It goes without arguing that 2007 was one of the best years of gaming in a very long time. It seemed like every console and handheld had a robust handful of topnotch games, covering pretty much every genre in the book (from beautifully designed platformers to epic first-person shooters). There really was a little something for everyone.
The downside to all this win, however, was trying to get a very opinionated group of people to pick one game to rule supreme above all others. Luckily, a brilliant solution to this dilemma was chosen: Early last week, all of the Destructoid staff met in an abandoned cave at an undisclosed location. After setting up camp in our uncomfortably damp meeting ground, we all agreed to not leave until we came to a unanimous decision for Destructoid Game of the Year 2007. I will save the details of what went down for a future community blog, but just know that I saw things I will never forget for the rest of my life. Horrible things. Messy things.
The good news: not only did we all get out alive (well, most of us), we actually came to a reasonably coherent decision!
Not to be a tease, but the winner will actually be revealed tomorrow. In the meantime (and to whet your appetite for the main event), hit the jump for a list of the Top Five finalists: the official nominees for Destructoid Game of the Year 2007.
[Thanks to Topher for the awesome Photoshop]
It was a tough and bloody decision, but here they are, in no particular order (well, except alphabetical):
BioShock, the shockingly gorgeous first-person shooter, has received universal acclaim from multiple sources, with the Destructoid editors being no exception. Even the few that haven’t had the chance to play it yet have fallen in love with the game’s beautifully realized locale and extremely creepy style.
In fact, Aaron Linde and Colette actually named last week’s home-in-the-side-of-the-mountain away from home “Rapture” (after the now legendary underwater utopia in the game). It was really cute until Colette started following Aaron around all the time and calling him “Mr. Bubbles.” There is a fine line between cute and creepy, my friends. A very fine line.
[Check out the original BioShock review here]
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Given the series’ well-received roots, it was an almost given that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare would be an excellent game. What surprised people the most was how great it turned out to be. With an endlessly immersive single-player campaign and multiplayer that even gives Papa Halo a serious run for its money, Call of Duty 4 is easily one of the best (and most entertaining) games of the year.
During last week’s “spelunking” adventure, while pinning Orcist to the ground in a hunger induced rage, I think it was Grim that said: “If Call of Duty 4 doesn’t win Game of the Year I swear I will eat Orcist’s leg. I swear it! Don’t tempt me!”
How can you argue with that?
[Check out the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare review here]
While garnering some mixed reactions overall, Mass Effect had a huge, well, effect on a majority of the Destructoid editors, easily placing it as one of the finalists for Game of the Year. The battle system may take a little getting used to (no tutorial?), but the deep characters and revolutionary dialogue system make this sci-fi RPG a must-have and one of the most memorable games of its type in a very long while.
Unfortunately, Jim Sterling did not support this nomination and most definitely made it known during last week’s meeting. Poor .tiff. She will have monocle-shaped scars all over her body for weeks. Please don’t ask. I don’t know if I can stand to relive it.
[Check out the original Mass Effect review here]
If there is one thing that every single member of the gaming community can agree on concerning 2007, it’s that The Orange Box is the best value in the history of videogames. Including the original Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the superb Portal, and the addictive Team Fortress 2 all on one disc for one surprisingly reasonable price? It doesn’t really get any better than that. Throw in the fact that all five games are exceptional and you have a classic compilation whose quality may never be topped.
Reverend Anthony was extra angry last week (someone gets a little cranky in small remote spaces, I gander), but showed a surprisingly sweet side when he led our feisty group in a rousing sing-a-long to the final song in Portal. The roasted bat we were all sharing at the time could never have tasted better.
Super Mario Galaxy
Even looking back across all systems, Super Mario Galaxy was one of the most anticipated videogames of the year. Remarkably, the game not only lived up to all the hype, it surpassed it in almost anyone’s eyes. Thrusting Mario’s classic adventures into space seemed the perfect evolution, resulting in some of the most clever and jaw-dropping level design of all time. Super Mario Galaxy is undeniable proof that Mario still remains a lethal force in the videogame world, even after all these years.
We all knew this game would be a serious contender when, while taking a nap during last week’s discussions, Tristero and Jonathan Holmes continuously whispered the name “Rosalina” in their heat exhaustive sleep. It would have been precious, had Topher and Dyson not ruined the moment by putting the poor slumbering souls’ hands in bowls of warm stalactite water, trying to get them to pee their Goomba-patterned pants. Real mature, guys.
[Check out the original Super Mario Galaxy review here]
So, what do you think? Only one of the above games will take the coveted crown. Which will win Destructoid Game of the Year? What is your pick for favorite game of 2007? Check back tomorrow for the dramatic results.
... and for the curious, here is a short list of honorable mentions. But as my father has always said: “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades!”
Geometry Wars: Galaxies
God of War II
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
Taiko no Tatsujin DS
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure