Two more days till the end of 2008 and it`s time to look back on a year with lots of fantastic games and a lot of interesting interfaces. This year saw the introduction of the Wii`s balance board in Europe and some games based upon. I myself was a little bit dissapointed about the Wii Fit “Games” – I have the feeling that the more interesting games using the costly Wii hardware addon just start to emerge and we will see, if they offer more than moving around some balls on a plattform The Wii game I had most fun with this year was Super Smash Bros. Brawl – but when it comes to the game`s interface it was pretty much old school and didn`t make use of the possibilities of the Wii`s remote and nunchuck.
On the PC I had a lot of fun with Warhammer online and the the Wrath of the Lich King. Warhammer Online offered a lot of good ideas like the quest context information on the map or the tome of knowledge but failed to implement some basic functionality used in other games (e.g. linking information about items in the chat). The Lich King was also polished by Blizzard and makes WoW still one of the most impressing online games. But again, minor issues like quests givers walking away and closing the quest window while I am reading are still there and lead to some frustrating moments.
What impressed me the most were the little sackboys and -girls on the PS3 which arrived with Little Big Planet. Whereas the game itself is cool but nothing special, the editor makes the difference. The “Pop-It” menu box is easy to understand and can handle all the options like modelling the terrain or setting triggers (see video above). Still, it is lot of work to build a cool level but Little Big Planet manages to broaden the process of level design for a much wider audience than anyone did before, so there are a lot of beautiful and really mind-blowing levels already available and much more to come (see video down here for a self-made 36-cell computer in LBP). With Little Big Planet the developer Media Molecule pushes the standard for user-generated content to to new heights and hopefully we get more cool games with such fantastic tools in the nearby future.
Have a happy new year!