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By otakuman5000 On 29 Dec, 2010 At 07:38 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Nintendo DS, PlayStation, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThis year alone, there have been many fantastic releases and it’s so hard to choose what I would consider my ‘favorite’. It has taken some time to decide on what games actually made the list, but when it comes down to it, I don’t think you’ll be surprised by my number one choice.

10. Final Fantasy XIII – (XBOX 360 & PS3) – March 9th

Final Fantasy is a classic and you don’t have to guess why that is. From its breath taking graphics, to involving storyline, to even its innovative battle system. The thirteenth installment of the Final Fantasy series did not just raise the bar on graphics, but took it and threw it in the air. (This is Final Fantasy, what goes up doesn’t always come down). Its stunning visuals are the makeup over the fantastic storyline, which caught your attention and dragged you along for over 40 hours. In fact, the only problem with the game was that it took 40 hours to feel like an old fashioned Final Fantasy game. It is extremely linear until the 11th chapter, but once you get there, Final Fantasy grinders will have their hands full with grinding CP and getting the best items possible

9. Halo: Reach – (XBOX 360) – Sept. 14th

Halo Reach is the final hurrah in the ‘Halo’ series by Bungie.  I would have liked to have seen the storyline been fleshed out a little more, however I feel that they did an impressive job with the multiplayer. I was a tad upset with how the arced the storyline and I honestly wished that they would have fleshed out the characters more, so I could feel more attached. In my opinion, Reach campaign seemed rushed, but it makes up for it with its multiplayer. Reach plays differently from any other multiplayer shooters; you have to train yourself to play differently. And I like that. They took reach in a different direction than past Halo games, adding features that have a striking resemblance to other games (I am looking at you, Call of Duty). I would have to say these changes were unnecessary, because Halo had its own feel before reach which was different than today’s average shooters (ahem, COD). Bungie tried something new, and many fans have grown attached to it.

8. Heavy Rain – (PS3) – Feb. 23rd

Heavy Rain took me down a dark and turbulent path that I wasn’t quite prepared for, but had to endure every heart pounding second. I have recently played the game again a few different times, each time, doing something different that would ultimately change the fate of the rest of the characters. Heavy Rain grabbed me from the beginning and hooked me until the very end.

7. Fable 3 – (XBOX 360) – Oct. 26th

While I’m only halfway through the game itself, I’ve already been captivated by the amount of things do to, as well as the storyline. For me, the best kind of story is the one that will write itself through my actions and decisions that I have chosen throughout the game. Fable, much like its predecessors has achieved this perfectly. I have to say that among my favorite things to do is most likely tormenting villagers and this game allows me to do that if I choose.

6. Pokemon Soul Silver/Heart Gold – (DS/DSi) – March 14th

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’m a sucker for Pokémon. I literally own every Pokémon game, but two that I lost. The best part about HG/SS is that it brings back a classic and puts a fresh new face upon it.

5. Dragon Age: Origins – (XBOX 360 & PS3) – March 16th

When Dragon Age came out, that is literally the only game that touched my 360 for almost two months. I was engulfed into the Ferelden and even entranced by the whiny bitch known as Alistair, yes I admit I fell for his pathetic puppy dog eyes, but in the end? Let’s, just say that I’m the only ruler of Ferelden…

4. Red Dead Redemption – (Xbox 360 & PS3) – May 18th

No one ever thought that creating a video game around cowboys would end up being so brawlic. However, Rockstar did just that, they broke the mold and broke the boundaries with Red Dead Redemption. The campaign is good, but what caught my real attention was how the setup their multiplayer and I’m not talking about the options for ‘Team Deathmatch’. I’m talking about the ‘Free Roam’. Nothing brought more satisfaction to my face then watching a party ride around Blackwater thinking that they own the place and ‘little ol’ me’ comes charging in with a Semi-Automatic pistol to rain on their parade.

3. Bioshock 2 – (Xbox 360 & PS3) – Feb. 9th

Bioshock is one of the few single player games that has really kept my attention, which is saying something. I liked being able to shock people with electricity and burning them to death with fire. I’m not sure what this really says about me, but in the game? I’m the one with the power, so who is to judge? Bioshock 2 takes a new direction with the back stories of how Little Sisters and Big Daddies came to be. Along the way, you get new abilities and new weapons to devastate your foes with.

2. Call of Duty: Black Ops – (Xbox 360 & PS3) – Nov. 9th

There is a reason that Sergeant Woods won ‘Character of the Year’ and there is one word to describe this man. ‘Badass.’ Woods is just one character out of many that Treyarch allows you to connect with and care about. But let’s think for a minute, this game also has an amazing multiplayer too…The best part about it? Being able to call in puppies again. If you’re reading this Treyarch, you created an AMAZING game, but for the love of God, can you get rid of the RC cars? So, here’s to you Woods, I’ll expect a marriage proposal within the day or two.

1. Mass Effect 2 – (Xbox 360, PC,  PS3 next year) – Jan. 26th

It’s no surprise that Mass Effect 2 is my number one choice for my ‘Top Ten’. It has beautiful graphics, amazing and rooted storylines that could take you anywhere. For me, Mass Effect was more than just spending hours trying to search a stupid planet for a certain type of ore to upgrade this or that, it forced me to decide if it was worth taking the time to go about things the right (and the long) way in order to keep my team alive. Mass Effect forced me to make hard decisions, some that I didn’t want to have to make, but I had no choice. To me, Mass Effect is the ideal lover, one that I’ll come back to again and again.

By otakuman5000 On 21 Dec, 2010 At 04:35 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar2010 has been a very busy year for video games and a lot of great titles have appeared on the shelves this year as well as a few great titles picked up a little late. Here is my top 10 played games of 2010 that include a few classics.

10 – Monday Night Combat

Monday Night Combat is a XBLA game that was released in 2010 and is almost entirely online. It has a cartoon  look to it and offers competitive and cooperative modes with 5 unique classes to choose from. This game definitely is over the top and just fun to play and for anyone that likes to play Team Fortress 2 will seem vaguely familiar.

9 – Medal of Honor

This is the game that rebooted the Medal of Honor franchise and finally took it to the modern combat that many have grown to love because of games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare. With a completely separate online and offline component this felt like two games rolled into one. The single player story is compelling and feels very natural with squad mates backing you up and an online that allows for light vehicle combat and an upgrade system that keeps the game competitive. However the short story is what really keeps this game so low on my list.

8 – Bioshock 2

Released in early 2010 this game has received some complaints from people that have played Bioshock 1 however this game offers a great online and offline experience while expanding the Bioshock universe. The single player takes you through the game as the big daddy from the start and offers another walk through Rapture, visiting new locals from the first game. As familiar as this game feels it is a totally new experience with great visuals. The only problem with this game is the lacking online community, less than a year later and it’s difficult to find a match online and even more difficult to jump into the DLC maps.

7 – DJ Hero 2

By far my favorite music game ever created with great mixes and taking the Gameplay a step above its predecessor. With freestyle cross-fading, freestyle scratching, and all DJ Hero1 DLC working in this game, it really gives a much more immersive DJ experience but the most impressive part is the amount of mixes available on this disk and nowhere else.

6 – Gears of War 2

This is by far my favorite Xbox 360 exclusive franchise ever created but since this game was released in 2008 it has to reside low on the list. 2010 was the year I won the game of the year edition of this game from the folks over at Xbox Support on twitter and finally did a play through on Insane difficulty. The epic story combined with horde mode and comparative multilayer made this one of those games you never forget and definitely makes the wait for the third iteration worth it. With occasional online bonuses popping for during different occasions, this game is in my Xbox periodically throughout the year.

5 – Halo Reach

Halo Reach is the prequel to Halo Combat Evolved however technically superior to all Halo games before it. With you taking the role of the new guy amongst team Noble on a mission to save the world from the attacking covenant by delivering a package to the Pillar of Autumn where Master Chief is in cryogenic sleep. The graphics are beautiful, the AI is very smart and a lot of game modes to play. This game has many hours of play in it and a community that is very devoted so it is very easy to find people to play with in any game mode.

4 – Assassins Creed: Brotherhood

With the story beginning right as the second game ends, this lets you play as Enzio once again in the huge map that is Rome. The combat system is evolved, new game features, a new training program and online play it definitely gives our favorite assassin a second much deserved wind. The graphics are still great looking and the gameplay is familiar while adding new twists. The online offer what i can only say is the best version of Hide and Seek I ever played with great kills having high rewards so you know all that trouble is worth it as opposed to just running around and lunging at every target.

3 – Fable 3

At first Fable 3 seemed to be a step down from Fable 2 but quickly I realized that it was simply streamlined. Gone are the days of having a hundred weapons and is replaced with evolving weapons. The only downside I felt was there was the magic system was too dumbed down from the last game. The story itself was a great continuation from the previous game and the visuals look great. The battles are bigger and definitely a lot more enemies are swarming you as you play through this game. The multiplayer is finally fixed with Xbox Live allowing for easy jumping in and out of games without camera issues. Besides how many other games allow you to be a king?

2 – Call of Duty Black Ops

It was tough to not put this game at number one. With it’s great single player story, fun Gameplay mechanics and what I consider a fixed online system that lets me live longer then 10 seconds after spawning because of stacking kill streaks is one of the best games I played this year. The graphics look great offline and online with lots of customization available for the user and a lot of game modes packed it. Dead Ops is fun for sure and zombie mode is always enjoyable with a few buddies for hours on end. There is no reason not to play such a great and polished product.

1 – Red Dead Redemption

This was by far the best game I played this year, it was long, it had a very interesting story and about a hundred things to do if you didn’t feel like playing the missions. Even after the game is done there is still a lot to do because the world is living and continuing around you with fun random events. The game looks great and plays great for the most part, being that big there are bound to be a few issues here and there. The online is fun and definitely makes it rewarding to shoot the enemy and get those points with some larger maps allowing horses to be used. And if you just want to fool around with friends, the whole map is open for free roam with up to 15 other people with all the gang hideouts available. Now with the Undead Nightmare add-on, this game gets even better, I mean zombies in the wild west is pretty cool, and the horses you can get is even more cool. Overall this was my most enjoyable game of 2010.

Memorable mentions

-FF XIII

-Mass Effect 1 (still need to play Mass Effect 2)

-Dead Rising 2

So there you have it, my top 10 games played in 2010. However I have a feeling if I played Mass Effect 2 this list would be different because of how much I like first one but I am waiting for a few days to play it without interruption.

Please note all these games were played on the Xbox 360

By otakuman5000 On 16 Dec, 2010 At 12:15 AM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 2 Comments

No Gravatar*This Post was originally submitted and written by Pam Kelly*

 

Fable 3 is an Action  RPG developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft, and was available in the US on October 26th, 2010. Fable 3 is the biggest and shiniest installment of the series to date.

Brothers Can be Evil.

Long time fans will be relieved to hear the game still retains the humor and charm of its predecessors, while introducing some new game play gems into the mix.

You start out in the traditional way, by picking your gender. From there, you get a taste of the good life as the prince or princess. Shortly after you are betrayed by your brother, Logan, the King. Since you are the offspring of the previous hero of Albion, you know that your fate is not to end up in one of Albion’s many sweat shops. All hope is not lost. A few of your faithful companions remain by your side in order to guide you throughout your journey. Jasper, your faithful butler, who is voiced by one of my all time favorite thespians John Cleese, can be found in your sanctuary. The sanctuary acts as your start and statistics menu. Jasper gives you reminders, important advice, and even offers to cook you a meal just in case you are hungry. Your other companion’s name is Walter. Walter is a man who has stuck by your side for as long as you can remember. Walter has always told you tales about your hero father or mother. He is your mentor who has taught you how to be a hero, and live up to your family name. With these two companions, and the need to set right your brother’s wrongs, you set out on an epic adventure to stop Logan at all costs. This is only half the battle, after you overthrow your brother you still have a major task. You need to stop the impending doom that is on course to end all life in your kingdom.

Yes, I wear stockings, and can kick your arse.

Graphically, Albion looks spectacular. The game has amazing visuals, and the land feels alive. Unfortunately, there are quite a few frame drops as well as blurring while running through the landscape. If you install the game to the hard drive, this decreases. Installing it does require hard drive space. If you know you are going to play it for a substantial amount of time, I would highly recommend it. The textures are extremely well done, and the environment is very immersive. The character designs have an organic feeling. Environmentally, everything looks as though its on the starting edge of an industrial revolution.

The game has the same humor that Fable is known for. The main quest is more interesting than that of previous Fable installments, as there is more to it than just defeating the known threat. This storyline has a slightly darker tone to it than its predecessors. The main quest is enjoyable, however only completing the main quest will ensure a shorter game. The side quests are quite fun. They’re almost more fun than some of the main quests. If you played Fable 2, you’ll be reintroduced to Sam and Max as well as some new characters that will make you laugh. The side quests are really a positive addition to the overall game.

Fable 3 boasts some Lover-ly Environments

The game play has been improved from the previous games.  Some killer finishing moves have been added to the combat. When performing these moves time slows down, and displays your character masterfully slaughtering your enemies. You once again have ranged, spells, and melee weapons to choose from. Each weapon can be upgraded in unique ways, and there are many weapons to be found. You also have the option to use the weapons handed down to your from your heroic family. Running around the towns is still a blast. All of the citizens have an opinion they just can’t keep to themselves. Interacting with people in Fable 3 is different than in the previous games. You interact with people one at a time now, so you really spend time with the little people of the kingdom. Talking to the inhabitants gives you the option of marrying, making friends, and starting relationship quests. Relationship quests are necessary to move your relationship along. You can marry, have children, or even adopt a child in this installment. You can also lead people around by holding their hand. Hand holding is a new feature, but it doesn’t change the game in an extraordinary manner. You still have the morality scale, so every action you take counts. Make too many good or bad choices, and you get angelic or demonic wings. The people will take note and comment on your morality. You can purchase properties, rent them out, or just keep them all to yourself. This feature is not new to Fable, but there is a new aspect to this. After you purchase properties, your landlord status requires you to keep all the homes in proper condition. Houses start at different levels of condition, but if you let them drop too far your renters will refuse to pay you. You must keep the condition of the homes up, and this can be managed in the sanctuary. It is time consuming and can be irritating. Repairing all the houses to 100% every 20-30 minutes gets to be a chore, but you will need all the gold you can get.

You can tell it’s a Fable game in regards to the sounds and music that is in the game. The main theme is instantly recognizable. While you are adventuring, the ambient sounds are very good. It sounds as though you are there. You can hear the hustle and bustle of the servants when in the castle, and when in the open environments the sounds are very fitting. You can tell when there are enemies nearby as the combat music will start to play. There are also gnomes that insult you in the same manner as the gargoyles in the previous Fable. The gnomes are hilarious, infuriating, and rude. Shooting all the gnomes around Albion will count towards a very funny side quest.

Demonic wings for the moralistically challenged folk, now with fire!

All in all, Fable 3 delivers a solid Fable experience with enough new aspects in the game to make it feel new. It doesn’t deviate enough to make it feel like a fresh Fable, but enough to give you an enjoyable play through. The drawbacks are the frame drops,  glitches, and lack of Kinect support that was alluded to. Fable 3 has local co-op play, and LIVE co-op capabilities. With all of the DLC available, this game is definitely worth a $50 purchase. Fable 3 will appeal to previous Fable fans, rpg lovers, and people who just want to kick chickens around.