The Year in Review 2007 Feature - The Next Level

The Year in Review 2007

A look back at the staff's top picks of 2007.

Article by TNL Staff (Email)
January 12th 2008, 05:50AM

Chris' Top Five Picks of 2007

5. Assassin's Creed (Xbox 360)
Publisher: Ubisoft   Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Most media would have you believe that this was one of the biggest disappointments of 2007, but boy were they wrong. I felt compelled to defend Assassin's Creed for being obsessively nitpicked by a number of reviewers. Assassin's Creed definitely wasn't perfect, but it was an ambitious direction that endeavored to do something really different. It endeavored to showcase the evolution of the action-adventure genre, but it was marred by deceptive game mechanics and an awkwardly paced plot. Oh, and apparently the fact it wasn't really a stealth game irked people also. Sometimes I wonder if gamers as a whole are slowly moving away from the very purpose why games exist: having fun.

4. Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PSP)
Publisher: Ubisoft   Developer: Red Storm Entertainment

I was so impressed with the original release that it didn't take much convincing to pick up the sequel last year. The storyline was definitely a lot more epic, but unless I am mistaken, the original GRAW was much harder to complete. Thankfully, the multiplayer campaigns didn't disappoint, offering players a robust range of maps and several months later, delivered an expansion pack featuring classic maps from previous Ghost Recon releases. Not a bad deal for $60, eh? It's too bad that it would ultimately lose all its fanfare to my next pick below.

3. Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
Publisher: Microsoft Games Studios   Developer: Bungie

You know someone was going to end up putting it on their list, and surprise, it turned out to be me. It's really hard to make up my mind whether or not I'm actually a Halo fan. Either that or I'm just a sucker for big releases. It was a rare occasion to find me standing in line at my local Walmart a quarter before midnight just so that I could be one of the first to own the most anticipated game of all time. Yeah, I said it. Since its release, Halo 3 has sold over 8 million units and managed to single-handedly bring down Xbox Live a few weeks ago from recent holiday sales. Well, perhaps all those sales weren't attributed to Halo; some could have been prompted by the ever-annoying Red Ring of Death. :p


2. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Xbox 360, PS2)
Publisher: Activision   Developer: Neversoft

2007 marked a strong presence for the music rhythm genre, and it was difficult for me not to get caught up by the phenomena. If I hadn't passed on the chance to personally review Rock Band, that would have made the list. Instead, I instantly fell in love with Guitar Hero III, and it's quickly become a personal favorite. So much so I ended up picking up the second installment, Guitar Hero II. Playing solo is cool, but the co-op and multiplayer modes are where it's at. Since my woman chooses to curl up with Animal Crossing, I'll have to settle for playing online, or at the next family gathering where I jam with the in-laws.


1. Bomberman Live (Xbox 360 - Xbox Live Arcade)
Publisher: Hudson   Developer: Hudson

I bet no one on the editorial team will be shocked to find this made the no. 1 spot. I've lost count of the hours invested to Bomberman Live, but suffice it to say – it's one of the only games that I am willing to play every single week. If you need detailed reasons, my heartfelt review tells all. I think the source of my addiction comes from the fact that I consistently win a lot. I mean, who actually choose to spend all their time at something they suck at? I'm especially delighted with the fact Hudson has continued to support this game with subsequent expansion pack releases. They're even planning to launch the first-ever tournament, which I am very much looking forward to participating in. .

2007 Overview

2007 totally took me by surprise by the swath of strong triple-A titles released. Bioshock, Halo 3, Mass Effect, Ratchet & Clank, Super Mario Galaxy, Uncharted- and the list goes on and on. Like Travis expressed in his overview, consumers had to decide which titles they wanted most. Heck, even editors were forced to be selective with what they wanted to cover (we're actually still playing catch up). After my daughter was born, I put in a LOT of time with Xbox Live (sup Bomberman Live), keeping me sane while I cherished every moment of her infancy. As time move on, I started looking towards my neglected consoles like the PS3 while my girl dominated the DS and PSP. I am thrilled the PS3 has finally started to deliver some titles worth owning, and the Wii's selection, which used to be weak, has grown to be a strong contender amongst the tween, baby boomers and (surprise) seniors. It looks like Nintendo proved they've still got the magic after all, and I expect the level of excellence to get even better.

2008 Outlook

It's really too early for me to make any definitive predictions, but if 2007 was any indication, I expect 2008 is going to the banner year where new standards will be set in the video game realm. Metal Gear Solid 4, Super SF 2 Turbo: HD Remix, Devil May Cry 4, Bionic Commando and the next Grand Theft Auto will all get my undivided attention. Well, I'll have to juggle them accordingly as they're each released, of course. While I look forward to sequels, I want to see even more original properties. I'm actually eager to attend E3 2008 this year, which should help lessen the shock value of what's to come.

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