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January 4, 2008Glenn Turner

As years go, this one was particularly memorable. I found myself inhabiting several new roles: I became a thirty-year old, an uncle, a groomsman, but throughout all of it, I remained a gamer. Admittedly, I wasn't too happy with my gaming situation in 2006, which is why I drafted up a five-point list of resolutions to placate my gaming ennui. Was I successful? Let's take a look!

  • 5. Find an alternative to GameFly.

    Resolved? Tried, but failed.

    Because of severely lengthy turnaround times (two weeks or more), I searched out a replacement for the otherwise satisfying GameFly service. I gave Gottaplay several months of my time but, apart from a more flexible queue (which is a moot point now that GameFly has adopted a similar queue), it was a pretty terrible experience. Lost games (which initially required me phoning the USPS then faxing a response back to Gottaplay HQ), the same delayed turnovers, poor selection, and site errors (including one that occurred upon signing up) had me running back into GameFly's arms quite quickly.

    Additionally, since January 1st, 2007, GameFly has opened more distribution centers and their turnaround time has, on average, improved quite a bit. There's certainly room for improvement: It still takes months before they ship me some of the more in-demand Xbox 360 recent releases but, otherwise, it's a fine service.

  • 4. Import more titles.

    Resolved? Failed.

    I started out strongly, picking up a couple of GameBoy Advance & DS games from Pink Godzilla but, apart from those titles, my interest in importing games had almost completely waned halfway through the year. Part of it had to do with the language barrier for these games, part of it had to do with poor timing (i.e. I'd fine myself shopping for a particular title that was seemingly out-of-stock everywhere), but there was also the matter that the last half of this year was so jam-packed with quality, domestically-released titles that the need for importing new games was the furthest thing on my mind.

  • 3. Play more games outside of my 'comfort zone'.

    Resolved? Somewhat.

    While I certainly did spend a lot of time in quirky puzzle and action/adventure games this year, I did dabble in a few unfamiliar genres. I braved the real-time strategy genre with GrimGrimoire and Age of Mythology, I actually played a Madden game for the first time in years, I flirted with role-playing games again with Final Fantasy XII. I even spent some time in Brooktown High's relationship sim!

    Was my 2007 gaming queue full of loads of new-to-me genres and other unfamiliar game types? No, but it was more of a concerted & consistent effort than it once was so, in that sense, it could be considered a minor success.

  • 2. Play more missed classics.

    Resolved? Slightly.

    Again, an attempt was made. I dove headfirst into such well-regarded classics as Planescape: Torment and Deus Ex, found time to revisit Zelda III: A Link to the Past and pecked away at a few other finely aged games. I really should have spent a little less time in Picross and a little more with GameTap's catalog but, again, an effort was made.

  • 1. Stop playing crap.

    Resolved? Resolved.

    Thankfully, I was most adamant about this resolution. That's not to say 2007 was bereft of craptacular, botched or dull gaming experiences – quite the contrary. Among some of the less-desirable games I played this year were: Underground Pool (DS), Trioncube (DS), Escape from Bug Island (Wii), N3: Ninety-Nine Nights (Xbox 360), SSX Blur (Wii) and Super Swing Golf (Wii).

    The difference was that, this time I didn't dawdle with the game. I didn't push on hour after hour, hoping the game would improve only to have nothing to show for my suffering 20 hours later. Each game received anywhere from a half-hour to an hour and a half of attention before being shelved and, after realizing I would gain little in persisting with the title, I never looked back. Instead I had more time to tinker with unfamiliar genres, give some missed classics some love and, of course, keep up with the plethora of quality current released. Now that's time well-spent.

Ultimately, these resolutions were meant to bolster my gaming attitude so, the question is, were they successful? I'll say this: I was a much happier gamer at the end of 2007 than I was in 2006. While it's difficult to ignore the effect the amazing fall and winter game releases had on my general disposition (not to mention the addition of a Wii and an Xbox 360 to my console library), I can safely say that reducing the amount of time spent on mediocre and downright unplayable titles did cheer me up a bit, and immersing yourself in a previously-ignored classic or two is a great way to regain your faith in the medium.

Next up: 2008's resolutions! Until then, chime in with your 2007 resolution success stories below!

Cover image from merlinprincesse.

1 comment for ‘Resolute: Resolved in 2007?’

#1 Fiddytree Jan 8, 2008 11:08am

Now that you're making me think about it, I'd say 2007 was probably my best gaming year yet. I spent a lot less money but played a bigger variety of games by going back and playing games I'd bought but never finished in years past, and by borrowing games from friends at school. At school I don't play nearly as much as I used to, but since I've been home I've caught up by playing incredible games that have already been out for a while like Mass Effect and Call of Duty 4. Whereas I spent a lot of 2005 and 2006 playing the same games and series over again, (Halo 2, MGS3, Kotor 2) I spent 2007 starting to play new games like Mass Effect, Assassins Creed, Bioshock etc. And any year with Rock Band and GH3 alone is a good year, forgetting about me getting a 360 at the very end of 07 and starting 08 with Gears of War, Dead Rising, Rainbow Six Vegas, then spending the summer going back and playing a lot of old games like Jade Empire, then finishing the last half of the year with Bioshock, Assassins Creed, Cod 2-4, Mass Effect, Beautiful Katamari, and Halo 3. Sprinkle in Crackdown, Guitar Hero 80s, a little bit of Madden, and all the 360 arcade games and you got one heck of a year.