By makari 1 Comments
Alright, so the year isn't quite over yet, but it may as well be. My budget for the rest of the year is going toward not ending up broke after new years like last year (I can drink a hell of a lot on a special occasion, especially with a 24 hour bottle shop nearby), so my game purchases for the year have hit the goodbye 2009 brick wall.
I'd like to start by drawing your attention to my 2009 games of the year list. This isn't as much shameless promotion (oh, who am I kidding) as it is a precursor to what this blog is going to contain. Now, user generated game of the year lists can vary a lot, and not just because of personal tastes. You can play tons of great games over the year, and not every single one can make your own personal cut. There are some games that come out that people just simply can't afford to play even if they wanted to. There are some that they can acknowledge are probably really great games, but are just not their cup of tea. This blog is about putting some perspective on my top 10 list by running through some games in my collection of 2009 releases that deserve some honorable mentions, as well as some games I never got around to.
So without further ado and all that jazz.
2009 Collection Honorable Mentions
- Infamous and Prototype
These two games get lumped together a lot, and here in my blog is no exception. Both are cool in their own ways and both have little things that I wish they did better. These things are totally interchangeable. The tightness of the combat in Infamous > the loose mayhem of Prototype, the freedom of movement in Prototype > the slow, methodical building climbing of Infamous, and others beside. They're like the Gatekeeper and Keymaster of 2009: if these two games got together and made something with the best of both, bad things would happen to the fabric of reality.
- Splosion Man
The doughnut song gets a smile out of me every time. I keep meaning to go back to Splosion Man and actually finishing it, but it will have to wait for 2010. I still need to polish off Dragon Age, Zelda: Spirit Tracks and Brutal Legend before I get back to some single-button frustration monger (and I mean that in the nicest way possible).
- Bionic Commando
Say what you like about Bionic Commando, but this is one of those games that you either love or hate. Personally, I had too much fun swinging around and popping dudes with my shotgun in midair before landing on and arm-whipping them off cliffs before ripping pilots out of mechs with my huge mechanical arm to care about such petty things as linearity, lacklustre shooting, and not-so-invisible walls. Also, the ending is fucking badass.
- Dawn of War 2
I'm a Warhammer nerd from way back, and as a huge fan of the original Dawn of War, Dawn of War 2 was simply a must-buy for me. The multiplayer portion was a ton of fun, but the single player sort of lost me after a while. I still load it up every now and then to play some matches before shutting it down, knowing that if it's a couple of hours of great RTS I need, that DoW2 will always have my back.
2009 Collection NQR Awards (the NQR stands for Not Quite Right!)
- Tekken 6
Tekken 6 is a great fighting game. It re-sparked my group of IRL friends' love of Tekken and our weekly get togethers that consist mainly of Tekken, copious amounts of beer, and some variety of junky takeaway. Why is it in the NQR list? Because the single player portion of Tekken 6's home version is absolutely attrocious. The gameplay is terrible, the endings you're rewarded with are mostly bad, and the costume stuff I couldn't care enough about to grind the billions of yen or zenny or rupees or wtfever it is to unlock even a few of the costume pieces I like for my mains.
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
Whoa whoa wait a minute here... A self confessed Nintendo fanboy from way back bagging out a game made by Nintendo? Sadly, Spirit Tracks is the game in the series where I've had my first major Jeff Gerstmannism (not to be confused with Jeff Gerstmannasm). Remember the 8.8? The 'no chainsaws' gag? Well, you probably don't remember the no chainsaws gag, but in any case, Spirit Tracks is a good game. It's just this time around, the thing that Nintendo put into the game to make it feel less samey than the others, the things that usually work to keep the games fresh and interesting and enjoyable, this time that thing just didn't grab me at all, and halfway through I'm sort of looking at it as 'hey, it's a Zelda game,' only in not as positive light as I previously have. The train... I could blow that whistle all day (that's what she said), but for God's sake don't make me go right back to where I started when your goddamn insta-gibbing trains that move faster than me even when I'm moving full speed forward decide to trap me between two bits of track. UGGGH!
- Brutal Legend
Like the metal it is inspired by, it starts off a fist-pumping, headbanging, crowd-roaring thrillride of pure awesome, but as the night wears on, you realise you can no longer feel your neck muscles, you've lost half your piercings, you are bleeding from cuts under your eyes where some dude elbowed you and your voice comes out as if you have hit puberty all over again. You press on, insisting to yourself it's still awesome, but in reality you know you're gonna be feeling it in the morning.
- Aion: Tower of Eternity
I'm too smart a man to be burned by the over-hype of a new MMO hailed to be the next best thing since Nazareth Online, but Aion is actually playable. It has a lot of problems, a lot of core problems than many would not even give a second look , but like any MMO, it isn't really the game itself but the company you keep that makes it enjoyable. I can't really recommend the game to anyone without having to roll off quite a large list of caveats , and because you don't have the same friends as I do. I guess maybe if you had similar kinds of friends and a hardwired tolerance to heavy RPG grind after years of playing JRPG's, Diablo, Phantasy Star Online and a mess of other terrible free2play MMORPGs, then maybe, just maybe, you might find some enjoyment out of Aion in the latter stages of the game.
2009 Games I Wish I Had Played
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
The obvious choice. When there's so much buzz about a game that a whole mess of usually decent people will actively offend you for not playing it yet, you know you're missing out on something special.
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade
I don't even know if it's even out here in Australia yet. It makes me somewhat like a baby ailuropoda melanoleuca that is unhappy.
- Punch Out!
Doooo do doot doot dodo dah doooo-do, doooo-do, dooda dooda dooooo ...
- Half Minute Hero
I don't have a PSP, and I'm not about to go out and buy one for one game, even if it does look like the most awesome RPG to come out since for-goddamn-ever.
In closing, it's been a damn good year for games hasn't it? Oh, I almost forgot!
Closing Comments And Loose Ends
- Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 5 is a fantastic end to a great series. Final ' boss fight' should satisfy your nostalgia, and the final twists make me almost unable to wait for a second season. But dude, new Sam and Max is awesome news and will totally tide me over until then.
- I recently bought the full series box set of Monkey. Yeah that's right, Monkey-fucking-magic. I feel very sorry for the people in America and Canada (and anywhere else) who have never been introduced to this absolute gem of a series. Finding out that it has never aired in the Americas sorta made me a little guilty for owning my own little piece of Japanese kung-fu television history.
- Dragon Age Origins is pretty damn awesome. I could play the female city elf rogue origin story over and over and over. Slaying that bigot human lord is satisfying every single time.