Sunday, January 9, 2011

Obligatory (and kind of pointless) team of the year discussion that no one cares about!

 Since no one can like everything that's released discussing what is objectively the best team of the year is simply impossible. For example you might claim that the new World of Warcraft expansion is the best RPG of the year but have you played Dragon Quest IX, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Resonance of Fate, Alpha Protocol or Final Fantasy XIII? All of these games have supporters who would say that their game is a prime were better candidate for best RPG or even game of the year. So when I write about game of the year it's about MY game of the year and for May 2010 is a three way race for game of the year: BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Bayoneta.

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Is definitely a big enough improvement over its predecessor to be worth buying another disk. Continuum Shift Is definitely a more tightly balanced game and calamity trigger (the first version of BlazBlue) however it still feels like the game is one or two versions away from addressing all of its problems. I also greatly appreciate developer Arc System Works efforts to make the game more accessible through teaching rather than extreme simplification, but they are also at least one retail release away from realizing it. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is certainly my pick for best fighting game of the year there is a big balance patch is coming that could make a game of the year  but would be 2011 not 2010.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was designed for multiplayer but has all the qualities of a metal gear game. It's still a slow-paced action game for meticulous players and story is still a big part of the experience. Using a simplified version of Metal Gear Solid 4's controls is also the first 3-D shooter to genuinely work on a handheld even if they do suffer when any kind of speed is required (anytime you set off an alarm and any boss battle). Peace Walker's only real shortcoming are the boss battles which are dull and betray everything about Metal Gear, that and Quick Time events they don't belong in any game to be honest. but it's particularly offensive in a metal gear game especially when asked to mash a button faster than 40 times per second. This is the one big thing stopping peace Walker from being my game of the year. It's inexcusably stupid and really stands out when it's in Hideo Kojima's most progressive games since Metal Gear Solild (1998). While Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker  it's just shy of my game of the year I feel safe to say that objectively this game has the best script (and ironically the most restraint and editing).

 By process of elimination this leaves Bayoneta as my game of the year for 2010.

You won't notice this games the average graphics and poor script as it's action steadily escalates into greater heights of absurdity. While there are some events they do little to slow the action down and they are few and far in between. You certainly won't care about the games minor problems when its title character dances in sexually provocative poses to summon a demon from hell to eat her enemies alive (I'm serious). Unlike a similar action game from 2010 (God of War III, Dante's Inferno or Lords of Shadow pick your favorite) Bayoneta offers many options in combat and doesn't punish you for using them. And if that wasn't enough this game is harder than his competition but has less frustration. I was offered a fair challenge throughout, enemies are never healed because of a failed QuickTime event (like in God of war) and I was never lost and confused because of objectives and puzzles being lost in expensive graphics (like Lords of Shadow).  Bayoneta was released in January and set me up for disappointment with every other action gaming 2010, except for vanquish but that's because it was made by the same company.

And since I'm sure you love bitterness and hate my pick for worst game of 2010 is Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
 all I'm willing to say is: this is a God of war clone where Emo Belmont is stalked by an old man voice by Patrick Stewart and eventually becomes Dracula. And if that's not stupid enough the ending sets up a sequel where our new emo Dracula fights Satan.
Those two sentences are all the proof anyone needs that developer Mercury Steam are a load of hacks. (and that's if Clive Barker’s Jericho wasn't proof enough.)

In more positive news I have finally reached the end of Persona 3. However I fear that even if the average American player gets past their bias against Anime this game would be too intelligent for them. Also I find the game's message of fighting strength in friendship/comradeship to be very ironic for a game that has taken me 90 hours to complete.

1 comment:

  1. A blind retarded monkey has better taste and more brains than you. Castlevania LoS is one of best games of the year if not the best. But hey, if you enjoy making a fool of yourself in public, I'm not going to object to that.