Every time the GR Awards come around, I feel obligated to look back on the year and find some trend, some growing change in how we game. Last year, it was the rise of downloadable games and content, which has in part been realized in the this year's spectacular Limbo, Pac-Man DX Championship Edition, and more than enough zombie add-on apocalypses to make you game while sitting on a loaded shotgun.
If there's one thing that we can point at this year, it's the full integration of motion gaming on all three major platforms. It's partial recognition by Sony and Microsoft that the Wii's motion gaming so-called gimmick is not as gimmicky as it was once seen. Both the Playstation Move and Microsoft Kinect are exceptional pieces of hardware, and at least for the Kinect, there are some shining moments of software that show off their innovations. So much so that we have two categories dedicated to them both, though it still remains unclear whether they will stand the test of time.
Wii games that don't support motion controls are seen as opting out, whereas X360 and PS3 games that don't support their brand of motion controls are simply normal. We'll just have to see how dedicated developers are in creating motion control-only titles (Child of Eden seems like it will be too awesome, if there is such a thing) or whether we're just going to be in store for a barrage of motion-supported titles next year.
On smaller notes, the fighting genre has made a huge comeback and further cements its place in the MMA field, and while sequels are a dime a dozen, publishers cannot forget that good games make good money. Past success does not mean anything – Final Fantasy, Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, and Puzzle Quest come to mind. Games must keep pushing forward or they will get left in the dust – advice that four of the five our Game of the Year nominees have thoroughly taken to heart. And for all five, we couldn't be any more excited for their inevitable sequels.