Its all been fairly quiet since November and with work and my personal (gaming) life taking up most of my time, I've not really had the motivation to put hand to keyboard in Open Office. Still, 3 months later here I am ready to share my opinions once again. Prepare to not care.
2009 – A Review
I've been trying to write an intro piece for this section, the “Best of '09” however everything seems to generic and forced. Therefore I have taken the decision to jump right in. Instead of your usual categorised (and generally rigged) awards I'm just going to summarise a few of the games I played in 2009 and why I feel they are worthy of some playtime.
I completed this game in one sitting for two reasons:
The first, because this game is incredibly short. My first play-through took me around 5 and a half hours. Don't get me wrong, there is a fair bit to do but in a game where the player character is constantly running, you're going to get things done fairly quickly.
The second reason? Its bags of fun. I remember renting this as I was unsure of whether it was worth the price tag of £39.99. Given its length I'd have to say no, however when I picked it up 3 months after release for the sum of £10 I felt like I'd committed daylight robbery. The story is fairly decent (if not predictable) with the bland looking back drop brought to life through the simple use of colours. Add that to an extremely smooth game-play experience with well mapped controls and you have a game that seriously should have been given more praise than it was.
The Playstation 3's Halo killer. I quite enjoy how Sony are still trying to murder a near 10 year old game... Still, this is the closest they've come.
Akin to an action film, explosions and death are just a part of the Killzone 2 roller-coaster. You're not going to find an epic story, character depth or emotional scenes worthy of Hollywood blockbusters but you will have fun. Yes the controls are weighty but once you get used to them you'll wonder why you ever complained (and I have to wonder why as Bad Company 2 doesn't seem to be getting a rap for it). Its also visually one of the best games the Playstation 3 has to offer and packs one of the few multi-player modes I've bothered trying out on the PS3. Its an almost complete package and although repetitive at times, does just enough to keep you going.
This is what games should be. Described as impossible by some, I'd choose to call Demon's Souls “Unforgiving” in that although everything is painfully hard, there is always a way forward. I spent the better part of 2 days trying to get past the first 2 levels, it recently took me 2 days to complete Bioshock 2.
Yes the learning curve is steep, yes the enemies are powerful but so are you. This game combines some of the best things about RPG games (stats, weapons, armour, magic) and brings them all together in a way that actually effects your play style. Being a jack of all trades ala Final Fantasy will not help you win easily whereas a more methodical approach to character building will reap rewards in the long term. Try this game, even if its just for 2 days.
Uncharted 2: Among Theives
My game of the year and the only game I've ever purchased at midnight. Taking features from great games such as Tomb Raider and Gears of War is one thing, but to combine them so well with cinematic influences from the Indiana Jones series makes this game stand out amongst the crowd. Yes its an obvious comparison but its all there and it doesn't try to hide it, instead it uses the general themes of treasure, girls, guns and betrayal to its advantage; building on the first game whilst making every new feature its own.
The multi-player's quite good too...
Not an add-on, not an expansion but a bloody worthy sequel. I enjoyed Left4Dead, clocking up around 50-60 hours of overall playtime. Since release I've clocked up nearly 80 hours on this game and with the large variety in campaigns, new weapons and interesting game modes its not hard to see why.
Scavenge is probably my favourite addition, akin to versus mode in its team vs team approach the games are shorter and rage quits generally don't destroy any semblance of fun. It requires a great sense of teamwork in a shorter time and can inspire some hilarious moments. Jockey'ing people off roofs has never been so much fun.
One improvement? A ratings system so rage quitters can be punished for their sins.
Honourable mentions: Resident Evil 5, inFamous, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Demigod, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time.
So rounds up my review. No doubt I'll get flamed for a) Only owning a pc and PS3 and b) For not buying Modern Warfare 2, though from my previous posts I'd say its fairly clear why I didn't...
As for the next post, hopefully it will appear sometime before April. Maybe I'll be venting about the colossal disappointment that was Bioshock 2 (for me at least anyway). Until next time.