Even with a drought going on with the Wii, I've been rather busy with games like Animal Crossing, LittleBigPlanet, a backlog of wii games on Gamefly, and I'm even now waiting for DK Jungle Beat to come from eBay, which just shipped a couple days ago, so I should get it early next week.
And with all those games, only two of them (AC and LBP) were from the second half of this year.
Sure, this year wasn't the best, not just for Nintendo, but to me, everywhere else, and the only thing now is to think about the future, because from what I've seen so far, 2009 looks to be an awesome year for the Big N.
2008 started good with awesome games in the first half of the year, but didn't hold through after E3. I'm rather ticked more than dissapointed with Microsoft, because of them trying to make a rather shoddy move towards Nintendo's market, and they wont admit they're competing with Nintendo (M$ are pretty much filled with corporate, greedy liars). Probably the worst offense I see is the avatars.
I cannot, absolutely CANNOT stand the sight of these things. It's like a set of rejected pixar characters. Heck, I found Sonic Unleashed's humans more pleasing to the eyes than these Mii rip offs.
Another thing is their partnership with netflix. Honestly, I can only sense this being another nail in Microsoft's coffin if they keep focusing on these partnerships for things non-game oriented, not to mention stuff that doesn't contribute to the overall experience that a game machine is supposed to provide.
Nintendo would have no problem if they did this because they wouldn't simply slap the Netflix label on the system and call it a day. It's the same thing they're doing with the camera and music player on the DSi. It needs to compliment the experience that system provides. The DS is all about the touch screen, and how it contributes to games. The same goes for the Wii, with it's motion controller, and how that compliments the gaming experience.
Only difference is that DS is getting better treatment from third parties than the Wii is.
Which brings me to my next point, along with possibly one of Nintendo's most misunderstood game, plauged by arrogent and boneheaded criticisms, and frankly, it seems only people outside of professional journalism seem to get it.
It was dissapointing that not much coming from Nintendo's own development teams was shown at E3, and not very many 3rd party games were there either. Animal Crossing City Folk is the first game in the series I've played, and since people have criticised for being the same game, it doesn't affect me, because I never played any of the previous games.
Their second game, Wii Music, was heavily misunderstood. I actually saw something different from what others did. ANd the fact that people ignored the rule of "Dont knock it 'till you've played it," and used it as a scapegoat for their stupid "Nintendo's abandoned the hardcore gamer!" statements (all because of a bad press conference? That's just absurd), rather bugged me. So, I payed attention to stuff about the game, I went and got it from Gamefly, and I actually had alot of fun with it. More fun than I did with either Guitar Hero or Rock Band.
It's a game that can't really be described with means of swaying ones opinion, so the only thing I can say is, just try it. But, as a little tip, dont go in with fixed expectations and a closed mind. That is the one thing that kills enjoyment out of ANYTHING.
So those were two Nintendo games for the last half of the year, and yet another opportunity was given for third parties to put out some quality software, and only very few took the offer. Shaun White's Snowboard on Wii was actually better than the 360/PS3 versions, and most were atleast average or above. Plus, WiiWare got what might be the best downloadable game this year, World of Goo (followed by Megaman 9). Other than that, nothing super note worthy.
I give props to High Voltage Studios for trying to set an example by putting their best effort into The Conduit as a means to appease core gamers. But that's a game coming from a small development group. What about the big names.
Atleast one company has gotten their head out of the sand and that's Square Enix, because just this week was the announcement of Dragon Quest IX for DS and, get this...
Dragon Quest X for the Wii :D
Square Enix has always had the tendency of following the system with the largest installed base, and since the series has one of the biggest fanbases in Japan, it makes sense for them to do so. Infact, Iwata said he wants to help Square Enix do what they can to raise appeal for the series in the US.
It's only a matter of time before the rest of the big 3rd parties get with the program and follow suit. EA is starting to do so with their upcoming tennis IP and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, both of which have the Wii as the lead SKU.
Oh, and I'm gonna call it. Final Fantasy XIV will be on the Wii.
So, Microsoft and Nintendo didn't have the biggest year this time around, so who did better. To me, I hate to admit it, it's Sony.
Why? One word: LittleBigPlanet.
The most inventive game I've seen on a console that isn't Nintendo, and with the lack of good platformers nowadays, it's great to see this, and the heart of the game is within it's level creator. Something that's so easy to use and indepth enough to create something masterful is amazing.
It's pretty much my game of the year. I just love it.
Oh, and you gotta love that Sack Boy.
But LBP aside, I pretty much feel 2008 was the year of dissapointments for this generation of gaming, again, not on Nintendo's front, like everyone says, but everywhere else. Games didn't live up to their hype, like Spore, The Force Unleashed, and others, while games like GTA 4 gained praise that, for the most part, it didn't deserve.
2007 was just a much better year, on all platforms. They pretty much had something that made that respective console worth owning, but this yearm only LittleBigPlanet felt like it was worth having a PS3.
Hopefully 2009 can make up for some of the dissapointment I felt this year, and looking at the Wii lineup so far, that's only the start of what I can be excited for. Perhaps there could be something else I might get to play on my PS3 as well, who knows?