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So we're getting all wrapped up with this current generation of consoles (and those pesky PCs which have been tied to the current gen through having games in common).
What was the best thing to come out of this generation? Did it do anything for gamers and gaming? What are your fondest memories?
Funnily enough, two of my favourite experiences were PC-based. One was playing the original Mount and Blade, getting into the modding scene and seeing 'how games worked'. This was the answer to a fascinating mystery for me and I was delighted that I eventually contributed in some small way to a game that people downloaded and enjoyed. It was a lifetime ambition that I didn't really know about.
The other great experience, funnily enough, was playing 'To the Moon'! If you've played it, you'll know what I'm on about.
I should add the Eleven Hours it took me to get through the first level of Demon's Souls.
I came to the game as a casual gamer, I guess, who didn't really understand what games could be. Taking eleven hours to get through the first Boletarian Palace level was an education in that it showed me a completely different approach to my normal playing style was necessary, and it remained compulsive gaming throughout. Eventually I learned.
My fondest memory this generation came while I was playing through Mass Effect 2 and Skyrim at the same time, and I realized that both of them were going to make it onto my "top ten games" list. Then I thought about the overall high quality of the other games I'd been playing (Bioshock 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, StarCraft 2, Spacechem) and realized that I had as much fun gaming that year than any year prior. I'm approaching 30 years old now, and playing games is just as fun as when I was 8.
L.A. Noire The more and more removed I am from playing this game, the more and more I enjoy and appreciate the quality. I'm glad Rockstar took a chance in this detective-type game. Extra bonus for the cars available to drive. I don't think this game qualifies as "under appreciated" but I'm not sure it got the attention it deserves. Guessing it also won't see a sequel.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing What a great Mario Kart game. No really. Only it's better than Mario Kart Wii. Great tracks, great racers, and great multi-player (though I only played online races). The only game I have ever intentionally gone about getting all achievements. Have yet to play the sequel, but hope to find a cheap copy one day.
Smaller digital games and online gaming on consoles have been the biggest improvements in this generation. Sure we had online gaming in past generations, but it really matured in this generation on consoles.
A lot of downloadable games blended old-school and new school elements perfectly.
My best memories of retail games may not reflect on how good the game was, but what was happening in my life at the moment while playing the game. Like how hearing a song can bring back memories.
One example would be Splinter Cell Conviction. Pretty disappointing game in my book, but it reminds me of having the windows open on a perfect spring day and relaxing with the Xbox.
The Yakuza games bring back god memories just because I liked them so much. They are defiantly on my top ten of this generation.
Well nobody else is posting more, so I'll add another:
Goldeneye 007 (Wii) It's amazing how low expectations can turn into something so well done. This remake could have been all kinds of wrong but is a very solid game. It also includes one of the most surreal moments I've ever had playing videogames.
With a small house and a newborn, my gaming at the time was limited to little or no sound. There comes a time in the game where You need to pick up the Wii-mote to answer a phone call. What a pleasant surprise to hear an answer on the other end!
There's more that I loved, but the first thing that came to mind was finishing Spec Ops: The Line.
Goddamn, that was a harrowing experience. I felt drained and disillusioned, but also overjoyed by the fact that I experienced it. Being challenged and even actively questioned by a game as to why I play the war-shooter genre was a shocking and illuminating experience.
"I actually talked to an Iraqi cabdriver last year in Salt Lake City about the war. He said it was like the US came and weeded his garden, but pulled out most of the vegetables in the process. Needless to say, he had mixed feelings. So I stiffed him on the tip. USA! USA! USA!"
Mass Effect: Knights of the Old Republic was one of my favorites on the good old XBox, but I still felt that this style of RPG had room to grow. Mass Effect was everything I was expecting from a more modernized RPG. It had a good storyline, solid combat and a great attention to detail. I was sort of disappointed with the changes that were made with ME2, but it was still a very enjoyable experience.
Fallout 3: I had never played the original Fallout games, before I'd played this on the 360. I had longed for an open world game, where I could just wander and explore, without having to always follow a preset path. This game was just amazing, as was its followup, New Vegas.
Skyrim: Brad and some of the other GC crew may not be so fond of this title, but I just loved the open world exploration that this game offered. Sure, the story wasn't anything to write home about and most of the side-missions weren't that great either, but with so much to explore and do, this game absorbed over 240 hours of my free time. I'd like to play more RPGs like this one.
Starcraft 2: I didn't play the original Starcraft, until about a year before this game came out. I didn't even think I would enjoy Starcraft, after playing Command & Conquer and Warcraft II, but Starcraft was a more polished game. Starcraft II was even more amazing than the first title. PC technology finally got to a point where 3D models didn't look like boxey characters and the gameplay was ultra-smooth.