While I'm waiting for CATHERINE (the savior of Japanese games, or so I'm told) to come out, I feel like spending time posting some of my favourite games of this generation. This isn't really a top number game list, but more like a list of the games I've enjoyed the most this generation, so I will be updating it constantly with more short game descriptions.
Feel free to leave any comments or anything you feel like.
●LEFT 4 DEAD 2 [VALVE]
LEFT 4 DEAD 2 is by far the hardest game I have ever played in my life! And you know what? I absolutely love it!
I've beaten the game on (single player) expert, I've beaten it on realism, and I just can't get enough of it. There's something incredibly gratifying about surving those deadly zombie mobs and saving the useless A.I. bots. I mean, you know that you can only pull that off if you're an expert player, and that is one sweet feeling.
●DRAGON AGE : ORIGINS [ELECTRONIC ARTS]
For many (myself included) DRAGON AGE felt at first like a BALDUR'S GATE lite. I mean compared to BIOWARE's previous games, the game does have less depth, specially when it comes to the character cla$$es and skills. Still, DRAGON AGE has everything that in my opinion makes western role-playing games superior : heavy customization options, unforgetable characters and character development, high replay value, and of course the feeling that you're actually role-playing.
Now with the new direction that BIOWARE games have taken, it remains to be seen if DRAGON AGE : ORIGINS will be the last of its kind or not.
●OTOMEDIUS G/X [KONAMI]
OTOMEDIUS is one, if not the best arcade shooting game to have come out in the last decade (after 2001). Yet the game isn't really a substantial step forward over its predecessors (it's more like an homage really). In fact, I would say that the original PARODIUS games were a lot better for the time they were released. A time where they faced the most stiff competition the genre has ever seen, by the way.
But more importantly OTOMEDIUS has showed me two things : First that for the last 10 years the traditional arcade shooting genre has been sucked into a black hole from which I don't see a way out yet. Second that it seems they cannot longer sell an arcade shooting game without putting some annoying anime characters in them, and what better if they are of the big boobed kind.
Personally, I would've preferred the original PARODIUS cast any old day, but probably the 90% of the gaming audience nowadays is more than happy with the wide eyed anime girls with big boobs.
●THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD : OVERKILL [SEGA]
This is by a longshot the most hilarious and over-the-top lightgun game... ever! And it totally rocks!
I'm actually glad the game wasn't Japanese since I don't think they would've nailed the 'grindhouse' feel of the game. Actually, from what I can gather the Japanese version had some cencorship.
OVERKILL is also one of those odd cases where the graphics suck from a technical standpoint yet look awesome within its context. The grindhouse effect is the best I've ever seen on a videogame and overall it succeeds at making the game look good.
Oh and did I mentioned that the soundtrack is simply A-W-E-S-O-M-E ?
●ACE COMBAT 6 : FIRES OF LIBERATION [NAMCO-BANDAI]
Gorgeous visuals and the perfect mix of arcade and simulation action made ACE COMBAT 6 an instant winner for me. The storyline which is flat-out corny and takes a borderline naive and annoying take at war can get on your nerves at times, but fortunately this is relegated to the cut-scenes only. The character interaction that goes over the radio with the rest of your comrades is much, much better.
I don't quite agree with GameSpot in that the campaign takes a while to get interesting. Maybe only in the lower difficulties, but at the highest difficulty settings, the campaign gets exciting and challenging from the first stage.
My only complaint is that while your companions have a surprisingly powerful stopping power, they only ever use it when you command them, and the rest of the time they're sitting ducks waiting for you to do all the work. It certainly would've been nice to see your comrades fighting the enemy more vigorously.
●DRAGON QUEST : MONSTER BATTLE ROAD VICTORY [SQUARE-ENIX]
Based on the arcade smash-hit - ROAD VICTORY is a card-based battle game developed by 8ing. The cards themselves serve only as icons for your equipment, monsters and special attacks though, so in reality the game works and plays like a Japanese RPG.
ROAD VICTORY is a game that sucked over 70 hours of my time, and I haven't even done any of the post-game stuff! I find this very surprising considering that ROAD VICTORY is in reality a rather small-sized game. A small but beautifully detailed town serves as a hub for your activies, which for the most part will be purchasing cards at the card shop and battling your town buddies for supremacy. You can also visit the costume shop and dress your character in your favourite DQ heroes or monsters outfits.
Being originally an arcade game, the gameplay is very easy to get into and is also incredibly addictive. The cel-shaded graphics are also top-notch and really gives you the feeling that you're in the world of AKIRA TORIYAMA.
Overall, ROAD VICTORY is a must-play for any fans of DRAGON QUEST and/or TORIYAMA's drawings.
●DEAD RISING 2 [CAPCOM]
In Japan the DEAD RISING games are labeled as [Zombie Paradise] games, and I certainly don't think they could've come out with a better one.
The original DEAD RISING was in my opinion a breakthrough game on the XBOX 360. It brought killing zombies to a whole new level, putting hundreds of zombies on-screen at once and giving you lots of stuff to dispose of them in the most creative way you could think of.
The sequel fixed many of the design issues of the original game. It is also a bigger game with lots of more stuff to see and use. I do have two issues with the game though : The first is that the game suffers from a whole lot of technical issues that the original game didn't. The second is that the storyline, pretty much sucks.
For a game that at times didn't took itself seriously, the original DEAD RISING had a very well fleshed-out and solid storyline. The mission structure, though often critisized, was pretty intense. And the Overtime Mode was really cool and it added a lot to the game. The sequel however, never felt intense and its Overtime Mode was a huge disappointment. I do have to say though, that I found the new character cast more charming and likeable, even though the characters themselves are on the shallow side.
Still, when all it's said and done, it's hard to go back to the original after playing the sequel, and that's why I put it here.
●NIGHT OF THE SACRIFICE [MARVELOUS]
NIGHT OF THE SACRIFICE is an unique horror adventure game in which you play as a small group of college students who've decided to take a trip to a place called the [TSUKUYOMI RAVINE] where as legend has it, people used to sacrifice to the gods.
The game is played from a first-person perspective. You use the Wiimote as a flashlight, and optionally you can also use the Wii Balance Board to move. Now, what makes NIGHT OF THE SACRIFICE unique is that unlike in most other horror games your characters have no means to fend off against the evil spirits that roam the Tsukuyomi Ravine, so all you can do is find a way to sneak past them, and if worse comes to worst; run like hell for your life. Only one grab is enough to get a game over, so you really need to move around very careful.
The game is also scary as hell. In fact I would say it's the only genuinely scary game on the system as I didn't found ZERO, nor CALLING and the rest particularly scary. Another peculiar thing about the game is that unlike the realistic enviroments, the main characters (which all can be renamed) are portrayed in a $tyle similar to the one used previously by SONIC TEAM for their DS game [I WOULD DIE FOR YOU] or FEEL THE MAGIC/PROJECT RUB as it is know in the west.
About the only lowpoint the game has is that it was obviously a middle-range production, so a lot of enviroments and objects get re-used constantly here and there.