Ah, a new year. New age, new resolutions to break, and most of all, new games to look forward to. However, we should not forget the great games that we get to play in the previous year. So, like a lot of everyone else here, I will choose which games are the best from all the games I've played on 2010. Since I don't think it's quite fair to categorize both downloadable games and mainstream games as one, I will separate it.
I'll start by listing my Top 5 Downloadable Games of 2010.
5. Toy Soldiers (XBLA):
A tower defense game with a twist. I never cared for tower defense games, but Toy Soldiers managed to hook me in long enough to really enjoy the game. As with other tower defense games, you put stationary units that will attack any enemies that gets close enough to their range. The twist is that you are also able to control those units. So the game then turns to a turret action game, and I do enjoy my action games. The shooting does feel solid most of the time with a little controller annoyances but it's not a big issue. The title of the game clearly explains which art direction the developers are taking. You defend your toy box from approaching enemy toy soldiers by putting toy mortars, toy cannon, etc. It is twistedly funny to see toy limbs get blown apart as you bombard the enemy units with a cannon. It is a fun game, especially for 10 dollars.
4. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (XBLA/PSN/PC):
Tomb Raider: Underworld was a disappointment for me, especially after seeing how much I enjoyed Crystal Dynamics' take on the Tomb Raider franchise, Legend and Anniversary. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light changed the franchise by going downloadable, adding co-op, and using an isometric camera instead of a third person one. It is incredibly fun, and although the game is build for co-op, you'll still have a lot of fun on your own. The story is crap, I'll say that. But where it is lacking in plot, the gameplay makes up for it. The puzzles are smart without getting too frustrating, the combat is fun, and the set pieces are very intense making The Guardian of Light absolutely worth the entry price of 15 dollars.
3. Limbo (XBLA):
Limbo is puzzle-platforming game that immediately grabbed my attention just by its art direction. The game is completely devoid of color. The whole game consists of shades of gray, and your character itself is a shadowy little kid. As I said, Limbo is a puzzle-platformer. So you have to run and jump from one place to another, avoid getting violently torn apart and killed, and solve puzzles to move forward in the game. Oh, and yes, the game is quite violent if your imagination allows it so. The control works well enough and the puzzles feel incredibly satisfying to solve without the need to tore your brains out (most of the time). People complained that this game is too short, and it is short. However, I think the fact that it's short, allows the developers put all their best on to all the puzzles, instead of filling it with fillers just to make the game longer. After all, a game does not need to be long to be awesome.
2. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (XBLA/PSN):
A shiny new Pac-Man game completely filled with features. I never was a Pac-Man fan, but after hearing so much praises for this game, I caved in and bought it. This game changed what Pac-Man is about. Instead of just using 4 ghosts to chase you, they put twenty or so Ghosts. However, they can only follow you in a straight line and they will only follow you after you went right by them. It quickly turns to a game of snake in which you have to navigate this maze, eating the pac-dots while trying not to hit your body/tail. Every time you complete the cycle of pac-dots, the game will give you a power pellet that allows Pac-Man to devour every ghosts. I giggle like a little girl as the train behind him just went inside his round body. That alone, makes this game worth playing, but Championship Edition DX boasts around 200 game modes or so, making it a steal for 10 dollars.
1. Super Meat Boy (XBLA/PC):
If I could only use one word to describe Super Meat Boy, I would use 'difficult'. If I could use two, it would be "bloody difficult", literally. Super Meat Boy is a platformer game that could basically destroy your controller if you have an anger management issue. It never came to that in my playthrough, but it does get really hard. I wouldn't call it frustrating because the levels are short enough that dying doesn't make you feel like all your progress just disappeared, and it is very quick for you to respawn and try again. Yes, it does feel like N+, but I feel the level design in SMB is better.
I also love the art direction in this game. At every surfaces you touch, Meat Boy leaves blood trails on it, allowing you to know which surface you have touched, and when you die, Meat will burst into a splash of blood. When you complete the level, they will replay all of your attempts at ONCE. Suddenly, multiple Meats jumps out and burst to their death before finally one champion completed the level. To know that you will be rewarded by that replay makes dying a little bit more entertaining. If you haven't bought it, you should. NOW.
That's the list. We'll see if I'll get to write my top 10 games of 2010.