Joe Ray’s Top Five 2010: Games

And now for the top five games of the year. Movie has been done: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/joe-rays-top-five-2010-movies/ and music: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/joe-rays-top-five-albums-2010/ . Last year it went in reverse with games getting the first post and films last, maybe this was planned to reverse it all this year?

There have been a load of great games this year though when it comes to making my top five list there are rules. First I ignore ports of old games which kind of go in the same vein as the Pinkerton Deluxe Edition reasoning in the music section so the likes of Perfect Dark have to be missed. Remakes are fine as they tend to have enough new things to be featured, so Monkey Island Special Edition 2 would be fine. Then I forget about ports of games which came out elsewhere last year which means Plants Vs. Zombies, Zeno Clash and And Yet It Moves miss the cut. Harsh but they should have got them to me last year while everyone was enjoying the games on PC! And the final rule is I have to have completed the game, I feel it makes my top five list a little fairer as I’ve seen everything they have to offer. It does make me wave to The Last Window, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Red Dead Redemption though. See all these omissions as worthwhile games and let us tuck into the top five games of the year!

Top Five Games Of 2010: Whatever Joe Ray Thinks. (And click the picture for a link to my blog entries on them)

5. Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 (7th October 2010) Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, iPhone

Five goes to the new Sonic game then. I’ve been waiting much too long since Sonic and Knuckles and for some the wait probably wasn’t worth it as they complained about sloppy controls and other things. I myself found it to be an excellent game which kept me  hooked with bright colours, speed and some really cool levels such as a torch lighting stage and a casino level with cards to walk on. It reminded me of playing Sonic on the Mega Drive for Christmas all those years ago and I just had a blast. I’ve always been very fair to Sonic’s more recent games but this is something I think most people will enjoy, it only costs around a tenner too! I think download titles have been of very high quality this year and Sonic 4 was fending off Hydro Thunder, Art Of Balance,  Super Meat Boy, And Yet It Moves and Zeno Clash Ultimate Edition until I imposed some rules causing Sonic 4 to filter through and win the number five spot. The thought of having a Sonic title in a top five list has been unthinkable for so many years too so it feels nice to include it. Traditional brought up to date coated in nostalgia. Don’t talk about the final boss though please, sometimes I wake up sweating because of it.

4. Bayonetta (8th January 2010) Xbox 360, PS3

Bayonetta is awesome, playing it through for the first time was an incredible experience as it went from smashing up Angels on a street to a motorbike, on a plane, in space, on spheres, free falling… the variety of set pieces made for a hyperactive movie experience which never let up. Sometimes the story feels intruding on the action as the cutscenes can go on and on but the first time they provide some added fun to proceedings, second time they can just be skipped. What makes Bayonetta a fantastic experience apart from the crazy set pieces is the feeling of control in combat, it is in-depth with lots of button combos to perform and killing an enemy the way you want to is great. It makes me look at simple combat in games such as Star Wars The Force Unleashed II with tired eyes, Bayonetta is the top tier of action games and everything else starts to feel a little simple and old. The game can be picked up for under a tenner in shops now so if you haven’t tried it now is the perfect time. Also features lots of innuendo.

3. Limbo (21st July 2010) Xbox 360

I started limbo on a stormy night and finished it a few hours later, it only took around three hours. Yet I never stopped playing, I didn’t take a break, I was compelled to keep going and not many games do that for me. I usually play for an hour then wonder what dinner could be then lose interest for a time. Limbo with the black and white world with ambient sound drew me in and I wanted to just play on in silence. A boy walking to the right for three hours jumping over things and pushing boxes doesn’t sound the most exciting of times and maybe it isn’t but the atmosphere adds so much. Everything feels like it is telling a story, and some moments always crop up in my mind such as the chasing spider and the Hotel sign flickering in the deserted town. A miniature masterpiece which may not offer much on a second playthrough but the first time round is golden.

2. Rock Band 3 (29th October 2010) Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS

I was getting bored of the music genre. Then Rock Band 3 came along with pro instruments and a host of fun tracks to play with friends. Suddenly I felt excited to be playing again thanks to the structure of the main game allowing for more customisation of what you actually play in the career and drop in and drop out gameplay removes the tedium of changing instrument, no longer do the drums gather dust because of the hassle of signing in after playing guitar. The game is a fantastic party game but for those willing to spend some more on more instruments the game offers a new keyboard instrument, drums with cymbals, harmonies with multiple microphones and even a real guitar! It may make you a very poor person for a while but now you can actually forget about pressing five coloured buttons in time to a music track and actually try to learn them! Rock Band 3 offers fun for friends like the old time with the best game yet and something for those who wants to step into the world of real instruments. I will be playing this for years to come. Unless they keep up with the rather lacklustre download content they’ve been spilling out since release, everything is pre 90’s!

Rock Band 3 Pro Drums: https://joerayw.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/rock-band-3-pro-drums/

1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (11th June 2010) Wii

Mario takes one, he does this a lot. Galaxy 2 didn’t exactly excite me as sequels never really do but upon playing it I knew this was my game of the year and wouldn’t be beaten. Blasting through space once more but this time the game was stuffed full of so many new ideas the game barely made use of them all. One minute you run up a wall with Yoshi, next you slow time down to get through a stage, then walk on the side, then on the wall, then the ceiling before ending up back on the side again; the ideas which make up one level could make up a full game and most of the ideas actually do. Mario Galaxy 2 is a magical experience and I can think of nothing which lets it down, a platforming adventure of epic  proportions and the star of 2010.

So 2010 was better than 2009 for the games I think and 2011 looks to be even better with a new Zelda and Duke Nukem in the works. If only I could finish what I play…

And that was the 2010 Joe Ray awards! All that is left is for me to do a year in review and I can wrap 2010 up and throw it into the bin. I still need to get 2009 recycled.

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