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Game of the Year

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So, for the gamers of the board, what were your favorite games of the year? I imagine a lot of you liked MW 2 and Uncharted 2. Anyway I'm a rather strange gamer and here are my picks for game of the year:

1. The Beatles Rock Band. (PS3) Surprise! The Beatles have always been very picky about what proyects they allow to use their image and music, not to mention how expensive their music is, so this game is nothing short of a miracle. Just being able to play "I am the Walrus" is great but on top of that, the game has great graphics and a great eye for detail, this was certainly a labour of love. My score: 9.5

2. Batman: Arkham Asylum. (PS3) The biggest surprise of the year for me. I'm not a hardcore gamer, I don't really care about Call of Duty, God of War, Halo, etc, and wasn't expecting to like it. I bought it mainly because Paul Dini wrote and I was blown away by the quality of this game. A great story, great atmosphere some really creepy moments, and fantastic gameplay. It makes stealth fun, hunting enemies from the shadows. The combat system is pretty much perfect, easy to pick up and hard to master. My score: 9.7

3. Punch Out!! (Wii). A Nintendo classic makes a comeback with great cell animation and good humor, I'm a bit surprised that with all the PC culture Nintendo got away with so many stereotypes. Overall it's a very fun game even if it's nothing really new, but since there hadn't been a Punch Out since the SNES it doesn't feel so rehashed. My score: 9

4. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii). Another game that it really offers nothing new, but Super Mario Bros. 3 is my all-time favorite and this game is a mix of Mario 3 and Mario World, so it's still a great game, even if Nintendo played it safe (and I may even say it was lazy). Come on Nintendo, it's almost 2010, you can't make a multiplayer game with no online. How about some DLC? No? My score: 9

5. Scribblenauts (DS). This is actually not a great game and it has many flaws but the concept is so good I had to include it on this list. Basically you're given a task (maybe you have to help a lamb cross a river or put out a fire) and the thing is you can use whatever you can think. If you think a sword will help you solve the puzzle, just write sword and you'll be given one. Want a T-Rex? No problem. A Grim Reaper? Got it. (The Grim Reaper is actually one of the more helpful concepts in the game). Unfortunately the controls suck, but the concept itself is great. My score: 7.5

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#1 - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

It's just like the first one yet so much more. The graphics are stunning, the story and dialogue genuinely good and hilarious, and the gameplay always exciting and rewarding with a great mix of action and puzzle solving. The fact that I was able to play this 3 times in a row is testament to, only myself really, how superb this game is. I couldn't even make it halfway through Modern Warfare 2 on my second play through. The online was a welcomed addition, but the game doesn't need it and can stand on its own just with campaign. I eagerly await the next installment in the franchise.

#2 - Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

This one is a tricky placement. The campaign was less than eventful, but it more than makes up for it with its addicting multiplayer.

#3 - Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time

The future saga of Ratchet and Clank comes full circle, and it was the best out of the three IMO. The graphics just keep on getting better and better, you feel like you're playing a Pixar movie. Well, not THAT detailed, but you get what I mean. Fantastic gameplay, with a much welcomed free roam/space aspect to it. Not to mention the hilarious dialogue, great writing from the Insomniac team.

#4 - Killzone 2

Stunning graphics and a great campaign make up for the faulty aiming and cover systems IMO. The game would be near perfect if it wasn't for those two huge drawbacks.

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My number 1 choice of the last twelve months would be a tie between Batman Arkham Asylum (360) and Uncharted 2. Both games came out of nowhere (for me) and both games were nigh on incredible from start to finish. Batman treated one of the worlds most loved superheroes with the respect it finally deserved, with wonderful voice acting, ingenious gadgetry done proper, stealth gameplay that never gets repetitive and it's crowning achievement - the best damn fight system in years. Uncharted 2 was a showboating lesson in blockbuster gaming, from it's pitch-perfect pacing to tight control and jaw dropping visuals and vistas - the game was the closest I've ever felt to playing a movie. Nathan Drake is a modern day Indiana Jones.

Other than those two, other worthy mentionables I've only gotten around to playing this year were Mirror's Edge and Fable 2, but I think they came out last year so hey ho.

Two other big releases from this year which shouldn't get anywhere near a GOTY award would be Halo ODST and Modern Warfare 2. Good games, but nowt in the inovation department.

Lee - who has got MGS4 and Resistence 2 in possession, waiting to be played after Borderlands is beat.

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I feel like I am behind the times when it comes to video games nowadays. But, The Beatles Rock Band is amazing. The attention to detail is fantastic. This game was made for the fans and it really shows.

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I've played mostly older Xbox360 titles since I got the console this year and I had to catch up.

Since I have played mostly RPG's ,I can say this about Dragon Age. All the menus to get to your items,cast spells,buy stuff from merchants,check skills and quests are really a pain in the ass.I'm 22 hours into the game and I still keep pressing the wrong buttons all the time.

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Cumbersome menus and stat screens are enough to put me off most rpgs. I HATE micromanaging inventory. Every now and then though I'll put up with 'em, as in the case of Mass Effect and Fable 2, the former in particular having a bloody awful menu system, I really hope they've fixed it for the sequel.

The worst offenders though are found in Bethesda games - after playing quite a bit of Oblivion, the menus in that game were enough to put me off Fallout 3, forever.

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What about Oblivion's menus did you find cumbersome? I admit that the journal system of the game does offer an incredible amount of information, but necessarily so because of the complexity of the game, with its skills, spells, inventory, quest log, map, etc. At least the game pauses while you rifle through your inventory, as opposed to other games that create atmosphere by keeping the game running while you look through the menus.

I find Fallout 3's menu system easier to navigate than Oblivion, but probably because it's cleaner, more organized, and offers less clutter.

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The menus system in Dragon Age are much more complicated than Mass Effect or Oblivion.

And I keep closing them by mistake after I finally get to the sub menu I want so I have to start over. There's also no easy way to compare gear so equipping items is pretty complex and you have to go through your stuff one item at a time,looking at all the stats

There's also a map with quest arrows pointing you in the right direction that only works sometimes (this is NOT the golden trail of Fable 2) . When you have a dozen quests piled on those arrows become pretty useless and appear randomly (even if you select the quest you want to follow).I think there's a bug in there

And also you find "codex" lying around that you have to read that get lost in the pile of other stuff you have to read. Good luck finding the info later.And half of it is useless history about random places

Combat happens really fast for a semi-strategy game. Your entire party can get wiped out in a matter of seconds before you have time to drink a potion, cast a spell or move out of the way. Sometimes you can't see what the hell is going on since there's so many things happening simultaneously (traps going off ,spells cast, grenades going off lighting everything in the area on fire). Sometimes the only way to win is learning the AI pattern by heart after dying a few times, which is not satisfying.

I really want to like this game but I'm getting bogged down with annoyances .I suppose things might be different in 20 more hours once I finally figure everything out

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Ah. I don't have the patience to play a game of enormous scale like an RPG on a console with a controller with so few buttons. I feel more comfortable on a PC.

At the same time, I tried playing a sports game like Madden on a PC using my USB controller, and I was completely lost. It felt easier to play on a console.

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I feel there's a great experience still waiting for me in Dragon Age but I'm getting bogged down by the interface.

Things may change when I master it better later in the game. There's just a heck of a lot of buttons to push for each action you want to do

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I feel a lousy console game is justified by the less substantial, but more unnerving, number of lousy console-to-PC ports of games which refuse to take advantage of that platform's capabilities.

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I remember my first stab at Final Fantasy VII was with the PC version. That was a...bad conversion, control wise.

BTW, I've rented Dragon Age and just finished up the "Origin Story" (human noble, warrior). Pretty good, but I'm not blown away yet. I haven't really attempted to do anything with the menus either, just standard hack and slash.

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and just finished up the "Origin Story" (human noble, warrior). Pretty good, but I'm not blown away yet. I haven't really attempted to do anything with the menus either, just standard hack and slash.

A bit later you can;t just hack and slash or your party will be wiped out.

Right now I'm trying to re-configure each party members battle strategy because the default doesn't cut it. Your party tends to go off and getting killed.Sometimes I have to use the "hold position" to lure enemies in a safer room if I don't want everyone going off and stepping on traps. Again it's complicated because there's infinite options.

Be sure to improve the character you find in the skills they are already have bonuses in. I "wasted" a few levels on useless skills. For example Alistair should be improved in Weapon and Shield.

Money is hard to come by,so don't waste any

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Another comment about Dragon Age. I finally won that battle that I kept losing all the time.

Key to winning tricky battles :

In this game you need health potions ,and lots of them .And you have to instruct all you party to drink them when their low on health. Healing magic does not work as fast as you get damaged.

Problem is merchants don't sell unlimited supplies...working on that now.

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I've just finished up getting the old treatys and darkspawn blood for the Warden test and now I AM getting quite wrapped up. I had to force myself to turn it off, I've got to work early in the morning. I like Alistair, it's always great to have a funny wise ass on your team.

And the great thing about modern day game systems that I'm still not used to: since it's all saved on my hard drive I can buy my own copy and pick right back up from where I am from the rent rather than having to start over.

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And the great thing about modern day game systems that I'm still not used to: since it's all saved on my hard drive I can buy my own copy and pick right back up from where I am from the rent rather than having to start over.

That is one great thing about modern consoles that non-PC systems have not always enjoyed. Now granted, most video game systems have been disc-based for ten years, going back to PS1 and N64, but I think that if those systems had any kind of memory system, it was a peripheral stick that plugged into the connector or console. There was no drive or Flash in the system itself, like the PS3, X360, and even Wii today have.

The point I'm trying to make, and what makes me very, VERY sore about, is cartridge based systems. I have an original Game Boy that still works. I bought the last great game for that system, Donkey Kong, when everyone was scratching their head as to why it wasn't an SNES exclusive. I beat it a dozen times, I had 99 lives and every stage unlocked. But the internal battery in the cart died years ago, so as soon as I stop playing and turn the Game Boy off.......reset to default. Start over, 5 lives, on the classic first level. And playing the game on a PC emulator does not have the same feel as a real Game Boy, because I can't get the hang of how to do a backflip or hand stand, both essential for beating the game. Grrrr. :angry:

I won't even think about touching my Final Fantasy I for the NES now.

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Alright I officially declare Dragon Age amazing .

But be warned the learning curve is the steep compared to other RPG's and there is a ton of micromanaging to do. You can't coast on the default tactics.

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If you appreciate a tough no nonsense, yet ultimately satisfying learning curve in your role playing games then you might want to check out PS3s Demon's Souls, if you ever get the chance. It's said to be an incredible entry into the genre and far more ambitious than Bioware's latest efforts. Google it.

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I read the reviews on Demon's Souls when it came out, that's one hardcore game. It's on my "check out" list.

Now that I've gotten Dragon Age out of the way the game I'm most interested in trying is Assassin's Creed 2.

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Games I completed in 2009:

Fable 2 ***1/2 (combat too easy)

Lost Odyssey****

Mass Effect***1/2 (not as great as what's been said about it)

Infinite Undiscovery*****(best JRPG story/characters/cutscenes so far, loved Aya and Capell)

Gears of War***1/2

Gears of War 2****

Magna Carta 2***1/2 (has all the best current RPG elements but overall fails to be great)

Tales of Vesperia****(fixed camera towns and dungeons drag it down a star)

Dragon Age****(better than Bioware's Mass Effect)

Enchanted Arms**(random encounters...ewww, but story funny)

Games I completed in 2010 so far:

Two Worlds ***1/2 (Oblivion clone I liked it more than most critics and more than Oblivion)

Star Ocean The Last Hope *****(if you do the post game dungeons)

Final Fantasy 13****(if you do all the cie'th stone missions on Gran Pulse)

Blue Dragon***(weak graphically but deep character customisation)

Vikings**1/2(although it's quite varied game play)

Eternal Sonata***(this one got a bit boring)

Fallout 3 GOTY ****1/2

Darksiders****(Fun,Zelda like game)

In Progress:

Resonance of Fate..could be in the **** range

Demon's Souls..hard to tell.

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Now that I've played through Dragon Age I stand by my GotY call for last year.

This year Final Fantasy XIII is the clear winner so far. Sam & Max season 3 has been good, but I'm not sure I like it as much as season 2, and the other rentals and demos I've tried haven't convinced me to make full purchases.

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I still need to play Uncharted 2 before I can call it, but for right now it would have to be between Batman: Arkham Asylum and Modern Warfare 2.

After having played Uncharted 2, I can safely say it was the best game of last year. Arkham Asylum is a close second. As for Modern Warfare 2? Not so much.

This year I think it's going to be Red Dead Redemption. I can't think of any games coming out in the next four months that could beat it.

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I already said Fallout: New Vegas, but other possible top contenders:

Medal Of Honor

Gran Turismo 5

Call Of Duty: Black Ops

LittleBigPlanet 2

and I guess Halo: Reach for the 360 players.

To be honest, I can't see any of those beating RDR. COD and MOH are going to have to pull some serious innovationss out of their asses to beat Modern Warfare (the first, not the second). I never liked GT, and found it hard to get into LBP, although it seemed pretty cool. Never really got into Halo either. Not sure about Fallout, but it gets a lot of kudos (need to play it, but is it an RPG?) so I guess that can be a contender. I guess Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be there for a lot of people. I'd love to play it as it looks amazing, but I'd be buying a Wii just for it. Nintendo need a proper nextgen console stat.

I suppose it depends what you play for as well. I don't play a lot of multiplayer online, so I'm much more interested in the single player experience, which is why RDR scores such high marks.

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Fallout 3 and its spin-off New Vegas are really hybrid games, a mix of first person shooter and RPG. They are not top-down, turn-based RPGs in the traditional sense, yet they offer more freedom in your ranges of motion than a more modern, third-person only RPG. With games like Fallout 3, Oblivion, System Shock, and Deus Ex, it's really become its own genre more than belonging to either cleanly.

You have to have a certain amount of skill at first person shooters to excel in the game -- strafing, jumping, evading (cover), managing different weapons and ammo, navigating Doom-like mazes -- but you also have to "play the RPG" in order to succeed as well -- follow the story, accomplish quests to earn experience and better loot -- because it's so stat-driven.

I can't comment on any game of the year yet. The last new Wii game I got was last year's New Super Mario Brothers. I don't want to buy Starcraft II until all three episodes are out in one affordable package. I'm holding out hope that RDR will be ported to the PC. And I'm really not interested in Civ V.

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In no particular order (games from this and last year), Mass Effect 2, Uncharted 2, Dragon Age, Batman Arkham Asylum, Red Dead Redemption, Assassins Creed II. Other games I played for the first time this year but from previous years are Uncharted, Mass Effect and Oblivion. Recently became a major fan of Mass Effect 1 & 2 after having heard so much about it, Mass Effect 1 is very good but its Mass Effect 2 that really shows what a great action RPG can be. I didn't think I could like anything better than Dragon Age (which had surprised me cause I hate dungeons and dragons kinda fantasy generally), but I can now say I vastly prefer Mass Effect, like I said, particularly the second game.

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To be honest, I can't see any of those beating RDR. COD and MOH are going to have to pull some serious innovationss out of their asses to beat Modern Warfare (the first, not the second). I never liked GT, and found it hard to get into LBP, although it seemed pretty cool. Never really got into Halo either. Not sure about Fallout, but it gets a lot of kudos (need to play it, but is it an RPG?) so I guess that can be a contender. I guess Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be there for a lot of people. I'd love to play it as it looks amazing, but I'd be buying a Wii just for it. Nintendo need a proper nextgen console stat.

Medal of Honor looks like a complete clone of Modern Warfare. Unless it's able to do what COD4 did better, it's not going to be worth it. Black Ops on the other hand has some strong potential; I think Treyarch is learning from the mistakes Infinity Ward made with MW2.

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