Specials: The early bird may catch the worm, but he also catches a beat down from all those dozens of other birds looking for the easiest way to satisfy their stomachs: Option B
Racing Game of 2004?
Chris: Your pick: obviously Burnout 3
. For me though, the only "official" racing game I actually played was MX Unleashed
Adam: Well, you're a smart one. Not that there was much of anything last year anyway, other than Burnout 3. That said it's not just the best racer of 2004, but probably the best arcade racing game ever made. I'm afraid of what will happen now that EA owns Criterion, but Burnout 3 is fun in a box and that's pretty much the important thing. Especially since it takes over 30 hours to get 100%...it's like an RPG or something. No other racer last year was as fun as this one.
Chris: I played the Burnout 3 demo for like a minute or two at a kiosk. It didn't interest me enough to take over my time of checking out the games I really wanted to buy.
But anyway, my vote goes to MX Unleashed -- because it's the only choice I've got.
First Person Shooter Game of 2004?
Adam: *swallows* Riddick.
Chris: Hmm...I probably would agree with you, if not for Halo 2
Adam: Halo 2 I knew would be great, but I never expected Riddick to be so amazing. Great graphics, more varied play, good story that ties into the movies well...and hey, a real ending!
Chris: Surprisingly, I still haven't gotten a chance to finish the single player portion of Halo 2 yet. Too many games take up my time. But, of what I've played in Halo 2, the controls, the battles, the story and everything I thought were better than in The Chronicles of Riddick
. Especially considering how awkward the melee combat in that game is.
Adam: The big problem with Halo 2 was it was too similar to the first game...and in some ways, not what was expected. Riddick, on the other hand, was completely new, and came out of nowhere. Unlike Riddick, Halo 2 could never, ever, ever live up to the hype that surrounded it. Halo 2 is great stuff, but Riddick stunned me more than Halo 2 ever did.
Chris: I thought of Riddick to be a good game...but I was expecting more from it when I first caught a glimpse of the game at last year's E3. The graphics and battle scenes really intrigued me. When I finally received my own copy of the game, I liked it, but I definitely thought the game wasn't of "outstanding" quality. Decent, good, but not outstanding. Halo 2, on the other hand, may be similar to the first Halo. But the first Halo is an already excellent game. Halo 2, adding in new enemies and dual-wielding weapons, held onto that same level of achievement the first had.
Adam: There's been lots of games before Halo 2 that had dual-wielding.
Chris: I'm not talking about originality, I'm talking about how efficient a game is made. Riddick felt like it could use some improvements in its overall state of quality. With Halo 2, I haven't seen any glaring flaws like I did in Riddick.
Adam: Halo 2's biggest flaw is the one you haven't seen yet since you haven't finished the game (slowpoke). I really like Halo 2. It's a great game, but I had way too much fun with Riddick to give Halo 2 the nod.
Chris: Well, I guess we'll agree to disagree on this one.
Adam: Or you'll agree with me and keep your job. Huzzah!
Chris: No. I don't surrender to threats -- especially not when it comes to deciding what game is better than what.
Adam: I'll take your copy of Xenosaga II away. Now, what's next on our list to argue about?
Puzzle Game of 2004?
Adam: Is Katamari Damacy
a puzzle game? Or Strategy? Hrm... Oh, yeah, how about Puzzle Kombat within MK Deception.
Chris: I would think Katamari is an action game from the sound of it, although I've never played it so I can't be sure about that one.
Adam: Nah, it's not really an action game. Katamari has more puzzle-like elements with some strategy involved. Maybe that should be under the 'who the hell knows' genre. Otherwise, I rarely play puzzle games, so I have no idea.
Chris: I don't play them much either, but Tetris is definitely a puzzle game. Yep.
Adam: Tetris is also 20 some years old.
I almost bought Mr. Driller
for my DS, does that count?
Chris: Who cares? Since I didn't play any puzzle games in 2004 -- that I know of -- Tetris is my vote for the year.
Is Mr. Driller a puzzle game? I don't think I've ever played that one.
Adam: Yeah, it's a puzzler like Tetris or Dr. Mario. I want to see how it works with that goofy stylus. I'll have to check it out one of these days while I can still find a copy.
Chris: Now Dr. Mario
's [John sez: Dr Mario was re-released this year for the GBA as part of the NES Classics line] a great puzzle game.
Adam: But that too is old.
Chris: I'm an oldie, but a softy. Which doesn't really make sense now that I think about it...
Adam: Since when do you make sense? Anyway, I will go with Puzzle Kombat from MK Deception. It's the only really good thing about the game anyhow.
Chris: And I shall go with Tetris and Dr. Mario, because I can.
Compilation Game of 2004?
Adam: Good God, how many categories do we have? Anyway, getting technical, I'll go with Final Fantasy I&II: Dawn of Souls
. Two good games, one great price, one time I almost killed everyone when the DS batteries died after beating the last boss in FF1 before I could save.
Chris: I'm going with Mega Man Anniversary Collection
, because it's the only compilation I think I played throughout the entire year.
Adam: That's a good pick as well. Though now that a MMX collection has been announced, I'm far more excited for that.
Chris: I'm actually more interested in picking up that Street Fighter collection...though, I might have to look into the Mega Man X one as well.
Adam: Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is not bad either, especially for $20. Though, other than the MK games and NARC, there's little here that withstands time...the games are simply old.
Chris: Eh, most of those games don't look that appealing. Not that I've ever played or heard of most of them anyway.
Adam: You just aren't old-school enough. Now what, best game involving dinosaurs?
Chris: I've actually never played NARC before. The MK series I have.
Simulation Game of 2004?
Chris: I know I haven't played one.
Adam: Err...me neither.
Chris: This category would include games like The Urbz.
Adam: I guess. But those stink.
Chris: Well, Animal Crossing is pretty much the best simulation game I've ever played.
Adam: But that didn't come out last year. Animal Crossing DS does come out this year. So another empty category it seems.
Wrestling Game of 2004?
Chris: You take this one.
Adam: Don't think it's all that great, but Smackdown vs. Raw
is pretty much the best wrestling game of the year. Legends of Wrestling Showdown
is poor and Def Jam
is not even a wrestling game anymore.
Chris: I of course wouldn't know.
Adam: Which is why you left it to me. It's too bad Acclaim is dead and no longer holds the WWF/WWE license. They could have made a game based upon the old SNES games that actually were classics. But instead, we've got rehashes of the same game for the last five years now. Still the best, but it's like picking the best looking person out of a crowd of uglies.
Horror Game of 2004?
Adam: Horror game of 2004. Um...Silent Hill 4
. What else is there?
, The Suffering, and LifeLine in a way was a horror game. Let's see...there was Agetec's Echo Night: Beyond
. Oh, also the Fatal Frame/Eternal Darkness hybrid called Kuon
was another one. Those last two were from Agetec and From Software.
Adam: The Suffering is no horror game. It's an action game. Silent Hill 4 isn't my favorite entry into the series, but it's still good. Resident Evil: Outbreak
was too...weird for consideration.
Chris: Silent Hill 4: The Room wasn't my favorite Silent Hill either. In fact, I thought it was the worst entry in the series. But it was definitely not a bad game entirely. It was different, and I liked it for that.
You could peek across the street to see neighbors, or into Eileen's room to see her breasts...I mean best performance.
Adam: Eileen's bunny was cute...before it got bloodied up.
Chris: The one thing that would've been really cool would be if you could call actual numbers from Henry's phone. Head online through the Network Adapter, dial a number from the phone, and use a headset to talk. That would've been kind of creepy, in a way.
Adam: It was creepy enough that you could dial the number on the billboard outside his apartment. That's one of my favorite things about the SH games, all the Easter eggs and tricks they stick in.
Chris: Yeah, the Easter eggs are cool...but I'd have liked it if Konami's traditional radio static and flashlight were also a part of the game. It's not really a Silent Hill without being staged in darkened areas with a crackling noise to make your heart race.
Adam: Yeah, that was one of my issues too. But even if it's the 'worst' SH game, it's still good.
Chris: At least Silent Hill 4 wasn't as mediocre as Siren turned out to be. That was not only far from being scary, but the gameplay was just too meticulous and slow.
Adam: I wouldn't even know since I didn't play it.
Chris: Well, I'll just say it was a disappointing effort on Sony's part. Naturally, Silent Hill 4 comes out on top (not that there was any other choice).
Adam: Apparently. What's next on our list?
Music Game of 2004?
Adam: Me neither.