Looking Back and Looking Forward

So I know I said I was gonna leave this till after I beat Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City but I'm just not playing it often enough nor am I making as much progress as I'd like. I'm only about twenty percent in the Lost and Damned campaign and I still haven't even tried out the Ballad of Gay Tony's campaign. Still, they seem like standard GTA fair and thats not to belittle them. They do seem great but I'm not sure it'll top my other favorites of 09 so far so I'm going to go on ahead with my list, apologies to Rockstar if I change my mind.

I'll go ahead and clear things up, this list is going to be based on which games of 2009 were my favorites, not which I think were the best. So for example Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 doesn't make the list, but I do think it's technically better than some of the entires. Regardless, it wasn't my cup of tea. Also, keep in mind this is based on my limited experience of 2009's many great games. I only purchased what interested me and only games that were available on the 360 since thats pretty much my only current generation game console I have and play on(I hate the PSP, didn't buy games for it in 2009). So with out further ado....

Vashkey's Five Favorite Games of 2009

It almost comes as a surprise to me that ODST makes the bottom of the list as I was actually expecting this to be my favorite game of the year. A testament to how much better 2009 was than I had expected. Anyway, ODST was great. It retains the fun Halo gameplay, mixes things a little with the atmospheric night time city of New Mombasa and rounds out the packages with a favorite feature, Fire Fight. It may not be as ambitious as the rest of Bungie Halo game's but it's a blast none the less.

One of the things about Halo Wars that amazes me is that it takes the rts formula and simplifies things so that most any gamer could really get how to play the game after a little time and converts Halo into this totally different genre without losing the soul in the process. As a gamer I was introduced to a pretty interesting genre and as a Halo fan Halo Wars was a much needed breathe of fresh air.

Assassin's Creed 2 took almost everything from it's 2007 predecessor and improved upon it cementing it as one of the year's best games. The mission structure was less predictable, the characters were more likable and the main character Ezio, while not as bad ass as Altair, was more interesting and relatable.

Borderlands is a genius blend of MMORPG like looting, weapon hoarding and stat building, the engaging and intense combat scenarios of first person shooters thats woven together with 4-player co-op. The result is the gaming experience that must be had with friends.

Batman: Arkham Asylum may be shorter than some of the other games on this list but it does the most with every hour it has and is stronger in every way. The melee combat system is simple yet satifying, the stealth elements are rewarding and well executed, throw in some sweet gadgets and this game goes a long wait at making you feel like the dark knight himself. The asylum's atmosphere is so well achieved thanks to the impressive graphics that are second to no game I've played on the 360 and the voice cast is taken straight from the 90s batman cartoon series and they portray their characters just as well here as they ever have.

Arkham Asylum is full of some of the most memorable gaming moments you'll have on the xbox 360 and even the action adventure genre. I mean it when I say that Batman Arkham Asylum is one of the best games I've ever had the pleasure of playing let alone on the xbox 360. Developers take note, this is how you make a licensed videogame.


Now that thats out of the way, here the five games I most look forward to playing this year. I'll only list games that are most likely to come out within the year. Games that haven't been confirmed for a 2010 release or have no release window announced at all like Batman Arkham Asylum 2 wont be mentioned.

Vashkey's Top Five Most Anticipated Games of 2010

2007's Crackdown with it's super cop take on the open world genre proved to be a great purchase even ignoring the Halo 3 beta. It may have been missing some standard features but it's 2 player co-op game play and concept made it a fun game but Crackdown 2 looks to be going all the way with 4-player online co-op and a new 16-player competitive multiplayer.

This may be a risky choice on my part since I didn't really like the original Splinter Cell too much but this one looks really awesome to me. From what I've heard from the developers and seen from the trailers the Conviction seems to give the player more freedom. You can go guns blazing or you can play it sneaky and thats one of the things I loved about Metal Gear Solid 3. Conviction also seems a little more character driven than the original Splinter Cell and the presentation is alot more compelling to me than the original Splinter Cell and thats not just because the graphics are better.

Mass Effect is one of my favorite games on the xbox 360 thanks to fun shooter combat, rpg set up and plot rich in back story. How could I not look forward a sequel set to improve it all?

Final Fantasy XIII just barely beats Mass Effect 2 for number two and thatslargelybecause it's a Japanese rpg. I do generally prefer rpgs of the Japanese type and there is just a serious lack of quality ones on the xbox-360(and in general this console generation. I mean, last one I really enjoyed was February 2008's Lost Odyssey... It's beeen almost two full years. But Yeah, Final Fantasy is a series that always delivers so I look foward to XIII.

You saw this coming, but come on. This game looks incredible. Vastly improved graphics, a bit more more serious looking and with motion capturing and Image Metrics enlisted to help improve characters' faces and expressions Reach seems to be going for more believable characters. According to Bungie Reach will be coming with all the same features as Halo 3 such a forge and saved films. More on screen enemies, new and reworked weapons and vehicles, new game modes and new gameplay features such as special abilities that come with armor permutations not to mention a campaign with an entire team of Spartans.