Stu's Console Gaming Review Of 2009

In the short-lived forum-based first incarnation of WoSblog back in the middle of 2008, I noted a bunch of console games I’d bought (usually because they’d been knocked down to some silly bargain price) but hadn’t ever got round to playing. In the last two years the vast majority of my gaming has been done on handheld formats (DS, occasionally PSP and now iPod), and frankly the effort of putting a disc into a slot, waiting for the console to power up and load, and then working out how to play some overblown bloatware with far too many controls and half an hour of tutorial to plough through before I’m allowed to shoot anything has just seemed far too much of a drag.

Browsing back over WoSblog Zero today, I was mildly disturbed to note that most of the games that were unplayed on 11 June 2008 still await their first boot-up, and that I’ve even been stupid enough to add to the pile.

Mercury Meltdown Revolution (Wii) – now almost two years after purchase, still untouched.

Space Channel 5 Part 2 (PS2) -went to the trouble of importing it from the USA in April 2008, but not the extra step of actually having a go.

Sega Rally (360) – put 2-3 hours in during the first week, enjoyed it, but still haven’t gone back.

The Club (360) – An FHM subscription freebie, which I eventually did have a go of. Was kinda fun, but required too many long-range headshots and so far has only been fired up that one time.

Condemned 2 (360) – Still unplayed. Odd, as I only took out the sub for the free games in the first place.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter – Nope. If that’s how long the NAME is, imagine how complicated the game must be.

Spiderman 3 (360) – £1.99 when I bought something else online, so I thought “What the hell” and grabbed it. All it’s done so far is help fill out my shelves.

Super Paper Mario (Wii) – got it when it came out, played it for a bit the first day, was underwhelmed and haven’t been back.

Wario World (Gamecube) – the Wii’s backwards compatibility seemed an excellent chance to catch up on all the GC games I missed. Ridiculous second-hand prices still put a spanner in that plan even now, but although I did finally find Wario World for a tenner, two years on I haven’t quite managed the next step of ever putting the disc in the drive.

Tony Hawk’s Project 8 (360) – a reviewer chum had two review copies and gave me the spare one. Never been loaded, because, y’know, skateboarding.

Crackdown (360) – the weird thing is, I’m sure I’d like this one. But I just can’t bring myself to start games that are going to make significant and consistent demands on my time any more, when I can just buy something in iTunes for 59p, play it to death for a day and then move onto something new. So poor Crackdown’s never been out of the box despite being bought in 2007.

*NEW IN 2009!*

Uncharted (PS3) – figured I should make an effort to get some PS3 games other than the five I got sent by Sony when I got the machine, and saw this for a tenner. Since at the time it was pretty much the PS3’s only killer app (other than Metal Gear I’d Rather Be Dead 4), I thought it deserved a chance. Now that the sequel has been lots of people’s Game Of 2009, maybe it’ll actually get one some day. I hope it’s not holding its breath.

Boom Blox (Wii) – great reviews, was going for £7.99 in Gamestation. But, y’know, it’s a Wii game so I’ll probably have to move the furniture around and stand up.

Red Steel (Wii) – a bargain £2.99, and it always looked to me like a sort of Samurai Goldeneye, but see above.

Stranglehold (360) – by all accounts it’s just my sort of old-school brainless FPS with tons of great John Woo setpieces. I think I’m probably scared that it won’t have legacy controls, and will therefore be immediately switched off and make me grumpy and sweary for the rest of the day.

Sega Superstars Tennis (360) – cost about 7 quid, and I liked the idea of the Virtua Tennis engine with Space Harrier and House Of The Dead minigames. Managed 20 minutes, most of which appeared to be spent on loading and going through menus. How the FUCK do you manage to make a TENNIS GAME load slowly, you useless cretins?

House Of The Dead Overkill (Wii) – speaking of HOTD, this would have been a superfun arcade shooter, if not for the abysmal random framerate jitters, which made it practically unplayable and weren’t mentioned by a single review. 45 minutes, then sent spinning into The Void forever.

Little Big Planet (PS3) – my second-most-played PS3 disc game ever (after Ridge Racer 7), justifying the £11 asking price (about six weeks after release) with a mammoth half a day’s play. Most of which was spent hacking grimly through the interminable tutorial and downloading quite-fun user levels based on R-Type and Manic Miner that were much more entertaining than anything in the actual game itself. A basically-2D platform game with awkward, imprecise, annoyingly floaty controls. Who’d have thought we’d see one of those again, eh?

Madworld (Wii) – funny for 10 minutes, repetitive for the next 20, frustrating and boring for the next 20, unplayed for the next year.

Street Fighter IV (360) – I made a real effort with this one, after buying it because 17 quid for the Super Duper Deluxe Edition with free toys and movie and crappy pamphlet seemed such a bargain a mere three months or so after it was going for £70. Enjoyed the graphics for nearly an hour and a half before running into an Xbox-dpad-assisted brick wall of cheap-CPU difficulty and that was that.

Even at the knockdown prices I picked all of these up for, that still amounts to the best part of £200 wasted that I could have bought about 300 iPod games with, that I’d actually have played. And you know what, pals? I still keep thinking about getting the Burnout Paradise Ultimate Box. It’s only £7.99!

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2 Responses to “Stu's Console Gaming Review Of 2009”

  1. Stu, you really, really should at least Crackdown a go. It’s a return to the freedom and chaos of GTA III/Vice City, with some brilliant racing and superlative 3D platforming thron in for good measure. If you decide you can’t be arsed with any of that, the main ‘missions’ can be blitzed through in as little as eight to ten hours depending on skill. You won’t want to though, trust me.

  2. […] it’s so good I actually played it twice, which as alert WoSblog readers will realise is a substantial accolade in itself, so it seems only proper that it takes the No.2 slot as […]

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