Best of 2009
Crono: Best of 2009
Crono: Best of 2009
Plants Vs. Zombies at number 1? Why did I just put Plant's Vs. Zombies as my number 1 pick?
BECAUSE IM CRAAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Combining cinematic quality story telling to a high quality action game with treasure hunting and crazy action every step of the way? Not to mention the multiplayer which works out a lot better than I had anticipated before I played it. This game is as amazing as it is revolutionary (for its story telling).
Did anyone think this was going to be a good game before its release? Before its trailers or screenshots? I know I had some huge doubts - only because comic book games are so hit and miss. There have been so few good ones. But they are making a comeback and this is the king of the comic book comeback in games. Arkham Asylum blew me away with its depth. I had fun every step of the way and the game is pretty long for a linear action game. Very fun and hard to put down.
Torchlight is really just Diablo 2 meets FATE in my opinion but I can't complain about that! Diablo 2 is one of my all-time favorite games and while I didn't like FATE that much I did like a lot of the newer tricks it tried. Torchlight is single player only (for now) and is a fun little romp made by an independent developer. If the game sells well enough (which it seems to be doing) it will be able to fund its staff enough to make an MMO experience out of the game. I am very excited about that prospect - Torchlight is a quality game and I am sure its multiplayer iteration will be as well.
Dragon Age: Origins is a very thorough "Choose your destiny" kind of game. Your decisions impact nearly every facet of the outcome of the game - it is truly impressive how nearly every play through can/will be different. Only recommended for people with lots of time to dedicate to the game, however. I am only about 20 hours in and still have much to do.
Games for the hardcore seem to be fading more and more. Demon's Souls is a return to the time when games could really piss you off to the point of throwing your controller at your TV. I haven't reached that point yet but I have definitely suffered some frustration from this title.
The game is an RPG that - should you die - you lose all of your souls and have only one chance to retrieve them. Souls are everything in this game! You use souls to buy weapons/armor, upgrade weapons, buy spells, and level up - oh and to buy miscellaneous items as well. You can also lose your souls to Black Phantoms - characters played by real people whose job it is is to hunt you down and kill you. These encounters happen at random. You can only have one Black Phantom in your game with you at once, but if you kill that one Black Phantom, another one can enter immediately if there is a player "in line" to get into your game. If it sounds scary, it is, but that is where the fun lies.
I put Fat Princess in my list for one simple reason: It is fun. Fat Princess is really a multiplayer only game (although you can play through its single player - it just isn't as fun). The game is a class based 3rd person game. The most popular mode is Capture the Flag; the flags are princesses. Your team can fatten up the opposing teams princess (flag) by feeding her cake. This makes her harder to move and thus harder to capture. Each class in the game has an alternative playstyle as well. The game is delightfully simple but still provides a lot of depth. Not to mention the sheer amount of charm that they packed into the game.
I always loved Super Metroid. I refuse to use that word "metroidvania" in any sentence other than denouncing it - Metroid was the originator of this kind of gameplay, Castlevania just hopped on the train and did it too (which I have no problems with, I just don't like that stupid term).
That is why I knew I had to buy Shadow Complex the moment it was announced. I was sold once I saw the game in action and after watching a few developer interviews that demonstrated how passionate the lead developer was about metroid style of game. The first time you play through the game will take about 3-4 hours. While that is rather short, you still get a lot out of it. I really wish that the game had lasted longer, but for an arcade game it was perfect, really.
Anyway, this game is a blast for anyone who likes that kind of game. It went back to its roots the way that I wish that Super Mario Bros. Wii had done. Shadow Complex can really stand up there with Super Metroid - not stand AS tall... but certainly close - Shadow Complex lacked the atmosphere and spookiness that Super Metroid had.
I was surprised to see this game so low on my list but after considering the above, it only made sense. Super Mario Bros. Wii is a return to yesteryear's sidescrolling Mario but on easy mode. The game is nowhere near as difficult as the originals which it draws its inspiration from. It is a shame, really, because it had so much potential to be so much more than what it is. That said, it is a lot of fun with a group as long as you don't take it seriously (isn't that the M.O. of every other Wii game?). I found it charming to see a lot of the Koopa kids in full 3D despite the lack of difficulty of the fights. Overall it is a nice nostalgia piece but misses the mark - still, it is worth seeing if you are a kid from the NES era.
I really had a hard time picking my #10. There were a lot of other titles I had wanted to include on my list but in the end I chose Hatsworth for its charm and addictive and fun gameplay. I really enjoyed playing through this game, which, starts off easy enough for the first 3 worlds or so and then really ramps up the difficulty - especially the hilarious (but challenging and fun) boss fights!
The draw of Hatsworth is that it takes the 2 screens of the DS and applies a different purpose for each. On the top screen you play as Hatsworth, running around collecting pieces of a fabled suit. On the bottom screen you play a puzzle game and attempt to stop monsters from reaching the top of the screen - if they do they enter Hatsworth's world and can attack him.
You can gain powerups from the puzzle mode but new roadblocks are consistently being added to the puzzles to make them harder and harder. Not only that, but many of the boss fights include some way to make puzzling difficult as well by disabling rows or colums, or turning some pieces into monsters that take more matches to remove from the board.
The game also has some light RPG-elements as well, allowing you to level up different aspects of Hatsworth - the usual suspects, more defense/health, more damage, increased special moves - and some puzzle specific upgrades as well.
If you like platformers, you can't go wrong with Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure!
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