Favourite Games of the Half-Year (Part 2)

Click here to view Part One. 
 
Continuing from my last blog post I will be discussing my favourite games of the past half-year of 2010. 
 

In Second Place...

 

Like GTA... but better.
When I first heard that Rockstar was developing a new game outside of the Grand Theft Auto or Manhunt franchise and I became excited. However, the more I began to learn about Red Dead Redemption the more I began to loose interest. I had never been a major fan of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and I still have trouble getting into Grand Theft Auto IV and what I gathered from the news, interviews and other sources of information that I viewed, I dismissed Red Dead Redemption as Grand Theft Auto set in The Wild West. 
 
  Now, after buying and playing the game a considerable amount, I can say that I was mostly wrong. 
  
Red Dead Redemption is still Grand Theft Auto at heart in terms of gameplay mechanics and the way that its open-world is structured. However, it expands upon these elements in a way that made it accessible to me and allowed me to become fully immersed in a world that I knew little about. Also, John Marston is far more likeable than any of the Grand Theft Auto protagonists (including Niko Bellic.)     

As I played more and more of Red Dead Redemption the more I came to appreciate how much work Rockstar had put into it. Whether it was the characters, the missions that I undertook or the sheer brilliance of the visuals, Red Dead Redemption was a nice breath of fresh air and whilst it isn't my Game of the Year thus far it is definitely an honourable runner up and it would take a game of great magnitude to knock it from the top spot. 
  

And In First Place...

 

      It gives me a Mass Erect.
That's right folks. 
Mass Effect 2. 
 
So far, this game has been the most enjoyable, most memorable and most satisfying experience I have had this year.  
 
For a more in-depth look into my opinion towards Mass Effect 2 check out my review
 
And that'll pretty much do it for this half-year of 2010. 
I'll be writing a Game of the Year blog similar to the one I did last year. 
 
I hope you all enjoyed reading!
20 Comments
20 Comments
Posted by FlamingHobo
Click here to view Part One. 
 
Continuing from my last blog post I will be discussing my favourite games of the past half-year of 2010. 
 

In Second Place...

 

Like GTA... but better.
When I first heard that Rockstar was developing a new game outside of the Grand Theft Auto or Manhunt franchise and I became excited. However, the more I began to learn about Red Dead Redemption the more I began to loose interest. I had never been a major fan of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and I still have trouble getting into Grand Theft Auto IV and what I gathered from the news, interviews and other sources of information that I viewed, I dismissed Red Dead Redemption as Grand Theft Auto set in The Wild West. 
 
  Now, after buying and playing the game a considerable amount, I can say that I was mostly wrong. 
  
Red Dead Redemption is still Grand Theft Auto at heart in terms of gameplay mechanics and the way that its open-world is structured. However, it expands upon these elements in a way that made it accessible to me and allowed me to become fully immersed in a world that I knew little about. Also, John Marston is far more likeable than any of the Grand Theft Auto protagonists (including Niko Bellic.)     

As I played more and more of Red Dead Redemption the more I came to appreciate how much work Rockstar had put into it. Whether it was the characters, the missions that I undertook or the sheer brilliance of the visuals, Red Dead Redemption was a nice breath of fresh air and whilst it isn't my Game of the Year thus far it is definitely an honourable runner up and it would take a game of great magnitude to knock it from the top spot. 
  

And In First Place...

 

      It gives me a Mass Erect.
That's right folks. 
Mass Effect 2. 
 
So far, this game has been the most enjoyable, most memorable and most satisfying experience I have had this year.  
 
For a more in-depth look into my opinion towards Mass Effect 2 check out my review
 
And that'll pretty much do it for this half-year of 2010. 
I'll be writing a Game of the Year blog similar to the one I did last year. 
 
I hope you all enjoyed reading!
Posted by foggel

Same here. When I heard Red Dead Redemption was GTA IV in the west, I lost interest quickly. The awkward controls, weird graphics and uninteresting characters made the perfect score from various media seem strange. After trying it at my brothers xbox it gained my interest just as fast. Bought it the next day :) And yes, John Marston is A LOT more likable. 
 
And my favorite must be ME2 as well. We might have the same taste in games, you and I. A little early to say though.

Posted by FlamingHobo
@foggel: Well, I can say that I like your taste thus far!
Posted by EpicSteve

It's been a slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow year for releases. But everything good that comes out is amazing.

Posted by Atlas

The sad thing about this year is that all the great games came out in the first half, and there's not so much to look forward to later in the year. The only games really on my radar are Brink, Fallout: New Vegas and Fable III.
 
So far my GOTY is Mass Effect 2, followed by BioShock 2 and Darksiders

Posted by SpiralStairs

Strange Journey is GOTY. 
 

Edited by ProfessorEss

Since I'm still heavy into the backlog of 2009 I haven't played most of what 2010 has to offer yet.
 
This far its:
1. Red Dead Redemption
2. Darksiders
3. Mass Effect 2
4. Just Cause 2
5. Transformers: War for Cybertron
 
Pretty sure Transformers will get knocked well off this list by the end of 2010.
Mass Effect will probably move up as I get closer to beating it.
I'm surprised at how high Darksiders still is and may end up staying.

Edited by Icemael

I've never understood why Mass Effect 2 got the praise it did. I think it's a great game and thoroughly enjoyed the 40 or so hours it took me to finish, but it's got some glaring issues.
 
The combat attempts to emulate Gears of War, but fails miserably; the lack of blind-fire gives the shooting a stiff, almost turn-based feel, the weapons aren't satisfying in the least, the level design is boring and the enemies fight with all the vigor and ferociousness of sluggish, mindless zombies. The way the game is structured makes the story feel really artificial -- shoot stuff, recruit character, shoot stuff, gain character's loyalty; rinse and repeat for every party member -- and the suicide mission Bioware hyped so much was about as risky as crossing a street when the light's green; if you gained all the characters' loyalty, bought every available ship upgrade and put any thought whatsoever into what task should be handled by what character, losing squad members was a non-issue (you might lose one if you're very unlucky, but that's it).
 
Oh well. It's still a much better game than the first Mass Effect; if Mass Effect 3 is as much of an improvement over 2 as 2 is over 1, I could see that game deserving the kind of praise 2 has gotten.

Posted by FlamingHobo
@EpicSteve said:
" It's been a slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow year for releases. But everything good that comes out is amazing. "
Yeah, I've found that also.  
 
@Atlas:  I'm interested in Brink and Fable III but not following New Vegas at all. I don't trust Obisidian you see.
 
@SpiralStairs said:
" Strange Journey is GOTY.    "
I don't play the Shin Megami Tensei games, unfortunately.
 
@ProfessorEss: Just how good is Darksiders? I followed it for a while and never did actually buy it.
Posted by arab_prince
@Icemael said:
" I've never understood why Mass Effect 2 got the praise it did. I think it's a great game and thoroughly enjoyed the 40 or so hours it took me to finish, but it's got some glaring issues.
 
The combat attempts to emulate Gears of War, but fails miserably; the lack of blind-fire gives the shooting a stiff, almost turn-based feel, the weapons aren't satisfying in the least, the level design is boring and the enemies fight with all the vigor and ferociousness of sluggish, mindless zombies. The way the game is structured makes the story feel really artificical -- shoot stuff, recruit character, shoot stuff, gain character's loyalty; rinse and repeat for every party member -- and the suicide mission Bioware hyped so much was about as risky as crossing a street when the light's green; if you gained all the characters' loyalty, bought every available ship upgrade and put any thought whatsoever into what task should be handled by what character, losing squad members was a non-issue (you might lose one if you're very unlucky, but that's it). Oh well. It's still a much better game than the first Mass Effect; if Mass Effect 3 is as much of an improvement over 2 as 2 is over 1, I could see that game deserving the kind of praise 2 has gotten. "
Amen brother. Mass Effect 2 certainly was an improvement to 1 but it frustrates me to see everyone say it is their favorite game of the year. I felt it was a very simple game, dare I say shallow. The repetitiveness of the missions/story bored me. The vastness of the universe still wasn't perfected in my eyes, and has a long way to go before it is. Either way. It was a solid game, but not spectacular. The Genophage was the most interesting part of that game, imo.
Edited by SpiralStairs
@FlamingHobo: Well, If you're ever interested in one I don't recommend starting with Strange Journey. I'm a huge fan of the series so Obviously I enjoy it, but it's weak compared to Persona 3 or Nocturne.
Posted by CitizenKane
@EpicSteve said:
" It's been a slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow year for releases. But everything good that comes out is amazing. "
Yeah, it has been a slow half year for bother games and movies.  At least we have had a couple of gems in each medium ( Mass Effect 2, Inception).  Hopefully it picks up in the second half and holiday season.
Posted by FlamingHobo
@SpiralStairs said:
" @FlamingHobo: Well, If you're ever interested in one I don't recommend starting with Strange Journey. I'm a huge fan of the series so Obviously I enjoy it, but it's weak compared to Persona 3 or Nocturne. "
I'll keep that in mind. :)
 
@CitizenKane:  So, Inception is as good as they say? Looks like I'll be taking a trip to the cinema shortly.
Posted by SpiralStairs

Seriously though what's so great about Mass Effect 2. I'm not trying to troll here or anything, but I haven't found anything about it that hasn't been done better in other games.

Posted by CitizenKane
@FlamingHobo: Yes, go see it ASAP.  It is absolutely incredible.
Edited by ProfessorEss
@FlamingHobo: You know, I never know what to say about Darksiders. I absolutely loved it. It's a well made, well playing Zelda-style game with a touch of God of War and an art style that really works for me. Linear, not exceptional in length and not particularly original but something about the sum of it's parts added up to a really fun game for me.
 
@SpiralStairs: Different people have different tastes I guess but for me Mass Effect is all about the world that is created, the characters that live within it and the story that's written around it. However, as you have a Metal Gear avatar, I'm guessing our definitions of what constitutes good writing is VASTLY different.
Edited by Bobby_The_Great

I'd say: 
  1. Mass Effect 2 
  2. Red Dead Redemption 
  3. Splinter Cell Conviction 
  4. God of War 3 
  5. Darksiders 
  6. Bayonetta 
  7. Heavy Rain 
  8. FF XIII 
  9. Blur 
10. Alan Wake 
11. 3d Dot Heroes 
12. Bioshock 2 
13. Just Cause 2 
14. Modnation Racers  
 
I had a lot of fun with all these games, so I wouldn't say it's been a slow year at all.
Posted by FlamingHobo
@Icemael: @arab_prince: @SpiralStairs: The main reason that I love Mass Effect so much is the reason that I love the majority of BioWare games. They create an interesting universe filled with interesting and likable characters, as well as developing a good storyline. Mass Effect 2 introduced me to some of the most likable characters that I have come across for a long time. There are games which offer you the choice to free-roam a certain area, in this case The Normandy, and talk to your crew members and in Mass Effect 2 I really wanted to do it because I wanted to find out more about these interesting characers.
 
While there are a few exceptions to characters I actually enjoyed talking to ( Jack, Jacob) the majority of them had well written lines and a good amount of depth to them. This was the reason that I was actually very careful to make sure that none of them died during the Suicide mission. So much so, that I went back and re-made one of my choices to ensure that each and every one of them survived.
 
I compeltely understand what some of you have said about the combat being clunky and attempting to emulate Gears of War a little too much. However, it doesn't bother me so much as I play Mass Effect to explore the universe that I've been presented with and I enjoy doing so.
Posted by SpiralStairs
@FlamingHobo: I like Bioware's other games, so I wanted to like ME but the characters just get on my nerves. I think it's also the way the dialogue is delivered. I don't need every line to be fully voiced, sometimes It's better to just let the player read information.
 
I dunno, that's just my opinion.
Posted by FlamingHobo
@SpiralStairs said:
" @FlamingHobo: I like Bioware's other games, so I wanted to like ME but the characters just get on my nerves. I think it's also the way the dialogue is delivered. I don't need every line to be fully voiced, sometimes It's better to just let the player read information.  I dunno, that's just my opinion. "
I can see that it's your personal preference and I won't bash you for it but I like to have either every part of a character's dialog to be voiced or text. Some middle-ground is okay but I prefer it to be one or the other.