Best of 2009
TheGrumpyHatter: Best of 2009
TheGrumpyHatter: Best of 2009
It's probably telling that the game I played the most over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day was Shadow Complex. I find it hard to place exactly what it is that draws me in so much to this game. On the surface, it's simply a solid Metroidvania. But fact that every secret is visible on the map makes all of the collection seem so simple. Instead of running around the entire castle in Castlevania with some magical equipment that makes a noise when a secret wall is near, all you have to do is look around the screen a little. This draw of this collection mechanic was enough to make me start a new game immediately after the credits rolled the first time around.
I feel like a bit of a jerk for putting this so low, but Dragon Age simply suffers from the unfortunate circumstances of being a Christmas gift. I simply haven't had the time to get deep enough to really say whether the story and gameplay stay interesting. Everything I've heard says that is true, but obviously this isn't a list of the games I heard were pretty great. So far, I've found the dialogue and story entirely engrossing. The core of the combat is very solid, but I want to see how higher level characters can handle situations differently, because it seems it could get a little boring after so many hours.
Every time a new numbered Guitar Hero game comes out, I find myself surprised by how much of an improvement it is on the last. Just like World Tour's before it, this engine smooths out the rough edges of the franchise and adds quite a few conveniences, such as easy hyperspeed selection and party play. The song selection interface isn't great, but it works. As the name suggests, this is still a guitar centric game, and the guitar charts are the focus. It seems difficult guitar charts are more fun in this engine, while easy charts are more fun in the Rock Band engine. The singing is actually fun, a huge improvement over the last engine. I haven't played much of the drums, but what I have played continues to prove that an increased window to hit notes is silly on drums. I've also been pleasantly surprised by the songlist. It's weird, and in places esoteric, but it contains quite a few gems.
Let me be perfectly clear. This game has many, many problems. There are lots and lots of glitches. I doubt we're ever going to see the sound working perfectly. And when they do fix bugs, it takes a long time. I lost count of the number of kills I saw Evelyns get because towers wouldn't attack them while they were invisible. The "launch" was bungled horribly, and when they finally did put the store up it didn't really work. I endured animation bug that basically made Twisted Fate's Pick a Card worthless for a couple of weeks.
Nonetheless, this game is one of the most fun team multiplayer games I've ever played. The teamwork necessary to do well is probably daunting to some, but I have the luck to have a group of friends I regularly play with, and more importantly, voice chat with.
Use your keyboard!
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