2005 in Review


posted 1/13/2006 by The GN Staff
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Featuring four major AAA titles and a host of other quality games, 2004 was easily one of the best years for the gaming industry in the last decade or two.  This means that 2005 had a lot to live up to and while retail sales didn't come close to what they were in 2004 (down some 20-30% depending on your source), 2005 may yet turn out to be a critical year in the big picture of things.  We asked our staff to submit their thoughts on 2005 and here's what they had to say about their picks from the previous year.

Shawn Kendrick - Staff Writer
Of course the Xbox 360 release is the big story for 2005, however my experience with it has been limited to pushing 10 year olds out of the way to play the demo at Target. I would have to say that my favorite new thingy that I've actually used somewhat this year, would have to be the Sony PSP. It still amazes me how well movies play on that little bugger. Not to mention, the games aren't too bad either.

True Crime: New York City is probably my favorite game this year. Sure it's glitchy and it borrows a lot from other games but at least it borrows the right elements. I can't even quite put my finger on why I like this game so much... I just do.

The big surprise for me this year was Apple's announcement that it would be using Intel processors in the near future. Equally as interesting was the rolling out of the entry level Mac Mini. Priced at only 499.99 this model seams to be an attempt to capture a new demographic. Could Apple's efforts to become more mainstream lead to an increase gaming titles? One can only hope.

Tyler Sager - Senior Staff Writer
2005 was a bit of an odd year for me.  Most of the year I spent watching much-anticipated titles move their release dates further and further back, most of them slipping right past the end of the year and into the next.  With no “must have” titles, as far as I was concerned, I had no need to update to the latest technology.  Being an RPG and strategy guy, there just weren’t a lot of high points until the tail end of the year. 

That being said, 2005 still had its share of great games.  Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich was a blast.  I got to scratch my action-RPG itch with Dungeon Siege II, and I still find myself popping that one in more often than I expected.  Age of Empires III made for some great RTS goodness, and as the year rolled on to an end, Civilization IV came out and stole just about every spare minute from my life.  Not a bad crop of games for one year, and each of those is rife with replayability and time-consuming goodness.

On the PS2 side of things, it was a little more bleak.  I spent time playing older games, catching up on titles I’d missed from 2004.  I think the only title I actually picked up was We Love Katamari, and I’ve been having a good time with that.  X-Men Legends 2 was also a fun diversion, but it hasn’t kept my attention as much as the other titles of the year.  And while I’m quite interested in Dragon Quest VIII, a certain turn-based PC strategy title has been holding all my attention, so that may be a post-Christmas gift to myself. 

As far as new technologies go, I’m just not an Xbox fanboy, so I’m not getting into the Xbox 360 hype.  I’ll hold out for the PS3, and put my allegiance there until I’m forced, kicking and screaming, into the Xbox fold. 

All in all, some top-notch and enjoyable titles came to light in 2005, but there just wasn’t the volume of great games like I’ve enjoyed in past years.  I’m especially troubled by the lack of traditional RPGs, both for the PC and console.  But, looking forward to 2006, there are several exciting RPG titles on the way, so the dry spell might soon be over. 

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