I sat down here today with the intention of writing why I thought 2010 sucked, and after being convinced by the internet that it was the worst year in video game history with precious few awesome games, I decided to take a moment and reflect to see if I could recall what games from 2010 I thought were awesome. This is what I came up with:
No More Heroes 2, Mass Effect 2, Alan Wake, Enslaved, Super Meat Boy, Limbo, Singularity, Starcraft II, Yakuza 3, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Epic Mickey, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Dragon Quest IX, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Darksiders, Red Steel 2, Vanquish, Dead Rising 2, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, Scot Pilgrim Vs. The World, Metro 2033, Sam & Max Season 3, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, NBA JAM, Red Dead Redemption, The Sly Collection, Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, Monkey Island 2: Special Edition, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Halo: Reach, Sakura Wars: So Long My Love, Transformers: War for Cybertron, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Super Street Fighter IV, Gran Turismo 5, Fallout: New Vegas, NHL 2011, NBA 2K11, VVVVVV, and Sin & Punishment: Star Successor.
That's 41 games, and I'm sure there's a few that I'm forgetting along with the games I haven't even gotten around to playing. I really don't see how a year featuring that giant run-on sentence worth of neat-o games can suck, especially when I can count the number of movies I liked this year with one hand.
C'mon, isn't "sucked" a little harsh? Is it because 2010 was the year in which the gaming world found out that Activision is *gasp* only interested in making money!??! No shit. It's a publicly traded company with a stockpile of shareholders who are also only interested in making money, and they want to spend as little money as possible to achieve this goal.
Is this surprising
Activision is currently in possession of the biggest moneymaker in video game history, and you don't think every other publisher on the planet wouldn't ride that gravy train as hard as they could in the same manner that Activision does? You mean like when Capcom made 238 variants of Street Fighter II? Or how Nintendo has made Mario the Jim Thorpe of the video game world by making him compete in every sport known to mankind at one point or another? You don't think these companies scrapped ideas for new IP's in pursuit of another home run (or goal, or hole-in-one, or strike)? Guess what: publishers care about your wallet, not the pursuit of artistic enlightenment, and most certainly not you, and that's how it's always been.
My point here is that the things people seem to think make 2010 a terrible year happen just about every year. "Evil" publishers churning out endless sequels? They've been doing that for three decades. A bunch of games you were looking forward to slipped to next year? Check. Mass firings and studio closures? Once again that is nothing new. Frankly, considering we are currently in the middle of the greatest economic downturn in eighty years
, it could've been much, much worse. Aww, you're sad because Alan Wake didn't outsell Black Ops? BOO-HOO. Alan Wake is nearing one million units sold, and given its recent inclusion as a pack-in game and Microsoft admitting they fucked up its release, a sequel is looking highly likely. Hell they made a Blinx 2, remember?
So ignore the business end of things. If that's a barometer for judging the quality of a year, it's been a shitty lifetime for the entire medium.
2010 was fucking awesome. Just look at that list up there! Did you play all of that? I sure as hell didn't have the time to finish all of those. My wallet is PISSED looking at that list. If anything, 2010 sucked because there were too many awesome games with too little time to play them. And I totally forgot about Bayonetta. That game was amazing! Holy fuck, what about God Of War III? Y'now what else happened in 2010? Starcraft II ACTUALLY CAME OUT. Seriously, I'm looking at the game's box as I type this and I still can't believe it's there.
So why did 2010 suck? Is it because of motion controls? Well the Wii had a fucking awesome year, so the dead horse that is the "Wii is destroying my precious hobby WAHHHHHHH" argument doesn't apply this year. So is it because Sony and Microsoft entered the fray? It's too early to tell. It's obvious from all the awesome hacks people have come up with for Kinect that it's a amazing peice of technology, and I've played enough awesome Wii games to see the potential for the PlayStation move to be great as well, so are we going to bury them forever because their launches were less than stellar? By that logic, you should have chucked your PS2 out the window after your first rousing play-through of Fantavision.
Oh and if you still think 2010 sucked, go ahead and play the 85 games you spent $12 total on during the 2010 Steam holiday sale. Wow what a shitty way to end a shitty year.
Optimism is a lost art form on the internet. Yeah Square-Enix continued to be baffling, a bunch of really talented and cool people lost their jobs, and Microsoft pulled a Microsoft by hiking the price of XBox Live, but don't lost sight as to why we pay attention to the bad news in the first place: because we love video games, and if you love playing video games, then there was plenty to love in 2010. Glass half full, people. Glass half full.
And for my closing statement, no year featuring Deadly Premonition even has the ability to suck. Case muthafuckin closed.