Best of 2010

FSFunky: Best of 2010

List items

  • Deadly Premonition is a divise game, getting a perfect score from Destructoid to more middling reviews. I suggest anyone remotely interested in game design watch the video I have posted before about Deadly Premonition. Yes, the production values of the game are extremely low, but the sheer creativity of its designers and developers shines through so brightly, that this game deserves a spot on my list.

    It might seems strange that I am praising the creativity of game which seems to have lifted its premise from Twin Peaks almost verbatim. Which is true, but after that the plot jets into a completely different crazy (and typically Japanese) direction. The characters of Deadly Premonition are all interesting Lynchian constructs who invite further investigation into their story by simply being.

    The Resident Evil 4/Silent Hill-esque shooting “dungeons” are the main thrust of gameplay if you follow the main storyline, however, I find that the most fun can be had by ignoring the main missions for large swaths at a time and simply exploring the town, going on one of the numerous sidequests. And they even help illuminate parts of the storyline, giving you more information and backstory on the inhabitants of Greenvale.

    Deadly Premonition is an ambitious game weighed down by bad gameplay, controls and extremely low production values. At the same time, its simulation small-town life, gripping storyline and engaging characters allow it to float to the surface. You could say it’s an arthouse game, only connoisseurs need apply.

  • Yes, it’s the second sequel to that game your mom plays. She’s playing it for a reason, though, it’s super addictive. Popcap has perfected the art of the “casual” puzzle game. I put casual in in scare quotes because my addiction to Bejeweled has been about as casual as Robert Downey Jr.’s heroin addiction. The way the clanging noise of matched gems rises in pitch as you combo more and more of them together is like a siren song to me.

    Not to mention the fact in Bejeweled 3 Popcap has enhanced the rote “match 3 powerups” gameplay with a bunch of interesting meta-concepts. In “Quest” mode you are put in several short scenarios where you might have to alternate between matching differently colored gems to keep a bunch of scales balanced or match gems in certain places on the board to uncover treasures hidden beneath the sand. All seemingly superficial additions that actually add a much needed breath of fresh air in the genre.

    But my absolute favorite has to be “Zen” mode. You can turn on binaural beats (including a severe looking warning that Popcap isn’t responsible if you start hallucinating) and mantras, affirmations that appear to remind you that you are pretty cool dude. Even though you’re spending way too much time playing a gem game.

  • People that know me (or follow me on Twitter, which is pretty much the same thing) might be surprised at the inclusion of this game in the list, I am not known as a big football fan. However, I am a big fan of simulation and tycoon-type games. And Football Manager 2011 is one of the best in that category.

    What I enjoy most about the game is that it is incredibly deep in terms of its simulation, but you are not required to be familiar with the intricacies of football to play the game. A lot of the more minute micromanagement can be left up to your assistant, allowing you (or me in this case) to focus on the more higher-level enjoyable parts of the game. I love the way you can hold press conferences and hold angry tirades about a referee’s decision or talk mad shit about a rival manager. Or the political games required to get that big transfer you want: appeal to the board for more transfer funds, leak your interests to the press to drum up hype and trying to get the best deal you can by fighting over contract details.

    And then I haven’t even mentioned the nerve-wrecking games themselves. I have literally sat on the edge of my seat in the last few minutes of a game as my team tries to hold a one goal advantage against a far superior team. The triumphant fist pump as the final whistle blows are, perhaps, best left unmentioned.

    FM 2011 is a game I’ll play on a weekend afternoon once in awhile, but those few hours are some of the best I’ve spend this year.