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Best of 2010

PsEG: Best of 2010
I didn't up my game consumption all that much in 2010, but I did experience a bevy of fun new racing titles. I did end up playing Forza Motorsport 3 more than any game from 2010, though.
Since Forza 3 can't be a part of this list, here's my best of the current year.

List items

  • There's a part of me that thinks 2010 was pretty weak if Need for Speed is my game of the year. It's a pretty simplistic load of racing and chasing, all things said. However, the cars handle really well, the regions are beautiful (especially with weather and a day-to-night cycle), and the simplicity I worry about actually helps ensure Hot Pursuit can be played many times over. After all, it's not about dropping spike strips, it's about how you trick your opponent into burning an EMP charge before spiking them.

  • I think the Giant Bomb crew best explained what makes Pac-Man CE DX so much fun: it empowers the player. Unless you're Billy Mitchell, dying and failing in the original Pac-Man was a given, and the player had to find small victories in power pellet use and survival. In CE DX, leading around swarms of ghosts before eating them dozens at a time does something that would otherwise sound like a game development sin: It makes Pac-Man look badass as a character. Take into account the absolutely BUMPING soundtrack, and this is a damn fist-pumping experience of joy.

  • Blur is what Mario Kart-style racers need to be. The balance wasn't quite perfect, and some of the weapons and mods could have used more work, but in essence, this is the brilliant combination of Mario Kart and Call of Duty. It's better than you think, even if no one's playing it anymore.

  • I want Split/Second to be a real reality show. Make drivers race virtually in a game like this, then render it out in some kind of super HD for TV and add commentary. The presentation of Split/Second, especially its incredible music, is without a doubt the best of the year. Unfortunately, the limited game modes, broken-beyond-broken rubber-band AI, and underwhelming multiplayer hold this title back a bit. Still, I want to see season two. Add lots more potential power play spots around tracks, add a way to blind-fire power plays at the leader at any given time, and make the AI and multiplayer rankings not suck, and a sequel would be incredible.

  • Add another game to the "awesome music" category. Monday Night Combat doesn't quite feel like something that could pass for an actual futuresport, but it is some very streamlined team-on-team warfare. There's a good balance of what works offensively and defensively, and it really rewards people who work towards their team's offensive or defensive efforts over improving their kill/death ratio. I can appreciate that.

  • My parents play Rock Band 2 and The Beatles: Rock Band. That's about all they play in video games. They don't care about world tours or story modes -- they just want to sit down and play some songs. Rock Band 3 lets them play the songs they like, and ties in goals, fans, and other story mode bullshit seamlessly. I can get behind that.

  • I hate this game. I'm never going to complete it, and I regret the purchase. However, as a platformer, it's incredibly well-made, and handles better than most full-price retail platformers.

  • To me, the joke about RISK is that it's like Monopoly: a board game you never finish. Too many pieces, too much dice rolling, and everything takes too long in general. I think RISK was made for the digital environment, to be honest, because this is the most functional and elegant version of RISK I've ever seen.

  • The computer players aren't great at betting, and the conversations tend to repeat a little too frequently. This is competent poker, though, and I like poker with people who don't know or care about EV or value betting. Just let me slow play and limp into hands all the time, and I'm good.

  • Maybe this doesn't belong in my top ten of 2010, but damn it, free games aren't supposed to be this good. The obstacle courses are both fun and annoying as hell (if you're trying for gold), and the multiplayer is competent. That deserves kudos, and future advergames or whatever they're called should take notice: This should be the standard for free games now.