Quarterlies 2005

For the 2005 Quarterlies, I took each game’s score from Gamerankings and Metacritic, weighed them according to the 7-9 scale, entered them into an Excel spreadsheet and arranged the list from top to bottom, adjusting them by fun factor and innovation. Then I deleted the file and made a list of my own favorite games.

Please feel free to post any corrections below, since the lists aren’t nearly as important as the arguments that result!

-Tom

Personally, I think Mercenaries belonged on that list. It’s still my favorite console game of all time. But hey, otherwise, it was pretty good. Not my top 10 list, sure, but I can see top 10 potential in all of them.
I’m also now considering “Timesplitters: Future Perfect”. It never appeared on my radar, but yet it looks like it just might be my cup of tea. I also love the titles for all the awards. But “The Funnest One” has to be the best, though.

Yeah, Mercenaries was awesome. It was right behind We Love Katamari as the hardest game for me to drop from my top ten. But if I’d been doing a top twelve, Mattc0m, it would be there!

I also think Mercenaries probably got overlooked on a lot of folks’ lists since it came out so early in 2005.

-Tom

The “More Features by Tom Chick” link doesn’t work. Please fix it! And write another Shoot Club while you’re at it.

Fixed, kinda. Works but should really list everything by that person and break it by categories. Will add that to the todo list.

Chet

Nice list, but where is Ticket to Ride Online?

I really need to subscribe to Computer Games Magazine to read some reviews by Tom.

Woops! For the Well Written One you accidentally mispelled P-s-y-c-h-o-n-a-u-t-s as K-i-l-l-e-r 7.

IAWTP. Everything Tom said about Call of Duty 2 and FPSs can be said for Psychonauts and Platformers.

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is truly deserving of being on any top ten list for 2005. The writing is funny, Cortez is a true videogame star if there is such a thing, and when it comes to gunplay, it really doesn’t let you down there either… ever. When you’ve finished the main game, you’ve still got all those monkeys to blast with a shotgun. What’s not to like?!

The only game that bugs me that Tom leaves out is Phantom Dust. I think it’s easily among the top three.

With no explanation and in no particular order, here is my Top 10:

  1. The Movies
  2. Myst V
  3. City of Villains
  4. Dead or Alive 4
  5. Geometry Wars
  6. Guitar Hero
  7. Age of Empires 3
  8. Need for Speed Most Wanted
  9. Project Gotham Racing 3
  10. Battlefield 2

“It’s also a reminder why innovation is dead, as disingenuously dismayed observers will note from time to time. It’s dead because we don’t need it, and we really never did. Not every game needs to be Darwinia, or Deus Ex, or Guitar Hero, or Katamari Damacy. Innovation sits in its niche – moribund or overlooked or dead, whatever you want to call it – until it hits it big, at which point, it’s no longer innovation. Remember when the original Half-Life was innovative?”

Great quote, Tom.

For the record, I think that “They’re myths from a language you don’t know.” (from Tom’s Shadow of the Colossus review) is the best single line from a Chick tract this year.

Troy

Jim, Psychonauts was fine for its inspired lunacy, but the wacked out socio-sexual political meta freaky-deaky psychosis of Killer 7 made much more of a lasting impression on me. You might consider actually playing it before making your own decision. :)

Besides, I can’t really address Psychonauts impartially since co-writer Erik Wolpaw and I were briefly involved when we worked as sheepherders in Wyoming.

And, yes, what Dave Long said about Timesplitters: Future Perfect. The best shooter of the year and absolutely my second favorite game!

-Tom

the best single line from a Chick tract this year.

My father Jack will be proud. :)

-Tom

Tom, just out of interest, did you check out Resident Evil 4 this year?

I found this article edumucational, because I learned that the problem with Perfect Dark Zero was “the way the team is managemed”. Maybe Rare should have gone to a managemed seminar. Ha!

Tom, just out of interest, did you check out Resident Evil 4 this year?

Yeah, he did… and he didn’t care for it. I think it got some blood on his beret. :P

PS. Those handmade emoticons just don’t cut it.

Yep and I have to confess I wasn’t as big a fan as so many other folks. It’s a fine game, but as I’ve said in other threads, I really think it got most of its props for simply fixing things in the series that should have been fixed long ago. You don’t get a cookie for doing what you should have done in the first place.

For instance, as an action game, it was cleaned up a lot, but it’s really got an erratic pace. Jumping to an inventory screen to change weapons? Puzzle bosses? Quickbutton minigame cinematics? Adventure game elements? The escort Ashley (was that her name?) stuff.

As a horror game, it was pretty silly, all the way up to the jetski escape. The little Napoleon guy was just goofy. The story was dumb dumb dumb. Dumb! Seriously dumb. The robed cultists yammering their little chants would have been creepy when I was thirteen and freaked out by the evil Jawas in Phantasm, but they’re silly to me now. Hey, guys, if you want to catch me, pick up the pace! Chop chop, fellas! Even zombies can barely get away with that slow inexorable shuffle anymore!

It looks great, and some of the bosses were cool (Del Lago was probably one of my favorite bosses up until I played his counterpart in Shadow of the Colossus), but I think there were far better games this year.

-Tom

Caveat emptor. Don’t buy this thing if you want to play pick up games over X-box Live. Online performance can be atrocious at times; I played quite a few games where players would jump around so severely that I felt like I was playing pre-patch Unreal 1 online. Part of the problem is that the host screen defaults to the maximum of 16 players rather than choosing an upload-bandwidth appropriate setting, and most players don’t know to lower it when they create a game. Even in smaller games, though, I never had a particularly smooth experience over Live. With competent buddies, you might be able to achieve a contained and playable experience online, but I wouldn’t bother with this one if you’re keen on PUGs (of course “X-box Live! is only as good as your buddy list”, but what if your buddies don’t have the game?). Also, a patch released in June added connection quality indicators throughout and other features that might improve the experience, but, according to the patch notes, nothing was done to address the actual net code. And I can’t comment on the PS2 version’s performance - it might be gravy.

Sorry about raining on the parade. Back to the unmitigated praise.