2010 My Year in Games

December 24th, 2010

It would be unseemly to finish the year without some sort of list, so this is my summary of games I have played this year.

This was my first attempt to record all of the games I have completed and overall I’d have to say it hasn’t gone very well. I currently have nine listed, though with Christmas coming it’s possible that will nudge up a little.

It does mean that I’ve completed games at a rate of less than one a month, which is a big decrease on other years. I know I’ve started loads of games that I’ve never got round to finishing, including Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins, God of War III, Star Craft II: Wings of Liberty and Final Fantasy XIII. All of them very good games but all of them left uncompleted to varying degrees.

There are a number of reasons for this, mainly because my PlayStation died and took all my game saves with it. For things like Final Fantasy this would have meant repeating a good twenty hours, I didn’t fancy that.

I’ve also got married this year which hasn’t had a direct impact on my ability to play games but did take some thinking about and a degree of preparation.

I suppose my final reason is that games this year just haven’t seemed as good as other years.

So, rather than making excuses here are my favourite games of the year in some sort of order. These are games released this year rather than ones I’ve played. I have no idea why, but it does mean that I haven’t included Assassins Creed 2, for an entirely arbitrary reason.

10) Angry Birds: It seems strange to include a game from my phone on here but I’ve played it a lot and it is great. It’s free on Android and I’m bewildered why some people don’t own it.

9) Sports Champions: The development of PlayStation Move was a blatant attempt to make in roads on the dominance of  casual gaming by the Wii. Given the relative difference in technology it is no surprise that Move managed show how this really should be done. Sports Champions is a great showcase for how motion controls should work. The minute adjustments you can make to you table tennis bat alone justifies inclusion on here.

8) Starcraft 2: You will notice this is also on my list of games I haven’t completed as well. For some reason I just haven’t got round to it. I’m not sure why. I love any game that makes me consider resource management and Starcraft love resources. I missed out on Starcraft the first time round but have loved this one. I do need to finish it.

7) Rock Band 3: Rock Band is a vital part of my life. It gets played consistently through the year and has been a drain on my income on a weekly basis. I think Rock Band 3 is close to perfect. The ability to change the band round mid set gives it much more flexibility in the post pub situation. The addition of keyboards has also led to a much better range of songs. I suppose quite a lot of this is also cumulative. We have hundred of songs now and there are very few situations where playing Rock Band is not the most appropriate use of time.

6) Fallout: New Vegas: I went into some detail about this a few weeks ago. It is a good game that could have been great. I understand that most of the problems have been sorted out now. If they have then everyone should give it a go.

5) Heavy Rain: Again, a game I wrote about a while a go. It’s something that has stuck with me in the nine months since I’ve finished it. It is a bit clunky but the innovation makes it worth it. I keep meaning to give it another go since it has been patched to work with Move, I’ve never quite got round to it.

4) World of Warcraft: Cataclysm: Is it fair to include this? Probably not. It has got me back into Warcraft after a few years off and, currently, I love it. Though, to be honest, most of what I’ve been playing was actually added in Wrath of the Lich King. I love the fact that the world has been remade and the new style of quests has removed much of the drudgery. I need to consider that this has only just been released so in a few months I might well have got bored again.

3) Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit: This was released at roughly the same time as Gran Turismo 5 and you couldn’t get two more different driving games. Whilst GT5 is just dull Need for Speed is unadulterated mayhem. I was a massive fan of Burnout Paradise and I think Criterion have brought the Need for Speed franchise back to life. They seem to understand how multiplayer should work and have seamlessly integrated your friends into  the single player experience.

2) Red Dead Redemption: Yeah, I mentioned this before. What was a good game at the time has been improved by the constant release of downloadable content. I hadn’t realised that it was hiding, what turned out to be, a very strong multiplayer game. In fact everything that Grand Theft Auto 4 should have been. The addition of Zombies, in Undead Nightmare was a random move that has been much appreciated.

1) Battle field Bad Company 2: This had to be number one. It is actually one of the best games I have ever played. Since completing it back in July I’ve stuck with the multiplayer and loved every minute of it. This is the game that Call of Duty thinks it is and it’s a crime that the developers have not got the accolade they deserve. This has also been supported with really strong downloadable content, capped off by the release, this week, of Vietnam.

If you do yourself one favour this year, try and play a game of rush. This is what the Internet was invented for.

Well, that was my year. Not an outstanding year for the number of games but certainly outstanding for my number one choice.


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