Best of 2010
Justin Meader's Top Games of 2010
Justin Meader's Top Games of 2010
Super Mario Galaxy 2 took the ideas and concepts from the first game and tweaked them to perfection. Each level is more fun than the last, and the constant jumping from planet to planet makes sure the action never gets tired or repetitive. All of this, combined with some of the most fun gravity mechanics I've ever seen and the addition of Yoshi make Super Mario Galaxy 2 my game of the year.
I love stabbing dudes! It never gets old. In almost complete opposition to the ultra-fast paced shooters of today, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood's multi-player is a slow waltz in which the player must weave in and out of crowds to track their opponent, all while doing their best to disguise themself and their movements in order to blend with the AI. The culmination of these efforts ends with the player murdering their stalked prey, often to reveal themself as the target of yet another player, cascading into a wonderful domino effect of corpses. While the story is not quite as strong as that of it's predecessor, Brotherhood manages to hold it's own with it's unique online offering and an interesting twist for the series' protagonist. Requiscant in pace, bitches!
Perhaps the second-longest awaited sequel in the history of videogames (Duke Nukem Forever anyone?) was delivered to the masses this year in the form of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty... and it was worth the wait. Blizzard managed to outdo themselves in this follow-up to the 1998 RTS and national sport of South Korea, providing not only an amazingly solid update to the Starcraft multiplayer experience, but also by creating perhaps the most enthralling single-campaign of any game in this genre to date.
EAT THE GHOSTS! Pac-Man Championship Edition DX's twist on a twist on an old classic is proof that old dogs can learn new tricks. The lightning-fast gameplay, combined with the seizure-inducing visuals and a soundtrack that makes you want to hang out at the menus much longer than needed earns Pac-Man the number four spot.
I can't say enough about Civilization IV, mostly because there isn't enough time in a day. Sid Meier's and company have finally found a winning formula that will appease hardcore Civ fans while roping in a brand-new audience. Taking the best features of 2008's Civilization Revolution and bringing them into a full-fledged PC strategy experience help to make this the most addictive and fulfilling Civ experience to date.
Game Dev Story is a cutesy, albeit satirical take on the videogames industry and the game development/review process. Admittedly, I'm not much of an iPhone gamer, but this title had me spending many nights awake in a room lit only by my phone's backlight trying to grow my virtual dev studio into an industry-dominating conglomerate. Game Dev story has the dubious honor of being number 6, and the only mobile game to appear on my list this year!
Kirby describes this game best when he says "This place feels like pants". Yes, Kirby, it does. Epic Yarn is without a doubt the cutest videogame I've ever seen, and while that would normally be a huge turnoff this Wii platformer manages to saturate all the pleasure centers of the brain in pink fluffy nonsense. This game isn't difficult, it isn't massive in scale - it's simply adorable and fun, and that's good enough to earn it a spot on the list for 2010.
I hate racing games. I always have. I'm not into cars, I'm not any good at racing, and the idea of fake driving has never appealed to me. That's why when my friend Chris asked me to try the demo out for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit out earlier last month I nearly laughed in his face. But man was I ever wrong! Hot Pursuit takes the typical arcade racing formula and adds a touch of Burnout to it, making for some of the most fun action I've had all year. There is nothing more rewarding than playing as a cop, chasing down a speeder, and forcing him into a high-speed crash by any means necessary. Pull over, arcade racers: Hot Pursuit is in the house.
Never has there been so much to say about a game that says so little. Limbo tells a wonderful story - without color, dialogue, or even much of a soundtrack. While some might write this off as a monochrome "Braid" clone, Limbo's puzzle platforming has a sense of depth and ingenuity that even Jonathan Blow could learn from. It's uncanny sense of style crosses boundaries and lends credence to the "games as art" debate, landing it the number 9 spot.
I'm a sucker for nostalgia. As someone who grew up with an SNES attached at the hip, I can't explain my love for Donkey Kong Country nearly well enough in words. When I found out a sequel was in the works I was immediately excited... and extremely nervous. Luckily, Retro managed to pull off a game that hopefully made Rare and the original Treehouse staff proud. Donkey Kong Country Returns is an exquisite return to form for the series, and earns itself the 10 spot and a place in my heart.
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