The 2008 series: Games

Controllers and crisps at the ready.

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Mad as a March hare 

The year started off slow, no notable games were released in the early months… EXCEPT CSI: Hard Evidence, what a classic DS game. But on a serious note, March was really the start of the year when it came to gaming. Bully: Scholarship Edition, Super Smash Bros Brawl and Final Fantasy: Crisis Core all came out in succession. From beating your friends up to crying at beautiful storylines, March covered all the bases.

Mario Kart Wii was finally released – just two years after the Wii came out – giving us gamers a nice breath of fresh air. There are only a handful of games that have beautifully balanced fun and competition as well as Nintendo do.

We now get to one of the greatest but most overlooked games ever made. Okami. The 2008 version is a re-release, but it still deserves a spot here. We won’t ruin anything because everyone deserves to play it once. All we’ll say is that it has beautiful art direction and the composition of the music sets each scene out perfectly. It’s one of those experiences that will leave you happy that you played it – but sad when it’s over.

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Now for something completely different

Grand Theft Auto 4. Is there much else to say? Within the first 24 hours of release it sold 3.6 million copies. In Tom’s opinion it’s the best GTA game to be released – he was only ten years old when it was released so he definitely waited nine years to play it *cough*.

Braid is an indie puzzle game that really changed the industry view on small development projects. It has a beautiful soundtrack and a niche style that really helps you to empathise with the main character: just a small man looking for his princess who is always a castle away. The developer, Jonathan Blow, put everything into this game and you can tell. The vision was to make a game where the player can freely go backwards in time but in a way that doesn’t detract from the consequences of your actions.

Play it for yourself, get frustrated but love it as many others have.

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Footballs and rooftops 

The end of 2008 is quickly approaching, this means that yearly release games come out. NBA 2k9, Fifa 09, COD 5, NHL 09, Football Manager 09. They don’t have much substance or feel – think same concept with slightly updated gameplay and graphics. This doesn’t mean the games aren’t fun though or else people wouldn’t buy them.

Ending the year running from rooftop to rooftop was lots of fun. Mirror’s Edge is a fast-paced free running game that really makes you play in the moment and not think about your surroundings too much. The beauty of the Unreal Engine is really brought out with the clean, futuristic look of the game.

A little sidetrack from looking at the best games 0f 2008 so we can talk about how the biggest game in the world is in beta during this time. League of Legends currently boasts 100 million monthly active players across the globe however during 2008 it looked like this. Yeah… this game will pull over $1.6 billion in micro transactions during 2015. Madness.

A little note from Tom

2008 taught me that it costs a company almost nothing to keep servers running for their games.

Resistance 2: A 60 player slaughter-fest played seamlessly on free servers provided by Sony. No lag, no BS, just good gameplay. In contrast, there’s Gears of War on Xbox Live. You pay around £5 a month for multiplayer and it was pathetic. The host of the lobby just won every game… no contest. Not having a dedicated server when people pay to play on your platform is not and should not be acceptable.

Enjoyed this trip down memory lane? For a lunchtime giggle, why not find out what we were wearing in 2008.