Innovation in games is rare nowadays, the gaming industry has reached a point where new and exciting ways to play video games are becoming harder and harder to find. But every now and again, a shiny pearl of a game emerges from the sea of repetitiveness that is gaming. Some developers like to take that first step into the scary territory we call innovation.
These are the top 5 innovative games of 2008.
Number 5: Wii Fit
Since Wii Fit was released it has been in short supply. Why? Because of one reason. Lose weight, playing video games. Wii Fit uses the balance board, a piece of plastic that looks like your run of the mill weighing scale. However, the balance board is wireless and contains multiple pressure sensors that are used to measure the user’s centre of balance, the location of the intersection between an imaginary line drawn vertically through the center of mass and the surface of the Balance Board and your body mass index.
Wii Fit contains a number of activities, such as Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobics and Balance Games.
I see Wii Fit as one of the most innovative games of 2008, sure it wasn’t Nintendo’s best year for gaming, but Wii Fit introduced the world to a brand new way of playing video games and remains as a strong icon that has changed the way people see games. It has been critically acclaimed and has stormed the non gaming market with its yoga exercises.
Number 4: Little Big Planet
Do I even need to explain this game? Little Big Planet was one of the most anticipated games of the year, from the first look gamers all over the planet wanted to grab a copy and see just what it could do. LBP is a 2D platformer at heart, with 3 levels of depth, the foreground, middle ground and background. You must traverse through more than 50 pre-built levels each of them colourful and whimsical.
However the story mode is the smallest part of the Little Big Planet Universe, the real enjoyment comes out of the level creator. Each and every pre built level in the game can be built using the level creator, so if you wanted you could rebuild the entire game. The possibilities for the level creator are endless, you can create items and levels using a huge number of shapes and textures, essentially leaving no two levels the same. And with hundreds of people across the globe making levels each day, the amount of content for this game will never cease.
Little Big Planet has three main aims – Play. Create. Share. And using its unique gameplay and one of a kind level builder it accomplishes exactly that. It could be the game of 2008, and I’m sure we’ll never see another game like it.
Number 3: Braid
Braid is Platform/Puzzle game on the Xbox 360 Live Arcade. Braid’s platforming is similar to that of Super Mario Bro’s and the game revolves around solving puzzles using this platforming environment. With a twist, in a manner similar to Prince of Persia, you can rewind time to undo your actions. There are several worlds in the game with each one responding differently to this time controlling mechanic.
Braid is something spectacular, each level makes you think and the art style is great. The time controlling in it is unmatched, you can rewind time, but in some levels certain objects do not rewind, while other levels involve time moving freely with it pausing as you stand still. Other levels create multiple versions of you, with each responding to the actions you made before you turned back time. There is so much to be found within Braid, and for that it deserves the number 3 slot.
A PC version of Braid will be released sometime in Q1 of 2009, so PC gamers watch out. This ones a must buy.
Number 2: Mirrors Edge
Mirrors Edge is a First Person, Action Adventure, Platforming Video Game. What a mouthful. It starts you off as a girl called Faith, in a gleaming white city, you are a runner whose job it is to deliver important messages around the city without being killed or captured. But its not as simple as calling a cab.
You are trained in Parkour, which is the ability to move from one point to another as efficiently and as quickly as possible. You do this by means of the rooftops of the city. However the whole game is set to a First person View. The whole city is your playground for the most part, with specific objects you can use showing up red in your “runner vision”. The aim of the game is to get from A to B, and even though you can acquire weapons its in your best interest not to use them, but to disarm and run.
First person platfomers are nothing new, but an entire game built around it is. Don’t expect a whole lot from Mirrors Edge, but its just the first stepping stone. Be sure to see more First Person Platformers in the near future, but until then, jump into Mirrors Edge.
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