Bayonetta: Masterpiece

I've always been pretty interested in this game for various reasons, but I didn't really look at much on it. I think often times we look into games far too much and it kills the freshness of the experience when we finally get the game in our own hands. I've been trying to do this a lot more lately. 
When I started the game, however, I had a predetermined opinion on what the game was going to be. I was thinking... straight up Devil May Cry clone with a sexy woman that was only used to sell copies to unsuspecting guys. I was expecting it to be like most games of this type, where I initially think it's awesome, but then the levels start getting bland and boring, and I lose interest long before the end, forcing myself to try and finish just to salvage my purchase. It was not a case such as that.  
Bayonetta is quite possibly the most epic game ever made. 
That might sound like an exaggeration, but I truly believe it to be so. Each chapter you'll be telling yourself there's no way the game could ramp up in epicness and must ramp down soon, then the game gives you a high-heeled boot to the face and grabs you by the balls (assuming you have balls). Like boss fights? How about multiple bosses a chapter? How about chapters that ARE boss fights? I couldn't go into epic-proving detail without spoiling some of the games best moments, so you're just going to have to play the game. You won't be disappointed. 
The game has a nice challenge to it too. It's not insanely difficult (to me anyway), but it gets your adrenaline pumping and it's an absolute rush when you just scrape by an intense battle, praying for a health power-up or a chance to visit the shop. The game isn't completely ruthless in that reguard though, as the game has many invisible checkpoints along the way, and if you die, you can continue infinitely with a full bar of life. Your score will be affected dramatically because of this, but if you just want to make it through the game, it's a nice addition. 
One of my favorite things about the weapons in this game is the fact you never have to upgrade them. You find these pieces of music discs hidden throughout the level, and when you find all the pieces to a certain one, you take it to the shop and are straight up given the weapon in the strongest form that you can get it in. I hate how in other games like Ninja Gaiden, you may get the weapon, but you need to upgrade it about 5 times before you get any of it's good combos or before it does optimal damage to where you'll want to use it. 
Combat in general is a blast, however, as it is very fluid and doesn't require an epic amount of memorization for you to string together lengthy and beautiful combo strings. You can set two seperate weapon schemes to switch from on the fly during battle, which consists of a type of gun and a melee weapon, or a combo of two guns. Each set of weapons has many different types of attacks, and you can string together moves from different weapon sets to give the enemy the ultimate smack down. If you're like me, you most likely won't discover a good chunk of the game's weapons on your first run, but that's ok, because you'll welcome extra playthroughs if but to feel the rush you had the first time through all over again. 
You'll be marveling at the cutscenes in the game, housing gorgeously choreographed fights and laying down the game's deep lore, but your head will probably spin from the craziness that is the games storyline. It's absolutely awesome, but is also a major head-trip. Something about heaven and hell at each others throats and the left eye and the right eye..... eyes of the world. See, I still don't really have a clue. There's enough there, however, to make the events and conclusion feel satisfying and worthwhile.
Basically, it all comes down to this. If you like action games at all, and have an average level of skill at video games, you must own this game. 
Score: 9.7/10


My Game of the Year Winners

Not going to go through any of that nominee crap, so here the winners are: 
Best Graphics:  


There really is no contest this year for best graphics. It brings forth a level of graphics that immediately made me think "WOW how did they do these graphics?", especially during snow levels. Eat your heart out Crysis. 
Best Multiplayer
This game IS multiplayer. If you're playing this game solo with the AI you're missing out on all the fun. It may seem like it's a bit of a cop-out to pick a game like that for best multiplayer, but considering I had a complete blast going through the campaigns a dozen times with various friends, and scavenge mode is an extremely tense thrill ride, I have no guilt. Winner right here. 
Best Exclusively Downloadable Game
Battlefield 1943 kicks so much ass that I'd go as far as saying it is one of the best multiplayer shooters ever made. Infinite ammo, infinite sprint, balanced classes, fun as hell vehicles, and killer map design make this game a knockout punch for me. 
Game I kept playing and I don't know why
This game was a strange case for me. While it is definitely a competant, fun experience, I was never completely blown away by this game. Perhaps because it followed too closely to RE4 and it didn't surprise me at all, or because I'm miffed that there isn't any true single player experience to be had here. Yet, I completed the game 7 times, played insane amounts of the mercenaries and versus modes online, and unlocked the game's 1200/1200 achievements. There isn't anything "wrong" with this game, but for a game I supposedly wasn't completely grabbed by, I sure played a lot of it. Like over 100 hours... 
Biggest Let Down
Bionic Commando was originally a locked down candidate for best multiplayer because I had so much fun playing the demo. Some of the best multiplayer I've ever played, hands down. The big let down came when the full version came out and it shed light on two of the games biggest problems in that area. No ability to play on the same team as your friends online (outside of sheer luck), and the fact that nobody played it online. I know that last one isn't the game's fault, but it broke my heart. I love the multiplayer that is there. The game also has single player, but it's largely forgettable. 
-*-*-*-GAME OF THE YEAR-*-*-*- 
Surprised? Me too. This game snuck up on me BIG TIME. I originally completely wrote this game off because I thought it was just an "enhanced" port of the DS game,  a game that I had previously beaten and thought was alright but not quite "Mario" level of good for me. Boy was I ever wrong. As the last game that arrived into my home in 2009, it sure wasn't the least. It takes all the best parts from my favorite 2D mario games, and throws out all the parts from the DS game that just quite didn't work for me. Coupled with a revitalization of the difficulty in the series, fun boss battles, creative level design and secrets that throw me right back to when I was 5 years old sitting on the floor playing Super Mario Bros. on our 13 inch color TV. Thanks Nintendo for giving me what I've wanted all these years. 
Runner-up:    Left 4 Dead 2 

Note: I'm saving Bayonetta for my 2010 game of the year awards, but know that if I did try to swing all sorts of technicalities about it being a 2009 game, it would have won for sure. 
That's it guys. Thanks for reading.

Oh yeah, I beat Shadow Complex

Yeah, forgot to post that I beat Shadow Complex thursday night / friday morning. Took a picture of the end game screen: 

The picture doesn't capture the fact that I also got 100% map exploration as well. 
You're probably thinking "DAAAMN, it took you that long?" Well, yeah, it takes a long ass time to find all of those secrets, since they were scattered across the freakin' globe. The ones I left / missed landed off being far away from each other, and the complex can sometimes be very, very tricky to get to a certain point that you want to go to. They probably could have tightened up the screws a bit there, but it wasn't a huge deal really, I had a lot of fun exploring. 
The game was definitely great. It started off pretty slow for me, and I was thinking I had wasted my money, but once you start getting all of the cool upgrades and power-ups, it starts becoming very fun. I can't say I was absolutely blown away, or if I'll replay it any time soon, but I can say that I definitely recommend you check it out. Well worth the 15 bucks. 

My Top 15 Most Anticipated Games (5-1)

5. Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony 

I have to admit, when this game's name was announced, it turned my head and had me a bit surprised that they went with such an in your face title to get peoples attention. Reguardless of any of that though, this is another expansion to Grand Theft Auto IV, one of my absolute favorite games of all time. If this game can hit me as hard as the original game or The Lost and Damned (which was absolutely amazing as well), this will be one hell of a game. Take me home, Rockstar. 

4.  StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty 

Set a course. The original StarCraft game still holds that title of the first and only RTS game that I have liked. It goes well beyond like though.. I LOVE it. I played it for years after I got it in my possession, playing with friends, creating my own campaign missions and multiplayer maps... awesome. The sequel looks to be bigger, better, and more awesome. What's not to love? 

3. Crysis 2 

What? Only number 3? At the moment, yes. There is basically NOTHING known about the game, and after Crysis Warhead not living up to my high expectations, I can't help but to be a little concerned with the title, especially when making a leap to the consoles. That said, the original game is absolutely amazing to me, and I can't wait to have more of it made by the boys that made the original game. More open endedness, please! 

2. Final Fantasy XIII 

Yeah. I've watched a bunch of footage of this game when the japanese demo came out, and I was absolutely captivated. It looked like a fantastic blend between Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy VIII, which are my two favorite Final Fantasy games, X being one of my favorite games of all time in general. With a seemingly interesting cast of characters and fantastic graphics, along with a recent insurgance of RPG love from me, this one is going to be a surefire hit. 

1. Rage

Surprised? Me too. Up until the recent Quakecon trailer of the game, I haven't looked into this game at all. I recently watched the new trailer and the old trailer, and wow, this game looks intense. Gameplay looks like an open world Fallout type game minus the RPG elements....mixed with motorstorm. Wow. Also, the fact that this is a brand new id IP has me extremely excited. id doesn't make new IPs very often, and when they do, they blow shit out of the water. Color me extremely interested. This game just looks epic. 
That's a wrap. Hope you enjoyed, and thanks for reading! 

My Top 15 Most Anticipated Games (10-6)

10. Crackdown 2 

Ah yes, the sequel to the Halo 3 beta. Haha, just kidding. 
The original game was one that I had no interest in, and thought it actually looked stupid before I got a chance to play it. Turns out the game was absolutely fun, and addicting as hell to boot. I spent many, many hours collecting every single orb, maxing all my stats, collecting every achievement (save for the dlc street races which I will get to at a later date). The thought of a sequel to this game was completely nullified in my brain, but the fact that it's actually happening is very exciting indeed. 

9. DOOM 4 

Nothing at all is known about this game, but hell if I'm not excited to the max. It's a new DOOM game! Yeah, DOOM 3 was sort-of the black sheep of the bunch, but was definitely a very cool game in it's own right. I would be lying if I didn't want the game to go back more to its old roots with the massive amount of enemies on screen and the absolute chaos. Still, the thought of getting another game in the legendary franchise that houses on of my favorite games of all time (DOOM II, WHICH IS COMING TO LIVE ARCADE YESESESESSS) gets me excited. 

8. The Last Guardian 

Ah, another title we know little about, right? Yeah, you could say that, but this is a TEAM ICO game. Yeah, you know... ICO? Shadow of the Colossus? Both amazing games and some of my all time favorites. What we've seen of the game so far in video has been full of emotion and love already, so I just cannot wait to see what comes from this game in the end. 

7. Shadow Complex 

I've been mostly on media lockout of this game because I want it to be as fresh as it possibly can when I finally download it. In fact, I was nervous just looking at screenshots for the game when posting this blog. I'm pretty pumped to get my hands on the game that is being touted as a cross between Metroid and Contra. Don't let me down, Chair! Your last game sucked...... 

6. Diablo III 

The first Diablo game was probably the very first online game I ever played, and I finished the game multiple times with many characters. The second game was leaps and bounds above that game IMO, and I played that even more than the first game. See where I'm going with this? When Diablo III comes out and undoubtedly outclasses its predecessors in features, environment, and of course graphics, we're going to have ourselves a real winner here. I guess the only real mystery here is... when is it going to actually come out? WANT, k thx. 
The final five gets revealed tomorrow.