Best of 2010
Shaanyboi: Best of 2010
Shaanyboi: Best of 2010
Of all the games here, Mass Effect 2 won me over with its gameplay, as much as its story. While its RPG roots seem to be downplayed compared to the original, the game never forgets that the genre is about character, storytelling and depth. I found myself loving every second of interaction I had with the kick-ass squadmates that acoompanied Shephard. The battles are grander, the writing is punchier, and while the story isn't as focused as the first game, your crew does more than a fine enough job of carrying the narrative. This is a game that pushes the medium forward.
I had a hard time thinking if this game deserved to be first. While Mass Effect 2 hit me on an emotional level, Mario Galaxy 2 grabbed me with just how purely fun it is, fine-tuning the first game's formula to a near-shine. I wasn't a fan of the first Galaxy, but I do respect it. But this game takes the concept, perfectly focuses and directs each level, and provides enough challenge that each star is so perfectly satisfying when earned. While the reality is that the changes from the first game are minor, the fact that Mario Galaxy 2 won me over so whole-heartedly in a way the first way couldn't, fixing exactly what needed to be tuned up, that is worthy of recognition. This is pure fun.
While ACII was a leap ahead of the first game, AC: Brotherhood is more of an incremental evolution. But it develops everything in just the right ways to matter. While this is essentially Grand Theft Renaissance, with the sheer amount of sidequests there are to do, the game still captures the feeling of the era beautifully. The additions made are smart and well-crafted. And I have yet to touch the miraculously positive multiplayer. Taking the concept of the game and finding just the right way to make it fit into a multiplayer context. Brotherhood is no pointless sidestory. This is a grand, full-blown chapter in the AC universe, and the franchise's best yet.
This is perhaps the best thing about Bayonetta; It knows it's a game. It knows the medium holds no limits to the imagination, and it takes that knowledge and runs with it. Amping up everything to 11, and turning it on its head, Bayonetta is pure crazy fun. On top of that though, the combat is near-perfect. Rather than just another button-masher, Bayonetta relies on precise timing, creating a skillfully crafted fighting system that this genre now needs to live up to. Throw in a bunch of in-jokes regarding Platinum's former work at Capcom and SEGA, and you have nothing short of an absolute blast. Bayonetta is insane, and it's loving every bit of it.
I simply couldn't put this game down. The puzzles are perfectly balanced and go from unassuming, non-threatening cakewalks, to devious mind-games from Hell itself. Perfect for portable play, trying to get 'Perfect' on all levels will absolutely consume you. While some Nintendo fan-service could've been fun, this is a GREAT puzzle game.
Enslaved confuses me. While I could complain about the strangely clunky feeling in the early-game combat, the glitches, the overly-scripted platforming, I was unable to put this game down. The reason is, I really really loved this game. The storytelling alone grabbed me and didn't want to let go. The great voice-work, the well-written characters, and the way the game never crams the world's backstory down your throat, I was truly enveloped in what was going on. Despite its glaring flaws as a game, Enslaved is absolutely a must-play experience. With or without a giant talking Andy Serkis.
This is actually on my list post-edit, since I didn't start it until Jan. 2nd. But that said, I was astonished with how much I enjoyed this game. Taking the Call of Duty feel, and adapting it to an old-school design, GoldenEye smartly presents a fun 'Bond' experience. The levels present enough options to go forward with a stealthy mind-set, or with guns blazing, and the enemy AI can present a solid challenge in the later levels. This is great modernization.
There is no other sequel this year that so perfectly incapsulates the phrase "What the first game should've been". Super Scribblenauts provides all the imagination, quirkiness, and sandbox-like joy promised in the first game, and lives up to its potential. While still rather easy, this game provides some great puzzles that rely entirely on your imagination. Add in some improved physics, better controls, and the addition of adjectives, Super Scribblenauts is totally 'super'.
No More Heroes 2 is just silly. It's insane, it's crazy, it's juvenile, and I love it. The random 8-bit minigames, the sheer insane scale of the boss-fights, the completely absurd story, nothing about this should be taken seriously. But then again, fun never should be.
War for Cybertron could've been awful. It could've been broken, it could've been clunky, it could've been boring. But it isn't. If you're someone who loved Transformers in the 80's, this is the game you've been waiting 23 years for. This is a game that's loaded with fan-service for Gen 1 Transformers fans, and while the actual story and moments in the campaign leave much to be desired, this puts the license to great use. On top of that, the multiplayer is fantastic, taking the Call of Duty-style leveling, and adding in the fact that you can now turn into a freakin' jet. Hell yes.
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