The demise of 2008 can’t come fast enough for me. While I have been fortunate overall in relation to the economic disaster we have courtesy of that wonderful President Bush, it just wasn’t a wonderful year for me sports wise.
Starting with the Patriots demise at the Super Bowl, things were on a bad note. The Celtics did win the NBA, but I’m really a bandwagon fan on basketball. The Orioles continued to suck and in a shocker, all the marquee free agents went to the Yankees, and we apparently can’t even sign someone like Kevin Millar. Go figure.
Over in MLS, the Revolution didn’t even make it to the semifinals, which was a disappointment , but hey when 6 of your starting 11 are injured, it kind of makes it difficult — same deal with the Patriots this fall …although they made it to 11-5 which isn’t good enough ; however the incredibly shitty Chargers got in at 8-8. No I’m not bitter.
Gaming wise, it was the year of the sequel. Not a whole lot of originality out there…It was Guitar Hero 4, Rock Band 2 in 10 innings. Grand Theft Auto 4, Gears of War 2. Fallout 3, Singstar 2.
Games that were original were very much underrepresented with the thongs of the gaming public. DeBlob came out for Wii and although based on a PC flash game was quite fun. Naturally it didn’t sell. Boom Blox also has suffered a similar fate. Indie games like World Of Goo got a lot of press but still didn’t sell as much as I would have liked to see. Wii Music sucked for adults, but is great for kids, but even that wasn’t great at the sales chart. However, make a controller out of a mat and put some Mii’s on it and you have a million seller. Also, if you include a shitty game with a controller, the shitty game will sell quite well, even 2 years after release.
Downloadable content really came into it’s own this year. I love Steam and their "best of" collections. Good Old Games is a nice idea, but playing a 10 year old game really makes you appreciate the strides we’ve made in that time. GameTap is still an enjoyable pleasure for me although we aren’t seeing nearly as much new content as I would like. I am constantly downloading new songs and rosters through my consoles to continue my enjoyment of games. No game has ever done so much to reinvent itself as Burnout Paradise — and another game update is on the way!
The new franchise games like Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge seemed to land with a thud although they are most certainly worth playing or even buying.
With all the crapware coming out on the Wii, I just hope that we don’t ignore the issues that happened in 1983-1984 all over again. I want the videogame industry to survive, but there are only so many games one person can play or buy in a three week period. On the Xbox and PS3, we see very few weekly releases. On the Wii, you get 3-6 crap titles per week. Seroiusly, who is still playing M&M Kart racing these days?
Alright I’m done talking about games. Two quick points:
* If you have a TiVo, you can download Dr. Horrible for $4.99, which is a great deal. Did I mention how much I enjoy TiVo/Amazon On Demand and Netflix streaming?
I’ll wrap up 2008 with this. Last night I watched the DVD documentary : Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten about one of the most influential musicians in my personal life. I can’t believe he’s been gone for six years now, but in this great documentary, one of the things he says over and over again (the documentary is in his own words) is how great it is to be alive. I’ve taken those words to heart and in 2009, regardless of my economic/personal/family/home/work/ situation, I will think of Joe’s words and remember that whatever the problem is, it’s still better to be alive than not!
Happy New Year everyone!