Here’s the list of games I played in 2010 placed in broad categories of my personal enjoyment. Due to Eve, a new house, and general busy-ness at work I’ve probably gamed the least this past year than any in recent memory. Also, there’s some 2009 games in here as Lockdown prevents me from playing holiday releases until the next year. Games are in no particular order.
The Great – My Favorites of the Year
- Batman – Arkham Asylum – The one game I played early in the year while home with Eve. Excellent fighting mechanics and really “got” what Batman is about. (X360)
- BioShock 2 – Great follow up to one of the best shooters of the decade. Still need to finish this one. (PC)
- Dawn of Discovery – Awesome city-builder. Great graphics and an interesting trade across the archipelago mechanic. (PC)
- Supreme Commander 2 – Best RTS this year. Moves forward and improves on SC1 in all the ways that Starcraft 2 didn’t. Excellent post-release support. (PC)
- Rock Band 3 – The pinnacle of music based games. Great improvements to the UI, the inclusion of Pro mode is very well done, and you can’t beat 2,000+ songs. I’ve spent 30 hours just on pro keyboards alone. (X360)
- Distant Worlds – Excellent AI viceroys make this real time 4x-ish game an interesting space empire ant farm. (PC)
- Pac-Man CE DX – Perfect marriage of sounds and graphics with enough gameplay twists to improve on Pac-Man CE. Best XBLA game this year. (X360)
- Civ V – Yes the tactical AI is questionable, yes there are significant changes from Civ IV. I don’t care, this is a great game with the best UI of any 4x I’ve played.
The Good – Worth My Time
- Tron: Evolution – Interesting story that ties in and gives you more background on the movie. Competent multi-player (lightcycles!). Could have used a little tightening on the gameplay. (x360)
- Shattered Horizon – Hardcore zero-g shooter. Beautiful and stark but the learning curve and the lack of variety on release were disappointing. (PC)
- Lead and Gold – Western shooter that is very good, but still a little empty and sparse. (PC)
- Lost Planet 2 – Many people were put off by how Japanese it is, but I loved the variety of the levels, the immense boss battles and all the pretty mechs. (X360)
- Tidalis – Big props for doing something besides the match-3 game, but I can’t get my brain wrapped around changing the path on the fly and got stuck half-way through. (PC)
- Mount and Blade: Warband – Great Medieval sandbox game hidden under a very slow start and obtuse UI. (PC)
The Meh – Don’t Bother
- Scott Pilgrim: The Game – I loves me some Paul Robertson, but this is just an old-school beat-em-up. (X360)
- Poker Night at the Inventory - Great dialog, love the characters, crappy poker game. (PC)
- Star Ruler – Sorry guys I see where you’re going and I’m glad you’re still working on it, but the game ain’t done. (PC)
The Games Night Online game for the month of March is Burnout Paradise. Here’s a few tips:
- You can only open cars in the offline mode by completing challenges and taking out other cars. We’ll start with the bottom tier of cars if we do any racing early on.
- Get comfortable tooling around the city. I’ll probably take everyone on a tour with the early co-op challenges to hit the points of interest.
- If you have a camera hook it up. Every time you get taken out you send a quick pic to your nemesis. There’s also podium pics for the winner of a race.
- Find all the gas stations, paint shops, repair shops, and junkyards. The gas and repair shops are pretty critical to completing the more advanced single player challenges.
- For burnout vets the “stunt” type cars are the ones you’ll be used to. Aggression cars are tank-like and get boost by smashing opponents or traffic. Speed cars are just weird. They’re fragile and you only gain boost by going at top speed. If you stop a boost you lose it all and need to build it back up. Anyway, stick with the stunt cars until you’re comfortable with the city.
Really when you get down to it Burnout is all about driving fast and smashing into things so have fun and I’ll see you on Tuesdays.
Will be online tonight 6-8ish PST. X360 again this week either continuing our CoD4 newbs are cool, or newbing it up on Halo3. Gametag is on the sidebar if you haven’t already friended me.
Sorry for the short notice, but tonight I’d like to kick off GNO with some X360 gaming tonight. If you haven’t already friended me I’m at “Rorschach Six” (with the space). Well get started at 8pm Central, 6pm Pacific. The selection of games are up in the air, but I anticipate perhaps some CoD4, Halo3, or maybe even some UNO or poker if folks don’t have those games.
I really prefer the Rock Band Stratocaster fret buttons to the other Guitar Hero guitars that have come before. It’s much easier to slide my fingers up and down the neck when I’m playing on hard difficulty to hit that fifth button. I also prefer the Strat strum bar although it is a little mushy and difficult to tell at what exact point you’re registering the button press.
Unfortunately the guitar I got with the original game is pretty broken. It’s tough to enable overdrive by tiliting it up and some strums are not being registered. No matter, the publisher has a very handy online process to get you a new guitar in less than a week. So I signed up and last night I got my new guitar. The strum works very well but the tilt sensor doesn’t work at all.
So now I’ve got two broken guitars with a third on the way. I do have to send back the broken guitars for free or I get a hefty credit card charge. Here’s hoping that the third guitar actually works.
OTOH, the drums are working fine even after some heavy beating by many people.
We had a pretty good thing going last year where my two brothers, Matt, and I would conference call on Skype on a weekday evening and then proceed to play a PC game for a few hours. Ususally we played SotS. It was kind of like a poker night, with video games, and online. Okay maybe it wasn’t like a poker night, but it was fun. Things fell apart at the end of the year with one brother getting married and the other working out of a suitcase on a big project.
So here in 2008, I’d like to restart Game Night (Online) and see if we can expand our roster of participants and games. I know most of you are Central timezone so I’ve always been willing to start things early from my perspective. Last year it was Tuesdays from 8pm to 10pm Central time (6-8 for the left coast) but that can be changed. We’d usually play some sort of co-op online game but not against a little fragging and trash talking. If the game doesn’t support voice we all get on a Skype conference call. I think this year we can also break away from the PC and get some X360 gaming in as well. (Welcome to the dark side Matt!)
So if you’re interested drop me a line or comment and we’ll get something together in the next few weeks. I’ve put up a list of PC and X360 games after the break that work pretty well for this kind of gaming. I’m always willing to try out new favorite games so feel free to suggest one or more if you’d like to join up.
With all the travel over Christmas we had a nice relaxing new year at home. We watched Live Free or Die Hard on pay-per-view and fell asleep right around midnight. The next day I made a big batch of yellow curry and we initiated the tour of our Rock Band group “Nothing Special” with Jett on drums, Spike on guitar and Dio singing. It was a lot of fun. The game is a great tool for music appreciation as you see each part of the wide variety of songs broken out over the four parts. We played Radiohead, Nirvana, Weezer, Rolling Stones, and Red Hot Chili Peppers to name a few. I look forward to the next night of rocking out.
IGN posted the final Rock Band track list. They’re really talking up the downloadable content though, with full albums and a lot of other tracks being released down the road. It is my intention to get good enough at the game to be a double-threat, either guitar and sing like Kurt Cobain or drum and sing like Phil Collins. List after the cut, my favorites in bold.
If you own an Xbox 360 then you must go download the free Bioshock demo now. How can you pass up exploring an art-deco styled underwater city run by a Howard Hughes gone psycho? Plenty of creepy bad guys and guns and weird powers by hacking your own genetics.
Go get now. It’s out next Tuesday. Can also run on a beefy PC if you have one of those (I don’t).