By Fallen189 15 Comments
So, 2010 was a pretty neat-o year for playing videogames. There's been some highs (Starcraft 2) and some lows (Final Fantasy 13). Amongst all this shit, it's been a pretty good year, however. This isn't a blog which details "The best games from 2010", moreso a "Games I beat in 2010". After realizing I was one of those people who plays games for an hour, goes "Yeah that was alright, i'll come back in a day or two" then shelves it, I made a concerted effort in 2010 to actually FINISH games. So, without further ado, here's that all important list/end of year blog post/series of mini reviews. Enjoy!
JanuaryJanuary was actually a surprisingly good month. Cleared out some stuff I REALLY should have beat earlier, but not my best month. A good start for the rest of the year.
Army of Two: I know before you're already saying it. Beginning the year with Army of Two? I wish I could explain to you why we did this, but I guess we did. I went to a buddys house on new years day, and we needed some stupid shit to do, and this was it. Weirdly enough, I found myself actually enjoying this. But I think this was down to me and my mate CONSTANTLY using the butt pat/head slap. Ingame, of course.
Batman: Arkham Asylum: What is there to really say about Batman that hasn't already been said by everyone? It was an outstanding game. The stealth to combat ratio was spot on, it played so well, and it's actually a GOOD BATMAN GAME. However much I liked it, mind you, the 360 fucking ruined it for me. For some reason, my gamertag had been recovered somewhere else (?!), and when I came to do all the riddler stuff, and postgame content, the 360, in all its fucking infinite wisdom decided that because of this, it was wiping all my achievements and save game. As good at this game was, I'm not replaying it just for that.
Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story: This was another shocker. I knew that the Mario and Luigi RPG games were really good, I loved me some Superstar Saga, but I didn't think it would be this good. Reminded me of Paper Mario: 1000 year door. A good game, but I didn't think it was THAT funny. There were one or two laugh out loud moments, but by the time the game was rolling on, I was just skipping dialogue so I could get on with things. Worth a go if you like a decent nintendo RPG.
Bayonetta: You all know what Bayonetta is. You should probably play it. It's basically...well, it's Devil May Cry 3 with a chick. The combat felt great, if not a LITTLE hard at times, especially near the ending, but all in all, it was a tremendous game, which I felt was the evolution of that kind of hack and slash game. God of War 3 can eat a dick, Bayonetta is the fighter/slasher/hacker/brawler game of the year. You should also play it just for the Space Harrier level. No joke.
Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations: The finale to the best DS franchise out there took me the longest time to beat. I don't know whether or not I was simply trying to drag out the game by slowly playing through it, but every single second I spent with Phoenix was just tremendous. After the relative dissapointment that was Justice for All, I was somewhat skeptical about going into this game. Then I met Godot. I'll be damned if you have played this game and didn't relate/sympathize with this character. Also, the final case on T&T. Goddamned manly tears.
FebruaryFebruary was a strangely slow month. But I guess when you see what I played, you'll kinda get it.
Mass Effect 2: Now, I won't lie. I hated Mass Effect. It looked terrible, the framerate couldn't keep up, textures popped, the inventory was unintuitive, the combat was balls, and so on. I couldn't get past the first few hours, despite the fact I bought it on release. It just wasn't very GOOD. Naturally then, I was a little tentative as to whether or not I should buy ME2. I'm glad I did. After the first hour or so, I was so into this game already. It controls like a game from 2010, it looked like a game from 2010, and goddamn if it didn't just...feel right. The side stuff was okay, but I'm not really into that kind of completionist mentality, reserved for psychopaths and Vinny. The loyalty missions were what did it for me. Some were a bit naff (Jacob/Miranda), but things like Grunt/Garrus were just outstanding. It's hard to really describe what's good about Mass Effect 2 without just reaming out a string of hyperbole. It essentially took what was good about the first game, and made EVERYTHING ELSE better. Brilliant dialogue, meaningful choices, and renegade interrupts. What more could you want? I'm looking forward to Mass Effect 3 now. Bring back Wrex.
MarchBy the time March hit, things were already kicking in. It was basically a strategy month.
Bioshock 2: Again, similar to Mass Effect 2, I never finished Bioshock. I just found it too hard/monotonous. I didn't really enjoy a game which was "Whack a man with a wrench, die, go back and hit him again". Saying that, I picked up Bioshock 2 for £10 (A little explanation as to how this whole scenario worked. I picked up Bayonetta when it came out for £40. Then when Mass Effect 2 came out, I could trade it in and pick up Bayonetta for £10. Then I did the same with Bioshock 2. 3 brand new games for £60? I'll take it), and really enjoyed it. It was just the right difficulty for someone as stupid as me to get into. and I loved the aesthetics of the world. It was a shame that we couldn't explore the sea bed more, that was definitely my favourite part. All in all, another belter of a game. Especially when you get your very own big sister.
Dawn of War 2 : So, I'm a big fan of RTS games. It's just a shame I'm so shit at them. Imagine my surprise when after thinking about this for a while, I picked this up with my new laptop. Or I think I bought it during a sale, THEN played it on my new computer. Whatever, this game is good. A well realised squad mechanic really gave you the diversity you needed to play the game EXACTLY how you wanted. Doing a mission with a shitload of Tyranids? Equip your mans with flamethrowers. Got a ton of Orks between you and the glory of the emperor? Equip chainguns and mow the greenskins down. Admittedly, some of the squads were kind of crap (I'm looking at you Thaddeus), and some were too powerful, the game just felt right. You could do endless missions to level up your dudes, which usually consisted of killing X guys, or protecting Y relic, but they were entirely at YOUR discretion. You could easily barrel through the game with no real problems if you know your units. But then you wouldn't get that epic quality sniper rifle you were jonesing for. And trust me, it's out there.
Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising : There isn't really much to add that I didn't already specify above. The new campaign was FANTASTIC, adding a really neat morality system, which would essentially deviate your characters depending on the specific actions they took in the mission. Wanna leave a statue of the emperor to the Orks? Prepare to gain chaos points. Saving a village of innocents and unicorns? Good points. What made this interesting, however, was the distinction between skills you'd get on either side. As someone who played it through twice, I feel the Chaos abilities to be infinitely better than the nice guy stuff. Who wants to protect allies from 20% bullets when you can summon giant demon things to crush your enemies for you? Communists, that's who. A special mention goes out here actually to the "Last Stand" mode of multiplayer. It's similar to Gears of War 2's "Horde mode", where you and a couple of buddies have to fight off wave after wave of dudes. It's excellent. (Here's a hint for everyone. Pick the Chaos Sorceror, and use mind control on the Force Commander in wave...4 (I think). It's 2 heroes for the price of one!!)
Spelunky: A 2D freeware dungeon crawler by Derek Yu? You should just go and play this. Here's a hint. Get a jetpack.
AprilAnother month where I knuckled down with a few REALLY outstanding games. Quality over quantity, friends! Well, to an extent...
Dragon Age: Awakenings: I played the original on the xbox (bad move), so I couldn't import my lady into this, which kinda sucked, but the game caters for that SO WELL, that it didn't really bother me. Playing as a Grey Warden, you're basically clearing up all the shit that happened in the first game, but with new people. New classes were kinda good, especially the Legion of the Dead, but ...it's more Dragon Age. I wish I could elucidate more, but hey, it's more DA.
Resident Evil 5: It's like a shinier version of 4, without the merchant.
Super Mario Galaxy: Okay, so it's Mario freaking Galaxy. You've played it, you've loved it, and now I have. I don't know what took me so long to beat it, but my God, is it an excellent game. I grew up playing Super Mario Bros on my NES I got when I was 4, and never thought I'd love again, like I did for Super Mario World (It's better than 3, DEAL WITH IT). 64 was excellent, of course, but then Sunshine hit. I mean, Sunshine was OKAY, I guess, but it just didn't capture the sense of what I loved about the Mario 3D games. Then I started playing galaxy. Holy shit. The beginning of the game ALONE is so so good, yet it consistenly gets better and better. Bending the laws of relative gravity, and making me quit sometimes because I literally felt sick because of the weird vertigo shit that game pulled, I can't think of a better Wii game...yet. Special shout outs go out to the music in this game. Urgh, so good. You're exploring these incredible planetoids in space. Literally, just floating out there. But you're accompanied by just the most sweeping orchestral music. It's such a treat for the senses. You NEED to play this game.
MaySome new stuff, mostly catchups.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: This rings true with many of the sentiments I described when I discussed Mario Galaxy. Except all the MGS games are excellent... Now, typical dogging on this game often rests on people saying "The cutscenes are too long", or "It's not really a game". Kind of crass arguments for a game so heavily dependent on expositional story telling. MGS4 was the pinnacle of the franchise, really. MGS3 was by no means anything less than outstanding, but once again, in a similar vein to Mass Effect 2, MGS4 took the bad things from the previous games (Namely the shooting/general combat), and made it much more accessible to a mainstream audience. You didn't have to play some stealthy bugger, only snapping necks and knifing guys. You could just as easily run and gun fools down, and it was FUN to do that. Not that I did, of course. I'm basically Grey Fox. And the end fight in that game. Hot dog. If you've played it, you KNOW.
God of War: I don't think it's really appropriate for me to talk about God of War, I didn't really like it. I just slogged through it so I could play 2. It was alright, I guess. I played the HD version of it, which looked really neat. It was a bit hard though, at the ending.
Heavy Rain: I can't really remember the rhyme or reason for buying this. I think I got it on the cheap. That's not to say I didn't like it, however. I really appreciated what they tried to do in this game, and how they tried to basically subvert genre expectations for what is basically a point and click adventure game. Or Shenmue. I KIND of got into this from "The Idle Thumbs Podcast", simply because I wanted to "Cover my haaaaaaaair" or something. Wizard, bird noise, etc. I beat Heavy Rain in one sitting, so take that as you will, I guess. It was really exciting to the point where it kept my butt on a seat, but I also beat this AAA £40 game in one sitting. Even though I borrowed it from a mate. I'd be really interested as to what they can do with this tech. A really cool little detective game, I guess. JASON!!!
JuneNot much got done in June. Except the GOTY.
Super Mario Galaxy 2: Not much more to say than what I said about Galaxy. It's just...more of that, but even more whack. Some of the things that happened in Galaxy 2 almost made me ill, just at how BALLS OUT CRAZY it was. I'll say this. I loved throwback galaxy. It's just a perfect game. 10/10
JulyJuly was the busiest gaming month of the year for me. I just...got shit done. I guess it was also due to the fact that a lot of the games I FINISHED in July were kind of short. See for yourself.
Pixeljunk Shooter: This was a really cool game. When I was young, we got Sky television. There was a game on the "Interactive games" zone which was like this. You had to explore the ocean, pick up survivors with a rope, and escort them out. Now, this gave me a pretty big nostalgia hit (If anyone can remember what that was called btw, let me know. UK represent!). I don't know what was so good about PJS. It was just so fast and controlled SO well, it was a complete joy. It looked incredible, very vibrant, very bright, just an all around joy to play really. The addition of different "elements" per zone were pretty boss hog aswell. The star of the show is definitely the magnet suit. That was just hilarious. Super good downloadable game.
Demon's Souls: If you like "hard" games, you're probably very aware of Demon's Souls. From Software created a bit of a motherfucker in this game. I played through as much as I could as a spellblade, basically. Soul ray and the rapier, with a kite shield did me for a while. When I got firestorm, I blitzed the rest of the game. Until I hit a boss, and I'd just get fucking raped. Levels that deserve an extra "FUCK YOU" go to 4-2 (The level with the effing invisible assassins and grim reapers) and King Allant. King Allant, Jesus. He was a motherfucker, right? Nontheless, despite all the cries of difficulty from people, I didn't find it THAT BAD. Maybe it's because I grew up playing NES games nonstop. Maybe it's cause I've been the guy. Or maybe I'm just not a huge whiny baby. Nonetheless, DS was a brilliant, brilliant videogame. It was exceptionally fun, in regards to how GOOD I felt when I'd beat a single tough baddy. If you want a truly unique experience, that will tear your bollocks off in the first level, go play Demons Souls.
Valkyria Chronicles: VC was one of those games that I'd wanted to get into for the longest time, but could never really dedicate myself to. When I did, I found one of the most visually striking games I've seen in a long time. Taking the role of Welkin Gunther, you lead the rag tag army of Gallia, you fight back against an oppressive force. However, it wasn't necessarily the gameplay itself that made the game good. Don't get me wrong, a top down board game which transitions into direct control of a character is a concept I don't think I've seen before, at least done this well. What tied it together was the exposition between missions, the delightfully quaint story and relationships that would brew up between characters. Racial tension, death, the quality and question of life legtimacy all came together to create a surprisingly rich narrative, at least for what's essentially an anime game. It was JUST hard enough that you had to carefully consider your loadout, your positions, and even down to the direction you were FACING, while still feeling very approachable and intuitive towards new players. Even though fighting Jaeger was bullshit.
Punch Out: It's fucking Punch-Out. You duck, weave, punch and follow behind a fat guy on a bike. If you don't know what this came from, I feel bad for you.
Alien Swarm: I can't say I really cared for this. I know it was a freeware game from Valve of all people, but the lack of continued support and new maps/playtypes made it the kind of game that you'd beat once on every level, then you're kinda done. A poor mans Left 4 Dead.
InFamous: Yeah, another unpopular opinion. I didn't like InFamous at all. It was sloppy, handled so poorly (Is my man meant to be made of fucking magnetic glue or something?) and it was far too difficult. I made it through, but the game felt very unfair, and I could never seem to go where I wanted to. Average at best.
AugustI'm getting tired now. August was okay.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: I tried to beat this when it came out, but the first dungeon was really hard for some reason. I'm very glad I finally sat down with the latest chapter in the Zelda franchise, as it was one of the best yet. I think it'll age well, where it's predecessors might not. I liked the return to the "Grown up" adult looking Link, which I guess went with them theme of the game. It was a very dark game, tonally and aesthetically. With a big emphasis on light world/dark world stuff, I really enjoyed the dungeons, and traversing the world map with a fast travel teleporty thing. The new items were kind of cool (The hook shot hands are a welcome addition any day), and the final boss was suitably excellent. I will say that I didn't really care for the air dungeon, but that's because things like that in Zelda games always stump me. Up yours, Water Temple. Also grown up Midna is mai waifu.
Minecraft: Minecraft was neat. Go read some of my threads on it if you wanna know how I felt
Also, I came home for Christmas to see my family for once. Imagine the surprise when my 14 year old brother asked "Have you heard of Minecraft? It's mint". Joy.
Super Street Fighter 4: They took Super Turbo, added some stupid characters, and made it for the PS3. 'Nuff said.
SeptemberBringing it home!
Space Harrier: And by this, I mean ACTUALLY LEGITIMATELY FINISHING SPACE HARRIER. Welcome to the fantasy zone, get ready!
God of War 2: So, I had the HD remake collection as previously mentioned, and I wanted to trade in some games so I could bag a copy of Starcraft 2, so I figured I'd blow through this just to get it done. It was actually pretty good. The beginning was a bit tough, I couldn't find out where to go, but after some initial bumpiness, it turned out to be pretty cool. The "Puzzles" were kind of ass, but it was a pretty neat game. Not as good as Devil May Cry 3
F.E.A.R 2: F.E.A.R 2 was a £6 game, and I enjoyed it. Being in a mech was super neat, but the blood effects in this game are so stupid. Still, a fun way to spend a day I guess.
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: I have never finished a Layton game before this. They're just too...long. Or the puzzles get boring. Or I lose my DS. Pick one and go with it, thanks. But there was something about the 3rd game which captured my imagination. Seeing the backstory of Hershell Layton was really sweet, especially when you see him SPOILER WARNING: Click here to reveal hidden content. I really liked this game. The music was cool, the puzzles weren't too bad, and the minigames were kinda fun too. The movie is also cool!
No More Heroes: God Hand with laser swords. It's hard.
Starcraft 2: It's Starcraft with a 2 on the end. Best multiplayer game in the last decade. I'm still playing it now, and I usually quit a game once I'm done with single player. It's the best RTS game out there, perfectly balanced, and just a good-ass game. You should play it.
Also, THOR IS HERE.
OctoberStarcraft 2 happened
NovemberStarcraft 2 happened
DecemberThe last month of the year. And what a stinker.
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn: A new Golden Sun game should have really excited me. But it just kinda...came out. The transition to ghetto ass sprites to full 3D characters was a change I didn't really care for, but I got over it in the end. Suffice to say, the gameplay is monotonous (It's far too easy. You have 5000 djini, and 18 billion spells to use, but I guarantee all you'll ever do is hit the attack button and melee your way through the game. It's that easy) and the story was inconsistent as fuck. And that ending? Give me a break. Still sunk 30+ hours into it, and enjoyed it for the most part, but I don't think I actually had...fun with it. It just kinda...existed.
Call of Duty: Black Ops: I didn't think I'd like this, because it's an FPS, and I can't shoot a barn door with a bazooka. But hey, it was alright. It was kinda hard until I changed it to easy, then I turned into the Terminator. With a knife. Fine, I guess.
So hey, that's that! It was a pretty good year, all things considered. I have a top 10 list up here for the things I liked the most. Thanks for reading, if you made it to the end, and if you didn't, you won't read me saying "Fuck you". Seeing as this is the end of the year, I suppose this is my "Summary of the year" blog. So I'll shout out to
MB, Hamz, Sweep, VGK and Claude. I guess I better mention KaosAngel aswell, for having such a Tsundere relationship with me.
Play me off, keyboard cat!