2010 was not a shining spot in gaming history. Nor is it something the industry should be embarrassed about. It was simply a mediocre year, that lacked creativity. Think about it, there were two remakes(Goldeneye, Pokmon HG/SS), two restorations(DKCR, Pac-Man CE: DX), two ports(Super Mario: All-Stars, Sly Collection), endless amounts of sequels and a Wii-Mote clone(PS Move). It was this lack in creativity that lead to a dreary year in games(for me, at least).
I did cease this lack of intriguing titles to catch up on some of the classics I'd previously missed out on. Such classics include: Pikmin, Pikmin 2, Chrono Trigger(I've had it since the 90s, never completed though. I realize I am the devil), Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country 3, The Sly Cooper Collection and Star Craft. I did very much enjoy these games, and am relieved that I finally got to play them. My favourite of them all would have to be Pikmin, and I'd choose that as my game of the year, had not the unwritten laws of year-end awards forbade me from doing so.
I suppose I ought to get on with my GOTY. There was really no competition for this game. One game had me second-guessing for a split second(DKCR), but nothing substantial. I'll drop some hints, so you can guess what game it is before me even sharing the result, thus making yourself feel bad-ass. It came out in May. It's the sequel to 2007's GOTY(Super Mario Galaxy), and the name ends with the number 2. Yep, that's right, my GOTY is Red Dead Redemption.
Red Dead Redemption is and old-west action made by R*, the infamous creators of The GTA series. RDR is a third-person shooter in an open world setting. The game is greatly driven by it's story. A revenge story about a former gang member, John Marston. It takes you through his life as a thug, and as a farmer. The game's pretty cool, got some nice shooting scenes, pretty good graphics, some nice storytelling... NO! That is wrong! Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the game of the year.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 corrects everything that held back Super Mario galaxy from being a near perfect experience. Eliminating the boring, time-consuming and occasionally irritating hub world. Fixing an already decent camera, which lead to near perfection with the fun and innovative play on gravity. Like all Super Marios it is a third person platformer. And like all Super Marios, it is incredibly innovative and makes for an extremely fun experience.
Koji Kondo, once again, produces a fully orchestrated soundtrack, that adds just that much more to the experience. It's not his best work, but it is certainly a desirable soundtrack that accompanies the game very well.
I was skeptical when buying this game, but after a string of reviews that praised the game(saw many 10/10s) I had to pick it up. 50 hours, and 242 stars later I had fallen in love with the game and knew it would be 2010's best.
I realized I'd burst out of the gates, guns-a-blazing, without even introducing myself. I would like to take this time to allow you to familiarize yourselves with your newest Deity.
Gaming Background Info:
I was born in 1989, and started gaming in 1993. Due to my brother, I'd already had a Sega Genesis and the NES. My first game was Sonic The Hedgehog Two. A delightful little game that was he peak of an otherwise dreary series. My Sega experience was short lived Playing such classics as: Sonic 1, 2 and Knuckles, Mortal Kombat(4 year old playing an M rated game? Bad parenting!), Heavy Nova, and other sub-par games that elude me.
I was quickly drawn into Nintendo's warm, trustworthy grasp. Traversing a side-scrolling land full of magic turtles and mutated mushrooms would become my home. Upon playing Super Mario Bros 1 & 3 I had bought in to the whole gaming ordeal, and I haven't looked back since. In 1994 I received a Super NES. in which i continued my Mario love, with such titles as: Super Mario World and Mario Paint. This was the turning point in my life. The point when I became a true man. A manly man, because we all know only true men play Vidja Gamez! My Nintendo collection included classics like: Kida Icarus, SMB 1, 2 and 3, Donkey Kong, DK Jr. Math,Clu Clu Land, Wario's Woods, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda 2: The Bad One, Excitebike, Punch-out, Tetris, Base-ball, (SNES) Super Mario World, Mario Paint, Chrono Trigger, DKC1 and 2, LoZ: ALttP, Master Blaster blahblah, Mario RPG, Super Punch-out, Super Mario Kart.
I am now the proud owner of every Nintendo console, and almost every Nintendo handheld. The list exceeds 150 games, and would take way too long to type out.
In 1998, one year after obtaining my N64, I was Introduced to the PSOne. My Nintendo fanboyism still raged on, but I was open to this new console and enjoyed it very much. Playing through such classics as: FF:VII, FF: IX, RE: 2, Tomba, MGS and Crash Team Racing. My new found love for these "grown-up" games, I've also had a Sony console the passed three generations, to play second fiddle to Nintendo.
Favourite Video Game:
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. My favourite series in gaming is Zelda, and three Zelda games round out my top three of all time. The reason for my love of Majora's Mask, could very well be that I've worn specs since 1999, so the Majora's mask nostalgia fog has yet to leave them, but that's for you to decide. Majora's Mask took Ocarina of Time, included an atmosphere, story and sidequests. Not to mention the great soundtrack and cast of this grande adventure. Majora's Mask will forever hold a soft spot in my crusty, cynical heart.
Favourite Current Generation Game:
This game has been tough for me to decide. I would say it's the Resident Evil 4 Wii adaptation, but does that really qualify as current-gen?
To avoid any controversy, I'll choose the next best thing, Super Mario Galaxy 2. Perhaps not as revolutionary as it's predecessor, or Super Mario 64 for that matter. However, it is the closest thing, in my opinion, to gaming perfection. From a control standpoint, of course. The stunning visuals and terrific soundtrack only add to this sleek, innovative and incredibly fun title.
My favourite PS3 game is Borderlands, but I'll get into that another time.
Favourite Movie: Fight Club
Favourite Band: Pink Floyd
Favourite Song: Nobody Home - Pink Floyd
So, I started playing Paper Mario today and I notice a few peculiar things. If you know your Mario lore, then you'll know that Mario must crush wave after wave of Goombas and Koopas. Well, at the beginning of Paper Mario, you're in a tiny goomba village consisting of one family of goombas. They quickly recognize you as "the legendary hero, Mario". Hmm, an odd title to give a man who single handedly performed genocide on your race. They love Mario so much that they actually named their child after him, Goombario. What do you think would happen if the Rabbi named his son Adolf?
That's not the only strange activity going on at the start of Paper Mario. Once you break out of the village, you're greeted by an army of goombas. An army, just to hold back a family that has no intentions of leaving their peaceful quarters. Not only that, but the tyrant, Goomba king has his castle station but a kilometre away. His sole purpose obviously being to hold back the Goomba family. He even removes the bridge so no one gets in or out. So, what I believe happened was, the Goombas are the last surviving family, living with a terrible epidemic, and Princess Peach had the family quarantined. Now Mario is unleashing the family upon the unsuspecting world, yet another genocide from a lovestruck plumber.
Then there's Paper Mario: TTYD the castle of dead koopas. Right outside Koopaville, there is a castle guarded by a giant dragon, that has simply massacred millions of koopas. These Koopa Troopas have really earned their name, some people fight to their last breath, these guys fought passed their last breath. They still want vengeance on poor little plumber boy. Once again though, the citizens off Koopaville simply worship Mario. The man who laid their race to waste. They kiss the ground he walks on, idolize him. He's a hero, a saviour. Just a few years ago he took down your entire nation... I guess only the dead ones realize how bad he really is.
Metroid Prime is a video game. It was for the Gamecube. It was a FPS that was called and "action-adventure" because FPS wasn't as popular back then. Metroid Prime is a game that I strongly dislike. Allow me to elaborate.
Metroid Prime starts you off by showing a cut-scene of Samus' airship getting attacked by the infamous baddie "Ridley". I'm not exactly sure why this happened... However it leads to a "great" game, with a "great" idea. You crash land on some random, pretty planet. Of course it is heavily raining for awesome effect(how cliche).
You spend the whole game hunting down pieces of samus' suit(because apparently when you go into an escaped pod all your clothes fall off and swirl around a planet until they all land in places that are no where near each other). Also, this planet that Samus doesn't know, holds her backstory or something? I don't know, because there was this amazing feature where you pull out a visor that makes everything look weird, and you use this visor to read about every little plant and rock to find out more about this game.
Why couldn't you just tell me the purpose of this game instead of making me research? Scrolling through tons of tiny words to find out Metroid Prime's story is bad, was bad.
The other thing that was truly... uhh... revolutionary? Was the gameplay. Lock and spray at the same, unintelligent, too much health AI. I'm running around jumping up and down like I'm playing Halo shooting these stupid dinosaurs that take 500shots and you can easily take down 5 of them without taking damage. So what was the point of giving them that much health. Couldn't you just lower the HP and increase their strength? At least that way they'd pose a challenge without wasting all of your time. The only way I found myself dying was when I tried to jump across the lava filled area. Imagine Mario from the first-person perspective.
The "fun" thing about this game is, it doesn't tell you where to go, so you are forced to explore every inch of this planet. After about an hour I realised all I was doing was searching the same room over and over except this time there is another door, or a different plant. The game also involves tons of back-tracking, but since every room looks identical to the last, how will I know where to go? Nintendo tried to emphasize their amazing new graphics, but that was only good for the first room of the new realm you entered. The redundant scenery got depressing after a while.
I gave up after fifteen hours of this. Why did I stick around for 15 hours, you may ask. It's because, I spent fifteen good dollars on this game and I plan on getting my money's worth(my philosophy is 1 hour=$1).
PlayStation2 version. My friends and I used to occasionally rip on another friend because he loved Okami(Dumb 16 year olds, I know...). I finally decided to give it a chance. And I don't have any regrets for making fun of him for playing. The game starts off with an incredibly long and annoying prologue(reminiscent of the Wind Waker prologue, minus the nostalgia). You spend half of the game watching this thing and listening to the terrible voices. I'd rather watch a movie with voices from Banjo-Kazooie than watch this thing again. Then, once you think you are out of the prologue you talk to someone very reminiscent of Navi from LoZ:OoT. At first I was like, "Yay, another awesome fairy!" but no, Issun is far from awesome, he is the most annoying character the game has to offer, not to mention he rambles more than Tom Nook. Enough about Issun, I'm sure you all already dislike him.
Another thing that lots of people go crazy for in this game is the "lovable characters" My first impressions of these characters were always, "ugh, what the hell is this person supposed to be?" then they spoke. With incredibly cheesy jokes and voices, that are like Animal Crossing with down syndrome, but wait, at least in Animal Crossing you could turn them off. This game made me despise everyone in it. So it was up to the open world to save my thoughts. The watercoloured, ugly, bland colours, like faded purple and brown were atrocious. They looked like the toilet of a swinger's party. But, at least you had pretty little flowers flowing behind you as you ran. The artwork is admittedly interesting and rather intriguing, but you can't run a game based on a cool graphic system for twenty hours.
Gameplay, who didn't love it? Button-mashing until all of the incredibly easy AI were dead. This may have been dreadful to do, but it let you restore trees and plants to the landscape(don't I just do that by running around?). Running around was decent fun, however it got bland as the game was just the same ugly faded water-colours I mentioned earlier. Finally the paintbrush didn't handle well, luckily it was oversensitive to what you drew and always knew what you'd intended.
Okami thrived on the cheeky characters and artsy graphics. Sadly this doesn't cut it for a twenty hour game.