By Dalai 5 Comments
Now for my "other" games. Like I said before, don't expect the usual suspects like Mass Effect 2, God of War III, Starcraft II, or Halo: Reach. It's my year in review, dammit! Video games, GO!
Altitude may have missed 2010 by about a few weeks, but if you're like me, you bought the game when it came on sale in 2010... and couldn't stop playing it. First off, it's in 2D so I automatically had to try it out. Second, it reminds me of Worms and I like Worms. And third, Dave Snider likes this game. 40 hours and an S-rank later, I have finally kicked the habit. But if you haven't tried Altitude yet, what is wrong with you? you're missing out on one of the most competitive online multiplayer games to come out last year.
Playing with your own music became more commonplace this year and Beat Hazard is probably the best game this year that uses this concept. Its a pretty basic dual-joystick shooter with no frills gameplay-wise, but the game is as good and as flashy (or epileptic) as your soundtrack.
I guess this is as close we'll get to a Metroid game on WiiWare. Cave Story is yet another of those games that appeal to the retro gamer crowd by going all out in its retroness. It looks like a glorified SNES game and plays as tight as some of the best of SNES games. Best WiiWare game of 2010 hands down.
Bioshock has the distinction of having the best first hour of any game I can remember. Here you are enjoying a relaxing flight and within minutes, you're in an underground city that is falling apart at the seams. Say what you want about the janky controls or the ending that just sorta putters out and ends too quickly, the journey through Rapture makes up for any of the shortcomings. I can ramble on about the beautiful art style, magnificent story, interesting plot twists, and the great use of sound, but I also have to applaud the developers for some of the unusual attacks you can perform. Like bees. Fucking bees.
Darksiders is the best Zelda game to come out since 2006... and I think you know what game that is. Darksiders could've been a poorly made action game that tried to do too much and not execute any of them right. Fortunately, Darksiders is the opposite of that. The apocalypse (or the game equivalent of the end times) looks pretty stunning and the game world stands out among the better looking games of the year. You have no shortage of weapons and items at your disposal and while most of them are obviously ripped from "you know what", they just feel right. Darksiders also features some of the best and most intense boss battles you'll find this year. The only downside I can see is the repetitive nature of the attacks, but I suggest mixing up your attacks and using what the game gave you. Darksiders is a fantastic homage to Zelda and in a few ways, trumps what the Zelda games have done over its lifetime.
I can't fill my list of games with only lollipops and sunshine. Metroid: Other M was the game I just had to play this year just because I'm a huge Metroid fan. Why? Well... Metroid: Other M looked as if Super Metroid and Metroid Prime had a baby. Too bad Other M does a disservice to the franchise. It's the general consensus that the story and the portrayal of Samus was not what we expected, but I'm not here to bitch about the cheesy dialogue and the bits of sexism because I think those criticisms were blown out of proportion. What I found most detrimental to the game was its awkward controls and the awful design choices. Other M had a pretty blah art direction, something that is unheard of from a Metroid game, and that might be the reason why the sense of adventure and exploration feels off. But the most glaring issue for me was the gameplay. Other M could've been a more bearable game if it used the Nunchuk. A NES pad is not the best way to play a 3D game that is pretty dependent on platforming. So don't expect Other M to be my game of the year, folks. Commence debate!
2010 was a big year for 90's reboots and NBA Jam might be the game that was most faithful to the old-school style of NBA Jam. EA impressed me with how much this game feels like a Midway game of old. Perhaps the number of modes in the game are lacking, but the core NBA Jam experience is spot on and as great as ever. But the highlight of this game is the comedic styles of Tim Kitzrow. Now they can get to work on a new Cruis'n game that doesn't suck.
Yes, this is a 2010 game. I was first introduced to Suda 51 thanks to the totally insane and completely fucked up game known as No More Heroes. Then No More Heroes 2 did it again, but on steroids. The game goes all over the place throwing in whatever the hell Suda thought worked. The side missions are essentially shitty NES games, some of the bosses are memorable (especially the crazy giant Gundam robot battle), and the supporting cast is colorful to say the least. This is pretty much more of what I expected from Suda 51 and that's not really a bad thing, even if his games are an acquired taste. Just one suggestion: no more platforming.
Poker Night at the Inventory has the best ensemble cast of any game this year and it better have because the actual poker in this game is awful and is nowhere close to actual poker. Poker Night at the Inventory's greatest (and probably only) strength is the hilarious banter between 4 characters I never thought would be in a Smash Bros. style brawler let alone a fucking poker game. The big surprise is that the Heavy steals Strong Bad's and Max's thunder in this one.
Shatter is Breakout if it went to a rave, popped some X, and partied with Andrew W.K. until dawn. Yes, Shatter is amazing and I suck at anything that's close to Breakout, including Shatter. But I don't care because the music in this game... fuck yes!
And that's 2010 in 3 nutshells. See you next year if it isn't already next year.