Was it the hullabaloo of the Xbox One always online/DRM/no used/H.A.L. is watching you story? The mano a mano of Sony v MS, especially at E3? Was it the You Tube crush on IP infringement going on now? Perhaps GTA V's Don't Install the Play Disk thingee? Or that Dave follows Lady Gaga on Twitter? The Rise of Indie Gaming such as Temple Run 2 or Gone Home? The whimper of Ouya? The disaster of EA's Sim City? That more parents are buying leap pads and tablets for their kids rather than traditional handhelds? The better story telling of The Last of Us? The greater impact of 'free to play'? How about the continued blurring of toy and video game with Disney Infinity? The library struggles of the WiiU during much of the year? The sales bonanza of the two new consoles? Steam moving into the console arena? The continued DLC? The dissolution of THQ? Disney shutting down Lucas Arts?
Beyond just playing the games, what stories about video game culture interested you the most this year?
Wasn't Mass Effect 3 released in 2012?
This means this intrusive DRM won't be in this generation of consoles which should last at least 6 years. I'm sure Microsoft, and maybe even Sony, will try again with this always online DRM nonsense next generation. They may even succeed and help ruin gaming in the process. Regardless this generation gamers won, and will be benefit for several years as a result. That was a huge victory for gamers, and that is why it was without question the biggest gaming story of the year.
This means this intrusive DRM won't be in this generation of consoles which should last at least 6 years. I'm sure Microsoft, and maybe even Sony, will try again with this always online DRM nonsense next generation. They may even succeed and help ruin gaming in the process. Regardless this generation gamers won, and will be benefit for several years as a result. That was a huge victory for gamers, and that is why it was without question the biggest gaming story of the year. [/QUOTE]
Well said ol' chap.
-Zombie games - I have had ENOUGH!!!! So sick of this tired setting in videogames, movies, TV shows - the obsession got old about 5 years ago, but of course it cannot let up. Even the 'game of the year' for most people - in a game irionically praised for groundbreaking narrative - has a post apocalyptic, bizarre virus, oh great - infections!!, yup its zombies - DAMN! time to get violent - hopelessly generic and instantly tired story line. Saw this game at my cousins, and he was so impressed, I just shook my head. I do not get emotional involvement in mature or serious games, becuase every thing falls flat and false, there is no connection. Sure the voice acting is usually good, but it looks like a videogame, plays like a videogame, and is ultimately is as generic as any vidoegame that trys hard at this. Honestly, something cartoony and subtle like Cave Story has more of a connection, becuase it is a sentimental fantasy, not gritty 'realism'. I am not holding THAT up as any kind of standard, just making a point as to why Last of Us leaves me utterly cold and uncaring. But anyway, yay for Zombies!!, we keep getting double and triple rations, and all these zombies can take a long vacation, it has become an ironic and perhaps unintended subtext about shallow consumerism and the erosion of family values in gaming and in larger society. Be a zombie!!! Something is eating our brains....
-Gamer Altruism - this is basically looking back at this current gen. It is an expectation - and enforced strongly by key voices on all message boards - that every person should have the time and money and interest to own EVERY major console and 'buy in' to the community opinion on which is the strengths and weaknesses (heavily presumed) of each console. I am tired of it!!!!! I think, with this coming gen, with the added costs - gaming has never been more expensive - with both Sony and MS demanding subscription fees, with the fact that Sony and more so MS consoles now have less exclusives than ever before, with middle class gaming dieing out on consoles and leaving only yearly iteration 'epic' games that have become and continue to become more predictable and generic - I see the end of this. There is less and less compelling reason to own both an Xbone and a PS4, and I predict fewer will do so. Which is good, because maybe there will not be so much trashing of the people who do not want either, and only buy Nintendo or perhaps a different product? Anyway I like unique games and high quality games, and do not follow trends, so I find my own path, and I am tired of people wanting to get on my back because of it. I hope 'gaming altruism' dies out this gen, and people can accept that different products and game buying methods appeal to different people, for legitimate reason of their own!
-Appreciation of dedicated handhelds. It seems like some of the wave of games who initially embraced the iOS wave of gaming (and I am being a little presumptious here, and this is highly ancedotal) are 'coming to their sense', realize the quality gulf and cnotrol gulf is as vast as it has always been, and will never improve, due to the extreme cut rate nature of iOS gaming - and are coming home, like prodigal sons. Are they too little, are they too late? Yes, gaming has been forever changed, and the mainstream gamer with portables will be a tough nut to crack. And game price erosion on portables is probably a certainty, and perhaps will become a happy accident, perhaps portable and even console gaming will find some happy medium between the fixed retail prices of old, with their promise of deep, complete products, and the free to pay garbage at the other end of this extreme spectrum. Only one company has sustained and kept alive the mainstream promise of deep portable games in an era of cheap facsimiles - Nintendo. Sony tried, but Vita has never took off, and now is heralded as essentially an indie machine for the hipster crowd. Which is fine, it is what it is, it is what it became, but Nintendp has kjept their relevance and hopefully can parley it into something bigger next gen. Above all, I value quality, and that is the only thing I truly do not want to lose in gaming, and iOS gaming represents what this wasteland looks like - this 'Pottersville' made out of New Bedford. No console is a failure that has high quality games.
@ Segatarious - Thank you for the nice post, and happy new year.
Zombies - While we could have a lot of discussion about why zombies have become the monsters du jure of the internet age, they serve an especially convenient role in video games. They are sops to lessen the apparent violence of some genres. When zombies fall out of fashion in the larger community, something will have to replace them in shooters - bugs, aliens, robots, demons from hell, something. The genre still has some undead life in though, so don't expect much relief in 2014.
The Comprehensive Gamer - Not sure on using the term altruism, so I will adopt another. Outside of forums, do you find this an issue? In face to face gamer conversations, I find lots of us use several different media for gaming - modern consoles, PCs, handhelds, mobile devices, retro stuff, etc. I don't find much hostility in person if I game on device X and not Y. This may just be an artifact of the larger social media world, which seems to bring out snarkyness. On this site at least, I find following your own path can be well received - if someone says 'I'm devoting time to my SNES in 2014' or something, I think it would be accepted with a smile.
Dedicated Handhelds - I do like mobile fare, and as a retro gamer, if the graphics reach only 16 bit quality it is enough already for me, and they have gone well past that now. You got me on controls, though. There are solutions to enhance controls, and I've used a few, but we'll see how well they are adopted and perform. I also spend a lot of time gaming on handhelds, like my DS Lite that gets a lot of play time - currently more than my consoles. However, game prices are too high. Its all relative - I don't want to pay $15 to $20 for a used 5 year old loose okay condition DS game, when I have a huge App store just itching for me to try for free or near free. I think handhelds are great things, and I am willing to fork over bucks for good quality hardware once in awhile, but not for run of the mill software. If that feeling is widespread, then handhelds will not be profitable. They need a wider price range of software, or my new 2DS will become a system to run a few great games, unlike in the past where my GBA and DS library fill a shoebox.
My sentiments exactly.
Nobody would get on your back about being incredibly one-sided if you weren't constantly telling people that their opinions are wrong when they've played the games, formed their own opinions, and you haven't. Your opinion seems to be the only one that matters to you, so why do you care?
That's fine that you didn't like what you saw of The Last of Us. I politely disagree with your point that it's shallow (and Wii Play/Music/Party isn't??), but I find it sort of ridiculous that you're allowed to bully our games/preferences, but we can't touch yours? You even mentioned me, by name, in a separate article that I was probably glad to see Nintendo fail (I'm paraphrasing),which is ludicrous AND incredibly childish. Some of the best times I had this year were with my Wii U/3DS.