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If you examine the history of console gaming, from its nascent years on low-end computers to the present, you’ll find one strange constant: Santa Claus. Much more than just another holiday mascot who gets rolled out once a year to irritate us with awful ads and horrible dancing toys, Santa is a beloved-enough icon to have appeared in seemingly dozens of videogames (not to mention books and movies) that persist long after Christmas is over
Here’s where we celebrate Nintendo’s pervasive influence on popular culture. Or, in other words, we show you this month’s collection of knitted goodies and things made out of hot glue and cheap supermarket ham.
This week marks the beginning of the end for the 2008 holiday season, and by now, you probably either can’t wait for Christmas to get here, or you’re desperate for the whole ridiculous carnival of insane consumerism to be over for another year. Whatever your case, now is as good a time as any to take a deep breath and remember that, yes, there are other holidays out there.
Has it really only been 12 months since the last avalanche of “Best Games of 200X” awards? Well, we all love a good list, and you won’t find a better barf bag of random praises than our own Platinum Chalice awards, the place to have someone else’s gaming opinions shoved upon you. How important are these awards? So important. Real important. What do the other guys have, gold trophies? Screw that.
In examining the best gaming franchises in recent years, we’ve found the best titles to be those that tweaked a significant portion of the core mechanics. On the surface, gameplay is largely the same, yet with different environments (see: Halo or almost every Nintendo game from Twilight Princess to Mario Galaxy).
For gamers the internet is an intravenous supply of awesome. It keeps the heartbeat of our hobby thumping away in rude health when we're not caught up in the physical business of playing games. And 2008 has been an especially prodigious year for the webs.
So now, as we slump to the end of another 365 days with all the enthusiasm and stamina of a pack of chain-smoking laboratory dogs, it seems an appropriate time to take a
On December 26th, the healing process can finally begin. Many will make their yearly pilgrimage to crowded malls in order to return all the unwanted presents they politely pretended to like the day before. Garbage cans will overflow with ravaged wrapping paper. Thoughts will turn towards the inevitable packing away of oversized Santa Clauses, gaudy strings of lights, and wilting Douglas firs.
December is always good for a fight. We award our favorite games, mock our least favorites and shout at anybody whose opinion differs from our own. The one thing we can usually all agree on, however, is that gaming has progressed. Gaming has evolved. Right? Not this year.
Much as we like to bitch here at GamesRadar, 2008 has been an outstanding year for games. We’ve seen a regular stream of releases almost every month, even during the normally dry summer, and a lot of them have been fantastic. Of course, more games on the market also means there’s more horrible, misguided and just plain hideous box art to gawp at than ever before.
Think customizable avatars are a passing fad? Well you’re only half correct. With the recent emergence of the Wii’s Check Mii Out channel and some late competition from Xbox 360’s spanky new NXE Avatars, Miis are still hip to be spherical two years later.