Beware the Ides of March

It was like some kind of dream. I could barely believe it was happening. This year had been the best in gaming history. Normally the games market is a desolate wasteland in the first three months of each year. The shelves of retail stores are still pushing the big Christmas titles but like cacti in a desert they are the only visible signs of life in a landscape with tumbleweeds occasionally rolling by. For any prolific gamer it’s a hard, boring time and for games journalists it’s hard on the pocket too as there isn’t much work around. January/February 2010 absolutely knocked it out of the park. With publishers and their PR companies fearing their game would disappear under all the excitement about Modern Warfare 2, they pushed their games forward out of the Christmas period. For some companies it was also a way to balance their books moving their launch dates into a new financial period. For us it simply meant that instead of having to choose between a ton of great titles at Christmas they were spread out in a sensible way over a few months so we could play them all one after another.

bayonetta Heavy-Rain Mass-Effect-2

FFXIII render 2 sIt kicked off with Bayonetta and Darksiders which were both absolute treats. Then came the near perfect Mass Effect 2 and brilliantly fun Tatsunoko Vs Capcom. Dante’s Inferno and Bioshock 2 followed and Heavy Rain came next. One great game after another poured into my consciousness and it was a truly wonderful feeling. Sadly I can be quite the cynic and my brain wouldn’t let me enjoy it all completely unfettered by worries. Part of me was waiting for the other shoe to drop. When something bad happens, sometimes if you’re lucky life will balance it out with something good happening shortly after; a silver lining to the mushroom cloud of disaster, if you will. If you follow that thought process though you are bound to accept that the opposite is also likely to be true. It couldn’t just be a great few months of gaming without repercussions.

Most dedicated gamers have a list of titles they are looking forward to. Some pop into our consciousness a few months before release. Some we are aware are coming out the following year or are part of a story arc so we look forward to finding out what happens next. Some though we think about for years and years. They are the games for which from the moment they are announced to be in pre-production, we are foaming at the mouth with excitement. In the time that they take to develop there will have been natural disasters, wars will have occurred, presidents elected and economies crushed and rebuilt. In the time that I have been building a private shrine in my mind to White Knight Chronicles and Final Fantasy XIII my entire life has changed. The other shoe dropped. To set the world’s balance to rights after an awesome start to 2010, four years of waiting came to a crashing end in a big pile of rubbish RPGs. I’ve made no secret of my disappointment with the gameplay in Final Fantasy XIII. You can read all about that in my review. I think I’ve got it out of my system now although like a lingering cold I still occasionally cough up an extra bit of disgust every few days. For most a few dull RPGs won’t dampen their spirits. Most of you will be happily playing the latest stunners Battlefield Bad Company 2 and God of War III with not a care in the world. Spare a moment for us role playing fanatics for whom the dream of a perfect gaming winter has been decimated.







4 responses to “Beware the Ides of March”

  1. Markatansky avatar

    You can level up in Bad Company 2 aswell you know. 😀

  2. NorfolkNChance avatar

    An epic start to the year, GOW3, BFBC2 this weekend. I might also find time for some STO.

  3. Barry avatar

    Typical, as soon as I stop playing my XBox all these great games start flowing out onto the shelves!

    I’ll be playing catch up yet again! Gaaahhh!


  4. Simon avatar

    I already have a large backlog to work through. When you’re having to frugally choose between the likes of Bad Company 2 and Mass Effect 2, you know it’s going to be a good year.

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