Yes, it’s that time again, when all the game sites roll out their lists. “Best of This”, “Most Innovative of That”, and “Worst of The Other”, ad nauseum. I’m ignoring all of them.

In contemplating the past year, I’m confronted by the dismal fact that I played only four new games, three of them independent products. Along with this is the realization that of all the releases this year, I was only really interested in one, namely The Witcher.

I did have a passing interest in Hellgate: London, but reading around the net pretty much quashed that. Ditto for a couple of other titles I thought were promising, but turned up mainly “same-old, same-old”.

The one major release I did play was, of course, Neverwinter: The Movie (some call it Neverwinter 2). I didn’t bother with the add-on Mask Of The Betrayer, since that would mean reinstalling the game and then getting patches. Not on dial-up, thank you.

As it was, I got more pleasure out of the three indies: Fate, Geneforge 4 and Eschalon: Book I. Pondering this, it seems that each year, I’m drifting farther away from the more “mainstream” games.

Then again, most of them continue to be directed to that “18-34 male demographic”, so perhaps that’s not surprising. What the market appears to want these days isn’t what I do.

This doesn’t make for a promising outlook on the future. At least not so far as “A Titles” are concerned. That’s so depressing. Wow, do I miss the good old days of looking forward to the next Ultima, Might & Magic or Wizardry.

But those days, alas, are gone forever. It’s a miracle if just one game comes along that lives even half-way up to all hype. That doesn’t need umpteen patches to work properly. That’s actually fun to play.

Yeah, I’m feeling morose. That’s what happens when you start feeling starved for a few good games to play. And I’m not too sanguine about what the larder will hold in the coming year. Sigh…