Best of 2010
BrowncoatGrimm: Best of 2010
BrowncoatGrimm: Best of 2010
The first Mass Effect was the reason I bought a 360 and the sequel doesn’t fail to deliver on the promises of the first. Amazing game play, inspired characters and truly earth shattering stories make this by far the best game of the year. The dialogue system still hasn’t lost its charm and helps draw you even further in to this universe; never have I been happier in a game to simply spend some time walking around my ship talking to people. This game is god damn epic and by far the best DLC of the year added to this game and tipped it over the edge into legendary status. Lair of the Shadow broke finished off things that were hinted at in the first Mass Effect and also let the relationship with Liara from the first game play out in a great way that’s more poignant than any other in the series. The only negatives I have to throw at this game are that there isn’t enough loot, I got so many weapons in the first game, and the armour for your companions only has two versions. This sucks. It would be perfect if these two things were changed but as it is it’ll just have to remain legendarily brilliant.
Season holiday based video games? Seriously? Why has this never happened before? In many respects Costumes Quest is a light RPG where the characters get different powers dependant on the costumes they wear. The combat though fairly basic is fun and solid with the variety of costumes helping to keep it feeling fresh and new with their unique power sets. Really though the greatness of this game lies in the story and the characters, this is double fine at their fineness. These little kids are funny as hell with the story being just ridiculous enough to provide an entertaining back drop for their antics without overdoing it with some overly hokey hooks. This is truly how you should combine humour with games, this made me forget the traumatizing experience of Brutal Legend and let me fall in love with Tim Schafer again.
Ezio is back and this is yet another sequel that builds on the original in new and interesting ways, the combat is back and better than ever as they made it way easier to kill and stab people in super interesting ways. The way you can chain together execution kills is truly an inspired touch that made the combat quicker, more brutal and far more action packed. The story, where as not as good as Assasin’s Creed II, is also pretty great with a number of inspired twists and (SPOILER WARNING) the parachute is the best fracking addition ever. What is this? The dark knight? Anything that makes it more Batman like is a fracking good addition as far as I’m concerned.
The multiplayer is a truly unique experience, a big surprise these days, that is intense and suspenseful in a way I’ve never experience. Players are put in to an arena as one of a certain few characters and then the rest is filled with duplicates of those characters. Each player has a target to kill and you have to find that target, a real player, and killed them while simultaneously being hunted yourself. There is an urge to run around and stab fools but the game rewards you enough for stealthy quiet kills that it rarely happens and ensures the more subtle intentions of the game designers.
Duun duun de dundun. God, Battlefield, just the music gets me itching to shoot dudes in the face before running up to a flag, holding off a horde of oncoming soldiers and capturing the point in the name of honour and glory. To me the greatest multiplayer franchise of all time has to be battlefield as its unique formula encourages and rewards team play and cooperation like no other and requires huge amounts of strategery (that’s a real word by the way). Destructible cover and the new rush mode are great additions to this game that mix up the traditional game play enough to make it feel fresh and interesting. Add to this the traditional unlocks along with brand new special abilities and whole host of great vehicles make it a great package.
I would like to make special mention of the X-Box version. I would never have thought Battlefield would work on a console, despite it being where I do most of my gaming, but boy was I wrong. I used to be a traditionalist when it came to Battlefield but not anymore. The shooting and vehicle control feels great, the weapons are solid and satisfying to shoot where as the vehicle control is way better with a controller. The excellent online x-box experience with its Parties and superb matchmaking bring a lot to the table here as well. Searching through severs is an old outdated form multiplayer and the match making methods are so simple and hassle free that this has to be the way to go.
I’m not a huge poker fan but you tell me that there’s a game with Max, Tycho, the Heavy and Strong Bad in it and I’ll buy pretty much whatever the hell you’re talking about. The actual poker is fine, it’s functional and entertaining in the way poker should be, but that’s really not why you buy this game. Oh no. You buy this game, go in to the options, shoved the talkativeness of the people up to max, then sit back and bask in the glory of Strong Bad and Tycho talking about computers. The interactions between these odd ball cast of characters is genuinely entertaining and fun in a way I didn’t really expect. By far this is the best dialogue I’ve ever seen in a game and well worth the price. Seriously this game is like three pounds, go buy it.
Fable 2 was a master class of design that mixed expert game play and storytelling in a fun and innovative way. Now while this game is clearly not as good as its predecessor I don’t feel as negatively about it as a great many other people seem to. The combat still feels great, the story was fine if not wholly original and all the customizable clothing stuff I loved makes a triumphant return. My lady looked super cool and bad ass.
I loved the new clothing and weapon interface in the game that made it really easy to try things on and experiment. However what I disliked was the total gutting of the item and menu systems. They have really dumb it down, there is no item list anywhere or even a god damn mini map, and that does more to inhibit than help. I get why they did it, they want to make it look simpler to use, but really all they did was take out functionality. Not cool.
I was introduced to the world of Fallout with Fallout 3, the amazing game by the genius’ at Bethesda, so to say I eagerly awaited New Vegas is an understatement. All the things I like about Fallout 3 were present in New Vegas with the vast array of skills, weapons, dialogue options and the massive open world full of interesting people to talk to. It’s a good game, it really is.
This is the part where I now say why this game isn’t higher on my list. Firstly the game engine is broken, just broken, in so many flawed ways I can’t even list them all. They also changed some things that make it worse from purely a game play perspective as well. The main gripe I have is that they decided to have creatures be fixed levels instead of levelling up with you. I get why they did this, they wanted a more direct anf funnel experience, however there got to a point when I was a level 5 that a faction was so pissed at me they sent some people after me. These people were LEVEL 20. I died about fifty times trying to face them off and it was pretty much impossible to beat them before I dropped the game down to uber easy and took a bunch of chems.
Maybe I’m letting a single bad experience sour my view of an otherwise great game but I don’t think that’s the case I played it for many hours afterwards but at a certain point I got tired of dealing with the games bullshit in order to experience the great quests. I have to say the quests and storytelling are super awesome and it’s what kept me going as long as I did.
The other thing this game finally did for me was make me realise that I don’t want to read dialogue in games any more. I want my character to speak in every game or be a silent protagonist. That’s right, I want to hear Link’s voice.
The original Halo is the first FPS I played properly so that universe and cast of characters has a unique place for me so the games always have a lot to live up to. Reach doesn’t fail to deliver with a solid single player campaign and vastly improved multiplayer. The new armour abilities mix up the game play enough to make it a little more interesting, the hologram rules, while the new customizable armour is an amazing addition that I loved. In many ways Reach seems to be taking the lead from other first person shooters with the new Invasion mode feeling reminiscent of Battlefield. That isn’t a criticism, quite the opposite, invasion mode where you have to capture a series of objectives in stages to reach an ultimate goal (hah, reach, get it?) might be my favourite game type.
Having said that I was a little disappointed with certain areas of the game, the story was slid enough but in parts ran a little flat or didn’t seem quite as expect as previous versions. At one point the story actually became a little disjointed and the entire helicopter mission looked completely out of place without any ties to the overall narrative. Some have suggested that this is trying to show the helplessness of the war but I didn’t get that. The characters were fine overall and you felt for them, in a big way, so that when characters inevitably died it was very impactful. To be honest I did prefer the single player campaign and cast of characters from last year’s ODST, it’s the best Halo game as far as I’m concerned, but that’s like saying I prefer 12 carat gold to 9 carat gold. The shit’s still awesome.
Pokemon isn’t a game, it’s a drug. It... I ... urgh... excuse me while I go wander through the grass for the next five hours levelling up this Pidgey.
The main impetuous of Blue is a super fast racer in the style of Burnout with the power-ups of something more akin to a Kart racer. They straight up have the blue shell. Now this might not seem like a great idea, but trust me it’s awesome, the fast paced action and racing is made all the sweeter with the sudden panic of having to avoid shunts (red shells) and mines, they force you to weave in and out of a barrage of crazy glowing energy stuff giving the driving a greater sense of urgency.
The style of the game is also amazing, they’ve chosen a style that mimics reality in a lot of ways but also heightens the reality of many situations. The screen blurs as you reach impossible speeds, hence the games name, while the power ups and weapons have a universal style that look like someone ripped them straight out of Tron.
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