Most fun I've had playing videogames this year:
- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater for PlayStation 2 - How action movies should be played.
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for PlayStation 2 - What Tomb Raider should have been years ago. Best use of time travel in a game ending.
- Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee for PlayStation Portable - Simple and fun.
- Ace Combat 2 for PSOne - Fun enough that I'll forgive it for having a hidden good ending.
- Castlevania IV for SNES - Konami, please forget 3D and try being this good again in 2D.
- Ridge Racer for PlayStation Portable - Filter out all the crap from a decade of medicore Ridge Racer games and you have something worth playing.
- Ace Combat 5 for PlayStation 2 - Puts me to sleep.
- Lumines for PlayStation Portable - This was considered addictive? Booooring.
- War of the Monsters for PlayStation 2 - I waited years for this game to drop below $25, even for a used copy. When I finally got it brand new for $12, I felt profoundly ripped off. Do not expect to have fun with it.
- Castlevania 64 and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness for Nintendo 64 - The first and second gigantic fricking clues that 3D doesn't work for this series.
- Parappa the Rapper 2 for PlayStation 2 - Dog poop.
- Out of This World for SNES - This is not fun. Really.
Note: I have enough reservations about GTA:LCS that I can't say it's as fun as Hot Shots or Ridge Racer. In fact, I'd recommend those other two over GTA:LCS, if you just want to have fun with your PSP.
That's my year. How was yours?
Konami hasn't forgotten about 2D Castlevania just yet; they released Dawn of Sorrow for the DS just this year. If you liked Castlevania IV, you'll probably love the series after Symphony of the Night (PSOne, 1997).
Oh, sure, I've played everything but the latest game. But it took them two tries on the GBA to produce Aria of Sorrow, which was approaching the quality of Symphony of the Night. I'd rather they started on a system that didn't require two practice games to fully tap the hardware's power.
Or, put another way, make a game for a system I own. (I don't own a Nintendo DS...yet.)
My favorites this year (yeah it's not controversial to say this but it's true) were the two Katamari games. After that it was Advance Wars DS for sheer longevity and Mario Kart DS, even though if you don't master snaking your lunch with consistently be eaten for you in online play.
After numerous games played this year, I still have to say the most fun I had was early January with Resident Evil 4 on GCN. I don't even like survival horror much, but this title was still more fun and more memorable to me than MGS3 and Shadow of the Colossus (both excellent, btw).
Well, since RE4 and Shadow of the Colossus didn't make it under the tree this year, I"ll be trying to pick them up cheap in the coming months.
As for RE4 vs. MGS3, I'm willing to concede that I'm a bit more of a Metal Gear fanboy than a Resident Evil fanboy. But I'll try to keep an open mind. :^)
RE4 is one of those games that for me was addictive. If you're lucky, you might be able to find a copy for the GCN at Toys R' Us for $10
Shadow of the Colossus, btw, while an excellent game, I felt might be more of a rental for some. It's surprisingly short. However, it's definitely worth playing.
I played through Resident Evil 4, and had fun, but I probably won't be lined up to play RE5, even if it's the same kind of game as 4 was.
I had a lot of fun with the GC Paper Mario, which comes to mind 'cause I'm coaching a friend through it right now. There's some really sharp writing in that.
I even had fun, in a perverse kind of way, watching a friend play through most of Kingdom Hearts. I have to say, however, that I wasn't exactly "laughing with" the game.