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Best of 2008 Awards: Best Co-Op Game

Zestful Contemplation’s Best of 2008 Awards

Way the hell after 2008 is a thing of the past, it’s Zestful Contemplation’s Best of 2008 Awards. I’m not pretending to make my awards comprehensive or unbiased or any of that other pretentious crap. The fact that these awards reflect my own personal experiences, tastes, and dislikes is exactly the point. I haven’t played every game that came out this year and I’m not going to consider a boatload of titles I never played. But I did play a huge number of games this year, and these choices reflect my personal tastes and thoughts about the games I spent time with in 2008.

Best Cooperative Game

  • Gears of War 2
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Rock Band 2

You know what? There was no contest here. Left 4 Dead wins this by a mile. I’m not going to spend a long time blabbering about why, primarily because I already have in a previous award. This is, plain and simple, one of the best cooperative experiences I have ever had, much less the best of 2008.

Playing through a game together with a friend is, to my taste, worlds more fun than competing against them. For a while it was something that was also fairly rare. I am pleased to see that more and more games are adding in co-op as a feature, and more of them are putting quite a bit of emphasis on it as well. None of them do it as well as Left 4 Dead, however. The visceral thrill of surviving the zombie hordes with the help of a good team and some decent strategy is simply unmatched.


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Best of 2008 Awards: Best Music Game

Zestful Contemplation’s Best of 2008 Awards

Just in time for 2008 to be a thing of the past, it’s Zestful Contemplation’s Best of 2008 Awards.  I’m not pretending to make my awards comprehensive or unbiased or any of that other pretentious crap.  The fact that these awards reflect my own personal experiences, tastes, and dislikes is exactly the point.  I haven’t played every game that came out this year and I’m not going to consider a boatload of titles I never played.  But I did play a huge number of games this year, and these choices reflect my personal tastes and thoughts about the games I spent time with in 2008.
Best Music Game

Contenders:

  • Audiosurf
  • Rock Band 2

rockband2box

I’m just going to be honest here.  Audiosurf was really original and a lot of fun, but when it comes to the best music or rhythm game of the entire year, there was only one real contender.

Music games have become remarkably popular in the last number of years, and so marketing teams around the world made sure that we saw more than enough of them to go around in 2008.  The Guitar Hero franchise alone could have provided enough entries to fill the entire genre.

You’ll notice Guitar Hero: World Tour isn’t even on my list of candidates.  The old girl just hasn’t been the same since she started sleeping around with Neversoft.  What can I say?  Blatantly ripping off most of Rock Band’s ideas but not doing them as well doesn’t help either.  Neither does a lackluster track list.

I could go on, but I digress.

What more can I really say about Rock Band?  RB2 was a game of refinements, not revolutions.  It may be the same basic game as the first one, but the changes and additions that have been made are greatly needed and appreciated.  It also has a downloadable content scheme going that I’m sure every publisher in the industry envies (and one that I wish more developers would learn from).  I’ve probably never logged so many hours (or so much money…) into a game as I have into Rock Band across its two iterations.  Few games can match the sheer awesomeness of the multiplayer experience this game provides with a good group of friends (a category you just might see reappear soon enough).  It’s the best plastic instrument experience out there, and I don’t see it getting old anytime soon, which with my short attention span is pretty damn impressive.

Way to go Harmonix.  Keep up the good work.

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