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Didn't play that many games this year. Bought a bunch in the latter half but haven't really given most of them the kind of time I want to yet. It kind of bums me out that every year I find myself less and less interested in the "big" titles everyone's buzzing about but as long as there's stuff I like to play somewhere in the mix I guess it's not that bad. So! PREPARE FOR RAMBLING AND ZERO PROOFREADING: [b]Only Good Fighting Game[/b]: Why, it's [b]Blazblue Continuum Shift[/b], of course. I want to say SSF4 was good for the enormous improvements over SF4... but the truth is that no matter how hard I tried to push myself to like it I still think it's an ugly, ill-conceived, regressive game that holds little appeal for me to learn. Fun to goof around with when the guys come over to drink, but really, what fighting game isn't? Hey, did they ever fix the PS3 voice chat in SSF4? Knowing Capcom I highly doubt it, but... The focus here is BBCS! It was everything a home version of a fighting game should be and lots more. As if Capcom shouldn't be embarrassed enough as it is, the stuff here puts them to shame in terms of giving players the tools to improve their skills in-game without having to seek external resources, whereas all SF4 and SSF4 really do is try to stump you with stupid trials and purposefully difficult input timing. I know a number of newcomers who found BBCS comfortable to ease into as a result of the tutorials... which is great for me, because GG terrified them for years and now they'll play games with me! Also: Hazama and Makoto are the best fighting game characters in years. [b]Only PSP Game I Played[/b]: AND THE AWARD GOES TO [b]PERSONA 3 PORTABLE[/b]. It was very... Persona 3. I really should be picking up Xseed's Ys releases because I'm a huge fan of the series... but I have no idea where my PSP is right now. Also the idea brings back bad memories of Ark of Napishtim loading times on PSP! I remember playing it in bed in my old dormroom and falling asleep while rooms loaded. Pitiful. Anyway, I tried to play Peace Walker but I found the controls to be frustrating and I gave up pretty quickly. Very impressive production values and all, just seems like a miserable waste to leave it on a system where every control scheme is a weak compromise at best. A PSN or XBLA release would be extremely nice. [b]Most Inexplicably Mediocre[/b]: [b]Castlevania: Lords of Shadow[/b]. I don't really get it at all, when I started playing that game I loved it. Like, really loved it! I was thrilled that we were free from the tyranny of Igavania, thrilled that we weren't trying to shoehorn this game into the cluttered CV timeline, very excited that it seemed to take chances and was different. Then, of course, I played it for a number of hours and found it to be a less God of War-y God of War. Still agreeable though. But at some point I found myself having less and less fun and then I just quit about halfway through. Don't know if I'll ever intend to go back to it. I think a lot of the problem is that they overcomplicated combat very quickly. There are a lot of moves that aren't very useful but you feel pressured to learn them all anyway, and there are the moves you use with the light powers and moves you use with the dark powers and... yeah. Like Polly said, it's a clusterfuck. There's nothing glaringly wrong with how it plays and the art direction is just fantastic, but something here doesn't quite click and it's a shame. [b]Most Inexplicably Good[/b]: [b]Nier[/b]. I really like this game! I don't understand! Granted, I'm far from being done with it so that could all change but I'm surprised how much fun it is despite being terribly clunky in some aspects. Grimoire Weiss's English voice is key to the experience so far, and some of Nier's dialogue has been just amazing. [b]Best Worst Game[/b]: [b]Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage[/b]! If you're a fan of HnK, you will love everything about this game. If you're not, you'll hate everything about this game. It's about as simple as that. I don't even have the attention span for RPGs longer than 20 hours most of the time but I spent 50+ hours punching the crap out of things in my first few weeks with this game and got my first platinum trophy on PSN. When they announce a sequel I'm not waiting for it to come out in English this time. And of course, when it does, I'll just buy it again! [b]Best Co-Op Game[/b]: It has to be [b]Lost Planet 2[/b] for me. Which is great, because the single player is about as dull as it gets. Playing this game with 3 friends is an absolute blast. Now that it's cheaper and I know more people picking it up I've been meaning to get back into it when I have time. Looks like my hours have been cut so that might be really soon! It's a flawed game, sure, but I'm really irritated with the approach that a lot of reviewers took to it, which seems to be "it's not Gears of War so it's not good" and so forth. LP2 is probably the most excited I've been for a game's release in years. I logged countless hours into that 4P demo in anticipation and for the first time actually followed a company's twitter/facebook/etc marketing campaign for a game and got a bunch of nice loot for it, including an LP2 print signed by Jun Takeuchi. I wasn't at all disappointed with the final product so it makes me really sad that we probably won't see an LP3. [b]Best Beat 'Em Up[/b]: That would probably be [b]Scott Pilgrim vs. the World[/b], which is sad because it's not actually that great of a game. The initial release was plagued with tons and tons of crippling bugs and even post-patching console-crashing stuff happens. Happened to me again today! And in 2010, releasing a game like this without netplay should have been considered a criminal act... but then again, with a game so shoddily programmed we're probably better off that they didn't even try. Buuuut then there's the issue of the absolutely fantastic sprite artwork by Paul Robertson and friends and the insanely good soundtrack by Anamanaguchi and the fact that the local multiplayer is stupid amounts of fun... Everything wrong with this game kind of fades away at that point. Beat 'em ups that emphasize stat improvement over actual skill improvement irritate me but I'm not gonna say that I didn't play the game long enough to unlock Nega-Scott and I didn't buy the Knives DLC. So I guess the point is that, like every other game I liked this year, there's a lot wrong with it but the overall package is really pleasing! [b]Best Online Game Nobody Else Will Buy[/b]: [b]Dead Nation[/b] on PSN! Seriously guys! This game is great! Combine L4D with a bit of Smash TV and a lot of Super Stardust HD and you're balancing survival against earning insane multipliers and it's just great. If this game had a demo everyone would be all over this shit, but PSN's stupid non-mandatory-demo policy keeps people from trying the best downloadable titles on there. Frustrating. It's only 2P at a time but if you have a headset I promise I will play the shit out of this game with you! I realize how desperate this sounds but I just don't care anymore. [:2ch_uboa:] [b]Best Motion Control Horseshit[/b]: I'm absolutely stunned by [b]Kinect[/b]. Hated the idea, hated the lame demos at E3 etc, but when I finally got to use it the technology floored me. Truly impressive stuff. My roommate plans to get one for us to use here but hell if I know how that's gonna work in our little living room. [b]Best Overall Game of 2010[/b]: [b]Style Savvy[/b]! I know it came out in 2009 but it's still the best game that was available in 2010. There is no excuse for not playing it. It is amazing. [b]Other shit[/b]: [b]Deathsmiles[/b] came out in the US and that was good despite the controversy over slowdown that doesn't bother me one way or the other. Would love to have spent more time with it but I don't get to play the Xbox a lot these days and if you see me on Live it's probably one of my roommates and not me. Our own Red Falcon was cleaning up on the scoreboards! Last time I was playing this regularly he was #1 in the US on at least one of them, so that was pretty awesome. [b]Picross 3D[/b] hit the US this year also and it's a lot of fun. Got a little tiring by the time I reached the end of the puzzles. Regular picross is infinitely better but it's a really clever idea and for the $10 I paid for it I got a whole lot of play. Some older games I finally played or am playing: [b]Ketsui Death Label[/b] is totally impossible on the original DS. Can't see shit! Still kind of trying on a Lite but considering this is the closest I can get to the real thing right now it's kind of cool. [b]Contra 4[/b] is awesome! WayForward nailed it. Another game I wish was on a regular console, but maybe the Arc System Works Contra will be good? [b]Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire[/b] came into my work and I had to try it because of the absolutely miserable reviews when it first came out. I was kind of disappointed because I've played bad Gundam games before and it's really not any worse. The graphics and framerate are hilarious but the gameplay didn't really offend me that much. I'm a monster. I guess that's it. I'll finally play Mass Effect 2 (well, after I finish the first one) when my new computer is here so I can join the rest of 2011 in a month or so!
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