Top 15 Games of 2006
1. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the King (Square Enix/Level 5, PS2, Japan)
2. Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment, PS2, Japan)
3. Final Fantasy III (Square Enix/Matrix, DS, Japan)
4. Gyakuten Saiban 2 (Capcom Production Studio 4, DS, Japan)
5. Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo EAD, DS, Japan)
6. Elite Beat Agents (iNiS, DS, Japan)
7. Half-Life 2: Episode One (Valve, PC, USA)
8. Metroid Prime Hunters (Nintendo Software Technology, DS, USA)
9. Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (Square Enix/Tose, DS, Japan)
10. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Bethesda, PC, USA)
10. New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo EAD, DS, Japan)
11. Trauma Center: Under the Knife (Atlus, DS, Japan)
12. Contact (Grasshopper, DS, Japan)
14. Professor Kawashima's Brain Training (Nintendo, DS, Japan)
15. Gunpey DS (Q Entertainment, DS, Japan)
For a year when finally all three so called "next-gen" consoles are out, it may be a surprised to some that my list lacked any. Well I couldn't get a Wii. Nintendo decided it needed to screw up the European launch. Hell people with pre-orders dating to early November has yet to received their units this side of Christmas. Sony Computer Entertainment decided that Europe isn't worth it as far as the PS3 is concerned. Hell at £425 I would wait 3-4 years and 4-5 price cuts later, and maybe a PS3 slimline, to even consider getting one. As for the 360, nothing I have seen caught my fancy. I love old fashioned generic FPS and the 360 no doubt will have plenty of it. But I hate playing shooters using the joypad.
DS games dominated my gaming life in 2006, as some of you probably know. Personally one of my mate has got back into gaming via Nintendo's DS and we managed to coax another mate of ours into getting one. She has been having a wild of a time, although she is having difficulty in getting her boyfriend to join.
My PC is pretty out of date so the only game I got to enjoy was Half-Life 2: Episode One. Oblivion was great but I think I will have to upgrade my PC to fully enjoy it. There were a couple of great games for PS2, but the two I am looking forward to (FFXII & Okami) won't be released in Europe until 2007. I never liked Guitar Hero anyway so it is obviously missing from the list. Dragon Quest VIII was only released in Europe early this year but it was worth the wait. Excellent, but not over the top, anime cel-shaded graphics, combined with brilliant British and European voice acting, symphony opera soundtrack, old school RPG menu combat system and old fashioned plot made this a simple but utterly addictive game.
Games personally looking forward to in 2007:
Assassin's Creed (Ubisoft Montreal, PC, Canada)
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (EA, PC, USA)
Dragon Quest IX: Protectors of the Starry Sky (Square Enix/Level 5,DS, Japan)
Final Fantasy XII (Square Enix, PS2, Japan)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo EAD, DS, Japan)
Lunar Knights (Kojima Production/Konami, DS, Japan)
No More Heroes (Grasshopper Manufacture, Wii, Japan)
Okami (Clover Studios, PS2, Japan)
Rogue Galaxy (Level-5, PS2, Japan)
Shin Migami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 (Atlus, PS2, Japan)
Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria (tri-Ace, PS2, Japan)
Top 15 music albums of 2006
1. Appleseed Cast "Peregrine"
2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah"
3. Dirty Pretty Things "Waterloo to Nowhere"
4. Hot Chip "The Warning"
5. Belle & Sebastian "The Life Pursuit"
6. Camera Obscura "Let's Get Out of This Country"
7. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins "Rabbit Fur Coat"
8. Delays "You See Colours"
9. Islands "Return to the Sea"
10. Muse "Black Hole and Relevations"
11. The Kooks "Inside In/Inside Out"
12. The Killers "Sam's Town"
13. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan "Ballad of the Broken Seas"
14. Guillemots "Through the Windowpane"
15. The Zutons "Tired of Hanging Around"
Some may remember 2006 as the year of the Arctic Monkeys. I did not. Seriously I have never ever seen anything special in the brand of "post-punk" dribble, so I wouldn't even bother to describe my amazement that they even managed to snag the desired but rather pointless Mercury Prize.
Appleseed Cast's Peregrine is an intense but beautiful album. There is a balanced mixture of instrumentals, indie rock with soaring guitars and the odd electronic numbers. Clearly album of the year for me. The Killers
Also went through my blog and deleted most of the numerical ratings that accompanied my reviews, in line with Richard and British Gaming Blog. I say most 'cause some I've left untouched (because the review was so short that a rating probably meant more than the text itself and because I can't be bothered to edit all my posts). Anyway removed said numbers. Texts means more than numbers, and even for an insignificant blog like this, I prefer if people actually read my posts than skimming straight to the rating.