Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Best of the Rest: James' Picks of 2007


Pac-Man Championship Edition (XBLA)

If not worthy of a Top 10 spot, then certainly Pac-Man deserves Joystiq's 'Comeback Player of the Year' award. I covered Pac-Man CE's overblown launch in early June, but it wasn't until I became a devoted player at home that I realized the sheer genius of the first true Pac-Man sequel since 'the Ms.' hit the maze in '82. Designer Toru Iwatani managed to scrape off a quarter-century of rust and fashion a remarkably relevant game that held me down during an otherwise punishing summer drought. Geometry Wars might be the most celebrated, but Pac-Man CE is Xbox Live Arcade's true star.

everyday shooter
Everyday Shooter (PSN)

A sublime work of art that bleeds indie blood and stirs the soul. A very personal experience. Kudos to creator Mr. Mak.

Crackdown (Xbox 360)

Admittedly, Crackdown has become a fading memory, but a good one. Realtime World's sandbox will be remembered as the most satisfying online co-op game of the year, and not as my golden ticket to the Halo 3 Beta.

mlb 07
MLB 07: The Show (PSP)

Baseball? Yes'ir. As my Fightin' Phils battled to their first playoff appearance in 14 years (fourteen!), MLB 07 rarely left my PSP all season. (Okay, I confess, the game hasn't come anywhere near my handheld since the 'Filthies' agonizing first-round exit.)

Picross (DS)

Corny subject matter doesn't diminish Picross' addictive gameplay. "Just one more" should be the motto for this year's best puzzler to feature blocks.

symphony of the night
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (XBLA)

Does a decade-old game belong on a list of noteworthy 2007 titles? Definitely. Revisiting this classic in late March, I realized how ineptly I had judged SotN in my youth. After I feverishly destroyed the XBLA super-port – 200.6% completion, plus a Richter run-through – I was left with one lingering question: Is this the greatest game of all time...?

honorable mention
Honorable Mention

Shoutouts to Super Stardust HD (PSN), Puzzle Quest (PSP) and Jeanne d'Arc (PSP).

  • Heavenly Sword (PS3): Absolute mediocrity. I jonesed so hard for this one, but once in my PS3, I didn't experience a single high.
  • Phantom Hourglass (DS): I'm still searching for that 'Zelda' I fell in love with in '88, reaffirmed in '92 and pledged my soul to in '98.
  • Lost Planet (Xbox 360): Mostly 'meh,' but shoddy controls ruined occasional pockets of fun.
  • Mass Effect (Xbox 360): Moronic AI and generally broken combat has me baffled. Am I playing this wrong?
  • Assassin's Creed (Xbox 360): The essential gameplay elements (climbing and combat) are superb, but the supporting tasks are too few and flawed.
New Year's Resolutions

I promise to finally play Metroid Prime 3 (Wii) and Uncharted (PS3).

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr