My name is Code, and welcome to my corner! [It’s the tiny office with 3 walls.] 2010 was a remarkable year in gaming, mostly due to my purchase of an Xbox360, and finally having access to all the titles on all consoles. There was no shortage of amazing titles this year, spanning all consoles and genres. So what was the best of the best? Which titles won over my heart in each console? Join me after the jump, and find out!
Code’s Games of the Year
Fallout New Vegas [PS3]
Fallout New Vegas was an amazing title that rode piggy-back on the coat-tails of Fallout 3, but offered a much more open-ended world for the adventurer to explore in. While the bugs and glitches almost made it completely unplayable in the first week of its release, patches have been made which can rectify the problem quickly. Fallout New Vegas follows the story of a postal carrier who is shot in the head for having a VERY attractive poker chip in their pocket. Afterwards, you’re patched up and free to do whatever you please. Do you make the desert into a dictatorial power under your mechanical authority? Or do you help spread the influence that the previous Fallout titles worked hard to develop? It’s all up to you with how you play the game. Great graphics, great gameplay and great writing made the title into the fantastic powerhouse it is today.
Mass Effect 2 [Xbox 360]
I started playing Mass Effect about a month ago. While I was generally impressed that the space marine genre could actually be told well, it wasn’t anything that I became overly obsessed with. Mass Effect 2 changed all of this. With gorgeous graphics, you play as Commander Shepard who is brought back to life after being sucked into the abyss of space. Under the authority [and control, presumably] of the group known as Cerberus, Shepard begins to explore the vastness of space for why entire colonies of human life is dissapearing, and to continue the fight that Mass Effect left off. While Mass Effect 2 took away some of the lovable characters from the first title, it added new and interesting characters to the franchise, creating some of the most unique and “lively” bunch of characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of adventuring with. Couple that with AMAZING gameplay elements, great storytelling and plot, coupled with revamped weapons/powers, and you’ve got yourself a game of the year powerhouse.
Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep [PSP]
While it pales in comparison to the previous two titles I’ve mentioned, KH:BBS was largely overlooked [in my opinion anyway] as a strong contender. KH:BBS follows the tale of Ventus, Aqua and Terra, the keyblade wielders responsible for setting the rest of the franchise in motion, and tying up SEVERAL loose strings that the other games left. It also set Kingdom Hearts III in motion, which I will be ETERNALLY grateful for. It took the broken mess of 358/2 and renewed my faith in portable Kingdom Hearts titles. The gameplay was smooth and well done [almost as smooth/enjoyable as Kingdom Hearts II], and the characters had DEPTH and were well cast. Combine that with an amazing soundtrack and the fact that it’s essentially 3 games and you’ve got yourself one heck of a title.
Pokemon Black/White & HeartGold/SoulSilver [DS]
There was no shortage of great DS titles. Heck, there is NEVER a shortage of great DS titles, but these two stood out above the rest. [Also, because B/W isn’t in the states yet is why I coupled them with HG/SS]. Black and White revisited the original greatness of the franchise, going back to the roots of the series and recreating the child-like charm of the first games, alongside revamping the tried and true formula, creating a great experience for all. HeartGold and SoulSilver recreated one of the [arguably] best games in the franchise, gave us a Pokemon to walk alongside and a great graphical upgrade, alongside new and fun surprises. Both of these titles brought me back to my childhood, to a much simpler time when I didn’t have to contemplate the tax consequences of inheritances. For that [and a killer soundtrack that would make Final Fantasy jealous], it’s definitely a contender in my own personal opinion.
Starcraft II [PC]
I could just theoretically point at Korea and say “if an entire country can become obsessed with a game, it’s obviously something good”, but Oculin is giving me “THE EYE”, so I suppose I should elaborate. Starcraft II is a great RTS title, and has one of the BEST online multiplayer functions AND player base of any game I’ve ever played. The single-player campaign follows a tale of romance and survival, alongside a few twists and turns here and there that made me genuinely tear up. There’s nothing more saddening than having a mission entitled “Survive as long as you can before everything kills you and makes you into an attractive wall-mount”. But I digress. Great graphics, an amazing user-interface and some really great voice acting came together and created a great sequel and even a great stand-alone game.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 [Wii]
I am VERY reluctantly giving the Wii spot to SMG2. Personally, I didn’t really enjoy the title, but I can appreciate what it did and that it got so much positive reception. Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes off in a similar fashion to Super Mario Galaxy, revisitng some familiar territory, but also expanding on the massive success and creating some amazingly interesting levels with some very intriguing design. Graphically, it’s as good as you can ever hope to expect from the Wii. The soundtrack was whimsical and dramatic, and the gameplay elements were fantastic and well executed. On the whole, it was a very entertaining title. I just personally wish they’d moved in a different direction and tried something MODERATELY new.
Console of the Year: Xbox 360 & PS3
The only reason that they tied this year is because they shared almost all of the best games of the year. Both of them are getting Mass Effect 2, both had Bayonetta, both had Fallout New Vegas, Final Fantasy XIII and the list could go on and on. For the minor graphical differences [which I argue is ultimately futile, considering you have to 300x zoom to see the difference], there isn’t a clear enough difference for me to warrant one more superior.
BEST OF THE BEST
So what’s the best of the best you might ask? What’s my personal choice for the most superior title of the year that warrents a medal and the accolades of my 3 walled office? While I personally want to give it to Shin Megami Tensai : Persona 3 Portable [which all of your should play, by the way], I can’t do it.
Mass Effect 2 [Code’s Game of the Year]
I offer no shame in picking the same title that all the other gaming journalists are picking. When a game is THAT good, it deserves the praise it gets. Mass Effect 2, very shortly, will be making its way into my favorite titles of all time.
As I mentioned above, Mass Effect 2 is one of the best written titles I’ve seen in a long time. It’s the literary equivalent of a modern take on the rise and fall of Rome. A grand galactic realm, on the verge of ultimate destruction and ruin, ignoring the obvious and proven threats. The showing that all alien life is essentially “human” at heart. The fact that your CHOICES in these games makes a difference in the long run [instead of the karma system you get in games like Fallout New Vegas]. The fact that you hold an entire crew’s fate in your hands.. It’s a powerful game that I honestly believe is the ultimate form of interactive art.
The characters were vivid and LIKABLE, creating actual interaction and development that I honestly cared about seeing.
The graphics… #drools #omgsopretty #centerfold #ZOMG #WANTNAO
In short, it was a fantastic title that deserves all the attention it gets. I whole heartily await the third installment, and fully expect to dedicate my entire time and energy into the title.