashdot's Games of the Year

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  • My picks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Friday December 29, 2006 @03:28PM (#17401640) Journal
    Hmm... ok. My top 5 games of the year, followed by the 3 biggest disappointments (not necessarily the worst games, just the ones that didn't live up to my expectations).


    5th) Gears of War (360): I don't think there's much else I can add to what's been said elsewhere about this. It doesn't do anything that hasn't been done before, but by god it does it well. The ultimate example of an old concept polished to perfection. Let down ever so slightly by its length, but the whole experience is just so visceral that I don't really care.

    4th) Company of Heroes (PC): The game that made me buy a new PC. It may be a system killer in terms of the specs it needs, but it's worth it. Incredible detail in the graphics and physics and, most importantly, they're actually used in a way that enhances the gameplay. I'll be hoping to see fully destructible landscapes in more games next year. The only downside? It rehashes those same old Normandy battles that we see in every other WW2 games. How about giving us some different battles in future, maybe even some from the first half of the war? So far, only the Blitzkrieg games have really had the balls to do that.

    3rd) Final Fantasy XII (PS2): I'd expected to hate this, given all the negative publicity about the gambit system before its release, but the game turned out just fine. A darker, more mature plot, graphics that put most next-gen titles to shame and one of the best combat systems yet. My only complaint was that the difficulty curve necessitated a lot of grinding for levels and gil.

    2nd) Neverwinter Nights 2 (PC): Only here on the basis of the 1.03 patch, without which the game is nigh-on unplayable. Finally, a decent successor to Baldur's Gate 2. Should get better over time, as more 3rd party modules start appearing. It'd be really nice if we could get an expansion with epic levels in 2007.

    1st) Kingdom Hearts 2 (PC): For some reason, the critics didn't go for this game, but I was blown away by it. I honestly can't find anything to fault this game on. The difficulty curve is much fairer than in the original game, the plot has some unexpectedly dark twists, the voice acting is much improved and the graphics are stunning.

    And now the most disappointing games:

    3rd) Wii Sports (Wii): Not, I feel, the best title to bundle with the Wii. Once the novelty of the controller wears off, you realise pretty quickly that these games are essentially just brute-force and timing (baseball, boxing and tennis) or an exercise in not letting your hand wobble (bowling and golf). I've not actually played a Wii game yet that's really convinced me of the controller's merits.

    2nd) Prey (PC): After all the hype and all the years of development, Prey turned out to be nothing more than a straightforward fps with lacklustre combat and a few gravity tricks. I'm still not quite sure how they managed to strain every single element of fun out of a tried and tested formula so effortlessly. Boring weapons, identikit enemies, endlessly repeated rooms and a plot that advanced at a glacial pace didn't help, though. If Gears of War is an illustration of how to reheat an old formula well, Prey is an example of what not to do.

    1st) Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cereberus (PS2): OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE SQUARE! What were you thinking? You can do better than this. I don't quite know what I expected from this foray into the action genre, but it wasn't a bland third person shooter with a ho hum plot, twitchy controls and graphics that expose every single limitation of the PS2. It's hard to believe that this came from the same developer as FF12 and KH2. Must do better.
  • Ep 1 was great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dr. Eggman ( 932300 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @03:29PM (#17401656)
    If a little too short. But I'd give a nod out to Garry's Mod 10 as Best Mod of the Year. Its very professional, updated as needed (so much smoother and quicker)and best of all, loads of fun. Garry definatly earned my $10.
  • by chromatic ( 9471 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @03:32PM (#17401704) Homepage

    I received Elite Beat Agents as a gift, and it's surprisingly fun. I don't play many rhythm games, mostly because buying otherwise-superfluous accessories seems silly, but it really works on the DS. It's a little silly, a lot cheesy in places, but it's challenging and amusing enough to keep me involved.

  • Shooters (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shky ( 703024 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `yraeloykhs'> on Friday December 29, 2006 @03:42PM (#17401838) Homepage Journal
    I couldn't put down Black on the PS2 [wikipedia.org], as it was incredibly fast-paced, had next-gen graphics, and was just so much fun. Now, if only they'd release it on the Wii, because...

    Call of Duty 3 on the Wii is insane! It's the next best thing to using a mouse for shooters. Actually aiming on a console is such a welcome, and fun, addition. While CoD3 often uses the Remote to make you do silly and pointless things just for the sake of using the Remote, it makes up for it in its ingenious uses (like steering the jeep by holding the nun-chuck in one hand and the remote in the other, like you're holding a steering wheel).

    I can't wait to see what the Black team has in store for the new consoles, and I hope they make a shooter for the Wii. We could be in for a treat.
  • My selection (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bVork ( 772426 ) <rpantella+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 29, 2006 @03:57PM (#17402018)
    My top 5 games this year:

    5. Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (Xbox/PC) - As soon as I heard that this was a sequel to The Longest Journey, I was sold. Besides, modern adventure games are getting increasingly rare. Yhe stealth and fighting sections are absolute garbage, but the actual adventure gaming works well. The plot, art design, and characters are all phenomenol. This is definitely a worthy sequel to one of the best adventure games of all time. It's rare that I say this, but Dreamfall's writing (and not gameplay) is what makes it stand out. If you can put up with a few gameplay issues (that can usually be avoided, thanks to the multiple solutions to most problems), then you'll be engrossed in one of the most enthralling stories ever written for a video game.

    4. Yakuza (PS2) - Shenmue meets GTA is the best way to describe this game. Only with better voice acting than Shenmue, and more streamlined gameplay than GTA. It takes the huge living city present in both of its inspirations and pares it down to only the essentials, making for a very riveting game. In addition to the good main plot (augmented by some great voice acting) and fun beat-em-up fights, there are tons of minigames ranging from batting cages to romancing women. If you can put up with the overly frequent load times, this is definitely worth playing. It shows that Sega still has what it takes to make a good game. Too bad their other recent releases have been garbage.

    3. Bully (PS2) - GTA in a school. With a better plot than any GTA game. Similar to Yakuza, Bully streamlines the GTA-style gameplay and presents a smaller but much more detailed city to explore. There's a ton to do, ranging from classroom minigames that make you want to show up on time to bicycle races to fighting (based upon a simplified version of the combat system in The Warrios). The story is great and will definitely ring true to anyone who has suffered through school. Ignore the controversies and play one of the finest PS2 games yet. The only flaw is the poor graphics. It's based on the GTA engine, which isn't all that impressive to begin with, and is definitely showing its age in 2006.

    2. Gears of War (Xbox 360) - Believe the hype. Apart from only being about 10 hours long, this shooter is excellent. The graphics are some of the best ever, the gameplay is a very satisfying divergence from the typical run-and-gun shooter gameplay, the story is well-done (the characters are all grunts! They're SUPPOSED to sound like meatheads!), and it even includes full co-op for the entire game. Only the length and the rather limited multiplayer options keep this from getting the top spot. 1. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Xbox 360/PC) - The finest game I have played this year. The graphics are outstanding, the gameplay is a refined version of the system seen previously in Morrowind and Daggerfall, the story is well-done, the bajillion subquests all have interesting hooks to them, and the music is fantastic. It isn't without flaws, however. The entire world scales to your level, which means that you must be very careful how you level up, in order to get the best multipliers and prevent the world from scaling up beyond your ability. Also, this has one of the worst rip-offs in gaming history: the $2.50 horse armour. If you buy this, you're an idiot. Fortunately, later official downloads have much more reasonable prices. But they don't really add a whole lot to a game that will already take a few hundred hours to fully explore and experience. I don't think its quite as good as Morrowind, but it is still an amazing achiement and a must-play.

    Overrated games that didn't make the list (not to say that these are bad games, just have some significant flaws that prevent them from being GOTY material):

    3. Final Fantasy XII (PS2) - Finally, a fine Final Fantasy game that ditches the annoying ATB system. I think somebody at Square has been playing too much KOTOR, because this feels like a crappier (but still good) knock-off of one of the finest RPGs ever
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:17PM (#17402214) Homepage Journal

    For me 2006 is the year of Oolite [aegidian.org]. I am ashamed to admit I just discovered it this year... I never got into elite despite my interest because of the steep learning curve and the fact that I somehow never had the game and a guide at the same time. Well, I got oolite and a guide at the same time, and it's kept me pretty well-riveted. It's funny because it's about the least graphically complex game I've played in years (besides solitaire and bejeweled) but it's really quite deep and more importantly, it's extensible. The game supports addons and you can do all kinds of things with them. But even better than that, it's cross-platform with XML savefiles that work on all platforms, so you can have it installed on Windows, OSX, and Linux, and take your savegame between all those platforms (handy if you want to play at work and at home - not that I have time to play at work. But I have in previous jobs.)

    If you liked tradewars, and you like live-action simulations, you'll love Oolite.

  • LEGO Starwars (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:19PM (#17402224) Homepage
    I'm the guy that waits a year or so for the game I want to drop down to $20 or so, when I saw the first LEGO Star Wars installment become a Players Choice game I knew it had to be pretty good.

    Actually with my Zelda background I expected free camera movement and didn't really "get it" the first time I played, so it sat on the shelf for a week. Then... strangely my WIFE said she wanted to try it, she hasn't played a single video game EVER since we've been married. I'd never have expected it, but we found a game we can play together and work out way through. She'd actually come home and say "Okay after dinner lets play some LEGOS", it was a shock! Alright the one annoying thing is when teammates walk in opposite directions the screen pulls you back, so sometimes you can get yourself stuck in a repeat dying spot and have no escape since both characters can't move. Other than that, I've gotten quite used to it and have enjoyed it immensely. The Freeplay mode is a lot of fun and the ability to swap characters at any time let's you blow through old enemies that were at first challenging. Also the ability to "drop out" and then join back in comes in handy when the wife gets stuck on some jump or pod-racing section she can't beat. I'm also surprised how rarely she drops out as she's willing to try over and over until she figures something out. Normally she hates games she loses at, but with the infinite lives and not throwing us back to the start it doesn't bother her much.

    Nice bit of variety with the pod-racing and space battles, it's a great game for a gamer to introduce a non-gamer with. Being able to go two-player at any time is really nice.

    Any game that gets my wife interested is the game of the year to me. Now she can't wait til we get a Wii. :-)

    Only problem is... I have to watch Pride and Predjudice. ;-)
  • by swerk ( 675797 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:19PM (#17402226) Journal
    As its author, I'm obligated to plug TONG:
    http://www.nongnu.org/tong/ [nongnu.org]

    I haven't updated in a while, but I do have some bugfixes and improvements in CVS if you're brave. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but some folks find it to be quite fun, at least in short spurts. :^)
  • XBOX 360 Games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by polyex ( 736819 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:20PM (#17402232)
    My top 5, they are all XBOX 360 games, because its the only thing I am playing games on: 5) Kameo - Stunning graphics. Simple story, but its stays fairly interesting. Not the most original thing in the world, but executed really well. 4) Test Drive Unlimited - A brilliant execution of online play where you are dropped into what amounts to almost a MMORPG Racing game. The graphics are wonderful, but the characters look like at you with those weird dead eyes. The entire game is a map of Oahu, I just found it a little odd there are no people walking around. Kind of runs out of steam when you aquire the fastest car, but its harder to get cars in this game than in #3 3) Project Gotham Racing 3- Great graphics, wonderful online play (I watched the online games now more than Speedvision). Cool cars. I think you get the money a little too easy in the game so you end up with A class cars almost within the first hours of play so its more about medals. 2) Prey - Nice atmospheric story which unfolds well, interesting characters. I ended up loving the Cherokee idea (although before playing I thought it might be silly), it turned out to be something that drew me in to the game. Others have slammed this one, but I had the benifit of never hearing about it before it came out so I had zero expectations and ended up really liking the journey the game took me on. 1) Gears Of War - To be honest I think without the skilled use of HDR (the graphics CODERS for this were top notch) Im not sure the graphics would be rated so high, but its still AAA artwork and in the end it looks better than pretty much anything out there. Gameplay is really where the game shines for me with the cover system being a breath of fresh air and a nice surprise when you give it a chance. Honorable Mention : Dead Rising - How many times can a game say "Loading please wait" ? I wish it had online play. I wish it had a better save system, I wish it was longer. I wish it would not tie you into the dumb story and let you roam more. But I like Zombies, and I especially like them in a shopping mall getting bitch slapped with a sledge hammer. I dont want to say these are the worst games, but I sold my copies within hours of purchase or just deleted it: 1) Full Throttle- The idea of the rocket/gun/weapon on the car seems like one of those ideas that looked better on paper. After the first few minutes of shooting stuff I was reaching for PGR3. It may have been more fun if there were pedestians. The graphics are top notch, and the coders who did the crash effects really had something cool there, its just the gameplay for me was repetitive and boring with uninteresting/unoriginal weapons and cars. 2) TotemBall - Came with the Eyesight. I could not control it worth a damn. Not fun.
  • Guitar Hero 2 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eggsurplus ( 631231 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:22PM (#17402268) Journal
    I wouldn't have turned into a ROCK GOD!! if it wasn't for this game.
  • by MagikSlinger ( 259969 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:29PM (#17402348) Homepage Journal
    1. Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
    2. Company of Heroes

    That is all. I tried some of the others, but I could never really get into them.
  • by bryanbrunton ( 262081 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:33PM (#17402396)
    Grand Strategy (www.denizengames.com), a web-based Risk clone is without a doubt the game of the year. Never before has playing Risk been so easy and so accessible.

    A brief list on why GS is so great:

    1. Gone are the hours devoted to setup and dice rolling.
    2. Your house mates and relatives will not have to collared and cajoled into sitting down with you, the "strategy game freak", for 5 to 6 hours.
    3. Grand Strategy uses Ajax and is fully Web 2.0. VCs love it and can't give stop giving me money.
    4. It is guaranteed that while playing Grand Strategy that crazed strangers will not take slight at your mentioning the weakness of the Ukraine and attack you on subway trains!

  • by thinkninja ( 606538 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:51PM (#17402564) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, second vote for Zelda here. It is the best game I have played on any platform in a long time, no question. Unfortunately for me, I officially beat it today on my second completion (all Pieces of Heart, all bugs, all Poes, & the Cave of Ordeals).

    Now I'll have to wait a spell before going through it again...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29, 2006 @04:58PM (#17402634)
    The problem with this game is that I pretty quickly found out how to become almost immortal, which is quite boring. Since nothing can see invisibility, focusing on illusion and staying invisible all the time means you have no real challenges left. The only trick to it is to make destructions or conjuration spells with invisibility as secondary effect. And if it got though (meaning I ran out of mana), I just casted invisibility and hid, and later just stayed invisible until my mana had restored (since if you focus on it, the cost of invisibility gets lower than your mana restoration speed at some point). Most on the time while exploring the world, I galloped on an invisible, waterwalking horse...
  • rFactor by ISI games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hoover ( 3292 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @05:03PM (#17402694)
    While rfactor (a racing simulation) was released last year by ISI games, this year has seen some very good mods released for this simracing platform, like the ETCC03 mod (European touring cars) and lately the brilliant F1 1979 mod, bringing all cars of the F1 1979 season to rfactor at no additional cost. Also, a great "current" F1 season has been created by the community, so if you're into racing sims, this is the one title to check out.

    More about rfactor can be seen here: http://www.rfactor.net/ [rfactor.net]

    All the best, uwe
  • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @05:23PM (#17402914) Homepage
    I am personally looking forward to a tennis game that actually cares how you hold the remote, since the technology is there.

    Interestingly, Wii Sports Tennis does care. In addition to forehand, backhand and how or high balls, it's possible to slice the ball. How to do it is not immediately obvious. I first saw this when the better computer players started doing it, and I've figured out how to do it: You turn the controller while hitting the ball as if you were to slice it in real tennis. Well... D'oh.

    It takes a bit of trying, but it works.

    It's pretty funny to shoot balls like that, because they curve, and when they hit the ground, they change their direction - sometimes dramatically, which makes it really hard to time returns.

    Similarly, when first playing Wii Sports Boxing, most people start flaying the controllers in every which direction. Sooner or later, one player goes down and doesn't come up again, and the other declares himself the winner. At first, I thought this game sucked, but after playing it for a bit, I figured out that there's a huge amount of tactics and precision involved. Covering and evading is a lot more important than hitting. Avoid the other person's hits and hit back when he lets his cover down. Hit with precision: If you move your body sideways and your hands up and down, it's possible to hit very specific parts of the other person's body, thus going through his or her cover. When I play the game with my brother, nobody ever goes down since if the other player knows how to avoid being hit, it's very hard to knock him out. It's a lot of fun to play the game like that, lots of tactics and precision involved.

    Oh, and by the way, Wii Sports is my personal Game of the Year. Yeah, Zelda is a much better game in every way, except... Playing Wii Sports against a few pals is the most fun I've ever had with a console. Nothing comes even close. No Dance Dance Revolution, no Guitar Hero, no Bomberman, no Mario Party, no Donkey Konga, no Super Monkey Ball. Nothing.

  • Eve (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @05:26PM (#17402924) Journal
    it is no wonder that it is the only MMO still growing (and has been steadily since 2003 from what I hear)

    Second Life isn't a "game" really, but since you left off the "G", I'll say it. SL started around 2003 and has been growing very quickly lately. The retention on there isn't very high, but they went from 1 million signups to 2 million signups in about a month.
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <oarigogirdor>> on Friday December 29, 2006 @06:10PM (#17403556) Homepage
    I know, and Diablo is not. ;-)
  • by trdrstv ( 986999 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @06:11PM (#17403558)
    Oh, and by the way, Wii Sports is my personal Game of the Year. Yeah, Zelda is a much better game in every way, except...

    Personally I agree. To be clear I LOVE Zelda, but WiiSports got my retired parents (who are as non-gamer as you can get) interested in purchasing a Wii. That is unprecidented, and the sign of something special.

    I have figured out how to slice the ball, and pick my corner of the court I want to return the ball to, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to consistantly do the "Rocket Serve". Sometimes I just do it and can't repeat it. Any ideas?

  • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @06:21PM (#17403660) Homepage
    To do a "Rocket Serve", you need to hit the ball at its highest point. It stands still for a very short amount of time, and you need to hit it at this precise moment. I get it about 75% of the time, but my brother gets it almost 100%.
  • by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <<megazzt> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday December 29, 2006 @06:21PM (#17403668) Homepage

    Wii Sports is best with friends. I had a blast playing golf and bowling with my cousins. Especially on that course with the little "island" of fairway in the OOB area where you had to hit it just right to get there... we had lots of fun with that and some of the other challenging courses.

    "Hey, Mike's taking a THIRD turn in a row! Boy, Mike must really like this game if he's playing it so much!" Priceless.

  • Re:My selection (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bVork ( 772426 ) <rpantella+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 29, 2006 @08:54PM (#17404888)
    Don't get me wrong, I did like TP. I bought a Wii in order to play it. I just don't think it stands out as much as some of the other games this year. I'd rather see something try going in a new direction. Dreamfall is on my list because of that, despite its serious flaws. I find games that reach for the stars but fall short to be more endearing than games that cover the same old ground. I think Twilight Princess (and Wind Waker) falls into the same category as post-3 GTA games: glorified expansion packs that don't do anything new, but do refine and perfect the already excellent gameplay.

    I'm also going to take issue with the comment about music. It sounds like Nintendo hasn't updated its midi libraries since the N64 days. The choral parts are particularly grating. While the compositions are excellent, they're brought down by the dated, overly-synthesized sound. No argument about the quality of the storyline or dungeon designs, however.
  • Re:My picks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ReverendHoss ( 677044 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @08:55PM (#17404894)
    Yep, I've gotten relatively good at Wii Tennis. It's by far my favorite of the Wii Sports games. Especially when I don't have to worry about my guests jumping up and down on my damn couch*.

    I think I phrased my boxing problem unclearly. I don't have a problem with how fast the fist travels forward. I have a problem with the number of punches I am able to throw in a given time. They may have toned it down on purpose to prevent people from winning by just swinging as fast as they could. But R-R-L combos only give me the punches I want about 90% of the time. That little bit of inaccuracy makes people swing faster and more frantically because they feel they can make up for the missing 10% by swinging faster. This causes even more inaccuracy and frustration. It may be game related, rather than controller related, as I don't think I've ever had my racket not swing in Wii Tennis. But Link has flubbed a few swipes as well, so I know it's not just boxing.

    Not a terminal problem, mind you, but you do have to prevent yourself from doing the equivalant of button-mashing, or you'll just end up frustrated (and quite possibly a joke on YouTube). And it also boomerangs on games that treat a swing of the Wiimote as just another button press (Rampage: Total Destruction, I'm looking at you!)

    The lightsaber game, however, I have to disagree with you on.

    Wii Baseball (and in the same mold, Rayman's "get the marble through the maze" games) is good enough for baseball. Hold the Wiimote up, and your player holds his bat up. Any sort of swing will cause him to smack the ball. But if you try to precisely control the angle of the bat as you wait for the pitch, you'll find a disturbing disconnect between the angle you are holding the controller at and the orientation of the bat.

    This disconnect is fine for baseball, but people's hopes and expectations for a lightsaber game would necessitate finer control. Think blocking blaster bolts with the lightsaber. Either the angle would have to be spot-on, or an AI would be needed, destroying the immersion the remote provides. And let's face it, people's expectations for Lucas to deliver are through the damn roof. A mediocre Star Wars game would be a blow to both them and Nintendo.

    In short, I was expecting perfection in the tracking of the Wiimote. My expectations were unreasonable. Rayman more than Wii Sports convinced me that I had bet on the right horse. That's why I recommend people who don't warm immediately to Wii Sports try it out. They may come around like I did.

    [*] Yes, YOU, James. You have a PhD now. I shouldn't have to tell you it's a bad idea.
  • Re:My picks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Das Modell ( 969371 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @09:00PM (#17404938)
    2nd) Neverwinter Nights 2 (PC): Only here on the basis of the 1.03 patch, without which the game is nigh-on unplayable. Finally, a decent successor to Baldur's Gate 2. Should get better over time, as more 3rd party modules start appearing. It'd be really nice if we could get an expansion with epic levels in 2007.

    NWN2 is absolutely horrible compared to BG2. Even if they ironed out all the bugs, it would still be an uninspired, bland and mediocre game.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal