Best of 2010
Luke: Best of 2010
Luke: Best of 2010
Mass Effect 2 is my #1 favorite game of 2010. I actually played the original Mass Effect right before part 2, as I had never played Mass Effect previously, and was just blown away from the start. I then continued-on to play Mass Effect 2 directly after and I will never be the same.
I played through Mass Effect 2 twice, through all 3 DLC packs, and on the hardest "Insanity" difficulty. Doing everything I could, playing through both Renegade and Paragon choices. Unlocking all 59 Achievements along the way. I soaked-in everything I possibly could with Mass Effect 2. It was also the game that contained some of my favorite characters (even though Pigsy from Enslaved is perhaps my favorite character of the year period... shout-out to Enslaved!). From Thane to Mordin, Seth Green to Martin Sheen, the whole cast and in-game crew of Mass Effect 2 was stellar!
The Mass Effect series is now one of my top 5 favorite video game franchises of all time, right up there with Mario, Zelda, Chrono, and Disgaea.
The ending of Red Dead Redemption blew my mind. I don't think any other game has ever pulled-off a more finely crafted ending, in the history of video games. The fact that you don't even see the game's Title Card until the very last screen just adds to the class that is Red Dead Redemption.
It was honestly really tough for me to choose Red Dead Redemption vs. Mass Effect 2 as my #1 favorite game of the year for 2010. It's just that the all bugs and glitches of Red Dead Redemption brought it down a notch, when looking at it in comparison.
Regardless, Red Dead Redemption is an experience like no other and made me feel things in a way no game ever has. Welcome to Mexico anyone? The variety that Red Dead Redemption gives the player is unsurpassed. John Marston was also such a bad ass!
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is 3D platforming perfection. No other platformer compared to the original Super Mario Galaxy, but Super Mario Galaxy 2 appeared and just blew the lid off. Super Mario Galaxy 2 adds so many fresh ideas to the already sweet formula, it just made me a really happy dude. Yoshi also coming along for the ride just adds to the already amazing package.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 also had one of those crazy good easter egg moments, where it leaves the gamer in awe once they realize what's going-on. Throwback Galaxy... need I say more!?
I don't think I stopped smiling one time while playing it. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the best 3D platformer of all time.
Oh, Bayonetta. You so crazy! So bat-shit Japanese fucking nuts crazy! Bayonetta came out of no where and just destroyed my mind, which I think I'm still recovering from. It has to be the single most crazy thing ever put-out in video game form, EVER (I am planning on playing Vanquish in the next couple of months and will compare). I can't even explain it, Bayonetta just needs to be played (just not played in-front of wives, kids, or girlfriends).
Beyond the Japanese showing us how insane they are by making Bayonetta, it has some of the best third person action game controls. The Witch Time ability really makes this thing special. It rewards skillful play, which is really important to me. I guess some people just like to button mash, like in God of War... and that's cool; but I personally want a game to rip me a new one if I don't have proper timing and play it skillfully. Bayonetta excels beyond any other game in the genre before it.
What else can be said about the best third person action game ever made? I guess just forget about Devil May Cry or God of War, Bayonetta is the new best. Play it and prepare to get your mind melted!
Super Meat Boy is the most enjoyable old school ass kicking that I have had the honor of having, in a long time. Seriously, I don't think I've been more frustrated and pissed-off since trying to beat N(plus), and before that, the days of the NES back in the late 80's / early 90's.
Super Meat Boy brought back the nostalgic days, when games were unforgivably difficult, but it's not cheaply difficult like in the old 8-bit days. Super Meat Boy is brought-up to the standards of today. It has such tight controls that it's 100% the player's fault when they die. The game is completely skill based, unlike the NES games of yore when it could just be that the games had control issues, screen flickers, or bugs that made them difficult by nature. Due to this, Super Meat Boy is one of the most rewarding experiences that someone can have while playing a video game. The feeling of achievement you get when you finally pass that nearly impossible level is just so good.
I could probably just go on record here and now, and say that Super Meat Boy is the best 2D platforming game ever made. And yes, I did play Limbo; I played Limbo for 2 days, completed it all except for the final Achievement, and never picked-it-up again. Super Meat Boy is where it's at!
What can I say, it's StarCraft but better. I thoroughly enjoyed the Single Player Campaign of StarCraft II, where I played straight through the normal 26 Missions on Hard difficulty, but did unfortunately find that the ending was a bit short; even though it did the trick. But beyond that, where I spent most of my time and found the most fun was with the online multiplayer component, even though the ass kickings got progressively worse over time.
StarCraft II, no matter how good a game it is, it does require dedication. Most the people that play StarCraft II, that is the ONLY game that they play. Unfortunately for me, I'm wishy-washy and like to play tons of games. But that doesn't mean that StarCraft II wasn't a nice romp for a good couple of months. StarCraft II has got to be, arguably, the most polished Real Time Strategy game ever made.
From this day forward, I will admire StarCraft II from afar and watch it become the single highest held pedigree of competitive sports within the video gaming sector, for years to come.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was definitely the best reboot of the year (and yes, I did purchase Sonic Colors, thank you very much). Lords of Shadow, much like Bayonetta, again wins over games like God of War and Dante's Inferno as it also rewards skillful play. The synchronized blocking component I found super satisfying and it's a skill that needs to be honed to survive Knight (Hard) and Paladin (Super Hard) difficulties (which, I'm still working on my Paladin play-through now).
But really, above all, the most influential reason Castlevania: Lords of Shadow makes my list is because of the atmosphere and story. It had one of the most memorable moments in gaming in 2010, and perhaps I'd go so far as to say the decade (maybe beyond). Between Lords of Shadow, Bayonetta, and Red Dead Redemption, 2010 had some of the most awesome moments in all of gaming history. I love endings like this and Lords of Shadow's was phenomenal.
I used to really be into fighting games. Even in 2009, I was a big fighter, but come 2010 I haven't really been keeping-up with the genre. But my few months with Super Street Fighter IV were pure bliss!
Since 2008, I hadn't really taken to Street Fighter IV (Japanese Arcade Edition). Even in 2009 when released on the consoles, bigger and badder, I was still more into BlazBlue. BlazBlue, I found at the time, was the more technical modern 2D fighting game, of which I went on to rank pretty highly online and also unlock every single Achievement. So, why the change of heart?
Super Street Fighter IV is basically balanced for the most part, which BlazBlue still isn't to this day, but beyond that Super Street Fighter IV is just a joy to play. I had some really fun times with it and made a ton of friends playing online. The community aspects and mainstream acceptance of Super Street Fighter IV wins-out over BlazBlue (as well as it's update BlazBlue: Continuum Shift). Again, not to mentioned Super Street Fighter IV is fairly balanced in comparison, even though BlazBlue is still more for the higher-level player.
If you're playing the quintessential 2D fighting game of the modern generation, you're playing Super Street Fighter IV. However, Street Fighter III: Third Strike is still my favorite fighting game of all time.
I'm pretty much done with First Person Shooters. I'm just so bored of the genre that I can't play them anymore. With that said, Halo: Reach is my send-off to the genre but also one of the best games I played in 2010.
With Halo, I usually just play through the main story (on Heroic (Hard) difficulty!) and then go online for a couple of weeks, and with Reach it was no different; but it also was the best 2 weeks I could have hoped for. Halo: Reach had a great story, some shocking moments, really fun multiplayer modes, and a great ending. I really liked how they finished it (or is it started it?).
The multiplayer actually had me playing with my brother online. We never play games together much, since all he ever plays is FPS, but that was pretty cool and made me happy.
Halo: Reach is the best game in the Halo series to me (even though I never did play ODST) and will be the only FPS I'll probably ever play online (while it still has people playing it, before Halo 4 is released), if for any reason I ever need to scratch that itch.
It was a tough choice for my #10 favorite game for 2010, between Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies and Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver, but after much deliberation, Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver was the clearer choice for me.
It may just be tradition (or maybe even religion) but it's been a requirement in my life, for the longest time, to sink hundreds of hours into catching hundreds of Pokémon. I don't think I will ever get enough of Pokémon and HeartGold/SoulSilver did not disappoint.
All the things the game lets you do after defeating the Elite Four was a nice surprise, which surpassed all the previous games in the franchise. Beyond that, just like with Pokémon Diamond/Pearl, Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver was a great relationship builder for my girlfriend and I. We always have so much fun together trading, battling, and talking about Pokémon!
Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver is the best Pokémon game ever released, but it may not last too long when Pokémon Black/White is released in March of 2011. Man, I just love me some Pokémon!
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