Best of 2009
JoeMarsden: Best of 2009
JoeMarsden: Best of 2009
Games like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Neverwinter Nights are what makes PC gaming great. Who knows, without them, I may be spending most of my time on a console as opposed to spending 95% of my time on the PC like I am today. Dragon Age: Origins promised to be the 'spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate', so it was a must buy. That, and it looked damn good regardless. This game is so good that I don't think i'm even half way through playing it, and it gets my nomination for Game of the Year 2009. Stellar gameplay, story, characters, graphics, sound, music. Dragon Age has it all, and I can't wait to stop typing this list out and continue playing it.
The most anticipated title of 2009 did not let me down. A short but sweet single player story like it's predecessor, and the same old multiplayer that we loved from the first Modern Warfare - with its awesome multiplied by ten. This is one of those games you purchase for more than one platform, my first being the PC version, and the X360 version coming this Christmas. Modern Warfare 2 not only gave me the best shooter experience of the year, but also the best soundtrack and memorable moments to share with my friends than any other game. My only gripe is that Infinity Ward seemed to get a little trigger happy with their characters after the good reception they got from killing a player character off with a nuclear explosion in Call of Duty 4. Oh, and it the fact the single player ended was also a big bummer - buy this game, if you haven't already.
Being a big fan of the original Flashpoint, Dragon Rising was a highly anticipated title for me. Though the PC version had a buggy launch with nearly unplayable mutliplayer and the odd gameplay hitch, I keep coming back to Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising thanks to the powerful editor provided with the game that is helping to produce amazing user-created content for this game. Though the single-player story missions are short and linear compared to the original Flashpoint, I will continue to be Oscar Mike in Skira Island over the next year at the least.
Left 4 Dead PLUS. That's basically what Left 4 Dead 2 is. But don't get me wrong, i'm not by any means saying that all it feels like is an expansion to the first, or anything. Left 4 Dead 2 adds tiny improvements from the first game, as well as some slightly bigger ones, but it's still the four player cooperative experience I spent many a night playing last year for one reason - it's awesome. Throw in some great versus gametypes, and you'll find a lot of fun is to be had with this somewhat early second installment.
Though Borderlands loves the fact it can support cooperative games with a total of four players at once, I found myself playing Borderlands alone a lot of the time. Why? Because I wanted to play it a hell of a lot more than my friends did, until I got to the point where i'd severely out-leveled them and already finished my first playthrough by the time they were half way through. Borderlands is great fun, from it's wacky sense of humour, to it's graphical art style, and MMO-esque need for new gear and level-ups. Pity the ending is pretty disappointing.
This title sunk in sales for a few reasons, but it's name doesn't really help. Sure, people who know of the original Bionic Commando and it's re-make, Rearmed, will know exactly what this is about, but no one else will. Seriously under-developed characters, short length, and far too many "F-bombs" thrown into the mix make Bionic Commando a fairly average game - but I just had too much fun with it, and that's what games are about. I find myself going back to Bionic Commando because the swinging mechanic is perfect, and the combat is pretty enjoyable. Second only to Modern Warfare 2, this game also provided me with the best soundtrack of the year, that even warranted a purchase from me. Receiving generally good reviews, but terrible sales, Bionic Commando is doomed in terms of new content, and its brilliantly fun multiplayer is vastly under-populated nowadays, but it deserves this spot in my top ten of 2009. It's so rad.
This takes my pick of best XBLA title this year, as well as one of the best overall X360 games i've played this year. It's the mutant child of Castlevania and Metroid, which means lots of exploration and pick-ups. It also looks great for a "2.5D" game, and is a blast to playthrough again and again and again.
Now, i'm talking about the Special Edition here, if that wasn't obvious. All that can be said is that the original Secret of Monkey Island is a brilliant point-and-click adventure game, and holds the number one spot in many peoples top ten games of all time. A graphics, interface, and sound redux made this game a lot better than the first, and hey - you can even swap back to the original anytime you want and back again with the press of a button, if you're so inclined. Funny, puzzling, a good story, and just generally a blast to playthrough. Guybrush lives.
W-what...!? Rock Band 2 didn't come out in 2009, I hear you cry. No, it didn't. But Rock Band 2's aftermarket support is so fantastic that if you were to buy every new track available on the marketplace since it's release, you'd have more than another discs worth of content to strum, drum, and sing your way through with your friends. I still have people over to play this game, and we have the same amount of fun everytime we play - and that's a lot of fun. Also, Don't Stop Believin' by Journey.
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