Best of 2009
Rhaknar: Best of 2009
Rhaknar: Best of 2009
Not since WOW have I spent so much time on a single game... 2 level 50 characters 2 mid-30s, and I never got bored. I love the look of the game, the fiction (even with the paper thin story), the mmo-style quests and loot perfectly adapted to single player, but mostly, its gameplay. There's something about the gameplay in Borderlands that just makes me want to play it over and over again, and even tho I loved and finished Fallout 3, i wish it had controled like this. The 4 classes actually feel quite different, and you can't really play them exactly the same, even tho they can all use the same weapons. And of course we can't talk about Borderlands without talking about the loot. While it may not have the "gazillion" guns they said (at least visually), it's hard to not get addicted to picking up every piece of loot that drops to see if you get something better than what you are using, and they all feel great to shoot, which goes back to how good this game feels playing. I just wish the DLC had new guns, but that isn't the main game's fault, which is what we are talking about. In a sea of generic first person shooters, Borderlands rises above as something unique. It's by far the best new IP of 2009, and I can't wait to see where they go with the sequel(s) now that the game is a hit. It's not the prettiest game of the year, or even the "best" game of the year...but it is MY game of the year :D
Naughty Dog, the creators of is probably my favorite action adventure / platform trilogy ever, Jax & Dexter, made its PS3 debut with Uncharted instead of continuing the Jax series, and... it was alright I liked the first Uncharted but thought it was a bit bland, if technically amazing. The sequel tho completely blew me away. Let's just get this out of the way, yes the game looks amazing, but the funny thing is that's not even what impressed me about it, not even close.Amazing set pieces, great story, AWESOME voice acting (Nolan North is this industriy's MVP by far), its just a kick ass ride from start to finish. It also has some of the best characters i've seen in a videogame, and Drake is one of the best heroes (anti-heroes?) in recent memory. That being said, I do think some of the comments about it are a bit over the top, and it has some little problems (as amazing as it looks, some of the animations, mostly involving jumping, look downright ugly), the shooting is improved but still feels slightly "off" sometimes, and its a bit on the short side. None of these keep it from being one of the best games in recent years, and probably the GOTY if i was going with my head instead of my heart... but i'm not, so its number 3 :P
I loved the first Assassin's Creed. There, I said it. Even with all it's flaws, and blatant repetition, I loved that game. It looked amazing and it played great. It was also very different, which is always a huge plus for me. So you could say i'm a bit biased towards Creed 2. It took everything right about the first game and made it better, and took out (almost) everything wrong. One of the best sequels I can remember (like Uncharted 2), Ubisoft pretty much heard the fans complaints and made what probably should have been the first game. Bigger and better, with tons more personality and story than the first, and especially TONS more variety, AC2 takes the fiction to a new level that just makes me want to play the third game now, and not in 2 years (or whenever they release it). Oh and Ezio kicks Altair's ass... that's right, I said it!
It's official. I now love western rpgs A LOT more than JRPGs. Another awesome game from Bioware (and Mass Effect 2 is out soon!), I'm starting to think if these guys can do no wrong. Amazing story (if a bit rushed at the end) with 6 different and compeling "origins", or beginnings, its one of the few rpgs that after finishing in 50 hours... I feel like playing again. Not more, just again, with a different character, make different decisions and see what happens. The gameplay worked great (I played on 360 and didn't have a problem, but I admit its probably much better on PC), and it was actually challenging most times. But the best thing about Dragon Age for me was how fucked up everything in this worild was. It's bloody, violent, mean...even the good guys kill without any guilt... it feels more like war than many proper war games. It's also very political, especially the dwarf stories, which really intrigued me. Its easily the best rpg i've played in years (better than mass effect for me, and I loved that game), I hope this isn't the last we've seen of this universe, because I cant wait to see what else bioware does with it. In the meantime, I'll probably play it again with a melee class this time!
Best Batman game ever...I guess that's not really that impressive a feat. But what about one of the best action adventures of not only the year, but in many years? I won't say best superhero game, because the Marvel Capcom fighters hold a special place in my heart, but its up there. Rocksteady just nailed it, making you feel like you are playing Batman, and not just a batman videogame. The way he walks, fights, sneaks around...the gadgets he uses, the villains he faces, it's all so authentic and especially taken seriously, which not even movies most times do. Great gameplay, great graphics, good length and a ton of secrets to discover for the completists, Arkham Asylum is one of those games that years from now i'll go back and think "damn, this was awesome". My only complaint? the ending feels rushed, after 90% of the game having pretty much perfect pacing. But overall, an amazing game that just happens to be a Batman game.
One of the best comic book games that isn't even a comic book, InFamous makes you feel like a superhero like few other games can (even tho Cole is more of a anti-hero if anything). Beautiful graphics, a huge open world city to play around in, almost perfect gameplay (Cole's magnetic personality drove me a bit nuts sometimes when trying to do the climbing), great voice acting, one of the best stories this year, 20 hour campaign AND you can do all this while choosing to be good or evil (changing not only the story, but Cole's look and powers) and you have one of the best games on the PS3 so far. In a genre that is quickly becoming over crowded this generation, Infamous manages to be not only quite different from the rest (it's actually more of a third person shooter disguised as a superhero game), but better than the rest. If i have to say something negative about it is that some of the side missions are a bit repetitive, but thats the nature of the beast with games like this, and at least Infamous manages to have a lot more variety than most open world games. Sucker Punch knocked it out of the Park on their first try on the system, which begs the question... Infamous 2 next, or a stab at a PS3 Sly Racoon? Hell, give me both, because if Infamous is the standard they are going for on the PS3, sucker Punch joins Naughty Dog and Insomniac as some of the best developers around these days
Man how far downloadable games have come. A few years ago this game could have been released in retail at full price and nobody would complain... hell, it could come out today and nobody would complain! A straight up "metroidvania" for the new century, you can tell that chair and epic are huge fans of both those classic games. This is some of the best 2D platform/shooting action around, with beautiful graphics, great gameplay and a cool story, all backed up by the metroid or symphony of the night style gigantic map with dozens and dozens of items to collect, areas you can't reach until you have a specific weapon or item, and even shortcuts to discover. add to this a lenghty campaign that clocks around 8 hours (much less if you discover the shortcuts in later playthroughs) and you got one of the best deals ever at 20bucks (actually its less these days!). Oh and did I mention that Nolan North voices the main character? Or that you get a bunch of challenge rooms to play after you complete the story? One of the most addictive games this year, I just HAD to get 100% in it, and I usually don't care about that in games. Shadow Complex 2 now please Epic!
And the biggest surprise of the year for me is DJ Hero. I used to be (well still am I guess) a huge fan of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but the last few years i've grown bored of them and haven't even gotten the latest versions (the last GH game I got was GH3). But since I do love those games, I was craving for something new in the genre, and DJ Hero fit that perfectly. It looks similar in videos, but it plays completely different, which I love. The controler feels great, even if it takes a bit to get used to (as does the game itself), the soundtrack is amazing, making me love songs that usually I would hate (gwen stephany mixed with gorrilaz sounds amazing), and when you get down to it, the game is simply FUN. It basically takes me back to when I first played Guitar Hero and I just want to play more and more of it, even if I'm not that good. One of the best new IPs in years (its up there this year with Borderlands), and truly a great surprise for me (I wasn't even going to get it, a friend of mine gave me for Christmas...and now i love this friend a bit more :P), even if it's a bit stripped of features.
The Ratchet games on the PS3 remind me of 2008's Dead Space... in the sense they are games that I can't say anything bad about. They are just well made games in every way. They aren't the best games in the world, but I always feel happy I played them. A Crack In Time is another great action adventure from Insomniac with the same gameplay and visuals you've come to expect from them. In fact, if there is something bad to say about it, is that nothing really has changed from 2 years ago. the game looks and feels pretty much the same as Tools Of Destruction, so its hard to say which is the better game. Actually scratch that, the awesome time puzzles while you control Clank make A Crack In time the better game, and in my opinion their best game so far. Great visuals, great voice acting, great gameplay...great guns :D. It finishes the Future storyline, and while I want more of this quality Ratchet, I wonder what else they can do with this series. But then again, if they release another one as good as the previous 2, im sure it will sneak in my top10 of whatever year it comes out in :)
...and by the way, another thing these PS3 Ratchet games do is make me think how amazing a PS3 Jax game would be...are you listening Naughty Dog? I love Drake and all, but PLEASE go back to Jax!
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