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Best of 2009

PenguinDust: Best of 2009

List items

  • Bioware is back with another stellar entry into the Role-playing genre. And this really is a cut above all the rest. Originally I had this game placed down at the number 7 spot. I've since explored its wonderfully detailed world and rich characters and completely fallen for this game. Over time, it may become my favorite game ever. This is what I love about gaming. Choice and developing relationships. The game can be a bit hard even on Normal, but it's easy enough to pop down to Easy if anything ever becomes too frustrating then return to Normal when done. Play this game on the PC. A properly modded game is just near perfection in my eyes.

  • Very much like an adventure movie, and considering 2009's theater offerings, better than anything Hollywood had to offer. Fun and full of entertaining characters, it was nice to return to Nathan Drake's high risk world. Many aspects of the game also improved on the original including the melee system and an expanded cover system.

  • About as addictive a game as you can get on a console. This game had me staying up until the wee hours of the morning trying to hit one more level or finish one more quest. Collecting loot has never been more fun in a shooter. Unique graphics and excellent control highlight the comically toned atmosphere set throughout this imaginative game.

  • Among the best games of the year, this DS title had my faith renewed in Japanese RPGs. It rekindled a love for the genre I hadn't had in years. The story kept me involve and most of all, the characters were more engaging, better realized than most modern console games. Additionally, unlike many Dragon Quest titles, I only twice throughout the whole game felt a need to "grind" up a level or two. This is about as good as hand-held gaming gets.

  • Good superhero themed games are difficult to come by. The genre is far from ignored by game developers, however GOOD games are unique. InFamous rises above the field in several regards. Unlike directly licensed games (Batman, Spiderman, etc...), the hero of this title is unformed by previous exposition. The player chose how to act and whether Cole will be a noble hero or a selfish anti-hero. With polished controls and a lively city to adventure in, this game is a joy to play.

  • Oh how long gamers have been waiting for a decent Batman offering on consoles. Arkham Asylum shows what a developer can accomplish when given time to polish a game to near perfection. Rocksteady paints a richly detailed picture of Gotham's infamous hospital for it's most twisted of criminals and drops Batman into their midst. Excellent voice-acting, intuitive controls, and a fluid combat system set this game above not only the best the genre has to offer, but among the finest games created.

  • Rarely does a game come along that defies traditional classification and yet still remains undeniably a "game." Flower takes the player on a journey across fields of green highlighted with explosions of color more profound than any found in a modern day shooter. While it utilizes the PS3 Sixaxis motion control, it does so effortlessly and most surprisingly, without feeling gimmicky. The experience of playing Flower is majestic and serene rolled into one.

  • This latest entry into the Call of Duty franchise refines elements of the game play perfectly on one hand and abandons any sense of realism in the narrative for balls-to-walls engaging action on the other. There is something profoundly disturbing in the details of combat within American suburbs. As ludicrous as much of the plot was, I can also say that I won't ever forget fighting a top a Burger King while Russian tanks roll in. Multiplayer is actiony and smoother than ever. There's just a lot of fun to be had here as long as you don't think too much.

  • Being a "Diablo-clone" isn't always the worst thing when in doing so you create one of the most inviting games of the year. This offering takes all the known bullet-points of the game type and invigorates with new innovations. Adding a consistent pet companion that functions in ways beyond just another combat assistant improves the Diablo model in ways I never thought possible. Once a player boots up this game, they're going to be hooked on it for long stretches of time.