End of The Year Awards

By Shamus
on Dec 31, 2007
Filed under:
Video Games

Peer pressure has compelled me to compile one of those end-of-the-year lists that all the major gaming sites have. Everyone else is doing it, so it must be a good idea, right?

Best Use of DRM to Punish People for Buying a Game: Bioshock (PC)

Best Way to Ruin Christmas: The Wii shortage

Best Game Where You Die Like, Every Twelve Seconds: STALKER

Best Game Reviewer to be Fired for Doing His Damn Job: Jeff Gerstmann

Best Game for the PC You’ll Own Three Years from Now: Crysis (Note: It will probably still run like crap.)

Best RPG: Jade Empire from Bioware

Best Assimilation of a Great Developer Into a Monolithic Corporate Crapfactory: EA Buys Bioware

Best Pricetag: $3.74 for STALKER, can you believe it?

(Runner up: $20 for Portal.)

Best Atmosphere: Portal

Best Voice Acting: Portal

Best Music: Portal

Best Level Design: Portal

Game of the Year:

If we judged purely by hours I spent playing, then this award might end up going to X-Com. It’s sort of pointless having me choose a best game from this year, since I tend to shop for stuff two years old. Having said that, if I had to pick a favorite it I would probably agonize over the choice between between Jade Empire and Half-Life: Episode Two.

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From the Archives:

  1. Darnon says:

    I think Crysis will still run like crap because, as many people have come to the conclusion, it’s graphics engine (while pretty) is a huge steaming pile of inefficiency. A lot of the current gen titles, with a little bit of effort, could easily match it in graphical fidelity and do so without requiring a machine beyond mere mortals.

    Maybe Farcry 2 will be better, who knows.

  2. Eltanin says:

    Oh goody! Does this mean we get to talk about Half-Life 2:Episode 2 some more? I want more! :)

  3. Telas says:

    I’ve already cheesed off my pregnant wife by playing HL2EP2 religiously during the Christmas break. I have Portal, but have not cracked it open yet because I know what will happen… more sleepless nights and more sidelong glances and comments from the wife.

    This kind of thing isn’t making it any easier, Shamus… >:(

    (But then again, neither is this.

    PS You forgot one: Best Geek Site on the Internet: TwentySided

    (THERE’S your frakking citation.)

    Telas

  4. kamagurka says:

    One of the great reasons to prefer consoles to PCs for gaming: Developers have set hardware, and have to work hard to get the most out of it.
    On the other hand, PC developers seem to think this is far too much work, and the consensus seems to have become “who gives a flying fuck about those chumps with gfx cards that are older than two months, amirite?”.

  5. Aufero says:

    Best game I’m finally playing because at $9.95 on Steam it was too good to pass up: Psychonauts.

  6. pffh says:

    oooooo X-com. Now that’s a great game. I played this game so much when I was younger and I probably should go and find my old copy of it and play it again.

  7. Freya says:

    I’d just like to say thank you for the recommendation of “Jade Empire”. I’d been a bit sceptical at first when I initially saw it, but your recommendation swayed the purchase!

    However, in my opinion, a close runner up for RPG of the year has to be “The Witcher”. Definitely one of the best games I’ve played recently.

    I’m still valiantly holding off on buying the Orange Box though…

  8. straechav says:

    I’d like to point out here that the best RPG is DEFINITELY not Jade Empire (which I own), but The Witcher. By any rating. That game simply is “The Best RPG Since Baldur’s Gate Series”, and may the well be “The Best RPG Ever(tm)”.

    Unfortunately it has some technical issues, like slightly uneven english localization, which in the end actually isn’t bad: just one or two jarring moments in the game. And another is the rather long loading times, and fairly steep requirements of computer.

    That said, the story with without par in games industry in the sense that it would actually work as a book and get decent ratings. Another is the decisions you have to make, this is the first RPG ever that I’ve played where my decisions actually FELT like decisions that have consequences, as opposed to deciding whether I should try to slide my character’s alignment to more chaotic or lawful… No RPG (and I’ve played almost all) has ever done it so well, Fallout and Baldur’s Gate had results of their actions but it didn’t feel nearly as “weighty” as the decisions in The Witcher.

    The whole alignment idea is completely retarded in the games, btw, because they can never decipher why someone would do what they do. Motivations are the root of person’s “alignment”, not his actions…

  9. Good list, mostly, ignoring the Valve fanboy rant that is the second half. But calling Portal a runner-up for best price tag? I played Portal, and enjoyed it. But it’s a short game, and in my opinion, it has $15 of content plus the additions to the engine for handling portals. $20 is a fair price, but by no means cheap.

    The orange box on the whole, however, is a good value. If you had said that was your runner-up for best price tag, I would be inclined to agree.

  10. Snook says:

    Here’s to 5 months of TwentySided! Since it seems this is what we’re getting for new years, I have to say “thanks for the blog, Shamus”. It’s been a hoot.

    Oh, and thanks for convincing me to try out D&D. I’m hooked.

  11. Katy says:

    I want to play BioShock for PC so badly…but then again, I reallllly don’t want SecuROM on my computer. Too bad, so sad. T____T

  12. Shamus says:

    straechav: This list is obviously populated by games I’ve played personally, and are not an attempt to make anything comprehensive. The Witcher has system specs way over my head, and thus I didn’t play it. In fact, I’m looking at upgrading my GFX card and what I’m upgrading TO falls short of their “Recommended requirements”.

    Alex: I am not a Valve fanboy by any stretch. Back in my archives I have posts lambasting them repeatedly for Steam. Outside of HL / Portal, I have no interest in anything they make. (CS and TF being the big examples.)

  13. YaVerOt says:

    X-com would actually be number 2, behind Civ 3. I was playing a lot of civ at the beginning of the year, and only jumped back into X-com in November. Also X-com gets knocked down a little because for the first time its giving the “Green Text Bug”, I alway assumed I’d had some ‘perfect copy’, since it hadn’t done that at all during the 10 years I’ve had the game.

    Oh, and I finally get to see my Wavatar.

  14. Tuck says:

    In fact, I’m looking at upgrading my GFX card and what I’m upgrading TO falls short of their “Recommended requirements”.

    Out of interest, what are you upgrading to?

    I’m interested because of your comments (and the first comment too) about Crysis. My system is a P4 2.8Ghz with 1.5GB RAM, with a now-pretty-boring GeForce 7300GT (upgrade from my old 6600). However, I can still run Crysis without trouble when I set some of the settings to Low (the shaders and post processing in particular). Granted the game loses most of its graphical appeal, but it was fun to play through — and if the Jurassic Park mod is ever released I’ll have great fun hunting dinosaurs. :D

    Of course if you didn’t like Far Cry you won’t like Crysis.

    But yeah, my point is that Crysis runs fine on my three-year-old-with-RAM-and-video-upgrade computer. Be fair!

  15. neminem says:

    Ok, I’m sorry, but the Best Assimilation of a Great Developer Into a Monolithic Corporate Crapfactory award totally deserved to be given to “Activision merges with Blizzard”.

    Still, this is pretty much the greatest end-of-year wrapup post I’ve ever seen.

  16. Gahaz says:

    Mmmm, portal is tasty…

    Witcher is, sorry guy, very Meh. Its a clickfest, and a dull one at that. Its nice they tried to implement a chain system to liven things up, but it just turns into, “Click…1…2…3…click…1…2…3…click…etc, etc, etc,” and I just couldn’t stick with it. It was nice to see a RPG for pc that didn’t have the letters MMO before its namesake, but in the end it was very average.

    Not to mention its steep hardware stats, and it sure wasn’t doing a whole lot with all that power. And I know, I am spoiled by my wife and my fancy Dell XPS is the most hi tech thing I have ever touched (sometimes I open its hatch and just look at it *swoon*), and running full blast eating up tons of my hardware, it doesn’t really wow me much.

  17. Gahaz says:

    Tuck,

    See the problem with that statement is that Crysis must be played on high to appreciate it. Its looks are its selling point. When you run it bottomed out it looks and plays like the original Farcry played on medium. Same old FPS play we have had since then. Thats the problem, turned up it plays like junk for everybody, even those that have the hardware. If you look around you can find the posts and reports about people playing it, with all the hardware recs, and getting a total of 35 fps at the most. Thats not fun or tech proper.

  18. Gahaz says:

    straechav,

    I see now, looking through your site and what not. The developer is a home town hero for you! Thats cool, gotta support the home team, eh?

  19. Snook says:

    The main problem with games like Crysis (and Oblivion as Shamus noted many times) is that they’re just too demanding on a system. You can’t expect everyone to be able to afford a top-notch computer. Hell, the best computer I’ve ever had was 3 years ago, and that thing was mid-range even then. Now I’m using what could be considered an ancient laptop (it’s from 2003, and it acts it) and although I can run most of the games I own just fine, I have some problems running any game newer than 2005.

    Developers need take note that people like me want to play new games. Let us do so, make it so that any game can run on a computer from 4 years prior… Sales would go up and, although I’m no game designer, I assume it wouldn’t be too hard to do. Just allow for plenty of graphics customization.

    For those interested, I have GeForceFX 5200 (32MB), a 1.4 GHz processor, and 512MB RAM. I’m happy with it, but in order to play the games I want to play, I’d rather lay down $400 for a 360 and 2 games than $2000 for a damned computer that won’t be able to play anything made past summer ’08.

  20. Shamus says:

    Tuck:

    I’m considering upgrading to this:

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3053805&sku=S15-1011

    GeForce 7600 GS

    It’s about as good a card as I can buy. My motherboard doesn’t have PCIe slots, and cards newer than this don’t come in AGP. So, this is pretty much it. There aren’t a lot of tradeoffs here. The only reason to hold off is that it will be cheaper next month, and the month after, etc.

    After this upgrade, I’m done until I get a new PC.

  21. wheeee says:

    GeForce 7600 GS

    It’s about as good a card as I can buy. My motherboard doesn’t have PCIe slots, and cards newer than this don’t come in AGP. So, this is pretty much it. There aren’t a lot of tradeoffs here. The only reason to hold off is that it will be cheaper next month, and the month after, etc.

    There are plenty of better cards then that are AGP! I seem to recall reading through your archives long ago, and you had made another bad AGP choice with your current card as well. Don’t mess that one up again!

    Also interestingly, Nvidia’s AGP cards are much more expensive for the same performance atm – doesn’t help that their past best AGP stuff all seem to be out of production…strange that the manufacturers of Nvidia cards seem to be giving up this market (although there are rumors of an AGP 8800GT forthcoming…). So because of that, the outperformers at your price range are ATIs

    I’ll just quickly examples of stuff that’s better and <=$110
    x1650 Pro
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102073
    HD 2600 Pro
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129094

    I’d go with the 2600, unless you want to save $30.

  22. wheeee says:

    Ah, found your current card – a 6200
    http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=882

    Your older FX5500 card was actually more powerful then the 6200 =/
    Just it lacked the processing features that would have allowed you to play Oblivion.

  23. Shamus says:

    wheee: Thanks so much for the links. I’ve stayed clear of ATI because I can’t make sense of their model numbers. When looking at two cards, I have no idea which one is newer / better.

    I favor card with more features over raw output. I actually don’t mind low resolutions, but I do mind having a card which can’t run a game at all.

  24. ngthagg says:

    Here’s my picks:

    Best Rant: Anything about Bioshock
    Best Project: Cliche-ariffic site theme
    Best Random Thought: “Reviewing”?
    Best Video Games: The Physics of Portal
    Best DMOTR: CXLIV (not because “Oh Thank God It’s Over”, instead like how ROTK won all the Oscars)

    Wait . . . what were we supposed to be picking?

  25. guy says:

    Best indie RPG: depths of peril.

    if you don’t know what it is, check out tales of the rampant coyote.

  26. guy says:

    BTW, blizzard is already owned by vivendi. plus, it has basically given activision financial support, and blizzard easy distribution. when you make 40% profits, it’s unlikely people will tell you to change what you’re doing.

  27. Zerotime says:

    The reason I liked The Orange Box, other than Portal and Episode 2, was that the AUD was worth 95% of the USD at the time, so I paid less than two thirds of what I would have for a regular game, and got twice the number of games out of it.

  28. wheeee says:

    Thanks so much for the links. I’ve stayed clear of ATI because I can’t make sense of their model numbers. When looking at two cards, I have no idea which one is newer / better.

    I favor card with more features over raw output. I actually don’t mind low resolutions, but I do mind having a card which can’t run a game at all.

    You haven’t ran into the 8800GT/GTS/GTX naming mess, then. Originally pretty straightforward, 320MB 8800GTS < 640MB 8800GTS < 512MB 8800GTX. Then they introduced the 512MB 8800GT based on a new process, and then a month later, a 640MB 8800GTS on the same new process, leading to:
    old 320MB 8800GTS < old 640MB 8800GTS < 512MB 8800GT < 512MB 8800GTX < new 640 8800GTS
    Messy.

    Oh, and it turns out the 6200 was mildly better then the FX5500. I really forgot how badly Nvidia got destroyed that generation.

    Probably too much info right now =p

  29. Davesnot says:

    Just thinkin’ of the year gone past… I hope some ducks find a home next door in the pond.

  30. Tuck says:

    I agree with wheeee, there are better cards than the 7600 GS available for comparable pricing (as he linked). There’s a few better ones still on newegg.com which are $20-30 more; if you wanted to upgrade to one of those drop me an email and I’d be happy to donate the difference!

    (so long as you plan to keep blogging, of course)

  31. scragar says:

    ngthagg: who’s your avatar? for some reason it’s reminding my of cyan from final Fantasy 6. :P

    I honestly havn’t played any recent games on my current comp(far too old, I can just about manage to run snes9x at about full speed), add to that the fact that I refuse to use windows unless absolutly nessesary. Luckily I’m upgrading soon(got to get a new heatsink for my new processor: 2.2 dual core, compaire that to the 0.8 single core atm it’s a huge step up, and I’ll finaly be able to upgrade my graphics card, current mobo lacks any PCI slots :( ), after that I may choose to install windows if I feel like it.
    Anyway, before I get further of point I wanted to say that I’m definatly buying portal for my new comp as soon as I can(out of stock in shops atm, but I can wait). I love any game that goes in a new direction, and the portal gun just sounds too cool.

  32. Colin R Lacey says:

    “Best Assimilation of a Great Developer Into a Monolithic Corporate Crapfactory: EA Buys Bioware”

    I really wish that people wouldn’t automatically assume that just because EA has aquired “insert company name here” that the developer will suddenly start producing sub-quality sequels. To cite one example, when EA aquired Maxis they allowed the team to act rather independently, which in my opinion turned out to be a smart move. Not the best example of course, as Maxis has since produced quite a few expansion packs. If you think about it though, Bioware games don’t lend themselves to expansion packs. If the Bioware dev team simply sticks with the company, I’m willing to bet that all that will happen to the Bioware product is that it will have EA’s monetary backing. Finnally, due to the financial stress EA is currently under, it would be much more viable for them to let the team continue to work the way they do. Bioware games continually selling well do to quality = profit for EA in the long run. EA forcing team to meet unreasonable deadlines meaning lower quality = reasonable short term payout, but loss of investment in the long run due to less sales. Anyway, sorry Shamus, I admire much of your writing, but I always find it quite cynical and unreasonable of anyone to say right after and EA aquisition that the company in question is about to suddenly do a 180 degree turn and suddenly start producing crap. Otherwise though, a great list. I wish you and your family all the best for 2008!

  33. Colin R Lacey says:

    Wow, sorry for my wall of text.

  34. Colin R Lacey says:

    Sorry once again, that should have been finally.

  35. ngthagg says:

    scragar: There’s a very good reason my avatar reminds you of Cyan. Yours looks like Disgaea art, but I’ve only played 2, and that not a lot, so I can’t say for sure.

  36. Corsair says:

    Even if you had the proper specs, Shamus, I couldn’t advise getting the Witcher, it’s $50 for a game that’s not all that good. People really like it, probably because of the ‘mature’ plot, which mostly consists of buxom females in fishnet. You’d be better off picking up any of a dozen older, far better games, or just sticking the money into a bank account.

  37. Christian Groff says:

    My “Best Game Where You Die Like, Every Twelve Seconds” award goes to “I Wanna Be The Guy”, a freeware platformer that mocks all the games from the old Nintendo Era, including their “miss one millimeter and you die.” ^_^

    It’s a great freeware game and there is a video walkthrough of it on YouTube.

  38. straechav says:

    Gahaz: Er, excuse me? What developer? If you’re talking about The Witcher, you are seriously off the mark. The developers are from Poland, I’m from finland. That means that my “home town heroes” are the developers of Flatout 1 & 2, and Max Payne 1 & 2… (and Alan Wake, whenever it comes out).

    Regarding home town heroes, I remember that the humor of Max Payne went over pretty much every american review I read. No one realized the whole game was a parody…

  39. straechav says:

    Oh, and Shamus, yeah I realize that the list is your games, but I couldn’t stop myself. Jade Empire was fun, but I hardly regard it as an RPG in my mind. :p

    That said, do indeed heed that comment about video cards, I have Dual Core 1,8Ghz with 2GB ram and ATI X1650 (which was cheapest decent card I could find at the time) and The Witcher runs pretty well when almost all setting are on low, and it even looks pretty. But it does require that you have a lot of RAM, that helps. 1GB is enough to play, but the loading times (I hear) are slower.

  40. Zukhramm says:

    I can’t really say much about the games this year, I don’t own any of the next-gen consoles and I don’t play much games on my PC. Except for Orange Box and Phantom Hourglass, I haven’t bought anything released this year.

    I’m not so sure about giving Portal the best music of the year. One awsome song is not enough to make up for an otherwise musicless game. Well it had some, but I remember it to be quite boring.

  41. Dihydrogen says:

    I’m going to have to defend Crysis really fast here. My computer (an intel e6600 2 gigs of ddr2 800 ram and an 8800gts 320mb), which I purchased for less than a thousand dollars last June, runs Crysis nicely on high at 1024×768. My brother’s DVR PC (800 dollars including a 22″ LCD monitor [graphics card is a 8600gt]) runs Crysis solidly at medium. My other brother’s 3 year old budget PC when he made it with a graphics card update to a 120 dollar (20% of the PC’s original cost!) 8600gts runs it poorly on low (Poorly being defined as multiple periods of sub 30 fps). However his graphics card is also bad and in the process of being RMA’ed as it has extreme artifacting on any game.
    Also running Crysis on low actually looks really nice and I personally find it comparable to half-life 2: episode 2 on highest. Essentially it feels like their low is most games high, their medium is comparable to most games maxed out settings, and their high is 3rd party modding of the game to make it look nicer. I have never actually tried out there very high as it requires vista and with vista I could probably get only medium to be playable. However supposedly it can be enabled with 3rd party hacks for XP.
    I personally think a better example of a game running poorly on new computers is Morrowind as I can achieve equal settings in things such as view distance, texture size, and anti-aliasing in Oblivion on my new computer than I can in Morrowind. In Oblivion I run all setting maxed such as view distance with 2x anti-aliasing and custom texture packs (for texture sizes of 2048×2048) and I’ll get a respectable 30 fps. Do the same thing on Morrowind, I get 30 fps and in fact sometimes 10 fps (not playable!). That is ridiculous.

  42. Dihydrogen says:

    argh! it nerfed my tabs which makes my rant way less readable, I ought to just add in line breaks instead… Oh well…

  43. Vegedus says:

    “Best Assimilation of a Great Developer Into a Monolithic Corporate Crapfactory: EA Buys Bioware”

    While the wording of the award makes EA buying Bioware the rightful winner, I think it’s worthy of note this was also the year were such a thing as “Activision Blizzard” came to be. I suppose the main deference is that Activision may be Corporate, but not neccesarily a crapfactory.

  44. guy says:

    Newsflash: Blizzard is owned by another company already. activison is owned by that same company. It ordered them to merge. if activison trys to mess with blizzard’s work, it will probably order them to stop. Like i said before, if you have 40% profit margins, you get to work without being ordered to change.

  45. RPharazon says:

    For me, Bioshock had the best atmosphere. Portal? It just had a weird AI named GLADoS and a bunch of non-existent technicians.

    Still. I played Portal. 5 times. I still prefer Bioshock.
    The non-DRM Xbox 360 Bioshock.

  46. Smileyfax says:

    I’ve heard around the Internet and stuff that the 8800 GT is actually the most cost-effective card out there (in Nvidia’s stable, anyway). If I actually had any money, I’d definitely trade up to it from my 6800 GTXs.

  47. K says:

    Second vote for an x1650 on AGP. I own one of these myself, all the hardware monsters run fine (oblivion, fear, WoW BC, …), even on high resolutions. My system is a very mediocre Athlon64 2.8 with a very mediocre 1 GB of Ram.

    Best indie game: Aquaria
    Best OS Upgrade: Bootcamp (in Jaguar, the rest in there is not worth mentioning, but playing Portal on my MacBook is great)

    I cannot understand at all why you call Jade Empires great. I recently played it and put it away after about 5-10 hours. Combats are chaotic (at best) and only timesinks (and the cpu-companions are a disaster, I put them on “guard” 100% of the time, which results in having infinite life, but very low damage output, which makes the combats a drag. But if you put them to anything except “guard”, they die nearly instantly), story is dry cut-and-paste, characters are very one-dimensional, graphics are neither nice nor fast (in fact, it looks like a PS2 game but has the tendency to get choppy every couple minutes, which is frustrating in combat), loading times are atrocious and I really can not think of a single reason to put this even into the “great” category. It’s just a very mediocre port from the Xbox (wasn’t it?). Or did you play it on Xbox? I hated the PC version…

  48. Phlux says:

    I agree with your assessment of Crysis running like crap 3 years from now…but not with the “best game for the PC” part. I have it, I played it all the way through. It was a lot like Farcry…a fairly mediocre story to get you hooked on the engine.

    The story isn’t BAD, but it’s stolen all the wrong elements from the Half-Life formula. They raise a million questions, and answer none of them, but they don’t back it up with a rich universe of interesting fiction that allows for the rampant speculation which is half the fun of the half-life story.

    The gameplay is fun for a while, but it lacks variety. The nanosuit is sort of a one-trick (or would it be a 5 trick) pony.

  49. Jackv says:

    ROFL. That’s great, especially the first few.

  50. lplimac says:

    For a AGP upgrade I’d stay away from the AMD/ATI X1600. I had one and had to send to back to ATI for repair. They sent a different card back (at least the SN was different) and that one died less that 6 months later. the reason I went with a NVidia when I built my system.

    For the Wii less Christmas I just went ahead and bought the GameStop rain check. My son’s birthday is in February so it’s a combined Christmas/Birthday gift, and the game he wants isn’t available until around the time I get the Wii. Was a good compromise. At lest now my kids will stop bugging me for one!

    I wasn’t all that thrilled with the Crysis demo, not enough to plunk down the cash to play the game anyway. My system can handle it but meh, it wasn’t that much fun.

    And I can name one game that an EA-merger almost killed. EA bought a stake in Flagship Studios and required them to ship Hellgate: London on Halloween, and ugh what a bug infested game it was. They are still killing the bugs. It’s a good game (they are pushing it as a near future Diablo 3, as most of the creative staff worked on D2 when they worked for Blizzard) but the buggy product may cost them the community that was rabid for the game. If they screw up the 1.0 update (due this month) they just may lose them, which is a shame for a game that, once things are fixed, will be good.

  51. guy says:

    EA killed westwood, although the developers did start a new company.

  52. ryanlb says:

    I have a mediocre computer from 2 or 3 years ago, and Jade Empire runs fine for me. I don’t recall it stuttering, and the load times seemed sufficiently short to me. I stopped playing a little into the second act, but I think it was because I got Lego Star Wars 2.

  53. Takkelmaggot says:

    As with Shamus, if you went simply by the game I sank the most hours of 2007 into, the clear GoTY winner would be Operation Flashpoint- a game published in 2001 (I think) which I kept coming back to over, and over, and over again thanks to the outstanding mod community which grew up around it and keeps the game fresh even today.
    But if the game has to be a product of 2007, my vote is with World in Conflict. Coincidentally it shares many of the elements which drew me to OpFlash- late Cold War setting, fairly authentic military hardware, and a fresh take on the genre in question.
    Naturally, I must issue the caveat that I haven’t played Portal yet, and probably will fall head over coccyx for it.

  54. Jansolo says:

    Shamus, happy new year.

    I’ve recently bought the Orange box (PC) Mainly due to your possitive comments. So Valve should congratulate on your blog(they should pay you a percentage, but don’t count on it ;) )

    Further comments:

    I thing Bioshock is intended for XBOX.

    I could have had a wii this christmas. But I prefered a coat (I own an old PC and a Playstation 2 for gaming and I need to avoid cold)

    I didn’t play STALKER. I borrowed it from a friend (there is no euphemism in this sentence in order to hide piracy) but it didn’t work. It freezed when I just go outside the bunker. I did never fix the bug (once from Russia, you know)

    My solidarity with Jeff Gerstmann

    I played the Crysis and I didn’t like it. Just another FPS (far from spectacular in my PC)

    I’m thinking in buying Jade Empire (you are really influencing people :D )

    Regarding Bioware, I would like to buy (someday) Mass Effect (better in PC, if it’s possible). It is rumoured that Mass Effect will be a trilogy. What will occur in EA hands? We will see.

    Greetings

  55. Felblood says:

    X-COM was the bomb indeed, but it’s greatest triumph was inspiring UFO: Afterlight.

    My grandmother got a copy for christymas, but it wouldn’t run on her machine (stupid intel graphics cards, not supporting Direct X 9.0 after 9.0B, when we need 9.0C), so she gave it to me.

    It has all the awesome of X-COM, but with a twistier plot and none of that Nethack philosophy that leaves you running to the Save/Load menu all the time.
    I’m playing on a mode other than the easiest one and I’ve only had to backload twice. TWICE!

    The only loss is that I can’t name my characters myself, but with a band of soldiers like Ute Pranger and Benat Haradze that’s a small price to pay (Particularly since my X-COM soldiers were all named things like “Low Stats Expend”, “Good Scout” and “High Brave”)

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You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>