18th May 2009 - This generation has probably been the biggest and best generation of console gaming we have ever seen. With Nintendo bringing a whole new dimension to gaming with the Wii and Microsoft and Sony bringing us High Definition gaming, it has been an extraordinary few years in gaming history. In this article we look at five games that have helped shape this generation of console gaming. In no particular order, they are as follows:
Gears of War
When Epic released Gears of War, the gaming industry was extremely impressed with the graphics and the gameplay style that Gears of War had. The two main things that Epic brought to the industry with Gears of War were that it was the first real look at what the next generation machines could achieve graphically and the well implemented cover system. Gears of War became hugely popular and sold millions of copies worldwide. It also was the number one game on Xbox Live for quite some time and is still played a lot today. Since Gears of War released many shooters have tried to implement cover systems without much luck. The one shooter that has implemented it well is Killzone 2 which hasn’t been out very long. Sure, when Gears of War 2 released, Epic had refined the cover system somewhat, but it was the original Gears of War that had the bigger influence on shooting games to follow.
Bungie made a big impact on the game industry back when it released the first Halo on the original Xbox. Many say it was the new standard for shooting games at the time. With the Xbox 360 being released, everyone was anticipating a new Halo game. When Halo 3 finally released on the Xbox 360, it was the biggest entertainment launch of all time. Along with Halo 3, Bungie developed Bungie.net. Bungie.net had been in development for some time and was used for stat tracking with Halo 2, but with Halo 3 it took another leap forward. The ability to track stats still remained, but was far more advanced. Also, with Halo 3 gamers could upload in-game videos to show off their skills. Pretty much anything in Halo 3 can be tracked on Bungie.net. While Halo 3 itself was not revolutionary, it is one of the best selling games of this generation and is the game that most first person shooters are compared to it. Its influence on the success of the Xbox 360 is also huge.
The Nintendo Wii has been a huge success. This is mostly due to its motion sensor controls. One of our first looks at these controls was with Wii Sports. Wii Sports lets you play Golf, Baseball, Tennis, Bowling and Boxing. The great thing about the Wii and its controls is that when playing these sports in Wii Sports is its similarity to playing the real thing. It is awesome how in bowling, you pretty much have to do the same actions as you would if you were down at your local bowling centre in order to get a good score. Things like speed, spin etc are all controlled by your actions. This is the same with all the other sports in Wii Sports. Boxing is the only weak link in this game as it is not as responsive to what you do as the others. The influence that this had on the game industry was huge. Once consumers saw the Wii and Wii Sports, it felt like everyone had to have one. It was the first title to bring families together in the lounge room and has paved the way for many Wii titles that followed.
Little Big Planet
Little Big Planet was a game that was highly anticipated prior to its release as it was touted as bringing something completely new. The game had gorgeous graphics and sound, but it was its gameplay and large array of customization and online features that set it apart from the rest. Its scope and future potential based on user-created content is enormous and is why it is a game that will last for ages. Never before have gamers on a console had so much flexibility to create or alter characters, ones personal space, and to build entirely new objects and levels. On top of this, the created content can be shared and played online as part of the LBP community. This was a flagship title on the PS3 and its influence on PS3 sales was paramount and as well as demonstrating what not only the PS3 can do, but what can be done with the next gen systems and their online integration.
Taking the Wii’s motion sensor controls to another level was Wii Fit. An exercise game on a console! Using the new Wii peripheral, the Wii Balance Board, the gym was brought to the lounge room on the Wii. The influence that this game had on the Wii was huge as Wii Fit became the fifth best selling videogame in history with 18.22 million copies sold as of March 31, 2009. Not only has this had a massive influence on the success of the Wii, but that’s 18.22 million potential more households that will exercise than before. In this day and age of fast food and increased work stress, the Wii Fit could be the one thing that gets people moving again. Following the success of Wii Fit, there are a number of different exercise games that have been released or are in the works for the Wii. A couple of them feature trainer Jillian Michaels, from the hit TV show, The Biggest Loser.
Well there you have it, while there are so many great games in this generation, these five in particular have brought us something different and special.
Article By Craig Cirillo