Saturday, January 19, 2008

2007 Retrospective: Introduction

It's been a long time coming, but here it is, the first installment in my series of 2007 Retrospective blogs. Last year, I did something similar, but I didn't feel I elaborated as much as I needed to so this year, I'm going to do things a bit differently. This is just the introduction, and more posts will follow in the coming days as I finalize my thoughts, culminating with my top ten games of the year.

Throughout the years, as gaming has matured, longtime gamers have seen the transition from two dimensions to three, numerous new gaming platforms and most importantly, literally hundreds of great games. As the years pass, the years themselves become somewhat of a catalog for these games. When a new year begins to approach, people begin to nominate their personal “Games of the Year”, putting the best games of that particular year in the spotlight and for this reason, some years begin to stand out among the rest,

2007 was one of those standout years. Gamers were practically inundated with quality software, regardless of which platform they owned. From Super Mario Galaxy to The Orange Box and Call of Duty 4 to Halo 3, there was certainly no shortage of great games to be had this year, perhaps even more so than any other year before it.

I must take time here to thank the ones who made all of this possible, the ones who slaved away hours upon hours day after day until their game had that special something that brought everything together. Every year, as we commend these great games for how well crafted, beautifully executed and above all, highly entertaining they are, we seldom thank those people who made that magic happen. The myriad of excellent developers such as Infinity Ward and Bioware made all of this happen, for if they had not sown the seeds, there would have been nothing to harvest.

In his monthly letter to his many readers, Andy McNamara, Editor-in-Chief of GameInformer magazine prefaced the letter by saying, “It is weird when you think about it. The year that was 2007 could arguably be the best year for video game software to date.” Looking back on the previous year, reminiscing on all the fond memories I had in just that year alone; I can easily say he and I share the same opinion. With the Xbox 360 closing the book on its second year and the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii closing out their first, it is indeed weird to think so many quality titles would be released in just one year.

If anyone walked up to you and said 2007 could quite possibly be one of gaming’s best, would you have believed them? Skepticism would have likely been my first response. While I expected such titles as Super Mario Galaxy and Halo 3 to deliver, many titles, such Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Crackdown took me by surprise. But of course, as has been said many times, the best surprises are the ones you don’t see coming.

Over the course of the next few days, I will take the time to break down many of the current platforms one by one, to pinpoint just what made 2007 such a great year for each platform.

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