Best of 2010

Malakhii: Best of 2010

List items

  • Man, I love Red Dead Redemption. I mean I freaking LOVE Red Dead Redemption. This year John Marston found himself catapulted into the pantheon of my favorite fictional characters. His tale of trying to leave his past behind, and make it home to his family, on which Red Dead Redemption anchors itself, is probably the best fiction I have experienced this year. Of course the story goes much deeper, touching upon many issues including, the federal government pushing itself into the frontiers, the destruction of the Native American tribes and even the corrupt nature of revolutionaries, all of which help boost the game into a different storytelling stratosphere then the average videogame fare of bad Warhammer and LOTR fanfiction. Throw in some great side missions, some of the most enjoyable challenges I have ever partaken in my life of gaming, and a host of fun multiplayer, and you have got a body of work which made me more then willing to push myself to the 100% completion mark. And that ending............ damn, what an ending. Red Dead Redemption is easily my 2010 GOTY.

  • I loved Fallout 3. In my opinion, New Vegas bests it's older brother in every aspect. The main storyline is leaps and bounds's better, and some of the side quests are absolutely amazing. Plus, and for me this is a huge plus, the Fallout humor is back and in full force, especially if you take the amazing Wild Wasteland trait. The decision to make the focus on factions, over what has become a tired RPG cliche of choosing to be a goodie two-shoes or an evil dick wasn't entirely original, but was still a welcomed addition. The game's large stockpile of weapons and armor pushed me to keep journeying to new areas, in search of the perfect loadout so my PC and his cast of companions could finally take out the dreaded Legendary Deathclaw.

    Unfortunately, I feel inclined to mention how broken the game was out of the box, but New Vegas had me so hooked that I was able to overlook the minor annoyances that the crashes and glitches brought upon me. Is it ok to excuse a game for being that damn broken? Probably not, but this is my damn list, and Fallout: New Vegas is my number two, flaws and all.

  • Well Bungie, I'm sad to see you go, but damn did you go out in style. Halo Reach is another example of master craftsmanship at work, from the great single player campaign all the way to my Halo bread and butter, the multiplayer experience. Man do I love the addition of Armor load outs (even if I always stick to the mighty Armor Lock), the new weapons all feel and play great, and the expanded Forge and it's partner in crime, Forge World provide a great way to kick back and have some crazy chaotic fun. I was really amazed to see that Bungie stuck to their guns, making multiplayer unlocks purely cosmetic, and avoiding what I think to be a horrible trend in the modern multiplayer game of having to level up in order to unlock weapons and other essential content. Thank's for all the years of joy you've brought me Bungie, I hope the big bad Activision monster doesn't ruin you.

  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is another game with old school charm, but Pac-Man's great success is in keeping that old school feeling perfectly intact, while making everything else about it seem so incredibly fresh and modern. Man did I enjoy mastering patterns and pushing my reflexes, all while simultaneously causing a ghost genocide and trying to ech out the fabled perfect run. Having one of the most banging sound tracks in recent memory didn't hurt it's cause either.

  • It's probably pretty surprising to find NBA Jam so high on someone's list. It's campaign modes are pretty lame, it was overpriced (thankfully I got it for only $25) and finding games online can be a real hassle. But when you get four of you friends together in a room (virtual or not), NBA Jam becomes an absolute blast. It's incredibly satisfying to yell at each other as you complete high flying alley oops and sink smooth three pointers . And that pure joy is what keeps me coming back again and again.

  • Every year one is released, you can count on a Civ game to compete for my personal GOTY. Civ V certainly leads the series into the new gaming era by reinventing the UI in an incredibly successfull manner, and revolutionizing the art of military campaigns through thanks to the removal of the dreaded stacks of doom. Unfortunately the fact that religion got the boot was such a huge blow to my personal play style, and the enjoyment I got from the game. The new City States Bugged me too, adding a weird diplomatic game that could either waste resources, or cover up for huge weaknesses, depending on how one played their game. I would have liked better negotiations between Civs, and not the focus on their weird little offshoots. Despite my complaints, I had some damn good times trampling my old nemesis Montezuma, and I'm excited to see where this game heads the course of it's life.

  • VVVVVVVVVVVVVVV has mega charm, and definitely hearkens back to the good ol' day's of gaming, with it's visual style and amazing soundtrack. The game may be tough, but's it's numerous and well placed checkpoints kept it from becoming a keyboard smashing affair, and instead made it into a zen-like experience. Captain Viridian's journey to reunite his crew definitely had me flipping out this year. (yes, I went there)

  • Rock Band 3 is the pinnacle for the plastic instrument section of the rhythm game genre, thanks to the key addition of Pro modes. Unfortunately my obsessive playing of the previous Rock Band games has definitely put a hamper on my desire to jump in and jam. At this point I feel like the aged Rock Star, who can only play for so long before their arthritis sets in and it becomes agony. Still, what Harmonix has done with this game and the whole genre (dating back to the first guitar hero) was an absolute marvel to behold, and I'm sure I'll be revisiting this game in regularly in the future to work on my power cords.

  • Ah, Mass Effect 3. It's a game that feels like it should be ranked higher on the list, and it's certainly led to some intense internal debate, Especially after the love affair I had with the first game. But, it turns out I have some big big gripes that I could not bring myself to overlook. First off, the story did not sink it's tentacles into my soul in the same manor as the incredible story of Mass Effect 1. Instead of the big space opera of the first game, Mass Effect 2 opted for a less focused series of some good, some bad vignettes, all climaxing into a very disappointing ending, which tried to make up for all of it's failings with one striking image. As opposed to fixing it's issues, Bioware decided to all but scrap the item collecting and dumbed down the leveling, which was a real bummer, because I always love building up my character and his gear. Finally, I was really disappointed the developers opted to start the game by all but pushing the reset button, so that the seemingly major decisions of the first game instead boiled down into lame NPC appearances and emails. Still, despite it's flaws, ME2 is a tight game that certainly had some great moments and some awesome characters, and I'm still looking forward to taking my third trip back into Shepard's spacesuit, in order to finally close out the trilogy.

  • Monday Night Combat obviously borrows some of it's ideas from other games. For instance it's clear Uber has played some TF2 in the direction they decided to take with the art style and the classes. And yes, the multiplayer design is based pretty heavily on the way DOTA does it's thing. They even throw in some tower defense for good measure. Thankfully, even with this broad range of inspiration, Monday Night Combat is a well polished, and fantastic experience, and I never had trouble coming back for another round of crossfire. Plus, being able to pulverize the annoying mascot for coins is a great addition for any game.