Friday, 11 May 2012

Games of my Teenage Years - 2010


We enter a new decade and I become an 18-year old. Alcohol and bitches become my life and I no longer have time to play video games.

Is what I'd want to say, but instead here's the three (!) most important games to me of this year...

Mass Effect 2

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This series probably is my favourite game series of the past five years, I really cannot find much fault about any of the games (though after playing '2' I find it hard to play through the original now). This game came out near the start of the year and it was another case of a game I refused to put down until I had completed it. I never 100% it like the first game, but I was damn close. The "suicide mission" felt like a suitably epic way to end the game and I made it through with only one causality (Mordin, you will be missed. Well, until I played through the ending again to make sure he lived for Mass Effect 3...sigh).

I also absolutely loved the fact that decisions you made in the first game made a difference in this one, I'm not sure if any other series has done that so far but even for a feature mainly used for 'fluff' it was really nice. I love games that put a lot of time and effort in creating a world of characters and Bioware are pretty damn good at that.

I always say this game's in my top five games of all time, but it's been two and a half years since I last played it and honestly I cannot think of much to say. I do think it's better than ME3, though ME3 came close until the last couple of hours which let it down (though I'm not one of the people who absolutely hates the ending either). Personally, I'd like to see more games in the ME Universe. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if it would be the setting to any future Bioware MMO...

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

Travis Touchdown is a nerd's fantasy of themselves in human form. Let's check the facts: he wields lightsabers? Check. He's obsessed with Anime? Check. Also obsessed with professional wrestling? Check. Lives home alone with a cat. Check. Yet he's completely bad-ass and awesome and he gets the chick. Yup, definitely a fantasy, but hey, it made for an absolute cracker of a game.

Suda 51 is one of my personal favourite game directors. His game's are usually rough around the edges, but they're usually original, fun and completely bonkers. I'm not going to lie, I kinda bought a Wii just to play this (and the Metroid Prime Trilogy...which I haven't finished...the first one...). You play as Travis as he attempts to become the number one Assassin in Santa Destroy yet again. This time it's personal...really, his best friend was killed by the No. 1 ranked Assassin. That's about as serious as this game gets.

In between fights there's a number of side-missions you can do including extra fights, buying clothes and exercising your cat whose gotten fat. You can also upgrade your stats by training in the gym and earn money by doing jobs. These 'jobs' take place in mini 8-bit games, and most of them are bloody awesome.

Most, if not all the Assassins you fight are unique and have more character in the short time you know them than some video game characters have in an entire game. Fighting with the Wiimote is also incredibly fun and I don't think I ever had much issue with it. In short, this game is pretty much excellent. Hell, take away the anime and Travis really is a more bad-ass awesome version of fantasy me...

Alan Wake

I was going to leave it at two, but then I remembered this game and I simply couldn't leave it out. It was a game with an unfortunate release date (same day as 'Red Dead Redemption'), and I got it pretty damn cheap just two months later. I played an episode a night until I finished it. This next part is probably a bit embarrassing to admit, so please don't judge me...

Every time I played this game, turned it off and went to bed I could not stand being in the dark. This game trains your mind that "dark = dangerous". In the dark, enemies will spawn and be invincible (or really strong, I can't remember which) until you shine a light on it, or lure it into a light spot. The game is very Stephen King/Twin Peaks inspired...apparently, I'm not overly familiar with either of them (though I want to be). You play an author, Alan Wake, who's suffering with Writer's Block. He and his wife go to a quiet little town called Bright Falls for a vacation. As you probably imagine it doesn't go too well, but I don't want to say any more. I want you, reader (yes, all one of you) to play this if you get the chance. Don't go in with a cynical mind, don't go in with any preconceptions and hopefully you'll enjoy this game as much as me. It was easily one of my top games of 2010.

Honourable Mention: Say what you will about Heavy Rain, but the "game" was a hell of an experience. Granted, I have had no temptation to go back to it ever again so it probably wasn't worth all £40 I spent on it.  

Next time: We celebrate the death of my teenage years! We'll go on a very epic journey and investigate a murder. Isn't that right... Zach?

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