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My Best of E3 Awards

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Time for my Best of E3.

I already covered the conferences extensively in the forums so I will just give awards out.

Conferences

Best Conference:

Nintendo - It was the perfect conference. Game after game being shown and the majority were brand new, mega announcements. It had Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Mickey, Goldeneye and even Kid Icarus. Plus the blowed everyone away with the 3DS lineup.

Worst Conference:

Ubisoft - I don't know what was going on here. It had a mix of some great games and some craptastic games that make your head hurt. The conference was painful at times to watch.

Greatest conference of all time:

Konami - Magical, majestic, stunning, spectacular, mindblowing, surreal, just a few adjectives you can use to describe this one of a kind conference. It was also comedy of the year, I have not laughed so hard in a long time.

Most disappointing conference:

Microsoft - I wanted them to show my why I would want Kinect and they completely ignored me. I expected much more from them.

Games Special Awards

Biggest surprise announcement:

Kid Icarus - It's been in rumor hell for years now, we finally think it will never happen and BOOM, its the launch game for the 3DS. I was completely shocked.

Kid Icarus Uprising Screenshot

Game I thought would be complete trash but it was actually impressive:

True Crime - This was shown on G4, I was very close to just skipping it cause its True Crime. But what I saw was a game that looked like Yakuza but with incredible graphics and modern animation. A very detailed world, a great chase sequence and a brawler type combat system that is great to watch and probably to play. I was very impressed.

Game that will most likely break the Sonic Cycle:

Sonic Colors - This time I am not crazy, this Sonic game looks like the real deal. You can read any preview, watch any video, it is the best of Sonic Unleashed polished and better than ever.

Best Trailer:

Deus Ex Human Revolution - Yeah I know Star Wars had another awesome trailer but last years was better. This year I have to hand it to Deus Ex which had a trailer that can match up with the very best of the movie industry. After the trailer was over I wanted to go to the theater and pick up my ticket, then I realized it was a game.

Best new IP:

Journey - A unique looking game with a concept made just for me. A game all about exploration and discovery. I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Journey - Motion by PlayStation.Blog.

Best new gun:

Red Faction Armaggedon Magnet Gun - This gun can be a game changer. I thought nothing of the new RF game until I saw this baby in action. It has the ability to bring any two objects together, combine that with a fully destructible environment and you have gold.

Best graphics:

Rage - So pretty and shiny with a perfectly smooth 60 FPS. A world where every inch is hand crafted. Amazing enemy animation. Above all it looked different, we have so many sequels, many look alike this is new.

Rage Publicity Still

Best stylized graphics:

Kirby's Epic Yarn - Woah, this game is stunning to look at. I never knew yarn could make for such a beautiful look but it does. The game world moves like interactive fabric, it is so unique.

Games Genre Awards

Best Racing game:

Gran Turismo 5 - It only does EVERYTHING. Racing game of the forever.

Runner Up: Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

Best Puzzle game:

Portal 2 - The portal gun is more than enough to make excellent puzzles but Valve decided to introduce a ton of new features which makes my brain hurt already from thinking about how complex they will get. I cannot wait.


Runner Up: ???

Best Music game:

Rock Band 3 - Keyboard!! Also a ton of new features that make this seem like a worthy new addition to a genre that is getting very stale. This category was no contest.

Runner ups: Dance Central, Michael Jackson

Best Platformer:

LittleBigPlanet 2 - At this point its sort of an insult to just call LBP2 a platformer but it is still the backbone of the game. It promises to take what you could do in LBP and multiply it by 100. I cannot imagine what will be done with this game.

Runner ups: Sonic Colors, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarn

Best Shooter:

Vanquish - Its a sea of first person shooters and sequels to great third person shooters, I bet many of those will be great but one stands out as being different and being right up my ally. Completely over the top, fast paced, non stop action. A mix of Bayonetta and Gears, I am in love.

Runner ups: Gears of War 3, Dead Space 2, Crysis 2, Rage, Halo Reach, Bulletstorm, Call of Duty Black ops

Best RPG:

Deus Ex Human Revolution - I don't know what this game fits under, eh I will put it here. Incredible demo that proves this is the true sequel we have been waiting for. The stealth elements seem improved, the action can match up with the best out there and it looks to have one hell of a world to explore.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Screenshot

Runner ups: Fallout New Vegas, Star Wars The Old Republic

Best Fighting game:

Mortal Kombat - Screw MvC3, screw Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat is BACK! Its 2D, it's more brutal than ever and it is a clear return to it's roots. It even borrows elements from SF to you know make it a decent fighting game. I am very excited.

Runner up: Marvel vs Capcom 3

Best Action/Adventure game:

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword - This one is easy for me. The king of the genre, all other games will try to mix various elements together and none will do it as well as Zelda. I know nothing about the game except that it will control unlike any Zelda game and the combat seems to be flat out better for it. Combat is but just one element of the series and I have little doubt all other elements will come together beautifully.

Runner ups: Metal Gear Rising, Epic Mickey, Castlevania Lords of Shadow, Infamous 2, Star Wars Force Unleashed 2, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Enslaved

Platform Awards

Best PSP game:

:lol: , ok fine, God of War

Best DS game:

Okamiden - This system is clearly on its way out, still has a few games I want to try out. None more than Okamiden, sequel to one of my favorite PS2 games.

Runner up: Sonic Colors

Best PC Exclusive:

Star Wars The Old Republic - I would fear for my life if I got into this game. I saw some footage of it and it almost looked like an action game, what kind of MMO is this. It looks incredible, it's made by Bioware so you know the story will be incredible. If this were on consoles I would be all over it.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Screenshot

Runner up: Civilization 5 cause everyone else said so.

Best Wii Exclusive:

The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword - Kirby looks cute, but its probably a short simple game. DKC never really cared for it and it is probably just like the SNES games. Epic Mickey, does seem amazing, unique and shows a ton of promise but it is unproven and I wonder if the 2D levels will overshadow everything else. Metroid will be Metroid which has never been as good as Zelda. Now that I got everyone angry I will shout out my love for my favorite franchise of all time, Zelda. It will be incredible, it will be a masterpiece, it may be the best Wii game of all time, the sky is the limit on this one.

Runner ups: Epic Mickey, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Sonic Colors, Metroid Other M

Best 360 Exclusive (PC doesn't count):

Halo Reach - I was ready to give Gears 3 this award but then I saw extended footage of the space combat in action and I was sold. I am glad Halo isn't just sitting back and doing the same old thing. It is promising to introduce brand new game mechanics and really take the franchise to a whole new level.

Halo: Reach Screenshot

Runner ups: Gears of War 3, Fable 3, Kinectimals :P

Best PS3 Exclusive:

LittleBigPlanet 2 - Now a game creator rather than just a level creator. The new features are more than enough to make this a worthy stand alone package. I bet the campaign will be better than ever but its the possibilities of the level editor that makes this by far my most anticipated PS3 game.

LittleBigPlanet 2 Screenshot

Runner ups: Gran Turismo 5, Infamous 2, Killzone 3

Game of the Show

Nominees are:

The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

Epic Mickey

Epic Mickey Screenshot


Portal 2



LittleBigPlanet 2

LittleBigPlanet 2 Screenshot

Deus Ex Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Screenshot

Winner of my Game of the Show E3 2010 is:

Portal 2





Nothing at E3 had my jaw on the floor, had my brain doing backflips at the possibilities of what I saw on screen like Portal 2. Valve only had a 13 minute presentation but it was a perfect demo showing off new concept after new concept. Tractor beams, vacuum vents, laser deflectors and liquids that can make you move faster. Thats what they showed us, who knows what else is in store. They said there will be two separate campaigns one single player and one co-op, each unique. Each will be twice as the first game. With Zelda they didn't show much of anything, I am excited cause I know I will love it but they didn't really impress me in the same way Portal 2 did. Now get a portal gun in my Zelda game and we have the best game ever.

Best New Hardware at E3:

Nintendo 3DS

http://gearmedia.ign.com/gear/image/article/109/1098523/e3-2010-nintendo-3ds-unanswered-questions-20100615063322491.jpg

I want to end this post with the 3DS cause above all I think this is the most important thing shown at E3. I predict that this will be a bigger product than the DS which is already the best selling handheld ever. I predict this will be a revolutionary new device that will change not only gaming but all portable devices. Within the next few years prepare to see Iphones in 3D, cameras in 3D, PDAs in 3D and of course the PSP2 will be 3D. It will start the strongest movement to get rid of the need for glasses. This device will be GIGANTIC. I have not even mentioned the game lineup which is an all-star list of franchises. It wouldn't surprise me to see a Halo game on it. This kind of hardware shows why Nintendo is so far ahead of everyone else.

Goodbye LOST, 24

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Within the next few days my two favorite shows of all time will be coming to an end. I watched TV as kid like everyone but I never followed a primetime show until the late 90's with the X-Files. . I saw some sitcoms as well, through reruns I am sure I have seen every episode of Full House or Home Improvement they were just shows that were on TV at a convenient time. The X-Files was the first TV show that was appointment television for me week in and week out, but it's not a show I watched from start to finish, I started around the 3rd season and stopped caring around the last one well after it fell apart. That finale was way overdue, there was no sadness involved, it was more like "its about time its over".

http://elbee4.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/jackbauer8.jpghttp://2f.img.v4.skyrock.com/2f7/lost3flo/pics/499213164_small.jpg
A tale of two Jacks.

I started to watch more and more shows on and off around that time. Then came 2001 and the previews for this crazy new type of show, an action show that will be in real time. It had Keifer Sutherland in the lead role, I love action, so I was definitely all in. It's kind of weird that 9/11 happened right before the show started, especially cause the first episode was about a plane hijacking. It was a scary time for our nation and in that moment came this show that was about the greatest terrorist killing hero in TV history, it was oddly perfect. The first season wasn't about terrorists at all actually, it was a more personal story for Jack Bauer. That season set up the formula that the show would use for it's entire run. The real time, multiple storyline setup was unlike anything I ever saw. Literally every episode lead into the next one. So many dramas had stand alone episodes, this is a show that demanded the viewer to never miss one episode. At the time it was almost a radical idea but soon nearly every drama would follow suit.

http://libertasexemplar.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/jack_bauer_torture.jpg
Thats his brother, what do you think he does to people he is not related to.

24 is simply the most intense, suspenseful, bad-ass show ever put on TV. It had action that would rival hollywood. It had scenes that I would have never thought possible on network television. It has the biggest cojones of any show, it would do the unthinkable on a regular basis. I still remember the season 1 finale like it was yesterday, that final scene is one of the most haunting, jaw dropping scenes I have ever seen. At that moment I knew for sure that this show would be something special for a long time.

http://image3.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID11608/images/24-Ep811_Jack.jpg

But above all it worked cause of Jack Bauer. I don't think there has ever been a drama show that is more dependent on one man. The cast outside of Bauer is like a revolving door (of death), literally NO ONE from the first season except Bauer is in the last one. The only character outside of Bauer that is a show regular is his Otacon, Chloe, I am glad she is still around cause it gives us someone else to care about. While you could argue that is the biggest flaw of the show, it might also be the whole point of the show. Jack Bauer is meant to be a lonely sad man that sees everyone around him die, but he keeps on fighting cause it's the right thing to do. He is a legendary hero, up there with the all time great movie heroes. I hope there are some real life Jack Bauers out there, but there probably isn't cause if there were we would have Bin Laden's head like 7 years ago.

http://ste5ens.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/wall24_1jackbauer.jpg
There is a lot of dead people in this picture.

24 became MY show, it was the one show I would watch every episode. I remember having to record episodes on a VHS back in the day before I got Tivo. As a show 24 started off on fire. The first two seasons were amazing and 24 had a ton of buzz around it. The third and fourth season started to get a bit predictable but it was still must see TV. Then came season 5 which was to many the best season the show had. It one the Emmy for best drama that year, Keifer won for best actor and a bunch of the cast was nominated as well. That season was epic, I still remember shaking from the excitement after seeing the episode where CTU gets hit with gas and Edgar dies. I remember my jaw dropping further than it ever has at the revelation of the big bad guy, none other than the President of the U.S., the evil bastard Charles Logan. The start of the season where nearly every main character died, it was insanity. It was as if the show knew it had to shake things up and it did so in spectacular fashion.

Sadly season 6 turned out to be the worst season in the shows history. It was so weird to go from the very best to the worst just like that. I still don't get what happened, it was kind of sad cause during that season I knew it was the beginning of the end for the show. In 2008 we had the writers strike and 24 was canceled for the entire year. To go from a horrible season, to an entire year off, it killed it. 24 left the spotlight, the show would never be at the same level of popularity it was before. Season 7 finally came and it was definitely better than 6 but overall it was just good, not great. At the start of this last season we heard rumors that this would probably be the last one, but there was no official decision at the start of filming. Season 8 started off horrible, worst than 6. I wanted the show gone, I did not want to see it go out like this, a wounded animal that should be put out of its misery. Then the decision came that this season would be the last one, at that moment it seems like the writers were rejuvenated. The last half of this season is maybe the best stretch of episodes this show has ever had. Now I don't want it to end, where was THIS show the last few years. I am so glad to see it go out in a blaze of glory. I am not that emotional cause for one 24 isn't really an emotional show in the normal sense, it has plenty of emotional storylines but the show is sort of cold, like a dad that doesn't show much love but you know he loves you. Also there is a movie coming out so I know its not the real end.

http://eyeonsoaps.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/lost-logo.jpg

Lets go back in time. 24 is in it's 4th season I believe it's 2005. That year I think ABC had the Super Bowl, the network was in the crapper, it was last place, it was like NBC is now. So they heavily promoted some new dramas during the Super Bowl, one of them was LOST. The promos showed this mysterious show about people crash landing on an island but the island wasn't normal. The show had the guy that played Merry in LOTR as a cast member and I remember the commercials focusing so much on him. It was like "The guy from Lord of the Rings stars in LOST, coming soon." It's crazy to think that he will now be known more as Charlie than Merry. I love sci-fi, this show looked like something I would love and so I decided to watch it. The rest is history, LOST became my other show, another show I could not miss one episode of.

http://magicpork.com/images/lost_charlie.jpg
"Where are we?"

LOST unlike 24 is all about the ensemble cast, a massive cast of about 12 or so characters. Each one with a backstory that would be explored through the shows patented flashbacks. Each week the mystery grew deeper and deeper, what the hell is up with this island. The first season was incredible, I never saw a show with such a large cast of rich characters, almost all of them were excellent. That first year it won the Emmy for best drama, the buzz around it was gigantic. The show has it all, drama, romance, adventure, comedy, thrilling, suspenseful, and of course mystery.

Season 2 started to open up the show a bit to more fantastic ideas, to a more sci-fi route. The problem is that it felt as if it were dragging it's feet. You got the sense that the show was directionless, a show like this where it is very important to get answers that is a scary feeling to have. This extended into the first half of Season 3 as well which I feel was the series low point. The flashbacks had shown all that they could show. The show started to get a bit stale. Then midway through that season came the decision by ABC to give the show an end date, season 6. Once the writers knew how long they had to tell the story, the show went into hyperdrive. The last half of season 3 is some of the best TV I have ever seen. Season 4, in my opinion the best season of the series, was nearly perfect from start to end.

http://therebelprince.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/lost4.jpg

The real game changer came in the season 3 finale where I feel the show had a moment so surprising that it has to go down as one of the most important moments in TV history. It was the game changer the show needed, since that moment it has been a rollercoaster ride, an awesome rollercoaster ride that I never want to end. But it has to, here is a show that is leaving on top of the world. Sure the ratings have been down because it is such a demanding show for the audience, new viewers will undoubtedly be lost. The fanbase has remained as passionate as ever, the show has been a critical darling it's entire run. When I look back at the entire story, all six seasons, I will have to say it is the best TV show I have ever seen. It did what every other show like it failed to do, actually end on their terms. I can't help but to compare it with the X-Files. Both are shows that established a huge mythology built around mystery. Both promised lots of answers. The X-Files totally lost its way and ended as a mess. LOST will end perfectly, with the whole story arc completed.

http://www.duckydoestv.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/lost-last-supper-1.jpg

While the mythology is a big part of the show the show is not about that, the show has always been about the characters. It is a character driven drama, an extremely powerful one as well. It touches on all sorts of subjects but at it's center is the debate between science and faith. It's such a deep show, I have never cared so much about TV characters. I love 24 cause I am an action fan, I love how bold that show is but I can't say it is better than LOST. This show ending will make me sad, I will flat out say it, I will probably be crying at the end of the finale, I am man enough to admit that. Another awesome part of the show is that I got my whole family into it so we are having one huge LOST party on sunday night. Sunday feels like the Super Bowl, it's such a big event, I can't wait.


On back to back days the only two shows I have ever seen from beginning to end, never missing one episode, come to an end. I love movies, other than gaming that's my thing, these shows have showed me that TV can be every bit as powerful as a movie. Sometimes even more so cause a television show becomes part of your normal life. A movie comes and goes in two hours, a show is a normal part of your schedule for years. You invest over a hundred hours into these characters and their stories. I have never experienced a finale in the way I am about to cause I never invested in a show until these two came along. So sad to see them go... but hey I get Mario! :)

God of War 3 review

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This review is like a whore, it's posted everywhere, so many of you will read this elsewhere.

GOD OF WAR 3:

God of War 2 was one of those sequels that is better than the original in every conceivable way. It was a leap forward on all aspects specifically the puzzles and general adventure portion of the GoW experience. Would God of War 3 be able to live up to the masterpiece that was GoW2 and more importantly can it surpass it's predecessor like the previous game did. The good news is that God of War 3 is another masterpiece, in some ways the best in the series but it is not a large leap forward which in the end makes it feel a bit safe.

Technically this game is a marvel. Once I started playing a had to stop, take a breath and move Kratos around slowly to let it all soak in that what I am playing is actually possible. If there was any game that proves this generation is far from finished this is it. David Jaffe said long ago that GoW3 looks like a painting in motion, some laughed at this notion, well he was right. It actually is the best description of this game, it looks like a beautiful painting that has some how come to life. The way the camera moves, the way the game animates, the perfect lighting, and all the little visual effects combine to make something that I have never seen before. It is the most visually striking game I have played to this point. The graphics are there to enhance the experience, this is a game that is all about scale. Everything in the game is rendered using the in game graphics and why not when it looks better than most CG. The music and voice acting are all top notch as well. If you want to show off a home theater using a game, this is the game to use it is a benchmark game.

After your eyes adjust to the beauty on the screen it all becomes about the gameplay. God of War 3 does not try to reinvent itself in any major way, it uses the blueprint of GoW2 and adds a few tweaks to the combat to make things play better. The game starts off with a battle on an immense scale, I guarantee many will call it the greatest opening setpiece in gaming history and it would be hard to argue. Within moments you are in an epic boss battle that has you climbing walls, swinging across chasms, and pulling off the button prompt moves this series is known for. The rest of the game is perfectly paced for a good 10-12 hours that takes you from the depths of hell to the top of Mount Olympus. The excellent mix of puzzles and action return. As always these are spaced out so they happen just when you need a break from one or the other. Like GoW2 there are a load of boss battles, these are the very best in the series. All feel original, no battle feels like it was copied from the previous game. In terms of an overall adventure it does not disappoint at all, in fact I can't think of a bad moment, there is no excess at all.

The action is still the main gameplay element, for some reason people like to call this series a button masher when it clearly isn't. Maybe you can get away with a few simple moves on easy or normal. I don't play modes for babies so I wouldn't know. God of War 3 has a very good combat system, one that makes you learn enemy patterns, it makes you know when to counter or evade and gives you enough leeway to come up with your own strategy. Many tweaks have been made that make the combat feel more responsive and deeper than ever before. Santa Monica Studios removed all moves that were useless like the Medusa Gaze spell. The bow and other items do not use up magic, now these items are given their own separate rechargeable bar. For the first time ever ranged combat is possible as arrows can be a normal attack. New items like the head of Helios and Hermes boots are useful both in battle and while moving around the game world. Spells are now tied to weapons, upgrade the weapon and you upgrade the spell as well, works way better this way. Now that you don't have to switch between spells, the d-pad is now free to switch between weapons easily. Yes three of the weapons are sort of the same but there are subtle differences that make use of each of these weapons in different situations. If using the d-pad was too much of a hassle to change weapons you can now switch them mid combo by pressing block and X. One of the best changes is this new grapple move which allows you to latch onto an enemy and hurl Kratos into the enemy. This can close gaps in distance quickly and is invaluable against some of the larger foes.

Most of the enemies are the same as previous games. There are maybe three new enemy types and they are hardly used sadly. The main difference in enemy loadout is the amount of grunts that can be on screen at once, literally 50 enemies can be attacking you at once. Kratos now has a throw move where he can grab an enemy and use them as a battering ram which is extremely useful for crowd control. These tweaks make the combat feel so much better but I almost feel that the game doesn't take advantage of it. For the first two thirds of the game almost all the battles you have are between one to three large enemies and a group of smaller ones. Enemy types rarely mixed, it was all very basic action setpieces. GoW2 had brutal combination of enemies and you saw all types many times. Some enemies in GoW3 you maybe fight three times in the entire game. The last third of the game does throw insane combination of enemies at you, many will notice a large difficulty spike. I wish it was more like that for the whole game.

The puzzles are the other side of the God of War coin and I feel like these are the best in series. No longer is there a heavy reliance on pulling levers and moving blocks all over the place. I'm not saying there isn't any of that but it is a bit more controlled. There is more variety to the kind of puzzles you find. Certain puzzles reminded me of Portal, some of Ico, one of Echochrome. I see these really cool ideas for puzzles and they are only used once and in the most easy of ways. They had the basis for puzzles that would fill an entire dungeon of a Zelda game, instead they just stick with a simple tutorial like puzzle. I guess that is the curse of making a game that is so strict with it's pacing. Sadly it felt like a tease to me.

God of War 3 does improve over the second game in many ways but it has a few issues. For one there doesn't seem to be many secrets hidden around like there were in GoW2. There are plenty of "hidden" items in GoW3 but half of them are in plain sight, all you need to do is use the Helios head item to make them appear. Or there is an obvious branching path that leads to hidden chests. In GoW2 there were some very clever spots that they hid the chests in, I didn't find all the upgrades or hidden items. In GoW3 I had no trouble finding nearly everything on my first go, only the godly possession items had me searching. Then there is the issue of glitches which feels so weird in a game that is so well done. Weird stuff happens in this game but not always, it's almost random. Some people will play the game and it will be perfect, while others will experience an odd glitch that forces them to start a section over. I had this strange thing happen to a column I had to move into a certain position, the column would not be at a perfect 90 degree angle like it should, it was off. I thought I sucked at this puzzle cause I couldn't figure it out, turns off I did have the right I idea, the column was glitched. So I had to restart from the last checkpoint and it fixed itself. The checkpoints are plenty so anyone with any issues should not have to replay much. One minor gripe is the inability to skip cutscenes even after you finish the game, they say it is to hide load times, well there is no way it is loading for like 4 minutes, come on.

Unlike the top tier action games like DMC, GoW doesn't offer great unlockables. You get seven challenges which are rather simple and a combat arena that allows you to set which enemies you want to fight, that is about it. There is not even a new game + option so no way to play through the whole game with all your weapons and such. It's a bit disappointing cause the very best action games really give incentive to keep playing and to master the game, then again this isn't just an action game.

God of War 3 does almost everything right, even the flaws I mentioned are like a mole on a supermodel, hell even that mole can be sexy. It has better combat, it has better puzzles, it even has better boss fights and an improved story from GoW2. That said I can't say I was as blown away by GoW3 as I was from GoW2 because GoW2 was a huge improvement while GoW3 feels like a beautiful, slightly improved version of GoW2. So while I wish they didn't play it so safe I can't complain much cause I feel like GoW2 is one of the best games out there and any game like it worthy of being a GOTY contender.

Overall Score: 9.5

Gaming in the 90's.

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Gaf created another hell of a nostalgia thread this one about the decade of the 90's. One post in that thread blew my mind, it stated that many started the decade on an NES and we ended with the Dreamcast. Holy hell, let that sink in. The progress we made in that one decade is insane.

We started like this:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_SzmA6XmxuMM/SFszd_Y7odI/AAAAAAAAAHY/RJn3PO0hkMg/s400/super-mario-bros-3-virtual-console-20071112022240220.jpg

Ended like this:



By comparison 2000's started like this:
http://www.gamesonly.at/uploads/code_veronica.jpg

And ended like this:
http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/915/915980/resident-evil-5-20081003100838391_640w.jpg



Think about this, we started in 1990 with the release of Super Mario Bros 3 in the US, the greatest NES game of all time, one of the greatest games period. That same year we entered the 16-bit era with the Genesis. After that SNES came out, we got Super Mario World, Sega gave us Sonic the Hedgehog and the 16-bit era was off and running. Think of the ****cs, think about how many of those games are still masterpieces. Don't forget that around 1993 the PC gaming scene exploded with Doom and FPSs were invented. PC gaming had masterpiece adventure games, strategy games, FPSs, flight sims, even for me who is not a big PC guy I marveled at what the PC was doing cause it was so different.

http://images.trustedreviews.com/images/article/inline/3413-doom1.jpg
Still better than 95% of all FPSs.

Mid decade came the switch from 2D to 3D and gaming felt brand new again. Controlling Mario in 3D space for the first time is still something I will never forget and I wonder if gaming will have a moment like that again. Storytelling started to evolve, voice acting, cinematic presentation, games could be like movies now. Resident Evil, Final Fantasy 7, Super Mario 64, Metal Gear Solid, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Half-Life, some of the games that have set standards.

http://few4th.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/zelda_ocarina_of_time.jpg
Remember the moment you first stepped out into the world.

We ended the decade with a glimpse into the future, the Dreamcast. A console that came in with a built in modem, a system that was made for online gaming. State of the art 3D graphics with games like Sonic Adventure, NFL 2k, Soul Calibur which was a massive jump over PS1/64. The 2000's by comparison was a decade spent refining the games and rules setout during the late 90's.

For me the 90's were my prime childhood years, was I lucky to be able to experience this decade like that, with the mind of a child. I have done my very best to retain that sense of child jubilation, of innocence, to not become cynical when it comes to gaming. It is why on message boards I act super excited for the next big game, I want to hold on to that aspect of my childhood. Reality is that I am older, gaming is not as important as it once was, as much as I still do get excited for games it will never match the intensity of my childhood self which is fine. It makes me glad that I got to experience that era as a kid, cause honestly this era with the online gaming, the "you suck NOOB" crap and stuff as a kid would really suck.

To start the decade I had my NES, SMB3 hit which was about the most hyped game of all time at that point. In 91 I got a Genesis, I instantly switched to a Sega fanboy so I sadly missed out on the SNES (but have since gone back to play those games). Sonics, Eccos, Streets of Rage, Castle of Illusion, Quack Shot, X-Men, Sports Talk Football, Aladdin, TMNT Hyperstone Heist, and many more. Remember the fighting game scene SF2 changed everything and Mortal Kombat changed the way violence was handled in gaming. Back then the fighting genre was as big if not the biggest genre. I remember the hype for Mortal Kombat 2 more than anything, it was unbelievable. DUring this time my friend had a top of the line PC and introduced me to Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Decent, Tie-Fighter, Duke Nukem 3D, Heretic, Sim City 2000, Jedi Knight and more, what a revolutionary time for PC gaming.

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This was legendary. On arcades, consoles, you name it this game was HUGE.

In 96 I got a Saturn and a Playstation, like everyone I entered the world of 3D gaming. The Saturn didn't do much of 3D for a while, Panzer Dragoon was a great game but it was still on rails. PS1 launch games were not that impressive, my brother was the one that got the PS1 so I leeched off him at the start. It wasn't until Resident Evil that I experienced what the future of gaming was going to be like. The second half of the decade was all about exploring new types of games, new types of controls, worlds that we never dreamed we could play in. I never owned an N64 but a friend had one so I experienced a bunch of the games through him, especially the joys of four player deathmatch in Goldeneye. The decade ended with me getting a Dreamcast and being blown away at the visuals. That jump from PS1 to DC is still to me the biggest jump we have ever had graphically in the 3D era.


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Games were never the same after this.

I will argue that games are better now, look at what we get to play, games with massive open worlds, incredible graphics, powerful stories, perfected gameplay. Games are better but that magic the 90's had is partly gone. We reached a point where all we are doing is refining the same games over and over. The Wii at least threw a wrench into the equation but to be honest outside of mini games there still hasn't been that revolution payoff. When will we experience that feeling of discovery like the first time we entered 3D gaming, I think about that all the time.

And now I leave you with pics of games from the 90s (taken from gaf):







http://www.jason-preston.com/images/TIEFighter.jpg
http://cache.kotaku.com/assets/resources/2007/04/ZWEI.jpg


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http://www.biocrawler.com/w/images/f/f6/PSX_Tomb_Raider.pnghttp://img178.imageshack.us/img178/7346/screen01724e62c6wa2.jpghttp://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2008/04/17/soulcalibur.jpg

Bayonetta Review

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Bayonetta:

I am convinced that Hideki Kamiya doesn't know how to make a bad game. He has made excellent title after excellent title and each are different from the last. This is really the first time he revists a style of game he has done before, in this case the style of game he created that has been copied by nearly all action games, the Devil May Cry type of action game. He comes back to this genre to show everyone who is king and to show off some new tricks. It will always be debatable which action game is the greatest but this game instantly enters the discussion which should tell you how great this title is.

Unsurprisingly, Bayonetta is a lot more DMC like than it is Ninja Gaiden like. The structure of the game is similar to DMC, the game flows from one chapter to the next, grading your progress all the way through. You may revisit any chapter you previously completed at any time. The chapters in this game are split into verses, each verse is basically a battle and each of these gets graded individually as well. Most chapters have hidden verses that the player will have to seach to find, many times these lead to portals called the Alfheim. Each Alfheim has a battle with some sort of requirement like kill all enemies only using a limited amount of attacks. Those are not the only hidden things in the chapters, they are full of secrets like birds you need to capture, weapon pieces, health upgrades and more. So while it is a pretty straight forward action game there is plenty to look around for.

The combat system is the star of the show and like DMC it is a very stylish, fast paced combat **** DMC is all about offense, there wasn't even a dodge button until DMC3 and even that was just an optional move you could learn. The focus in Bayonetta is still offense which is now complimented with an evade button that becomes crucial to the entire combat system. Enemies are relentless, they come at you in hordes of 4 or 5 at once. Many times you are being attacked by enemies at all sides all at once. To avoid being hit you use the evade button which makes you invincible for a tiny moment. If you time it just right so that you evade the attack right as it is about to hit you, you enter witch time which slows down all the enemies. Witch time is where you can do massive damage but be warned as in later difficulties you lose this ability.

To stay alive you need to be constantly attacking. The game has a simple set of combos to learn, they all come from a combination of punch and kick attacks. Most combos are simple strings like punch, punch, kick, punch. Some combos have you pause for a moment before inputting the next attack, for instance punch, pause, punch, is a different attack than punch, punch. Every single attack can be held down for maximum damage. Say you have a gun as your hand weapon and you do a punch, kick, punch attack, if you hold down the button before moving to the next you can extend the life of the attack. Instead of pressing punch, kick, punch quickly, press punch and hold it down and Bayonetta will punch and continously shoot for a while, then press kick and hold that down, and so on. It results in the same combo but each attack in that combo is maxed out for damage. Say you were using a sword, instead of shooting you would enter a charge attack state so that when you release the button you would do a more powerful attack. At the end of most combos is a weave attack, this attack summons a giant fist or foot of hair to do massive damage on the enemy. This will be how Bayonetta will do the most damage on enemies, you must learn to use the weave attacks or you will get slaughtered.

Now the question becomes, how does one get to the end of a combo if enemies are constantly attacking you, wouldn't you need to be dodging all the time. Yes you would and that is how this game will change action games. This game has a system called combo offset, basically when you dodge if you hold down the button of the last attack you performed that combo will resume as soon as you are out of your dodge animation. Take punch, kick, punch as an example. Say I press punch, kick and an enemy is about to hit me, so I hold down that kick button and press dodge, as soon as I come out of dodge I press punch to execute the weave attack. If I did not hold down kick while dodging I just would have performed a regular punch after the dodge which would be the start of a new combo. Basically this system allows you to be dodging and never have to lose a combo.

Doing combos not only results in weave attacks but it raises your magic bar. Once the bar is full you can perform a torture attack which are all those cool finishing moves you have probably seen in the videos. You may also pick up enemy weapons, many of these have wildly different moves than any of your weapons. Speaking of your weapons, you have a nice mix of firearms and melee weapons. To keep things simple the weapons share almost all the same combos, there are maybe 3 or 4 different combos per weapon type. This keeps things simple to learn, no need to worry about memorizing long dial a combo button strings. I wish there was more weapon variety and moves that felt different, DMC offers a better selection of weaponry I say.

The combat system can be debated, many love this new system, for me it was a bit to methodical. You were almost forced to be calm and input buttons at a controlled pace. When I play DMC I usually just go wild on the controller, that game requires you to constantly be attacking, moving, jumping. Doing that in this game will get you killed. I found it hard to be calmly pressing buttons as 5 enemies are trying to kill me at once. The action sometimes gets way too chaotic. Eventually like in DMC everything clicks and you can enter a sort of zen state where nothing can touch you, I still can't get there in Bayonetta. It is a hard game to master.

One area where I can say this game is flat out better than DMC is in outrageous over the top action. The action is visually amazing as you will see so much cool stuff that you might as well leave your jaw permanently on the floor. New gameplay elements come into play in nearly every chapter, some chapters are a mini game like moments which mimic ****c Sega arcade games (included with ****c Sega music). Bayonetta goes from one wild situation to another, it starts simple like battling a giant two headed dragon monster (with an upside down baby face for a chest) inside a chuch that has been ripped from the ground by the dragon, you hop out into the air, the dragon launches the church at you, and you catch it and throw it back. Later it gets a lot more crazy. Oh and in certain moments you can walk on walls, which results in Mario Galaxy platforming moments, yes there is platforming. Not only that some boss fights have you fighting on walls, upside down on ceilings, running around a missle as it is launched at a building. Did I mention you can transform into the wolf from Okami (complete with flower trail as it runs), yup. This game is FREAKING INSANE, you have not seen anything like it.

In a game this wild the boss fights obviously must be amazing and thankfully they are. They are huge, often times towering over Bayonetta like a building. They sort of fall into a pattern thought, since they are so big it isn't the sort of one on one, skill based fights you get from many of the bosses in DMC. Most of the major bosses have you dodging their attacks and slowly hitting them at opportune moments, eventually leading to a moment where the boss is vulnerable and you can execute some super power attack. There is a recurring boss called Jeanne which has all the same attacks you do, this is basically the games Vergil (Dante's evil brother in DMC3), giving that more skill based boss fight, I just wish there were more. The bosses are visually amazing to behold but I have fought better in other action games.

Bayonetta is difficult but very forgiving, in fact you will probably never get stuck. There are checkpoints everywhere, after ever verse, sometimes in the middle of hard verses. There are no penalties for dying outside of messing up your score. Every time you start from the last checkpoint you regain all your health, this kind of makes the item system pointless as why use a health item when dying gets you a fresh start. Boss fights have many checkpoints, so it is possible to battle a boss to the halfway point, die, and restart with full health while the boss retains it's half point damage. It is great to have a checkpoint system like this so that all players can finish the game but I feel the multiple difficulty levels should be enough. At higher difficulties they should have removed some checkpoints, or given us the option to turn them off. I got through the hardest mode with no real issue, sure I died a lot but so what. That is different from DMC where the hardest modes are simply nearly impossible to complete. This is not a game where you need to master it to complete it, mastering it is optional and thankfully you will be rewarded for it in the form of many many many unlockables. There are pros and cons to the system, I hope it can be tweaked for the next game.

The only other complaint I would have from a gameplay point of view is that there is a tiny bit of backtracking. Well it isn't really backtracking as it is reusing old areas in new ways, still it kind of sucks to go through the same locations. This was a problem in DMC4 though I will say it is handled way better in Bayonetta . Is it that hard to make different environments for a game that lasts 10+ hours. It's a minor issue, it kind of stood out cause the game is so polished from a gameplay point of view, it was weird that levels would sort of repeat.

Bayonetta does have a story but I am not so sure that is a good thing. It might have been better if they left it out. It's bad, it's just bad, it makes DMC's story look good. Plus it is very heavy on the cutscenes early on, I felt like I was playing a MGS game. The first hour was painful, thankfully it gets into its action groove quickly.

Much has been said about the PS3 port being a horrible version, this is not so. The game is completely in tact and the gameplay never suffers. Sure it doesn't move as smoothly as the 360 version and it looks uglier. That isn't much an issue. The big issue is the loading times which were horrendous. Thankfully those have been fixed by a patch. Overall it is not the most beautiful game, but it does amazing things with the engine it has. The music is extremely memorable cause it is flat out different than anything you hear in games.

Bayonetta instantly enters the discussion of best straight up action game ever. The players taste will determine their favorite, I know many like the Ninja Gaiden **** I personally still prefer DMC's action, and many others have chosen Bayonetta as their queen of action. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, all that says is that Bayonetta is in the upper echelons of the action genre. If you like action games you must play Bayonetta, it is as simple as that.

Overall Score: 9.4

The Massive Year in Review 2009 Spectacular!

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Here we are at the end of a decade and what I decade it was. In many ways this is the best decade of gaming, I feel that this is an industry that is constantly getting better over time. Lets talk about 2009 specifically, overall I would not say that this year in gaming was as great as last year but I will say it was rather close. In 2009 we saw the PS3 actually be the best seller a few months and deservedly so because it's exclusives were top notch this year. The 360 continued it's steady pace and continues to offer the best overall content of any console. The Wii was better than last year but that is not saying much. It was the strength of their third party games that stood out. Lets not forget the handheld race or handheld beatdown. The DS is on pace to be the best selling game system of all time, it is an unstoppable force. The PSP on the other hand, well it has seen better days. PSP Go is a massive faliure, at least the software is getting better. Back to the DS, it continues to show why it is the greatest handheld of all time with another slew of excellent titles.

This year we saw an abundance of quality sandbox stylle games covering a variety of themes and locations from mars to venice. Superhero games became good all of a sudden with two of the most popular comic book characters of all time appearing in their respective best games. Batman Arkham Asylum set a new standard for all comic book based games. We saw the first 2D Mario game on a console in about 18 years. I saw my favorite gaming villain finally die (for real this time) after 14 years of tormenting STARS members. We got a glipse into the future, the new decade will bring in new ways of interacting with our games, well the wii already does this but the other two are jumping in.

This year I played games like a madman because of a video game completion contest. Last year I finished 56 games, this year I almost doubled that to 102 games finished. Some of those were fighting games that I dont care to play but most were games I had never beaten. I also did a RE marathon in prep for RE5 which was a ton of fun.

Below are stats of everything I played and bought. Like last year I did not buy any new hardware, so still no 360 for me. I swear I plan to get it next year.

New Games I bought/recieved in 09:

PS3

  • Bioshock
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Batman Arkham Asylum
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
  • Demon's Souls
  • Dragon Age Origins
  • Infamous
  • Killzone 2
  • Lost Planet
  • Motorstorm Pacific Rift
  • Ratchet A Crack in Time
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
  • Uncharted 2
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • Warhawk
  • Braid
  • Fat Princess
  • Flower
  • Noby Noby Boy
  • Pixeljunk Eden Encore
  • Prince of Persia Clasic
  • Shatter
  • Turtles in Time Reshelled
  • Wipeout HD Fury

Wii

  • De Blob
  • Deadly Creatures
  • Klonoa
  • Madworld
  • New Super Mario Bros Wii
  • RE Darkside Chronicles
  • Castlevania Rebirth
  • Contra Rebirth
  • Actraiser
  • Ninja Gaiden 2
  • Castlevania 3

DS

  • Castlevania Order of Ecclesia
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Elite Beat Agents
  • GTA Chinatown Wars
  • Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks
  • Phantasy Star Zero
  • The World Ends with You

PC

  • World of Goo
  • Sam and Max Episode 4

Games bought/recieved - 45

Estimated Cost (what I paid) ~ $650

I had a huge jump in games bought this year, last year I had only 28 this year 45 and only a slight increase in cost. I was in super hobo mode this year, I cant tell you how many games I got at $10 or less. Almost every major release I did some deal like buy 2 get one free or get a $30 gift card. I think I paid for like 5 games full price, if that. Last year I bought one DS game, I promised I would get more and I fullfilled that promise. Unlike last year most of my games this year were retail games not DL games.

Games I beat this year, in order of my rating:

First time completions:

  1. Uncharted 2 - 9.7
  2. Fallout 3 - 9.7
  3. Resident Evil 5 - 9.6
  4. Demon's Souls - 9.5
  5. Bioshock - 9.5
  6. Batman Arkham Asylum - 9.4
  7. Assassin's Creed 2 - 9.3
  8. Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks - 9.3
  9. Modern Warfare 2 - 9.3
  10. New Super Mario Bros Wii - 9.2
  11. GTA: Chinatown Wars - 9.2
  12. Castlevania Order of Ecclesia - 9.2
  13. Infamous - 9.1
  14. Street Fighter 4 - No score but awesome
  15. Boom Blox - 9.0
  16. Beatles Rock Band - 9.0
  17. Killzone 2 - 8.9
  18. Prototype - 8.9
  19. Red Faction Guerrilla - 8.8
  20. Sonic Unleashed - 8.7
  21. Crazy Taxi 2 - 8.7
  22. Call of Duty World at War - 8.7
  23. Castlevania Rebirth - 8.6
  24. Grandia 2 - 8.6
  25. Elite Beat Agents - 8.6
  26. Punch-Out Wii - 8.6
  27. Bionic Commando (PS3) -8.5
  28. Landstalker - 8.5
  29. Shatter - 8.5
  30. Ninja Gaiden DS - 8.5
  31. Braid - 8.5
  32. Contra 3 - 8.4
  33. Wolverine X-Men Origins - 8.3
  34. Contra Rebirth - 8.2
  35. Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles - 8.1
  36. Castlevania 3 - 8.0
  37. Super C - 8.0
  38. Madworld - 8.0
  39. HotD Overkill - 8.0
  40. Fat Princess - No score but around here
  41. Castlevania Chronicles - 7.9
  42. Flower - 7.8
  43. Ghostbusters - 7.7
  44. Overlord 2 -7.5
  45. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 - 7.5
  46. Shinobi Arcade - 7.5
  47. Afro Samurai - 7.5
  48. Sam and Max Episode 4 - 7.4
  49. Metal Slug - 7.3
  50. Fantasy Zone - 7.3
  51. Power Stone 2 - 7.2
  52. Alien Storm - 7.1
  53. Super Monkey Ball 2 - 7.0
  54. Shock Troopers - 7.0
  55. TMNT: Reshelled - 7.0
  56. Lost Planet - 6.9
  57. Samba de Amigo - 6.9
  58. Space Harrier - 6.5
  59. Alone in the Dark (PS3)- 6.4
  60. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - 6.3
  61. Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings - 6.1
  62. Legends of Wrestlemania - 6.0
  63. Flow - 6.0
  64. Mercs - 5.7
  65. Trojan - 5.4
  66. Alex Kidd in Enchanted Castle - 5.3
  67. Deadly Creatures - 5.3
  68. Section Z - 5.2
  69. Wanted - 5.0
  70. Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop - 4.5
  71. Terminator Salvation - 4.5

Average Score - 7.9

Previously beaten, in any order:

  1. Metal Gear Solid
  2. Resident Evil 4
  3. Mortal Kombat 2
  4. Street Fighter 2 HD Remix
  5. Super Mario Bros.
  6. Mortal Kombat
  7. Virtua Fighter 2
  8. Virtua Fighter 3
  9. Tekken 2
  10. Tekken 5
  11. Marvel vs Capcom
  12. Star Wars Masters of Teras Kasi
  13. Street Fighter 2
  14. Virtua Fighter 4
  15. Virtua Fighter 5
  16. Soul Calibur 2
  17. Super Smash Bros. Melee
  18. Resident Evil
  19. Resident Evil 2
  20. Resident Evil 3
  21. Resident Evil Code Veronica
  22. Streets of Rage 2
  23. Resident Evil Remake
  24. Resident Evil 0
  25. Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles
  26. Metal Gear Solid 4
  27. Sonic the Hedgehog
  28. TMNT4 Turtles in Time
  29. Ratchet Quest for Booty
  30. The Legend of Zelda
  31. Sonic 2

Games beaten - 102

Hardware Breakdown:

  • PS3 Games beat - 39
  • Wii Games beat - 13
  • PS1 Games beat - 7
  • DS Games Beat - 6
  • Genesis Games beat - 6
  • GC Games beat - 5
  • DC Games beat - 5
  • NES Games beat - 4
  • SNES Games beat - 2
  • PS2 Games beat - 2
  • PC Games beat - 1
  • Saturn Games beat - 1
  • Other/Arcade - 11

I only finished 2 PS2 games this year, what the hell? Lots of PS1, Genesis and DC.

Genre Breakdown :

  • Action/Adventure - 36
  • Action (arcade/side scroller/beatem up) - 17
  • Fighting - 17
  • Platforming - 6
  • FPS - 4
  • Puzzle - 4
  • RPG - 3
  • Rhythm - 3
  • Lightgun - 3
  • Games that start with Flow - 2
  • Everything else (adventure/racing/sports/etc) - 5

Action/Adventure is my favorite as always, there will never be a year where that is not the leader. I decided to create an action category cause stuff like Contra or Mercs, old arcade action games dont fit as Action/adventure games to me. Yes I played a ton of fighting games, don't want to do that again. Platforming was steady, only 4 FPSs which is my average. 3 RPGs this year which is up 1 from the last two years. Flower and Flow I have no clue what kind of games those are.

Franchise Breakdown:

  • Resident Evil - 10
  • Castlevania - 4
  • Virtua Fighter - 4
  • Contra - 3
  • Street Fighter - 3
  • Sonic - 3
  • Lots at 2 like Zelda, Mario, MK, MGS, MvC

I did the RE marathon and it shows. I made up for not playing an RE games last year, also got some Zeldas in. Lots of Castlevania and my first Contra games. Because of all the fighting games I have VF up there which is my favorite fighting franchise. Overall there is a ton of variety in franchises on my list.

Publisher Breakdown:

  • Capcom - 22
  • Sega - 19
  • Konami - 11
  • Sony - 7
  • Nintendo - 7
  • Activision - 5
  • Namco - 3
  • THQ- 3
  • Take Two - 2
  • EA - 2
  • Lucasarts - 2
  • Midway - 2
  • SNK - 2
  • Atari - 2

For the second straight year Capcom is the in the lead. I played a ton of Sega games mostly cause of the Genesis collection released this year. Konami was on fire cause of the CV and Contra games mostly. Only 7 Nintendo games, last year I finished 5 so that isn't many in two years. Sony did well with 7. Activision had a lot, very surprising.

Now for some GOTY awards.

Worst Game I Played this year: Tenchu Stealth Assassins

I rented this game but I could not stand it. It was just awful. Maybe it wasn't for me cause I have read that it is a decent game but I returned it after playing it for an hour or two.

Best Graphics:Uncharted 2

This is a close race between Killzone 2 and Uncharted 2 but Uncharted 2 comes out on top cause of the art direction. You see some stunning locations in Uncharted 2.

Best Story: Uncharted 2

I didn't play many story filled games this year but the one that did stand out was Uncharted 2. Yeah it was like a summer movie but it nailed it. This game has characters you grow to care about and that is the heart of any good story.

Most Original Game: Demon's Souls

This game feels like a game from the 80s that got stuck in a time warp and released with today's graphics and online capabilities. It is refreshingly hard and has one of the most interesting online setups around.

Most Surpringly good game: Wolverine

No way is a tie in to that crappy ass summer movie was going to be good, lucky for us it turned out to be the best Wolverine game ever. It takes many elements from GoW but hey copy from the best if you have to.

Biggest HOLY **** moment: Uncharted 2 Train Sequence

One of the most incredible set pieces in video game history. For over an hour you get non-stop action, platforming and stealth elements all coming together in one perfect sequence.

Best Online Multiplayer Competitive: Uncharted 2

If you have been following my blogs you should know that FPSs aren't my thing. I enjoy the alternative online modes and Uncharted 2 presents the best third person online competitive game ever.

Best Online Multiplayer Cooperative: Resident Evil 5

RE5 provides one hell of a co-op experience from beginning to end. The whole game is designed for it and it shows. Playing together with a friend is the best way to experience this stellar action game.

Best Music: Uncharted 2

A score that rivals those of hollywood movies, Uncharted 2 provides the perfect music at the perfect time.

Best Voice Acting: Uncharted 2

Batman had some stand outs, mainly Hamill but the entire cast of Uncharted 2 was on their A game. The game gives off a natural feeling, as if they were acting in front of a camera. Nolan North is quickly becoming the go to guy for leading male characters.

Best Downloadable Game: Castlevania Rebirth

This category is no where near as good as it was last year for me. I would have to choose Castlevania cause its Castlevania. This would be Shadow Complex if I could play it.

Most Played Game: Resident Evil 5

No surprise here as I beat RE5 about 7 or 8 times. I spent well over 30 hours in the Mercenaries mode, maybe 10 hours on versus. Hell I played the demo for about 15 hours. In total about 115 hours were put into RE5. Uncharted 2 was right behind.

Biggest Achievement: Sonic Unleashed Platinum

Easily the hardest game I have platinumed so far, this game made it really hard. I don't even want to remember what it was like finishing that 15 minute long final stage without dying once...

Best Game from this year that I will play next year: Dragon Age Origins

Sadly I got this game at Christmas time so it did not make this years list. I am sure it is as great as everyone says.

Game I am looking forward to the most next year: Super Mario Galaxy 2

To say I have high expectations for this game is an understatement. I expect nothing less than the best platformer ever made.

Game of the Year: Uncharted 2

I think you can tell from all the awards it was winning that this would be my choice. I have said it many times already, I knew it from the moment I finished it, no game this year would be as good as this game. It is a title that does everything right. The campaign is one of the most memorable ones of this generation. The gameplay is improved providing a much better mix of the core three gameplay elements; shooting, platforming and stealth. Plus it includes a robust online mode with competitive and co-op modes. It is the total package.

Best Game of the Decade #20-1 Part 2

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(Damn, read part one below first)

10. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Boxshot

THE Star Wars game. This was my first real foray into the WRPG, I had never played a Bioware game before. The combat was this semi real time system that made for such great battles. The interaction with characters was beyond anything I had played before, your choices impacted the storyline in drastic ways allowing for second playthrough that is very different from the first. Above all it made you feel like a Jedi, games like Jedi Knight or Unleashed only showcase the "I am a badass with super powers" angle but this game covers the whole moral code of the Jedi Knight as well.It also so happens to have one of the best storylines in the Star Wars universe.

9. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Boxshot

The features list of this title seemed like some GTA fans insane fantasy, somehow it became true. The developers went totally nuts and said lets put everything into this game. I can only imagine what the development meetings were like: "Hey I say we put in character building, you know like make them fat if they eat to much or big if they lift weights. Oh and lets add stealth elements which can be used in robbery missions.A full fledged casino would be great. This game needs bikes, and giant mountains which you can ride your bike off, hmm but that would kill you UNLESS you had a parachute! Why stop there lets add a freaking jetpack! And fighter planes! And lets not make one city lets make an entire state that is three times the size of Vice City!!!" And the devs actually said "lets do it".

8. Super Mario Galaxy

Super Mario Galaxy Boxshot

Something was missing from the 3D Mario's, they felt more like mission based collecting games than a presicion based platformer like it's 2D brethren. In comes Galaxywhich manages to capture that magic that the 2D Mario's had and puts into 3D like no game has ever done. The playing it safe Nintendo that we had been getting used to was no where to be found, this game screamed of wild imagination this is the Nintendo I grew up with. Galaxy is the finest 3D platformer of all time and it really isn't close.

7. LittleBigPlanet

LittleBigPlanet Boxshot

Mario is the best platformer, LBP is not just a platformer, just want to clear that up before there is any confusion. One of the best ideas of this decade and one I hope that spreads to other genres (yes I know this is happening on PC). This isn't simply a game that so happens to have a level editor in it too. It is not a game that so happens to have a mod community supporting it. It is a game where every single aspect is built around the concept that you will be creating levels, that you will be sharing them and playing them with others. The single player is built around this, the menus is built around it, the purpose of the game is to provide us with the platform in which to play and share each others creations. The LBP community is unlike anything out there, they have gone far bast the simple platformers and have created SHUMPS, Contra clones, puzzle games,sports games, music levels, it has it all. It is the game that keeps on giving, one year later and hundreds of thousands of levels later the game keeps evolving, the new water pack is coming soon. It is hard to place this game cause the developers just need to create the foundation and let us do the rest of the work. I think the concept is the best of this decade.

6. Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime Boxshot

Metroid Prime was the first game of last gen that made me go "holy crap, this gen has arrived". I was not a big Metroid fan, not that I didn't like the games, I just never played them. I only played the original and that was ancient compared to Super Metroid. So MP was my first real dip into the Metroid formula and what an experience it was. This is like the action version of a Zelda game. There is no overworld , no towns to explore, the entire game is like one big dungeon and inside are tons of items and powerups that slowly open this dungeon up. Few games have ever blown me away quite like this one.

5. Metal Gear Solid 3

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Boxshot

Interchange this game with MGS4, I really dont care, both are masterpieces. MGS3 took the gameplay elements they added in MGS2 and opened up the world. Gone were the confined hallways, the almost pac-man like gameplay where you tried to avoid the eye sight cone of enemies. Now you have a jungle to explore, you can use camo to hide in plain sight. The stealth elements and gunplay were taken to a whole new level. I could spend hours on one screen just finding new ways to take out all the guards. MGS3 has the best collection of bosses in the series and maybe of any game, none better than The End, an actual sniper battle. It has all the little things that make Kojima games stand out, so many inside joke, hidden easter eggs to find, hell there is a whole optional dream sequence that is like an action game tucked away. The storyline is as exciting as it gets it puts most action movies to shame. It all culminates in the greatest final few hours in gaming history.

4. Metal Gear Solid 4

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Boxshot

Kojima's magnum opus. MGS4 combines all the good and even some of the bad (bloated storyline) that Kojima brings to his games. At it's core MGS4 does what the previous MGS games did and that is build on the foundation with new gameplay changing ideas. MGS4 takes the camo based large area stealth gameplay, makes it function better through the use of octocamo and removes the clunky gunplay that lingered, replacing it with gunplay that can rival most action games. This game is the MGS formula perfected, finally all aspects, whether it be stealth, gunplay are all at the highest quality. It simply has the best gameplay of the series. It does not stop there, the first half of the game plays like the sequel we all expected, the second half is where the madness and I feel genius kicks in. All the elements from the past MGS games get thrown together, mixed up in a giant blender and spit out throughout the final half of this game. It is a wild collection of gameplay situations and boss fights. There are brand new situations unlike anything seen in a MGS game like the whole Europe level. It has all those awesome setpieces we expectto have in a MGS title only bigger and better than before. The boss fights are all new versions of the very best boss fights from the entire series. The Shadow Moses level brings back the ****c MGS feel that was lost as it went to more open environments. It is an homage to the entire series, andto the hero Solid Snake. This is how you close out a series. And I didn't even get into the secrets, the extras, the replay valueand the tons of easter eggs that put thise series over the top. It is all here, this is the ultimate Metal Gear title and Kojima's finest work.

3. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Boxshot

In many ways this is the best Zelda game, and for me that would probably make it my favorite game ever. If you remove the concept of time, if all Zelda games came out all at once without anyone having played any of them I have no doubts that the grand majority would say this is the best. But we don't live in a world like that, this is the fourth of the 3D Zelda's it plays it rather safe with the formula. Twilight Princess takes the very best aspects of all 3 of the 3D Zelda's; the epic quest of OoT, the character morphing of MM, and the faster paced combat of Wind Waker. The main quest is the best in the series but at the expense at side quests which were clearly incorporated into the main quest. The dugeons again, the best in the series. Each dungeon had it's very own theme, all different from the rest like a snow covered mansion to a dungeon in the sky. It has the largest collection of items to use some being totally unlike anything before like the awesome spinning top item. The overall combat is improved from the previous three and the boss battles are up there with the very best. It has unforgettable moments like a horse carriage chase orflying a giant bird thing through a waterfall filled canyon. It is so perfectly designed and for such a long lengthy game, you don't see that in games. It is one of the finest gaming experiences of my life, the issue is that I have experienced something very similar to it before.

2. Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 Boxshot

I hate that this isn't number one, I wish the game above had come out a few months earlier so that I can proclaim this as my game of the decade cause it deserves it. RE was a franchise in turmoil, it was going nowhere, it was slowly becoming irrelevant in gaming. The old RE formula refused to change and Capcom ran it to the ground. In comes Mikami, the series creator to save his baby and what he did was create a game that has as much impact as the original Resident Evil did. It didn't stop there, it didn't just change third person shooters, RE4 is not only the originator of this type of game it is far and away the best of it's kind, I don't even know if it can be topped. I have never played a game where every single new area provides a scenario ora new twist to the gameplay. Every five to ten minutes in this game leads you to a new situation that you had not encountered before. This game isn't just throwing waves of enemies at you, each section is specifically designed to surprise you, to keep things fresh. The amazing thing is that it goes on and on and on for about 15 hours of the most action packed well designed gameplay I have ever played. I knew this game was going to be something special as I read the previews, I was hyped, this game shattered my expectations in every way. It is the game I judge every action game by now, it is almost unfair. RE5 is it as good as RE4, no. Dead Space is it as good as RE4 no. Uncharted is it as good as RE4, no. I love this game, it was my game of the generation for the PS2 era. It absolutly deserves to be in the general discussion for best game of the decade.

1. Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Boxshot

You must be tired of reading best this and best that, there is none of that here. This isn't the best Zelda game. This is actually one of the titles that splits the community in two. This choice is simply for me, this is my game. When I finally got around to playing OoT, which was a few years after it hit, it quickly became my favorite game. It took everything I loved about Zelda back as a kid and successfully translated it into 3D and made it bigger than I could imagine. Of course I was dying to play the sequel, I had borrowed someones old N64 and I found that my blockbuster had the game for rent, at the time I had a monthly pass thingy so late fees were not an issue, thank god. So I start the game and it's different, it got the whole groundhog day thing going and itwas alittle slow to get going. I see a major difference right away and that is in how lively the world of Termina was, the NPCs all stood out. The game got into the clasic Zelda groove and I was loving it. I felt the masks added a new dimension to the gameplay, it just wasn't Link with a few items now Link himself can change into different forms which opened up all new gameplay situations. There were only four dungeons but they were excellent and to get to them almost felt like it's own dunegon.

Then there was the stamp system and how the groundhog day time effected the game world. This is where Majora's Mask stands apart from all other Zelda games. The people of Termina felt like they really had lives, they went about their daily activities, each had a story to tell, some major event in their lives which happens within those final days of the world. These characters became the side quests and not in a traditional RPG sense where they basically give you some objective to complete, no this was done the Zelda way. They were like puzzles, what item do I use here, where and when do I use it, how can I help this person. You combine that with the usual action, puzzle exploration formula of Zelda and you got a game world that is unlike any other.

At some point I just lost myself to this game. It was in the middle of a summer so I had no school to worry about I just kind of played this game for about two weeks straight. I think it was around the part where you reach Termina Bay and you look out into the ocean which you can jump into and find abeautiful zora city beneath the waves, that is when I thought to myself "this is the best game I have ever played". To this day no game has made me feel whatever I felt that day. This is why I play games. No movie, no book, no music can make you feel part of an adventure orcan completely suck you into a world that you can interact with.

Woops sorry I wrote so much, but I love talking about my favorite games. Thanks for reading.

Best Games of the Decade: The top 20 part 1

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Here is the finale, these are the best of the best. They inlcudemy GOTY award winners and many are my favorite games of all time.

#20-1

20. Metal Gear Solid 2

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Boxshot

This game has the unfortunate tag of disappointment. To many MGS2 did not live up to the hype nor did it exceed the first MGS game. Because of that I think this title gets a very bad rap when it does not deserve too as it is still one of the best games of this decade. The gameplay additions were huge, aiming in first person took the combat to another level. It might not have had as good collection of bosses or gameplay situations as the first game but it still crafts an excellent action experience.

19. Uncharted 2

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Boxshot

As you know by now this is my GOTY, it is one of those sequels that improves on every aspect and leaves me wondering how will they ever top this. The single player campaign is a breathtaking non-stop adrenaline rush thrill ride, sounds like a summer movie review, well that is cause this game captures the feel of a summer movie. The train ride in particular is one of the standout setpieces of the decade. It does not stop there cause U2 offers an online mode that has as much depth as some of the best FPSs.

18. Okami

Okami Boxshot

I have said many times that no other developers even attempt to make a Zelda like game, finally Kamiya and his group at Capcom took the challenge. The result is one of the best games to come out on the PS2. It may not have the dungeon/level design of a Zelda game, nor the heavy focus on puzzles but it nails the large engrossing world that you slowly explore. The combat is fast and fluid, in ****c Capcom fashion the bosses are gigantic and memorable. It is a massive game rivaling the size of a Zelda game, with nearly the same amount of secrets to uncover. Best Zelda like game to ever come out that is not Zelda.

17. Resident Evil: Code Veronica

Resident Evil Code: Veronica Boxshot

The true sequel to RE2, RE3 was a disappointing game in the series but CV quickly put it back on track. Quite possibly the longest of the old school RE games CV takes you through an unforgettable journey through some of the freakiest locations in RE history. This game was fully in 3D which gave it a unique look, one I still enjoy to this day. This is the old RE formula at the top of it's game. Oh and it brings back Wesker.

16. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Boxshot

Well this title was divisive to the Zelda community. Some swear by this game, they love the art ****and the unique nature of thewater world. Others, like myself, see it as the one 3D Zelda that kind of stands apart cause it was too easy, the dungeons weren't as interesting and the sailing stuff is not as fun as riding a horse. But it's Zelda, it still provides an epic game experience. It is easily one of the best games of this decade, just not as good as some other Zelda games.

15. Fallout 3

Fallout 3 Boxshot

Take the Oblivion formula, add guns and a more focused quest and you get Fallout 3. As much as I loved Oblivion I felt at times like it was just cutting and pasting the same locations over and over, once you entered one cave you kind of have seen them all. Fallout 3 feels like every area in the world is unique. The main story is far more focused which I feel provides a better experience. It may not have that same wealth of options and freedom of Oblivion but I feel this is a better crafted game.One of the very best RPGs ever.

14. Metroid Prime 3

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Boxshot

The triumphant part 3, when the sequel isa bit of a let down but then the following sequel brings everything you loved about the origianl back and then some. That is MP3. Now I don't think it is as good as MP1, this one is a tad more linear and action focused but it is right up there with the best of this decade.It has a great mix of locations to visit, like the beautiful sky planet. It also has some of the most bad ass moments in the series like an epic battle with Ridley.

13. Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2 Boxshot

The greatest first person shooter of all time. To me this is like the RE4 of FPS, yes I know HL2 came out a few months before but I played RE4 first. What I mean by that is theconstant changing of set pieces from one location to the next. You are never doing the same thing twice, every new areas brings about a new situation whether it be escaping a zombie town with a gravity gun or air boat chase sequence or traversing a bug nest, this game is constantly providing excitement. A masterpiece, when someone claims this as their game of the decade I have no issue with it, totally deserving.

12. Phantasy Star Online

Phantasy Star Online Boxshot

The most addicting game I have ever played, I lost my soul to this game. Every single night after school I would hop on and play past the am. It is a simple concept, an online dungeon crawler where you try to find the rarest of items and build your character to be the ultimate badass. It was executed perfectly, it hada certain balance to the difficulty and how often a rare item would show up that made you want to continue to play even after you have played the four levels tons of times. Sadly no PS game since has matched that balance.

11. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Boxshot

What a game, what an improvement over GTA3. It added so many new gameplay tweaks and opened up the world to owning parts of the city. The setting is the best in the series, what beats 1980's Miami, nothing. The soundtrack is legendary I could just ride around for hours listening to the radio. Excellent storyline and voice acting which stars Ray Liotta nuff said.

Best Games of the Decade #40-21

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Getting down to the best, here comes #40-21

40. Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden Boxshot

You are going to hear me talk a lot about pure action games on this part of the list. I consider those to be games where the overall focus is non stop combat, you move stage to stage and fight bosses. Basically the 3D versions of old Castlevania games or games like Ninja Gaiden. This restart to the franchise was a masterpiece. The only reason this iss lower than DMC is simply preference. I do know that this is considered by many to be the best of its kind and in many aspects it is. A fantastic game.

39. Devil May Cry

Devil May Cry Boxshot

Groundbreaking, basically the first of its kind. DMC solved the long asked question of how do you make a pure action game in 3D. Since its release tons of games have borrowed elements from DMC, you feel its influence heavily in Ninja Gaiden and GoW. The combat system is so fast paced and so deep. The game is hard as hell, it makes the player enter that zen like state to complete it.

38. Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Boxshot

Not one but two 2D Zelda games made for the GBC. Weird thing is that it was made by Capcom, one thing is for sure, Capcom can do Zelda. The oracle games were each different games and both some of the finest Zelda experiences around. Loads of dungeons, huge overworlds and fantastic puzzles. Each have their own focus, this one is more action oriented.

37. Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages Boxshot

Read above. Ages is the more puzzle oriented one of the two and that is the strength of this franchise. It has a time mechanic much like Alttp. When you complete both games you get the true ending with another epic battle with Ganon. I wish they still made 2D Zelda like this. :(

36. Devil May Cry 4

Devil May Cry 4 Boxshot

I don't know what the hell was up with this games reception, all I know is that it is one of the finest action games out there. It has a totally new combat system with Nero, not to forget Dante they add him in there too with all of his DMC3 moves in place and real time ****switching for more added depth. Two completely different play stylles and one beautiful game. The major problem is that someone forgot to make a second half so instead they just had you revisiting all the same locations twice.

35. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Boxshot

The best of the Smash games, this one is so huge that you can feel the game bursting at the seems. It has a 8 hour single player campaign that is actually pretty damn good. So many modes to play, so many characters to unlock, so many trophies to earn. I love the smash balls, I thought it added more chaos to the fights and that is when this game is at its best when there are crazy items all over the place. Plus it has Sonic and Snake, how awesome is that. Oh and it has the best collection of music in any game ever. Still it is one of the best party games around and if you can set it up you can get online, its a terrible system but it's there.

34. Bioshock

BioShock Boxshot

From the moment I entered Rapture I knew I was in for something special. As atmospheric as games get, it's unsettling, generally creepy all the time. The city of Rapture feels real, like it was lived in, like it was torn apart by a society gone bad. The combat is better than your average FPS because of the plasmid system allowing you to create some interesting ways to kill enemies. Bioshock is one of those games that is paced so well that it is never boring for the 12+ hours it takes to play. One of the very finest FPSs out there.

33. Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy XII Boxshot

The only game on this list that I never completed thats because my save file was corrupted, I plan to finish it before FFXIII. Doesn't matter, I got 40 hours in and loved every second of it. Gone was the damn linear world of FFX and back was large areas to explore. The battle system is totally new boring elements fromw western games and it worked. Combat was a joy. While playing I wanted to see everything the game offered, I wanted to find all secrets and items, it had me hooked.

32. Demon's Souls

Demon's Souls Boxshot

In a generation where all games were starting to feel too simlar, originality was being lost in favor of polished versions of games we have played. Out of nowhere comes Demon's Souls which feels like a long lost 8-bit era game that just so happens to be in 3D and looks all modern. No tutorials, almost no explination of anything, you just get thrown into the world and you need to figure out what to do. The game is unforgiving, it will kick your ass when you are at your worst. That is part of the beauty, when you succeed you will feel a great sense of accomplishment. This isn't really an RPG, its more of an action adventure game than anything. Hell some of these boss fights can be in a DMC game, some boss fights are as genius as bosses you expect to see in MGS. Love this game.

31. Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus Boxshot

You ain't going to find no Ico on this list, damn tiny 3 hour puzzle game for children. That game is for the whole artsy crowd, meh, give me gameplay, give me something with some meat on it. Thankfully Team Ico did just that giving us one of the most orginal titles on the PS2. It is still beautiful, it still has a story that is deep, it is rather artsy. But it has 16 mega huge freaking awesome boss fights!!! I have never experienced such sense of scale in a game before, I could feel the PS2 was ready to explode as it tried to handle this game. The bosses themselves act like giant platforming puzzles, each one completely different from the next. When you finish it you get a bunch of extras to play for. This is a masterpiece not that Ico crap.

30. Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto III Boxshot

This might be the most important game of the decade, there is no denying that. The reason its this low is cause the sequels are flat out better. I was a fan of the original GTA so when I saw the first few previews I knew something special was going to happen. We have all played this game so I can spare you the details, it's excellent.

29. Gran Turismo 3

Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec Boxshot

I would say this is the best title in this great series. It improved on the first two in every way and it looked incredible. It has like a billion cars and tracks. I can play this for 100 hours and still have a long way to go after that to completing it fully. I am not really a racing fan but this series captivates me. I need to collect the cars as if they were pokemon or something.

28. Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5 Boxshot

One of the best games of this year, RE5 does the RE4 formula well. The same gameplay I loved is back, looking better than ever, but the level design and pacing wasn't all there. The co-op only nature of the game had its setbacks. In terms of extras this game beats RE4 hands down, replay value as well cause of the online nature of the title. But the campaign was not as good. Still better than most action games.

27. Deus Ex

Deus ExI think this game sometimes gets labeled as a FPS, well it is not. It just so happens to be in first person and you may shoot some people. It offers so much freedom in how you approach any given situation, I was happy just dying to try out different things. It has a great storyline with great gameplay and one hell of a setting. I heard the sequel kind of sucked, that bummed me out. Can't wait for the 3rd one.26. Virtua Fighter 4 EvolutionVirtua Fighter 4: Evolution BoxshotBest fighting game ever? Yeah, for me at least. This is the most technical fighter in the market and yet it's fun to play at a novice level. This game tries to teach you to become better at it, I have never experienced a tutorial mode quite like it. Evolution added two new characters and the best single player mode in all of fighting games, the quest mode. This mode makes it feel like you are fighting players throughout Japan cause in a way you are, it is an AI recreation of the best VF players. Fighting games don't get deeper than this.25. Devil May Cry 3Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening BoxshotThe difficulty maybe a bit unbalanced in this game, I bet most people couldn't get passed the first boss fight and just quit. Well if you didn't you were treated to one of the best action experiences ever. DMC3 builds upon the first game by adding multiple play stylles, 6 in total that change the way you play the game. The combat system allows for cancellation of any move, no getting stuck in animation. It is simply the deepest most rewarding combat system of any action game. DMC3 offers the best bosses in the series and generally is the most challenging, as it should be. Once it all clicked for me there was no going back to those simple action games.24. God of War 2God of War II BoxshotYeah it doesn't have the best combat system but something happend with this sequel, it stopped feeling like it was trying to hang with the NGs and the DMCs and it became simply a legendary action/adventure title. The opening sequence is one of the best I have ever experienced. The game is far larger in scale, has way more bosses, better puzzles, more variety in situations. It expanded all aspects of the game besides the combat to the point where it didn't matter than it wasn't that deep, there was much more too it than just killing things non stop.23. Grand Theft Auto 4Grand Theft Auto IV BoxshotThis game felt like the series started over. It removed all the awesome side quests and features we gained in VC and SA. Instead it gave us a slightly more realistic, character driven GTA. It has a great story and the gunplay is far superior to all other GTAs but damn it I miss the crazy things you could do in past GTA games. Oh and it had online, that was nice.The formula still works and so here is another great entry to the series.22. NFL 2K1NFL 2K1 BoxshotYes 2k5 is a better game but at its time this game was in a league of its own. It improved the gameplay from the first and added a plethora of modes. Most importantly this was the first ever online football game. I can not tell you how many hours I logged playing online. I never played a sports game online regularly since, it doesn't hold that same feeling that I was stepping into a brand new frontier in gaming. I dont know if any sports title will ever mean as much to me as 2k1.21. OblivionThe Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion BoxshotWhat can't you do in this game. It is huuuuuuuuuge. I put 100 hours into it like nothing, it was like game crack. It doesn't really have that great level design or anything, if you have seen one cave you have basically seen them all. The good thing is that the main story missions were very well done. The main side quests stood out as well. The strength of this title is that feeling that you are a part of this magical world and you can do whatever you want, I love that feeling. One of the best RPGs I have ever played.

Best Games of the Decade #60-41

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#60-41

60. Sonic Adventure 2

Sonic Adventure 2 Boxshot

I can hear your growns, quiet. SA2 createda newsuper fast, high score based gameplay system that all Sonic games have copied since. Gone were most of the adventure elements of SA1 replaced with straight action levels. Sure some of the side character levelswere a bit crappy but the Sonic/Shadow stuff was brilliant. It is a massive game, I easily put 70+ hours into it to ace all levels. Plus it has one of the best unlockables in video game history. To this day it is still the best 3D Sonic, maybe that isn't saying much but whatever.

59. Dragon Quest VIII

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King Boxshot

I shouldn't like really old school JRPGs. The annoying random battles, the simplistic battle systems but for some reason it all worked for DQ8. It is such a charming beautiful game to play, with a decent story but one hell of a world to explore. Combat was simple yet addicting. It really is one of the better RPGs I have played.

58. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia Boxshot

The latest in the Metroidvania series, this game tries something new by giving you many locations outside of the Castle to explore. What you get is a journey that sort of feels like Simon's Quest only a million times better. The battle system is unique, it isnt the standard equip a weapon in each hand type thing. The boss fights were top notch, the quest was a perfect length. One of the finest CV games.

57. Virtua Fighter 5

Virtua Fighter 5 Boxshot

The successor to what I consider to be the best fighter ever (hint for future pick), this sequel kind of played it safe. It offered the same stellar fighting system which is unmatched and all the same the battle modes including the incredible quest mode. It did not do much new but it's still about as good as fighting games get.

56. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Boxshot

My first CoD experience, it was thrilled by the whole non-stop rollercoaster stylle action of it all. Yeah the core gameplay is about as basic a FPS gets, which generally I don't like but CoD4 actually had variety, well designed set pieces, it constantly threw something new at you. The campaign was short but memorable, the real meat was the multiplayer which was simply revolutionary. Practically all online games since have borrowed elements of the CoD4 online modes.

55. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow Boxshot

The closest CV has come to recreating the magic of SOTN. DoS builds on AoS by offering a larger quest, with better graphics and new DS mechanics. It has the same addicting soul system as Aria with a better overall game.

54. Halo 2

Halo 2 Boxshot

One of the most hyped games I have ever witnessed, it sort of lived up to it and it sort of did not. I personally don't think the campaign was as good as the first, it became far too linear. The online though was groundbreaking, offers tons and tons of play modes and a great matchmaking system that nearly all console games copy now.

53. Metroid Prime 2

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Boxshot

This is one of those weird sequels that tries to be darker than the original but just ends up being weirder and not as good. This game introduces a light and dark aspect which was more annoying that fun. Still the Metroid template was there and it works providing another excellent adventure. There were some standout locations and some of the best boss fights in the entire series.

52. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Boxshot

The best in the Paper Mario series in my opinion. This title is so charming, funny, memorable, I have a smile on my face just thinking about it. I remember the awesome side scrolling Bowser levels. The battle system was so well done, it kept you active even though its turned based. All around great game.

51. Half-Life 2:Episode 2

Half-Life 2: Episode Two Boxshot

For an episodic gameentryto make it to this list it needs to be incredible, and that is what Episode 2 was. Episode 1 was a flat out let down, thankfully Episode 2 is like HL2 on steroids. Its short, about 4-5 hours but its some of the best 4-5 hours of FPS gameplay I have ever experienced. It didn't reuse any of the setpieces from HL2, it felt totally original something many expansions don't capture. This game actually makes me hate episodic content even more cause I can only image how much better this game would be if it were treated as HL3, this feels like one course in a three course meal.

50. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Boxshot

The campaign of MW1 was exciting, this is like a Michael Bay movie on speed. It still has the same issues that all CoD games have but IW knows how to make exciting gameplay. That is what you get for all 5 hours the campaign lasts, I was floored at the stuff I was watching. The Spec Ops mode clearly puts this game over MW1, when you break down the gameplay into mission based objectives it's actually not bad at all, maybe the campaign should incorporate some of these missions. The online multiplayer is still as good as it gets. A lot of flash but a lot of substance too.

49. Halo

Halo: Combat Evolved Boxshot

This game was unlike any FPS I had played. It had full use of vehicles like cars, tanks, spaceships. Epic huge battlefields, where I felt like a space Rambo in the middle of a star war. It set the standard for console FPSs using the two weapons at a time system and regenerating health. The campaign was great but the multiplayer was even better. This was before online so it was all LAN parties and my god what a time those were. My buddies and I would set up epic matches, one team in one room, the other team in the other, such a blast.

48. Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal Boxshot

This title keeps the same awesome Ratchet gameplaybut leans more toward the action side of things. It didn't feel as balanced an action platformer as the second title but it still offers a great single player campaign, featuring the best villain in the series. It also has online multuplayer which wasn't bad.

47. ESPN NFL 2k5

ESPN NFL 2K5 Boxshot

I love football games and they never got better than this one. It has the same great 2k gameplay and added full integration with ESPN providing a gaming experience that felt like a TV broadcast. No Madden game has replicated the presentation of 2k5, it had Chris Berman doing highlights, it had sportscenter, it had the EPSN NFL draft, it felt like I was participating in a real NFL season. It had an incredible franchise mode, the first football game to have online leagues (something Madden just added this year). It is a game Madden is still trying to catch up too.

46. Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Boxshot

The perfect sequel, you know those sequels where they take everything the first did and flat out make it better. That is GC, it took everything I loved about the original and made it better. It added new gameplay elements like Clank missions. Overall it is the best Ratchet experience.

45. Resident Evil

Resident Evil Boxshot

In many ways this is the perfect RE game. It takes the best of years of RE games andapplied it to the most icionic location of the series. The only real problem is that by the time this game came out I felt the formula was dying. This was it's last hoorah before RE0 threw up all over itself.

44. The Longest Journey

The Longest Journey Boxshot

I genrally don't care for adventure games but man did this one grab me, it did not let me go for the full epic quest. This is a testament to storytelling in gaming, it can be done well, with great writing, great voice acting and it can be the focus of a game. Of course the puzzles and the journey was excellent as well. Overall it gave me that feeling that I was on a quest with characters I grew to love, almost like a LOTR movie or something.

43. Dead Space

Dead Space Boxshot

This is the game many were hoping RE4 to be. This keeps the horror atmosphere and tension while delivering RE4 ****action. The action isnt as well done as RE4, obviously it is going to be slower paced but it is still a very well crafted action adventure game. In terms of actual horror this is as good as it got this decade.

42. Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum Boxshot

Best superhero game ever. Finally a game that completely embraces the license but never betrays it. The gameplay is completely designed around Batman, its not Batman fitting into some game template. The mix of stealth and hand to hand combat is pulled off superbly. Best of all it has a long quest that has Metroid like elements to it. If that wasn't enough it includes one of the best side modes ever with its mission modes.

41. Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel

Metal Gear Solid Boxshot

A Game Boy Color game on this list, yep. If you have played it you know why. MGS on the GB has everything we love about Metal Gear in tiny handheld ancient graphics form. It has fantastic bosses, the same excellent stealth action gameplay of MGS, and the crazy story with all the twists and turns. You can say that this title offers far more gameplay than MGS1 cause it does. It doesn't stop at the story mode, it has an extensive mission based mode where you need to complete certain objectives in the games many levels, usually under a certain amount of time or being unseen. It also has a full VR mode. This game is packed. It is one of the best handheld games ever made and a worthy entry into the MG franchise.