I’m pretty slow when it comes to playing new released games. So, my 2010 pickings are a bit thin. My top 10 consists of my most memorable and most played games of the year.
Now, without further ado, on to my list!
10. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (XBLA, PSN)
This game based on the comic (which was also a movie this year) was a blast to play. The graphics, music and game play was reminiscent of past 8-bit games such as River City Ransom and Double Dragon. This download-able beat’em up was worth the $10 and I welcome more of them!
Another entry in the long running Mega Man series was released as a download-able game earlier this year for all current consoles. Keeping the 8-bit graphics and music as the previous installment and adding a welcomed ‘Easy Mode’ for many Mega Man novices. This game also introduced one of my favorite game characters this year: Sheep Man!
This old school 2D shmup, by the masters at CAVE, was unleashed on Xbox Live Arcade a few months ago. Released in 1999 in Japanese arcades, this marked the first time it was released on a console. Gamers around the world were now able to shoot stuff in feudal Japan and witness the ‘Spider-Cat’ boss! This marked the second time that a console port of a CAVE game was released to North American audiences. The first being ‘DeathSmiles’ which was released earlier this year.
7. Sakura Wars ~So Long, My Love~ (PS2, Wii)
The fifth installment in SEGA’s ‘Sakura Taisen’ series came to North America courtesy of NIS America. It’s unfortunate that we were only given the last episode of the series (which began on the Sega Saturn), but it’s great that we were able to get it at all. This strategy/RPG, dating sim game is probably something most gamers have never witnessed before. The mix of RPG elements, dating sim, and giant robots makes for a unique game. I applaud NISA for releasing this. Be sure to pick up the PS2 Limited Edition if you can. It has two game discs: one is English dubbed, and the other is the original Japanese version with English text. The Wii version only provides the English dubbed one.
SEGA released 3 Sonic games this year. Sonic 4: Ep. 1, Sonic Colors Wii, and Sonic Colors DS. The Wii version of Sonic Colors was definitely my favorite this year. This game made Sonic fun again! The game is basically Sonic Unleashed, without the night levels. The day levels of Sonic Unleashed were the best levels in a Sonic game since Sonic Adventure 2, but the night ‘werehog’ levels bogged the game down. If you enjoyed the Sonic Adventure series and the day levels in Sonic Unleashed, this game will be one that you’ll enjoy immensely!
What a fun fighting game! Thank you, Capcom, for going through all of the copyright hassles to release this game outside of Japan. Capcom’s latest in the ‘VS.’ series pits anime characters from Japanese studio ‘Tatsunoko’ against some of Capcom’s video game characters. The joy of having the Gatchaman characters team up with someone like Viewtiful Joe was a real treat for an old school anime fan such as myself. The North American version includes a new ‘Wi-Fi Battle’ mode as well. Although, the network issues can be a pain to fight through. Classic Controllers or Arcade Sticks are recommended!
The first ever console port of a CAVE developed shmup came to American gamers in June of this year. This beautiful 2D ‘shoot-em-up’ was definitely one of my most played games this year. It has everything a gamer could want: great graphics, wonderful music, top notch game play along with a great balance of difficulty. This ‘bullet hell’ style game is the easiest to learn out of all of CAVE’s other games, but still hard to master! The limited edition faceplate and soundtrack CD was also a nice addition to this well-rounded game.
An update to last year’s Street Fighter IV, this game added additional features and characters from the Street Fighter universe. These included a lot of fan favorites such as Dudley, Makoto and Ibuki. As well as new characters Juri and Hakan. This was the definitive fighting game for gamers this year. Just expect more updates from Capcom as this just got an arcade release with new features and characters.
Wii owners rejoiced when Capcom announced they would release MH Tri to North America this year. This series prints money for Capcom in Japan. Each game in the series has been a top seller ever since the first one was released for the PS2 back in 2004. This game features some of the best graphics, sound and music on the Wii. Being able to hunt huge dinosaur-like creatures with even bigger weapons is something that has to be experienced. This game is definitely for the hardcore audience as it has a steep learning curve, but once you’re past that it’s smooth sailing. The English version of Tri maintained the online co-op play, but without a monthly fee that was required for the Japanese version. I’ve put over 160 hours into this game and it was the main reason I purchased a Wii this year. Thanks Capcom!
If there was one game I spent as much time with as Monster Hunter Tri this year, it would have to be Pinball FX 2! Zen Studios took all that was good with their previous series and created an even better pinball experience! With updated visuals and physics, Pinball FX 2 is the premiere video pinball game you can get anywhere. I’m talking even better than the PHOF: Williams Collection (which is one of my favorites). Not only did we get 4 new tables, but all previous Pinball FX 1 tables were transferable. It doesn’t end there! Less than 2 months later, Zen Studios released a new add-on pack featuring 4 tables based on characters from the Marvel Comics franchise! The Marvel pack is probably my favorite out of all the tables. Who would have thought that my favorite game would be an Xbox Live Arcade game. Don’t feel left out PS3 owners. They released Marvel Pinball as a standalone game early last week!
So, there you have it. My top 10 for 2010. I can’t wait to see what is in store for 2011. Bring it on!