This year has been an interesting year in the world of gaming. It showed us that RPGs can pack a punch and still weave a story that leaves you wanting more. It showed us that outcast heroes can rise up from the darkest part of despair and overcome their odds. It showed tha tsandbox games can be just as addicting as any Call of Duty game ever made will do. Sure games like Madden sell well but at the same time are they just as good as the games that don’t sell? Well that logic is unprovable but these are the top games from the year that was 2010.
07. 3-D Dot Game Heroes
Developer: Silicon Studio
Release Date: May 11
While most game companies and games themselves spend most the time trying to figure out who their audience is this game knows right off the bat. It’s those of us who played the older games and this one pays direct homage to it. With it’s quirky and semi-cute graphics this game looks almost and feels like an old school Zelda game. While it is an exclusive non PS owners can weep as they watch their friends enjoy a nice hot cup of tea while they play this one.
06. Super Meat Boy
Developer: Team Meat
Platform: PC/X-Box Live Arcade
Release Date: October 20 (XBL), November 30 (Steam)
While many people down at Kastle Media in Orlando will look down on this meaty adventure I beg to differ. This game is a nice challenging puzzle reminiscent of the old games where the arcades would eat the crap out of your quarters. I mean seriously, how many games feature you playing as a sack of meat trying to save your lovely band-aid girlfriend from the evil Dr. Fetus? Only one and it’s this one. A for effort and originality too bad its hard as ball.
05. God of War III
Developer: Santa Monica Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: March 16
Kratos is back mother fudgers and he is here to finally chop Zeus up to pieces. After successfully killing Ares in the first game, which seemed to be the only reason to do GOW, they made a sequel because it was a hit. And because you failed at killing Zeus in GOWII they just had to make a third one. GOWIII tests the systems might and power and runs visually amazingly (that makes no sense). While the narrative is not strong, you try to kill Zeus what more do you want, the puzzles in the game add the depth that smart and intelligent gamers are looking for. On top of that it’s always fun to chop up the Titans as well as what left over gods are left. Also the game features voice talents of Rip Torn as well as Kevin Sorbo as who else but Hercules.
04. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Developer: Kojima Productions
Release Date: June 8
Genre: Stealth Action
Hideo Kojima is one of the most brilliant game developers out there. When he started the Metal Gear franchise back in the late 1980’s I’m pretty sure he didn’t plan for this. Looking back after the success of the PSX’s greatest title Metal Gear Solid one can see that the time line for the game series got warped especially after the release of MGS2: Sons of Liberty and MGS3: Snake Eater. While the first three games in the MGS series were phenomenal I felt different about MGS4: Guns of the Patriots. The story was crafted excellently but the gameplay featured too wide of an open map. This one goes back to the roots of a smaller map and brings back the memories of Snake Eater and I am more than happy to oblige. The PSP controls make it feel a bit awkward but once you get used to it, you are used to it.
03. Fallout: New Vegas
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform: PC/X-Box 360/PS3
Release Date: October 18
Genre: Action RPG
I bought this game the day it came out on Steam. Yes I did. And it disappointed me only slightly. With Fallout 3 being such a well rounded game, near its flawlessness I guess playing New Vegas you feel sort of ripped off. Granted there have not been a single expansion for it yet but the game is rather short even accomplishing enough to raise your level to the max of 30. I tried to do so much in this game but the problem still stems from the occasional bug that ruins the gameplay to the fact that there never is enough ammo. At times the game feels real tough to play and others its super easy. The game requires some planning when it comes to playing but I feel like not enough at other times. Definitely a top five game if there ever was one.
02. Red Dead Redemption
Platform: X-Box 360/PS3
Release Date: May 18
Red Dead Redemption is in all sense of the word a sequel to Red Dead Revolver but you don’t have to play that to get this one. RDR is much like most Rockstar games and that would be phenomenal. While they skimp on narrative as usual it’s the characters that make you remember the game. Players meet people such as the insane Seth or the lying old coot who sells “miracle cure” (his name escapes me) to Bonnie McFarlene. The game relies on these characters to tell a story set in the old west which is tough to tell to modern gamers. While it was such a success the game falls just short mainly in part due to the narrative. Controls and visuals were exceedingly well done but not enough to earn it number 1.
01. Mass Effect 2
Platform: PC/X-Box 360
Release Date: January 26
Genre: Action RPG
Never before has a game series challenged you with such consequential actions as this series. A highly anticipated game that didn’t fail to deliver in terms of sheer story. The game follows almost immediately after the previous game ends and throws you right into the middle of things. Not only is Commander Shepard the main character once more but there are several returning characters on top of that and a plethora of new ones that are just as good as your old ones. Sure the style of the game changed focusing omre on the action elements than RPG but it flows seamlessly from one style to another. Mass Effect 3 is slated for a release in the next year or so.
Now sure there are games on here that didn’t make the cut, some of them include games that I didn’t play such as Super Mario Galaxy 2 or Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. But games that I did play that eeked out of the list feature some heavy duty stuff such as Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. Other sequels didn’t make the cut such as BlazBlue (PS3/Xbox) or Bioshock 2 (PS3/360/PC). While RPGs didn’t fare so badly Heavy Rain (PS3) was another one I didn’t get a crack at. Games based off of things that aren’t games in themselves were pretty good this year including arcade throwback Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Video Game and Transformers: The War For Cybertron (PC/PS3/360). Then SquareEnix is upset about KH not making it but what about Final Fantasy XIII their sloppy Hope ridden game. That’s my thoughts for 2010, maybe 2011 will be a bit better. See you next time.