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D+PAD Retrospective: The Last Generation


21:2820/11/2013Posted by D+PAD StaffNo Comments

Earlier this week, D+PAD’s writing team gathered in a dark corner of the internet to reflect on the end of the current gaming generation, and to look forward to the next generation heralded by the launch of the Xbox One and PS4 in the next couple of weeks. Here are our thoughts on the current generation.

Find part two of our discussion on the next generation of gaming here.

Also, as a consolation for those unable to celebrate the launch of the Xbox One on Friday, we’ll be running a competition from Thursday to Saturday for a free copy of
Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox 360. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for details as soon as they are announced.

Best Game and Best Character

Chris Morell (Chris M): I’ll kick us off. It was Assassin’s Creed 2 that impressed me the most, at least where action/adventure is concerned. Ezio was just so likeable, I can’t see how any character this gen really beats him in popularity, so that was both my favourite game and my favourite character.
Zoheir Beig (Zoheir) : Oh dear. I have the Assassin’s Creed games in my most disappointing.
Chris Braithwaite (Chris B): I really liked the Assassin’s Creed series generally, and would probably peg it for the best series, probably just ahead of Mass Effect, but I didn’t think any game in either series was totally outstanding.

Charles Etheridge-Nunn (Charlie) : As you mention Mass Effect, I’ll say that my favourite character is Shepherd. Partly for his/her role in the story itself and the character’s own arc, but also because they are customisable enough that I’ve had a lot of chats with people about what sort of character their Shepherd was for them. I felt they were the perfect combination of customisable cypher and strong existing character.
Dave Stuart (Dave): Shepherd is a tough one as he has to be such a blank slate for the players style and choices that his (or her) actual character is a tough one for me to understand. My guy just ended up screaming “bland hero”. It was the supporting cast rather than Shepherd that made those games for me.

Chris B: I think my favourite character was probably Cole from Infamous. Somewhat similar to Shepherd, in that he was customisable enough that he felt like your own character, but your choices made him into a really well-executed character in both games. I really liked how good Cole and evil Cole were definably different characters too.
Chris M: I actually found Cole to be fairly unlikeable, unless of course you love Jason Statham types.
Chris B: I like Jason Statham types…

Zoheir: Don’t knock the Statham! My choice for favourite character is Bayonetta. I thought Platinum cleverly sidestepped the problem of hyper-sexualisation of women that seems to constantly condemn gaming, while creating an exciting character.

Raymond Webster (Ray): I’m actually going to go with Nilin from Remember Me for favourite character. It’s a game that had one of the most cohesive stories I’ve seen in a game of late, and one of the few that actually really stuck with me after I’d finished it. A rare case of a game that makes you think about activism, whether people do “deserve it” and what “it” is.

Dave: Ruminating on characters leaves me thinking about how many weren’t particularly memorable. I think I’ll go with Lee and Clementine from The Walking Dead, because that was the most engagement I had with any particular character this generation
Chris M: Yes! Lee and Clem were amazing. I just don’t see how Season 2 can top that relationship.
Zoheir: What a beautiful relationship that was.
Chris B: That’s another one of those games where you can happily chat to others about how their characters turned out.
Dave: Absolutely. And I felt that despite being defined by choices they were still well-defined characters outside of that. But they come as pair. Like Joel and Ellie from The Last of Us, who are of a similar ilk.

Chris B: We seem to have cover characters pretty well, so let’s go back to gest games. Mainly because Dave mentioned The Last of Us, and that’s my pick. It tried so many different things, and it executed all of them brilliantly. Dave, best game? I’ve made a sizeable bet with myself on what you’ll pick…

Dave: I’m weighing up a few. Basically the game that I’m picking is not the “best”, but I think impacted me the most at the time because of what it was trying to do and how involved I got: Heavy Rain. It had many problems, but it stuck with me.
Zoheir: Heavy Rain was so compelling and singular. Great game.
Chris B: Apart from the first two hours of boredom. I lost my bet Dave. I was convinced you’d say Dark Souls
Dave: Well Dark Souls is definitely up there, along with Mario Galaxy and Portal 2, which was just a masterclass in perfecting a game type.

Zoheir: Ooh, my pick is Portal, but I picked the first because of its impact. It was pretty much perfect: pacing wise, mechanically, thematically, the music. Everything was just so good.
Dave: Yeah the first one was a great game, but I loved how they expanded it for the second. I think the fact they made a full game of it that worked is what impressed me about Portal 2.

Charlie: For me, as far as the most played and most affecting game it would have to be Rock Band. As a person with a hand-eye coordination disability (dyspraxia) I was scared when it entered my flat but after a lot of booze and peer pressure I joined in, worked my way up to Expert guitar and it’s become something which is still brought out at most parties. As far as a ‘proper’ game, I’d have to say Fire Emblem: Awakening.

Ray: My favourite game of the generation is probably Wii Sports. It’s the first game since Sonic 2 on the Mega Drive that every member of my family has been able to just pick up and play on Christmas Day without loads of control explanation and setup. It’s definitely the game that was the closest experience to what got me into gaming in the first place. It might not be the most high-production game, or the most complex one, but it’s one of the purest games going.

Favourite Gaming Moment or “Wow” Moment of the Generation >>

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