Last year, we took a more traditional approach with our Best Video Games of 2009 article with categories such as Best Music Game or Best Action Platformer. This year we are going to depart from the traditional and give what we think are categories that truly deserve to be rewarded their due.
Best Use of Zombies / Best Downloadable Content – Red Dead Redemption “Undead Nightmare”
The ultimate “What If” scenario brought forth to one of the best games of 2010, “What if the undead invaded the old west?” And the answer doesn’t just involve a lot of people dying. There are horses of the apocalypse, big foot, some hard choices to be made and people turning on or abandoning their fellow man left and right.
This awesome story told over the revamped look of Red Dead Redemption using characters players have already grown to know, love or despise makes Undead Nightmare not only the best zombie game of 2010 but also the best exmple of DLC for the entire year as well.
Best Use of Old School Graphics – Super Meat Boy
One would think that with all the remakes of remade retro games coming to XBLA or the PlayStation Store or the “new retro titles” like Mega Man 9 that it would be a classic franchise that would take this award but instead it comes from a new IP with Super Meat Boy. Super Meat Boy not only captures the look of the classic 8-bit era, but it uses current tech to keep it from moving and feeling like the slow paced days of old. The addition of classic and other indie characters as unlockables further adds to the feel of Super Meat Boy’s 8-bit intensity. This is one we will hoping receives a sequel and soon.
Best Weapons of the Year – Dead Rising 2
Originally, it was only going to be one weapon to take the cake for 2010 but after examining the plethora of customizable destruction brought on by Dead Rising 2, it became clear that no one item could take the reins. With the ability to make fifty combo weapons including a Paddlesaw (two chainsaws mounted to the ends of a kayak paddle), the Freedom Bear (a machine gun turret disguised as a Rambo bandana wearing giant teddy bear) or Roaring Thunder (an electrified Blanka mask from Street Fighter II) , the horrific options of Dead Rising 2 trump all other.
While some of these combinations wouldn’t likely work in real life (like the aerosol can combined with a parking cone which creates a bullhorn that blows up zombie heads), who cares? Every one of these instruments of dismemberment is damn fun to use and gives a player to actually conserve weapons and experiment with combinations to unleash new forms of mayhem. A kudos goes out to the team at Blue Castle as well as a recommendation for some serious mental help.
Most Embarrassing Moment of the Year – Kinect Adventures
While we have enjoyed our time with Kinect, there are some times we wish it didn’t work so well and have so many features. Most notably is the camera feature during certain games where the Kinect will snap pictures during gameplay of the player in the most awkward and embarrassing poses. Part of the embarrassment comes from the ridiculous poses the game will make a player do to beat certain challenges. The other half comes from the fact that players aren’t ever looking at the camera as they are the screen behind or under it. Ever seen a photograph where everyone is looking away from the camera and it just feels off? Well that’s every photo the Kinect takes during Kinect Adventures.
Most Lackluster Sequel – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
2010 was a year loaded with sequels and most of them delivered with the same quality, quantity and intensity of their originals. From God of War III and Just Cause 2 to Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, all the games took their original concepts and took further leaps and bounds in creativity. Unfortunately, not all sequels followed that path as seen with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II.
The sequel to the highest selling Star Wars game ever that had taken concepts of previous titles and wrapped them up into one near perfect force wielding package didn’t so much as unleash itself on to the world as it came out with a sad whimper. The Force Unleashed II brings nothing new to the table compared to the previous title and it does so in a miserably short story.
Many players can complete the game in a few short hours, leaving the game’s replayability limited to that of speed run challenges between friends. Overall, this game doesn’t come close to living up to the hype behind as it falls painfully short of the original’s charm.
Nostalgia Trip of the Year – 007 Goldeneye
When gamers over the age of fifteen look back at turning points in their gaming career, no game stands out as much as Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64. Almost any gamer can tell you stories of how they’d gather three friends together with them for split screen action including things like building card board screen dividers so people couldn’t cheat by looking at each others’ screens.
When Nintendo announced a Goldeneye remake would be coming for the Wii, gamers across the world rejoiced. Upon its release, players were thrilled to find it out it was able to live up to expectations. Though the world of gaming (especially multiplayer) has changed with the advent of internet gaming since the days of the N64, certain gaming fundamentals like control and storytelling remain constant necessities and the update Goldeneye holds on to them tightly.
Stay tuned this week as we bring you Part Deux of The Best Video Games of 2010!