In all the talk of graphical downgrades no one seems much preoccupied with 'why?'. Why build something and then proceed to tear it down, piece by piece, in the hope that ever more diminished expectations about the final product won't be severe enough to...
What used to be reserved for creepy Dungeons and Dragons geeks (ie. the GR staff) is now the dominion of the masses, thanks in no small part to the terrific role-playing games that gave us new lives in 2004.
An even longer time ago in a galaxy a bit further away, a civil war divided the Jedi order. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords takes the top RPG honors this year, along with a special award for Longest Game Title. Redeem yourself through the power of the Light side, or, should you crave power more than humble good deeds, you can seize the power of the Dark side for your own benefit. Complex, thoughtful and well written, the force is very strong in this excellent sequel.
It's a little hard watching Mario go on a power diet, but it's incredily easy to enjoy his smart, funny RPG excursion. Picking up right where the N64 game left off, The Thousand Year Door pokes fun at classic Nintendo conventions while providng a long, satisfying trip through the flatlands of mushrooms and goombas.