By McBonJon 3 Comments
Heyo everyone, again. I put up my top ten picks for game of the year, but I figured I should also do another list of some games that deserve some notoriety. Without further ado, here are some honourable mentions:
"Need to Shoot Everything in Sight" Award
When I saw that Dodonpachi Resurrection was being released for consoles, I had my fingers crossed for a North America release. Unfourtanetly, that wasn't the case, but Rising Star Games came in and saved the day by adding NTSC support for their release. The craziness that is known by this series remanis intact, but the beauty with this entry is how the game is more accessible and finely balanced. The scoring system is one that keeps players on their toes and can lead to some insane combos and high scores on the leaderboards. This is easily one of the top games for this genre and the best shmup that I've played in a while now. Here's hoping for another Dodonpachi game or even Akai Katana Shin coming out in North America.
"I Feel Dirty for Playing This" Award
I've heard of visual novel games, but have not played a lot of them. The first time I encountered this type of game was the Story Mode from Blazblue: Calamity Trigger. I went into this game with no knowledge at all and I have to say, this is not what I was expecting. The main thing that I took away from this game was the interaction with the girls that you talk to. Those moments, along with the story, were all well written and made me see what was going to happen next. Since this is a hentai game, there has to be sex scenes in it, I suppose. I guess they were good, but I'm not one to comment on that kind of stuff. I've heard that there is a sequel for this game and I'd like to see that localized. Now this makes me feel both guilty and dirty for wanting that.
"Should have made the list, but didn't" Award
I didn't include this game on my top ten list because I didn't play enough of the game to make a decision. As of this writing, I have played some more of the game, and I have to say, I'm thoroughly impressed. I'm not a fan of MMORPG's, with the only one that I've played is Guild Wars (if that can be considered an MMORPG). This game is the amalgamation of a strong single player RPG like Knights of the Old Republic, but expanding that into the online world like World of Warcraft. The big difference here is that the game gives players a focus from the start and doesn't let up. The game can be completed solo if players choose to or participate with others to do group quests. I plan to play this game for a while and applaud Bioware for this.
"Stories are Important" Award
Atlus is a company that has yet to disappoint me with their releases, along with Aksys. Catherine is a game that I wanted to play for the story and what a story it was. This game proves that there can be mature and intricate stories told in this type of media. Vincent's journey through this game, trying to deal with both Katherine and Catherine, is well told and makes one wonder if the decision that was made is the right one. This does make me think about how faithful can one be in this situation and love isn't superficial. Some have said that this game is just smut (that was just looking at the cover), but looking past that and digging deeper into the game, there's an experience that must be experienced by all.
"Crazy, Stupid, and Dumb, but Entertaining" Award
This game has the potential to be a complete failure and derivative, like Duke Nukem Forever. However, where Duke fell into that trap, Garcia managed to avoid with grace. Shadows of the Damned proved to be something funny and fun in the process. The game just seems to be another third person shooter with some crazy demons and stuff, with a weird story. With this being a Suda 51 game, what more is to be expected from that man? After finishing the game (a few times, to be honest), I can say that this is perhaps the best game that the man has produced. Garcia "Fucking" Hotspur is one of the best characters that I've seen in a game and Johnson is a fun sidekick, next to Wheatley.
"Wish I Spent More Time With" Award
I have never seen any of the anime or read the manga for this, but after playing this game, Bleach has my interest. The game plays like any hack n slash, similar to God of War III or even Dynasty Warriors 7. I'm not a huge fan of these types of games, but this managed to be fun. The difference here is that the game manages to strike a balance between slaughtering all enemies in sight, but has enough depth and upgrades to keep players busy. The look of the game is really solid and has more of the anime vibe behind it. The game uses the same visual style like Tales of Vesperia. I only rented this game for a few days and took it back. I should have bought this and now I'm on the hunt for a copy.
Other nominees: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
"Wrestling Games can be Fun" Award
I'm not a fan of wrestling games at all. The last one I played was WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2007 and that was just meh. After playing WWE All Stars, this game shows that wrestlers don't have to be complex to play. The developers take a fighting game approach, which makes sense since Sal Divita (the producer) worked on Mortal Kombat 3. This approach makes the game more accessible and fun to play, while leaving a layer of depth underneath for players to discover. My favourite mode in this game has to be Fantasy Warfare. This mode puts Legends against Superstars with some interesting results. There are some that work better than others, but was fun no doubt. For the next WWE simulation, I think these guys should work on that.
"Classics that are Still Awesome" Award
The original Descent: Freespace was one of the best space flight simulators that I played back in the day. I never got a chance to spend a lot of time with the sequel due to other games out at the time. After finally getting my hands on Freespace 2 (there has been a 12 year wait, woah), I wished I did spend more time with this. The game has an excellent pace to it along with smooth control and fun space battles. The game feels more refined than the first game in almost every way possible. This makes me sad that there won't be another Freespace game since I would like to see this series return, but Volition already has Saint's Row to rely on. I would like to see another game, but I'm not holding my breath.
"The Other Fighting Game" Award
I've been a fan of Mortal Kombat since Mortal Kombat 3 the Sega Genesis. The last few entries in the franchise were all fine, but nothing spectacular or something to write to home about. After the resurgence of fighting games in 2008, thanks to Street Fighter IV, the time was right for Mortal Kombat to return. What has been done here is a different vision of what this franchise is and has been modernized for the current era. The fighting is really well balanced, while also bringing all the best characters from the first three games and wrapping that up in well executed Story Mode. I'm glad to see this franchise return and wish for all the best to come from NetherRealm Studios.
Other nominees: Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition
"How could this happen?" Award
Dragon Age: Origins was one of the best RPG's that I played in a while. The game gave me the vibe of Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn and Planescape: Torment, which are considered some of the best RPG's for the PC. The direction that was taken with Dragon Age II was alright, but Bioware seemed to appeal to more of the console players than stick with what worked. The game is more button masher than more strategic, also the game's story was just not well put together. Each time, the game would build up to a great moment and then just drop it. They did leave the fans hanging and I hope that this isn't repeated for the third game. One suggestion is keep the combat mechanics from the second game for the consoles and use the mechanics from the first game for PC.
"This Game Shouldn't Exist" Award
To quote the quick look for the game "Did you guys know that Postal III came out last year?" The fact is, the game did come out last year, I did play it and I regret doing that. I liked Postal 2 when it came out back in the day. Back then, times were different and my idea for enjoyment was somewhere else. Maybe that's why I liked Postal 2. There were a few moments that were alright, but this game is just a waste of time and effort. While I did like Duke Nukem Forever, Postal III is just broken and not completely funny.
Other nominees: Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3