- The game must have been released in Australia from 1 January, 2010
- I have to have played the game extensively (preferably to the point of completion)
- Both downloadable and full retail acquisitions are eligible
- I do not own a Wii, DS or powerful gaming PC
- While I do spend an exorbitant amount of money on games, I cannot buy everything released on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PSP and PC
- While I do spend a lot of time playing videogames, I have not been able to play though all the releases on the afformentioned systems
5. Bayonetta (PS3/360 Played on PS3) - Put simply, this is Devil May Cry done better with lots of female nudity and unbelievably frantic action. Look further than that puerile statement and you will find one of the more visually stunning, and just plain wacky 3rd person action games on the market. In what other games can you torture angels, kill creatures with your hair and turn into a butterfly? The boss battles are of unmatched scale, the last of which tasked with conquering a massive, shapely lady that was larger than a planet! Bayonetta the character, is a walking, talking superlative; whom through her emasculation of the male members of the cast brought many a laugh. The narrative is campy to the point of being melodramatic, and while at times you may ask yourself: "What just happened?"; inevitably the ridiculousness of what is occurring on screen will only cause you to laugh harder. The jazzy theme that accompanies the majority of the action is undeniably, and at times, painfully hilarious. Everything about this game screams crazy, and that's why I love it.
4. Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing (PS3/PC/360 Played on PS3) - For those unable to play with Nintendo's iconic plumber, this game is the closest you can get to the market-leading mascot racer. This was a real surprise packet for me, especially after the initial impressions left by the demo. The tracks are well-designed and the AI opponents are competitive, not cheap like their Ninty competitors. The weapons are balanced, if not a little uninspired. Perhaps most importantly, you can drive in a car shaped like a bunch of bananas! There are enough classic SEGA characters, environments and theme tunes to warm the heart of even the most cynical gamer, with special weapons that are bound to draw a wry smile. The local multiplayer is also a great joy, and I only wish there were more people close by to share it with.
3. Bioshock 2 (PS3/PC/360 Played on PS3) - My return to Rapture was much better than I could have anticipated. The submerged, art-deco dystopia was not as shocking this time around, nor was the narrative. Sofia Lamb is no Andrew Ryan. Where Bioshock 2 succeeded however, was in making the action feel different to its predecessor. As a Big Daddy, I felt as though I was a force to be reckoned with. Duel-wielding plasmid powers and firearms allowed for some truly chaotic firefights. Not to say Bioshock 2 is without challenge, the new additions to the Splicer genus were much more fearsome and deadly than those featured in the original. The Big Sisters also managed to inspire fear with the assistance of the truly exceptional score. While your character is not especially complex, your Little Sister does provide some genuine inspiration to progress. I am not a father, but I felt as though there was a real sense of urgency whenever Eleanor (the Little Sister to which you are linked) appeared. The greatest moment of the sequel is when you are forced to walk in the shoes of a Little Sister (if only for a little while), such a visual and philosophical feast!
2. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP) - I am yet to finish this game, but it has made a strong impression. So strong, that initially I had this as my pick of the litter. Peace Walker is a big deal for many reasons. One, because it has all the visual flair and narrative melodrama typical of a Metal Gear Solid game. The boss battles are for the lack of a better word: epic, and require a depth of patience and strategy not usually seen in portable action games. There are so many ways to play this game. You can repeat missions and minor boss battles to acquire troops and vehicles for your mercenary army. You can spend hours managing your troops and resources. You can develop upgrades for the arsenal you employ in standard gameplay to the point where I am now packing M16s with suppressors, RK47s with smoke grenade launchers, extremely interesting girly magazines (lol), great curries (lolololololol) and Carl Gustav recoilless rifles. Perhaps greatest of all is the soundtrack. I now have the home base theme playing in my head whenever I look at myself in the mirror, you know, because I'm so pensive and legendary.
1. Red Dead Redemption (PS3/PC/360 Played on PS3) - Obvious choice? Yes. But, if there was one game you could buy this year, this would have to be it. Will there be more compelling offerings this year? It's possible. Will there be better looking games? With Crysis 2 launching this year, that is a (red) dead certainty (plus there are loads of visual glitches to be seen in this blockbuster). However, where Red Dead Redemption will conquer all of the competition is the sheer breadth of activities available in which players can engage. If the story missions are starting to exhaust you, you can ride to a cantina and play a round of Texas Hold 'Em. If you become weary from human company, ride into the great expanse and start hunting wild game. Even if you have no interest in interacting with artificial intelligence, you can go online and posse up with friends or total strangers and tame the Wild West. Perhaps most importantly, at the heart of this robust package is a gripping tale of revenge and ultimately (and obviously), redemption.
What are your favourite games of the year to this point? Do you agree with any of my choices?