The Best Games of 2010 Part 3

Part three has arrived! This time I’ll be stating my choices for best game of the year for each platform. Naturally you can expect one of these high caliber titles to take my Game of the Year. However, if you know me well enough you should already know what I’ll be choosing. Anyway, onto the opinions we go!!

Winner: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
Runner-up: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

It was a tough choice, I was anticipating Golden Sun for a long time but 999 really blew me away as a surprise package. The game was awesome as a visual novel and the puzzles were perfect. I really hope Chunsoft try this sort of idea again, because 999 was proof that they can really do it, I would love it if they did it on the DS again as well. Quite simply, this game is the DS game that impressed me the most this year and give me the most playtime. Such a great story tied so wonderfully with puzzle elements. If you find this game on shelves anywhere, buy it so you can show your support. Its worth every cent that you pay.

Camelot’s Golden Sun was a shoe-in for runner-up at least, another fantastic entry in the cult RPG franchise. It maintained everything that made the franchise great and ruin it. The game was a nice balance in stepping forward but keeping their goal insight. I hope that we see more Golden Sun titles in the future, maybe even a big console RPG would be great? The Wii could use a killer RPG.

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty
Runner-up: Sid Meier’s Civilization V

Blizzard had a lot of expectations to live up to with Starcraft 2, luckily for their fans they pulled something out of their ass. Proving to everyone that they could make games besides World of Warcraft again. It was refreshing to say the least. There were complaints that the three factions being split up was a cheap money-making ploy by Blizzard but honestly the campaign is so fleshed out in Starcraft 2 that the expansions may as well be quasi-sequels (assuming they put the same amount of time into them). And then when you get bored of the single-player, you’ve got the multiplayer which is where the real action is.

Civ V  takes runner-up, all of this game will consume you if you have the time and interest to learn how it works. If you take that time to learn it then you won’t regret it. You have so many options on how to deal with situations, plus there is nothing more satisfying than subtlety surrounding your enemy and insisting that you aren’t looking to start a war. Then when they least expect it, blam. Hellfire unleashed.

Heavy Rain
Runner-up: 3D Dot Game Heroes

Heavy Rain takes this award and sprints far, far ahead of the nearest competition. It single-handedly beats out this years PS3 exclusive titles in my opinion. I feel like I’m repeating myself whenever I talk about this game, but it had my attention from start to finish without a hint of dropping it. The characters were engaging (sure, some voice-acting let it down), the music was as memorable as it comes, the gameplay was interesting and presents a next step for next gen adventure games (heck, Telltale have just said they are looking to it for inspiration for their Jurassic Park game) and it has so many endings that are heart-breaking / happy / and a whole spectrum of emotions. If you are unsure about the game, give it a chance. If you don’t like it, no one will blame you. It may not appeal to everyone. In the same way BLOPS doesn’t appeal to everyone. But it is easily my PS3 game of the year.

I gave 3D Dot Game Heroes the runner-up because it was such a lovely little trip down to nostalgia town where the rulers are Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy. It’s visual style was awesome and the gameplay was simple yet addictive. So many throwbacks to the video games of old. The soundtrack was packed full of classic charm and the character creation (whilst a bit on the deep end) allowed for a lot of fun. The game is going pretty cheap and is definitely worth a look if you are hunting down a good PlayStation exclusive (and if you love classic top-down games like classic Zelda and Final Fantasy).

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Runner-up: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Even though Metal Gear Solid: Rising is coming out next year, this is the game that was the true Metal Gear Solid 5. It represents one of Kojima’s greatest pieces of work. The storyline (usually one of the franchises’ biggest complaints) is actually easier to follow in this entry, combine that with its killer gameplay and massive amount of bonus content to explore (like hunting down monsters, heck yeah!) you won’t be putting this game down for a very long time. It essentially justifies a PlayStation Portalble purchase. So what are you waiting for if you haven’t already played it? You should be.

Speaking of Kojima, the runner-up goes to a game worked on by another prominent Japanese game developer, Tetsuya Nomura, and his Kingdom Hearts franchise. The Kingdom Hearts franchise is a very convoluted one with confusing stories crossing over here and there, luckily for everyone who was originally intimidated by the series this game is the very first (as far as continuity goes). So you can

Super Mario Galaxy 2
Runner-up: Donkey Kong Country Returns

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is quite simply the greatest Mario game to come out since the Nintendo 64 days of Mario 64. The galaxies are glorious and builds upon everything that made Galaxy 1 great. The gameplay is sharp and the controls are tight, which leaves only one kind of error… one that you caused. Yoshi was a small but neat inclusion. Plus collecting the 120 Green Stars once you collect the original 120 stars… seriously, this game has it all. It’ll be interesting to see when and how Nintendo attempts to top this monumental Mario game. Will they try a Galaxy 3? Or just try an all-new Mario game? I’m excited to find out.

Retro Studios were rumoured to be attached to a Donkey Kong game just before E3, but everyone found it incredibly hard to believe. Their last game was Metroid Prime 3, which is very different sort of game to Donkey Kong. Then imagine our surprise when it was confirmed, and that it was a Donkey Kong Country sequel. Automatically I became hyped for the game, then I picked it up and I was in love. This game re-captures everything that the SNES games were about those many, many years ago. Perhaps this solidifies Retro Studios as the new Rare for Nintendo?

Alan Wake
Runner-up: Halo: Reach

What? Halo: Reach didn’t win? Oh no!! Sorry. But Alan Wake tried something different and it was great. Bringing back the thriller game was a fantastic choice by former Max Payne developers. The flashlight mechanic was interesting and the story was rich and compelling. One complaint? Wake’s obvious love affair that he wanted to have with Stephen King and anything that he wrote. But hey, Alan Wake is a writer after all so we won’t hold it against him. The game being split up in episodes worked really well if you only had time to play in short bursts the only downer is that we don’t know how long we’ll have to wait for Alan Wake 2.

When someone mentions Halo you usually get one of two reactions: Fuck yes or fuck no. Both are acceptable really, but it is impossible to deny that with Reach Bungie perfected the Halo formula, which worked as the best send-off. The multiplayer was the best the franchise has ever had and the single player actually stepped up the story telling (despite the main cast’s WHO CAN DIE IN THE NOBLEST WAY competition, but anyone who knows the story of Reach knew what to expect). It’ll be interesting to see what the remaining Halo developers can whip up for the next Halo game to top this one.

Red Dead Redemption
Runner-up: Mass Effect 2

John Marston’s tale is unforgettable, its only a natural choice to give this game best multiplatform game of 2010. You will sink so much time into every little faction mission and then when you’ve done all that? Well, you have the wild west to explore and do with whatever you want. Hunt animals, kill bandits, be a bandit, hunt treasure, it is all in this game. Rockstar have easily outdone themselves this time and have redeemed what they did with Grand Theft Auto IV.

Runner-up goes to Mass Effect 2, probably BioWare’s crowning achievement as far as their gaming history goes, packed full of story and conversation trees balanced with a ton of fast-paced shooter action. The game will also force you to attach yourselves to your characters, just to make you feel super guilty if you send them on a mission and they fail. PlayStation 3 owners will be able to pick it up in a few weeks but BioWare, you have done it again with Mass Effect 2. Can you follow it up with Mass Effect 3?

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