My 2009 games round up is a bit of a cheat as I’ve already written about some of them over at Reso. For obvious (and lazy) reasons I’m cutting and pasting a few lines from each of my top four games and readers can go wander off and read the rest of the pieces over at Resolution.
First up is Uncharted 2.
Throughout Uncharted 2 there are countless heart-stopping adrenaline-pumping (cliché overload, but true) set-pieces that show that poor old Drake never really gets a chance to stop and mull over his situation – he’s too busy either running or smacking into the side of buildings with a wincingly loud crunch. But oh, was it fun for me. I watched as poor Drake exclaimed “oh, crap!” at the realisation that yet another tank and militia army was out to get him, and I enjoyed every second of it.
More at Resolution.
Uncharted 2 is a game I really must go back to for another playthrough. I was aiming to do so over Christmas following a completion of Uncharted 1 but I ran out of time.
Honourable mentions went to:
Batman: Arkham Asylum
I wasn’t a big Batman fan before this, other than watching the films, so it was a true testament to Arkham Asylum that as soon as I completed it, I rushed out to buy as many graphic novels as I could find. It was brilliant.
Another game I strongly aim to return to soon. After finishing it on the PS3 originally I bought it for the 360 but I’m back to the PS3 copy and wouldn’t mind finishing up some trophies.
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins is an absolutely wonderful fantasy RPG. At times it feels almost never ending, with so many different twists and turns that can be taken, not to mention a near countless collection of side quests.
You can guess where there’s more.
I’m currently on my third playthrough of DA:O now, determined to get all the achievements, as well as complete everything there is to the game. I’ve also just bought the DLC but haven’t played it yet. It’s flawed in many ways but I do love it.
Harking back to the arcade days of Arkanoid and Breakout while still adding some unique twists, Shatter’s mechanics were as perfect as will ever matter.
Simple yet brilliant. Love it.
There’s also one other honourable mention which just missed out here. DiRT2.
It certainly wasn’t one that I predicted to feel this way about. I like racing games but excluding a previous obsession with Need for Speed Underground 2, they’ve never been exceptionally memorable for me. I enjoyed the likes of Gran Turismo and Forza 2, so don’t get me wrong, I enjoy them. They’ve just never been a huge love. However in the case of DiRT2, I’ve completed it three times. Admittedly in all cases it was down to work requirements. First of all I reviewed it on the 360 and loved every second of it. Then I was asked to play a preview build of it, and subsequently the review build of the PC game. As other reviewers know, it’s pretty common that once you’ve finished writing about the game, you don’t bother playing the game anymore because of time constraints etc. So the fact I’m still playing the PC version and I’ve got a slight, ridiculous urge to buy it for the PS3 says a lot. It’s another one that’s not perfect. The tracks repeat themselves a little too frequently and the Baja races are just plain irritating. Which can also be said about the excessive extreme sports attitude conveyed in the menu system, but I still love it. In fact I’m now googling for the best price for the PS3 version……d’oh.
Finally there’s a guilty pleasure award from me: Cate West: The Vanishing Files for the Wii.
It’s a hidden object game, the most casual genre of gaming possible but this is what makes it so relaxing to play. There’s not a lot that can be said about it as levels mostly consist of picking out specific objects and solving spot the difference puzzles, but it’s a nice, relaxing change of pace.
Also for random ‘people should take note of this game’ness there is City Rain, a cross between Sim City and Tetris. It’s a weird mix but it makes for a great little game, and for a mere $9.95, it really is worth a look. As I said in my review it truly is the sort of game that you intend to play for five minutes then you realise an hour or more has passed.
Looking back, it’s been an interesting year for games. Very glad I’ve expanded my horizons beyond the 360 unlike 2008.