Ypulse Best And Worst Of 2010: Games
- December 21st, 2010
- 0 Comments
Ed. Note: For our list of the best and worst in games of 2010, we asked resident gamer Youth Advisory Board member Julia Tanenbaum to dissect her five best and five worst picks. Below Julia draws from her experience playing and keeping up with video game news over the year to offer great details on the best games 2010 had to offer as well as those she could have lived without…
Ypulse Best And Worst Of 2010: Games
Halo: Reach. Halo is perhaps the most successful shooter franchise ever. The newest installment is a prequel to the rest of the games, and brings in the best elements of past games, to create the best game yet. The new protagonist is Noble 6, a new member of a UNSC special operations unit composed of elite supersoldiers known as Spartans. The story begins with an introduction to Planet Reach, the center of humanity’s military force, and home to the Spartan Program. Although the story is a prequel, and there are nods to fans of the series, it is good enough to stand on its own, with combat as the focus. The combat is similar to previous games, but tweaks make the experience even more difficult, immersive, and interesting. Missions take you through a variety of awesome environments, taking full advantage of the sci-fi world. You get a set of tools, and objectives, but a free reign on tactical approach, leading to a variety of styles of gameplay. The best new addition is armor abilities, temporary but reusable extra abilities, like jet packs and invincible armor, and the highlight of the game is multiplayer. Besides including modes such as Slayer and King of the Hill, Reach includes new modes like Headhunter (where players drop skulls upon death, and other players can pick them up and deposit them at special zones for points) and, most exciting, Firefight mode, where players take on increasingly difficult waves of foes in a game of survival.
Call of Duty Black Ops - A worthy entry in the massively popular Call of Duty Franchise, COD Black Ops even surpasses its predecessors with new features, and exciting multiplayer options. The campaign mode takes place during the Cold War, and takes your character all around the world being interrogated by mysterious captors. Each mission is a memory and comes together to build momentum for each new integration scene. Since the game is non-linear, the missions are greatly varied, as well as the environments. The graphics are fantastic, and look surprisingly realistic. The game features run and gun mechanics, and a variety of interesting weapons and vehicles. Experience is gained for doing well in battle, and level up much like in a RPG. The normal multiplayer is exciting, but the zombie killing mode is my personal favorite. COD Black Ops also includes a couple new modes, training and a theater mode where you can edit video.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. The story of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood picks up right where Assassin’s Creed II left off. Like previous entries in the series, the game is open world and much of your time will be occupied by completing side missions, and exploring Rome. Rome is impressively varied, and immersive, including everything from busy city streets to ancient ruins and the Coliseum. Leonardo da Vinci returns as an ally, and provides you with weapons, including a paraglider, a chain gun mounted to a horse and cart, and a boat with a naval cannon. These add variety to gameplay. The biggest gameplay change is recruiting assassins. Assassins can be called at any time in battle, and they will attack enemies for you. Hand to hand combat is of course the best part of the game. Another new edition is the multiplayer, where you actually play as the bad guys: Abstergo agents, training to hunt the assassins. You locate and kill a target, while being hunted. This is a great new edition to the game.
Final Fantasy XIII. The Final Fantasy series is well known for great combat and immersive fantasy worlds, and FFXIII lives up to this standard. The game stars a quirky, fun, although sometimes cliché cast of characters, most notably Lightning, the gun, blade-wielding protagonist. The game takes place in two distinct worlds, the raw, dangerous, and natural world of Pulse, and the high-tech, urban, and sleek world of Cocoon. The characters traverse everything from high tech sci-fi environments like airships, and the cities of Cocoon, to the jungles of Pulse. Everything is illustrated in exquisite detail, and FFXIII has the best graphics I have seen in any game. At times it is hard to tell if scenes are CG or not. Although linear, the game eventually opens up, and is worth playing for anyone who likes a good RPG.
Super Mario Galaxy 2. Although the original Super Mario Galaxy was a fantastic 3D platform, the changes made in the sequel make Super Mario Galaxy 2 the ultimate 3D platformer experience. There are a variety of activities, but all reward the player with a shining star. It takes 70 of these to beat the game. The controls are precise, and make jumping over lava, and leaping between walls easier than with many other games in the genre. The camera has no real issues, even in settings like reverse gravity. There are an amazing number of gameplay mechanics, almost a new one on every level. The variety is impressive, and makes the game unpredictable, and not easy to grow tired of. There are 2D levels, as well as the 3D ones. The game is relatively easy, but has some difficult stages. Boss fights are varied and exciting, like the rest of the game. Each requires different strategies, and is satisfying in its own way. The bosses are large and imposing, adding to the reward. The visuals are fantastic, despite the platform. Textures look great, and the game is incredibly colorful. Music also fits the action. The game is simply outstanding, and a fine example of a great platformer.
Prison Break: The Conspiracy. Although the concept of a prison game has potential, Prison Break: The Conspiracy is a terrible adaptation of an old TV show. Environments are dull and drab. Missions involve boring, repetitive fetch quests like finding a knive, or a drug stash, and the main character isn’t even from the TV show. A pair of punches, a dodge and a block/counter are the only moves at your disposal. You can level up speed and strength, but you never unlock new moves or combos, or get real weapons. The game is short at 9 hours, but nobody would want to spend that amount of time playing it.
Fighters Uncaged. The problem with motion based controls is that the games that come out usually are for little kids. Fighters Uncaged tried to do something different for Kinect, but failed miserably. The “plot” revolves around a stereotypical street brawler named Simon who must battle through other brawlers. The game has only one mode “Fight”, but to get to this you must complete a terrible, and lengthy tutorial. And the visuals are terrible. The character models are stiff, and have poor design. The 2D stages are poorly detailed and ugly. Even the hip hop music is bad. Fighters Uncaged shows you how not to make a fighting game for a motion control system.
Deca Sports Freedom. Sports games have generally been a safe hit for the Wii, and even on the new Kinect. Although Kinect Sports lived up to the standard of multiplayer fun, Deca Sports Freedom is a terrible example of a motion controlled sports game. Like other games in the genre the game revolves around a variety of minigames, and most here prove to be boring. Further, the menus are terrible and almost impossible to navigate. Animation is bad throughout, and games are frustrating or boring. They look bad, control bad, are frustrating. Badminton and Volleyball attempt to mimic the simplistic nature of the sports but the swing controls lack responsiveness and makes it difficult to master shot placement. If you want a good sports game, play Wii sports, or Kinect sports instead.
Naruto Dragon Blade Chronicles. Naruto games have generally been decent, but the newest game doesn’t offer much ninja fun. Although most of the Naruto games recycle stories from the anime, Dragon Blade Chronicles has a new story. The voice acting is the only highlight of the game, but cutscenes drag on, and graphics are not good enough to make them entertaining. You jump back and forth between Naruto and Sasuke, but they both play the same since the mountain interferes with chakara, and thus neither character can pull off the cool powerful attacks that make Naruto entertaining. All attacks use the same button, and the combat is incredibly dull. Enemies are generally dumb, so the game is unsatisfying. Even worse, the enemies don’t even look cool, adding to the general tedium of the game. The environments are equally boring and similar, and the map is useless. This game has practically no redeeming features, and isn’t worth playing for even the most die hard of Naruto fans.
Alter Ego. Alter Ego is a point and click mystery adventure game, but the mystery is never really resolved. The story is terrible and the puzzles are so easy they provide no variety. You play as two different characters, and explore various areas combing inventory items and clicking on objects to progress the story. Unfortunately the story is not worth the boring gameplay. Lingering questions are never resolved, and the two characters don’t even cross paths until tw0-thirds of the way through the game. Events prior to the two characters meeting up hint at something exciting, but puzzles only get simpler and facts from the mystery are unclear. There is a 15 second speech for a climax, and a final cutscene that makes you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing. Overall, Alter Ego fails to deliver a mystery worth investigating.
Julia is a Sophomore in Claremont CA. When not at school, she pursues her interests of video games, anime, and reading. Although not a true author she also enjoys writing fan fiction, occasionally immersing herself in online role-play sessions. She is also is interested in the news, including video game news, and spends a large amount of her time with her school’s speech and debate team. Although she isn’t as hip as others when it comes to teen culture, and may prefer Metallica to Justin Bieber, she loves watching TV and action movies with her friends. Although young, Julia has strong opinions, and is very excited to continue working with YAB, and writing reviews.