I'm going to forgo my normal introduction paragraph this time because in this post, things are different. This is a monthly musing post and therefore, I'm going to treat it differently. This is of course bearing in mind that people who read monthly musings may be different from the usual rag-tag crew of gentlemen I extort into reading my regular posts.
2010. Did it suck? That seems to be the general opinion. However, I feel a little differently. The year was dominated primarily by anticipation of Sony and Microsoft's new motion-control gimmicks and winded down into the usual Fall dogfight between several "triple-A" titles. That said, I submit to you that 2010 did not, in fact, suck. It was simply overwhelmingly and undeniably:
Sometimes at the end of a great video game year, I sit and reflect and think to myself, "Wow. That was awesome. I was in anticipation for 12 months straight. Now that's a tough year to follow." Now, my mental voice sounds nothing like Ted Williams but even I can remember that train of thought running through my mind about this time three years ago. The Wii was fresh and flashing us its bedazzled goods in the form of Metroid Prime 3, a game that proved to me that the whole motion thing could work just fine in the proper environment, not to mention Super Mario Galaxy later on that year. The 360 was still my console of choice, though. Bioshock on my lunch breaks, Halo 3 with my friends all night, and a truly epic Mass Effect marathon over Christmas break. Those were the good days.
So what happened in 2010? I, personally, came into the year with my hopes placed firmly on Final Fantasy XIII. Wherever you place that game on the series' lengthy spectrum, I can't say I didn't enjoy it. What else was there? Well, we all waited with eagerness to find out what exactly PS Move and Natal would bring to the table. The answer? Not much. When it came to software, neither Kinect or Move could provide an experience that was truly satisfying, aside from possibly Dance Central?
Now, I'm not taking a negative stance on 2010. Like I said at the outset, it only kinda
sucked. Lets think of the highlights here. Firstly, there was this:
And lets think of games, here. Bayonetta was pretty good. Mass Effect 2 received lots of praise. MAG did alright and so did No More Heroes 2. Bioshock 2. Mega Man 10 was a blast. Super Mario Galaxy 2. God of War 3. ModNation. Red Dead Redemption. Alan Wake. Personal favorite, Scott Pilgrim and Bit.Trip Beat that I play near-constantly on my iPhone. Nintendo rocked Kirby's Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong and Warren Spector's Epic Mickey did better than I expected. Throw in the annual Call of Duty outing and Bungie's final ballad of the Halo franchise and you have a year lightly seasoned with some pretty cool titles.
For me, personally, I take advantage of years like this. Its a time to take a breath, pick up something new here and there but mostly, chip away at my giant back catalogue of awesome games from years past. Not exactly retro or classic but can you believe that before 2010 I never picked up Uncharted, let alone Uncharted 2?
If you're a gamer like me who is constantly updating himself on the latest news of this giant industry, its rare that you have a chance to sit and think back on the past because everything revolves around the current and what's to come. In this way, I think Destructoid would do awesome if they created a column dedicated to playing games that we, as a community, might have skipped over or forgotten. We hear enough about the mid-Summer/Fall big releases. I firmly believe that a real gamer can see the artistic value in all forms of this medium. Just like real movie buffs love watching old-school black and white films that a casual moviegoer would likely not enjoy, a real gamer can play games from any generation and have a great time doing it.
Anyways, to get back on-topic, 2010 kinda sucked. It kinda sucked when Bayonetta was gimped on the PS3 and it kinda sucked when Final Fantasy was gimped on the 360. It kinda sucked when Microsoft jacked up Xbox Live prices. It kinda sucked when Square Enix blew off Kingsdom Hearts 3. It kinda sucked when Realtime Worlds went under and it kinda sucked when Samus Aran's voice in Metroid: Other M reminded you of your ex-girlfriend! Okay, maybe a bit more than kinda
. But, I hold on with a vice-grip to the belief that gaming is timeless. Even if 2010 had not one big release all year-long, being a gamer never sucks.