01
Jan
11

Staff picks of 2010 — part two

staff picks two - playwisegaming.comIn order to celebrate this year in gaming, playWISE will be featuring several articles in the next few weeks detailing the most memorable games of the year. So far we’ve talked about both our biggest disappointments and the best hidden gems of 2010.

Here’s the final round of staff picks for best games of 2010. If you missed the first one, you can find it here.

Check back on Tuesday Jan. 4 for our most anticipated titles of 2011.



Jeremy:
Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead - playwisegaming.comThe quick draw of a gun, the unmistakable scent of gunpowder and the endless days on horseback is what turns men into cowboys. Westerns have graced the silver screen for decades, but games could never seem to capture the lawless frontier. Rockstar has finally broken ground this year with their release of “Red Dead Redemption.”

“Red Dead” is not just another recreation of the West but a transportation into another world where the only rules are the ones you make up. You are John Marston, a reformed criminal whose only motivation is the safety of his family. Federal marshals have taken them from you and want you to clean up your past by eliminating old gang members.

From the time you begin your epic journey until its final close, you are in for an unpredictable adventure that’s sure to please. With the game’s open world design, it’s hard not to get lost within “Red Dead’s” excellent environments. I found myself wanting to hunt just one more animal or play one more game of poker before main missions; the only thing I was missing during my time with “Red Dead” was sleep.

“Red Dead” is more than just another open world game that came out this year but a landmark in the genre. Other developers have tried to make men into cowboys, but I thank Rockstar for being the ones to finally bring the West from the silver screen to my controller.

StarCraft II
StarCraft II - playwisegaming.comSci-fi games are my bread and butter, and nothing makes me more excited than the epic feeling of space and machine. Blizzard understands this and knows how to make a Sci-fi fan like me geek out. The original “StarCraft” was not only a wide success but became a sport that many would play for years later.

With their release of “StarCraft II” this year, Blizzard has managed to do it once again and make an instant success that will keep me busy for years. “StarCraft II” takes everything good about the first game and perfects it. From the balancing of the races to the varying units, you won’t find a better RTS.

I played for hours and never lost the joy of building a massive army that would undoubtedly crush my foes. Building this perfect army is what makes you come back to “StarCraft II” even after the game is over. With its updated visuals and units, there’s nothing to keep any fan of the genre from not playing this game.

The most surprising aspect of “StarCraft II” for me was the excellent story. Although unfinished, I like where the narrative is headed and cannot wait to play the upcoming sequels. The way Blizzard handled their second game in the series has made me a fan for life and earns my choice as a game of the year.

Ahmar:
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
TvsC - playwisegaming.comYatterman, Hurricane Polymar and Ken the Eagle may not be household names outside of Japan, but one can nonetheless appreciate Capcom’s zeal in localizing and upgrading the Japan-only 2009 release of “Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes” for the Nintendo Wii.

The Tatsunoko half of the roster is populated largely by the spandex-clad superheroes of the anime studio’s prolific past, whose unique abilities span the kendama and giant-robot-dog-wielding Yatterman, among numerous others. The Capcom side is rounded out with souped-up versions of characters from Capcom’s one-on-one fighters as well as from the publisher’s vast catalog. With 26 characters of such differing play styles, there is plenty of variety to go around.

While the nuances of new fighting mechanics — like the “Baroque” mode, guard crash and delayed hyper combos — offer splendid opportunity for the fighting faithful to refine their skills, “Tatsunoko vs. Capcom” wisely simplifies the number of available button inputs of even “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” to just three attack and one partner button. The result is a tighter game overall, where one is able to perform actions with greater ease and focus more so on strategy than execution.

Capcom and developer Eighting have created a game that succeeds in not only capturing the controlled chaos of their Marvel-licensed titles, but in providing its own unique spin on tag-team fighting games. “Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars” shines as a brilliant example of both substance and style.

WarioWare D.I.Y.
WarioWare - playwisegaming.comWith one foot planted squarely in the era of Mario Paint and another towards the future, Nintendo released “WarioWare D.I.Y.” this year with an eye on turning the voracious consumers of their expanse of titles into developers in their own right. As the ever-expanding library of microgames created with the software attests to, the result is certainly a job well done.

While more storage space and looser technical restrictions would certainly be welcome, the colorful interface of “WarioWare D.I.Y.” is a fantastic introduction into the world of game design and works something akin to a portable version of the classic PC software Klik & Play. Imaginative creators have churned out everything from bite-sized recreations of classic games to all-new masterpieces that continually showcase the power of the human imagination.

Additionally, “WarioWare” features a full array of games, comics and music that players can enjoy and, most importantly, dissect and analyze with an eye towards the creation of their own games. With a steady stream of titles available to download from both the masters at Nintendo and other D.I.Y. players, “WarioWare” deserves every honor for not only providing a set of experiences to enjoy, but also a canvas to create.

Image Credits: Rockstar/Activision/Capcom/Nintendo
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2 Responses to “Staff picks of 2010 — part two”


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