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My 2010 Favorites, part 1 (In No Order Whatsoever)

 As far as 2010 is concerned, it was a bad time for my gaming habit. Not having a job and also needing to take college classes cut into my gaming budget extremely heavily. There's still some stuff I want to rent or get later, but it'll be 2011 by the time I do so it won't count. Plus, the only games I still want this year are Castlevania: Lord of Shadow and Call of Duty: Black Ops, and the latter is something I’m getting just to have, so a “favorites list” at the near-end of October is not so weird.

List items

  • I spent about a hundred hours with this game and loved it to death. I didn’t even do any co-op or online competitive multiplayer and I put that much time into this game, that’s how good it is. For me it has ended up the most fun handheld game I've ever played, even though I technically played it at home on a PSPgo, connected to my monitor and a Dual Shock 3 (which basically means it was a console game that I could take with me). It is brilliant in a lot of ways, but the Peace Walker story is so full of retcon changes to the Metal Gear storyline that I ended up sorta pissed at the ending(s).

  • This is a game that exclusively focuses on charm to get its way. The gameplay is broken or pointless in every conceivable way, but the characters and story are so memorable and fun that I am able to love this game with all my heart. All the silliness, character quirks, stupidity, so-bad-it’s-good humor, and horror elements come together to make a fine stew, thick with the purest joy a game can bestow on someone like me, who doesn’t play games for the sake of blowing shit up on the regular.

  • This one is a narrative tour de force, featuring some of the best voice acting I’ve ever heard in a game. It contains a captivating story, one of the coolest leading characters I’ve ever come across, and an ending that can be described as painstakingly paced, brilliant, and/or cathartic. It really is too bad I have no reason to ever play it again as a different style of principal protagonist, because playing the bad guy in this world could have really been fun if the plot itself didn’t constantly hint that John Martston was meant to be a hero when all is said and done.

  • Yes, I liked this. A lot, in fact. I can see what they were trying to do with it, and despite a particularly obvious lack of success, it excelled at the three most important parts of a Final Fantasy game to me: story, world lore, and uniqueness of presentation. I wish I could say that characters were as important to me in this series as they are to me in other games, but it has had so few truly memorable characters over the past decade that I stopped caring too much (though Final Fantasy X had a full crew of awesome people in it). I will say this, though: Hope, that annoying little bastard, ruined this game. He was not only a fucking waste of space, but since he was only there to make the group an even six characters, the game could have actually been less linear and more interesting without him. Thanks Japan for being entirely unable to change your ways just this once.

  • Even though I was occasionally frustrated since I had quite literally never played a true adventure game before this series, it was lots of fun, so I’d rather remember that aspect of my time with this season of Sam & Max. A couple of the five episodes weren’t quite up to the standard of the rest, but overall this made me basically want to buy just about anything the developers, Telltale, put out as a major product.