It is over. Another Vs. Mode. Well, unofficially a Vs. Mode. Throughout the week Slate.com posted an exchange between four gaming reporters, myself included, about the year in video games.
And they posted a 20-minute podcast, which I'm really happy with.
Participants of the 12-part written exchange and the podcast were:
Slate's Chris Suellentrop:
I hope that "Wii Play" does not become an Important Game that other companies copy. It's a fun enough little game, but its minigames don't have the exhilarating "virtual reality" feel of "Wii Sports," a game in which you actually feel like you're playing tennis, golf, and bowling. I haven't touched a Wii title that's lived up to the promise of "Wii Sports."
The New York Times' Seth Schiesel:
For pure adrenaline, nothing this year compared to my first solo battle against another player in "Eve Online." So there I was, minding my own business, flying my Rupture-class cruiser in a low-security star system called Klogori. All of a sudden, a Thorax blastership flown by a pilot from the then-powerful RISE alliance appears on my heads-up display. His railguns rip into my shields as I fumble to launch my attack drones and target my autocannons. We circle one another, dodging the asteroids tumbling about, as my ship's Nosferatu modules relentlessly suck away the energy stored in his ship's batteries and add it to mine. Soon, he can no longer power his repair systems, and I blow the Thorax to high-tech splinters. And none too soon. A few more seconds and it would have been me waking up in a cloning station.
Newsweek's N'Gai Croal (who?):
We agreed that it was difficult because of the amount of time that it takes to play a game as compared with watching a movie, not to mention the fact that games also require a certain amount of skill to progress. That's why the DS and the PSP have been a godsend for us New Yorkers. I would probably never have made it through all but the last level of Rockstar's disappointing "Manhunt 2"—sheepishly tilting the screen away from underage subway seatmates, of course—if there hadn't been a PSP version.
And me, Multiplayer's Stephen Something-or-other:
So, how odd am I for spending 18 hours playing through "BioShock" this year? For going through "Metroid Prime 3" in 15? For spending far more than four hours each finishing "Ratchet & Clank Future," "God of War II," "Heavenly Sword," "Call of Duty 4," "Lair," "Super Paper Mario"? How far into the frontier am I? And are the people who got turned on to games this year by quick-play champs such as "Wii Sports," "Guitar Hero," and, yes, "Desktop Tower Defense" ever going to get to these hinterlands with me?
All of the above is excerpted from the full Slate exchange. Plus, there's the podcast, which will auto play at the link or can be downloaded through this one.
Wow, do these guys ever shut up?