Time Magazine awards Halo 3 Game of the Year

Time did a top ten games of the year, and they ultimately gave Halo 3 the nod as the overall pick. The top 10 are as follows:

1.Halo 3
2.The Orange Box
3.Rock Band
4.Super Mario Galaxy
5.BioShock
6.Call of Duty 4
7.Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
8.Mass Effect
9.Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
10.God of War 2

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I agree with the top 10 (for the most part), but I think there needs to be a shift in the ordering. I think I’d swap Super Mario Galaxy and Halo 3, and bump BioShock to 3 and drop Rock Band down a bit. Oh, and I guess Ace Combat 6 should be taken out entirely.

I’ve got my own list coming up soon which is guaranteed to be better. If you don’t think it’s better, well, then you’re wrong…not me. Anyway, Congrats to Halo 3!

Nintendo DS is averaging a sale every second in the US, Wii also strong

Yeah, that’s right…the Nintendo DS is currently averaging more than one DS sold per second in the United States right now, according the latest sales figures released by Nintendo. In the past week (which includes Black Friday), Nintendo moved over 653,000 DS Lites in the United States alone.

The Wii also is selling at an incredible pace (not exactly a secret at this point), coming in at 650,000+ units over the past two weeks. These huge numbers are definitely the reason for the continued Wii shortage on retail shelves. As the holidays approach, it’s more than likely that finding a Wii will stay extremely difficult. If you have even the slightest desire to own a Wii, and you see one in the store, don’t hesitate to grab it.

Full November numbers will be available once the NPD hits in about 2-3 weeks.

Amazon’s top ten games of the year

Amazon.com released their top ten list today for games, and here is how it breaks down. Sorry if the formatting is a little funny, but I tried pulling this straight in from Amazon to try something out.

1. Super Mario Galaxy by Nintendo
Amazon Game Room says:
“Our one word review for the new Mario: Wow! The new standard in platformers, the best game on the Wii hands down, and maybe the best Nintendo game of all time. If you don’t own a Wii yet, this is the reason to buy one.”
 

2. The Orange Box by Electronic Arts
Amazon Game Room says:
“The Orange Box is loaded with phenomenal games – Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, Portal – and each game by itself is amazing. Portal itself is one of the most innovative games in years.”


3. BioShock by 2K Games
Amazon Game Room says:
“A tremendous first person shooter experience with a great storyline, amazing graphics, creepy little girls, and one of the best baddies – “Big Daddy” – in years.”


4. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass by Nintendo
Amazon Game Room says:
“The best game to date on the Nintendo DS, Phantom Hourglass makes great use of the stylus, has a terrific storyline, and provides action/adventure everyone should enjoy.”
 


5. Rock Band Special Edition by MTV Games
Amazon Game Room says:
“The comparisons to Guitar Hero are natural, but the guitar and game play have a smoother feel in Rock Band. Plus, the song list is extra strong thanks to MTV’s involvement. But most of all: DRUMS!”
 


6. God of War 2 by Sony Computer Entertainment
Amazon Game Room says:
“2007 was a year of many great games and lots of focus on next generation consoles. Somehow along the way, GOW2 got a bit overlooked. It’s an amazing game that builds upon and goes beyond the original. A must for gamers who can tolerate heavy violence, it’s one of best PS2 games of all time.”
 


7. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare by Activision
Amazon Game Room says:
“The fourth installment of COD is simply amazing and by far the best game of the series. The graphics are stunning and the gameplay is near-perfect for a first person shooter.”
 

8. Crysis by Electronic Arts
Amazon Game Room says:
“This game is a powerhouse. Graphically, this is simply the best game on earth. A great game for those who have the PC power to run it.”
 


9. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction by Sony Computer Entertainment
Amazon Game Room says:
“It’s like playing through a Pixar movie. The graphics are amazing and the game play is a blast. For PS3 owners this is a must own game.”

10. Halo 3 by Microsoft
Amazon Game Room says:
“Certainly no game received more press during the year…and deservedly so. The third installment continues the Halo tradition of providing gamers a great first person shooter experience. If you’re an online junkie, Halo 3 is a no brainer buy.”

Nintendo conference showcases new DS and Wii announcements

In a conference today, Nintendo unveiled new plans for the DS and Wii. While information is still trickling in at the moment, here are some of the highlights:

Games Shown/Announced:

Fire Emblem DS
Wii Music
Super Mario Stadium Baseball
Mario Kart Wii
Famicom Wars Wii (Battlion Wars II)
Dragon Quest IX

Games and Features Coming to WiiWare:

Dr Mario
Star Soldier R
Pokemon Ranch
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles – The Little King and the Country of Promise
DS Station Channel (DS demo download)

Exhanced Wii Voting Channel – recommend games. Search based on recommendation.

So how awesome is it that we’re finally getting a Fire Emblem on the DS? Too awesome? Maybe. Also, the DS demo downloads are sure to be a great asset to those that own both a DS and a Wii. It seems that you can download demos to your Wii and transfer them via wireless connection to your DS. Pretty slick.

More information is still coming in, so we’ll update with anything worth noting.

Metal Slug 7 announced (with exclusivity)

According to jeux-france.com, Metal Slug 7 has been announced in the latest Famitsu and will be a Nintendo DS exclusive. Personally I’d like to see another arcade release, but with the decline of the arcades this makes much more financial sense for SNK Playmore. It will be interesting to see how the dual screen setup and DS features affect the series gameplay.

So I have to wonder if this is just another nail in the ever-solidifying coffin of the arcade scene. Metal Slug has always been a favorite of mine to drop a few (handfuls) of quarters into, but with Metal Slug 7 getting a release exclusively on the DS, it probably means we won’t be seeing much more from SNK in arcades. It was bound to happen, I guess.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Every year at this time the kids are hitting up JC Penny, Wal-Mart, and local malls to get their back to school shopping completed. As the kids, teens, and college goers storm the retail outlets to pick up new shoes, shirts, pants, and supplies, they pass by the store windows of game stores scattered in strategic locations. These windows are full of adverts for Madden (which usually hails the return of great games), sequels to the biggest franchises in gaming, and what is being touted as the next big thing in gaming.

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From now until the end of the year the release schedule is packed solid with AAA titles on each and every platform out there. It’s that time of year that each Saturday morning you have to make the touch choice: do I watch the early college football games before my team takes the field, or do I frag some baddies and delve deeper into my growing pile of games? It’s that time when your backlog replenishes itself and you scramble to finish off what remains from last year’s slew of releases. It’s that time when you justify dropping hundreds of dollars on game after game. So, what exactly do we have to look forward to this year? What’s going to drive Visa balances through to their limits?

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BioShock – Releasing tomorrow, BioShock is a revolutionary take on the FPS genre. Coming out for both the 360 and PC, BioShock provides amazing visuals, creepy motifs, gorgeous art, and action-packed gameplay that varies every time you spin the disc.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption – The largest title to hit the Wii since Twilight Princess, Prime 3 is Retro’s first release on Nintendo’s landmark console. Adding a new control scheme to the legendary series is proving to fuel hype and anticipation for next week when the game launches.

Blue Dragon – Also hitting store shelves next week is the newest RPG to hit the 360. Blue Dragon is best described as one part Dragon Quest (gameplay) and one part Dragon Ball Z (art style). While not the most revolutionary title, Blue Dragon is helping to diversify the 360 lineup and show gamers that Microsoft is committed to bringing a well-rounded library to the console.

Warhawk – Incognito’s final game is going to be made available on both retail shelves on via download through Sony’s PlayStation Network. The game boasts huge multiplayer battles and a great range of weapons and vehicles. Warhawk is going to give the PS3 this year’s first big online hit.

Heavenly Sword – This stunning action title from Ninja Theory is a great showcase for the PS3’s power and versatility. The game is sure to be a hit with action fans that are craving a good beat ’em up experience.

Halo 3 – Not much needs to be said here. Halo 2 had the biggest first day ever in regards to revenue and Microsoft expects Halo 3 to surpass it. Either way, the game is going to be one of the most talked about games from the day it releases (late September) all the way through the holidays.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass – Easily the most anticipated game on portables this year is Nintendo’s newest Zelda adventure. Phantom Hourglass is already raising eyebrows for its unique control scheme, stunning visuals, and depth of gameplay. It should be the perfect title to bring along during holiday travels.

Mass Effect – BioWare’s epic sci-fi action/RPG title features branching storylines, great graphics, and some of the most realistic AI interactions ever seen in a game. Ever since its first showing at E3 last year, Mass Effect has been on just about every 360 owner’s wish list.

Super Mario Galaxy – My personal favorite in the avalanche of holiday hits is none other than Super Mario Galaxy. Every screen, video, or bit of info just oozes with style and charm. If you can’t get excited for this game, you need to re-evaluate why you play games in the first place.

Rock Band – Threatening to talk away Guitar Hero’s title as king of the music genre is EA’s Rock Band. The game is playable by up to 4 people at one time (a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and lead singer). Also, EA is promising to support the game with weekly downloadable content.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl – This game will probably end up being the Wii’s biggest title of the year, and it’s no mystery as to why. The Smash Bros. series has been a fan favorite for years, and Brawl is riding one of the biggest hype waves a Nintendo game has seen in quite some time.

Honorable Mentions – Lair, Medal of Honor: Airborne, Eternal Sonata, Sonic Rush Adventure, Lost Odyssey, Beautiful Katamari, Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, Virtua Fighter 5, Guitar Hero III, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn, Assassin’s Creed, Army of Two, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

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I’m sure I missed a few titles, so feel free to let me know what else you might be looking for. Obviously it’s going to be a financial impossibility to buy all of these games, so getting picky is going to be a necessity. If a major drought should ever hit gaming, however, there’s enough here to revisit for countless hours of gaming.

New DS peripheral shown on Nintendo of Japan’s site

A new “slide” peripheral is being shown on Nintendo of Japan’s web site. The accessory uses the GBA slot and senses lateral motion. A short flash video of the device can be seen by visiting here: Nintendo of Japan.

The accessory looks like it could open up new types of gameplay and could be used in countless ways to create new control schemes. I’m already sensing Wario Ware: Slide or something like that…

Nintendo: We’re So Awesome

The Nintendo E3 Press Conference was pretty tame overall. I couldn’t give it the full not treatment due to that whole 9-5 thing that gets in the way, but I have some thoughts on it anyway. While the conference was pretty weak on the game lineup front, the show was entertaining. Reggie, Iwata, and Miyamoto all came out and were candid, open, and witty. Not much was announced, but here are the highlights:

  • Mario Kart Online is coming to the Wii early 2008 and comes bundled with a steering wheel attachment
  • Wii Zapper will come bundled with software or $19.99 standalone – promises of a lot of game support from 1st and 3rd parties
  • Super Mario Galaxy looks outstanding and just shot to my #1 most anticipated title
  • Phantom Hourglass was shown and looked great
  • Metroid Prime 3 was shown on stage and seems to be all that we hoped it would be
  • Promises of way more 3rd party support
  • Wii Fit is shown and uses a new peripheral – the Balance Board. This thing will probably sell millions
  • TONS of games were revealed after the conference, but weren’t even talked about on stage
  • Nintendo is ready to push gaming into the mainstream even further, hopes to not alienate core gamers

Overall I’d say the conference was more fun than either Microsoft or Sony’s efforts, though Sony definitely showed the most in regards to killer software. I think Nintendo could have spend more time on the games they have to offer, because their lineup is strong this year (Metroid, Mario, Zelda, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, Donkey Kong, Resident Evil, EA Sports online games, and much more). I’m willing to bet that Nintendo was aiming to capture the mainstream press’ attention once again, and in that they probably succeeded.

Oh, and there is some little Smash Bros. event tomorrow. But who cares about that, right?