Games I Have Played In 2010

This is a list of all the games I've played and completed in 2010. By "completed", in most cases I mean that I've finished the storyline of the game's single player. There are a few exceptions - games like Viva Pinata, which have no discernible end, are included on the list if I've spent a considerable amount of time with them this year. Much like the 'Games I Have Played In 2009' list, I've included some brief thoughts on my experience with each game. In addition, I've also noted down completion dates for all of the games.

List items

  • Finished on January 8th. Chinatown Wars is the best attempt yet at recreating the Grand Theft Auto experience with a handheld console in mind, with a pick-up-and-play approach to the gameplay. Having played the PSP version, I can honestly say it looks amazing and runs incredibly smoothly. The missions are also some of the most inventive that the franchise has seen since San Andreas, although some of the touch-screen controls haven't translated to the PSP very well. The story was also somewhat lacklustre, but it doesn't impact too much on the overall package, which is well worth checking out.

  • Finished on January 22nd. The first of two Half-Life expansions that I played back-to-back, Opposing Force was definitely the superior of the two. Longer, harder, full of riveting combat and engaging puzzles, and with a wealth of inventive new weaponry on offer, Opposing Force felt like all the best moments of the original Half-Life squashed into an expansion pack with no filler. Dare I say it, I might even have enjoyed it more than its predecessor.

  • Finished on January 23rd. The second of two Half-Life expansions that I played back-to-back, Blue Shift was without a doubt the weaker add-on. It was painfully short and lacking in innovation, downfalls that were only amplified by playing it hot on the heels of Opposing Force. Blue Shift's saving grace was its great implementation of puzzles, many of which harked back to the original Half-Life and brought all the nostalgia flooding back. Put simply though, the game failed to cover any new ground, and suffered for it.

  • Finished on January 31st. With Final Fantasy VII holding a particularly special place in my gamer's heart, I was a little apprehensive coming into Crisis Core. 50 hours later, as the credits rolled, my apprehensions were absolved. Crisis Core is the best part of Square Enix's Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. The characters are true to their established personalities, the story starts off contrived but manages to find its feet in the end, and the combat system is a blast to get stuck into and experiment with.

  • Finished on February 14th. I spent quite a lot of time from the end of January through to mid-February with Viva Pinata. Over the three or so weeks it spent in my 360, I crafted a pretty gorgeous garden, and managed to attract a lot of Pinata into it. I hit a wall shortly after reaching Level 50, though, and decided it would probably be best to put the game down and move on to other titles.

  • Finished on February 17th.

  • Finished on March 7th, finished The Secret Armory of General Knoxx on March 15th.

  • Finished on March 24th.

  • Finished on April 3rd.

  • Finished on April 13th.

  • Finished on April 20th. As my first ever point-and-click adventure game, The Secret of Monkey Island surprised me because I wasn't expecting it to be so entertaining. The humour has most definitely stood the test of time, and even though the visuals and music haven't, it doesn't really matter thanks to the improved aesthetics of the Special Edition. Granted, there were some overly complex puzzles that saw me running for the Hint option, but for the most part I found the game to be engaging, challenging, and side-splittingly funny.

  • Finished on May 9th, S-Ranked on November 23rd. A marked improvement over its predecessor in just about every possible way, with a larger, more beautiful sandbox filled with things to do and stuff to blow up. The highlight for me was the game's grapple-and-parachute gameplay mechanic, which offered a really fresh take on open-world navigation, not to mention some interesting combat possibilities. If I had to fault the game, it would be for its incredibly short main story campaign (lasting only seven missions). On the whole though, I really enjoyed my time with Just Cause 2, and I suspect I'll be returning to Panau multiple times throughout the year to cause even more chaos.

  • Finished on May 28th.

  • Finished on July 7th.

  • Finished on July 9th. Size Matters does a pretty great job overall of translating the series' gameplay to a handheld console. It looks great, controls very well, and is filled with the mix of entertaining combat and interplanetary exploration the series is known for delivering. It does have a few issues, though - some of Ratchet's moves feel a bit 'off' next to the console versions, and it's also painfully short, clocking in at a little over seven hours. Thankfully there's incentive for multiple playthroughs with lots of unlockables on offer.

  • Finished on July 26th.

  • Finished on August 15th.

  • Finished on August 18th.

  • Finished on August 28th. Mass Effect is a game that's exemplary in a lot of ways, even in spite of its myriad flaws. It looks amazing (most of the time), and the shooting mechanics were incredibly intuitive and a lot more responsive than I was expecting. The story was brilliantly realised through the game's dialogue system, and I loved being able to put my own imprint on the character of Shepard. It has some issues, notably the texture pop-in and framerate trouble, but nothing gamebreaking. I did encounter some clipping issues which forced me to reload a couple of times, but all in all the game was surprisingly hitch-free. I'm looking forward to taking my no-nonsense, alien-friendly Shepard through into Mass Effect 2 when I play it.

  • Finished on September 1st.

  • Finished on September 11th, finished Knothole Island on September 26th, finished See The Future on September 27th.

  • Finished on September 29th.

  • Finished on October 4th. Almost everything I liked about Dante's Inferno is countered by something I didn't like. The combat was a lot of fun, arguably even more so than the God of War games that it borrows so heavily from. This is offset by the puzzles, though, which feel lazy, uninspired filler. The game tells its story well, but it's a story that isn't really worth telling, and one that really butchers the source material. One thing I can't fault is the game's art direction, with every circle of Hell having its own distinct feel whilst also keeping the big picture cohesive.

  • Finished on October 21st.

  • Finished on October 31st. A lot of the features in this GameCube remake of the original Resident Evil seemed determined to make me hate it. The poor voice acting, the endless backtracking, the limited inventory, needing Ink Ribbons to save the game, and those damn Crimson Heads rank as just some of my complaints about this survival horror title. Despite all these shortcomings, though, there was something enchanting about REmake. The incredible aesthetics, the brilliant atmosphere, the taxing puzzles, the slowly unfolding story... All of this stuff dragged me deeper into the game than I ever thought I was going to go. Add all the little twists that turn the cliched, overdone plot into something a little more unique, and you have the recipe for one of my favourite gaming experiences of the year.

  • Finished on November 3rd.

  • Finished on November 11th.

  • Finished on December 1st.

  • Finished on December 8th.

  • Finished on December 20th.