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2005: Probably My Favorite Year for Gaming Yet

2005 started off with me still owning only a Gamecube and a GBA SP.  Things were going well though, with the release of Resident Evil 4 and Legend of Zelda:  Minish Cap, I had great games to play at home (though I only played Re4 after it was dark, there's too much glare in my living room in the daytime to enjoy a Resident Evil game) and on the go. 

Things picked up in May when I was able to borrow a PS2 from a friend and lucked out on a local rental store's last copy of God of War.  Since things weren't tough at school that semester, I stayed up until nearly five every morning until I finished God of War, so I could be sure to beat it before having to return it.  I also clocked many hours of San Andreas, and was finally able to experience the bliss that is Katamari Damacy, before returning my friend's PS2.

The summer months were a drag, gaming-wise, as they always are, so I got back to Resident Evil 4, finally finishing the story and unlocking not only new weapons but probably my favorite part of the game, Mercenaries.  A few days later, I had successfully achieved a five-star rating on every board with everyone and bought myself a handcannon.  Those Ganados didn't stand a chance against the 1-2 punch of Chicago Typewriter and Handcannon.  I played the whole game through twice more just to enjoy them.

As fall started, the lack of new Gamecube games really wore on me, and the Zelda delay was the last straw - I broke down and bought a PS2.  Within a week, I had Burnout: Revenge, God of War, GTA: San Andreas, Katamari Damacy, Final Fantasy X, and R-Type Final - many of the PS2-exclusive titles I'd wanted since their release.  Eventually I added a few more games to this, including Shadow of the Colossus and Psychonauts.

As fate would have it, once I had finally established a PS2 library that promised to keep me busy for months to come, Pepsi and Mountain Dew launched their "Every 10 Minutes" sweepstakes.   I collected a few caps (I hate Mountain Dew, what is brominated vegetable oil and why should I drink it?) and learned to work the system.  Eventually - and with a lot of luck - I won a drawing, and began counting down to Nov. 19, when I would get my free Xbox 360.

The first few hours were bliss - no one else had  this thing, and here I was tinkering with it as the news started reporting on the lines to get a launch console.  The dashboard, the arcade games, the music capability all kept me entertained much more than the free copy of Kameo did (I had signed up to get Madden, and Madden was delayed for the contest delivery for about a month so they sent me Kameo with the system).  I signed up for Gamefly and started a 360 bonanza, eventually ending up with my own copies of Project Gotham Racing 3, Call of Duty 2, and Perfect Dark Zero.  And of course, once it was finally released, I picked up - and am still spending a lot of time with - Dead or Alive 4.

The wireless controller was a luxury, and I finally bought a wavebird for the Gamecube.  (Wireless is worth the lack of rumble, I finally convinced myself.)  The holidays saw the release of the final installment of the Prince of Persia series, and since I had both previous Prince of Persia titles for GCN, I picked up Two Thrones and am still enjoying it thoroughly.

To sum up this long-winded blog post, I would have to say that 2005 is my favorite year to date for video gaming.  The quality of releases, magnified by my acquisition of two new consoles, will make it a tough year to beat.