Best of 2010
StarFox: Best of 2010
StarFox: Best of 2010
My favorite game of the year. Compelling characters, smoothing out of technical issues and an improved combat system made this game a clear step ahead of the original Mass Effect, despite being without the (admittedly cluttered) vast and interesting weapon improvement system and a less compelling story without an interesting villain. A great second chapter for the series.
Non-stop climax action made this game the best character action game I have ever played. The smooth combat and interesting timing system (both in Witch Time and combos) made the gameplay interesting and engaging, and the beautiful animations, vibrant environments, detailed monsters and stunning character models made the game a joy to the eyes. As divisive as the vehicle sections were I enjoyed the refreshing risks Platinum took in adding bizarre segments like these and loved the hell out of the crazy-ass motorbike segment. While collecting halos for the collectible items can become tedious, challenging yourself on the variety of difficulty levels never does. A joy to play, and a kick in the balls to Japanese game developers, showing them how it should be done.
Harmonix has delivered what is undoubtedly the diamond in the rough of rhythm games in the last few years. Rock Band 3 is the game I sunk the most hours into this year (it probably helped that I hadn't played another rhythm game so intensely for quite some time) with the basic progression system and more integrated use of 'goals' providing Achievement-like incentive to play some ridiculous challenges that I would have never attempted otherwise. I became so engrossed in the rewarding nature of the system that even when a LIVE bug forced me to delete my save data of the game with 218 million fans, I started a new band ('Batman Killer', replacing the retired 'Sheila and the Sherpas') and have made my way to 180 million fans all over again. Rock Band 3 is an enduring game that I am sure to play for years to come, with friends and solo, drunk and plain ol' sober.
Platinum Games really outdid themselves this year, living up to their well-earned reputation of quirky games that feel right and have a large emphasis on fun. Vanquish came seemingly out of nowhere and with little fanfare (dampened certainly by the '4 hour campaign' confusion) that likely led to this fast paced, action packed, smooth, bizarre and thoroughly Japanese (despite how Western-oriented it seems) third person shooter to be looked over by many gamers this year. This is a shame, as Vanquish provided the best take on the shooter this year. While Reach had a stellar story and stuck to the tried-and-true Halo formula and Black Ops stuck with their own brand of firepower that has gained them millions of players worldwide, Vanquish mostly ignored the third and first person trends that have been established in recent trends in favor of a faster pace and cleaner feel, and it paid off, with Vanquish emerging as the most thrilling and refreshing shooting experience of 2010.
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